Dear Colleagues,

As you prepare for an unusual fall quarter, we wanted to let you know that the UCI Education Research Initiative is here as a resource for educators looking to implement evidence-based teaching practices and education researchers working to conduct their research in a remote world.

Throughout the year, ERI will continue to build community among instructors and higher education researchers. Please keep an eye on our monthly updates and visit our website for more information on ERI and our activities.


UCI Education Research Initiative Team
Brian Sato
Natascha Buswell
Di Xu
Laura Tucker
Adrienne Williams

ERI October Seminar Speaker: Beth Schussler

Beth SchusslerThe Education Research Initiative team is thrilled to introduce our next speaker in the ERI seminar series, Elisabeth Schussler, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Professor Schussler studies how learning environments affect student learning and is PI for BioTAP, a network of campuses that coordinates Biology graduate TA training. Her talk, “Emotion in Action: Student Anxiety, Instructors and Introductory Biology,” will be held from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, on Zoom. This talk will discuss what student and instructor factors are associated with variations in student anxiety.

If you are interested in attending this talk, please RSVP here to receive the meeting Zoom link.

Join the ERI “In Progress” Talk on October 27

Kevin HuieThis month we are inviting the team led by Executive Director of Student Success Initiatives, Kevin Huie, who was awarded an ERI grant last winter to implement a transfer student-focused peer mentor program. Kevin’s team will share progress, discuss plans for assessment and look for feedback from the UCI community as they continue their work. This discussion will take place from 3-4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27 on Zoom.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here for the Zoom link.

ERI Welcomes New Team Member Sabrina Solanki

Sabrina SolankiPlease welcome our Sabrina Solanki, who will be serving as our first Academic Administrator. Sabrina completed her Ph.D. in Education Policy at UCI School of Education. She then served as a postdoctoral scholar in the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on issues and topics that revolve around higher education policy. Specifically, her work centers on improving STEM education and teacher effectiveness in addition to providing a basis for implementing and evaluating educational interventions. Sabrina will be helping ERI continue to build community on and beyond campus, grow our education programs, conduct research, and secure external funding.

Fall Seminar Series on Racial Justice in STEM

SABER logoThis fall, the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER), has established a seven part seminar series aimed at creating more inclusive academic environments. The next part of the series will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 8 and focus on racial microaggressions in science. More information about this and all parts of this series can be found here.

Recent ERI Accomplishments

Funding icon Funding

·    UCI LIFTED (Leveraging Inspiring Futures Through Educational Degrees)

·    UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence: Advancing Equity in the Age of COVID

·    Michelson Spark Grants

·   Presentations icon Presentations

Duncan Pritchard (Philosophy)
Human Cognition and Learning: An Educational Perspective Conference Keynote Address, Jadavpur University, India – August 2020

Natascha Buswell (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ISE graduate Seminar – September 2020

Programming icon Programming

Building off the success of its Transfer Edge program, UCI Student Success Initiatives has launched its First Year Transfer Experience (FYTE) program. Leveraging an ERI mini grant, FYTE will enable 40 transfer students to receive peer mentoring, counseling and workshops geared toward fostering a sense of belonging and promoting academic achievement.

We look forward to continuing our collaborative work and engaging with researchers across the campus. If you have a project that you feel could leverage the expertise of our team of postdocs, please feel free to reach out to

For more information about the Education Research Initiative, visit