Dr. Susan Yonezawa, associate director of UC San Diego’s Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE), received a 2019 Dr. Winston C. Doby Impact Award at this year’s annual University of California System-wide College and Preparation (CAP) Forum luncheon on May 8 at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla.
The CAP Forum convenes UC professionals from throughout its 10 campus system who work to advance higher education for all students, with a focus on first-generation, low-income and underserved students who need additional support to become college ready.
Two outstanding UC professionals are awarded the Dr. Winston C. Doby Impact Award each year at the annual CAP forum for their commitment to improving educational opportunities for California students. Charles Underwood, executive director of University-Community Links, also received the award.
CREATE colleagues were on hand at the luncheon to congratulate Yonezawa on her award.
“I am honored and delighted to be recognized as a Winston C. Doby Impact Award recipient. To be considered for a lifetime achievement award means I’ve been doing this a long time,” Yonezawa said. “However, I’ve been a ‘UC person’ for 31 years. I started at UCLA as an undergraduate at 17 and was there for 10 years. I spent one year at Johns Hopkins and while there, remember reading about Prop 209 and what was happening in California, and it really hurt my heart. So as soon as Bud Mehan [founder and former director of CREATE] recruited me to come back to San Diego I came, because I really wanted to do my life’s work at the UC system, which is an engine of social and economic opportunity for California’s low-income communities.”
Yonezawa grew up in Norwalk, California and attended UCLA as a first-generation student, later completing her Ph.D. in educational policy also from UCLA. The grandchild of fieldworkers from the cane fields in Maui, HI, Dr. Yonezawa has spent her career supporting low-income students of color. In 1999, Yonezawa helped launch UC San Diego’s Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) where she has played a central role developing CREATE from an idea to a robust, equity-minded, and thriving center that supports the campus’s Early Academic Outreach Program, five TRIO grants, four California Subject Matter Projects, one statewide CSMP, and the CREATE STEM Success Initiative (CSSI), a six-year chancellor-funded initiative re-inventing how universities can co-create more equitable opportunities to learn. Yonezawa was awarded the Dr. Winston C. Doby Impact Award for her outstanding work at CREATE and for her work in CSSI efforts.
“As the CSSI Network Coordinator for the past six years, Susan has played a central role in the Initiative’s work as a key form of social justice: leveraging a university to increase local K-12 and K-20 opportunities to learn,” said Mica Pollock, CREATE director and professor in the Department of Education Studies at UC San Diego. “Susan has been key for envisioning, designing, and leading this Initiative – one that has grown immensely with her support.”
While producing nationally recognized research products, Yonezawa has participated in numerous advising groups on campus and in the K-12 community.
At the 2017 San Diego Math Network Zeroing In Symposium with UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
Many of CREATE’s robust projects involve Yonezawa specifically. She helped bring 24 grants to campus over the last seven years and currently oversees 17 large-scale projects. Three of these projects are particularly notable for efforts to bring new and necessary learning opportunities to low income, first-generation students and their teachers. This includes the nearly $1M National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer Science: Creating a Village for Educators grant, in which Yonezawa, as a grant principal investigator, has been supporting districts to create completely new K-12 computer science courses regionally; a $2M Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded San Diego Math Network that has been developing educator communities to improve math teaching across four large districts; and the recently concluded $500K ONR-REAL project that studied how best to link scientists to 80 high school science teachers to improve content and pedagogical practices in high school science classrooms.
Yonezawa also oversees many CSSI projects, including bringing alumni resources to high school opportunities to learn in 20 area high schools, another studying and addressing African-American students’ disproportionate absence from fourth-year math courses in high school, and many more, in collaboration with CREATE colleagues and collaborators across campus and community.
In 2014, Yonezawa was selected as a University-wide individual recipient of UC San Diego’s Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action and Diversity Award (now the Inclusive Excellence Award).
About UC San Diego CREATE
The Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) is an educational research center on the campus of UC San Diego composed of sub‐organizations and individuals linked to thousands of educators, underrepresented students and community organizations in the San Diego region. CREATE is home to experienced, equity-focused researchers and practitioners who have longstanding, trusted expertise in education program design and execution, research and evaluation, grant application, teacher development, and student college assistance.
CREATE works with educators and students in hundreds of schools throughout the county and has established ongoing systemic partnerships with the Vista Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Sweetwater Union High School District, and Chula Vista Elementary School District, among others, in addition to UC San Diego’s award-winning formal partnership schools for low-income youth, such as The Preuss School at UCSD, Gompers Preparatory Academy and Lincoln High School.
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