We Are the History-Geography Project

Daniel Diaz

Daniel Diaz, Ed.D
Director, The UCLA History-Geography Project

Dr. Diaz taught high school social studies in Los Angeles County for 12 years. His research and work have focused on supporting foster and homeless youth mitigate common pitfalls in the hopes of achieving academic and personal success. Dr. Diaz is also exploring the ways that educational technology can be harnessed by social studies teachers to promote social justice, improve media literacy, build historical thinking skills and support at-risk students.

Cindy Mata
Associate Director, The UCLA History-Geography Project

Cindy Mata was born in El Salvador and moved to the U.S. as a young child where she attended public schools in the San Gabriel Valley. After graduating from U.C. Santa Barbara’s Teacher Education Program, Cindy began her career as a history teacher in LAUSD. She taught for several years in East and South Los Angeles before returning to her home district of West Covina Unified as a teacher and instructional coach in history education. Cindy has taught all secondary history courses from seventh to twelfth grade, including courses in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. Her interests include helping educators foster students’ historical thinking skills and ensuring that all students get access to the counter narratives of People of Color in their classrooms.

Jamie Gravell
Social Studies Coach
Jamie Gravell is a doctoral student in the Urban Schooling and Learning Sciences program in the Department of Education at UCLA. She previously taught social studies to high school students in the Washington, DC Public Schools. She is currently interested in the possibilities of utilizing Critical Race Theory, sociocultural theory, and digital technology to design for and support pre- and in-service teachers to engage students in more empowering and authentic social studies curriculum and instruction in K-12 public schools. Her dissertation work focuses on the ways in which pre-service and 1st year teachers make sense of the intersections between social justice and technology.

Amparo Chavez-Gonzalez

Amparo Chavez-Gonzalez
Social Studies Coach
Amparo Chavez-Gonzalez grew up in East Los Angeles after emigrating to the US from Mexico.  After graduating from high school she went to college on the East Coast,where she stayed to teach in New York City.  As a teacher for nine years, she taught elementary, middle and high school students in inner city New York.  She was lucky enough to work at Central Park East Secondary School in the 90’s while attending Teachers College, Columbia, before going to work at various non-profits working with teens and families.  After a short time working in Washington, DC for StreetLaw, Amparo returned to Los Angeles.  She joined Center X in 2004  as a ELA and History coach in Schools throughout Los Angeles.  Her interests include developing Historical writers and ways of making history interactive, exciting, and rigorous.

Miguel Covarrubias

Miguel Covarrubias
Teacher Leader
Miguel Covarrubias grew up in South Los Angeles. He has taught both at the middle and high school level in LAUSD. He has his Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of California, Riverside and his Master’s in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has developed curriculum for LAUSD, the ACLU and the UCLA History-Geography Project. He was the recipient of the United Way Inspirational Teacher Award in 2014. He is a strong supporter of social justice and believes, as bell hooks, does that “the classroom remains the most radical space of possibility.” His teaching is rooted in both culturally responsive teaching practices and social cultural theory. He believes teaching history should be a vehicle for creating positive change in our communities and can give a voice to marginalized communities whose stories and contributions have long been ignored and left out of mainstream history instruction.

Ronald Mellor

Ronald Mellor
Faculty Advisor, The UCLA History-Geography Project

Ronald Mellor received his Ph.D. in Classics from Princeton University.  Since 1976, he has been teaching Greek and Roman History at UCLA where he is now Distinguished Research Professor of History.  From 1992 to 1997 Mellor was Chair of the UCLA History Department.  He was the founding co-Director of the History-Geography Project twenty-five years ago (1992), and served as Faculty Principal Investigator of statewide CHSSP (1997-2006).

He has taught courses on Greek and Roman History as well as Ancient World History at UCLA and on-line.  He has led UCLA travel study trips to Greece and Rome between 1994 and 2006, and ten Alumni Travel tours to Italy, France, Slovenia, Turkey as well as cruises in the Aegean, western Mediterranean, and along the Danube and Rhine.  His research has centered on ancient religion and Roman historiography. His books include: THEA ROME: The Goddess Roma in the Greek World (1975); Tacitus (1993); Tacitus: The Classical Heritage (1995); The Historians of Ancient Rome (3rd ed. 2013); The Roman Historians (1999); and Augustus and the Creation of the Roman Empire (2005). Tacitus “Annals” was published by the Oxford University Press in 2011.

In addition to working for twenty-five years with K-12 teachers, Dr. Mellor is the co-general editor (with Professor Amanda Podany of CSU Pomona) of The World in Ancient Times – a series of nine volumes on ancient world history for young readers published by the Oxford University Press in 2004.