Dr. Pedro A. Noguera

Pedro A. Noguera is a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA and founder of the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. His scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions and demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.

Dr. Noguera serves on the board of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. From 2009 – 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Secondary Principals, and the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

Dr. Pedro Noguera received his bachelors’ and master’s degree from Brown University and earned his doctorate in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.


Twitter: @pedroanoguera

Dr. Joseph Bishop

Dr. Joseph Bishop is Director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. Before UCLA, Bishop was a senior policy advisor with the Learning Policy Institute. Bishop oversaw the organization’s school resourcing portfolio and supported state efforts to address teaching shortages and build quality early care and education systems. Bishop has held a number of national and state education leadership positions including Director of Policy with the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign; Executive Director of Opportunity Action; founding co-chair of the Coalition for Teaching Quality, a 100 plus national membership group; Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Partnership for 21st Century Learning; Director of Education for the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials Educational Fund and was formerly a governor-appointed member of the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Bishop has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Organizations from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Twitter: @joepbishop

Nancy Giang

Nancy Giang is the Program Manager of the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. She brings six years of administrative experience, the majority spent working to improve the undergraduate experience at UCLA. Nancy has strong interests in the education of displaced populations, international policy and governance after having taught in Spain for several years and recently interning in a congressional district office. Nancy speaks four languages. She is an alumna of UCLA and earned her MA in English Literature from CSU Long Beach.


Dr. Kai Mathews

Dr. Mathews is the MTSS project director at the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. She is an educator, researcher, and creative strategist who is passionate about innovative reforms and practices in K-12 education. She has over 10 years of practical work and research experience with students, teachers, and administrators in various school districts around the country. Most notably she has worked as a Coordinator for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), was a researcher for the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education, and worked as an 8th grade Humanities teacher at High Tech High in San Diego. Her areas of expertise and passion include educational equity, culturally responsive teaching and learning, Project Based Learning (PBL), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Blended Learning (BL) and design thinking. Dr. Mathews has a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a specialization in K-12 education from the University of San Diego, an M.A. in Communication from Ellis University, and a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Spelman College.


Dr. Peter T. Keo

Dr. Keo is Research Associate for the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. Keo conducts research and evaluates the effectiveness of federal and state K-12 programs for chronically low-performing districts and schools, based on ESSA evidence-based standards. He also conducts research on boys and men of color and the impact of Asian American stereotyping on research and public policy outcomes. He was also the Principal Investigator (PI) of two large national studies to examine issues that impacted under- served students. An expert researcher and evaluator, Dr. Keo was appointed by the Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Nevada Teachers and Leaders Council. His work has appeared in book chapters and research journals, including his most recent publication with Dr. Pedro Noguera entitled, From the Margins to the Center: Debunking Claims About Southeast Asian American Masculinity. He holds a doctorate (education) from Columbia University, a master’s degree from Harvard University (education), and a master’s degree (social sciences) from The University of Chicago. He is certified in “Evaluating Social Programs – Using Randomized Controlled Trials” from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Keo was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.


Alejandra Magaña Gamero

Alejandra Magaña Gamero is an M.A student at the University of California Los Angeles Graduate School of Education in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education division. She is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University (SCU), where she double majored in Psychology and Ethnic Studies and conducted research on how ethnic studies curricula facilitates Chicanx/Latinx student’s process of reproducing, negotiating, contesting, and reflecting upon their social identities in the college classroom. While at SCU, she also served as the program student assistant for the Thriving Neighbors Initiative (TNI) which focuses on connecting the SCU community with local San Jose residents, businesses, and organizations in order to improve pathways to prosperity by addressing health, legal and economic disparities with community members, with the ultimate goal of building local capacity for entrepreneurship, expanded educational choice, healthy living, and educational opportunities. Her current research focuses on the impact of culturally relevant pedagogy on students of color academic achievement, and the successes and challenges that come with it. Alejandra’s passion lies in the empowerment of youth, particularly those with the greatest academic, social, economic and emotional barriers, who therefore have been disenfranchised by structural inequalities that have been rendered normal.


