CEEL Faculty Affiliates are accomplished scholars whose individual and collective contributions align with CEEL's research, policy, and practice efforts focused on social justice, equity, and access for culturally and linguistically diverse student populations.

Dr. Franca Dell'Olio

Franca Dell'Olio, Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and Director of the Administrative Services Programs, a graduate and undergraduate of Loyola Marymount University and the School of Education, most proudly rejoined her Alma Mater in 2005. She earned B.A. degrees in Spanish and History, her Single Subject Teaching Credentials in the like fields, her M. A. in Bilingual Cross-Cultural Education, and a Professional Clear California Administrative Services Credential. She most recently earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy (Ed.D.) from Pepperdine University. From 1992 until rejoining the LMU family in 2005, she served the Culver City Unified School District community as a high school Spanish and Social Studies teacher, Coordinator of programs such as Advanced Placement, Site Improvement, and English Language Development, Assistant Principal of Attendance, Student Activities and Discipline, Assistant Principal of Guidance, Instruction and Curriculum, and ultimately as Principal of Culver City High School.

Her studies and research agenda include:

  • Creating and sustaining leadership capacity, collaborative communities of practice, and cultures of excellence
  • Cycles of Inquiry and Reflection as they relate to student success and overall school improvement efforts
  • Leading the charge for success: Our English Language Learners and implications for the Principal
  • Parent and Community Involvement within Schools

Dr. Kathryn Lindholm-Leary

Kathryn Lindholm-Leary received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at UCLA, where she worked at the Spanish Speaking Mental Health Research Center and the Center for Language Education and Research. She is currently Professor Emerita of Child and Adolescent Development at San Jose State University, where she taught for 28 years. At San Jose State, Dr. Lindholm-Leary received a Teacher-Scholar award, was a finalist for the President’s Scholar award, and received a variety of other awards for her teaching, service, and research.

Her research interests focus on understanding the factors that influence student achievement, with a particular emphasis on culturally and linguistically diverse students in dual language programs. Dr. Lindholm-Leary has one of the most comprehensive longitudinal databases on students in dual language programs in the country.

Previous research in the 1980’s includes studies of: language development in young bilingual children (ages 2-5), how first-and third-generation Mexican American parents socialize their children through normal everyday conversation, acculturative stress among immigrant students, and ethnic differences in child abuse in Los Angeles County.

Dr. Chan Lü

Chan Lü is currently an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Chinese Language Instruction at the University of Washington, Seattle. She received her Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from Carnegie Mellon University and prior to that, an M.Ed in Teaching Chinese a Second Language from Beijing Language and Culture University. She was the recipient of the 2006 Jiede Empirical Research Grant for Chinese Pedagogy/Chinese Applied Linguistics from CLTA, the Language Learning Dissertation Grant in 2009. She also received a Junior Scholar grant in 2012 from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and a Research Priorities Phase III grant from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in 2014.

Her research interests are in second language reading, biliteracy acquisition and second language teacher development.

Carola Oliva-Olson

Dr. Carola Oliva-Olson is the Vice-President of Early Childhood and ECS Faculty at EDvance College. She has more than 30 years of experience in early childhood education, workforce development, technical assistance, and research. Carola’s work centers around advancing access, equity and quality education for all children, families, and educators. She is a leading expert on multilingualism, diversity, equity, early childhood programming, workforce development, and family engagement. Before joining EDvance, she was executive director of language justice and multilingual education at the Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence, developing and implementing changes that directly benefited superdiverse children, their families, communities, and educators.

As an associate professor at California State University Channel Islands, Carola helped prepare future early childhood educators to work in settings serving young children from infancy to third grade. Carola also worked as the principal investigator for the California Department of Education’s Dual Language Learner Professional Development Grant and the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Early Initiatives Dual Language Learner Professional Development Grant. In 2020, she was appointed to the California Governor’s Early Childhood Policy Council and continues to serve on numerous state and national advisory groups. Her work has been instrumental to advancing equity in the field of early childhood education.

Dr. Laurie Olsen

Laurie Olsen was the founding Director and now Strategic Advisor to the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) PreK-3 initiative. She has spent the last five decades researching, writing, advocating, and providing leadership development and technical assistance on educational equity with an emphasis on immigrant and English Learner education, language access, and rights. Working with hundreds of school districts across the nation, Dr. Olsen has designed, demonstrated, evaluated, and implemented powerful PreK-12th grade English Learner programs and services that support effective school-change strategies.

Dr. Olsen’s research interests include: the history and dynamics of movements in the United States for language minority education, effective practices in English Learner and immigrant education in preschool through high school, and equity-focused school reform. She has published dozens of books, videos, and articles on English Learner education, including the award-winning Made in America: Immigrants in U.S. Schools and Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California’s Long Term English Learners. Her research and publications on long-term English Learners have affected policies and practices throughout the country.

She was a founding board member and currently serves on the Executive Board of Californians Together, a coalition to protect the rights of English Learners. Dr. Olsen has also served on the California Public Schools Accountability Advisory Committee and is Co-Chair of California’s English Learner Road Map. For 23 years, she directed California Tomorrow’s work in K-12 education with a focus on immigrant and English Learner education.

