Principal Investigators and Project Staff


Project Director (and co-Principal Investigator) 

Jana Noel is Professor of Education and Director of Educational and Community Research Partnerships at Sacramento State. She teaches and mentors interdisciplinary undergraduate students and masters and doctoral level students in education. Her research expertise is in urban education, multicultural education, and K-16 university-school-community partnership development, evaluation, and research. Dr. Noel has served as Provost’s Fellow for Community and Civic Engagement (2010-2012) and Special Assistant to the President for Analytics and Institutional Effectiveness (2013-2015). She was a 2012-2013 American Council on Education Fellow, a national senior leadership program. Dr. Noel has published numerous articles and several books, including Moving Teacher Education into Urban Schools and Communities: Prioritizing Community Strengths, which received a national 2013 Critics Choice Award for outstanding book in its field. She also received the 2010 Sacramento State Research and Creative Activities Capstone Award for “research that contributes to the field nationally and internationally.” Dr. Noel has served as evaluation team lead for Pathways to Success in Sacramento and as evaluator on NSF and U.S. Department of Education-funded statewide K-16 pathways programs in Arizona and Montana.



Co-Principal Investigator

Timothy Fong (Co-PI) is Professor of Ethic Studies, and his areas of expertise include K-16 student access and success, research methodology, and Minority Serving Institutions.  Dr. Fong has extensive administrative experience as the former chair of Ethnic Studies, director of the Liberal Studies and Social Science Program, and director of the Full Circle Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  As Professor of Ethnic Studies, Dr. Fong has published several books including, Ethnic Studies Research: Approaches and Perspectives. He is currently the director of the Liberal Studies and Social Science Program, where he oversees all preparation of multiple-subject pre-service K-6 teachers, as well as single-subject pre-service 7-12 grade teachers in History-Social Sciences.  Dr. Fong has the experience and abilities to administer a large-scale, multi-year federal grant as seen in his work as Director and Principal Investigator for the Full Circle Project.  With the Full Circle Project, he developed a highly successful campus-wide effort to improve retention and graduation rates of Asian American and Pacific Islander students.  The Full Circle Project was recognized as a “Model of Success” by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and featured in the book, Educating a Diverse Nation: Lessons from Minority Serving Institutions. Dr. Fong is also co-editing a book, with Dr. Dina Maramba of SUNY Binghamton, Models of Practice: Asian American and Native American, Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) in Action (forthcoming).

00Su Jin Jez (Co-PI) is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Associate Director of the Independent Education Doctorate Program. Through her teaching, scholarship, and service, Dr. Jez aims to strengthen student access, persistence, and success in postsecondary education, particularly for traditionally underserved students. Her work largely focuses on the role of middle and secondary schools in improving students' ability to be ready for and succeed in college. She is increasingly interested what can be learned from other countries that are grappling with similar issues. She works with schools, universities, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and foundations to improve programs and policies that create and support pathways for all students to achieve their postsecondary educational goals. Dr. Jez performs a variety of econometric analyses, including time-series analysis, multi-level modeling, and advanced regression modeling, all widely used in scientifically based education research. She also performs qualitative analyses, from interviews and focus groups to the analysis of primary documents. Prior to joining Sacramento State in 2009, Dr. Jez was a Research Associate at WestEd where a significant amount of her research and technical assistance work was focused on supporting early college schools and community colleges.

 Program Coordinator

  • (TBD)