Professors receive grant from UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence to advance equity in the age of COVID-19
The UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence awarded Associate Professor June Ahn (pictured left), Professor Rossella Santagata (pictured center), and Assistant Professor Adriana Villavicencio (pictured right) a grant to research opportunities to advance equity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant - Reimagining Educational Equity and Opportunity (REEO) during the COVID 19 Pandemic - will document and synthesize the nuanced approaches that different communities are taking to best support students in Orange County schools during this unique time, and provide targeted support in areas of need through the creation of a Networked Improvement Community composed of UCI School of Education researchers and school and district leaders and community members.
“In this project, we are deepening the relationships we have built between researchers and school partners through the OCEAN network to document the unique challenges and ways that our partners have dealt with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Ahn said. “But beyond just conducting research, the grant funds will allow us to convene focused working groups of educators and researchers to figure out how to best serve students in the coming months of the pandemic, with a key focus on equity and serving those most in need.”
The Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN) is a series of partnerships between K-12 schools and the UCI School of Education. At each site, a School of Education faculty member and doctoral student work with school leadership to identify the greatest needs and goals of the school, and in turn conduct research that will positively impact the school. Learn more about OCEAN, which launched in 2018, here.
Ahn studies learning technologies, research-practice partnerships, human-computer interaction, educational technology, and data use and analytics. His core research interest is understanding how technology and information can enhance the way we learn and deliver education. He also serves as faculty director for OCEAN.
Santagata’s research interests include teacher preparation and professional development, teaching and learning in STEM fields, video technologies, teaching and learning as cultural practices, and equity and education. She is founding faculty and director of the Education Center for Research on Teacher Development and Professional Practice and the School of Education’s Global Engagement Liaison
Villavicencio focuses her research on urban education, educational equity for marginalized communities, research-practice partnerships, and program evaluation. She is currently conducting a three-year mixed-method study on schools that serve recently arrived immigrant youth and an evaluation of an anti-racist teacher training program embedded in culturally diverse elementary schools.
The grant is part of the Office of Inclusive Excellence's Confronting Extremism program, which aims to fortify resilience of the campus community while advancing commitments among UCI members to inclusive excellence.