Cohort 6 | Class of 2022

Gigi CarununganGigi Carunungan

  • Hometown: Silicon Valley
  • Undergraduate: BA in Philippine Studies, University of the Philippines
  • Graduate: MA in Curriculum and Instruction, New Mexico Highlands University
  • Research Interests: My focus will be on curricular strategies. Specifically, innovating elementary school math to include higher-order thinking skills, socially-interactive lesson activities, community, and integrating fun in learning.
  • Personal Interests: I take a keen interest in moving away from linear, memorization, and test-driven learning and infusing creativity in math solutions with integrative, dynamic, multimodal, deep-dive, play, socially-interactive, context, gamification, and story-based curricular strategies. I'm also interested in taking-off from neuroscience and innovating learning strategies anchored to the physical processes of the human brain. 

Janet GutierrezJanet Gutierrez

  • Hometown: San Jose, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in Human Communication, with a concentration on Chicano Studies, CSU Monterey Bay
  • Graduate: MA in Administration and Supervision, San Jose State University
  • Research Interests: 
    • Bilingual Education
    • Latinas in leadership
    • Service learning and project-based learning for elementary schools versus high stakes testing, culturally proficient curriculum
  • Personal Interests: Running, hiking, watching college basketball, swimming, reading, playing and taking adventures with my family, listening to Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations. 

Vladimir G. Ivanović Vladmir Ivanovic

  • Hometown: New York, New York
  • Undergraduate: BS in Computer Science, Union College
  • Graduate: MS in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Research Interests:
    • Educational public policy
    • Activism
    • Inequality
    • Equity
    • Full and fair funding
  • Personal Interests: Outdoor activities: sailing, climbing, hiking, scuba diving, mountaineering, swimming, skiing. 

Amna JafferAmna Jaffar

  • Hometown: Fremont, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in Psychology and Theatre, Agnes Scott College
  • Graduate: MA in Educational Counseling and Student Personnel, San Jose State University
  • Research Interests:
    • Social Emotional Counseling
    • Preparation of school counselors as agents of social justice
    • Substance use education and prevention in K-16
    • Influencing policy to decrease ratio of K-12 school counselors to students
  • Personal Interests: Hiking, visiting national parks, travel, reading, gardening, and music.

Yolanda K. JimenezYolanda Jimenez

  • Hometown: Sacramento, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in English, CSU Sacramento
  • Graduate: MA Education/Administration and Supervision, San Jose State University
  • Research Interests: 
    • Recruiting and retaining teachers of color
    • Culturally relevant pedagogy,
    • English learner engagement in content area classrooms
  • Personal Interests: Raising a family, leading Girl Scouts, volunteering with Lions Club, homesteading, creating custom clothing and home decor, attending live performances, and cheering on the local youth sporting teams. 

Charlene LeeCharlene Lee

  • Hometown: Irvine, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in Psychology with honors, UC Berkeley
  • Graduate: MA in Educational Psychology, Chapman University
  • Research Interests:
    • School inclusion
    • Co-teaching
    • Universal design for learning
  • Personal Interests: Spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling.

Arthur Maldonado Arthur Maldonado

  • Hometown: Firebaugh, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in Political Science/International Affairs History, UC Riverside
  • Graduate: MS in Educational Counseling, National University
  • Research Interests: Some of my research interests include:
    • Corporal punishment
    • School suspensions and interventions
    • Recidivism
    • PBIS (positive behavior interventions and supports)
    • MTSS (multi-tiered system of supports)
  • Personal Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, particularly during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. It is a very festive time for my family and I, and we enjoy the home-cooked meals, freshly baked desserts and sweets, and the traditional drive through Christmas Tree Lane. I also do my best (after the holiday season of course) to engage in a healthy dose of weightlifting, swimming, and running. Exercise and developing a workout routine helps keep my mental focus and physical well-being in check. 

Marcella McCollum 

Marcella McCollum

  • Hometown: San Jose, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in Psychological Services, University of San Francisco
  • Graduate: MA in Education: Speech Pathology, San Jose State University
  • Research Interests:
    • Bilingual education
    • Appropriate identification of dual language learners in special education
    • Equity and access to graduate school among diverse student populations
    • Equity and access to immersion schools for children with special needs.
  • Personal Interests: Reading, hiking, traveling, entertaining, singing, going to shows.  

