Fall 2009 Newsletter

Chair Delivers State of the Department Address
Deborah Lowe Vandell
Professor and Chair

Chair Deborah Lowe Vandell reviewed 2008-2009 department accomplishments during her Fall 2009 State of the Department address to faculty, staff, students, and guests. Among achievements noted were the following:

* Berkeley Place has been officially renamed the Education Building.

* Faculty grants have surpassed $14,000,000, with an average of $671,685 per faculty member. An additional $17,000,000 in grant applications have been submitted for review.

* New grants have been awarded for research in math and science education, cognitive development, learning-related behaviors, video-based interventions, and teacher training. Granting agencies include the U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Science, Gates Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

* Associate Professor Judith Sandholtz has joined the department; her research interests encompass teacher professional development, teacher education, and school-university partnerships.

* The average yearly publication rate per faculty member, 2006-2008, was 2.5 articles per year.

Highlights from the 2009 State of the Department Address

Leadership Council Considers Theme: Facilitating Successful Transition to Post-Secondary Education at Fall 2009 Meeting

The Department of Education Leadership Council met at the end of October to discuss research, education, and community connections that promote successful transition to post-secondary education.

RESEARCH. Assistant Professor Thad Domina discussed his research project entitled "Race Neutrality and Educational Inequality: The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans," funded by the American Educational Research Association. In the 1990s, several U.S. states prohibited public colleges from considering race in admissions. To understand the consequences of affirmative action bans, Dr. Domina compared the changes in racial inequality that occurred between 1992 and 2004 in states that banned affirmative action, with the changes in racial inequality that occurred elsewhere in the U.S. during the same time period. His analyses indicated that in addition to broadening racial inequalities in selective college access, affirmative action bans reduce minority high school students' educational expectations, AP test-taking odds, and skill acquisition. These findings suggest that

  • young people look at signals from higher education when making decisions about their educational path;
  • when young people perceive changes in administrative attitudes and positions, behaviors change; and
  • cultural context can override individual messages about the importance and accessibility of higher education.

EDUCATION. Assistant Professor Leticia Oseguera discussed the UC/ACCORD Pathways to Postsecondary Education+ (PSE+) grant. Funded by the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, the project is a UC-coordinated, multi-method study of 16-26 year olds who are not on-track to attain a post secondary credential with value in the labor market. Project outcomes will include synthesis of existing research, analysis of data from national surveys, and community case studies. Objectives are to

  • develop a framework to understand the relationship between poverty and educational trajectories within the context of race, class, and gender;
  • provide an analysis of labor market opportunity and workforce trajectories for youth in poverty; and
  • understand the roles and responsibilities of educational institutions in maximizing opportunities and minimizing obstacles to PSE>.

Dr. Oseguera (and her co-PI, Cynthia Feliciano) are primarily responsible for the national dataset analyses.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS. Sharon Salinger, Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education, presented an overview of UCI undergraduates. Among the information shared were the following:

  • Of the 22,226 undergraduates in Fall 2009, 4,030 were new freshmen and 1,748 were new transfers.
  • UC Irvine offers more than 80 undergraduate majors, including the recently added nursing science, public health, and pharmaceutical science, and more than 60 minors.
  • 80% of new freshmen live on campus and 50% of all undergraduates live on campus or within walking distance.
  • 72% of undergraduates have at least one parent not born in the U.S., 54% speak a language other than English at home, and 21% are foreign born.
  • 19% of the new freshmen and 23% of the new transfers are considered first generation college students (neither parent graduated from college).
  • 60% of undergraduates receive some type of financial aid, and 44% of undergraduates receive need-based scholarships or grant aid.
  • 55% of enrolled undergraduates are working to pay for college; the percentages varies by class level - 33% of freshmen; 49% of sophomores; 60% of juniors; and 70% of seniors.
  • In a 2008 senior survey, 61% intent to pursue a master's degree at some point; 20% a research doctorate, 11% a professional doctorate (J.D. or L.L.B), 8% a professional doctorate in medicine, and 10% another professional degree.

The Leadership Council will meet next in Spring 2010 to discuss science and math education.

Second Year Doctoral Students Discuss First Year Research Findings During Fall 2009 Poster Presentation

Ph.D. Student Lauren Shea

Ph.D. students who entered in 2008 discussed their first year research findings during the DoE Fall 2009 Poster Presentation. Areas of student research encompassed a broad range of topics in the three Ph.D. specializations: Learning, Cognition, and Development; Educational Policy and Social Context; and Language, Literacy, and Technology. During the two-hour formal presentation, students gave brief overviews of their research findings and then answered questions posed by faculty, staff, and students from the department and guests from other university departments and the surrounding community. Posters remained on display through the presentation week, and selected posters subsequently were placed on display on the second and third floors of the Education building. Poster presentation week is a yearly event and one of the benchmark activities of the Ph.D. program designed to encourage conference presentation during a student's second year of doctoral study.

Abstracts of 2009 Poster Presentations

Congratulations to our Summer 2009 Doctors of Education
Diane Araujo , Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Educational Administration

Dissertation: Chicanas/Latinas in Higher Education

Current Position: Retired Lecturer, California State University, Los Angeles and Pacific Oaks College


Meri Beckham , Ed.D., CSU/UCI Educational Administration & Leadership

Dissertation: Unconventional Learning: How Perceiving Students Succeed in College

Current Position: Nursing Counselor & Nursing Retention Specialist, College of the Canyons, Santa Clara


Judi Conroy, Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Educational Administration

Dissertation: Pre-Service Teachers' Reflections on Their Own Mathematics Teaching

Current Position: Director of Teacher Education and Student Affairs, Department of Education, UC Irvine


Myrona DeLaney , Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Educational Administration

Dissertation: The Acting Advantage: University Actor Training as a Conduit for Creativity in Undergraduates

Current Position: Lecturer, UCI Department of Drama, Claire Trevor School of the Arts


Shelia Hill , Ed.D., CSU/UCI Educational Administration & Leadership

Dissertation: The Exploration of Spirituality as a Means of Coping and Persistence in African American Female College Students

Current Position: Counselor, Cerritos College


Barbara O'Connor, Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Educational Administration

Dissertation: Principal Leadership Behaviors that Create a Culture of Excellence: An Independent Charter School Case Study

Current Position: Pivot Inc. Educational Consultant and Coach, Retired Principal: Orange County School of the Arts


Rick Rams , Ed.D., CSU/UCI Educational Administration & Leadership

Dissertation: Black Ice: How African American EOPS Students Experience the Academic Storm at Caiifornia Community Colleges

Current Position: Dean of Student Support Services, Cypress College


Ron Richardson , Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Educational Administration

Dissertation: A Comparison of Two Supplementary Curricula in 8th Grade Social Studies Classes: Impact on Writing and Geographic Understanding

Current Position: Principal, Madrona Middle School, Torrance Unified School District


Freda Rossi, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Educational Administration & Leadership

Dissertation: California English Language Development Test: Does It Measure Up?

Current Position: Principal, Charles W. Bursch Elementary School, Compton, California



Reginald Sample , Ed.D., CSU/UCI Educational Administration & Leadership

Dissertation: A Case of Black Male: Overrepresentation of African American Males in Special Education as Emotionally Disturbed

Current Position: Assistant Principal, Henry Clay Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District


Lilia Tanakeyowma Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Educational Administration

Dissertation: Student Engagement Among Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Youth: Mexican Descent Youth in an American High School

Current Position: Dean of Student Affairs, Santa Ana College