Students and Alumni of the Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning

Cohort 12

  • Phil Ensberg

    Phil Ensberg

    Phil teaches Advanced English 8, Yearbook, and Advisory, and serves as BTSA Support Provider for The Preuss School UCSD. He believes in teaching students as he would want to be taught and expects that all students will master the curriculum in his classroom. But Phil also believes in developing the character of each student in preparation for a life of community involvement and responsible participation in a democratic society and a member of the global community. Phil’s primary research interest is in exploring how reading literature / writing original fiction benefits students and its value in modern society where 90% of adult reading and writing concerns non-fiction. 

    Phil holds a B.A. in English Literature, an M.A. in Teaching and Learning, and is currently working on his Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning at UCSD. Along with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English, he is certified to teach Social Studies and Art in California. In 2005, Phil was recognized as the Middle School Teacher of the Year for the San Diego Unified School District--the first charter school teacher to receive the award--and was a finalist for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year Award. In 2006 he received the National Teacher/Administrator Award from the Freedom's Foundation in Valley Forge.  

    Although Phil was born in Connecticut and lived in New Jersey, he has been a resident of California since 1975 and considers himself a Californian. Mr. Ensberg is married with two children. His hobbies including spending time with his wife and family, singing and songwriting, writing poetry, writing short stories and novels for young adults, reading, drawing comic books, golfing, and drinking Starbucks coffee. He is inspired every day by the amazing commitment, diligence, intelligence and resourcefulness of his amazing students at The Preuss School.

  • Sharon Fargason

    Sharon Fargason

    Sharon Fargason teaches third grade at Baker Elementary school and has taught first through third grades in inner city schools in San Diego since 2003.  She graduated from UCSD with a BA in 2002 and received a teaching credential and M.Ed. in 2003.  

    Sharon is interested in how children learn and the environments that foster learning. She has studied science learning environments and has conducted research with the CRMSE department at San Diego State University.  Sharon recently co-authored the book Becoming Scientists: Inquiry-Based Teaching in Diverse Classrooms, Grades 3-5.  While writing this book, she became fascinated with why teachers do the things they do and the sociocultural nature of teaching. 

    Currently, Sharon is interested in the ways in which new teachers learn, form identities, and negotiate the tensions between pre-service learning and ideas and beliefs currently in place in their first teaching assignments.

  • Marina Hayden

    Marina Hayden

    Marina Hayden currently works as an Academic Initiatives Principal Analyst in the Office of the AVC for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Education at UC San Diego. For the last three years, Marina has been primarily responsible for coordinating all aspects of the campus Education Initiative which was launched in 2012 as a complement to UC San Diego’s research initiatives to adapt best global thinking about educational strategies. She is also a Continuing Lecturer at the Jacobs School of Engineering and has taught the Orientation to Engineering course series for first-year students since 2007. She has worked at UC San Diego for the last fifteen years in several positions, including Director of Engineering Student Services. Before that, she worked in industry as an engineer.

    Marina has a B.S. degree from UC San Diego in Electrical Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego. She is currently enrolled in the Ed.D. program in Teaching and Learning at UC San Diego. Her research interests include examining the factors that affect student persistence in College and how the transition to College affects persistence and academic success. Her goal is to better understand the needs of today’s students, and to explore what programs, activities, and pedagogical approaches are most effective in helping them to succeed.

  • Elena Hood

    Elena Hood

    Elena Hood is an enrolled member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and a descendent of the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Her passion and commitment is to serve the Native community and promote access to culturally responsive, relevant, and equitable education for American Indian children and families.

    Elena received her Master’s Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an emphasis in Administration, Planning and Social Policy.  She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at UC Berkeley with a major in Native American Studies and a minor in Education Studies.  As an undergraduate, Elena participated in the UC Education Abroad Program where she spent a year studying at the Universidad di Bologna in Italy.  At Berkeley, she held leadership positions in the Native American Recruitment and Retention Center and the Inter-tribal Student Council.

