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Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Sacramento State

Student advocate Alice A. Huffman honored by Sac State

Alice A. Huffman, a woman who has attained wide respect as a leader and advocate for the African American community, is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Sacramento State and the California State University. She will be recognized during Spring Commencement ceremonies on May 18 at Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen said the honorary doctorate is an acknowledgment of the tremendous impact Huffman has had in the region. She and the others receiving honorary doctorates this spring “have transformed Sacramento through their creativity, wisdom, generosity, and work. I am extremely pleased that we are able to celebrate them this spring.”


Huffman clearly represents the aspirations of the CSU for its diverse student body and a more inclusive society. After dropping out of high school, she overcame significant challenges and went on to graduate with honors from UC Berkeley.

Huffman served as a lobbyist and then Director of Political Affairs for the California Teachers Association from 1985 to 1994. She was elected president of the California Hawaii NAACP in 1999, since winning eight consecutive elections. Throughout, Huffman has supported the California State University system and is a former member of the CSU Board of Trustees.

Huffman continues to show her support for students by attending and speaking at events of the College of Education and Doctorate in Educational Leadership program. Her longstanding career as an advocate for educational opportunities for underrepresented youth in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields was evidenced through her Alice Huffman STEM program for youth. The California NAACP has also hosted graduate student interns from the Sacramento State Pathways Fellows grant program.

“Alice Huffman clearly represents the aspirations of the CSU for its diverse student body and a more inclusive society,” said Julian Vasquez Heilig, Director of the Sacramento State Doctorate in Educational Leadership program and NAACP Education Chair. “Her incredible legacy for millions of Americans lies in the fact that she is deeply committed to equality and equity for all Americans, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those ends. She is an extremely capable, influential and gracious professional.”

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2018 Outstanding Dissertation Awards

The authors of four outstanding dissertations completed in 2017 as part of the requirements for the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) degree were honored March 16 at a showcase hosted by the College of Education and the College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies. The event showcases the critical research being done by the graduates.

The 2018 awardees are: Katrina Pimentel, Ed.D., Graduate of Distinction; Mark Carnero, Ed.D., Outstanding K-12 Dissertation; Malika Hollinside, Ed.D., Outstanding K-12 Dissertation; and Daniel DeVere, Ed.D., Outstanding Higher Education Dissertation. Dissertations were chosen based on the quality of the research design, the written analysis and summary, and the potential of the dissertation results to transform schools or colleges.

Dr. Pimentel’s dissertation, “Dismantling rape culture: a critical examination of androcentrism in America,” continues in the tradition of feminist scholars in assessing the influence of a male-dominated culture on the lived experience of college students and its relationship to rape culture (androcentric society) in order to facilitate the transformation of society from one that condones rape to one that dismantles it by raising critical consciousness.

In “Education reparation: an examination of Black teacher retention,” Dr. Hollinside focuses on the experiences and workplace factors that positively and negatively impact Black K-12 teacher retention in American schools, finding that K-12 administrators who are oppressive, unsupportive, and culturally incompetent are more likely to drive Black teachers out of their schools.

Dr. Carnero’s dissertation, “Upset the setup: exploring the curricula, pedagogy, and student empowerment strategies of critical social justice educators,” examined the narratives of seven high school critical social justice educators in Northern California to see how they combat traditional schooling through their curricula development, classroom pedagogy, and student empowerment strategies.

In “Perceptions of bicultural accommodation: a critical examination of the academic, cultural, and social experiences of Sikh college students,” Dr. DeVere examines the academic, cultural, and social experiences of Punjabi Sikh American students in a Northern California community college to identify factors that promote or inhibit their progress and success.

Videos of other Outstanding Dissertations can be found on our YouTube channel.

Hmong student success subject of new report from EDD alumnus

The experiences of Hmong American college students – and the factors that impact their academic success – are described in a new report authored by Dr. Chao Danny Vang, a 2016 graduate of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program at Sac State.

More than 1,000 Hmong students attend Sac State, the second largest Hmong student population among California public universities. The majority are first-generation college students. “Ecological Factors in Hmong American Educational Success” summarizes Vang’s dissertation research to identify policies and practices that may lead to increased college completion rates among Hmong students.

