Cohort 2010

Lael Adediji

Lael Adediji is the Coordinator of the Renaissance Scholars Program at California State University East Bay coordinating services that promote the academic success of foster and former foster youth.  Prior to returning to CSU East Bay, Dr. Adediji was the Coordinator for Advising and Retention Services at San José State University where she was awarded the San Jose State University's Most Influential Advisers Award in 2011.

Dr. Adediji holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Social Services with a minor in African American Studies from University of California, Davis, and Master of Arts in Sociology from Humboldt State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled Transfer Students: Actions for Success and Perceptions of University Support.

Jeff Alves

Jeff Alves is a history teacher at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont.  Before that, he taught Social Sciences  at Newark Junior High School in Newark, CA, teaching 7th and 8th grade World and US History. Dr. Alves' research interest is implementing instructional technologies in innovative ways to improve educational equity.

Dr. Alves holds a Bachelor of Artis in History from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. He received his doctorate for his dissertation titled Technology Practices of High School Social Science Teachers in Socioeconomically Diverse Classrooms.

Blanca Arteaga

Blanca Arteaga is an EOPS/CalWORKS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services/California Work Opportunities & Responsibility to Kids) Counselor at Gavilan Community College. Arteaga assists students with academic, transfer, vocational, career and personal counseling. She develops Welfare to Work plans, as well as education and work schedules. In addition, Arteaga teaches guidance courses as needed, coordinates and chaperones campus visits, and conducts college orientations and workshops related to students success and development.

She holds a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development and an M.A. in Counselor Education, from San Jose State University. Blanca received her doctorate for her dissertation titled "It's About Being Genuine and Having Heart": Latinos' Perspectives of College Counseling.

Brenda Bachechi

Brenda Bachechi is Vice Principal at Menlo Atherton High School in the Sequoia Union High School District, a post she accepted after serving the district as the Special Education Coordinator. Dr. Bachechi is also a private consultant to families needing behavioral and educational support for children with learning differences, and supports transitions between schools and adult services.  Her career as an inclusion and behavior specialist in K-12 schools spans two decades.

Dr. Bachechi holds a B.A. in Education from Arizona State University and an M.A. in Special Education and Rehabilitation, Visually Impaired and Early Childhood Education from the University of Arizona. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled How Teacher's Efficacy Impacts Their Attitude Towards the Inclusion of All Learners.

Kati Bell

Kati Bell is the Director of Global Education at Dominican University of California.  Before that, Dr. Bell was the Coordinator for Faculty Led Overseas Programs at San Jose State University. She has been an International Educator for twelve years and has worked for five universities in three countries during this time. In her previous positions, Dr. Bell has developed international exchange programs, co-created diversity improvement plans, served on campus internationalization committees, and managed the establishment of an administrative infrastructure for a university research institute.

Dr. Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts in German from Sacramento State University and a Master of Arts in German Literature from San Francisco State University. She recieved her doctorate for her dissertation titled Similar Goals and Dueling Agendas: Perceptions of Campus Internationalization and Equity Policy.

Tom Drescher

Tom Drescher has most recently served as Principal at both Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton and Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, and has been a teacher, counselor, and assistant principal during his educational career.  His research interests include the achievement gap, equity and access in education, and educational reform.

Dr. Drescher holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Canisius College. He received his doctorate for his dissertation titled The Impacts of Differential Resources in California Basic Aid Elementary School Districts.

Lisa Everett

Lisa Everett is Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Public Safety at Las Positas College.  Before that, Dr. Everett was a tenured faculty member at Las Positas College teaching courses in Nutrition and Kinesiology. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Everett has served in a variety of positions on campus including the Athletic Director and the Basic Skills Coordinator.

Dr. Everett holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Science in Health Science from San Francisco State University. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled Re-Envisioning Professional Development: A Case Study of a California Community College.

Jackie Vo Felbinger

Jackie Vo Felbinger is the Principal at Curtner Elementary in the Milpitas Unified School District.  Dr. Felbinger was the Director of Educational Services for the Orchard School District district and site level leadership with a focus on information technology, construction project, and human resource management.

Dr. Felbinger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, an M.A. in Elementary Education, and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from San Jose State University. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled Examining the Association Between District Size and The Opportunity Gap: A Mixed Methods Study.

Andrea Goldfien

Andrea Goldfien is the Graduate Coordinator and a lecturer in the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at San Francisco State University.  Her work includes supporting students in their research and she has served on several dissertation committees.  Dr. Goldfien was Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Norena Norton Badway on a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Targeted Research grant, examining community college pathways into and through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs in advanced and emerging technologies.  Her research interests include equity in STEM education, teacher development and identity, and program implementation and evaluation.