    Currently, she is a resource teacher and program manager at the Chámmakilawish Pechanga School, a tribally controlled elementary school.  She works with individual students to remediate academic skills and implement individual learning plans.  She collaborates with parents and families to navigate the IEP process and coordinates special programs such as the annual school spelling bee, I’m Going to College and the Pechanga chapter of the National Elementary Honor Society. Elena began her career in education as the Education Coordinator for the American Indian Child Resource Center in Oakland.  Later, she was the Early Outreach Coordinator at Cal State San Marcos.  Additionally, she has taught American Indian Studies at Palomar College and National University and been an invited speaker on issues in Indian education at a variety of education conferences and community events.

  • Mimi Lockton

    Mimi Lockton

    With a background as a middle school English and social studies teacher, Mimi has also worked with children and parents of young children. After college, she worked on a county project to assist children of families in crisis. She quickly learned that highly motivated teachers often make the biggest impact on these children’s lives, so she earned a teaching credential and taught middle school in Orange County. She would now like to strengthen the relationship between academic research and daily practice in public schools. Her current research interests lie in how educators work together to construct understanding about their students and their subjects, make decisions about practice, and create a culture of continued learning.

  • Wendy O'Connor

    Wendy O'Connor

    Wendy O’Connor currently works in the Vista Unified School District as an Early Literacy Coordinator in Curriculum and Instruction. This position allows Wendy to work collaboratively with many educator groups across the district to include teachers on special assignment; principals, assistant principals, classroom teachers, and support staff.

    Prior to her current role, Wendy served as a Content Support Resource Teacher, Literacy Coach, and classroom teacher.  She taught 4th grade, 5th grade, and a 4/5 combination class.  She has also worked as a Title I Reading teacher for grades K-6.

    In addition to her regular duties, Wendy has served in numerous leadership roles such as the Site Liaison for California State University San Marcos student teachers, a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) provider, a master teacher, and a grade level leader. In addition, she has been on the following district committees: ELA Innovation Cohort, Elementary Curriculum Committee, Language Arts Adoption Committee, Language Arts Core Literature Committee, and several Professional Development groups for planning and facilitating District Professional Development Days.  

    Wendy received her Bachelor’s degree and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Diego State University.  Wendy’s Master's Degree and Reading Specialist Credential were earned from California State University San Marcos.  Wendy’s goal in earning her doctorate degree in the Teaching and Learning Doctoral Program at the University of California San Diego is to eventually teach student teachers and veteran teachers at the university level.

    Wendy’s first year study focused on supporting teachers as they transition into Common Core.  Wendy’s current research interests will continue the endeavor to support teachers in Common Core, but with a more specific focus on Early Literacy instructional strategies and the effective use of digital literacy assessment data to guide instruction.

  • Mariette Rattner

    Mariette Rattner

    Mariette is a tenured professor of business at San Diego Mesa College, where she teaches both face-to-face and fully-online marketing and business courses to an ethnically and culturally diverse group of students. Prior to embarking on her career as a college professor, she worked in industry, first as a writer and editor for Rockwell International Corporation (now The Boeing Company) in Seal Beach, and later as a market research analyst for Fluor Daniel, Inc., in Irvine. She has a BA in English with an emphasis in professional writing from California State University, Long Beach, and an MBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Southern California.

    Research areas that interest Mariette include the means by which communities of inquiry and of practice can be established and supported in the community college setting; professional development for community college instructors; instructional strategies for student retention and success in the online and face-to-face classroom learning environments; and student engagement and motivation.

    Mariette’s first-year paper explored the relationship between student engagement and course completion and pass rates in a fully-online course. Her current research interests lie in the beliefs and teaching practices that part-time and full-time community college faculty bring to bear as they seek to effectively teach students of diverse backgrounds.

Cohort 11

  • Alison Black

    Alison Black

    Alison Black teaches 8th grade English at Coronado Middle School. She has been working in classrooms around the county since 2006. Alison received her BA in International Studies from UCSD. Her doctoral research interests include investigating social-emotional aspects of learning, such as: cultural communities of practice, social networks, and daily routines of academic involvement for families with early adolescents, especially those in military-connected families.

  • Bailey Choi

    Bailey Choi

    Bailey Choi is originally from Torrance, California. She relocated to San Diego to attend UC San Diego in 2004. As an undergraduate, she began her journey with the Education Studies Department at UCSD. She earned her B.A. in History with a minor in Education Studies in 2008. She continued on at UCSD as a graduate student and received her Masters of Education and multiple subject teaching credential in 2009. She recently returned to UCSD as a doctoral student in the Doctorate of Education Program in Teaching and Learning. Presently, she works as a lead preschool teacher at Carlsbad Country Day School in Carlsbad, California.

