Both a Statement of Purpose and a Personal History Statement are required for applicants to the UCI Ph.D. in Education program (limit of 1,200 words each). Though you may include overlapping content in them, the former is much more geared to your research background and trajectory, and the latter emphasizes your personal background.
Here is a brief explanation of what should be included in each.
Statement of Purpose
A Statement of Purpose is required for applicants to the UCI Ph.D. in Education program. In your Statement of Purpose, please describe your career goals, your research interests, how/why you think the UCI Ph.D. in Education program and its faculty can help you to achieve your research and career goals, and what about your background and experience has prepared you to become an outstanding educational researcher.
Personal History Statement
A Personal History Statement is required for all applicants to the UCI Ph.D. in Education. In your Personal History Statement, please discuss how your personal background—including any relevant educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities—informs your decision to pursue a Ph.D. in Education. You may also discuss, if you wish, how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within educational research or to the improved education of diverse groups.
Associated Doctoral Students in Education (ADSE) exists to foster community among doctoral students in UCI's School of Education. For the past two years, ADSE has honored a student for outstanding service to the School and to his fellow students. The 2017 award was presented by Masha Jones, ADSE President, and Robert Kalinowski, ADSE Vice President, to PhD Candidate Christopher Stillwell on May 23rd during the School's Doctoral Recognition Ceremony.
It is our pleasure to present the Associated Doctoral Students in Education service award. ADSE was founded in 2012 as a way to coordinate communication among students, staff, and faculty. The service award is designed to honor a student whose work often goes unnoticed. A lot happens within these walls every day, and much of this work takes place behind the scenes. This award goes to someone who has selflessly given to the School, and we would like to acknowledge his time and energy by presenting Christopher Stillwell with the ADSE service award for 2017.
Christopher has shown great leadership and initiative in responding to the ongoing shift in our political and social climate. He has led the organization of our "Trump Talk" events, reaching out to the UCI community and members of the greater Orange County community to discuss relevant topics that have implications for our changing educational landscape. He has also worked hard to mobilize other Ph.D. students at SoE to participate as advocates for the educational community.
The Keith Curry Undergraduate Scholarship was established in 2016 by Dr. Curry, CEO of Compton Community College District and School of Education Alumnus. The 2017 recipient, Pauline Ho, was awarded her scholarship on May 23rd during the School of Education's Recognition Ceremony.
Text of Presentation by Jacquelynne Eccles, Associate Dean and Distinguished Professor
I am delighted to introduce the undergraduate recipient of the Keith Curry Scholarship, Pauline Ho. Pauline is a graduating senior with a double major in Education Sciences and Social Policy & Public Service. She is a first generation student who has shown true grit, excellence in her academics, and dedication to the community. Nine years ago, Pauline Ho arrived in America, having only studied English for two hours. Today, Pauline has risen to achieve a variety of academic honors, such as membership in the international honor society for education, Kappa Delta Pi, recognition as a NSF GRFP Honorable Mention, UCI's 2017 Chancellor's Award of Distinction, and leadership roles at UCI, such as serving as a School of Education Peer Mentor, and as President of the Global Leaders Student Organization. In addition to her personal accomplishments, Pauline has given back to the community with a dedication shown by few. Pauline first discovered her passion in serving others by volunteering in a senior home, teaching English to minority language speakers. Since then, she has shown tremendous passion about encouraging and supporting low-SES diverse students in pursuing post-secondary education, particularly in STEM. In addition to tutoring and coaching high school students through the college application process, she is involved in the AppJam+ program, which provides URM students in middle school with the opportunity to learn the technical skills involved in application development and programming. This fall Pauline will be traveling to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue a PhD in Educational Psychology. Her long-term goal is to become a tenured professor conducting research and collaborating with community organizations to provide research-based services to ELL students.
The Keith Curry Scholarship was established in 2012 by Dr. Curry, CEO of Compton Community College District and School of Education Alumnus. The scholarship honors a 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. This year’s recipient of the Keith Curry Scholarship, Jennifer Sun, exemplifies these characteristics.
Jennifer earned this award by demonstrating her persistence in advancing through the Ph.D. program despite numerous setbacks. For her dissertation, Jennifer proposed an ambitious study to investigate elementary mathematics teachers’ identity in the context of a three-pronged, year-long professional development program. She is to be commended for spending countless hours in a school setting for a full school year, collecting hours of data in the form of interviews and observations of classroom teaching and professional development meetings, and finishing her dissertation just a year later. Collecting and analyzing data in this timeframe is highly unusual, and she deserves to be acknowledged for her focus and persistence in completing this major milestone. Finally, Jennifer encountered serious health issues last summer just after completing her data collection - what could have set her back many months. Despite this major setback, she returned in the fall quarter with a plan to narrow her analysis based on a strong theoretical framing, successfully completing the work despite taking on additional family responsibilities related to hospice care for her grandmother.
