Jean J. Ryoo, PhD 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.
Jane Margolis is a Senior Researcher at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Since 1994 her work has focused on the underrepresentation of females and students of color in computer science education. Margolis is the lead author of two award-winning books: Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing (MIT Press, 2002), which examines the gender gap in computer science at the college level; and Stuck in the Shallow End: Education Race, and Computing (MIT Press, 2008), which examines the low number of African-Americans, Latinos, and females in computer science at the high school level. Margolis has helped build a long-lasting partnership with LAUSD, the second largest school district in the country, around broadening participation in computing. She has been the PI on major NSF grants focused on broadening participation in computing and democratizing computer science education, and has served as a national leader on this issue. In 2016, Margolis was awarded as a White House Champion of Change for her work in broadening participation in computing.
LOS ANGELES TEAM
Nina Kasuya is the Program Manager for the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X. She received her BA in Ethnomusicology with a minor in Music Industry from UCLA. In addition to her work with the Computer Science Equity Project, Nina works as a professional singer and educator. She can be seen performing with HIVE (vocal), Crimes of the Heart Cabaret (theater), and Hamiltease: A Burlesque Parody and Tribute to an American. Nina is currently the director of the musical theater program and a cappella group at Emerson Community Charter School.
Wei Wei is the Graduate Student Researcher for the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X. She is a first-year PhD student in Urban Schooling at UCLA and received her MSEd in Learning Sciences and Technologies from University of Pennsylvania. Wei has great passion for designing culturally-responsive learning environments for students from all social, economic, and cultural backgrounds and she has particular interest in STEAM education, maker education, and social emotional learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wei established a mental health support platform FindSelf to support the wellbeing of a broader Chinese international student community. (Team member: 2021-present)
Tiera Chanté Tanksley
Tiera Chantè Tanksley is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies within UCLA’s Urban Schooling program. Broadly, her research examines the intersectional impacts of race, gender, class and age on the experiences of Black girls in media, technology and education. Grounded in Black feminist thought and critical race theory, her robust research agenda sheds light on the ways Black girls intersect with and are intersected by media and technology systems as they attempt to navigate K-16 educational institutions. Designed in response to #Blacklivesmatter and the growing presence of racialized violence online, Ms. Tanksley’s dissertation study examines the socio-academic consequences of witnessing viral Black death for the Internet’s most vocal and visible users: Black girls and women-becoming. Overall, her scholarship responds to calls for more intersectional analyses of Internet technology that can recognize the lived experiences, modes of resistance and technological contributions of Black girls around the world.
Ms. Tanksley’s professional background includes an MA in Cultural Studies in Education from UCLA and a BS in Elementary Education from Syracuse University. Recently, her contributions to diversity in research were recognized by Yale University and she was inducted into the Edward Bouchet African American Honor Society in April 2017. (Team member: 2018-2019)
Kendrake Tsui is an Undergraduate Student Researcher for the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA Center X. He is a fourth-year undergraduate working towards his BS in Computer Science at UCLA. Having not had access to computer science classes in high school, Kendrake’s research interests center around making computer science education accessible and equitable at the high school and collegiate level. Some of Kendrake’s contributions towards UCLA Computer Science include being a Learning Assistant for the introductory courses CS 31 and CS 32, and being an Advocacy Director for Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), where he inaugurated CS Welcome Day – an annual event that supports new science students in their transition to UCLA by providing them with an opportunity to talk to upperclass students and professors as well as resources on academic services, student organizations, course planning, internships, and mental health.
Cynthia Estrada is a doctoral student within the Social Science and Comparative Education program at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a first generation college graduate and Chicana, her research interests center around college access and choice for students of underserved populations. She is particularly interested in learning if or how messages of prestige impact college decision making amongst students of color. Prior to UCLA, Cynthia studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received her BA in English with a minor in Applied Psychology and Education. (Team member: 2018-2019)
Ms. Stephanie Bundle, founder and CEO of Lifestyle Education & Resource Services, is a PhD. Candidate in the School of Social Work at Jackson State University. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Tougaloo College. Ms. Bundle received her B.S. degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Flint and her M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, Education from Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN. During her career as a Social Worker, she has provided individual and group counseling services for at risk youth, men and women in crisis, as well as families. She has worked and consulted with diverse cultural backgrounds as well as various organizations, worked and taught as a graduate assistant instructor at educational institutions. Ms. Bundle currently serves as a public speaker, facilitator, trainer, and teacher. She is a faithful member and youth leader at Word of Life Church in Flowood, MS. (Team member: 2019-present)
Je’Monda Roy is a research consultant for the computer science equity project. Je’Monda has experience with documentary work and research observation. She recently completed her Master’s of Fine Arts at The University of Mississippi in Documentary Expression where her thesis project focused heavily on black womanhood and the experiences and revelations black women with natural hair endure at a predominantly white institution. A Mississippi native, born and raised in Jackson, Je’Monda is committed to elevating and supporting the black community through studies of grassroots civil and human rights movements in documentary work. She has and will continue to do that in any task asked and given to her and simply hopes to impact others along the way. (Team member: 2019-present)
Shelly Hollis is the Assistant Director for the Center for Cyber Education at Mississippi State University (MSU). Through the center, Hollis leads the state-wide Computer Science for Mississippi (CS4MS) initiative on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Education. She facilitates the development and implementation of computer science curriculum and teacher training through out the state. She is PI on two CSForAll National Science Foundation grants. One is focused on teacher training and endorsement and the other is examining barriers to CS education in high-poverty, rural areas of Mississippi. She also has a private industry grant to develop a dual-credit two-year career and technical education program in software development. Hollis has helped facilitate the adoption of K-12 computer science standards for the state and received legislative funding for CS teacher training and curriculum development. Prior to joining MSU, Hollis worked as the Assistant Technology Director for a Mississippi School District. Prior to that she was co-founder of K&H Computing, a database development company in Irvine, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. (Team member: 2019-present)
Takeria (Keria) Blunt is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Digital Media program at Georgia Institute of Technology. As a graduate researcher in the Expressive Machinery Lab (EML), Keria’s work explores a variety of educational technologies based in computer science education (CSE) efforts. Her research focuses on centering the voices of marginalized populations in her analysis and development of educational tools to broaden participation in the field of computing. Keria is interested in co-creating CSE learning experiences, software, and courses for computing departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), given their unique atmospheres, histories, and challenges. Her work prioritizes the intersectional experiences of Black women undergraduate students across a variety of computing majors. When Keria isn’t conducting her research, she serves as a visual arts apprentice for the Journal of Equity & Excellence in Education, and as a researcher for UCLA’S Center X. (Team member: 2021-present)