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San Diego State University

Joint PhD Program in Education

Fall 2014 Newsletter

Lafferty Selected for Inamori Fellowship, ATE Fellowship, AERA, and Publishes in Multicultural Perspectives

Karen Lafferty, a candidate in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently had three papers accepted for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA). Her paper entitled "Building Community: Lessons from a Teacher-leader in Promoting Culturally Diverse Literature" was accepted for a roundtable session in the Teacher as Researcher-Special Interest Group (SIG). Her paper entitled "Drawing on Practitioner Knowledge to Enrich and Inform: Educating Doctoral Students with Backgrounds in Teaching", which was co-authored with Jessica Tunney, was accepted for a roundtable session in the Doctoral Education Across the Disciplines-SIG. Her paper entitled "Examining Generative Discourse in Online Discussion of Problems of Practice During the Field Experience", which was co-authored with Theodore J. Kopcha, was accepted for a paper session in the Teaching and Teacher Education unit of Division K.

Karen was also recently named an Inamori Fellow at SDSU for 2015. The Inamori Fellowship is a $5,000 award provided by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corporation. Ten Inamori Fellowships are awarded annually in open competition among masters- and doctoral-level students. Competition for these awards is intense and recognizes extraordinary professional accomplishments and significant achievement.

Additionally, Karen recently had a paper published in Multicultural Perspectives entitled "'What Are You Reading?': How School Libraries Can Promote Racial Diversity in Multicultural Literature." 


Karen was also recently accepted as a Clinical Practice Fellow for 2015 by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and will present at their annual meeting in Phoenix in February 2015.

Karen is a fourth year candidate in the program who has worked in public education for 21 years; 18 as an English and French high school teacher and three as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) support provider. Her experience working with new teachers inspired her return to graduate study. Karen's research interests are in teacher education, the role of the cooperating teacher in the field experience, and curriculum development.

Congratulations Karen!

Pictured above: Karen Lafferty


Madrigal-Chinolla Publishes in Journal of Transborder Studies Research and Practice and to Present at ICSEI 2015

Paula Madrigal-Chinolla, a candidate in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently published a paper in the Journal of Transborder Studies Research and Practice entitled "Immigrant Stories in Gaining Social Capital through U.S. Schooling: Successes, Challenges, and Lessons to be Learned." (Link to Madrigal-Chinolla Paper)

Paula will also be presenting at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) in Cincinnati, Ohio. She will be presenting part of her dissertation proposal titled: Factors of Educational Effectiveness (EE): Lessons from highly performing Hispanic secondary schools in a paper session format entitled School Leadership Practices.

Her research field is within Educational Effectiveness Research (EER) and high performing schools research with a particular interest in schools with high percentage populations of: Latinos, English Learners, and Students With Disabilities (SWD). Her experience as a teacher, special education resource teacher, and as a categorical program site coordinator has influenced her research interests.

Congratulations Paula!


Paula Madrigal-Chinolla
Pictured Above: Paula Madrigal-Chinolla

Iffland Publishes in ACA's VISTAS and Presents at ASHE

Aaron Iffland, a candidate in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently published an article entitled "The Impact of Attendance at a LGBTQIA Conference on School Counselors' and Other Educators' Beliefs and Behaviors" in the American Counseling Association's VISTAS journal. This peer-reviewed article was co-authored with Trish Hatch, Associate Professor and Director of the School Counseling Program at SDSU. (Link to Iffland Paper)

Additionally, Aaron presented his paper entitled "Improving Outcomes and Attitudes in a College Mathematics Classroom using Sociotransformative Constructivism" at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education held in Washington, D.C. in November 2014.

Aaron's program has concentrations in social justice and higher education. His research interests include: student success in community colleges; the academic resiliency of marginalized students; and improving course outcomes through social constructivist methods and educational technology. Aaron is also an adjunct instructor at SDSU where he teaches research methodology at the graduate level.

Congratulations Aaron!


Pictured Above: Aaron Iffland

De La Garza Publishes in Community College Journal of Research and Practice

Tom De La Garza, a student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently published a peer-reviewed article in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice entitled "An Exploratory Assessment of the Validity of the Community College Survey of Men (CCSM): Implications for Serving Veteran Men." The article was co-authored with Dr. J. Luke Wood, assistant professor at SDSU, and Dr. Frank Harris III, associate professor at SDSU.

