Congratulations to the four Attallah College of Educational Studies faculty who are the principal and co-principal investigators for projects that were awarded over $24,000 from the inaugural Solutions Grants program.

The launch of Attallah College’s competitive merit-based program is directly aligned with the college’s overarching Strategic Plan (2022 – 2027) to promote faculty-led, student-involved research that helps sustain collaborations. The Solutions Grants have the potential for long-term systemic impact and draws support for the development of new and innovative research that addresses critical issues local K-12 schools, higher education institutions, or community organizations.

Solutions Grants: Dr. Jennifer Kong and Dr. Trisha Sugita

Dr. Jennifer Kong, Assistant Professor of Special Education, and Dr. Trisha Sugita, Assistant Professor of Special Education and Director of Teacher Education, have been awarded $15,100 for their research project titled, “Culturally Responsive Mathematics Interventions for Emergent Bilingual Students in Multi-tiered Support Systems.”

Dr. Kong and Dr. Sugita’s year-long study will take place at Harbour View Elementary in Huntington Beach, CA, and will directly address students most at risk of learning loss (students with disabilities, English learners, and low-income students). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a dire need for access to culturally responsive interventions for diverse student populations with or at risk for math disabilities (MD).

Their project will identify students at risk for math disabilities utilizing a multi-tiered support system, and will implement an intervention designed to increase the math performance in 150 emergent bilingual students in second, third and fourth grade.

Dr. Kong and Dr. Sugita’s study provides critical identification and early intervention for diverse children who may have experienced academic loss due to the pandemic, at a local elementary school with high representation of diverse learners. Data reporting from this project can help make a positive impact in the field of cultural and linguistic diversity exceptionalities research.

Solutions Grants: Dr. Whitney McIntyre Miller and Dr. Annmary Abdou

Dr. Whitney McIntyre Miller, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies, and Dr. Annmary Abdou, Assistant Professor of School Counseling and Psychology, have been awarded $9,888 for their proposal, “Peace Leadership for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Elementary Education.”

For the last few years, an Orange County, public school district has worked to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout their district. At one elementary school, this work has included assemblies, shared readings, and student-led competitions around kindness.

These efforts align with the skills and practices of Dr. McIntyre Miller and Dr. Abdou’s work on integral peace leadership. At its core peace leadership assesses the individual and collective practices for social change and peace; while also challenging violence and aggression in order to build positive, peaceful systems and structures.

Dr. McIntyre Miller and Dr. Abdou seek to investigate how this local Orange County school’s current DEI structures align with the concepts and theories of peace leadership to further understand K-12 applications. Objectives of this study include operationalizing peace leadership practices in schools and the development of recommendations and practical guides for educational leaders.

Opportunities to participate in these projects will be made available to undergraduate and graduate students. We look forward to seeing the outcome of these research studies, which aligns with Attallah College of Educational Studies’ mission – changing education, changing the world.