Dr. Goldfien was an elementary teacher in the Marinwood School District for 10 years where she served as a team leader in literacy and assessment, received grant funding for the development of garden ecosystems, led parent workshops and mentored student teachers. She then moved to Japan for three years to teach at Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe, where she taught kindergarten, middle school Humanities and middle school math. Though Dr. Goldfien never learned to speak Japanese, she can bow fluently.

Dr. Goldfien holds a Bachelor of Scence in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Master of Arts in Education, Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation from the University of California, Berkeley and earned her California Clear Professional Multiple Subject teaching credential from Dominican University of California. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled Planting Seeds for Implementation: Expanding Access Through Community College STEM Bridge Programs.

Rama Kased

Rama Kased is the Coordinator and Instructor for the Metro Academy of Health in the Health Education department at San Francisco State University. Dr. Kased also sits on the advisory boards of the Huckleberry Wellness Academy, SFSU Student Success Program, and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center in San Francisco. In addition, she works with community based organizations and non-profit institutions in the Bay Area and New York City, where she provides leadership and base building training and curriculum campaign development support.

Dr. Kased holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York and a Master of Arts in Education from San Francisco State University. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled Countering Oppression: Examining Metro's Model of Social Justice Education.

Julissa Mendoza

Julissa Mendoza is a Middle School Counselor at Brownell Middle School in the Gilroy Unified School District. Dr. Mendoza has been a secondary-level School Counselor for the over a decade including her work with the Migrant Education Program at Salinas High School in the Salinas Union High School District. Her research interests focus on the paths and success of Community College Latino/a students.

Dr. Mendoza holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations with an emphasis in Business Marketing and a minor in Spanish, a Master of Artis in Educational Counseling, and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from San Jose State University. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled Harvesting hope Through La Corrida: The Experiences of Highly Mobile Migrant High School Students.

Macheo Payne

Macheo Payne has more than two decades working in youth development and education and nurturing their emotional and physical wellbeing. Currently, Dr. Payne is the CEO at youth UpRising, an non-profit in East Oakland serving as a neighborhood hub providing services and programs to increase the health and wellbeing, community connections and educational and career attainment of youth. Before taking on this leadership role at Youth UpRising, and after graduating with his doctorate Dr. Payne became an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Cal State East Bay. Prior to joining the EdD program, he served as the Director of Training at Lincoln Child Center.


Dr. Payne holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree in Social Work from Cal State East Bay. He received his doctorate for his dissertation titled The Three Commitments: Critical Race Theory and Disproportionate Suspension of Black Males.

Rick Ramos

Rick Ramos is the Dean of Instruction for the Allied Health and Public Safety division at Merritt College in Oakland. Previously, he was the professor and department chair of the Public Safety Education program at Contra Costa College. Dr. Ramos is also the Chair of the College Curricuum Committee.  He has served in a variety of administrative roles at his college including the distance education coordinator for the college and the chair of the Career Technical Education committee.

Dr. Ramos holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Ethnic Studies from Cal State East Bay and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Sacramento State University. He received his doctorate for his dissertation titled Stopping at the Starting Line: College Students Who Assess But Don't Enroll.

Damien Robinson

Damien Robinson is an Academic Coach for Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) at Montgomery College in Maryland.  Prior to resettling in Maryland, Dr. Robinson was the Special Education Coordinator at Orchard School District. Before that, he was an Educational Advisor with the San Francisco Independent Living Skills Program where he provided academic advising and resources to foster and probationary youth between the ages of 14-21.

His research interests include ways to change methods used to refer students in special education and ways to retain foster youth in the public school system.

Dr. Robinson holds a B.S. in Psychology from Howard University and an M.A. in Multi-Cultural Counseling from San Diego State University. He received his doctorate for his dissertation titled Out of the Mouths of Babes: Hope & Hopelessness in Middle School Students of Color.

Tara Taupier

Tara Taupier is the Superintendent for the Tamalpais Union High School District. Dr. Taupier, who was promoted from her position as assistant superintendent of educational service, has been with the district since 2002 and held a variety of leadership positions including Senior Director of Instructional Technology and Staff Development for the Tamalpais District. Before that, she taught history at Redwood High School in Larkspur and was the Social Studies Teacher Leader.

Dr. Taupier holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Colby College and a Master of Education in Curriculum Instruction from the University of Massachusetts. She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled "Good Learning": Effective Instructional Practices as Identified by Suburban Students of Color.

Anjanette Winckler

Anjanette Winckler is the principal in the Santa Maria Bonita School District in Santa Maria, California.  Before that, Dr. Winckler was the principal at Morill Middle School in the Beryessa Union School District in San Jose.  She received her doctorate for her dissertation titled The Role of the Principal at High-Performing Title I Schools.