Interested in staying up to date on the latest news for UCSB graduate students? Subscribe to the UCSB GradPost.

University of California Santa Barbara
Campaign for the University of California Santa Barbara

Latest News

Translate the GradPost:

Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2016
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tue: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: noon-2 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Ana Romero

Mon: noon-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.


Campus Map


View UCSB Graduate Student Resources in a larger map

Entries in education (12)


Santa Barbara Museum of Art Invites Gevirtz to Explore New Educational Partnerships 

Gevirtz School members visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and listen to artist-in-residence Alejandro Cartagena. Credit: George YatchisinA contingent of faculty, staff, and students from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, along with teachers from its Harding University Partnership School, recently met with Santa Barbara Museum of Art Director of Education Patsy Hicks to discuss forging new educational partnerships. The group sat in the museum’s Family Resource Center interactive educational space currently designed around the theme “Where Art Meets Science” to discuss just that – how the museum could be a lab for the furthering of STEM education, teacher preparation, and educational research.

“The museum sees this meeting as just the first step in a process of discovery,” Hicks says. “While we already have a host of educator events and workshops and student programs, we are always looking for ways to expand our impact in the community. Connecting with the Gevirtz School seems an avenue for even greater reach.”

This meeting featured artist-in-residence Alejandro Cartagena from Monterrey, Mexico. Cartagena showed some photographs from his serial series Car Poolers, and discussed educational assignments he developed for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hicks suggested Gevirtz School students and researchers could work with artists such as Cartagena as just one advantage of a SBMA-GGSE partnership.

Beyond that, Hicks was receptive to numerous types of collaboration, even mentioning that graduate students could come in and design a “program” in the Family Resource Center interactive educational space, a hands-on way to turn theories of education into action.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art,” says Lilly Garcia, Director of STEM Outreach at the Gevirtz School. “Their existing education programs are so robust – from lesson plans to outreach programs, from English Language Learner Focus Tours to creating ways to use art to address the new Common Core standards – that we know this partnership will benefit our students in immeasurable ways.”

Editor’s Note: This article is republished with permission from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. Article and photo by George Yatchisin, Communications Coordinator, Gevirtz School.


Graduate Student in the Spotlight: David Hallowell

David Hallowell, a second-year Ph.D. student in Education, is working on a project that he hopes will be a "game changer" for math education. David has a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from UC Irvine and a Master's degree in Philosophy from Boston College. His research explores spatial reasoning in math and science education. David was also a Fulbright Fellow in Vienna, Austria, during the 2005-2006 school year. 

When David is not playing with Legos and robots, exploring the night sky with his telescope, or preparing thought-provoking lectures for his sections, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda, and two children. Read on to learn more about David's research, graduate school experiences, and future plans. 

Tell us a little about your research and how you came to choose the topic.

David with a student-built creation at the Lego engineering summer camps where he taught over the summer for Play-Well TEKnologies.My research area is in spatial reasoning, especially as it relates to math and science education in children. My advisor, Dr. Yukari Okamoto, introduced the topic to me last year and I realized that it had been a theme in the work that I had done going years back. Dr. Okamoto does work with an international consortium based in Canada, who I had the pleasure of meeting last spring at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) conference, and I was captivated by the different projects they were working on. I will confess that Legos and robots are sometimes involved.

I am also working on an interdisciplinary emphasis in Cognitive Science and we have a lot of folks on campus doing interdisciplinary work in this area. UCSB hosted the world’s leading scholars in the field this past August for the International Spatial Cognition Summer Institute and it was loads of fun.

What has graduate student life been like for you?

Graduate student life has been full of joys and sorrows, and not much in between. Seriously, though, the cliché of it being like a marathon is completely accurate. I have learned a good deal about myself through the experience, and it has forced me to become a better person (the alternative is to languish in the face of challenge).

I have my wife and two children with me, so I’m constantly reminded that other people make sacrifices so I can pursue my dreams, and it keeps the pressure on me to innovate when I get into a bad spot. Most days, though, I look around our campus, I think of the wonderful undergrads and children I work with during the summer, and the world-class colleagues that I get to be around on a regular basis, and I think I am one of the most fortunate people on the planet.

What has been a source of motivation or drive for you in your graduate studies?

David, his wife, Amanda, and Eleonore Frankl, widow of Viktor Frankl. This photo was taken after David presented a lecture on dimensional ontology and philosophy of science in the private Viktor Frankl Archives in Vienna, Austria.Preparing for a career that makes use of the gifts I have been given is an enormous motivator for me. Between my Master’s degree and my Ph.D. program I worked full time for over three years in a job that provided well for my family, but yielded little personal satisfaction. I frequently felt claustrophobic in my environment. Getting an opportunity to move forward with what I started earlier in my academic pursuits felt a lot like winning the lottery for me. I’m grateful for those years because when I start to lack gratitude on a bad day, I remember what it is like not to get to exercise my potential every day, and my whole psychology shifts back to where it should be.