Here is the abstract of the article:

The Community College Survey of Men (CCSM) assesses predictors of student success for historically underrepresented and underserved men in community colleges. The instrument is designed to inform programming and service-delivery for male students (Wood & Harris, 2013). While the instrument was designed for community college men in general, this validation study sought to determine the utility of this instrument as a needs assessment tool for veteran men as well. Analyses identified five constructs with strong factor loadings and internal consistency, they included action control, locus of control, degree utility, self-efficacy, and intrinsic interest. The CCSM is recommended as a tool to better address the needs of veteran men.

Tom is a second year student in the SDSU/CGU Joint PhD Program in Education. He is an Army officer and military educator with former assignments as the Deputy Director of Education at the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Commander of the United States Army Psychological Operations Training Company, and the Associate Dean of Resident Programs at the Defense Language Institute. He holds an A.A. in Portuguese from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, an M.S. in Defense Analysis (Irregular Warfare) from the Naval Postgraduate School. Tom's research interests include military veterans in postsecondary education, cultural proficiency/intercultural communication for special operations, radio literacy, and distance education.

Congratulations Tom!

Tom De La Garza
Pictured above: Tom De La Garza

Naranjo Publishes in Oxford University Bibliographies in Childhood Studies

Melissa Naranjo, a student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, has published a juried piece titled "Multiculturalism and Education." It was published in the Oxford University Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. She is a co-author with Jose Luis Alvarado, former Associate Dean of the College of Education at SDSU, and Valerie Ooka Pang, Professor of Teacher Education at SDSU. This article explains various issues, themes, and resources within the field of Multicultural Education and describes over 130 references.


Melissa has worked in the field of education for the past 10 years. Currently, she serves as the Director of the College Avenue Compact Program where Naranjo supports the development and implementation of a rigorous college-going program and support services at Hoover High School in the San Diego Unified School District. This program assists ethnically and linguistically diverse students to pursue degrees in higher education. In addition, Naranjo has worked as a university student-affairs officer offering a full range of academic, social, and personal support services to improve campus climate and retention efforts for underrepresented students of color. Naranjo is a first-generation college graduate who holds two baccalaureate degrees in Political Science and Chicana/Chicano Studies with an Education minor from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She also earned a master's degree in Education with an emphasis in multicultural counseling from San Diego State University (SDSU). Her research interests include factors impacting the success of Latina/o students (and other minorities) in the K-16 system, the effects of racial and gender microaggressions, and campus racial climate. (Source of Naranjo Biography)

Congratulations Melissa!

Nguyen Publishes in Multicultural Perspectives

Annie Nguyen, a candidate in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently published an article in Multicultural Perspectives entitled "Never Good Enough: The Educational Journey of a Vietnamese American Woman."

The article demonstrates a personal perspective of the negative impact of the model minority myth throughout Annie's educational experiences and therefore the need to further disaggregate data on Asian Americans in order to better serve this population. The article also highlights the impact that pressures and high expectations to do well academically has had on her education and well-being. 

Annie attributes the publication of this article to the guidance she gained through Dr. Valerie Ooka Pang's publishing course at SDSU.

Annie has worked with high school and college students as an academic and career guidance counselor. Her research interests include multicultural education, diversity and equity issues, as well as the educational achievements and experiences of first-generation, low-income students of color.

Congratulations Annie!

Annie Nguyen
Pictured Above: Annie Nguyen

Chaplin Joins Faculty at Sacramento State University

Dr. Mae Chaplin, a 2013 graduate of the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education recently joined the faculty of the College of Education at Sacramento State University as an assistant professor, working in both the Teaching Credentials and Undergraduate Studies departments. The specialty areas of her new position include: Language and Literacy, ELD & SDAIE, and Children's and Adolescent Literature. She will be teaching classes in Multicultural Children's Literature, ELD/SDAIE Teaching Methods, and Literacy. Additionally, she will work with student teachers and advise undergraduates.

