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Researchers win grants for work on school inequalities


Media contact: Claudia Bustamante
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LOS ANGELES (Sept. 17, 2010) — UC/ACCORD, the All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity, has awarded 10 grants to University of California graduate students and faculty whose work addresses schooling inequalities.

Doctoral students from UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine received fellowships for their studies in the fields of sociology, literacy, cognition and development, urban schooling and higher education. Two UC Santa Barbara professors collaborating on a college-level curriculum in linguistics for high school students received the faculty seed grant, awarded to support the initial stages of research.

"The fellows are conducting groundbreaking work that will surely make a great contribution to educational equity and opportunity," said Daniel G. Solorzano, UC/ACCORD director and professor of education at UCLA.

This year's fellows, along with the recipients from 2009, will present their work during the annual UC/ACCORD Conference, held in Lake Arrowhead next month.

UC/ACCORD seeks to increase the number of graduate students and faculty within the UC system whose scholarship informs critical conditions for enhancing college opportunities, transitions in the lives of underrepresented students and issues related to making higher education accessible to all Californians. The dissertation fellowship and faculty seed grant recipients engage in research that will support and inform Californians' efforts to replace prevailing patterns of schooling inequality and disparities in access to higher education with equitable conditions and outcomes for children from all sectors of the state.

Since 2001, UC ACCORD has awarded 75 dissertation fellowships, 11 postdoctoral fellowships and 23 faculty seed grants, totaling about $2.5 million.

Nine dissertation fellowships were awarded to the following doctoral students:

Brianne Davila is a doctoral student at UC Santa Barbara in the sociology department with an emphasis on feminist studies. Davila's dissertation offers new insight on one of the most pressing social problems facing underrepresented students — an overrepresentation in special education programs and the impact of special education on their gender and race identities. Davila's interest includes both placement procedures and educational programs for special education students, along with how schools institutionalize racially gendered messages of social stigma to the students and how students interpret and often contest these messages.
Dissertation: Negotiating ‘Special' Identities: Structure and Agency in Special Education

Terry Flennaugh is a doctoral student in urban schooling at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Flennaugh's research examines the factors, challenges and support structures that are involved in shaping the academic identity for African-American males. Flennaugh's interests include bridging psychology, urban education and the development and achievement of African-American males. His dissertation work specifically explores the academic self-concept among 40 black males (20 high-achieving and 20 non high-achieving) at three majority-minority urban high schools in Los Angeles through the use of identity maps, surveys and interviews.
Dissertation: Mapping Academic Self-concept: A Mixed-Method Approach to Understanding Academic Self-concept among Black Males in Urban Schools

Megan Hopkins is a doctoral student in urban schooling at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Hopkins' research interests center on the educational experiences of English language learners and bilingual teachers. Hopkins is working to identify the unique assets that bilingual teachers bring to their work with English language learners, what the teachers do with their students that matter for their learning and development.
Dissertation: Drawing on Our Assets: A Study of the Unique Contributions of Bilingual Teachers

Mei-Ling Malone is a doctoral student in urban schooling at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Malone's research interests include examining issues of school discipline, the school-to-prison pipeline and researching the prison industrial complex. Malone is interested in understanding how the political economy of California created the conditions ripe for a school-to-prison pipeline in the state from the 1960s to present.
Dissertation: Over-Incarcerated and Undereducated: Examining the Rise of the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Blacks and Latinos in California

Maxine McKinney De Royston is a doctoral student in cognition and development at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education. Her research centers on the development of effective approaches to the education of African-American youth. She has launched an intensive study of an African-American school in the San Francisco Bay Area that is committed to culturally relevant pedagogy. She is studying the ways in which this school frames the task of educating African-American students and how they enact the African-centered, culturally relevant pedagogy.
Dissertation: The Moving Target of African-centered Education: Maintaining the ‘Relevance' of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

Erica Morales is a doctoral student in sociology at UCLA. Morales' research interests include examining race, gender and class issues, the sociology of African Americans and Latinos and inter/intra group relations. She is studying the racial experiences of black undergraduate students, and the relationships and interactions black students have with other blacks, and how black students define and express their racial identity. Moreover, she is making important comparisons by class and gender.
Dissertation: Financial (In)stability: Class and Black Student Experiences Within Higher Education

Daisy Verduzco Reyes is a doctoral student in sociology at UC Irvine. Her research interests include social movements, political sociology, the examination of race, class and sexuality, and Latino politics and education. She is examining the construction of Latino identity in voluntary organizations on three Southern California campuses, specifically how each group serves as a crucible in which different young Latino identities are forged. Also, she wants to explain how these different groups project and define what it means to be Latino and what it means to be political.
Dissertation: Latino Student Politics: Constructing Ethnic Identities in Organizations

Gabriela Segade is a doctoral student in adult second language and literacy education at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education. Segade is studying how best to teach academic language-both reading and writing-to native Spanish speakers enrolled in California's community colleges. She is concerned with opportunities available to immigrant language minority students and how community college students learn to control written academic discourse.
Dissertation: Making and Not Making Sense: The Development of English Language Proficiency Among Immigrant Community College Students

Fanny PF Yeung is a doctoral student in higher education and organizational change at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Yeung's current focus is on second-generation immigrant students from low socioeconomic families, many of who are first-generation college and low-income students. Additionally, her research includes how parents' perspectives of their children's responsibilities within the home complicate understanding the role families have on students' postsecondary experiences, particularly those from immigrant backgrounds.
Dissertation: Legacy of Immigration on Second-generation Immigrant Students in Higher Education

The faculty seed grant for the 2010-11 year has been awarded to Mary M. Bucholtz and Jin Sook Lee, professors of linguistics and education at UC Santa Barbara. They are collaborating on a project called, School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society (SKILLS). SKILLS centers on an innovative and rigorous college-level curriculum in linguistics, supported by intensive academic mentoring that enhances college opportunities for high school students of diverse economic, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.


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