Name an accomplishment you are most proud of and explain why.

Being a parent has been my greatest joy to date. The great Viennese psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was fond of quoting Nietzsche’s aphorism, “The person who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” Nothing is more significant to me than my own family, and I would gladly trade any past accomplishments for their well-being.

What do you do to relax? Any hobbies, collections, pastimes, favorite places to go, favorite things to do? Along these same lines, what makes you happy?

David and his family in front of space shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center.Our family enjoys tent camping in Big Sur and going for nature walks locally. My wife is a professional photographer, so we like to bring out the cameras and capture the memories. We are also members of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, a very active local astronomy club that conducts regular public outreach events in the community. They were on campus with their telescopes during the fall quarter. We inherited a Celestron 8 telescope that we enjoy star-hopping with. We also enjoy watching rocket launches at Vandenberg AFB, especially Space X launches.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I was a resident DJ on The Underground Vibe show, a radio show with international listenership. I enjoyed spinning house music after hours for many years. I was pretty well-connected in L.A. and got to be in the DJ booth with some pretty big names. You might be able to find some pictures of me in UCI’s break-dancing club, but I will invoke plausible denial. I have put on a few pounds since those days. I still listen to house though.

What do you hope to be doing five or 10 years out of graduate school?

David HallowellI have a fairly ambitious academic project that I envision as a game-changer in math education that I am working to make a reality. I hope that it is creating a great deal more access to math achievement for a good deal more students than anything that is out there now. I also have an outline for a book on spatial reasoning in philosophy that I intend to have published in a few years. I want to teach at the university level and to conduct research with my academic project as well.

Do you have any advice for current grad students?

Aim for the Golden Mean: Focus on things in your life that help you be consistent and let go of things that drag you down and keep you from becoming your best self. 


Gevirtz Dean Conoley Named President of Cal State Long Beach, the University’s First Female in the Role

Jane Close Conoley will be the seventh president in the history of Cal State Long Beach. Credit: Cal State Long BeachThe Dean of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Jane Close Conoley, on Wednesday was named President of Cal State Long Beach, effective Aug. 1. She will be the first female to hold this position in the university’s 65-year history.

According to news reports, Long Beach Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal announced the news in a statement in which she praised Conoley as “a proven educator and leader whose vision will boost CSULB to even greater heights.”

In a statement, Conoley said: "Cal State Long Beach is renowned for its quality, diversity and global mission and it is an honor to be selected as the university’s next president. The excellence of its academic offerings, its storied athletic heritage and its unique location has made it one of CSU’s most popular campuses for prospective students.”

UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, in an email to the campus community, thanked Conoley for her “extraordinary leadership” and  “distinguished contributions.”

“Dr. Conoley is well known for the depth and impact of her research on school psychology,” Chancellor Yang said in the email. “She has authored or edited 21 books and over one hundred articles and book chapters. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.”

Dean Conoley served for eight months as Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside, and returned to UC Santa Barbara in August 2013.

For more information, read Chancellor Yang’s message to the Campus Community below and the following articles:

“New Cal State Long Beach president selected,” Los Angeles Times

“Jane Close Conoley to be first woman to lead CSULB,” Long Beach Press-Telegram

"First woman chosen to lead Cal State Long Beach," Orange County Register


January 29, 2014


Dear Colleagues:

Today the California State University Board of Trustees announced its selection of Jane Close Conoley, Dean of our Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, as the next president of California State University, Long Beach, effective August 1, 2014.

Our UC Santa Barbara community will feel her loss keenly. At the same time, we are proud and thrilled that Dean Conoley has been appointed to this important leadership position, where she will be able to contribute in new and exciting ways to California’s higher education system and our global academic community.

Dr. Jane Close Conoley served for eight months as Acting Chancellor at UC Riverside before returning to UCSB.We will move quickly to consult with our campus community and form a search advisory committee for our next GGSE Dean.

I am honored to take this opportunity to thank Dean Conoley for the extraordinary leadership she has provided to our Gevirtz School since 2006, as well as her distinguished contributions to UC as a whole, including her recent term as Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside.

