Spring 2010 Newsletter

Distinguished Professor of Education Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Distinguished Professor
Greg Duncan

Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor of Education, is one of three UC Irvine professors elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) "in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievement in original research."

Professor Duncan has published extensively on issues of income distribution, child poverty, and welfare dependence throughout his 40-year career. His research has important implication for the future of work-support programs and early childhood education. It supports the idea that helping low-income families balance the demands of work and family leads to both better careers for parents and higher achievement for their children.

Professor Duncan continues to study skill development across childhood and the impacts of poverty and other environmental conditions on children and adolescents. In one recent study, he found children's early math skills were the strongest predictors of later success in school and beyond.

Among his many honors, Professor Duncan was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 (UCI Today, May 14, 2010).


Researchers Publish Latest Findings from Longitudinal Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development
Professor and Chair
Deborah Lowe Vandell
Margaret Burchinal

Deborah Lowe Vandell, Margaret Burchinal, and colleagues have published their latest installment of research findings from their longitudinal student of Early Childhood Care and Youth Development (ECCYD), funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Professor Vandell summarizes:

In the current phase of our ECCYD study of 1364 children, initiated in 1991, we found effects of early child care at age 15 that were comparable in size to those we had previously observed in early childhood and elementary school. Adolescents who had attended higher quality child care scored higher on standardized tests of cognitive and academic achievement relative to adolescents whose early child care had been of lower quality. Adolescents who had spent more hours in early child care reported more risk-taking and impulsivity relative to adolescents who had fewer hours in child care.
In addition to the findings that child care quality and hours effects persist over time, some "new" findings emerged at age 15. Higher quality child care predicted fewer externalizing behavior problems in the adolescents, an effect not seen in early childhood or elementary school. Experience in center-based care per se did not predict adolescent functioning, contrary to what was found when development was measured in middle childhood.

This report is the first study to document long-term effects of routine, nonrelative child care on adolescent cognitive-academic achievement, risk-taking, and impulsivity in a large, diverse sample that includes middle-class as well as low-income families. Future research will examine whether these effects persist into late adolescence and adulthood.

National Institute of Health Press Release: May 14, 2010

Society for Research in Child Development Press Release: May 14, 2010

Vandell, D.L., Belsky, J., Burchinal, M., Steinberg, L., Vandergrift, N., & NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2010). Do effects of early child care extend to age 15 years? Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, Child Development 81(3).


DoE Graduate Honored at 40th Lauds & Laurels Awards Ceremony
(L to R) Chair Deborah Lowe  Vandell, Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman
Vice Chair Michael Martinez

Sheila Schuller Coleman, Ed.D. is the Executive Director of Ministry and Mission at the Crystal Cathedral overseeing multiple lead teams including production of "Hour of Power" Television Ministry.

She has a diverse career as a published author, a public school teacher, and most recently a private Christian school administrator for more than 13 years and Crystal Cathedral Director of Family Ministries.

Dr. Coleman's life has been intertwined with families of all ages in multiple capacities. She has mentored teachers, principals, preschool directors, and youth pastors. She is an ordained commissioned pastor for the Crystal Cathedral and has served Orange County in numerous roles, including as a full-inclusion (with severe disabilities) elementary teacher in the Fullerton Unified School District.

Currently Dr. Colelman is developing an international network of schools in countries where there is a high rate of illiteracy. Stateside she is working to create programs to provide after-school tutoring programs, free of charge, to children in at risk neighborhoods. (From UCIAA's May 13, 2010 Lauds & Laurels Awards Ceremony Program)

As a member of Cohort 2 of the CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D. program, Dr. Coleman pursued an emphasis in K-12 Instructional Leadership and researched use of the arts to encourage student academic engagement. Her 2007 dissertation, entitled Raising The Curtain On Theatre Arts For Latinos: Finding Voice, Cultural Capital, Literacy, And Ethnic Identity In High School Theatre Arts Classes, explored the benefits Latino high school students derived from participating in drama classes and productions.

Additional information is available in Dr. Coleman's June 2008 Department of Education Spotlight - Sheila Coleman, Ed.D. http://www.education.uci.edu/spotlight/2008_june4.php


Angela Luh, Student of UCI Writing Project Summer Fellow Erik Emery, Wins Gold and Silver at California Writers Awards and Advances to National Competition
Angela Luh and her Mother
California Writers Award

Angela Luh captured both the Gold Key Award and a Silver Key Award at the Orange County Chapter of the California Writers Competition, sponsored by Scholastic Magazine, the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and the California Writing Project. In a ceremony at the UCI University Club hosted by the UC Irvine Writing Project, Ms. Luh received her Gold Key for her memoir Mom and Her Shiny Floorboards and Pink Closet Doors. Her poem Good Bye, Lullaby was awarded a Silver Key.