Jennifer, we commend you for your focus and determination despite these major challenges. Congratulations!
About Jennifer Sun
Associate Professor Elizabeth van Es and PhD alumnae Mary Cashen, Tara Barnhart, and Anamarie Auger publish in Cognition and Instruction.
van Es, E. A., Cashen, M., Barnhart, T., & Auger, A. (May 2017). Learning to notice mathematics instruction: Using video to develop preservice teachers' vision of ambitious pedagogy. Cognition and Instruction. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07370008.2017.1317125
Video is used extensively in teacher preparation, raising questions about what and how preservice teachers learn through video observation and analysis. We investigate the development of candidates' noticing of ambitious mathematics pedagogy in the context of a video-based course designed to cultivate ways of seeing and interpreting classroom interactions. Qualitative analysis of candidates' observations of teaching at the beginning and end of the course generated a framework of practices and associated approaches for noticing instructional interactions. The three practices include attending to features of instruction, elaborating on observations, and integrating observations to reason about instruction. Findings reveal that variations in candidates' noticing was tied to their attention to the details of the features of ambitious pedagogy and to the extent to which they integrated observations to examine the relation between student thinking, teaching practice, and mathematical content.
Devon Zangger, Teaching Credential Candidate in the UCI Master of Arts in Teaching program, has been awarded a 2017 Laura E. Settle Scholarship. The scholarship was established to honor Laura Settle, founder of the California Retired Teacher’s Association and president of the association from 1929–1945. Scholarships are awarded to those candidates with excellent academic performance, exemplary character and citizenship, and demonstrated potential to become outstanding teachers.
Ms. Zangger, who earned her BA in Sociology from UCI in 2014, will complete her MAT+Multiple Subject Teaching Credential this summer. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.
From Devon Zangger
Becoming an elementary teacher has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I was raised in Orange County in a multicultural household—my mother is of Mexican descent and my father of Swiss-German descent. Growing up in Irvine afforded me many opportunities and provided me with an education that engaged me, nurtured my strengths, and was a source of refuge. School has always been a safe space for me, a place where I was provided with structure and support, two things that were severely lacking in my home life. I was very fortunate to attend schools staffed with teachers who inspired me, encouraged me, and helped me to succeed. These teachers were the inspiration for my life’s pursuit of becoming a teacher. I saw from an early age the impact that educators can have on individuals and their communities. I knew that I wanted to continue these teachers’ legacies and provide a safe space for children to grow, explore, and learn.
Knowing that I wanted to be a teacher, I worked up to four jobs at one time to put myself through school and reach this goal. I put myself through community college while working two part-time jobs and then transferred to UCI. As an undergrad, I continued working and found a job in a preschool where I could see just how much positive influence teachers can have on children’s lives. Upon graduating from UCI with my BA in Sociology, I worked as a substitute teacher, English language development teacher, after school care provider, tutor, and teacher’s assistant. Many days I worked in different capacities with children from 8am until 8pm, trying to provide these children the same security, respect, and encouragement that I was afforded as a child. All of these experiences helped me gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a child growing up today and prepared me for many of the challenges that teachers face on a daily basis.
I decided to return to UCI to pursue my Master’s in Teaching and Teaching Credential so that I may accomplish my goal and become an elementary teacher. While at UCI, I have learned how to create a rich learning environment for children and been given tools to positively impact the children that I am working with. I have also been fortunate enough to also take on leadership positions within the program, including serving as Student Representative for my cohort of teacher candidates.
I am excited and ready to take on the responsibilities of a teacher and work to enhance the lives of others.
Pictured above: Devon Zangger and Multiple Subject Coordinator Susan Toma
Photographs submitted by UCI undergraduates to the 2017 Illuminations Photography Challenge, sponsored by the Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative, are on display in the Viewpoint Gallery, UCI Student Center, May 15 through May 27.
Beginning Fall 2016, UCI students were encouraged to submit photographs in response to the theme is "Orange County Built Environment." As part of the submission process, students created 1-2 minute videos explaining their photography choice. Both photographs and accompanying video description can be viewed at http://indi.com/uciilluminations/builtenvironment
Four levels of recognition were awarded during the spring judging.
First place: Diane Cayee Huang
Second place: Jessica Park
Third place: Chrisline Raymundo
Honorable Mention: Karen Mark
Listing of 2017 UCI Undergraduate Photography Exhibit: Student Participants
(Students majoring in Education Sciences are identified by an *.)
