Policy, Politics, & Leadership

Enrique Valencia López

Enrique Valencia López is a PhD student in the Policy, Politics and Leadership cluster at the Graduate School of Education. His research interests relate to three broad areas: the stratification of education by gender, immigration status and ethnicity; the measurement of teacher working conditions and well-being; and education in Latin America.

Before coming to Berkeley, Enrique worked for Mexico’s National Institute for Educational Evaluation and Assessment (INEE) in both the Policy and Indicators area. During that time, he co-authored Mexico’s first report on...

Rachel Elizabeth Williams

Rachel Williams is a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work explores the linkages between the political economy, segregation, education policy, and Black politics. Her dissertation utilizes qualitative and spatial methods to examine the contemporary processes that reconfigure racial injustice under new terms at the intersection of public policy domains – housing, education, district fragmentation. Rachel examines charter growth in relationship to new modes of segregation, such as predatory housing policies and county secession...

Qifan Zhang

Qifan Zhang is a PhD student in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, with a concentration in Policy, Politics, and Leadership. Qifan graduated from Tianjin University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. From there, she continued her studies at Georgetown University and received an MA in Public Policy. Before she came to Berkeley, Qifan interned at the National Institute of Education Sciences of China, a Chinese educational think tank.

She is interested in using quantitative methods to explore issues related to student...

María Rojas

María Rojas is a Chilean PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. In Chile, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a journalist for international affairs at CNN Chile. She became interested in specializing in education after working for two years as a Spanish Language Art teacher in a marginalized high school in Santiago. After that experience, she came to the United States with a Fulbright scholarship to pursue her Masters’ degree in Education Policy at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Currently, María’s research aims to...

Kevin Quintero

Kevin Quintero (He/Him/His) is a PhD student in the Policy, Politics, and Leadership cluster at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. Kevin’s research interests are using methodological and theoretical approaches to reveal the causes of political, social, and educational inequalities. His current research is focused on the politics of suburban education and analyzing the changing demographics of suburban communities and its impact on the electorate of American politics.

Kevin earned his BA from the University of California, Berkeley with majors in Political Science and...

Jeremy Martin

Jeremy’s research explores the role of venture philanthropy in K-12 education. More specifically, he is interested in the role of philanthropic organizations that are founded by or led by people of color. Using political science as a disciplinary framework, his work explores the relationship between institutions and ideologies, investigates elite advocacy in K-12 education settings, and probes the role of Black and Latinx educational entrepreneurs.

His past research projects include a review of parent education program implementation in Los Angeles; a review of culturally responsive...

Hoyun Kim

Hoyun Kim is a student in the 2020 cohort of the GSE's Education PhD program. Her research interests include the role of higher education; equity in higher education; and topics pertaining to student trajectory, such as student agency and peer/teacher effects.

Prior to the program, Hoyun Kim earned her BA in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley with a Minor in Chinese.

Specializations and Interests

Educational Equity; Higher Education; Student Agency and Choice; Peer/Teacher Effects; Policy Analysis and Evaluation

Frances Free Ramos

Frances Free Ramos is from Yauco, a small country town in Puerto Rico known for its coffee, lush green mountains, and red-orange clay earth. She has lived in the Bay Area since first moving to Berkeley for undergraduate studies.

After obtaining a teaching credential and Master's in Teaching from USF, Frances worked for more than 10 years as a high school teacher and college counselor in Oakland. In 2014, she started her PhD program in the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education, where she studies community organizing and social movements toward educational...

Diana Casanova

Diana Casanova is a fourth-year doctoral candidate whose research examines the policies and practices that empower family and community stakeholders to affect social change. Her work explores the ways that families and communities participate in and impact education policymaking, illustrating the relationship between democratic engagement and institutional change.

Prior to starting the PhD program, Diana worked in outreach and fundraising for various educational and policy advocacy organizations. She holds a BS in Journalism from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo....

Abby Slovick

Abby Slovick (she/her) is a first-year doctoral student in the Policy, Politics, and Leadership cluster exploring how sociopolitical dynamics influence the institution of schooling. Her research interests encompass a variety of topics, including technology in education, market-based solutions to schooling, and democratic education.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Abby earned a master’s degree in education policy and social analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University and worked as a secondary mathematics teacher. During her summers, Abby continues to enjoy teaching computer...