Level Up

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2021 Level Up Grant

With the support of SJSU’s Division of Research and Innovation, ECI was awarded a Level Up grant, designed to spark faculty to reach the next level in research, scholarship, and creative activities. This generous grant will allow ECI to bring together an interdisciplinary team of SJSU faculty to prepare a large-scale grant proposal in an effort to move the needle towards equitable access to high quality early learning and care for all children. We are pleased to announce the new team, which will begin its work in February, 2021.

Amy August, SJSU Faculty

Dr. Amy August, Sociology, College of Social Sciences

Dr. August is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Assistant Director of the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change. Her ethnographic research focuses on the assessment, instruction, and classification of preschoolers in school and sport, as she explores and compares how teachers and coaches make decisions about children’s kindergarten readiness in their respective contexts of early learning. She has also collaborated with a team of researchers to conduct in-depth interviews to better understand how families select, experience, and evaluate their children’s involvement in extracurricular activities. Through this research, she has come to recognize the potential of high-quality early childhood education to reduce the effects of differences in privilege and to begin to level the playing field for all kids.  

Jihyun Lee, SJSU Faculty

Dr. Jihyun Lee, Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Sciences

Dr. Lee has a commitment and appreciation for the field of Adapted Physical Activity and Education. She has worked to create new knowledge regarding how to promote physical activity for children and youth with disabilities, through effective strategies and understanding of variables associated with their physical activity. She has been involved in research projects targeting children with and without disabilities for their social and gross motor development. Through this research, she has learned the importance of understanding variables both within a child and in the child's environment, and how those variables affect a child’s development. She believes in the importance of holistic development of children during early childhood, including early intervention.

Julie Sliva Faculty

Dr. Julie Sliva Spitzer, Mathematics & Statistics, College of Science

Dr. Spitzer is a Mathematics Educator whose research interests focus on the teaching and learning of mathematics for special needs learners. Her current work involves preparing undergraduate students to teach mathematics and providing professional development for K-12 teachers. She believes providing high quality learning experiences for young children is essential for their development. 

The new team of innovators is convening regularly with the ECI Leadership Team from February through July, 2021.