Spring 2012 Newsletter

DoE Welcomes 2012 Entering Ph.D. in Education Class

Department of Education Graduates First Ph.D.s in Education

On June 9, the first graduates of the UC Irvine Ph.D. in Education will be hooded as part of the 2012 Commencement Ceremonies. Participating in commencement will be six spring quarter graduates, five from the 2007 entering class and one from the 2008 class, and two summer graduates, one each from the 2007 and 2008 entering classes.

The graduating doctors of philosophy have chosen varied career paths. Laurie Hansen is a lecturer in the Department of Education and at California State University, Fullerton. James Leak accepted a postdoctoral position in Kenya. Maria Parente is Coordinator of Community Programs in Science at Yale University. Erik Ruzek has accepted a postdoctoral position at university in the east. Femi Vance will be joining the Public Profit research firm in Oakland. Lauren Shea has accepted a postdoctoral position with the Center for Educational Partnerships to research and evaluate educational programs. Dale Webster is joining the Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education as Chief Academic Officer.

During their time in the program, the graduating doctors of philosophy produced 27 publications, including three books, and made 49 presentations to such organizations as the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Research in Educational Effectiveness, the American Psychological Association, the National Conference for Teachers of Mathematics, and the Society for Research in Child Development. Considered as a whole, students in years two through five have produced 69 publications and delivered 225 conference presentations.

Congratulations to our first Ph.D. in Education graduates!


Congratulations to our 2011-2012 Doctors of Education

Eight graduates completed their Ed.D. degree during 2011-2012. Graduates from the UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D. in Educational Administration are Xiaoqing Chen, Monica Colunga, Jeneen Graham, Michael Grove, and Karen Neitzel. A Culminating Celebration was held in February to commemorate the close of UC Irvine's joint program with UCLA.

Graduates from the CSU/UCI Joint Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Leadership are Joseph Llamas, Hoa Pham, and Mario Valente. The joint doctoral program between UC Irvine and four CSUs (Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Pomona) admitted 65 students over a four years period. The joint program is scheduled to end during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Graduates, Dissertation Titles, and Employment

Cal Teach Program Graduates First Cohort From 4-Year Bachelor of Science with Teacher Credential Program


   2012 4-year Degree/Credential Graduates: 9

   2011-2012 Gateway Course Enrollment:107

   Projected 2013 4-year Program Grads: 22

This June nine proud graduates of the inaugural cohort will be receiving both their bachelor of science degree and their California single subject teacher credential in the special four-year degree program offered by the UC Irvine Cal Teach Science and Math Program. UCI Cal Teach is a collaborative initiative sponsored by the School of Biological Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, and Department of Education in reponse to the critical shortage of qualified middle and high school math and science teachers throughout the state. The program is designed to offer undergraduates opportunities to explore math and science teaching as a career option.

Receiving a bachelor's degree in mathematics along with the California Teacher Credential are the following graduating seniors: Rebecca Cordero, Melanie Gerling, Ji Eon Kwon, Anita Nensey, and Ace Garin.

Receiving their degree in biology and the California Teacher Credential are Sella Lee, Whitney Ventuleth, and Julie Wilson.

Receiving a degree in chemistry and the California Teacher Credential is Khanh Tran.

A total of 107 undergraduates enrolled in the gateway course for the Cal Teach program during the 2011-2012 academic year. By spring 2012, 36 freshmen and sophomores had declared their majors in either math or science plus the California Teacher Credential. Twenty-two four-year combined BS plus California Teacher Credential graduates are expected to complete their degree requirements by June 2013. Next academic year, 2012-2013, for the first time students will be able to enroll in a new major - B.S. in Biology plus California Teacher Credential; at least 70 incoming students have registered for this option for fall 2012.