Dr. Chaplin feels that this position will allow her to put the skills and knowledge she gained from the program into actual practice while also exploring the implications from her dissertation entitled Linguistically Disenfranchised Students: Systemic Silencing within the Academic World and Counternarratives of Possibilities. This work was influenced by her coursework and qualifying exams and built on what she learned from her students during her six years as a middle school ELD and Humanities teacher as well as her two-year tenure as a Literacy Coach at Mission Middle School in Escondido, California.

Dr. Chaplin also served as a Distinguished Teacher in Residence with the College of Education at California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) from 2009-2011. She greatly enjoyed her time working with pre-service teachers and the CSUSM faculty. She was also fortunate to remain connected with CSUSM and had been a part-time lecturer in the Masters and Middle Level Credential Programs prior to her position at Sacramento State University. This experience motivated her to seek out a tenure-track position within the CSU system and directly led to her applying for her new position at Sacramento State.

Congratulations Dr. Chaplin!


Dr. Chaplin
Pictured Above: Dr. Chaplin

Jiménez-Castellanos selected as a National Education Finance Conference Distinguished Fellow

Dr. Oscar Jiménez-Castellanos, a 2008 graduate of the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, was recently selected as a National Education Finance Conference (NEFC) Distinguished Fellow. Each year, the NEFC bestows this lifetime honor on 10 individuals who have demonstrated excellence in research and/or practice in the field of public education finance. This is one of the highest recognitions in the field of education finance research and practice.

Dr. Oscar Jiménez-Castellanos is an Associate Professor in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He has published extensively in the area of K-12 education finance, policy and parent engagement and its impact on opportunity, equity and outcomes in low-income ethnically and linguistically diverse communities. His work has been published in leading academic journals such as Review of Educational Research, Journal of Education Finance, Bilingual Research Journal, Educational Considerations, and Journal of Latinos and Education. He co-edited Bicultural Parent Engagement: Empowerment and Advocacy (2011) published by Teachers College Press. This book received a 2012 AESA Critics Choice Award. He is co-editor of the Association of Mexican-American Educators (AMAE) Journal.

Dr. Jiménez-Castellanos is a 2014 School Finance Fellow with the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) and a 2012 Ford Postdoctoral Fellow administered by the National Research Council of the National Academies. He was bestowed the honor of a Fulton Professor in 2011 and served as Arizona's Acting Director of the University Research Council (URC) in Education.

In addition, Dr. Jiménez-Castellanos actively teaches, recruits and mentors graduate students in M.A., Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs focused on educational policy and evaluation. He hopes to develop a pipeline of effective teachers, administrators, policy researchers and academics to help improve our educational system to better serve all students and communities. He is a former migrant student, first generation college graduate and K-12 educator. He received his M.A. in Policy Studies from San Diego State University. (Source of Jiménez-Castellanos Bio)

Congratulations Dr. Jiménez-Castellanos!

Xiong Speaks at California State University, Fresno; Selected for REAPA, MME and AERA Groups; and Serves on Three Editorial Boards

Soua Xiong, a first year student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. in Education, was an invited speaker for the Asian Faculty and Staff Association Seminar Series at California State University, Fresno in October, 2014. The talk, "Navigating Your Academic Career: Strategies for Achieving Academic Success," was provided to Asian & Pacific Islander students.

Soua will also be the lead presenter at a symposium at the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting. The symposium is entitled "College Environmental Factors Contributing to the Success of Hmong College Students."

Additionally, Soua will be serving as a symposium discussant at the 2015 Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas in April, 2015. Dr. J. Luke Wood, assistant professor at SDSU, and Dr. Frank Harris III, associate professor at SDSU will be moderators. Judie A. Heineman, Kara Bauer, Angelica M. G. Palacios, Rafael D. Alvarez, and Art Guaracha Jr., Ed.D. students at SDSU, will be symposium presenters. The topic of the symposium will be: Advancing the Success of Men of Color in the Community College: A Focus on the Community College Survey of Men.

Soua's research interests in higher education focus on issues of race and gender, access and equity, and Southeast Asian American college student success. He is the Co-Coordinator of the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) at San Diego State University and has served as a guest editor for the Summer 2014, Volume 2, Issue 2 of the Journal of Progressive Policy and Practice.

In addition, he has been selected to serve as Graduate Student Representative to the Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans (REAPA) and the Multicultural & Multiethnic Education (MME) special interest groups of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). For the MME special interest group of AERA, he also serves as the 2014-2015 Co-Program Chair. Additionally, he has been invited to serve on the Doctoral Student Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement, guest reviewer for the Hmong Studies Journal, and reviewer for the Journal of African American Males in Education.

