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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Three New 4-Year ITEP Pathways Approved

The EBA building.
Three new integrated programs have been approved by the California State University that will allow San Diego State University students to earn a bachelor's degree and teacher's credential simultaneously in just four years. Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) pathways in multiple subjects, mathematics and chemistry will be available starting in fall 2020.

Read the full story at SDSU NewsCenter.

Learn more about ITEP at

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Meet COE’s New Associate Dean for Diversity and International Affairs

Dr. Cristian Aquino-Sterling

On August 22, Dr. Cristian Aquino-Sterling will become the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity and International Affairs in the College of Education. The position represents a first not only for the COE, but for San Diego State University — both in having a dedicated administrator focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at the college level, and in its blending of diversity and international affairs responsibilities.

Aquino-Sterling brings perspective relevant to both aspects of the dual role. Born in the Dominican Republic, he came to the United States as an adolescent and attended public school in Manhattan. After pursuing undergraduate degrees in philosophy and Spanish literature at Fordham University, he obtained a master’s degree in Hispanic cultural studies and literatures at Columbia University, and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at Arizona State University.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Master’s Student’s Graduation Photo Goes Viral, Reaches CNN

CSP graduate student Erica Alfaro and her parents.
The photo of CSP master's student Erica Alfaro and her parents that went viral.

It was three days after the San Diego State University College of Education commencement ceremony and Erica Alfaro was going about her business as usual. More than a week had passed since she had posted her graduation photo on Instagram — a remarkable shot of her posing in cap and gown in a strawberry field alongside her farmworker parents. She’d seen the hundreds of likes, given a few subsequent media interviews and then moved on with her life.

It was at a meeting of the public speaking organization Toastmasters International on May 22 that Alfaro, who is finishing up her Hybrid Online MA in Education with a Concentration in Counseling program this summer, realized something was up.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Lamb Named 2019-20 Recipient of Alumni Faculty Award

Alumni Award recipient Dr. Lisa Lamb

Upon opening the notification e-mail, Lisa Lamb was sure someone, somewhere, had made a mistake. She even went back and re-read the message, just to be sure. But there’s no mistaking it: Lamb, Qualcomm Endowed Professor of Mathematics Education, has been named the College of Education’s 2019-2020 recipient of the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions to the University.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

VIDEO: Meet COE’s Outstanding Graduates for 2019

collage of graduates

Each year at Commencement, the College of Education chooses Outstanding Graduates from each of its departments. Learn more about the accomplished students from our Class of 2019 who will be on stage with their most influential faculty members during the ceremony at Viejas Arena on May 19.

COE Grads 2019: A Doubly Powerful Example

Class of 2019 grads Froylán and Ernesto Villanueva
Froylan (left) and Ernesto Villanueva. 

Dr. Froylán Villanueva just became the first person in his family to earn an Ed.D. Of course, that may be something of a technicality — he defended his dissertation just one hour before his younger brother Dr. Ernesto Villanueva.

“For purposes of accuracy, he was before me," says Ernesto with a smile.

That the brothers would take on this challenge — the Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership with a PK-12 concentration at San Diego State University — together shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

COE Grads 2019: Pain and Perseverance

Class of 2019 grad Marina Sanchez

Many people would have been broken by the past few years Marina Sanchez just endured. The unimaginable heartbreak, the hardship, the misfortune. But Sanchez wasn’t.

Instead, she will don a cap and gown on Sunday and receive her bachelor’s degree in child and family development from San Diego State.

COE Grads 2019: A New Beginning

Cecilia Chung is looking forward to her second commencement ceremony at San Diego State University’s Viejas Arena — and a second chance at fulfilling her dream to be a teacher.

Chung’s first graduation day, as she received her bachelor’s degree in music education in 2006, was a bit of a blur. At the time she had young children in tow and an uncertain professional career on the horizon. This time, she’ll celebrate receiving her bilingual multiple-subject credential with her husband and two grown children cheering her on — and exciting possibilities in her future.

COE Grads 2019: Home at Last

Class of 2019 grad Selena Mrkonja.

Selena Mrkonja has gained a lot from her student teaching experience at San Diego State — including, for the first time in her life, a true sense of belonging.

“I had these two twins from Afghanistan (in my class) who didn't speak a word of English and by the time I left, they were having full conversations,” said Mrkonja, who will graduate from her credential program in the School of Teacher Education (STE) this weekend before diving right into her M.A. in teaching in STE’s summer program.

“Look at this impact you can make. You're just one little person, but it makes all the difference in the world to be the adult in someone's life when there's nowhere else to turn."

Maybe it’s because Mrkonja can put herself in those students’ shoes. She’s been in them before.

COE Grads 2019: Building Trust

Class of 2019 grad Cassandra Drake

As she started her teaching career in 2007, Dr. Cassandra Drake thought herself well-prepared to teach in a multicultural classroom. After all, she’d taken a course in multicultural education while earning her multiple stubject credential. It wasn’t until she started her first full-time position at a Sikh charter school in West Sacramento that she realized how much she didn’t know.