Irvine Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Terrance Walker Honored as UC Irvine Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumni
M. Warschauer, T. Walker, D. Vandell

Terrance Walker, Superintendent of Schools for the Irvine Unified School District, was honored as Distinguished Alumni at the University of California, Irvine 42nd Annual Lauds & Laurels Awards Ceremony. In nominating Mr. Walker for this honor, the Department of Education commented, "Terrance Lee (Terry) Walker, teacher, administrator, superintendent, and UC Irvine Department of Education alumnus, exemplifies the highest standards in serving the university’s three-fold mission: teaching, research, and service. His talents are recognized by educators and by business and community leaders. He models the highest standards of making a positive impact on the people with whom he associates and the institutions in which he serves." Mr. Walker completed his Elementary Teaching Credential coursework at UC Irvine in 1998 and received his master’s degree in Educational Technology Leadership in 2002.

Congratulating Mr. Walker during the May 17th ceremonies in the Student Center Pacific Ballroom were Professor of Education and Informatics Mark Warschauer (pictured left) and Department of Education Chair Deborah Lowe Vandell (pictured right).

Read more about Terrance Walker

Sue Marshall, Director of Undegraduate Programs, Honored with Lauds & Laurels 2012 Staff Achievement Award
Chair Deborah Vandell & Sue Marshall

For each of the past 41 years, UC Irvine Alumni Association has hosted the annual Lauds & Laurels Awards Ceremony. Among other honorees, one individual is selected from the campus staff for his or her outstanding impact on the university. This year Sue Marshall, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Outstanding Staff Achievement Award, the 42nd recipient in the university's history. Dr. Marshall, was selected for her impact on undergraduate programs, education policy, and student opportunity. As Director of Undergraduate Education for the Department of Education, she has expanded the course offerings available to students seeking a minor in Educational Studies. She pioneered the Certificate in Afterschool Education, the first certificate in the nation to address the pressing need for professionalization of afterschool staff. As Director of the UC Irvine California Teach Science and Math Program (Cal Teach), she played a key role in writing and securing the $2.4 million grant to develop the program at UCI and has led the development of classes and activities to encourage the best and the brightest UC Irvine students to consider pursuing a career of teaching K-12 students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM fields). She also facilitated the collaboration among the Department of Education, the School of Physical Science, and the School of Biological Science to implement a four-year program that allows undergraduates to earn a math or science degree and a California Teacher Credential in four years. (Members of the first cohort will receive their bachelor's degree and California Teaching Credential this June).

Read more about Dr. Sue Marshall

Associate Professor Elizabeth van Es Honored for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
Deborah Vandell & Elizabeth van Es

Each year the Division of Undergraduate Education and the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center recognize outstanding teaching by University of California professors. This year, the honoree from the Department of Education was Associate Professor Elizabeth van Es. In presenting the award during the ceremonies on May 24, Department Chair Deborah Lowe Vandell praised Professor van Es for her leadership, teaching excellence, and curricular innovations. “Dr. Elizabeth van Es has made significant contributions to the Department of Education’s teacher preparation programs, including the undergraduate Cal Teach Science and Mathematics program, the post-baccalaureate Single Subject Teaching Credential program, and the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Across all three programs, Dr. van Es has developed and taught courses that skillfully blended her research in teacher cognition and the role of video teaching vignettes in teacher learning with an understanding of best practices and relevant applications for new teachers in today’s secondary schools.”

Presentation Statement by Professor Vandell

Fifth Year Ph.D. Student Andrea Cons Awarded Keith Curry Fellowship
Andrea Cons & Keith Curry

Ph.D. student Andrea Cons has been awarded the inaugural Keith Curry Fellowship in recognition of her academic dedication and achievement in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Education. Ms. Cons, a fith year doctoral student specializing in Language, Literacy, and Technology, has advanced to candidacy and is finalizing her dissertation under the guidance of her advisor, Professor Robin Scarcella. Dr. Curry is the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Compton Community College District and a 2011 graduate of the UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D. in Educational Administration. He established the fellowship to help support the studies of a current Ph.D. student who has demonstrated significant growth in academic achievement and unusual perseverance – qualities that Dr. Curry believes characterized his journey toward his doctorate.