Congratulations Soua! 


Soua Xiong
Pictured Above: Soua Xiong

Kendig Selected for AERA

Julie Kendig, a student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, was recently selected to present at the 2015 Annual Meeting of AERA. Julie will be presenting a paper entitled "In.Love: Re-Imagining Performance Evaluation Through an Exploration of Participants' Visual Data" with co-presenters: Dr. Marva Cappello, associate professor at SDSU; Dani Bedau; and D.J. Hopkins. The paper will be presented under the Arts and Inquiry in the Visual and Performing Arts in Education-SIG.

Julie (B.F.A., theatre performance; M.A., museum studies) has worked in arts education since 2001. She has managed museum-school programs, trained elementary teachers, and researched the impact of the arts on teacher perception and student performance. She is currently on staff at Collaborations: Teachers and Artists (CoTA) as the Assistant to the Executive Director/Research Coordinator.

Congratulations Julie!


Julie Kendig
Pictured Above: Julie Kendig

Saydee Presents at ACTFL Conference

Dr. Sayad Farid Saydee, who recently completed his Ph.D. in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, presented a paper at the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) held in San Antonio, Texas.

His paper, entitled "Practices in Less Commonly Taught Languages: A Study of Teachers' Beliefs" discusses factors that shape the beliefs of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) teachers (Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, and Persian). The analysis in the paper utilizes data collected using surveys and interviews with twenty foreign-born LCTL instructors and their students in four community colleges and universities in Southern California. The focus of the study was primarily on determining factors that guide teachers' instructional decisions and methodologies.

Dr. Saydee is the program director and curriculum developer of the Afghan Language and Culture Program at the Language Acquisition Resource Center in San Diego State University and a fellow of the California World Language Project (CWLP). He often presents seminars on best practices in teaching and learning foreign languages. In addition, He is also an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)--Dari and Pashto oral proficiency tester.

Congratulations Dr. Saydee!

Dr. Sayad Farid Saydee
Pictured above: Dr. Sayad Farid Saydee 

Darling Presents at Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference and Association of African American Educators 2014 Summit

Justine Darling, a student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented a workshop at the 2014 Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference entitled "Restorative Practices: A Transformative Approach to Relational Healing and Individual Growth." The workshop was co-presented with Alan Mobley, Ph.D. and Dan Stacy, Ph.D. Justine also participated in a panel entitled "Restorative Practices in San Diego: Transformations across Sectors."

Additionally, Justine led a Restorative Justice workshop at the Association of African American Educators 2014 Summit held in October in San Diego. The topic of the workshop was "A look at how African American Students are Faring in San Diego County."

Justine is currently piloting a restorative justice program as the Restorative Practices Coordinator for the San Diego Unified School District. She also teaches restorative justice classes in the master's program for peace and justice studies at the University of San Diego. Before her current role, she co-founded a restorative justice program through Student Affairs in 2010 at USD and trained more than 150 professionals and graduate students in restorative practices. Justine has presented on restorative justice at NASPA annual and regional conferences; the School for International Training Symposium in Kigali, Rwanda; and the International Council of Indigenous Grandmothers in New Zealand. She created a best practices guide for universities interested in implementing restorative justice in an effort to reform conduct systems. Justine Darling received a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in peace and justice studies at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies from the University of San Diego.

Congratulations Justine!


Justine Darling
Pictured Above: Justine Darling

Washington Presents at AAACE and NAME

Michael L. Washington, a student in the CGU/SDSU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented a research paper at the Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina. The title of the presentation was "From Cell Block to Reentry: Culturally Responsive Andragogy in Action."

Michael also led a breakout session at the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Conference in Tucson, Arizona. The title of the session was "Developing Grit Among Urban High School Students: A Pilot Study."

Michael is also a postsecondary educator and a qualitative researcher specializing in multicultural education, sociology of education and adult education. As a change agent, he advocates for social justice and educational reform. Michael also co-teaches two blended courses at CSU-Sacramento in the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies department: Diversity in Higher Education and Leading Student Success.

Congratulations Michael!


