Fifth year PhD in Education student Tamara Tate has been awarded a 2017-18 Public Impact Fellowship. Fellowships are awarded to students whose "current research has the potential for substantial impact in the public sphere. Ideal candidates are involved in research designed to significantly improve or enrich the lives of Californians and/or national and global communities."
Ms. Tate is a doctoral candidate in Dr. Mark Warschauer’s Digital Learning Lab (DLL) in the School of Education. After completing her BA (English) at UCI and JD at UC Berkeley, she worked as a corporate finance partner at an international law firm. She comments,
Despite the intellectual challenge, I found myself increasingly drawn to helping diverse learners improve their literacy through technology. Literacy is a fundamental competency, yet extremely complex and difficult to master. For example, Almost one-third of all California’s 8th graders, and 70% of English learners and students with disability, are below State standards in writing.
Tamara's work at the school and district level on 1-1 digital technology efforts showed her how critical it is that disadvantaged, low performing, and English learners have access to quality digital technology and pedagogy. Since coming to UCI, she has performed three secondary data analyses of the first national writing assessment given to students on a computer, researched a digital literacy intervention implemented in middle schools throughout a local school district with a large ELL population, and undertaken her current study using five years of digital data on student writing to understand the relationships between technology implementation, amount of writing, collaboration, and writing achievement for students in grades 4-8.
Upon being advised that she had been awarded a Public Impact Fellowship, Tamara responded,
This fellowship encourages me to continue searching for ways to improve students’ literacy through the research-based use of technology. The award provides credibility to my work as I seek additional funding and research opportunities and helps me to publicize the need to improve adolescent literacy. Pursuing research interests that are intellectually challenging, of practical value, and focused on the needs of diverse students will continue to be my passion as a Public Impact Fellow at UCI and forward into my professional career as an educator.
About Tamara Tate
Education: UC Irvine, PhD, 2018 expected; UC Irvine, MA, 2016; UC Berkeley, JD, 1989, Order of the Coif (top 10%); UC Irvine, BA, English, 1986, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Research Foci: Literacy and the use of technology to improve the literacy of diverse students in K-12 schools