    Currently Bailey’s research interests include inquiry based approaches to preschool science and investigating how preschool students develop knowledge of the scientific process through experimentation, exploration and play. She is also interested in early childhood teacher education in science and math, preschool science and math pedagogy and examining the relationship between the social curriculum and science and math learning in preschool.

  • Lucas Cuddy

    Lucas Cuddy

    I am an assistant professor of philosophy at Southwestern College where I teach introduction to philosophy, logic, and ethics courses. Prior to this position I was an adjunct instructor at both Southwestern College and MiraCosta College, and a teaching assistant for the CAT writing program here at UCSD. I have a bachelor's and master's in philosophy from Chico State and San Diego State respectively.

    During my first year in the teaching and learning doctoral program I studied ways to reduce cognitive bias in the college classroom. I focused on the confirmation bias-the tendency people have to confirm their existing beliefs regardless of evidence or arguments. Currently my main interest is in the co-construction of knowledge on online discussion boards. I am also interested in exploring the use of meditation in the classroom.

  • Kristy Drake

    Kristy Drake

    Kristy Drake teaches newly arrived immigrants and refugees in a middle school New Arrival Center in San Diego Unified School District. She majored in Diversified Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Spanish Studies at the University of San Diego and received her BA in 1996. She received her Multiple Subject B‐CLAD credential and began teaching in elementary bilingual education that same year. Kristy returned to USD to complete her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Bilingual Education in 1999 and also went on to receive a Math Specialist Certificate from San Diego State University. She has worked in inner city schools in San Diego teaching English Learners for sixteen years as a bilingual elementary teacher, a math specialist, and most recently, a new arrival teacher for high school and middle school students.

    Kristy is passionate about social justice and equity in urban education. Her research focuses on fostering independence and self‐efficacy in immigrants and refugees in both academic and social contexts in hopes that it will allow both students and their families to enjoy a more successful resettlement.

  • Tracey Kiser

    Tracey Kiser

    Tracey Kiser has been teaching High School Math for 10 years in the Sweetwater Union High School District.  Tracey was the first in her family to graduate from high school and the only one to, not only graduate from college, but also earn two Master's Degrees, and she will earn a Doctorate Degree in June 2016. Tracey's dissertation title is Mindset Matters: Supporting Persistence Through The Developmental Mathematics Pipeline. Her project is part of a larger study entitled Plugging Leaks in the Developmental Math Pipeline in the Community College Math Sequence. Her dissertation work examines what she perceives to be a lack of support for low income and minority students who are struggling academically to persist through the community college developmental mathematics pipeline. Her research contributes to the gap in the literature and our knowledge about students’ learning needs; faculty perceptions of the students’ learning needs, and the ways their instructional practices address students’ learning needs.  Her long-term research goals are to continue to use students’ and faculty voices to shed light on effective strategies for maximizing students’ success in developmental math classes, and the interactions between students’ social and physical environments that mediate their thinking and understanding of developmental mathematics.

  • Lily Robinson

    Lily Robinson

    Lily Robinson has been a full-time post-secondary educator at Design Institute of San Diego since 2007 and an architectural tour guide at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla since 2005. Her first year paper, Situated Studio: Cultivating Social Responsibility in Interior Design Education (2013), explored innovative curriculum in a community-based, problem-based interior design studio class.

    Dissertation interests include a socio-cultural look at non-formal learning environments, particularly guided architectural tours. She is currently studying the role of the tour guide as mediator, the narrative, sequence and emphasis of tour content, cognitive artifacts as mediating tools in promoting learning and the role of the administration to foster professional capital of the guides. She hopes her study will help expand good tour practices to inform programs that educate the public about the built environment, as well as to promote field trips to supplement formal, classroom education at all age levels and abilities.

    Prior to teaching, Lily received a B.S. in Design & Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and a Master of Architecture from Parsons School of Design. She is a licensed architect in New York and California. In 2009, she co-authored a textbook, Research-Inspired Design: A Step by Step Guide for Interior Designers, which helps interior design students use research to inform their projects.

