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Four New Professors Welcomed at UCR’s Graduate School of Education

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Four new assistant professors -- whose research areas include successful interventions for English language learners and math and science education for minority students -- have been added to the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside, Dean Steven Bossert announced this week.

In addition to their research and academic backgrounds, assistant professors Sara Castro, Luciana Dar, Lindsey Malcom and Michael Orosco bring with them personal experiences that give them unique insight into the areas they study.

All of the professors were introduced by their mentors and doctoral advisors who felt their research areas would be an excellent fit with the Riverside institution.

 "All four of them do research and teach in areas that are critical to the educational needs of the Inland Empire," Dean Bossert said. "All of them focus in different ways on how first-generation college attendees, English language learners, and students who come from disadvantaged community backgrounds can be successful in school."

Castro, who earned her doctorate in school psychology from the University of Oregon, studies interventions that improve the academic outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students. She has worked as an interventionist for eight years and has been a bilingual parent trainer for immigrant families.

Castro moved from El Salvador to the United States when she was 15. She became passionate about education after being placed in ESL classes in high school.

Dar, who grew up in Brazil, earned a master's degree in political science at UCLA. She will receive her doctorate in political science from the university in December.

Dar and Malcom will work with UCR Professor John Levin on the new Higher Education Administration and Policy program. Levin said he was thrilled to be joined by such promising colleagues.

Dar's work addresses the intersection of politics and higher education financing, areas that are not only applicable to the mission of the California Community College Collaborative (C4) but also promise to shed light on higher education funding, nationally, Levin said.

Lindsey Malcom
Levin said Malcom's work with students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields (STEM) -- with special attention to underrepresented populations -- is particularly noteworthy and appropriate for UCR. Malcom's focus on the community college pathway to a university education is highly relevant to the current research focus in the GSOE.

Dar said she was excited to begin her work on campus.

Malcom, who earned her doctorate at the University of Southern California and has degrees from M.I.T. and Cal Tech, is interested in how the social, cultural and political aspects of institutional environments contribute to the outcomes of minority STEM majors.

Her professional passion stems from her personal experiences as a minority woman studying science.

"As an undergraduate and master's student, I became painfully aware of the how the institutional environment in which you are located can affect your ability to succeed," Malcom said. "At some point, my interest in the factors that lead to student success in science overtook my interest in the science itself. That is when I decided to get my doctorate and focus on higher education."

Orosco has a doctorate in educational equity and cultural diversity with an emphasis in bilingual/ESL/special education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He studies response to intervention with Latino English language learners, an area he feels strongly about because he has family members who struggle with illiteracy.

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