Dr. Kenneth P. Gonzalez serves as the Director of the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. He has been an advocate and leader of higher education reform efforts to strengthen local and regional communities for more than two decades. Previously, he served as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Our Lady of the Lake University. Dr. Gonzalez also served for 15 years as a full-time faculty member at the University of San Diego, San Jose State University, and California State University Fullerton, where he received multiple national and institutional awards, including the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999, 2003, and 2010. His scholarly work appears in the Journal of College Student Development, Urban Education, the Journal of the First Year Experience, and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education (JHHE). His article,“Understanding the Role of Social Capital in Access to College for Latinas” has been the number one cited article in JHHE for more than ten years. Dr. Gonzalez’ book (with R.V. Padilla), “Doing the Public Good: Latino Faculty and Civic Engagement,” examines the challenges and strategies of Latinos in aligning their faculty work with local social justice initiatives.
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Sinem Siyahhan is an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Education at CSUSM. She received her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences with a minor in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University. Before joining CSUSM, Dr. Siyahhan worked as an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University. She is the Founding Director of Play2Connect, and initiative that aims to support family learning, communication, and connection through gaming. Dr. Siyahhan’s scholarship uses design-based research to understand the affordances of digital media technologies for human interaction, learning, and social change in the context of schools and informal learning environments (e.g. museums, libraries). She teaches the prerequisite technology course (EDUC422) for the teacher credential program, and research and technology courses in the Masters and Joint Doctoral program at CSUSM.
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Manuel Vargas, PhD, is a teacher educator with over 30 years of experience in P-12 and higher education. He has taught 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grades and has been an assistant and school principal at International Baccalaureate (IB) American schools in Mexico. His career in higher education began in North Carolina as a middle-level educator. Soon after he initiated the middle-grades program, he became a departmental chair, then associate dean, interim dean, and dean of the School of Education and Human Performance at Winston-Salem State University, one of the sixteen campuses of the University of North Carolina System. His experience in higher education also includes two years at Sonoma State University, CA; one year at Appalachian State University, NC; and an adjunct part-time position at Salem College, NC. Dr. Vargas’s position as director of the School of Education at Cal State San Marcos ended in 2015-16 AY. Upon conclusion of his administrative duties, he joined the MA in Educational Administration and the JDP programs where he teaches courses related to leadership and diversity, leadership and organizational change, and access to educational opportunities topics which he has previously taught at Appalachian State and Sonoma State universities. His professional goals and scholarly activities focus on working with underrepresented groups in education, especially African American and Latino students. He is concerned about public education, which seems to leave many children behind while others race to nowhere. “Why is it that some school and classroom settings make it possible for some students to succeed while others fail?”
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