Commencement 19 Profile: Heather Macias piloting professional development and the Millennium Falcon

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Heather Macias

Heather Macias is no stranger to the Gevirtz School news page as she has accomplished much in her time in the Department of Education earning her Ph.D. Most recently we shared the news that she had won a 2018-19 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from UCSB's Faculty Senate.

GGSE: Share your research interests with us, and why they’re important to you.

Macias: My research looks at the role that professional development plays in helping teachers best support multilingual student achievement. As a former teacher myself, I want to better understand how high-quality teacher learning can work to promote inclusive learning environments through teacher agency and collaboration.

GGSE: If you could give one piece of information that you wished every person knew and remembered from your research, what would it be?

Macias: Value teachers' knowledge. Treat them like professionals. Value students' home language and culture. Treat them like assets to the classroom.

GGSE: What do you hope to do after earning your Ph.D.?

Macias: I'll be teaching future teachers at CSU Long Beach, which is exactly what I wanted and what I hope to do for a long time. I also hope to visit Disneyland sometime soon so I can pilot the Millennium Falcon.

GGSE: What piece of advice would you pass on to future graduate students in the Gevirtz School?

Macias: Make friends with your cohort and fellow grad students because they're the ones who are going to work with you, drink with you, stress out with you, and support you from beginning to end.

GGSE: Is there anyone in the Gevirtz School you would like to thank?

Macias: I'd like to thank all my friends that I've made over the last five years. I couldn't have survived without all their friendships and I'm going to miss them all. I'd also like to thank my committee, Tim Dewar, Richard Duran, and Diana Arya, for their support and guidance during my dissertation process; they have helped me feel very prepared as I move onto my new career. Lastly, I'd like to give one more shout out to Tim for all our talks about teaching and writing that I enjoyed and valued so much.