Michael L. Washington
Pictured Above: Michael L. Washington

Silva Presents at California Association of School Counselors Conference

Liliana Silva Diaz, a candidate in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented at the California Association of School Counselors (CASC) Conference held in San Diego, California. Her presentation was titled "Aligning Your School Counseling Program to LCFF and LCAP."

Liliana has been a school counselor for the past 10 years serving students at Sweetwater High School and striving to provide access and equitable schooling practices for her students. Her research interests focus on the acquisition of social and cultural capital with Latino parents and how school counselors can create stronger partnerships with parents to improve college access for all students.

Congratulations Liliana!


Liliana Silva
Pictured Above: Liliana Silva

Valentini Presents at Division on Career Development and Transition International Conference

Brian Valentini, a student in the CGU/SDSU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented at the 18th Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) International Conference which was held in Cleveland Ohio in November, 2014.. The theme of the conference was "Transition Rocks!" The DCDT is a Division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

The conference included a number of transition related strands including transition assessment, cultural diversity, postsecondary education and employment, family involvement, and community partnerships. Over the last 18 years, the International DCDT Conference has brought together secondary transition stakeholders from across the country to network and focus on research-based strategies to support youth with disabilities as they transition from school into post-school life.

Brian's presentation was entitled "Transition for Youth with Autism: Family and Student Experiences" and was co-presented with Dr. Bonnie Kraemer, assistant professor at SDSU. The purpose of the study was to examine the period of transition for a sample of families with youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Brian holds an MA in Moderate to Severe Disabilities from Teacher's College at Columbia University and a BA in Special Education K-12 from the University of Cincinnati. His primary research interest focuses on the transition from high school to adulthood for people with developmental disabilities. Currently, Brian and his advisor, Dr. Kraemer, are researching parent's longitudinal experiences with transition programs. Brian hopes to continue this line of research and focus on competitive employment and quality of life for those who exit the special education system.

Congratulations Brian!


Brian Valentini
Pictured Above: Brian Valentini

Falcon Presents at 5th Binational Conference on Border Issues

Vannessa Falcon, a first-year student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented a paper at the 5th Binational Conference on Border Issues held in San Diego entitled "Transborder Hybrid Identity Formation Model."

The purpose of this presentation was to present an identity formation model that counselors can apply towards implementing multicultural counseling skills when working with transborder college students from the San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico border region. College students who live a transborder lifestyle collaborate internationally between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico because they reside in both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border while attending higher education institutions in San Diego, California. Currently, there is no information about how many students live a transborder lifestyle in the San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico border region and few researchers have explored the understanding of their experiences. As a result, she presented an identity formation model that counselors can implement towards understanding the experiences of this student population.

Vannessa received her M.S. in Counseling and emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education from CSULB in 2013 and her bachelor's degree in Psychology from SDSU in 2008. Currently, she works as a graduate research assistant for the Minority Male Community College Collaborate at SDSU. She is committed to serving as a change agent in higher education and advocating for transborder college students through her research and presentations at conferences in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Congratulations Vannessa!


Vannessa Falcon
Pictured Above: Vannessa Falcon

Peterson Presents at Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum

Brett Peterson, a student in the CGU/SDSU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented at the Coalition of Essentials Schools Fall Forum held in San Francisco, California in November 2014. The title of the presentation was "Beyond the Prom: Exploring Student Advocacy and Leadership in a Progressive Context." Brett co-presented with six students from the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High (HTH).

Brett came to HTH in 2002, where he taught several courses ranging from German to World Religions, and his passion for history has never diminished. Brett was named the director of HTH in the spring of 2007.

His belief that teaching and learning go hand-in-hand guided him as he earned a master's degree in history from the University of San Diego and a master's degree in curriculum design from UCSD. Before coming to San Diego he earned a B.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame.

Congratulations Brett!

Brett Peterson 
Picture above: Brett Peterson

Opperman Presents at Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools Annual Conference

Amanda Opperman, a student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, recently presented at the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) 4th Annual Conference and Business Meeting. "Educate, Celebrate" held November 3-5, 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana was the fourth professional development conference to be presented by ACICS, the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions. Amanda presented a breakout session entitled "Student Learning Outcomes Data Collection/SAP."

