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Paving the Pathway for Education Research in Central Valley Colleges and Universities

JULY 22–24, 2022

UC Merced Conference Center


Submit Your Abstract for Talks or Posters by June 13th, 2022.

Student posters are eligible for cash prizes!!! Check out this paper for tips on making a great poster. 

Early-bird registration (deadline May 15): $30 per person

Regular registration (deadline June 13): $50 per person

Student registration: Free registration and lodging!

Community College Members: FREE REGISTRATION! 

Interested in sponsoring and/or vending? Register Here

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Research Outcomes

Symposium Description

About our Keynote Speaker

Planning Committee

Session Topics




CV-RISER aims to bring together researchers, educators, students, and leaders in the region’s institutions to a) discuss recent education research efforts and scientific evidence, b) propose pathways to addressing voids in education research, and c) facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and inter-institutional collaborations that elevate educational research and ensure research findings are documented, disseminated, and implemented to have a positive experience on our students' learning.

Research Outcomes

  1. The primary expected outcome of CV-RISER will be to disseminate education research findings from the Central Valley community, investigate trends in education research, and identify future directions for education research and practice.
  2. The secondary expected outcome is to encourage and facilitate networking and new interdisciplinary research collaborations between faculty, staff, and students from Central Valley institutions that result in rigorous research that addresses some of our nation’s most pressing education needs.
  3. The third expected outcome is to provide a space for undergraduate and graduate students to discover and understand the field of educational research and potential career pathways.

Symposium Description

Providing students with a high-quality education is integral to the success of any college or university, and yet what makes teaching and learning effective is not intuitive for most instructors. Evidenced-based education research is on the rise in many disciplines outside of Schools of Education and aims to identify effective instructional strategies and pedagogical approaches that facilitate deep learning. In the Central Valley of California, discipline-based education research (DBER) is still in its nascent stages, so it is critical to establish and nurture a community that focuses on evidence-based education principles and strategies that will positively impact the students across this region. Since all five in institutions (California State University (CSU) Stanislaus, CSU Fresno, Fresno City College, Merced College, and UC Merced) are minority-serving institutions (MSIs), the potential to design rigorous research that addresses some of the most pressing needs for our student population is high.

Education research is interdisciplinary by nature, requiring expertise in content, pedagogical methodologies, and empirical data collection and analysis. As a result, it relies on methods from diverse fields, such as psychology, economics, mathematics, computer science, cognitive science, sociology, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology. Even so, most college structures impede such interdisciplinary research, and the interdisciplinary connections necessary to carry out this research across the Central Valley are yet to be formed. CV-RISER offers an opportunity for interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaborations that will best meet the needs of the Central Valley student population.

About Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Alexis Patterson Williams is joining us from the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. She is dedicated to increasing the participation of women of color in STEM fields. Her research explores the intersection of equity studies, social psychology, and science education. More recently, she is focused on unpacking issues of equity and the role of social-emotional skills at play during student group work.

Dr. Patterson Williams is a native Californian and received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her Master’s degree from Stanford University. She received her doctorate in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education in Science from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to graduate school, she worked in Oakland Unified School District as an Assistant Director of an after-school program, a middle school science teacher, and as an intervention instructor at an elementary school. Dr. Patterson Williams earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSU East Bay.

Symposium Planning Committee

Zenaida Aguilar-Munoz, University of California, Merced

Jourjina Alkhouri, University of California, Merced

Sarah Bissonnette, California State University, Stanislaus

Dermot Donnelly-Hermosillo, California State University, Fresno

Cristine Donham, University of California, Merced

Brittany Harding, University of California, Merced

Aletha Harven, California State University, Stanislaus

Petra Kranzfelder, University of California, Merced

Don Lopez, Fresno City College

Erik Menke, University of California, Merced

Virginia Montero Hernandez, California State University, Stanislaus

Cathy Pohan, University of California, Merced

Jackie Shay, University of California, Merced

Brandon Tenn, Merced Community College

Emily Walter, California State University, Fresno

Randy Yerrick, California State University, Fresno

Program and Symposium Topics


Friday, July 22, 2022

Travel ~ Arrival ~ Rest ~ Community Building

7:30 PM –  Mix and Mingle (El Capitan Hotel Courtyard)

Saturday, July 23, 2022

7:30 AM – Arrival, check-in, poster set-up 

All-day – Posters on display in the main ballroom

Opening Remarks 8:45 AM

Session 1: Lightning Talks 9:00  – 9:30 AM Lightning Talks (advice on lightning talks)

Session 2: Mind Your “Q’s” and “Q’s”: Leveraging Quantitative and Qualitative Data in Education Research 9:30 – 10:30 AM

BREAK 10:30 – 10:50 AM 

Session 3: Reaching Across the Aisle: Evidence and Impact from Interdisciplinary Education Research 10:50 – 11:50 AM

Session 4: Applications for Culturally Responsive Teaching 1:30 – 2:30 PM

Session 5: Working groups, Research Meetings, and Collaborations 2:30 – 4:00 PM

  1. Education Research 101: Beginner's Guide
  2. Education Research Grant Writing
  3. Practitioner's Panel: Strategies to Implementing Evidenced-Based Teaching
  4. Career Panel in Education Research (for Graduate Students/Postdocs)

Session 6: Poster Session and Reception 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Banquet Dinner 6:00 PM

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Alexis Patterson Williams 7:00 PM 

Awards and Closing Remarks 8:00 PM

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Post-Symposium Independent Research and Discussions 7:30 AM – 2:00 PM 

Coffee, snacks, and box lunches will be provided. Enjoy researching!

Departure 2:00 PM (see you next year!)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Will food be provided?

    • Yes! We will have coffee, snacks, and meals covered! Please let us know your food restrictions or requests in the registration form. 

  • What type of lodging is available?

    • We will have block reservations at the El Capitan, the Courtyard Marriot, and the TownePlace Suites Merced.

    • For affordable lodging, we will have on-campus dormitory-style rooms on campus for single ($78) and double/triple ($58) occupancy. 

    • Lodging is not covered by conference registration. If you need financial support. Please contact our symposium coordinator Jackie Shay at

  • I am a student. Can I attend for free?

    • Yes! Students may attend the symposium free of charge!