  • Suzi Van Steenbergen

    Suzi Van Steenbergen

    Suzi Van Steenbergen has been a high school English teacher for eleven years in the San Dieguito Union High School District. After graduating from UC Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a minor in Ethnic Studies, Suzi worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a litigation paralegal. She then moved back home to San Diego to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher, earning a single subject credential at Cal State San Marcos. Throughout her teaching career Suzi has taken on many roles, including teacher leader and student advocate. Suzi has taught English Language Development, AP English Language, and AVID. She also advised La Costa Canyon High School's national award-winning, student-run newspaper, MavLife. For her work with student journalists, Suzi was honored in April 2015 with the Journalism Education Association's Rising Star Award for advisers.

    Suzi’s research interests center around understanding how schools make the necessary cultural and technical changes required to meet the needs of all students, including those who struggle academically or who are traditionally underserved in our public schools. Her dissertation will focus on understanding how teachers make sense of and act upon institutional constraints when meeting the needs of underrepresented students.

  • Amie Wong

    Amie Wong

    Amie has worked in the field of special education for over 20 years in the San Diego Unified School District focusing on students with moderate to severe disabilities.  Her undergraduate course work was completed along with her K-12 teaching credentials from Cal State University of Hayward (currently Cal State University East Bay). Amie's interest in special education brought her to San Diego State University to where she obtained her special education credential to teach students with moderate to severe disabilities, and MA in special education.

    She began teaching at junior high school where later she became a model teacher for a full inclusion program for students with severe disabilities, Intern Support Provider training new special education teachers, and as a Site Based District Resource Teacher acting as a liaison from the district office to the school site directly.  In her present position, she is working as a Home/Hospital teacher in a specialized program.  Students are placed in the Home/Hospital program due to medical necessity because they are not able to attend a comprehensive school site due to their health being compromised.  While in this position, she is responsible for staff development, training her staff with technology (use of the iPad) and other software programs to improve instruction.

    Amie is an advocate for individuals with special needs and their rights to have instruction in the least restrictive environment. Her research interest is on the social networks of general and special education teachers. She is particularly interested in how social networks influences the collaboration between general education teachers and special education teachers as key factor in facilitating the success of inclusive programs. And, how the social networks impact the professional interactions, knowledge, and classroom practice for promoting best practices in special education.

Cohort 10

  • Shannon Chamberlin

    Shannon Chamberlin

    Shannon Chamberlin is a UCSD TEP graduate who has been teaching since 2003 in Sweetwater Union High School District. Shannon taught middle school science for six years at Hilltop Middle School. Since 2009 she has been working as a District-Wide Academic Support Teacher. Her work with the district includes training science teachers on the district's reform initiatives. This work involves both coaching and professional development work with teachers, and consultation and planning with site administrators. She is also part of the district’s curriculum team serving as a Science Specialist and is the STEAM Consultant for the Stephen Hawking Charter Schools.

    Previous to teaching, Shannon received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside and an MS in Health from Western Kentucky University. She spent eight years working for the Student Safety Awareness Program at UCSD. She has also been a field researcher for the San Diego Zoological Society's Center for the Research of Endangered Species. She has been married to her husband John for sixteen years and is the mother to two beautiful daughters, Riley and Katey.

    Her current research interests center around how school districts utilize social capital when implementing reform initiatives.

  • Ivette Sanchez-Gutierrez

    Ivette Sanchez-Gutierrez

    Ivette Sanchez-Gutierrez earned her B.A. in Mathematics in 1997 and her Masters in Mathematics with an emphasis in Secondary Education in 2003 from San Diego State University. Ivette is currently a Secondary Mathematics Resource Teacher for the Academic Support Program division at Sweetwater Union High School District. Her fifteen years of teaching experience and her educational background as an English learner have driven her to continue learning and thus pursue the UCSD doctorate in Teaching and Learning. Her focal points in education have centered on meeting the needs of English Learners, mathematics content pedagogy, educational access, formative assessments and proper student placement. Ivette has served as a curriculum writer and professional developer for SDCOE, SB472, AVID, the San Diego Math Project, and UCPDI. She has focused on proven strategies that help struggling student succeed in rigorous mathematics curriculum and ultimately increase their success in higher education. Her research interests are Equity in Mathematics Education, mathematical discourse as a means to empower student voice, conceptual understanding, and cooperative learning. She is a mother to a first-grader and a third-grader, Joaquin and Dario. The family support she receives from her children, husband and extended family are vital to her success in all she pursues.