“I didn't have it covered — not at all,” Drake recalls. “I started to realize you can't just have multiculturalism or understanding diversity as this checklist you go through. And I had to start realizing that it wasn't like, 'Oh, I'm here to give back to this community.' No, if you are not from that community then you can’t actually ‘give back.’

“So you have to really invest yourself 100 percent and build trust. If children don't trust you, it's going to be really hard to teach them."

New Clinic Fills Gaps for Early Childhood Mental Health

Dr. Lisa Linder (left) and graduate student Briana Bashaw-Wood.
Dr. Lisa Linder and graduate student Briana Bashaw-Wood at the clinic.

In San Diego County’s most vulnerable communities, individuals seeking mental health services for their young children often deal with long waitlists caused by a lack of early childhood therapists. And because of this shortage, San Diego State University has often struggled to find quality early childhood mental health placements with supervisors trained in early childhood.

Into those voids stepped Dr. Lisa Linder, assistant professor in the Department of Child and Family Development (CFD). Supported by philanthropic funding, Linder was able to open an Early Childhood Mental Health Clinic last fall. Operating out of the Dede Alpert Center for Community Engagement in the City Heights neighborhood, the center has helped meet the community’s need for mental health services for families and children from pre-natal to 8-years-old.

Ask an Alum: Don Dumas ’10, ’16

SDSU alumnus Don Dumas

Don Dumas ’10, ’16 holds a few different titles at Bonita Vista High School. The graduate of SDSU’s single-subject teacher credential program and Master’s in Teaching Online Program is a history teacher, a varsity boys’ basketball coach and — as of two months ago — Teacher of the Year in Sweetwater Union High School District. We recently sat down with Don to discuss his path from a disaffected high school student to a mentor who inspires young people every day.

Honors and Achievements, May 2019

Honors and achievements graphic
The College of Education is delighted to congratulate the following members of the COE family for their recent achievements:

Thursday, April 11, 2019

STE Faculty Member Earns SDUSD Teacher of the Year Honor

Lecturer Kris Rodenberg


Dr. Kris Rodenberg vividly recalls bounding home from Kindergarten at age 5 and lining up her dolls in front of a blackboard in a laundry room.

The lesson for the day? Whatever she had learned in class.

"Instead of playing house with my dolls, I played school,” said Rodenberg, a lecturer in the San Diego State University School of Teacher Education. “I think I always wanted to be a teacher."

COE professor named to statewide Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board

Dr. Check Degeneffe

Dr. Charles Degeneffe made researching and teaching about traumatic brain injury rehabilitation his life’s work in part because he was fascinated by the perilously thin line between professional and client.

"If you were my client with a traumatic brain injury, I could easily be in your position in one second if I go home and get in a car accident, or if I trip and hit my head,” said Degeneffe, professor in rehabilitation counseling in the San Diego State University College of Education and coordinator of the No. 4-ranked Rehabilitation Counseling Program. “I always find that to be a humbling thing."

Joint Ph.D. Program in Education Celebrates 40 Years of Fighting for Equity

Joint Ph.D. Program celebration

From the fancy linen on the tables to the stylish business attire of the attendees, the 40th Anniversary Celebration for the Joint Ph.D. Program in Education between San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University (CGU) had all the appearance of a formal affair. Yet the feeling in the room at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center evoked something else entirely. Something warmer. A family reunion, perhaps?

Dr. Marva Cappello, director of the Joint Doctoral Program, chalked up the feeling to a sense of shared purpose.

VIDEO: Monica Sanders' Full Circle Experience

Student spotlight graphic with photo of Monica Sanders.

Meet Monica Sanders, a graduate student in marriage and family therapy. Monica makes a difference for families mere steps from where she used to play as a child. Learn more about her by watching our COE Student Spotlight video!

Honors and Achievements, April 2019

Honors and Achievements graphic.

The College of Education is delighted to congratulate the following members of the COE family for their recent achievements:

7 Things You Didn't Know About Dr. Juan Camarena

Graphic of Dr. Juan Camarena


You may know Department of Counseling and School Psychology faculty member Juan Camarena as executive director of the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement and a lecturer in the Community Based Block Program. But did you know he’s also a soap-opera loving, dog-rescuing, community-focused sex therapist? Find out more about Juan in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff!

Ask an Alum: Alethea Arguilez ’96

Alethea Arguilez graphic

There are about a quarter of a million children in San Diego age 5 and under — and Alethea Arguilez ’96 is out to ensure those most at risk have a chance to succeed. Arguilez is entering her second year as the executive director of the First 5 Commission of San Diego, an organization that assists the well-being of young children ages 0-5 years, pregnant women and families through direct services and public education campaigns. First 5 reaches more than 50,000 children, families and providers each year.

We recently sat down with Alethea to discuss her passion for early childhood education and how her experience in the Department of Child and Family Development propelled her down her current path.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

COE climbs to No. 53, Rehabilitation Counseling No. 4 in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Graphic showing the college's No. 53 national ranking

The San Diego State University College of Education continued its steady rise in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of top education schools, while one of its programs climbed into the Top 4 among its peers.

