Meet Our Students-2017

The students of Cohort 4 are expected to graduate in 2020.


Travis BeecherTravis Beecher

Hometown: Dania Beach, Florida.
Undergraduate: BS in Health Care Management at Florida A&M University.
Graduate: MS in Public Administration at Florida A&M University.
Research Interests: I am interested in researching is social injustice within the African American Community. I am
interested in researching how the barriers the African American teens face affect their education and success. Additionally, what are the methods put in place to prevent the barriers?
Personal Interest:  Workout, Cooking,Spending time with family and friends, Hiking, Traveling and Listening to music. 


Jesus ContrerasJesus Contreras

Hometown: Sacramento, California.
Graduate: MS in Educational Administration at National University.
Research Interests: I am interested in researching on the dawning, shaping, and implementation of local policy and the socio-
political forces that coalesce at the local governing Board level. I am particularly interested on the role that local Boards play in the policy facilitation or obstruction of equity policy and practices across school
districts, and the role that district administrators have in implementing local policy.


Christopher CoxChristopher Cox

Hometown: San Jose, California.
Graduate: MA in Sociology at San Jose State University.
Research Interests: I am interested in processes related to the privatization of public colleges and universities (neoliberalism in general) and the efforts to combat such processes. The ways in which neoliberalism impacts faculty and students of color in higher education, the ways in which students and faculty of color resist (or can begin to resist) the push for a corporate-style management of public institutions (which includes the de-funding of public education), and the role of higher education in broader movements for social justice are of interest to me. 


Heidi EisipsHeidi Eisips

Hometown: Arcadia, California.
Undergraduate: BA in English Literature at Berkeley University.
Graduate: MBA in Strategy, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship with at Yale University.
Research Interests: I am interested in exploring non-screen methods of developing key STEM skills in kids. Putting kids in front of screens for excessive amounts of time, and defaulting to apps and programs that aren't fully vetted has sometimes become a knee-jerk reaction in pedagogical settings. The 40-70 year olds who were the innovators in Silicon Valley over the last 25 years did not grow up in front of screens. I'm interested in understanding how we can leverage the arts and other face-to-face teaching methods to develop kids' design thinking, logic, and empathy, all of which are critical for success in both STEM careers and in adult life. 
Personal Interest: Musical theater, creative writing, community engagement, interfaith, composting, urban gardening, hiking, languages, and zumba.

Heidi EmberlingHeidi Emberling

Hometown: Santa Monica, California.
Undergraduate: Language Studies at UC Santa Cruz.
Graduate: MA in Journalism at UC Berkeley, and MA in Education (Emphasis Early Childhood) at San Francisco State University.

Research Interests: The blending of early learning environments and K-12 schools.

Personal Interests: 
Live music, performing arts/theater, guitar, hiking, biking, skiing, camping.


Angela Lyte-CrowtherAngela Lyte-Crowther

Hometown: San Jose, California.
Graduate: MA in Teaching with specialization in Special Education.
Research Interests: I am interested in pursuing and researching Inclusion Education As Best Practices For Students With Disabilities. In my field of Special Education, I see a serious and potentially global problem with the quality and rigor of education in special education programs/classrooms.  As most states embrace the high quality academic standards of Common Core, I see a decline in the quality of instruction for students with severe learning disabilities (SLD). I attribute this decline with our inability to hire educational specialists with depth of knowledge and subject matter competency in the subjects they are teaching.


Tri NguyenTri Nguyen

Hometown: Dalate, Vietnam.
Undergraduate: BA in Sociology at UC Davis.
Graduate: MA in Education at UC Davis.
Research Interests: Experiential Learning, Conscious equitable practices, Language Immersion learning, Social Emotional Learning, Transferring of teacher's mindset to students, Positive behavioral intervention and support

Personal Interests: 
Travel, International Cuisine, Health & Wellness, Classical Music.


Angela SchlindweinAngela Schlindwein

Hometown: Cali, Columbia.
Undergraduate: Santiago de Cali University in Cali, Colombia.
Graduate: Del Valley University in Cali, Colombia.

Research Interests: The importance of play and hands-on activities in early ages to develop/learn math skills and concepts. Also how bilingualism supports a second language acquisition process.

Personal Interests: Music, visual arts, dance, fictional literature reading.


Laura ShroderLaura Shroder

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio.
Undergraduate: BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University.
Graduate: MS in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Roosevelt University.

Research Interests: Some areas of interest include student success programming for freshman/transfers in higher education, job placement rates after graduation, and the socioeconomic barriers of first generation students and how it relates to career readiness. I am also interested in the benefits of club involvement including how it relates to compensation, resume strength, and employment rates after graduation.

Personal Interests: 
I enjoy traveling to new destinations, spending time with my family, Ohio sports teams, and wine tasting.


Prabhjot SinghPrabhjot Singh

Hometown: San Jose, California.
Undergraduate: BS in Business Administration at San Jose State University.
Graduate: MA in Special Education at San Jose State University.
Research Interests: Special Education, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders.

Personal Interests: 
Weightlifting, running, and research.



Sonia VargasSonia Vargas

Hometown: London, California.
Undergraduate: BA in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology, San Jose State University
Graduate: MA in Counseling Education, San Jose State University and PPS Credential, San Jose State University. Education/Administration & Supervision Credential - Preliminary Administrative Services, San Jose State University.

Research Interests: My desire has only grown in regards to the area of research I would like to pursue for my doctoral studies. My keen interest lies in researching the area related to the disproportionality of Latino male student suspensions and expulsions rates. Specifically, my interest is to investigate the reasons why Latino male students are predisposed to being suspended and/or expelled at such high rates. I am hopeful of determining both potential direct as well as any ancillary factors that may play a role in this student population being suspended and expelled at these alarming levels. I endeavor to investigate what accounts for these disparities and how they may impact students overall. I would also like to examine the types of student offenses that lead to suspension and/or expulsion, particularly for the repeated offenders.

Personal Interests:
Mentoring, Sewing, Cooking and traveling.


Kevin WanKevin Wan

Hometown: El Paso, Texas.
Undergraduate: BS in Exercise Biology and Minor in Education at UC Davis.
Graduate: MS in Applied School Leadership at National University.

Research Interests: I have two research areas of interest.
Behavioral psychology particularly in the areas of grit and self-efficacy leading to academic achievement; I am also interested in problem-based learning and its effectiveness in developing 21st-century skills (critical thinking skills, creativity, collaboration, communication, etc.).

Personal Interests: 
My personal interests include experiencing new cultures through travel, discovering new places to eat, and watching college basketball.


Jennifer WangJennifer Wang

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii.
Undergraduate: History at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Graduate: Curriculum and Instruction at San Jose State University.

Research Interests: Current research interests include the influence of different learning trends, such as Design Thinking and Deeper Learning, on teacher professional development and pedagogical integration of technology.

Personal Interests: 
Traveling, Food, Art, Music.