  • Rena Ward

    Rena Ward

    Renate grew up in Boston, Massachusetts in an inner city community called Roxbury with her parents and six siblings. She moved to a suburb of Boston, Newton, where she spent all of her adult life until moving to CA in August 2006. There, she raised her now three grown children: Daunielle (31), Alisha (29), and Tyler (25).

    Rena attended a small Catholic school in Roxbury for grades one through twelve. She went on to Boston College for her undergraduate education in Psychology. Upon completing this she spent 8 years doing home daycare so she could remain in the home to raise her children. During her leisure time she took American Sign Language classes. Four years later she gave birth to her son who is profoundly deaf. She entered the Deaf Education program at Boston University, already proficient in ASL, earned her Master of Education, and became a teacher of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children in 1990. As a teacher at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in the Boston Public Schools, she taught middle school math for 10 years, 2 years in a moderate to severe PreK/K classroom, and two years at the elementary level teaching math and social studies. In 2003 she returned to school at UMass, Boston where she pursued a specialist degree in School Psychology. Upon completing the program she came to San Diego where she has been a middle school level School Psychologist for the past seven years. During the 2013-2014 school year she began working with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing population as a School Psychologist in addition to her previous assignment. In 2012 she completed a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning (Curriculum Design).

    She is currently in the Ed.D. program at UCSD in Teaching and Learning. Her research interests are in the area of Deaf education, in particular college retention.

  • Alex Zernovoj

    Alex Zernovoj

    Alexander Zernovoj, a proud UCSD TEP graduate ('05), is the ASL/Bilingual Curriculum Specialist at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside. He is responsible for uniting current research into K-12 classroom practice and curricula design especially in the planning and development of ASL corpus, curricula and bilingual strategies. He also is involved in the planning and leading of the professional development activities for his school's K-12 teachers and staff. He began his career as an ASL/English bilingual classroom teacher, primarily teaching English and ASL language arts to the middle school and then high school students at the Clerc Center's demonstration schools in Washington, DC. After several years of teaching, he became the English department chair, before relocating back home to California and landing his current job.

    Prior to his Ed.D. doctoral studies at UCSD in Teaching and Learning, Alex received his two M.A. degrees in Teaching & Learning: Bilingual Education (ASL-English) and Deaf Studies from UC San Diego in 2005 and Gallaudet University in 2007, respectively. Before that, he graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. degree in Computer Science & Engineering in 2003. His research interests include ASL/English bi-literacy, ASL corpus and curricula, video technology-mediated literacy development, bilingual strategies and deaf education.

    Alex was born and raised in San Francisco. Outside of school and work, he enjoys running, participating in race marathons/sports and traveling around the world. He lives in San Diego with his beautiful wife, Amy, two kids and two dogs.

Cohort 9

  • Stephanie Hasselbrink

    Stephanie Hasselbrink

    Stephanie Hasselbrink is originally from Santa Clara and the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. She attended Boston University for her undergrad and earned her B.S. in Elementary Education in 2001. Shortly after graduating from BU, she moved to San Diego where she has taught 4th and 5th grades in the San Diego Unified School District. She received her M.A. in Reading/Language Arts with a Reading Specialist Credential from San Diego State University in 2008.

    As an educator who has experienced a variety of changes since NCLB was implemented, Stephanie is interested in how the current accountability system has impacted teachers and students. Most recently, she’s grown curious about educators’ perceptions of the purposes of schooling in this post-NCLB era. Over time, we have held a variety of beliefs about the purposes of education, such as enabling children to be active members of a democratic society, preparing children for the workforce, providing children with basic skills and concepts, preparing students for college, teaching students to be critical thinkers, and so on. From her experiences over the past decade, she can’t help but wonder whether passing a test has become the predominant aim of education. As we shift toward the Common Core, Stephanie believes it may be helpful to a) gain an understanding of current teachers’ current beliefs and values, b) compare those beliefs and values with teachers’ actions (i.e. activities teachers select, interactions between teachers and students and students among themselves, classroom discourse patterns, and so on), and c) consider implications for the future.

