Steven Athanases
UC Davis ADVANCE STEAD Committee Member, Professor of Education

Steven Athanases, Professor of Education, researches issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and educational equity in teaching, adolescent learning, and teacher education, with a focus on literacy and English language arts.

As a high school English teacher in the Chicago area, he received several awards for outstanding teaching of English, with a focus on writing, and drew on his disciplinary roots in Performance Studies and Communications to stage annual performance showcases of original student compositions. Though he misses teaching adolescents, he enjoys teaching all levels at the university, as well. While completing his doctorate at Stanford, he worked in the Oakland Unified School District as a Coordinator of Public Programs in English with ACCESS, a partnership between Oakland Unified and UC-Berkeley designed to better prepare underrepresented youth of color for admission to the University of California. He continued to partner with teachers in Oakland, funded by a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. With support from a Mellon Foundation grant, he served for several years as Project Director of the Evaluating Communities of Learners Project at Stanford (Ed Haertel, PI), in collaboration with Vanderbilt University faculty and researchers and middle school teachers in Nashville Metro Schools. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1999. His research has been honored with fellowships and awards of excellence from the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Association of Teacher Educators, the McDonnell Foundation Program in Cognitive Studies for Educational Practice, and the Davis Humanities Institute.

His recent funded research has explored two areas: (a) the potential for classroom-based teacher inquiry to strengthen prospective teachers’ knowledge and practice for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners (funded, in part, by the Spencer Foundation); and (b) promising practices in preparing lower-income, urban Latina/o students for admission to and success in college (funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, in partnership with UCSC). He serves on the editorial board of the Educational Researcher and was recognized by the American Educational Research Association in 2012 and 2013 as an Outstanding Reviewer of journal manuscripts.