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Symposium to Open Doors on Education Research in the Valley

June 7, 2022

For the first time, UC Merced has partnered with local higher education institutions for a two-day symposium dedicated to education research findings from the Central Valley.

The Central Valley Region Interdisciplinary Symposium on Education Research (CV-RISER) will bring together researchers, educators, students and leaders from the region’s institutions to discuss recent education research efforts and scientific evidence, propose pathways to addressing voids in education research, and facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and inter-institutional collaborations and more.

“Having an education conference in the Central Valley is extremely important for two reasons. First, it provides an opportunity to shift the focus from a large research-focused university onto regional schools, where there is a lot of innovative work happening that gets overlooked. Second, it helps us build connections between the various institutions in the Central Valley, which doesn’t happen as much as it should,” said Chemistry Professor Erik Menke.

The cross-campus collaboration would not be possible without the support and dedication of several committee members from UC Merced, CSU Stanislaus, CSU Fresno, Fresno City College and Merced College.

“We all serve a student population that is highly diverse and representative of California but has been historically under-resourced and under-served, especially within the sciences. Therefore, it is important for us to share our wealth of knowledge with each other and the successes and failures as we pursue and learn from education research at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs),” said Molecular and Cellular Biology Teaching Professor Petra Kranzfelder.

"CV-RISER provides a rare opportunity for faculty from community colleges, CSU’s, UC’s, and private colleges to come together to discuss and explore the landscape of Educational research.  I would encourage all faculty to take advantage of this opportunity to work collaboratively at understanding and resolving educational challenges through research," said Vice President of Instruction for Fresno City College Don Lopez.

Professor Alexis Patterson Williams Ph.D. from the School of Education at UC Davis will be the event's keynote speaker. Her research explores the intersection of equity studies, social psychology and science education.

“I think people should participate because it’s a good way to meet new people doing really interesting work in education, as well as a good way to make connections with people interested in doing collaborative work from a variety of regional institutions,” said Menke.

CV-RISER kicks off with a mixer at El Capitan Hotel in downtown Merced on Friday, July 22, followed by a full day of talks, posters and discussion on July 23, and concludes with a dedicated research day on Sunday, July 24, at UC Merced’s Conference Center.

Participants and students are asked to sign up their abstracts for talks and posters by June 24. Student posters are eligible for cash prizes of up to $500. Regular registration is $50 per person — all students and community college affiliates can attend at no cost.

For more information, including lodging opportunities, sponsorship and registering, visit the CV-RISER website.