  • Laura Javier

    Laura Javier

    Laura Javier earned her B.A. in Mathematics and Psychology in 1997 from SDSU.  In 2003, she earned her M.A. in Mathematics from SDSU.  She has been working at Palomar High School since 1998 teaching algebra, geometry, and CAHSEE prep courses.  For the last three years, she has been the Coordinated Intervention Services resource teacher.  Prior to enrolling at UCSD, she worked as an adjunct instructor at Southwestern Community College where she taught basic math, pre-algebra, college algebra and mathematics courses for future elementary school teachers. 
    During her first year at UCSD, Laura did research on mathematical conceptual understanding, cooperative learning, and metacognition.  In particular, she found that when communication is at the heart of instruction, student achievement increases.  Currently, her research interests are Common Core State Standards Mathematics reform and effective mathematics interventions for struggling students.

    Outside of school and work, she enjoys the outdoors with her husband and two daughters. Their favorite thing to do is to go camping.

  • John Morgan

    John Morgan

    I am a lucky husband to a beautiful wife, Sonya, and proud father of four children. Tyree (15), Collin (13), Jackson (4), and Harper (2, and the only girl), who have helped me to see education in a whole new light. For the past 6 years I have taught high school science at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, California. Currently, I am the science department chair, a post I picked up after giving up my football and track coaching positions. Prior to this, I taught in Edgewood, Maryland for two years where I met, and married, my wife. While pursuing my bachelors degree I ran track and field for the Fighting Blue Hens at the University of Delaware. I began teaching after receiving my undergraduate degree in chemical education.

    Currently, I am studying the common threads of successful implementation of technology in high school classrooms. I have been the technical geek of my department, but have always been skeptical of the implementation of technology just for the sake of using technology. How can technology be used as a tool to deepen learning and make it more authentic and meaningful? Through my masters I studied the effects of writing in the science curriculum. I am working to apply this idea of writing in science to inquiry and technology in my classroom in ways that are equitable for all students.

Cohort 8

  • Jennifer (Howard) Goldston

    Jennifer (Howard) Goldston

    Jennifer Goldston is originally from northern California. She earned her BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Psychology from Santa Clara University. She continued on at SCU, completing her teaching credential in 1996 and MA in Teaching and Learning in 1999. Jennifer worked in the Los Gatos Union School District for three years before relocating to San Diego. She has been an employee of the Del Mar Union School District since 1999. In her fifteen years in the classroom, Jennifer taught first, second, third, and fourth grades. Currently, Jennifer works as a lead teacher of curriculum and instruction, mentoring beginning teachers and planning staff development. She is a fellow of the San Diego Area Writing Project and has been involved in SDAWP's academic writing study group and a teacher at their summer Young Writer's Camp. Jennifer's research interests include the many facets of teaching writing and the American public school experiences of highly-educated immigrant families.

  • Samantha Greenstein

    Samantha Greenstein

    Samantha Greenstein teaches science at the secondary level. After beginning her teaching career teaching physiology at King/Drew Magnet High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Samantha decided to move to San Diego. Samantha has been teaching 8th grade physical science at Earl Warren Middle School (San Dieguito Union High School District) in Solana Beach since 2007. An Encinitas native, Samantha attended Occidental College after graduating from La Costa Canyon High School. Samantha earned a B.A. in Kinesiology with a minor in English from Occidental. Samantha then pursued a teaching credential and a M.Ed. at the University of California at Los Angeles. While at U.C.L.A., Samantha focused her classroom research on inquiry teaching and learning in science. In 2010, Samantha earned a M.A. from U.C.S.D. in Teaching and Learning (Curriculum Design). Samantha's passion for an inquiry-based curriculum has had a major influence on her work at U.C.S.D. In addition, with the increasing number of charter and other alternative schools in the San Diego area, Samantha is interested in what factors influence how students make their school selections.

  • Carmen Jay

    Carmen Jay

    Carmen Jay is a Professor of English at San Diego Miramar College. She earned her B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She received her M.A. in English and American Literature from Temple University. She also holds a Certificate in Educational Technology and a Certificate in Women's Studies. At Miramar College, Carmen is an Honors Program co-coordinator and editor-in-chief of Community Voices, the campus literary magazine. Students named Carmen a Most Inspirational Faculty Member in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and recognized her as a Faculty Leader in 2010. Carmen is a fellow of the San Diego Area Writing Project. She has also been awarded the San Diego Fellowship. Her research interests include critical pedagogy, multicultural education, ethnic studies and media literacy.