This presentation offered educators and administrators the chance to learn how to streamline the measurement of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and effectively report them in the Campus Effectiveness Plan - a process that protects the institution's bottom line while at the same time preserves the integrity of the data collection process. Many universities use standardized pre- and post- assessments to measure SLOs, but this process can be stressful for students and costly for the university. An understanding of how to implement Course-Embedded Assessments can simplify this process while ensuring the collection of valid data. This presentation included the sharing of two data-collection tools developed by Amanda.

Amanda is an Institutional Effectiveness Consultant and Competency-Based Subject Matter Expert for independent colleges and universities. Amanda's research interests focus on how the intersection of cognition, culture, and language in the classroom can foster the democratic empowerment and critical consciousness of university students.

Congratulations Amanda!


Amanda Opperman
Pictured Above: Amanda Opperman

Doan Awarded Scholarships and Partners with FOCUS

Mary Doan, a student in the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, regularly teaches transcendental meditation to individuals throughout Southern California. She recently presented at a women's residence course held in Temecula, California and at the Women's San Diego Knowledge Day. She also recently received funding from the David Lynch Foundation and the Gilbert Slomowitz Foundation so that individuals could learn meditation for free.

Mary and Families Overcoming Stress (FOCUS) also recently signed a partnership to provide coping skills class and transcendental meditation classes for military mothers. FOCUS has provided services for over 3,000 military families in the United States.

Congratulations Mary!

Welcome Reception for New Joint Ph.D. Students

On Thursday, September 3, 2014, a reception to welcome to the new students to the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program was held at the Faculty/Staff Club at San Diego State University.

Eleven new students began the program this fall:

  • Nicole Belisle
  • James Bolden
  • Kelly Casassa
  • Justine Darling
  • Vannessa Falcon
  • Malia Green
  • Clarke Heyes
  • Melissa Navarro
  • Jocelyn Pacheco
  • Cassandra Singh
  • Soua Xiong

  • Dr. Scott Thomas, Dean of the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University, Dr. Joseph Johnson, Dean of the College of Education at San Diego State University, and Dr. Rafaela M. Santa Cruz, Director of the SDSU/CGU Joint Ph.D. Program in Education, opened the reception with welcome messages. Faculty members, administrators and returning students were also in attendance and shared their thoughts on their experiences in the program.


    Karen&Freddie Dean Johnson
    Pictured Above: Karen Lafferty & Freddie SanchezPictured Above: Dean Joe Johnson
    JamesDr. Branch
    Pictured Above: James Bolden Pictured Above: Dr. Andre Branch
    Dr. Luke WoodJames Bolden, Soua Xiong, Clarke Heyes, Vannessa Falcon, Justine Darling, Melissa Navarro, Jocelyn Pacheco & Kelly Casassa
    Pictured Above: Dr. Luke Wood

    Pictured Above (L/R): James Bolden, Soua Xiong,
    Clarke Heyes, Vannessa Falcon, Justine Darling,
    Melissa Navarro, Jocelyn Pacheco & Kelly Casassa 

    A Reminder from the Program Director

    Three important emails were sent out to students on December 4, 2014 outlining the following topics:

  • Dissertation Proposal Development and Dissertation Guidelines
  • Scheduling your Qual and Proposal Meetings
  • Preparing for your Qual and Proposal Meetings

    Be sure to read those emails and contact the doctoral program office if you have any questions.

    Watch for New Community Forum

    In January 2015, a new community forum will be rolled out to all current Ph.D. students in the SDSU/CGU Joint Program. This forum will be available through Blackboard and will facilitate information distribution and discussions.

    You will receive an email outlining its features and use.

    • Link to Karen's Story
      Recently, Karen was selected for an Inamori Fellowship, an ATE Fellowship, AERA, and published in Multicultural Perspectives.
    • Link to Paula's Story
      Paula recently published in the Journal of Transborder Studies Research and Practice and was selected to present at ICSEI 2015.

    • Link to Aaron's Story
      Aaron recently published in VISTAS and presented at ASHE.
    • Link to Tom's Story
      Tom recently published in Community College Journal of Research and Practice.
    • Link to Melissa's Story
      Melissa recently published in Oxford University Bibliographies in Childhood Studies.
    • Link to Annie's Story
      Annie recently published in Multicultural Perspectives.