Spring 2009 News

Chancellor Visits Department of Education


UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake visited the Department of Education on April 6 to explore department accomplishments, ongoing research, and future goals.

First on the afternoon's agenda was a presentation by ladder-ranked faculty. Chair Vandell introduced this segment with a review of the state of education in California. Calling attention to California’s performance in reading and math proficiency assessments and the state’s college readiness patterns, she summarized the role of the university in addressing these critical issues:

With research as its core focus, the university is responsible for preparing teachers and educational leaders, offering programs for students and practicing teachers, and participating in curriculum and policy development. To meet these responsibilities, the Department of Education is promoting educational success and achievement of ethnically and economically diverse learners of all ages through a multi-faced approach that includes teaching, research, and service in the areas of early childhood, K-12 education, communities and families, out-of-school time, and college access and completion.

Following Chair Vandell’s introduction, representative faculty summarized accomplishments in each of the above areas.


New Research Grants

Replication and Extension of a Study of Peer Impacts on Attitudes and Drinking Behavior
William T. Grant Foundation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Greg Duncan

This research focuses on the effects of peers on attitudes and on binge drinking in a college sample. The data will be collected by the University of North Carolina. Dr. Duncan will conduct the analyses of the data.

Social Influences on Early Adult Stress Biomarkers
Foundation for Child Development, Northwestern University

The major goal of this research is to conduct secondary analyses with a data set from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to evaluate the social determinants of stress in young adults.

Third Grade Social Skills and Later Attainment
Foundation for Child Development, Northwestern University

For this research, two longitudinal data sets are being analyzed to address the question of when children’s academic and socioeconomic skills begin to matter for long-run attainment outcomes such as high school completion and labor market success.

Effects of School and Neighborhood Socio-Economic Mix on Long Term Youth Outcomes
Smith Richardson Foundation, Northwestern University

For this research, data from a follow-up study to the Moving to Opportunity residential mobility experiment are being analyzed in order to examine the impacts of residential mobility on child and adult outcomes of low-income families living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Long Term Effects of Neighborhoods on Low Income Youth
William T. Grant Foundation, Northwestern University

This research supports additional analysis of the data from a follow-up to the Moving to Opportunity residential mobility experiment in order to examine the impacts of residential mobility on child and adult outcomes for low income families living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Preschool Program Impacts on School Readiness: Variation by Prior Child Language and Attention Skills, and the Quality of Infant/Toddler Care
US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

George Farkas

The purpose of this research is to learn (1) whether the school readiness impacts of the type, quality, and quantity of preschool experiences vary by the level of cognitive/language and attention skills children exhibit when they begin preschool and (2) whether the achievement gap separating the children of low and high income families can be substantially reduced or eliminated by high quality preschool care alone or combined with high quality infant/toddler care. Research will be conducted by Professors George Farkas, Margaret Burchinal, Greg Duncan, and Deborah Lowe Vandell.

Occupying Idle Hands: Out-of-School Time and Successful Navigation of the High School Years
Mott Foundation

Deborah Lowe

This study, using data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, will examine the connection between three developmental periods (elementary, middle, and high school years) and the longitudinal impact of out-of school experiences (unsupervised time, organized activities, afterschool programs, other adult supervision).

National Portrait of 16-26 Year Olds Who Are Not On-Track to Attain a Post-Secondary Education Credential
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, University of California Los Angeles

Assistant Professor
Leticia Oseguera

This proposal (in partnership with Cynthia Feliciano, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences), will use data collected from the US Census Bureau, Add Health and Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey to identify the most vulnerable in attaining a post-secondary education credential.

Spatial Temporal Mathematics at Scale: An Innovative and Fully-Developed Paradigm to Boost Math Achievement Among All Learners
US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

Michael E. Martinez

The goal of this research is to assess the precise benefits of approaching math through spatial temporal reasoning. Using a fully developed math curriculum that utilizes a non-language approach, this research will assess the program effects and interactions with student subgroups and classroom observations to investigate the mechanisms by which students make gains in mathematical understanding.

Student News

16 Students Admitted to Ph.D. Program for Fall 2009

Sixteen students have been admitted to the Department’s Ph.D. in Education program for Fall 2009. The incoming students were selected from an applicant pool of 98 that included applicants from across the United States and International applicants from Colombia, Iran, Japan, Korea, People's Republic of China, Republic of Taiwan, Turkey, and Ukraine.

The five men and eleven women, who will comprise Cohort 3, bring varied educational backgrounds and a broad range of professional experiences to the Ph.D. program.

The incoming doctoral students possess undergraduate degrees in Art, Biochemistry, Biology, Child & Adolescent Literacy, Comparative Literature, Counseling, Criminology, Educational Technology, Electrical Engineering, Elementary Education, English as a Second Language, Liberal Arts, Political Science, and Psychology. Seven hold advanced degrees in fields such as Education, Japanese, Law, Medicine, and Psychology.

Professional experience includes After-school Program Leader; Chief Resident Surgeon; Director of Assessment; Director of the Ocean Institute; Educational Researcher; K-12 Teacher, including National Board Certification; Manager of Program Evaluation; School Psychologist; University Faculty; and University Lecturer.

Six will be pursuing their Ph.D. in the Learning, Cognition, and Development (LCD) specialization; six will specialize in Educational Policy, and Social Context (EPSC); and four will focus on the Language, Literacy, and Technology (LLT) specialization. One will be entering as a Eugene Cota Robles Fellow and a second as a Gates Millennium Scholar.

Congratulations to our New Doctors of Education

Karen Brzoska, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Shaping Our World: Digital Storytelling and the Authoring of Society

Current Position: Associate Director, Instructional Information and Technology Learning, California Polytechnic University, Pomona

Vanitha Chandrasekhar, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Promoting 21ST Century Learning: A Case Study of the Changing Role of Teachers in One-to-One Laptop Classrooms

Current Position: K-12 Technology Curriculum Leader, Long Beach Unified School District

Renee DeLong Chomiak, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Making Thinking Evident: The Use of Math Think Alouds with Developmental Community College Students

Current Position: Dean of Counseling Services, Cerritos College

T. Lee, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: The Human Fallout: Educators' Perspectives About No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Implementation in Urban Schools

Current Position: GATE/National Board Certified Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District

Sue Leonard-Giesen, Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Parents as Teachers of their Preschool Children with Down Syndrome: Supports, Barriers, and Daily Routines

Current Position: Lecturer, Special Education, College of Education, CSU Long Beach

Matais Pouncil, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Acting Black: Black Men and Doctoral Dissertation Completion

Current Position: EOP Director, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills

Lorraine Test, Ed.D.

Dissertation: Effectiveness of Goals Classes: A Possible Alternative To Grade Retention

Current Position: Principal, Orange County