Dr. Conoley is well known for the depth and impact of her research on school psychology. She has authored or edited 21 books and over one hundred articles and book chapters. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. Prior to joining UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Conoley served for ten years as dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. Before that she was a professor, department chair, and associate dean for research and curriculum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also has held faculty positions at Texas Woman’s University and Syracuse University, and has taught in public schools in both Texas and New York. She received her B.A. in psychology from the College of New Rochelle, and her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Please join me in extending our warmest congratulations to Dean Conoley. We wish her all the best as she takes on this wonderful new challenge and opportunity.

Henry T. Yang


Dean Conoley Returning to UCSB Gevirtz School After 8 Months as Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside 

Jane Close Conoley and Gale MorrisonProfessor Jane Close Conoley is returning on August 19 to her duties as Dean of UCSB’s Gevirtz School after serving for eight months as Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside. UC President Mark Yudof praised Conoley for her “outstanding service,” and UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang noted in welcoming her back that “she brings with her valuable insights and perspective gained from her time at our sister campus.”

Dr. Conoley was selected by the UC Board of Regents in November 2012 to assume the interim role at UC Riverside while a national search was conducted for UCR’s next chancellor. In her absence, Dr. Gale Morrison served as Acting Dean of Gevirtz. Dr. Morrison, former Graduate Division Dean, had retired in June 2012.

Last week, President Yudof announced that he had selected Kim A. Wilcox, former Michigan State University Provost and Executive Vice President, as the ninth chancellor of UC Riverside.

Conoley returns to a graduate school that in March of this year took the No. 40 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s listing of best education graduate programs nationwide. The Gevirtz School was No. 29 on U.S. News’ list among public universities.

“I have had a great learning experience as interim chancellor at UCR, but am pleased that we were able to accomplish a successful search for a permanent chancellor in just seven months,” Conoley said in a Gevirtz news release. “I look forward to resuming my UCSB work together with the faculty, students, and staff at the Gevirtz School.” 

In thanking her for her service, Yudof said: “Jane Conoley has been a superb dean, and her outstanding service as interim Chancellor at Riverside has deepened her leadership skills and expertise. I join the Chancellor, faculty, staff, and students at Santa Barbara in wishing her the best as she resumes her duties at UCSB.”

In a UC Riverside Tweet, the university praised Conoley for doing “a remarkable job” and expressed gratitude that UCSB “shared” Conoley with its campus.

For more information, read the Gevirtz press release.

Also, read our previous articles:

Gevirtz Dean Conoley Named Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside

Dr. Gale Morrison to Return to UCSB as Acting Dean of Gevirtz Graduate School of Education


UCSB’s Materials, Chemical Engineering, Education Among Top Grad Programs in U.S. News Rankings

Once again, graduate programs at UC Santa Barbara shine, with two of them ranking in the top 10 nationwide, according to U.S. News & World Report magazine’s annual list for 2014 just released.

UCSB’s Materials program was ranked No. 1 among public institutions in the United States. On the overall list that includes private universities, Materials took the No. 2 spot, sharing it with Stanford University. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a private research university, is No. 1 on the overall list.

Chemical Engineering claimed the No. 9 spot on the overall list, and No. 5 among public universities. UCSB’s College of Engineering is listed at No. 20, moving up one place from its 2013 ranking.

"The new rankings are an apt reflection of the extraordinary quality of our campus,” new Graduate Division Dean Carol Genetti said in a UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications press release. “Our graduate programs are at the heart of our academic mission and a significant driving force behind the innovative research for which this university is renowned."

UCSB's Gevirtz Graduate School of Education surged 23 spots from 2013, taking the No. 40 spot overall and No. 29 among public universities.

"This significant jump in the rankings is a wonderful recognition for the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education," Dr. Gale Morrison, the graduate school's acting dean, said in the UCSB release. "Under [Dean] Jane Conoley's leadership, the faculty has continued the tradition of excellence in research, service to the wider education community, and quality preparation of professionals in education, teacher education, and counseling, clinical, and school psychology."

All fields and programs aren’t ranked every year, and U.S. News did not issue new rankings this year for graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, and biological sciences, including chemistry, earth sciences, computer science, and physics. For more information, read the Office of Public Affairs and Communications news release and the U.S. News Best Graduate Schools article.


Graduate Student in the Spotlight: Mario Galicia Jr.

Mario Galicia Jr.Mario Galicia Jr., son of a San Bernardino demolition company owner, took a wrecking ball to his unproductive past long ago, and is proud of the life he has been building over the years.

For Mario, a 5th-year Ph.D. student in UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, the journey through graduate student life has been all about “creating a family and career while taking some time to become acculturated to a world outside of the surroundings I grew up knowing.”