  • Liz Kelley

    Liz Kelley

    Liz Kelley is a full-time instructor of English as a foreign language (EFL) at UCSD Extension's English Language Institute. She works with adult international students who seek to improve their English language skills for academic, business and social purposes. Liz teaches courses at all levels, from beginning to advanced, and in all skill areas including pronunciation, grammar, test preparation, writing, and communicative fluency. Liz earned her MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teachers from SDSU in 2000, with a research emphasis on the relationship between tasks and classroom interaction. Liz's current research interests include learner autonomy in the classroom, identity theory and positionality as they relate to teacher and learner interaction in the classroom.

  • Kimberly Samaniego

    Kimberly Samaniego

    Kimberly Samaniego teaches Algebra and Honors Precalculus at Mira Mesa High School in the San Diego Unified School District. She began her teaching career in Northern California where she taught in the El Dorado Union High School District for seven years. While at EDUHSD, she opened a new school and a district department chair, and co-authored an unpublished Algebra 1 curriculum that was adopted by her district and implemented in four high schools. The curriculum is currently used at Mira Mesa. Kimberly earned her BA in Mathematics from CSUS in 1993 and recently completed her MA in Teaching and Learning from UCSD in 2010. Serving as the math department chair at Mira Mesa for the past seven years, she enjoys designing and facilitating professional development for her staff. Her research interests include models of professional development which promote classroom cultures where student discourse and equitable mathematics teaching practices are valued.

Cohort 7

  • Patricia Flower

    Patricia Flower

    Patricia graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. in Biology with a credential in high school teaching. Four days after her husband completed graduate school they hit the road in an old Pontiac with four new tires for sunny San Diego. It was bold move for they knew no one and had no jobs waiting. However, things eventually fell into place. Patricia got a job at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Zoo as an educator the very day she started graduate school at San Diego State. As she completed her M.S. in Animal Behavior she taught Human Anatomy lab and high school at Carlsbad High School. Teaching part time at local community colleges led to fourteen year lecturer position at the University of San Diego. In 2004, she became a full time faculty member at Miramar College where she teaches Biology to majors and non-majors; many of whom successfully transfer to UCSD.

    Patricia is in her third year of the Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning program at UCSD. Her research interests include the development of teacher knowledge in community college faculty with a primary focus on pedagogical content knowledge.

    Patricia and her husband Dan are the proud parents of two girls. One daughter has just landed her first official job after graduating from college in Flagstaff; the other daughter is a junior at the University of Arizona.

  • Heather Michel

    Heather Michel

    Heather Michel graduated from Western Washington University with a multi-disciplinary degree in Anthropology, Spanish, and Hispano-American Studies. She came into the teaching profession through a Teach For American assignment in Houston, Texas where she taught 2nd grade for two years. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher at Mueller Charter School in Chula Vista, California where she has taught first and second grade for seven years. After arriving in San Diego, she received her Master’s degree in Reading and Early Literacy from Point Loma Nazarene University. Heather’s research interests are teacher self-efficacy, novice teachers, teacher education programs, and the school organizational factors that foster teacher retention. In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, baking, writing, and cooking with organic foods.

  • Tina Rasori

    Tina Rasori

    Tina Rasori double majored in Sociology and Liberal Studies at San Diego State University and received her BA in 2001. After receiving her Bachelors, she became a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego. She graduated in 2003 with her Multiple Subject CLAD Credential and a Masters in Education. For the past eight years, she has worked at an inner city school in the San Diego Unified School District teaching third, fourth, fifth and currently first grade. While teaching, she has held multiple leadership roles at her school and in the district such as grade level representative, cooperating teacher, and a social studies staff developer. She has also received numerous certificates such as her National Board Certification in 2008 and Teacher of the Year in 2009. Currently, Ms. Rasori is enrolled in the Teaching and Learning Doctorate in Education Program at UCSD. She is interested in the intersection of the fields of educational reform, social justice, teacher leadership and teacher education programs. Specifically, her field of research focuses on examining the relationships between students who are enrolled in teacher education programs that promote the cultivation of social justice change agents. She hopes that her research will provide a basis for understanding how the concept of social justice is communicated and spread by students enrolled in teacher education programs.