Candice R. NanceCandice Nance

  • Hometown: Redwood City, California
  • Undergraduate: BS in Business Administration/ Marketing, San Jose State University
  • Graduate: MBA in International Business Practice, American International College
  • Research Interests:  My research interests include:
    • Teaching and learning
    • Differentiated instruction
    • Basic aid community college funding
    • Gifted and talented education
    • Disabled students
    • Transformative leadership
    • Middle college
    • Dual enrollment
    • Concurrent enrollment
    • Privatization pressures on community college curriculum
    • Global education trends.
  • Personal Interests:  I enjoy traveling throughout the United States and the globe, spending time with family and friends, reading a good book, playing at the beach with my husband and two daughters, and occasionally flying general aviation aircraft. 

Renee PaquierRenee Paquier

  • Hometown: San Jose, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in International Relations, CSU Chico
  • Graduate: MS in Criminal Justice, Boston University
  • Research Interests:  Leadership/Criminal Justice/higher ed.
  • Personal Interests:  Traveling, volunteering. 

Roberto C. PortilloRobert Portillo

  • Hometown: San Mateo, California
  • Undergraduate: BS in Criminal Justice Administration, CSU East Bay
  • Graduate: MA in Educational Counseling and Student Personnel & MA in Mexican American Studies, both at San Jose State University
  • Research Interests:  Culturally relevant leadership in alternative education.
  • Personal Interests:  Pacific Ocean in the Winter. Indian Ocean in the Summer. 

Noah Price Noah Price

  • Hometown: San Francisco, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in English, Portland State University
  • Graduate: MA in Education, San Francisco State University
  • Research Interests: Equity and inclusion in higher education participation and in learning outcomes.
  • Personal Interests: Biking, running, reading, and travel. 

Furwa RizviFurwa Rizvi

  • Hometown: Dallas, Texas
  • Undergraduate: BA in Psychology, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Graduate: M.Ed. in Educational Curriculum & Instruction-Teaching Early Childhood, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Research Interests:
    • Early childhood education
    • Professional learning communities
    • Leadership styles
  • Personal Interests: Makeup, shopping, reading, traveling 

Blanca Tavera  Blanca Tavera Headshot

  • Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
  • Undergraduate: BA in Women's Studies, UC Santa Cruz
  • Graduate: MSW in Social Work, San José State University
  • Research Interests:
    • Latina leadership and liberation
    • Parent involvement and engagement
    • Critical consciousness and empowerment theories
    • Social justices issues
  • Personal Interests: Spending time with family and friends; finding new dining adventures; treasure hunting; investigating socially responsible investments; practicing yoga and mindfulness; exploring a minimalist life style; and playing board and card games 

Leslye TinsonLeslye Tinson

  • Hometown: Compton, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in Psychology, San Francisco State University
  • Graduate: MS in Psychology, San Francisco State University
  • Research Interests: My research interests include:
    • The role of mentoring to support college students
    • Academic achievement in African American youth
    • Mental health as co-curricular support
    • Teaching of psychology
    • Ways to integrate new faculty into school culture
    • Increasing rates of retention for faculty of color
  • Personal Interests:  I enjoy swimming, tennis, baseball and am a proud fan-girl to Serena Williams and Mary J. Blige. 

Hanh TranHanh Tran

  • Hometown: Alameda, California
  • Undergraduate: BA in History, UC Santa Cruz
  • Graduate: MA in Education: Equity and Social Justice in Education, San Francisco State University
  • Research Interests: Looking at public education in an equity and social justice framework, tracking and the implementation of policies relating to high-stakes testing.
  • Personal Interests:  Sleeping, reading, hanging out with my dogs, watching random YouTube videos with my family. 

Veronica Leigh Weaver LamVeronica Weaver

  • Hometown: San Jose, California
  • Undergraduate: BS in Child and Adolescent Psychology, Saint Mary's College
  • Graduate: MA in Education: Early Childhood Special Education, San Jose State University
  • Research Interests: Inclusion, equity, and access to high quality early childhood education for ALL children.
  • Personal Interests:  I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and dog Wonder. I love to spend time in nature, travel, and propagate succulents. 

Parinaz ZartoshtyParinaz Zartoshty

  • Hometown: Tehran, Iran
  • Undergraduate: BA in Government, Cornell University
  • Graduate: MA in International Relations, Boston University
  • Research Interests:  Internationalization- defining and understanding its importance in higher education as the world becomes more interconnected and more complex at the same time; women and leadership; organizational structures in education and how to structure units in a way that empowers and promotes/supports leadership.
  • Personal Interests:  Hiking, reading, languages and enjoying food from all around the world.