Aline Zero Soares

Aline Zero Soares is a Ph.D. student in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education Program at UCLA. She is a member of the Public Policy and Public Management senior executive service in Brazil’s federal government. At the Brazilian Ministry of Education (2014-2017), she was responsible for monitoring policies devoted to expand access to early childhood education in the local level, as well as to promote after-school programs for K-12 students. She has also worked with programs focused on access and permanence in higher education for low-income, Black, Pardos and Indigenous youth in Brazil. Her current research interests are focused on transformative paradigms of education grounded on the importance of addressing barriers related to poverty, racism, social inequality and other structural issues that impair equality of opportunities in education. Aline ’s MA thesis in Public Management and Public Policy discussed the expansion of early childcare services in the City of São Paulo. During her Bachelor in Social Communication, she was awarded with a research fellowship to develop an applied research proposal of an educational audio magazine for blind and visually impaired children.


Andy Hwang

Andy Hwang is an M.Ed. student within the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to starting his graduate studies, Andy served for two years as an AmeriCorps member to support young people of color in underserved schools in Boston and Los Angeles. As a prospective teacher, he is interested in restorative practices to build healthy school communities and experiential learning within STEM. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of California, San Diego.


Annie Le

Annie is a doctoral student in the Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) Division at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, specializing in race and ethnic studies. She studies issues of crime and punishment within an educational context. Her research focuses on the school-to-prison pipeline for Southeast Asian Americans. She is involved in prison education initiatives inside adult and juvenile correctional facilities, both nationally and internationally. Annie received her Master’s in Higher Education from NYU and Bachelor of Arts in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Cruz.


Earl J. Edwards

Earl J. Edwards is a Ph.D. student at the University of California Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His current research interests focus on how American public schools can better support youth experiencing homelessness through educational policy and pedagogy. Earl has over ten years of professional experience in youth development and curriculum design. As a school administrator and classroom teacher, Earl has designed and facilitated district-wide professional development modules covering data analysis, formative assessments, and effective teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities. Earl also co-authored graduate course curricula focusing on educational leadership development in urban public schools for Teachers College’s principal certification program. In addition to his expertise in curriculum development, Earl has founded and contributed to several youth development programs that support Black and Latino males across the country. He completed his Master’s Degree in Public School Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University and received his B.A. in Sociology from Boston College.


Twitter: @eedwards02

Gabriela Corona Valencia

Gabriela Corona Valencia is a PhD student in the division of Social Science Comparative Education (SSCE) at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research focuses on understanding and (re)imagining healthier academic and personal environments for muchachas in the South and East Los Angeles regions. In addition, she explores the ways in which embracing PUTAlitics can positively influence the development of a muchacha’s bodymindspirit. Prior to her graduate school trajectory, she completed two summer research programs at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of Virginia (UVa). She also collaborates with other race and ethnic studies scholars in the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education (CCRSE) on campus.  Gabriela received her Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o Studies with a minor in Anthropology at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and a Master of Arts in Education at UCLA.


Jamelia Harris

Jamelia Harris is a Ph.D. Student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Jamelia served as a Sara Miller McCune Endowed Public Service Intern at Just Communities. Here she was apart of a team of consultants that partnered with local high school districts to identify root causes and possible solutions to school safety, opportunity gaps,  and discipline disparities.  She serves as the Co-Director of UCLA’s Summer Research Institute, a program designed to introduce high school students, predominantly from marginalized backgrounds to social science research and UC competitive eligibility. She also serves as a graduate student researcher for the Leveraging Equity and Access in Democratic Education (LEADE) initiative at UCLA. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Jamelia completed a Research Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Madison where she conducted independent research on Black girls’ gender-specific and racialized experiences  in the school to prison nexus.  She is committed to diminishing the educational opportunity gap for Black youth through developing and influencing policies that address the social and structural barriers they confront across their multiple, intersecting identities. She holds  a BA in Sociology and Black Studies with a minor in Education.


Julio Alicea

Julio Angel Alicea is a PhD Student in Urban Schooling at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. His primary research interests focus on the intersection of race, place, and educational inequality and the ways in which place-based reforms can combat concentrated disadvantage in communities of color. Prior to entering his doctoral studies, Julio taught social studies at an urban charter high school in Rhode Island and taught college courses on Urban and Social Justice Education in the Community Development Program at the Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies. While in Rhode Island, Julio extended his social justice work beyond educational spaces by serving on the board of the New Leaders Council, a progressive leadership organization, and volunteering his time as a member of the Ten Men Project, an advocacy initiative of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence. He has also worked to engage the larger educational community by speaking at conferences, writing op-eds, guest-lecturing in teacher preparation programs, leading professional development workshops, and serving as a Rhode Island Teaching Policy Fellow. Julio holds an M.A.T. from Brown University and a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College.


