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Friday, October 15, 2021

$3.5 Million Grant Addresses Statewide Bilingual Teacher Shortage

Dr. Margarita Machado-Casas and Guillermo Castillo will serve as P.I. and co-P.I. on the grant.

San Diego State University will lead a new federally funded partnership to train hundreds of new bilingual educators for high-need communities across California.

Project Teach Bilingual Pathways will be funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition. SDSU will complete its work in concert with a consortium of regional partners, including the San Diego County Office of Education and its counterparts in Imperial County, Orange County and Butte County. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Two SDSU Alumni Named Top Teachers in San Diego County

Jacquelyn Flores Jourdane (left) and Tiffany Jokerst. Photo illustration by Manny Uribe.

San Diego State University alumni Tiffany Jokerst (’05, ’06) and Jacquelyn Flores Jourdane (’20) have been named two of the five recipients of the 2022 Teachers of the Year award presented by the San Diego County Office of Education. 

The two will be honored Oct. 17 during the “Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers” cable television special on YurView Network. With the county honor, Jokerst and Jourdane became finalists for the California Teacher of Year honor, to be announced later this month. 

Jokerst teaches math and engineering and chairs the mathematics department at West Hills High School in Santee. Jourdane teaches second grade at San Altos Elementary School in Lemon Grove. Both reflected on the people who inspired them and how their SDSU experiences contributed to their success as educators. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

COE STORIES: Associated Students President Ashley Tejada

Ashley Tejada
Photo by Ian Ordonio.
Ashley Tejada, an alumna of the College of Education's leadership minor and a current postsecondary educational leadership master's student, discusses her new role as a campus leader at San Diego State University.

Video by Ian Ordonio.

Dr. Douglas Fisher Receives National Honor for Impact on Latinx Students

Dr. Douglas Fisher

Dr. Douglas Fisher, professor and chair of San Diego State University’s Department of Educational Leadership, has been honored by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) for his commitment to serving Latinx youth. Fisher will receive the Latino Student Impact Award at the organization’s annual gala on Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C. 

“It's humbling,” Fisher said. “This culminates a whole bunch of work that's important to me — finding ways to ensure we're impacting learners and accelerating their achievement. This is quite an honor that my fellow leaders would think of me for this award.” 

A nationwide organization with more than 8,000 members across 18 state affiliates, ALAS aims to provide leadership to ensure U.S. schools meet the needs of all students with an emphasis on Latinx youth. 

Vasquez Pilots Program to Engage Community College Students in Research

Dr. Marissa Vasquez

Dr. Marissa Vasquez recalls attending a national conference early in her career when a question was posed to the audience: How can we get more research about people of color in higher education? 

“I was one of a handful of women of color in the room,” recalls Vasquez, now an assistant professor in San Diego State University’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education. “Looking around, I just had that light-bulb-going-off moment.” 

Suddenly, so much was illuminated. She thought about how most people doing social science research on people of color were people of color themselves. Then she considered how high numbers of students of color start their academic journeys in community college, where a focus on student research is often absent. 

New Ed.D. Director Vicki Park Seeks to Support Leaders to Make Change

Dr. Vicki Park

Dr. Vicki Park vividly remembers the feelings of anger and frustration.

It was the early 2000s and she was an elementary school teacher in central Los Angeles working with students of color, many of whom came from low-income immigrant communities. Park, who herself came to the U.S. from Korea as a young child and grew up not far from her school site, loved the kids and relished getting to know their families. 

But experiences such as tutoring one summer pushed her to think more broadly about systemic change. 

COE DIFFERENCE MAKERS: Dr. Melissa Soto Examines How Kids Think About Math

Dr. Melissa Soto
Photo by Ian Ordonio.

When she’s not teaching courses in San Diego State University’s School of Teacher Education, you might find Dr. Melissa Soto back in elementary school. The associate professor of mathematics education estimates that, over the past three years, she has spent at least 200 hours visiting San Diego-area classrooms, guiding lessons and talking with children about math. 

“When I got here to San Diego State it was really important for me to find teachers and find schools where I could go and talk to kids,” said Soto, who has partnered with 110 local teachers and reached hundreds more through virtual professional development via the San Diego Math Project
“At the heart of everything that I do is children's mathematical thinking, and how we can support students in making sense of math. And who doesn't love hanging out with kindergarteners? They're just the best." 

NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program Renamed to Honor Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr.

Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr.
Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr. in his Lamden Hall office. Photo by Michael Klitzing.

The walls of Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr.’s office in Lamden Hall are adorned with several large prints, each a group photo of a different graduating class of the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) Leadership Fellows Program. The smiling faces provide a welcome reminder that the leadership development program he founded in 2003 — and continues to lead as its executive director — has made a massive impact. 

“Out of this group,” he said, pointing to the photos, “there are 17 community college presidents here.” 

The program, which prepares Latinx administrators to advance in executive learnership positions at U.S. community colleges, found a new home at San Diego State University in 2020. And now, it has found a new name as well. 

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Christine Cortez

Christine Cortez
Photo by Ian Ordonio.

A 2021 San Diego State University alumna, Christine Cortez recently became a full-time undergraduate advisor in our Office for Student Success (OSS). Find out more about Christine in this edition of 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Faculty and Staff! 

Friday, October 1, 2021

SDSU Part of $102 Million Nationwide Initiative on School Principals, Equity Gap

Principal Beth Beuttner greeted students at Fresno's Eaton Elementary School, part of a district partnering with SDSU on an equity project
Principal Beth Beuttner greeted students at Fresno's Eaton Elementary School.

San Diego State University has been selected by the Wallace Foundation to join a $102 million initiative to build pipelines of school principals who are better equipped to meet the changing needs of diverse districts nationwide. 

SDSU’s Department of Educational Leadership will join San Diego-based National University and the California Department of Education in a five-year partnership with the Fresno Unified School District. The project is based on research showing comprehensive principal pipelines can boost student achievement.