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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

As Districts Return In-Person, it’s Back to School for Many Credential Students

SDSU student teachers
From left: Credential students Jake Palacio, Valerie Salgado and Tasha Irianto.


Tasha Irianto says it’s the little moments she’s missed the most. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego State University teaching credential student went months without seeing her second graders outside of a Zoom window. 

“I feel like everything online is so structured,” said Irianto, who is completing her student teaching at San Diego’s Oak Park Elementary. “We don't get any of that natural classroom interaction where the kids are telling me about their weekend while putting their backpacks on.” 

For Irianto and hundreds of SDSU’s future educators, those small yet meaningful connections are coming back.

Dr. Charles Degeneffe Elected New Chair of ARPE Department

Charles Degeneffe


For the first time in nearly 13 years, San Diego State University’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) is about to be under new management. 

Dr. Charles Degeneffe, professor of rehabilitation counseling, has been elected the new chair of ARPE. As of July 1, 2021, he will succeed the retiring Dr. Caren Sax, who has served as chair since 2008. 

New Center Focuses on Early Childhood Development, Education, Mental Health

Educator working with young children


A new center to improve well-being in early childhood and create a coordinated network of care is being created at San Diego State University’s Department of Child and Family Development (CFD). 

The Center for Excellence in Early Development (CEED) will work to bring together school districts, pediatricians, care providers, policymakers and scholars with a focus on early childhood. The center will also facilitate research and contribute to the preparation of the early childhood workforce. 

JDP Students Shine at 2021 SDSU Student Research Symposium

Barton, Leyva and Zargar
From left: Reka Barton, Nora Leyva and Amir Zargar.


Three students in San Diego State University’s Joint Doctoral Program in Education with Claremont Graduate University were honored for their research excellence at the 2021 SDSU Student Research Symposium (SRS). 

Nora Leyva, Reka Barton and Amir Zargar were all recipients of the College of Education Dean’s Award at the annual public forum where SDSU students present their research, scholarship and creative activities. SRS took place virtually on March 19 and 20. 

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Amy Rascop

Amy Rascop

You might know Amy Rascop as the hard-working executive assistant to Dean Y. Barry Chung. But did you know you’re likely to find her rollerskating, hiking in the wilderness or cruising on the back of a Harley? Find out more in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

School Back in Session, Dr. Tonika Green Offers Advice to Parents on CBS 8, NBC 7


With in-person instruction resuming in San Diego schools, Dr. Tonika Green, professor in counseling and school psychology, joined CBS News 8 over the weekend to talk about what parents need to know about preparing their kids to return to the classroom.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Faculty Focus: A Powerful Voice Against Anti-Asian Racism



Dr. Nellie Tran was already writing her congressional testimony on anti-Asian discrimination and violence when news broke about the killing of eight people — six of them Asian American women — in a series of mass shootings in Georgia. The Mar. 16 incident put a horrific spotlight on the surge of racism and violence targeting Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Two days later, Tran — associate professor in counseling and school psychology at San Diego State University and vice president of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) — and Anne Saw from DePaul University submitted the AAPA’s written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans. The document provided both historical context for anti-Asian racism as well as recommendations for federal action. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

COE Stories: Faculty Members Share Personal Reflections on Cesar Chavez

 Dr. Lupe Holguin Buell and Sheila Solórzano

In honor of Cesar Chavez Day on March 31, two San Diego State University College of Education faculty members and alumnae share their personal memories of Chavez and the movement he led. Dr. Lupe Holguin Buell ('85, ’02) is single-subject coordinator and Sheila Solórzano ('77, '78) is bilingual credential program supervisor in the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education.

U.S. News & World Report Ranks SDSU College of Education No. 55 in Nation



San Diego State University continues to rank among the nation’s best graduate colleges of education, according to the latest rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

The College of Education (COE) ranked No. 55 in the publication’s 2022 edition of Best Graduate Education Schools. SDSU also ranked No. 42 in the nation among public institutions and No. 8 in the state of California. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Invisibles No More! Dismantling Anti-AAPI Hate and Racism in Education

Hardy Tower at SDSU

A statement from Y. Barry Chung, Dean; Cristian Aquino-Sterling, Associate Dean for Diversity & International Affairs, College of Education: 

Unspeakable acts of violence towards Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have dangerously escalated across the U.S. in the wake of COVID-19. This is another deadly pandemic — one that has continued to dehumanize AAPI individuals, families, and communities. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Ed.D. Student, Award-Winning Principal Jackson-Hubbard Transforms Lives

Precious Jackson-Hubbard


In a role many associate with punishment and discipline, Bell Middle School principal Precious Jackson-Hubbard is making a difference in one San Diego community by offering students something else entirely: love.