“With this groundbreaking report, Sacramento State shows its commitment to be an inclusive campus that plays a central role for the economic success of Hmong Americans in our city and in our region,” Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen wrote in the report’s foreword. “I am certain it will inform policy discussions in this region for years to come.”

Vang offers six major recommendations to address systematic strategies to support Hmong students, which are further detailed in his dissertation. Vang is currently External Relations Coordinator for the Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs at Sacramento State, and Executive Coordinator of the Full Circle Project.

“Helping underrepresented minorities enter college is necessary for economic growth,” Vang concludes, “but it is also necessary for realizing America’s promise to provide a place where people can co-exist fruitfully and peacefully.”

The report can be downloaded here.

Doctoral students show research at MCE

Students in Cohorts 10 and 11 of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program were out in force on Saturday, April 21, at the 24th Annual Multicultural Education Conference at Sac State.

An event that attracts future and current teachers from throughout the region, the Multicultural Conference is always a great opportunity for EDD faculty, alumni and future graduates to share their research on topics that have already been or could be used in their dissertations. [See more photos from the event]

Visit of former Sac State professors offers ethnomathematics perspective on teacher prep

International scholars Dr. Daniel Orey (professor emeritus from Sac State) and Dr. Milton Rosa (graduate of the EdD program) visited Sac State from the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil on April 9.  Their presentation, “Exploring Dialogic Approaches in EthnoModelling: Translating Local and Global Mathematical Knowledge,” studies the relationship between mathematics and culture.

Dr. Orey and Dr. Rosa discussed their work with pre-service teachers and master’s students in Brazil, using long-distance technology and traditional face-to-face courses, while using an ethnomathematics perspective to create innovative future teachers. 

Rosa-Orey01
Milton Rosa and Daniel Orey

From 1999-2010 Dr. Rosa taught math at Encina High School, and was a graduate of the first cohort of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Sacramento State in 2010.

Dr. Orey and Dr. Rosa have published numerous books, articles and chapters, and given numerous workshops, talks and speeches in numerous countries.

Biographical information:

Milton Rosa is a professor of mathematics education in the Departamento de Educação Matemática in the Instituto de Ciências Exatas e Biológicas at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, where he works with distance education and master degree students in the mathematics education program. He has experience in Mathematics Education acting on the research areas such as ethnomathematics, mathematical modeling, ethnomodeling, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and distance education. Dr. Rosa has published articles, chapter books, and books mainly in ethnomathematics and ethnomodeling in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. His works appear in Brazilian and international journals. He has participated in conferences and congresses in Brazil and international levels; with contributions of plenaries, speeches, and roundtables. He also participates in: a) International Study Group of Ethnomathematics (ISGEm), b) North America Study Group of Ethnomathematics (NASGEm), c) Red Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática (RED), d) Grupo de Estudo e Pesquisa em Etnomatemática (Study and Research Grupo on Ethnomathematics in Brazil, and e) Topic Study Group on Ethnomathematics (TSG35) from the International Conference on Ethnomathematics (ICME).

Daniel Clark Orey is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento and currently is a professor of mathematics education in theDepartamento de Educação Matemática in the Instituto de Ciências Exatas e Biológicas at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, where he works with distance education and master degree students in the mathematics education program. In 1998, at the invitation of Professor Ubiratan D’Ambrosio, Dr. Orey served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas in Brasil, where he conducted research in classrooms and taught courses in ethnomathematics and mathematical modeling. He is also a Senior Fullbright Specialist to Kathmandu University. He has published articles in numerous Brazilian and international journals, chapter books, and books in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. He has also participated in Brazilian and international conferences by giving lectures, speeches, and participating in roundtables about ethnomathematics. Currently, Prof. Orey serves as the coordinator of the Ethnomathematics Research Group at  the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto and participates in: a) International Study Group of Ethnomathematics (ISGEm), b) North America Study Group of Ethnomathematics (NASGEm), c) Red Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática (RED), d) Grupo de Estudo e Pesquisa em Etnomatemática (Study and Research Grupo on Ethnomathematics in Brazil, and e) Topic Study Group on Ethnomathematics (TSG35) from the International Conference on Ethnomathematics (ICME).

Alumna Melissa Repa named Career Center director

Dr. Melissa Repa, a 2015 graduate of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program at Sacramento State, has been appointed as director of the campus Career Center. She previously served as the center’s interim director, as well as co-director of Services to Students with Disabilities and director of TRIO Student Support Services.