Department Hosts Spring Alumni Event for Ph.D., Ed.D., M.A.T., and Credential Program Graduates

On Saturday, May 19, graduates from the doctoral, master's, and teacher credential programs gathered in the Department of Education to participate in a series of workshops and reconnect with faculty and former classmates. Chair Deborah Lowe Vandell and Director of Alumni relations Christina Giguiere initiated the morning's events by welcoming participants to this second year of programs and networking opportunities structured especially for department alumni.

The morning schedule included two sets of workshops. Session I featured "Critical Media Literacy" by Professor Rebecca Black, "Mathematical Modeling: Why This may be the Most Exciting and Challenging CCSS-M Change!" by Valerie Henry, and "Learning in Practice" by Jody Guarino. Session II included "Should Teachers be Teaching Morality? If so HOW?" by Jeff Johnston, "A New Lens on Teaching: Video Clubs for Teacher Professional Development" by Elizabeth van Es, and "Theater Activities you can use to Support Literacy and Social Studies" by Krista Ratnaweera.

During the morning break and following the two sessions, alumni were able to browse research posters developed by current Ph.D. students and learn about scholarship support available to entering students. 

Workshop Descriptions and Photographs

Department of Education Professors Mentor Undergraduate Research Work Showcased at UC Irvine Undergraduate Research Symposium
Students Mentored by Dr. Stephanie Reich

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) assists undergraduate students by facilitating and funding their involvement in faculty-mentored research or creative activities. Each spring student work is showcased during the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium. The theme for the 2012 symposium was "Undergraduate Research: Managing the Future." The theme highlighted the many ways in which research will continue to affect the lives not only of today's young researchers but also within and beyond the academy.

On May 19th, more than 800 UC Irvine students gathered in the Humanities Complex to share their research findings through oral and poster presentations to faculty, staff, members of the UCI and general community, and families and friends.

The following are the research presentations and undergraduate researchers mentored by faculty members from the Department of Education:

The Effects of Maternal Mental Health on Infant Health in the First Eighteen Months of Life (Abstract), mentored by Assistant Professor Stephanie Reich

  • Melissa A. McManus
  • Seyed Ali A. Khalessi Hosseini
  • Amit S. Malhotra
  • Jahanzeb S. Ashraf
  • Prianka Kumar (group presentation pictured above)

Gender Differences in Math Course Selection across High School Latino Students (Abstract) by Alyssa Sanders, mentored by Assistant Professor AnneMarie Conley

The Effects of Access and Quality in Medical Related Services on the Academic Achievement of Urban Youth: The Perceptions of Adolescents (Abstract) by Mary Ahmadyar, mentored by Associate Professor Elizabeth van Es and Ph.D. in Education student Mary Cashen

The Influence of Gender Perceptions on Latina Ethnic Identity Development (Abstract) by Denise Leon, mentored by Assistant Professor Maria Estela Zarate

Carol Booth Olson Receives 5-Year USDE Office of English Language Acquisition Grant: "The Pathway Project: A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for Teachers of Secondary English Language Learners (2012)"
Carol Booth Olson
Associate Professor

Carol Booth Olson, Director of the UCI Writing Project, has received a five-year grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) to implement an academic reading/writing intervention in the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD). The goal of the intervention is to improve the practices of classroom teachers in ways that positively impact student learning and school achievement.

The intervention will be replicating and demonstrating the efficacy of an existing, successful Pathway Project professional development program for teachers of secondary ELLs in the Santa Ana Unified School District (article).