Dr. Olsen holds a PhD in social and cultural studies in education from University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Robert Rueda

Dr. Robert Rueda was the Stephen H. Crocker Professor of Education at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, where he taught in the area of Psychology in Education. He also had a joint appointment in the Psychology Department. His research centered on the sociocultural basis of motivation, learning, and instruction, with a focus reading and literacy in English learners, and students in at-risk conditions, and he taught courses in learning and motivation.

He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the American Educational Research Association, and is also a member of the International Society for Cultural Research and Activity Theory, the Council for Exceptional Children (Mental Retardation Division; Learning Disabili¬ties Division; Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners), the American Anthropological Association (Council on Anthropology and Education), the International Reading Association, the California Reading Association, and the National Reading Conference.

He completed his doctoral work at the University of California at Los Angeles in Educational Psychology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition at the University of California, San Diego in cross-cultural psychology. He served as a panel member on the National Academy of Science Report on the Overrepresentation of Minority Students in Special Education, and also served as a member of the National Literacy Panel (SRI International and Center for Applied Linguistics) looking at issues in early reading with English language learners. He recently served as the associate editor of the American Educational Research Journal, and currently serves on the editorial boards of several educational journals.

Dr. Fernando Estrada

Fernando Estrada, Ph.D., contributes actively to the scholarship of college teaching and the personal and academic excellence of under served-under represented minorities. Dr. Estrada is an expert in the areas of masculinity and gender within counseling and educational settings, and specifically with Latino populations. His work has been published in peer-review outlets like Hispanic Higher Education and the Journal of Counseling Psychology. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California at San Diego, two master's degrees in counseling psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University, and a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in counseling psychology from Arizona State University.

Dr. Estrada’s research interests include masculinity and multicultural education. He currently leads a research team on positive masculinity and psychological health. Dr. Estrada is also active in studying the role of affect in a multicultural context. He incorporates stimulus-response technology to study questions related to multicultural education and counseling.

Dr. Joy Ee

Dr. Ee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching Learning. Her research agendas have prioritized the following topics: education for immigrant students, dual language / bilingual education, and school segregation and racial disparities. The dominant theme penetrating all these topics is educational equity to ensure fair and equal access to quality education for all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, home language, and immigration status of students or their parents. Her research has also examined the interdependent nature of individuals (e.g., students, parents of students, and educators), institutions (e.g., schools, districts, and communities), and a larger system (e.g., state and nation), guided by quantitative (using both primary and secondary data) and mixed-methods approaches. Her scholarship has made contributions to the field of education through various formats. Her most recent book is entitled ” Schools Under Siege: The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Educational Equity” from Harvard Education Press in 2021. Her peer-reviewed articles have appeared in different journals, including American Educational Research Journal. Bilingual Research Journal, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, the Korean Language in America. Journal of Applied Research on Children, and Journal of International Students. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the UCLA Civil Rights Project. She also earned an MA degree in the Teaching of English as a Second Language at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. William Perez

William Perez is a professor in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. His research focuses on the social and psychological processes associated with academic success and higher education access among immigrant, undocumented, indigenous, and deported students in the U.S. and Mexico. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading academic experts on undocumented students. In 2009, he received the 2009 Mildred Garcia Prize for Excellence in Research from the Association for the Study of Higher Education for his book, We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream. His follow up book, Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education, was selected for the 2013 Critics Choice Award by the American Educational Studies Association. He has been interviewed or quoted as an academic expert in various media outlets including NBC Nightly News, Time Magazine, the LA Times, Hispanic Magazine, the Washington Post, and NPR’s All Things Considered. He has also received various awards for his research on immigration and education including the Stanford University Distinguished Scholar Alumni Award, the early career scholar award from the Hispanic Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association and the Fulbright Fellowship. For the past four years (2015-2018), he has been selected for Education Week’s annual ranking of the top 200 university-based scholars in the U.S. who are doing the most to influence educational policy and practice.

Dr. Cathery Yeh

Dr. Cathery Yeh is an Assistant Professor in STEM Education and a core faculty member in the Center for Asian American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Her research examines the role race, class, gender, and language play in the constructions of ability in mathematics classrooms. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Mathematics Education Fund, National Endowment for the Humanities, and other agencies, her scholarship is collaborative, building research partnerships with school districts and communities to attend to the strengths, needs, and goals of teachers, students, and the community served.

Her work as an engaged scholar builds on 20+ years as a dual language classroom teacher and educator, visiting over 300 student homes, while family and community members came into the classroom to co-teach mathematics. Dr. Yeh is actively involved in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, currently serving as an elected member of the Board of Directors (2021-2024).

Dr. Ayanna Cooper

Ayanna Cooper, Ed.D., is an educator, bestselling author, and advocate whose work has centered around combating issues related to multilingual students’ civil rights, racism, and anti-Blackness in K-12 English language teaching and learning. She is a U.S. Department of State English Language Specialist alumna, having served on projects in Kuwait and Brazil, and served a term on the Board of Directors for TESOL International Association (2020-2023). At Howard University’s College of Education, she is a part-time faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Dr. Cooper engages in “real talk” storytelling to bring linguistically diverse student populations to the center. She is the author of several publications that include And Justice for ELs: A Leader’s Guide to Creating and Sustaining Equitable Schools, Black Immigrants in the United States (co-edited), multiple chapters including one in Teacher’s College Press Justice for All: Realities and Possibilities of Black English Learners in K–12 Schools and as the founder of Language Magazine’s Pass the Mic Series editor.