Dr. Repa’s diverse background includes program management, professional development, technology coordination, teaching, disability access, budget management, personnel supervision, and grant writing and administration. She has experience working with diverse employers and students, including low-income and first-generation students, and students with disabilities. She also is principal investigator for Project Rebound, which helps formerly incarcerated students apply to, enroll in and graduate from the University; and TRIO Student Support Services, a federally funded project focused on retention and graduation of students with disabilities.

While a student in the Ed.D. program, Dr. Repa received the Wayne K. Miyamoto Public Policy Dissertation fellowship. She ultimately received the Graduate of Distinction award for her outstanding dissertation, “Leadership to support e-quality for all: a study of a systemwide accessible technology policy implementation.”

She was featured in the video “What you should know before beginning a doctorate program,” and shared her tips for managing the demands of family life during school in a video about “Work-Life Balance.”

Additional reporting from Sacramento State Student Affairs

Cuádraz, Flores to discuss transformative power of higher education on the working class Dec. 1

Book cover

Visiting scholars Gloria H. Cuádraz and Yolanda Flores come to Sacramento State’s Hinde Auditorium at 4:00pm on Friday, December 1, to discuss the transformative power of higher education on the working class. Their talk is based on their new book, “Claiming Home, Shaping Community: Testimonios de los Valles: Underscoring the importance of access to higher education,” published by University of Arizona Press. They will be joined by chapter contributors Manuel Barajas and Caroline Turner.

To offer testimonio, the authors say, is inherently political, a vehicle that counters the hegemony of the state and illuminates the repression and denial of human rights. The book tells the stories of Mexican-descent people who left rural agricultural valleys to pursue higher education at a University of California campus, seeking to empower others on their journeys to and through higher education.

350x505_CuadrazGloria Holguín Cuádraz is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies at Arizona State University. She publishes in the areas of Chicana/os and higher education, theory and methods of oral history, Chicano labor history, feminist methods and testimonio. With Dr. Luis Plascencia, she is co-editor of a forthcoming anthology,Mexican Workers in Arizona: The Making of an ‘Elastic Supply of Labor’” (Tucson: University of Arizona Press). She is a member of the Latina Feminist Group, co-authors of “Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios,” (Duke University Press, 2001). In 2013, she was awarded the Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar of the Year Award by the Arizona Humanities Council. From 2014-2017, she was Co-Lead Editor of Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social.

Yolanda FloresYolanda Flores is an Associate Professor at the University of Vermont where she teaches U.S. Latino and Latin American Literatures and Cultures with an emphasis on the intersections of race, gender, class, language, sexuality, and citizenship.  “The Drama of Gender:  Feminist Theater by Women of the Americas” is her first book.  In addition to articles published in the fields cited above, Professor Flores has also published on performance studies, cultural politics, and Latino farmworker activism in Vermont.  She is a native of Bakersfield, California.

Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, Ph.D.Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner is Professor of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program at the Sacramento State College of Education, is Past President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and is Lincoln Professor Emerita of Higher Education and Ethics at Arizona State University (ASU). Her research interests focus on access and equity in higher education. An award-winning scholar, Turner is the recipient of numerous recognitions including the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Scholars of Color in Education Career Contribution Award, the 2016 University of California, Davis School of Education Distinguished Alumna Award, and the 2016 Yolo County Mexican American Concilio Pilar Andrade Award for community service. Turner received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of California, Davis and her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

280x351_barajasManuel Barajas was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and he was raised in Stockton, California from the age of four.  He attended UC Davis for his Bachelor’s degree and obtained his MA and Ph.D. at UC Riverside.  He is a professor of Sociology at Sacramento State, and since 2002 he has been successful teaching, serving on- and off-campus communities, and publishing research in peer-reviewed and popular publication outlets.  He teaches both undergraduate and graduate students the subjects of Chicana/o Sociology, Immigration Studies, and Ethnic & Race Relations.  His research has focused on Indigenous Mexican migration and farm workers.  He is the author of “The Xaripu Community across Borders: Labor Migration, Community, and Family” (with Notre Dame University Press) that received a Distinguished Book Award Honorable Mention from the Latino Section, American Sociological Association.  Manuel greatly enjoys working with students and the community, and believes in producing knowledge/advocacy that makes a difference in improving the lives of all marginalized communities.