Those surroundings – the rough Rampart District of Los Angeles where he was born and the Inland Empire city of San Bernardino where he was raised – were populated with youth street gangs, violence, and poor economic conditions.

A self-described “chunky asthmatic kid” in elementary school, Mario endured teasing, bullying, and beatings from other kids as a youngster. But he persevered, excelling in his high school classes. As an honors student in a gang-infested area, Mario felt he had to live a double life just to survive.

Mario could not have envisioned graduate school, let alone a college education of any kind, back in those days. But he says that with the help of a few good friends, the support of a wife who encourages him to pursue his dreams, and his own realization that he wanted more out of life than gang activity and manual labor, he mustered the courage to find himself through education.

Mario with his wife, Maria, and their children, Michelle and Mauricio.Today, Mario has three college degrees under his educational tool belt and is pursuing his fourth. He is president of the Graduate Students Association, and serves as Graduate Division’s Diversity and Outreach Peer Advisor. He has not forgotten those who have helped him on his journey, and gives back now through his work with undergraduates, grad students, and the community.

Mario – married and the father of two children, including a son, Mauricio, who was born just two months ago – took some time out of his busy family and school schedule to speak with the GradPost.

Learn about the pivotal moment when Mario realized education was his best option for a better life; what he wished he had known before starting grad school; the accomplishment he’s most proud of; how his past has influenced his current research; and more. Read on. …

Click to read more ...


Dr. Gale Morrison to Return to UCSB as Acting Dean of Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Dr. Gale Morrison at the 2012 Graduate Division Commencement ceremony in June. Credit: Patricia MarroquinDr. Gale Morrison, former Dean of the Graduate Division who retired from the post in June 2012, will be returning to UCSB to serve as Acting Dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.

As the GradPost reported in November, Gevirtz Dean Dr. Jane Close Conoley was selected to serve as Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside, effective December 31, while the Riverside campus conducts a national search for its next chancellor. Dr. Morrison, who served UC Santa Barbara for more than three decades and the graduate community specifically for more than seven years, will begin her role as Acting Dean of Gevirtz effective January 1, 2013. This is not a new role for Dr. Morrison, who served as Acting Dean of Gevirtz for a year and a half before moving to the Graduate Division.

“I am honored to serve as acting dean for the Gevirtz School of Education during Dean Conoley’s absence,” Dr. Morrison told 93106, an online publication for UCSB faculty and staff. “The Gevirtz School holds a special place in my heart, as it is where I began my academic career. I am happy to help support the many ongoing initiatives of the School and look forward to my time with faculty, students, staff, and friends of the School.”

Dr. Jane Close ConoleyDr. Conoley told 93106: “The faculty of the Gevirtz School are, I am sure, thrilled as I am that Dean Morrison has agreed to be interim dean until my return from UC Riverside. Her experience with the school and UCSB promises to accelerate the school’s progress across all our missions: research excellence, instruction for professional leadership, and influential community engagement. I am delighted.”

The following is a message distributed to the campus community by UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang:

December 18, 2012


Dear Colleagues:

It is my great pleasure to announce that former Graduate Division Dean Gale Morrison has graciously agreed to serve as the acting dean of our Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, effective January 1, 2013. This appointment follows extensive consultation, and I would like to thank GGSE Dean Jane Conoley, EVC Gene Lucas, our Academic Senate, and our administrative and faculty colleagues who provided input and advice.

As I wrote in my campus memo of November 20, Dean Conoley will be serving as the acting chancellor of UC Riverside while the Riverside campus conducts a national search for their next chancellor. We wish her well in this exciting endeavor, and we are grateful for Dr. Morrison's willingness to provide interim leadership during Dean Conoley's leave of absence.

Prior to her retirement in June of 2012, Dr. Morrison served as the dean of our Graduate Division for more than seven years, and prior to that as the acting dean of our Gevirtz Graduate School of Education for a year and a half. She is a professor emeritus of education in the Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology Program of our Gevirtz School.

Dr. Morrison has contributed to our campus in countless ways over the years, including serving as chair of the UCSB Academic Senate Graduate Council and the UC NSF AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) Steering Committee, as co-chair of the UCSB Committee on Excellence in Graduate Education in preparation for WASC re-accreditation, and as a member of the UC Student Health Committee, the UC Academic Senate Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs, and the Council of Graduate Schools Government Relations Advisory Committee.

Please join me in thanking Professor Morrison for her willingness to return to our campus in order to help our Gevirtz School during this interim period. We appreciate Gale's leadership, her dedication to our campus, and the wisdom and experience she brings to this important role.