Andrea Martinez (Public Health)
*Araceli Meza (Education Sciences & Sociology)
Betty Hu (Environmental Science & Asian American Studies)
Brian Lok (Economics)
Brigit Gruzman (Psychology & Social Behavior)
*Cathy Li (Education Sciences & Psychology & Social Behavior)
Diane Cayee Huang: (Economics)
Emily Grande (Public Health)
Gazelle Bahramian (Political Science)
*Irene Gao (Education Sciences & Business Economics)
Jessica Park: (Biological Sciences)
*Jonah Park (Education Sciences & Art)
Karen Mark: (Psychology & Social Behavior)
*Kari Anne Michaud (Education Sciences)
* McKenna Pigoni (Education Sciences)
Rosa Em (Social Policy and Public Service)
*Xitlali Fernandez (Education Sciences & Social Ecology)
UC Irvine's CalTeach Science & Math Program hosted the UC Spring 2017 CalTeach Symposium on May 11 and 12 at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach. Attending were administrators from nine University of California campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.
During the two day symposium, participants discussed professional development for mentor teachers, student field placement, innovations in programmatic work, computational thinking lessons, program evaluation and research, the multi-campus research initiatives grant, and other essential components of the CalTeach mission.
The University of California's CalTeach initiative is a unique academic program that recruits talented undergraduate science and math majors to prepare for a teaching career. At UC Irvine, CalTeach students earn their STEM degree plus a California Teaching Credential in four years. CalTeach STEM degrees are offered in biological science, math, physics, chemistry, earth system science, and environmental science. UCI's CalTeach program is a collaboration among UCI's School of Physical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, and School of Education.
About University of California CalTeach: http://calteach.universityofcalifornia.edu
About UC Irvine's 4-Year CalTeach STEM degree + Teacher Credential: http://calteach.uci.edu
Pauline Ho has been notified that she is one of 38 graduating seniors selected for UCI's 2017 Chancellor's Award of Distinction. Conferred for her commitment to cutting-edge research, leadership, and service to UCI, this honor comes with a certificate of recognition and a special shoulder cord to be worn at UCI's 2017 Commencement Ceremonies.
Pauline, who is graduating with a double major in Education Sciences and Social Policy & Public Service, has fulfilled a variety of leadership and research roles during her four years at UCI. These include UCI School of Education Peer Mentor, UCI Scholarship Opportunities Program Student Advisor, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society Secretary, and Global Leaders Student Organization President.
Pauline also has amassed an impressive number of honors while an undergraduate: AERA 2017 Undergraduate Fellow, National Science Foundation GRFP Honorable Mention, Mabel Wilson Richards Scholarship, Juan Francisco Lara Endowed Scholarship, Summer Undergraduate Research Program Fellowships, Los Angeles Chinese American Citizens Alliance Scholarship, and Best Undergraduate Poster at UCI's 2016 Data Mining Initiative Symposium.
Pauline's senior honors thesis, "Investigating Teaching Practices in Writing 29A Classrooms: An Examination of English Language Learners", reflects her interest in language learners and how their social relationship and psychological well-being affect their academic outcomes.
This fall Pauline will be traveling to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue a PhD in Educational Psychology. Her long-term goal is to become a tenured professor conducting research and collaborating with community organizations to provide research-based services to ELL students.
PhD Candidate Christopher Stillwell has been honored during UCI's 2017 Celebration of Teaching by the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning and the Center for Engaged Instruction as one of three recipients of UCI’s Most Promising Future Faculty Member Awards.
In nominating Christopher for this honor, his advisor, Professor Judith Sandholtz, praised Christopher’s exceptional performance in fulfilling the three-fold mission of the University of California: research, teaching, and service.
Research: Christopher is recognized as an emerging expert in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). In 2016, he was named to TESOL International’s 50th anniversary list of “30 Up and Coming" professionals, "the next generation in research, teaching, publishing, and leadership.” He is listed on the U.S. Department of State’s database of English Language Specialists. As a graduate student, Chris has edited two books published by TESOL; one was shortlisted for the prestigious ELTon Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources. He also has authored or co-authored eight published chapters/journal articles (with one in-press and two under review) and has made 23 presentations at professional conferences.
Teaching: As a graduate student, Christopher has worked as a Teaching Assistant over twelve times in courses such as multicultural education, ethics and education, and learning and cognition. For the Division of Continuing Education, he developed and taught certificate courses and summer intensive courses in English as a Second Language; led workshops for international teachers from China, Brazil, Taiwan, and Japan; and created specialized programs in English as Medium of Instruction.
Service: Christopher is highly involved in service activities at multiple levels. He is an active member of several professional organizations, including TESOL International Association, CATESOL (California and Nevada), and American Association for Applied Linguistics. He has served as a board member for the Orange County CATESOL organization and has facilitated youth participatory action research at a Santa Ana middle school. He is a TESOL advisory committee member for UCI’s Division of Continuing Education and has served on the board of Associated Doctoral Students in Education.
Congratulations, Christopher, for a well-deserved honor.