In collaboration with AUHSD, the project design team will deliver, test the efficacy of, and continue to fine-tune the following tools and strategies:

  • A conceptual model (i.e., the Pathway model) for supporting transitional and mainstreamed English Language Learner (ELL) students’ academic progress through English language arts classes in secondary school;
  • A strong, strategies-based professional development (PD) program for teachers of transitional and mainstreamed ELLs that can be delivered through “training of trainers” institutes;
  • A sequence of reading/writing intervention materials, customized for grades 7-12, that teachers can implement in the classroom to develop students’ declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge of the cognitive strategies experienced readers and writers use in the process of meaning construction;
  • A systematic and explicit intervention designed to accelerate the academic English of transitional and mainstreamed ELL students based on an analysis of students’ academic writing.

The intervention will be delivered through an ongoing, sustained professional development program over a five-year period involving 46 hours of training per year, through six release days and five afterschool workshops.

An experimental design will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.

Writing Project Research and Publications

Afterschool Division of the California Department of Education Announces Completion of New Outcome Measures Tools for Afterschool Programs
Deborah Lowe Vandell
Field Test PI

David Funk, Director of the After School Division (ASD) of the California Department of Education, announced the completion of new outcome measurement tools designed to assist afterschool programs in California with assessing changes in students’ academic skills and behaviors across the school year. In the Partnership for Children and Youth newsletter of May 16, 2012, he reported that field tests of these tools have demonstrated that afterschool programs have positive effects on the academic skills of students, and on student behaviors.

The field tests of these tools were conducted by the UC Irvine Department of Education at two points in the 2010-11 school year, first during Fall 2010 and then in late Spring 2011. More than 22,000 reports of student outcomes were obtained from classroom teachers, program staff, and students at 196 sites in 9 regions across the state.

The ASD now will work with the UCI Department of Education to make these new tools available to afterschool programs in fall of this year. At that time, the ASD and UCI will make the tools available for review by grant recipients. If a grant recipient so chooses, it will be able to elect to use the tools for internal program improvement purposes and/or to use the tools to measure program outcomes as required by Section 8484 of the Education Code.

Facilitating the Field Test at UC Irvine were PI Deborah Lowe Vandell, Professor and Chair of the Department of Education, and Researchers Pilar O'Cadiz, Valerie Hall, and Andrea Karsch. Funding was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the California Department of Education.

Complete Article from Partnership for Children and Youth eNewsletter

Chair's Advisory Board Holds Spring Meeting to Discuss Technology and Learning

The Chair's Advisory Board devoted their spring meeting to a discussion of literacy and technology and a consideration of recent department activities.

Associate Professor Rebecca Black shared her research work, which focuses on the online, virtual world environment. Professor Mark Warschauer presented an overview of his studies of technology usage in the classroom context. 

Following discussion of the presentations, Chair Deborah Lowe Vandell provided updates on department developments:

  • Two new faculty members are joining the department effective July 1: Assistant Professor Jeanette Martinez, whose research encompasses literacy, vocabulary, and English Language Learners; and Assistant Professor Anne McDaniels, who studies higher education and women in STEM fields.
  • Three additional faculty searches are being conducted, one for a math/science professor; one for a professor specialized in early childhood; and one for a professor with research interests in educational psychology and cognition.
  • Development of the Academy School, a collaborative partnership effort among the Orangewood Children's Foundation, the Orange County Board of Education, and the UC Irvine Department of Education, is progressing, with the first group of 9th grade students slated for admission in fall 2013.
  • The Department is developing a proposal for an online master's program: Teaching English Internationally.
  • The Department of Education's Ph.D. in Education program is continuing to advance in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.
    • Highest and only ranked department in the top 50 graduate schools of education
    • 3rd among UC schools
    • 11th in mean GRE quantitative GRE scores
    • 14th in mean GRE verbal scores
    • 14th in doctoral acceptance rate
    • 36th in funded research per faculty member

Summary of Presentations

The Department of Education seeks to promote educational success and achievement
of ethnically and economically diverse learners of all ages
through our collective research, teaching, and service activities that foster learning and development
in and out of school.