It’s a love that comes from a place of profound understanding.

“I look at these young people and I see myself, my little brothers, my little cousins — I see a lot of little Preciouses,” said Jackson-Hubbard, a student in San Diego State University’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program whose personal and professional journey was inspired by mentorship she received as a teenager from an SDSU faculty member.

DLE COIL Program Connects Future Teachers in the U.S. and Mexico

Photo illustration of virtual learners
Photo illustration by Manny Uribe


At a time when COVID-19 restrictions have ground non-essential border traffic to a halt, San Diego State University is using an innovative virtual approach to continue offering its bilingual teacher credential candidates an immersive global experience. 

For the past decade, SDSU’s Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE) has operated a trans-border study abroad course that puts future bilingual educators into classrooms in the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Tecate. A requirement for all DLE candidates, the program offers a deep dive into Mexico’s education system and the realities facing its migrant communities. 

Chung Elected to Executive Committee for Association of Education Deans

Y. Barry Chung


Y. Barry Chung
, Dean of the San Diego State University College of Education, has been elected to the executive committee of one of North America’s top associations of education deans. 

The Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI) is an assembly of 150 education deans from universities classified as very high research activity (R1) and high research activity (R2). SDSU is the only California State University and one of only four public institutions in the state to be represented. 

CSP’s Owen Nets Kresge Foundation Grant to Address ‘COVID Melt’

Dr. Laura Owen


“Summer melt” is a well-established phenomenon in higher education. The term refers to the significant number of high school seniors intending to enroll in college, but who do not show up to campus the semester following high school graduation. For students from large urban school districts, that number ranges from 21 to 50 percent. 

In these pandemic times, however, summer melt might be the tip of the iceberg. 

“COVID melt” is now upon us. 

EDL's Marshall Brings Expertise to Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Jim Marshall


When the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is looking to document the landscape of education-focused work across the country, San Diego State University’s Dr. James Marshall answers the call. 

A professor and director of SDSU’s doctoral program in Pre K-12 educational leadership, Marshall has offered his expertise in educational technology, systems and program evaluation to CPB for the better part of two decades.

COE STORIES: Ed.D. Student Vincent Anthony

Vincent Anthony
In our latest installment of COE Stories, we meet Vincent Anthony, a student in SDSU's Ed.D. in Educational Leadership PK-12 program. Learn how Anthony, a charter school dean in San Diego, strives to foster inclusive, supportive environments for students.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Lauren Collins

Lauren Collins

Preparing the next generation of special education teachers is a high stakes profession. To unwind, assistant professor and induction coordinator Lauren Collins likes to jump out of planes and swim with sharks in her spare time. Find out more about Lauren in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

NBC Los Angeles Highlights Dedication of Alumnus Counselor Eduardo Valencia

Eduardo Valencia

With students stuck at home and behind screens during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fontana Unified School District counselor and San Diego State University alumnus Eduardo Valencia (’97, ’98) is going door-to-door to make a difference. NBC Los Angeles recently spotlighted Valencia — a graduate of our Community-Based Block and school counseling master’s program — as he made house calls to meet the social and emotional needs of his students.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

MFT Student Sarah Kouzi Talks Therapy, Culture and Family in U-T Commentary



Sarah Kouzi, a master’s student in San Diego State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program, has published a commentary in the San Diego Union-Tribune reflecting on the intersection between her culture and her career as a therapist. She explores her desire to dispel the stigma about mental health in the Arab and Muslim communities in America — and in her own family. 

“In this work, I find myself asking: What does it mean to belong to a marginalized community with stigma about mental health, and also serve it?” Kouzi writes. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

COE Faculty Launch Center to Advance Research into Black Education, Wellness

Estella Chizhik and Sesen Negash
Drs. Estella Chizhik and Sesen Negash. Photo/illustration by Ian Ordonio and Manny Uribe.


In the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd last spring, a group of Black faculty in the San Diego State University College of Education met virtually to share their grief, vent their frustration — and strategize what to do about it. 

“I was attending UCLA during the beating of Rodney King, so I've seen cycles of this,” said Dr. Estella Chizhik, professor of teacher education, referring to the Black motorist whose brutal beating by police in 1991 sparked worldwide outrage when the officers were acquitted on charges of using excessive force. 

“I just wanted it to stop somehow. It seemed like there needed to be some very intentional thinking behind these issues related to bias, police violence and the Black experience.” 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Homegrown Role Model: Alumna Named Finalist for Presidential STEM Honor

Phet Pease


During the winter break chill, middle school teacher Phet Pease (’05) received a text message from a former student that warmed her heart. The young woman had just been offered early acceptance and a full-ride scholarship to study computer science at Brown University — her dream school. 

