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Faculty Additions, School of Education

Faculty Additions to UC Riverside’s Graduate School of Education

New Professors to Study Educational Policy, Special Education, School Organization and Management

(August 11, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — Three new faculty members are scheduled to arrive at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside this fall, bringing expertise in school organization and management, educational policy and special education.

The arrival of Natalie Becker, Rollanda O’Connor and Robert Ream to the faculty, add depth to the graduate school’s highly regarded faculty and to key areas of research and graduate programs, according to Steven Bossert, dean of the Graduate School of Education at UCR.

“Natalie Becker brings a creative, sociological perspective to the study of schools as organizations. Her research on school vouchers will augment our outstanding graduate program in Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies,” he said.

“Professor O'Connor joins a distinguished faculty in Special Education,” Bossert added. “She is one of the top scholars nationally in the field of reading.”

And of Robert Ream, Bossert said: “Dr. Ream's research on mobility, race and ethnic differences in students' education enhances the Graduate School of Education's focus on critical issues affecting California schools today.”

School Organization and Management
Natalie Crow Becker
comes to UC Riverside as an assistant professor of education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies in 2004 from the University of Wisconsin. Her thesis was titled “The Impact of School Organization on Family-School Relationships in Two Urban Elementary Schools.” Her dual Master’s Degrees in educational policy studies and Latin American studies also came from UW-Madison. She joins the Graduate School of Education’s Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies research group.

Special Education
Rollanda O’Connor
comes to UC Riverside as a professor of education from the University of Pittsburgh. She received a Ph.D. in Special Education and reading from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1992 after teaching in special and general education public school classrooms for 16 years. Her specialty is special education programs and how children acquire reading skills. In Pittsburgh she focused on early identification of reading disability and intervention for students with reading difficulties in the primary years. She is continuing her longitudinal work in early intervention, but also exploring treatments for older students with reading disabilities.

Educational Policy
Robert Ketner Ream
comes to UC Riverside as an assistant professor after three years as a RAND/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in educational policy. His expertise lies in examining the social and relational factors underpinning the “achievement gap,” which disadvantages minority youth in K-12 education. His most recent work links research on student and residential mobility with the literature on social cohesion to show that underachievement among U.S. Latinos is partly due to high rates of mobility, which impinge on their social networks. He received a Ph.D. in education from UC, Santa Barbara in 2001.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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