Convocation Kicks Off New School Year at GSE&IS

Students, faculty, and staff are recognized for academic achievement and innovation.

Students, faculty, and staff of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies filled Moore Hall’s auditorium to welcome the new school year on Sept. 25. Patricia McDonough, associate dean for academic affairs, addressed the gathering on behalf of Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, and confirmed the School’s “commitment to academic rigor and a commitment to scholarship of … the highest intellectual quality, and the highest quality of being useful.”

Snowden Becker (second from left), program manager of the Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) program, was honored with the inaugural Staff Innovation Award. Pictured, L-R: Gregory Leazer, chair, Department of Information Studies; Becker, Megan Franke, professor of education; and Louis Gomez, chair, Department of Education

Louis Gomez, chair of the Department of Education, and Gregory Leazer, chair of the Department of Information Studies, both welcomed all students and motivated their respective groups of students to create and embrace GSE&IS’s mission of intellectual community and learning in and out of the classroom.

Gomez highlighted the groundbreaking research of faculty in the Department of Education. The projects he noted included a study looking at the potential of recess as a socioemotional learning environment for special education students (Connie Kasari); the creation of “cybermurals” by students as public art (Noel Enyedy); a comparison study of UCLA-trained teachers versus all LAUSD teachers (Annamarie Francois); and Bruin Club, an afterschool mentoring and literacy initiative of the UCLA Community School (Marjorie Faulstich Orellana). Gomez emphasized the collaborative nature of GSE&IS research informed by practice, and said that, “This work doesn’t happen because of individuals – scholarship is a team effort.”

Leazer underscored the place of the library as a “laboratory for discovery and deeper learning.” He also noted that information studies professionals have a future in providing critical learning, reading, and viewing skills for society.

The Convocation also showcased academic excellence and creativity with annual awards given to outstanding members of the GSE&IS community. The first-ever Staff Innovation Award was given to Snowden Becker, program manager of the Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) program. The Distinguished Teaching Award was bestowed upon Luiz Mendes, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Information Studies, and Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, professor of education in the Urban Schooling Division and the Teacher Education Program (TEP). In addition, research by GSE&IS faculty out of the classroom was recognized with the Bobbie and Mark Greenfield Faculty Award, which was given to Noel Enyedy, associate professor of education in the Urban Schooling Division, for his work with K-12 science and math learning. In addition, Kim Gomez, also an associate professor in Urban Schooling, was recognized for her work to improve the quality of student writing in Grades 3-6 through the “Disciplinary Literacy Work Circle” project at UCLA Lab School.

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana was presented with the Distinguished Teaching Award, which was based on recommendations from her students. With Louis Gomez, chair, Department of Education.

The accomplishments of GSE&IS students was also celebrated with several awards for excellence in writing and publishing. In the Department of Information Studies, the Diversity Paper Award was given to recent alumni Melissa Camaiore (’13, MLIS) and Jeremy Whitt (’13, MLIS). IS also recognized Amelia Acker and David Kim with the Dissertation Proposal Award. Acker was doubly honored as the recipient of the Hal Borko Student Award.

Several awards named for faculty in the Department of Education recognized student achievement in a variety of programs. The inaugural Alkin Evaluation Award, created by Emeritus Professor Marv Alkin and his wife, Marilyn S. Alkin, was given to Lisa Dillman, a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Research Methodology (SRM) program, and Anne Vo, a Ph.D. alumna of the program. The Prize in Memory of Leigh Burstein, former CRESST researcher and SRM professor, was awarded to Melissa Goodnight, a graduate student in the Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) program. The George Kneller Prize was given to Fang-Tzu Hsu, SSCE; Dalal Katsiaficas, Human Development and Psychology (HDP); and Martin Romero, Urban Schooling. Finally, the Norma and Seymour Feshbach Dissertation Award, named for the emerita professor of education and her husband, UCLA emeritus professor of psychology, was given to Jonathan Gillespie, HDP.

Ph.D. candidate Lisa Dillman (at far left) and SRM alumna Anne Vo were recognized with the inaugural Alkin Evaluation Award, presented by Professor Marv Alkin.

In addition, the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation Scholarship was given to TEP students Thalia Catano and Leanne Setiarto. Tim Ho, a student in the SRM program, was honored with the Department of Education Distinguished Teaching Assistant/Special Reader Award.



Above: Patricia McDonough, associate dean for academic affairs, welcomes students, faculty, and staff to a new school year at GSE&IS with Louis Gomez, chair, UCLA Department of Education (far left); and Gregory Leazer, chair, UCLA Department of Information Studies