Ph.D. in Education, 2014
School of Education
May 1, 2010
Doctoral Research Foci are Motivation and Cognition
Teomara (Teya) Rutherford is a Ph.D. student with a focus on Learning, Cognition, and Development. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in computers from Florida International University in Miami. Teya spent the next couple of years on various short-term teaching assignments including computers, Algebra, art, and high school competency test-prep. After taking a year’s worth of additional courses at University of Texas, Austin and working as a legislative intern, Teya returned to school for her J.D.
She graduated, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 2003. While in law school, Teya participated in the Civil Litigation Clinic and served as an articles editor on the BU Law Review. Upon graduation, she clerked in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and returned to the realm of education as Public School Liaison for the Massachusetts Department of Education, working with districts on federal and state regulatory compliance. Teya enrolled in the UCI Ph.D. program in 2009 and seeks to combine her diverse past experiences and a desire to enhance student educational outcomes to research and publish scholarly work easily translated to practitioners and policy-makers.
Teya’s two main research foci are motivation and cognition. She is especially interested in how students and environments interact to produce motivational outcomes, including goal-setting and self-selecting into future environments. Later this year she will be presenting a poster on the impact of matches between student expectations and aspirations on emotional well-being at the Panel Study of Income Dynamics – Child Development Supplements (PSID CDS) III Workshop in Michigan.
She is also involved in a collaborative project among UC Irvine, the MIND Research Institute, and the Orange County Department of Education to study the effects of an interactive math software based on spatial-temporal concepts of learning. This randomized, longitudinal field study is currently in its second year of implementation, and Teya will be presenting initial findings this May at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting in Denver.