  • Judy Wilson

    Judy Wilson

    I have been teaching psychology at community colleges since 2003. That is the year I graduated from CSU, Bakersfield with a MA in Psychology (Community College teaching track). My undergraduate degree was also in Psychology from CSU, San Marcos.

    I currently work full-time at Palomar College in San Marcos and have taught Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Personal Growth, Marriage and Families, and Psychology of Women. I am also one of the faculty coordinators for our Basic Skills Initiative and advisor to our honors society chapter. So I am aware of the needs of many different types of students. My research interests are related to my work on the Basic Skills committee which involves developing new ways to support students who are underprepared for college. In my research, I want to explore how the relationships that these students develop affect their academic social capital. I will be looking at the relationships they develop with other students and with faculty members using social network analysis.

Cohort 6

  • Andrea Barraugh

    Andrea Barraugh

    Andrea Barraugh, an educator for 18 years, is a doctoral candidate in Education Studies at UC San Diego.  She studies factors influencing how teachers produce mathematics instruction. In her role as a K-12 educator, she has taught elementary and middle schools students as well as served in school administration. She is a math instruction consultant for a private professional development company, Math Solutions, providing support to teachers and school districts across the United States and Canada.  She has been a California Beginning Teacher Support Provider, a mentor teacher, a math curriculum and assessment developer at the district level, and a district math staff developer.  Additionally, she supervises student teachers at UC San Diego, has taught extension courses at UC San Diego, and evaluates changes in math instruction of teachers in the Math for America program.  She lives in San Diego, California.

  • Doug Easterly
  • H. Orletta Nguyen

    H. Orletta Nguyen

    H. Orletta Nguyen has been an educator for fourteen years. She has been a middle school and high school English teacher for students ranging from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels; her students have been drawn from special education, English Language Development, and Gifted and Talented Education. Currently, Orletta is a practicing school psychologist in San Diego, California. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles. Orletta holds a Masters of Educational Psychology, a Single Subject Professional Clear teaching credential, California Language and Development Certificate, and a Pupil Personnel Services credential in School Psychology from the California State University at Long Beach.

    Orletta has served as a teacher leader, special education department chair, professional developer for her school district, and private educational consultant. She continues her professional development through professional readings, workshops, and national conventions. Orletta’s current research interests involve special education issues, service delivery, and instructional practices.

  • Yoon Joo Park

    Yoon Joo Park

    Originally from South Korea, earned both her Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Education from Korea University. In Korea, she was a research assistant in several projects related to instructional improvement, a part-time instructor for teaching practical education at Kyungmin College, and a staff member in many international seminars held by international organizations such as OECD and UNESCO.

    Prior to her enrollment in the Teaching and Learning doctoral program in Education Studies at UCSD, she taught basic Korean to kindergarteners in San Diego Calvary Korean School for two years. Then she also served another two and half years as a vice principal of the school, managing school administrative tasks, coordinating school events, developing Korean textbooks, and writing innovative curriculums. In addition to her experience in the local Korean school, she has been a teaching assistant in the Korean Language Program at UCSD ever since she started her doctoral study. She has participated in developing teaching materials and designing a Korean Program website.

    Her academic interests are in heritage language development, focusing on Korean, the relationship between the use of languages and social identities of bilingual speakers, and curriculum development for heritage language education.

  • Carmen Restrepo

    Carmen Restrepo

    Carmen Restrepo earned her BA, Masters degree, and Administrative Credential from San Diego State University (SDSU).  Ms. Restrepo has over thirteen years of experience teaching at both the elementary and middle school levels. Ms. Restrepo holds a Professional Clear Multiple Subject CLAD Credential, a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Certification, and a Supplemental Authorization in English. Ms. Restrepo has assumed a variety of leadership roles including serving as a member of the Technology Advisory Committee, developing district-wide professional development seminars, working as a cooperating teacher for SDSU and San Diego Christian College and serving as an online science mentor for the New Teacher’s Center at UC Santa Cruz. Ms. Restrepo’s research interest focuses on the use of mobile technologies in the classroom.

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