Ms. Luh's Gold Key memoir was selected for its originality; craft and technical skills; and emerging, significant, and memorable voice. Mom and Her Shiny Floorboards and Pink Closet Doors now will be entered in national level competition for the American Voices Award.

Ms. Luh is a student at Northwood High School in Irvine. Her teacher Erik Emery is a UCI Writing Project Summer Institute Fellow.

During the awards ceremony, six other Orange County students were recognized for their written work. Alexandra Aste was awarded a Silver Key for her poems The Jewelry Box, New Day, and California. Kristin Godfrey received a Silver Key for her short story Multiple Blues. Joanne Koong received a Silver Key for her short story Cue the Piano. Caroline Wallis received a Silver Key for her poem Oxford, I Love You. Peighton McRobie received a Merit Award for her humorous entry Beauty in a Shopping Bag. Alexis Salciso received a Merit Award for her humorous entry Illegal Jay Walking.

The California Writing Awards recognizes outstanding writing in seven categories: nonfiction, personal essay, poetry, journalism, humor, dramatic script, and short story.

Student News

DoE Admits 14 New Ph.D. Students for Fall 2010

Fourteen new doctoral students have been admitted to the UCI Ph.D. in Education program. Eleven women and three men were selected from an applicant pool of 96 that included both U.S. and international submissions. Among the countries of origin listed on applications were Argentina, Australia, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Iran, Kosovo, Mexico, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

The 2010 entering class will begin their studies in September of this year. Eight have chosen to pursue the Learning, Cognition, and Development specialization; four will focus on Educational Policy and Social Context; and two will specialize in Language, Literacy, and Technology.

The new students have earned bachelor's degrees in Anthropology, Applied Sciences, Biopsychology, Cognitive Science, English Language and Literature, Human Performance and Health Science, Mathematics, and Psychology. Their undergraduate institutions include Cornell, CSU Fullerton, Rice, Sookmyung Women's University (Korea), Stanford, UCLA, UCSB, and University of Sydney (Australia).

Nine of the incoming class have earned an advanced degree. Three students have a master's degree from Harvard. Five have a master's from Bank Street College of Education, CSU Fullerton, CSUN, Penn State, or UCLA. One student has received a doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chapman University. Advanced fields of study encompass Ceramic Science; Counseling; English; Education; Educational Policy; Language and Literacy; Public Administration; Special Education; and Technology, Innovation, and Education.

Professors expect that classroom dialogue and doctoral student engagement will be nourished by the diverse backgrounds of the incoming students. Ten have teaching experience, ranging from pre-school through university level. One is a National Board Certified teacher in Math and a department chair. Two have taught abroad - in China and in South America. Prior employment fields include international development, the World Bank, news reporting, post-Katrina educational consulting, computer programming, and Internet development. Volunteer experiences include advocacy work for parents' rights, AIDs awareness, Special Olympics, literacy assessment, and children's welfare. Among the additional languages noted on their applications were Albanian, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese.

The fourteen new students will join the current group of 44 students pursuing their Ph.D. in Education at UC Irvine. 

Congratulations to our New Doctors of Education


Arnett Carl Duncan, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Cultural Capital, Habitus, and Schemes: A Case Study of African American Student Engagement in a Secondary Classroom

Current Position: US History, Sociology, & Ethnic Studies Teacher, Wilmer Amina Carter High School; Executive Director of Kweli Educational Enterprises, Inc.


Bernice Tabak Kirzner, Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: A Study of Admission Screening Factors That May Contribute to Year-End Reading Performance in Kindergarten

Current Position: Head of School, Austin (Texas) Jewish Academy


Preston Perez, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Held Back: The Disproportionate Occurrence of Low Academic Achievement, Grade-Level Retention, and Dropping Out Among High School Hispanic Youth

Current Position: Principal, Canyon Lake Middle School, Lake Elsinor Unified School District


Michelle Purghart, Ed.D., UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Changing Times: Traditional Versus Small-Group Instruction in High School Social Studies

Current Position: Principal, Holy Cross Catholic Girls' School, Archdiocese of Los Angeles


Jennifer Wagner, Ed.D., CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D.

Dissertation: Professional Development in the Digital Age: Case Studies of Blended Communities of Practice

Current Position: Technology Specialist, Pomona USD Instructional Technology Department