The hallowed halls of the Ivy League may seem a long way away from City Heights — an underserved San Diego neighborhood with many English language learners and few parents with college degrees. But thanks to Pease, a San Diego State University alumna who teaches science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Wilson Middle School, it’s closer than ever before. 

“Students who have gone through my STEM classes are going to great schools and they're pursuing STEM careers,” Pease says. “And it’s because they’ve been given the opportunity to do so.” 

New EDL Grant Helps Principal Preparation Programs Adjust to Pandemic Realities

Dr. Alejandro Gonzalez Ojeda
Dr. Alejandro Gonzalez Ojeda. Photo by Ian Ordonio.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to all facets of the educational system, and the development of future leaders has been no exception. Ordinarily, aspiring school administrators would engage in hands-on experience with a variety of responsibilities a school leader will encounter. This might involve shadowing a principal, engaging the community or leading professional development and other on-the-job tasks. 

But with education gone virtual and mentors spread perilously thin, existing and new challenges around school needs have surfaced that current and aspiring administrators will need to be prepared to address.

An Agent of Change: CFD’s Ritblatt Retires After 25 Years

Shulamit Ritblatt

As she looks back over a transformational career as a professor in San Diego State University’s Department of Child and Family Development, Dr. Shulamit Ritblatt remembers one particular moment of inspiration. It was her first time teaching the course CFD 590: Children With Special Needs. There were the usual lectures, discussions and class readings, but she just couldn’t shake the notion that something was missing. 

“I was starting to teach it and I realized that the students didn't have any idea about what it was like to really work with a child with special needs,” recalls Ritblatt, an expert in early childhood social-emotional development. 

So she set out to change that. 

7 Things You Didn't Know About Cecy Beltran

Cecy Beltran

It takes a wide variety of skills to be successful as an administrative support coordinator, and Cecy Beltran has perhaps the widest range of skills imaginable. Cecy is a master of multiple languages, family budgeting, healthy living and even morning zoo radio! Find out more in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Hundreds Attend Dual Language Conference, New Virtual Center Launched

Image from virtual conference


Strong participation and the unveiling of a new center for bilingual and bicultural children’s books highlighted the 2021 San Diego Dual Language Conference, which took place virtually from Jan. 29-30. 

Bringing together top research and voices around bilingual education and equity, the conference was jointly hosted by San Diego State University’s Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE), the San Diego County Office of Education and the Butte County Office of Education. More than 800 people registered for the annual event, including international guests from Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Nicaragua and the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

SDSU Alumni Sweep the San Diego County School Counselor of the Year Awards

San Diego County Counselor of the Year award winners (from left) Ann Pierce, Bonnie Hayman and Cherryl Baker.
San Diego County Counselor of the Year award winners (from left) Ann Pierce, Bonnie Hayman and Cherryl Baker.


Ann Pierce, Bonnie Hayman and Cherryl Baker work in very different settings, from elementary schools dotting San Diego County’s rugged backcountry, to an urban fine arts middle school, to a large North County high school.

But they share two notable commonalities.

For one, all three were recently named 2021 School Counselors of the Year by the San Diego County Office of Education. Now in its second year, the honor recognizes top counselors at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The other? All three received their training in master’s programs in San Diego State University’s Department of Counseling and School Psychology.

Monday, February 1, 2021

DLE Professor Serves on Biden-Harris Transition Education Policy Committee

Dr. Margarita Machado-Casas


San Diego State University Professor Dr. Margarita Machado-Casas was tapped by the Biden-Harris presidential transition team to help develop policy recommendations for advancing equity in the education workforce.

Machado-Casas, chair of SDSU’s Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education, served on the Diversity Education Workforce subcommittee of the Biden-Harris National Education Policy Committee.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Online Education Master's Programs Rank High

US News rankings graphic

San Diego State University’s online master’s program in education is No. 15 in the nation, according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

The College of Education Master of Arts program prepares future elementary and secondary school teachers and educational administrators, a highly competitive field in online education. SDSU is one of only two California public universities in the publication’s top 100 for 2021. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

CFD’s Garrity Named to Head Start-Funded National Advisory Group



Dr. Sarah Garrity, associate professor and chair in the San Diego State University Department of Child and Family Development (CFD), has been named to a national advisory group focused on advancing equity in early childhood education programs.

Starting this month, Garrity will serve on the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning’s Research to Equitable Practice Advisory Group. Funded by the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care, the center aims to implement culturally and linguistically responsive child development and teaching and learning practices.