Henry T. Yang


Graduate Student in the Spotlight: Torrey Trust

In workshops she has conducted, UCSB Education Ph.D. student Torrey Trust talks about the importance of a stellar online presence, or “digital reputation.” Do a “vanity search” of your name, she advises, and see what shows up. If you don’t like what you find, it’s time to clean up that reputation, and in her seminars, Torrey tells you how to do that. But she says there are some things that simply cannot be erased from your digital profile, such as when you’re involved in a world news event. Torrey was thrust into such a situation in 2007.

If you Google “Torrey Trust,” on the first page of the results you’ll find this UC San Diego headline: “Newlywed Alums Aboard Ship That Sinks in Antarctica.” Yes, that was Torrey, who was on a honeymoon cruise with her husband Trevor Takayama when their ship hit an iceberg in the Antarctic. They huddled in a lifeboat in frigid waters for more than four hours before help arrived. Once on dry land in Chile, they were interviewed about their ordeal by Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America.”

Although Torrey hasn’t made the world news since then, her other activities and accomplishments are no less noteworthy. Among her many talents, Torrey is a surfer, a soccer player, a photographer, a blogger, an author, an environmentalist, and a teacher.

Torrey took some time for an interview with the GradPost. She shares what it’s like to have your father as your teacher; how she came to establish an eco-friendly surfing school; why she wants a particular T-shirt after she earns her Ph.D.; her advice for grad students; and why she’ll never own an ice cream shop.

Diane Sawyer of "Good Morning America" interviews Trevor Takayama and Torrey Trust in 2007.

Since we’re no “Good Morning America,” we can’t promise Torrey this post will land on Page One of a “Torrey Trust” Google search. But it is possible that if we get enough clicks, it could find its way to the front page. To make that a reality, read on and share this with your friends. …

Click to read more ...


Gevirtz Dean Conoley Named Acting Chancellor of UC Riverside

Jane Close Conoley, dean of UCSB's Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, has been selected to serve as acting chancellor of UC Riverside. The following is an announcement by UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, and a link to the full announcement in a PDF release:

November 20, 2012


Dear Colleagues:

I am writing with mixed emotions to share with you the attached press release regarding President Yudof's announcement that Dean Jane Close Conoley of our Gevirtz Graduate School of Education has been recommended, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents, as the acting chancellor of UC Riverside, beginning December 31, 2012, while the Riverside campus conducts a national search for their next chancellor. This interim appointment is expected to be effective until their new chancellor is in place.

We will miss Dean Conoley's leadership and service on our campus during this transition period, but we are enormously pleased that she is able to help our sister campus by providing interim leadership at such a critical time.

Dr. Conoley's record of accomplishment during her past seven years as dean of our Gevirtz School is extraordinary, and we are deeply grateful for her contributions. I am pleased that upon completion of her mission at the Riverside campus, Dean Conoley will come back to UC Santa Barbara with new insights and perspectives that will benefit our campus and our GGSE.

I will conduct a very thorough and quick campus consultation process, in discussion with Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas, to identify and recruit an acting dean to fulfill the role vacated by Dean Conoley during her leave of absence.

I hope you will join me in extending to Jane our best wishes for a very successful and enjoyable acting chancellorship at UC Riverside. We look forward to her return to our campus community with even broader and deeper experience that will enrich her continued leadership as dean of our Gevirtz School.


Henry T. Yang

Read the full UCOP press release about Jane Close Conoley's appointment.



UCSB Graduate Programs Ranked Among Best in Nation by U.S. News

Once again you’ll find UC Santa Barbara placing high on the list for its stellar graduate programs. U.S. News & World Report magazine has released its 2013 rankings of top graduate and professional programs at American universities, and two UCSB programs are in the top 10 nationwide.

UCSB’s Materials program moves up two notches, from No. 4 last year to No. 2 this year, among American universities, sharing that spot with private research institution Northwestern University. Among public universities, the Materials program was ranked No. 1.

UCSB’s Chemical Engineering program took the No. 8 spot, moving up from No. 9 last year, and was ranked fifth among public universities. The College of Engineering was No. 21 on the national list and No. 11 among public universities.

"These rankings reflect the impact our engineering graduate programs have on the research community, and they are particularly significant given UCSB has a relatively small but selective pool of students and faculty," Rod Alferness, dean of UCSB's College of Engineering, said in a press release issued by UCSB’s Office of Public Affairs. "Consistent top ranking of our Materials department and rise in ranking of our other departments demonstrate the success of UCSB's interdisciplinary approach," he said.

UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education also made the U.S. News list, ranking No. 63.

For more information, read the Office of Public Affairs press release and visit the U.S. News & World Report website. U.S. News explains how it calculated the 2013 rankings.