Ph.D. in Education, 2017
School of Education
April 1, 2013
Career Goal: Equal Opportunity for Young Students
In my second year in the UC Irvine Ph.D. in Education program, I study and utilize multiple perspectives and methodologies to accomplish one general goal: equal opportunity for young students. That said, I am going to take a short break from my studies and graduate work to selfishly promote my research interests.
In my studies I am learning to assess the current state of education in California and in the nation, but I recognize that information is filtered through my own “C-” experience growing up. As a result, I am becoming increasingly critical of the education system (and its periphery), viewing it as inherently classist, racist, and sexist. Yet, I cannot ignore my epistemology— that is, scientific rigor and the idea that we can derive our answers through statistical means (which is, essentially, as close to the scientific method as we can get). To this end, I utilize my own and others’ personal experience while utilizing advanced statistical methods to add to, provide perspective for, and/or verify these accounts, essentially triangulating a problem before interventions are developed and utilized. Basically, I pursue mixed methods.
I am affiliated with/working on several projects, some just starting, some ongoing, and some finishing up. Solo projects include an analysis of the ECLS-K data to investigate the benefits, or lack there of, of private school price tags. This research is being conducted with guidance from my adviser, Professor George Farkas. I also am writing on the potential use of mixed methodologies within more critical literature and following up on a poster I authored about students who were possibly misplaced in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.
As a doctoral student I am benefitting from research experiences with various professors in the School of Education. During my first year I worked with Liane Brouillette on her K-2 project utilizing arts to teach English Language Learning (ELL) students. I currently work as a graduate student researcher with Professor Greg Duncan on a meta-analysis of various types of early childhood programs and on his UCEC (University of California Evaluation Center) project. Using data from this project, I am co-authoring on a paper with fellow students Marcela Martinez and Alejandra Albarrán investigating parental education program effects on families of color. Additionally, I am assisting Gilberto Conchas and looking forward to his upcoming project.
My doctoral program has provided opportunities for me to expand my research network. I contribute to an education-related 3-5 science project with Brad Hughes in Biological Sciences and also keep ties with several faculty at UCLA, including my undergraduate mentors Jaana Juvonen, and the lab she runs with Sandra Graham – the two scholars most responsible for my pursuing a Ph.D.
There are probably others who deserve a shout-out in this spotlight for their encouragement of my pursuit of advanced degrees; my apologies for not including them.