The college ranked No. 53 in the nation on the annual list, which was released on Tuesday. That’s up one spot from last year and a significant jump from just three years ago when COE ranked No. 69.

“I’m incredibly proud of our college’s recent ascent in the national rankings, which I believe is a reflection of the extraordinary effort put forth by our students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Y. Barry Chung, dean of the College of Education. “While it’s great to see us move up overall, I’m particularly heartened to see us rise three spots to No. 40 among public universities. The College of Education’s standing among our peer institutions is an area of continued success.”

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Dr. Audrey Hokoda Receives University Senate’s Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Audrey Hokoda with students at a conference in Cancun, Mexico.
Dr. Hokoda with students from her Youth Violence Prevention lab at a conference in Cancun, Mexico.

A longtime College of Education professor has received San Diego State University’s highest honor for teaching excellence.

Dr. Audrey Hokoda, professor in child and family development, has been named the 2019 recipient of the University Senate Excellence in Teaching Award. The annual university-wide award recognizes an SDSU faculty member for contributions made to students, respective academic disciplines, and the campus communities.

Clinical Counseling Students Work to De-stress Border Volunteers

Counseling and School Psychology students and faculty in Tijuana.
Dr. Nola Butler-Byrd (fourth from left) and students in Tijuana.

Students, faculty and alumni from the Community-Based Block Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice Education Program have offered their counseling services to support overwhelmed human rights defenders in Tijuana. Learn more about the work of the Transborder Crimmigration project at SDSU NewsCenter.

Read the full story.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

VIDEO: Graduate student Bree Kalima has a passion to serve her community

Student spotlight graphic with Bree Kalima

Bree Kalima, a graduate student in postsecondary educational leadership, has taken a leadership role in creating student programming exploring Asian American Pacific Islander identities. Learn more about Bree by watching our COE Student Spotlight video!

Faculty member launches online series focused on reaching students with Deafblindness

Dr. Chris Brum in the Department of Special Education
Dr. Christopher Brum launched the Advanced Learning Series in Deafblindness.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Virginia Loh-Hagan

Graphic for 7 Things You Didn't Know About Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan

You may know Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan as director of the Liberal Studies program, clinical practice experiences coordinator in the School of Teacher Education and founder/faculty advisor of Aztecs for Education. But did you know she’s also a piano-crazy, bike-averse, feral-dog-coddling children’s book author? Find out more about Virginia in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff!

SDSU’s Nonprofit and Education Career Fair is coming March 21

SDSU students at a career fair.
Students and employers interact at an SDSU Career Fair.

Your next internship or career opportunity in the education field might be right around the corner.

San Diego State University students and alumni are invited to the Nonprofit and Education Career Fair, held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 21 in Montezuma Hall. More than 30 employers, including social service organizations, education nonprofits and a dozen school districts from all around California will be on hand.

Honors and Achievements: March, 2019

Honors and Achievements graphic

The College of Education is delighted to congratulate the following members of the COE family for their recent achievements:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Beyond Valentine’s Day: SDSU Researcher Shares Key To Happy Relationship

Alyson Shapiro

Valentine’s Day brings couples together, or does it?

In some cases, research shows the holiday can also prompt break-ups. KPBS News turned to San Diego State University assistant professor Alyson Shapiro with the Child and Family Development department to find out the ingredients of a healthy coupling.

View the interview at

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mentor Program Helps New Hires Achieve Tenure

Dr. Sascha Longstreth with Dr. Idara Essien.
Dr. Sascha Longstreth (right) with Dr. Idara Essien, assistant professor of child and family development.

Inspired by Leadership Minor, Alumnus Helps Local Refugee Families

Abdullah Jadallah and club members donating supplies to refugees.
Abdullah Jadallah (second from left), president of the Saudi Students Club.

The idea was hatched at a fundraising event coordinated by the Saudi Students Club at San Diego State University. The resulting project saw the students to provide rice and cooking oil to 90 needy and refugee families in San Diego.

Abdullah Jadallah, president of the Saudi Students Club and an International Security and Conflict Resolution graduate from SDSU, said the inspiration for the fundraising event and the distribution of the rice and oil was the result of one of his leadership minor classes in the College of Education.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Paul Justice

Paul Justice

If you’re looking for a sauvignon blanc recommendation from an obsessive bargain shopper, look no further than Paul Justice, our very own lecturer for the Liberal Studies program and undergraduate adviser in Interdisciplinary Studies in Three Departments. Karaoke king, sports fan and outstanding adviser, he supports our COE mission in so many ways. Find out more about Paul in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff!

Faculty Member Brings Bilingual Education Research to Spain

Aquino-Sterling and Xavier Gisbert, president of Association of Bilingual Teaching in Spain

Aquino-Sterling and Xavier Gisbert, president of Association of Bilingual Teaching in Spain

New Faculty, Staff and Promotions for Spring 2019

New staff welcome graphic

The College of Education is excited to congratulate the following faculty and staff members on their new positions for the spring semester!