UCLA Team Members

Paula Nazario

Assistant Director, UCLA Computer Science Equity Project

Paula Nazario, M.P.P. is the Assistant Director of the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X. She currently leads the Plugging into Power: Family and Community Engagement for Equitable CS Education research to build the capacity of community-based organizations in California serving parents, students, and low-income families of color to advocate for equity in computer science education. Previously, Paula was a Monica Salinas Policy Fellow at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute (LPPI), where she focused on COVID-19 relief programs, criminal justice reform, economic mobility and opportunity, and other issues affecting Latinx communities. She holds an M.P.P. with a data analytics certificate and B.A. in Political Science with a double minor in Civic Engagement and Education Studies, both from UCLA. She is a first-generation college student and was born and raised in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Paula is passionate about social justice, education equity, and economic mobility, and is committed to improving the educational opportunities for low-income students of color.

Jean Ryoo

Jean Ryoo

Director of Research, UCLA Computer Science Equity Project

Jean J. Ryoo, Ph.D. is the Director of Research of the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X. She is currently leading the “REAL-CS” Project’s effort to understand, from youth perspectives, what students are learning in introductory CS high school courses, and how their experiences with computing impact their engagement, agency, and identity in CS. This research-practice partnership with school districts and classroom teachers has the shared goal of surfacing historically underrepresented students’ voices in the growing “CS for All” movement. Prior to this, she worked with the Tinkering Studio of the San Francisco Exploratorium–a museum of science, art, and human perception–to direct research-practice partnerships focused on equity issues in afterschool STEM making programs (see, for example, the California Tinkering Afterschool Network). Jean builds on her varied experiences as a museum docent, afterschool educator, and public school teacher to inform her focus on using research as a tool to name and counter the inequities that our youth and teachers face in different educational contexts. Jean received her PhD from UCLA, MEdT from University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and her BA from Harvard University.

Julie Flapan

Co-Director, CSforCA, Director, UCLA Computer Science Equity Project

Dr. Julie Flapan is Co-Director of the CSforCA project where she advocates for K-12 computer science education in California to ensure its accessibility to all students, especially girls, students of color, and low-income students.  She also serves as Director of the Computer Science Project at UCLA’s Center X where she conducts research and works closely with practitioners to inform statewide policy. Previously, Julie served as Director of Public Engagement for UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access (IDEA) where she led the Education Justice Collaborative, integrating research, policy analysis, and coalition building through communications and grassroots organizing strategies to ensure all students have access to a meaningful education that prepares them for college, careers, and democratic participation. Her research interests include anti-bias/anti-racist education and social justice policies that provide equal opportunities for teaching and learning in low-income communities of color.  Julie has extensive experience facilitating workshops for teachers, parents and community leaders as part of the Anti-Defamation League’s A World of Difference education program. Julie graduated with a B.A. from Pitzer College, an M.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.  As an advocate for computer science education, her biggest (and admittedly hypocritical) struggle is getting her three children off their devices!

Roxana Hadad

Associate Director, UCLA Computer Science Equity Project

Roxana Hadad, PhD is Associate Director of the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X. She is the project director for Seasons of CS, a statewide CSforCA initiative to bring equity-minded computer science professional learning to educators in every region of California. She also manages SCALE-CA, a research-practice partnership focused on scaling teacher professional development, building the capacity of education leaders for local implementation, and contributing to the research base on expanding equity-minded computer science teaching and learning opportunities for California. Previously, she was the Director of Math, Science, and Technology at the Center for College Access and Success (CCAS) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. At CCAS, she developed and promoted STEM-focused opportunities for underrepresented Chicago Public School students and was PI on NSF-funded research examining formative assessment for computational thinking and cultural responsiveness in makerspaces. Roxana received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, her master’s degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Project at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Because of the opportunities computing has provided Roxana as a Latina and an artist, she is committed to ensuring more students have access to quality computing education.

University of Redlands Team Members

Nicol R. Howard

Dean, School of Education at University of Redlands

Dr. Nicol R. Howard is Dean for the School of Education at the University of Redlands. She is also the Co-Director of the Race in Education Analytics Learning Lab (the REAL Lab) where she engages with students and colleagues in critical quantitative and mixed methods research projects to critically examine systems, policies, and practices related to racial equity in education. Dr. Howard’s research focuses on learning experiences and identity development in STEM and Computer Science education, as well as family involvement and digital equity. She has published several books about digital equity, technology, computer science, and coding in classrooms and is co-editor for the Journal of Computer Science Integration.  In addition to her experience in higher education, Dr. Howard has taught at the high school level (9th – 12th grades and Special Education) and in grades K through 5, and was a Program Specialist in Personalized and Blended Learning in California K-12 public school districts.

Rocío Mendoza

Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership and Higher Education, University of Redlands

Dr. Rocío Mendoza (she/her/ella) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership and Higher Education and teaches in the Ed.D. and M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program at the University of Redlands. Drawing from critical frameworks, Dr. Mendoza teaches and writes about the logics and methods of marginalization in higher education, the assets, and epistemologies of communities of color, and the institutional structures and practices shaping student of color outcomes. She has over 15 years of experience working in academic support/training programs, including TRiO Programs and Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) that support first-generation, low-income, students of color. Dr. Mendoza earned a B.A. degree in Sociology, with a double major in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in Higher Education from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Mendoza’s approaches to teaching, research and service are also deeply shaped by her personal experiences growing up in the city of La Puente, California, as a first-generation Chicana, and daughter of immigrants from Mexico.

Nicole Broadnax

Supervisor of Teacher Education for University of California Riverside, and a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Redlands

Dr. Nicole Broadnax (she/her/hers) is a K-12 educational leader and researcher. She is the Supervisor of Teacher Education for University of California Riverside, and a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Redlands where she works closely with the Race and Analytics Learning Lab (REALab) on multiple studies. Dr. Broadnax’s educational background includes a Bachelors’ Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University Northridge, a Master of Science in Education with focus in Curriculum & Instruction, and Doctorate in Education, Leadership for Educational Justice. Dr. Broadnax is also working on research connected to her recent dissertation on educational equity and the School-to- Prison Pipeline. Her areas of expertise include culturally responsive pedagogy, cross-curricular design, and Universal Learning Design at the primary level. As a veteran educator of 10 years for Riverside Unified School District, she led at the school site level in STEM, Computer Science and Gifted & Talented instructional design. As a first generation college graduate, she works passionately as an advocate within K-12 schools to support educational equity for disadvantaged and minoritized student groups.