Kacy Martin

Kacy Martin is the Research Analyst at the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS). Her current work investigates the disproportionate impact of school suspensions on students of color, and the relationship between school discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline. Other areas of inquiry include school choice policy, racial segregation, and the interaction between gentrification and student achievement. On these topics, she has presented research for academic and policy audiences, both nationally and internationally. In addition to her research at CTS, Martin serves on the faculty at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Prior to joining the team at CTS, Martin worked as the California School Discipline Policy Specialist at the UCLA Civil Rights Project. Previously, she taught primarily English Language Learners in an elementary classroom in Chicago Public Schools.


Lorena Camargo Gonzalez

Lorena Camargo Gonzalez is a Ph.D. student in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education program with a Race and Ethnic Studies specialization within the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Lorena’s research interests include race, racism and micro-aggressions in education, issues concerning access and equity for Students of Color in higher education, and representations of People of Color in children’s books and young adult literature. Her current research focuses on developing and utilizing a Critical Race Content Analysis Guide to explore the visual and textual representations of Latinas/os/x in children’s picture books. Lorena also serves as a research associate for the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education at UCLA. She received her master’s degree in education from CSU Long Beach where she was a CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and holds a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies with a concentration on Chicana/o/x Studies from CSU Sacramento.


Miguel Casar

Miguel Casar is a Ph.D. student in the Urban Schooling program at UCLA. Before beginning his studies, Miguel worked as a senior education specialist for Cambridge Education. His work focused primarily on supporting schools to redefine their role and relationship with their communities, empowering diverse stakeholders with tools and avenues to participate actively and critically in the life of their schools, developing culturally and developmentally responsive and emotionally literate educational environments and curriculum, and building sustainable capacity for development and improvement. Miguel has worked internationally on community development and leadership projects and co-founded a non-profit in Mexico, Unidos Somos Iguales Cuernavaca, with the aim to use education and friendship as authentic avenues for dismantling social barriers and stigmas. His previous studies are in Clinical Psychology with research experience in Behavioral Neuroscience. Additionally, Miguel participates actively in organizations that fight for justice and equity in schools, the protection of the environment, and seek to challenge and redefine ideological constructs and narratives that are having a profound and irrevocable impact on our schools, our communities, and our planet.


Twitter: @dialogue_4peace

Rose Ann E. Gutierrez

Rose Ann E. Gutierrez is a Ph.D. student in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education division specializing in Race and Ethnic Studies at the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. She serves as a research associate for the Institute of Immigration, Globalization, and Education and National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research explores the analytical nexus between race and racism, immigration, and social stratification in education. She is interested in understanding what theoretical frameworks reveal about the shifting relationship between America’s ideals of equality and opportunity and the role of education in promoting racial equity. Particularly, she focuses on the experiences and educational outcomes of Asian and Pacific Islander American students, first-generation college and graduate students, and immigrant youth and young adults. Rose Ann received her bachelor of arts in sociology at the University of Richmond and master of arts at Seattle University in student development administration. Previously, she has worked in K-12 public education as a middle school teacher, mathematics department chair, and mathematics instructional coach in Miami, FL, where she was awarded Rookie Teacher of the Year at her school site in her second year of teaching. In addition to Rose Ann’s K-12 experience, she has worked in student affairs as a residential director in housing and residence life in Seattle, WA. Rose Ann has worked on two large grant-funded projects as a project consultant on research regarding opportunity youth and project manager for an empirical study on working-class students’ pathway to STEM degrees.


Shena Sanchez

Shena Sanchez is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Schooling at UCLA. She is the founder of the Lavender Girls Project, a mentoring and research group—for and with urban adolescent Girls of Color—that explores their K-12 experiences and postsecondary aspirations. The Lavender Girls Project is grounded in educational justice, Womanism, and an ethic of love and care, where the voices and narratives of Girls of Color are centered. Shena uses Critical Race Feminisms to examine the ways in which policies and practices are racialized, gendered, and classed to create adverse learning conditions for Girls or Color. Shena completed her master’s degree in international education policy from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University and her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Roanoke College.