Institute at Indian Hill staff consists of seasoned educators and social scientists with state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise in organization reform, educational best practices, coaching and capacity-building, and research and evaluation methods.
Nazanin Zargarpour, Ph.D serves as Executive Director of Claremont Graduate University's Institute at Indian Hill, an educational agency committed to integrating responsible scholarship and best practices in serving the continuous improvement of schools and districts, through research, coaching, and evaluation. Dr. Zargarpour's work is informed by 13 years of experience in support of education reform and literacy, as a District Administrator and Consultant in schools and districts throughout the United States and countries abroad.
As administrator, external partner, and evaluator to schools and districts, Dr. Zargarpour has supported the design and implementation of systemic reform, resulting in continuous improvement of school processes and student achievement outcomes. She holds expertise in developing systems, protocols, and tools for data use and collaborative inquiry in schools and districts. Her work encompasses coaching and training programs for administrators in data-driven planning, monitoring, and decision-making at the school level, as well as, training and coaching for teachers in data-driven teaching and learning.
Dr. Zargarpour earned a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California, with specialty in International Development Education, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Claremont Graduate University in Education Policy and Reform. Her doctoral research identified practices that promote growth in traditionally low-performing schools with high-poverty, high-minority, and high-English-learner populations. Her work, entitled A Collective Inquiry Response to High-Stakes Accountability, has won state and national awards (from the California Educational Research Association (CERA) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) respectively) and has been accepted for publication as a book. You may contact Dr Zargarpour at email@example.com.
Bruce I. Matsui, Ed.D., Faculty Fellow
Bruce I. Matsui, Ed.D. is a professor at the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as Faculty Fellow with the Institute at Indian Hill, an organizational research unit of the School of Educational Studies, which he co-founded and directed for a number of years. In addition to teaching graduate level courses in education, professor Matsui developed an innovative cohort-based Ph.D. program targeting school leaders in urban communities, launched in the fall of 1998. He received his Ed. D. from the University of Southern California’s School of Education, concentrating in the areas of Organizational Development, Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction.
Professor Matsui spent twenty-five years in public primary and secondary schools, most recently holding the position of Deputy Superintendent at Pasadena Unified School District. Prior to that assignment, he served as Director of the Los Angeles County School Leadership Center. In addition, Dr. Matsui served as a principal for fourteen years in the Montebello Unified School District. During the course of his career, Professor Matsui has benefited from experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Aguilares, El Salvador and as a VISTA volunteer in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Matsui’s interests in public schooling, especially with respect to breaking predictable cycles of failure associated with gender, poverty, and race, were shaped by his experiences over the last twenty-five years. His current scholarly pursuits include integrating theoretical ideas associated with systems-thinking, social constructivism (Vygotsky), semiotics (meaning making), glocal thinking (global thinking coupled with local action), and voluntary simplicity; and making them usable, authentic and routine for public school stakeholders. You may contact Dr. Matsui at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernest Ng is a PhD candidate at Claremont Graduate University in developmental and organizational psychology with experience designing and implementing evaluations and organizational effectiveness solutions in educational and corporate settings. He has worked with schools and companies on a wide range of issues ranging from employee engagement, innovation leadership, and data-driven decision making. His expertise is around evaluation research methods and quantitative analysis. He brings 8+ years of primary research experience in academic settings, and 4+ years of consulting and industry experience. Ernest serves as a quantitative expert consultant for IIH.
Barbara Marino is currently Associate Director at the Institute at Indian Hill, and is a member of the Management Team. At the Institute she works primarily in qualitative research. She has many years of experience as a classroom teacher, district level administrator, and county office consultant. As a researcher she worked for the American Institutes for Research before coming to IIH. She holds teaching and administrative credentials K – 12 and a Master's Degree in School Administration. In addition to her work at IIH, she also works at the University of LaVerne as a fieldwork supervisor of teacher candidates in the area of reading instruction. You may contact Barbara be emailing her at email@example.com
Dave Mendelsohn hails from Massachusetts and is studying Organizational Behavior and Evaluation in the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at CGU. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the Commonwealth College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2006. Upon graduating, he entered the IT industry, working as a software installation technician for a small software firm based in Sudbury, Massachusetts. This position provided him the opportunity to travel the country and work with clients in all aspects of software installation and training. However, after three years in the field, he felt that it was time to get back to his passion for psychology and for research.
Dave intends to graduate with his Masters degree in Psychology this spring, but will be pursuing a Ph.D. at CGU beginning in the fall. He plans to focus his research on the area of work/life balance, especially among sexual minority populations, and the unique experiences those individuals face in trying to balance their family life and career. Currently, he also serves as a teaching assistant for the first-year statistics sequence, as well as a data collector for a large research project at the School of Community and Global Health. He will also be holding a poster presentation at this year’s annual conference of the Western Psychological Association. This presentation serves as the culmination of secondary data analyses related to mental health outcomes for adolescents of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual parents. You may contact Quantitative Research Associate Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandy Redfern is currently a PhD student studying Education Policy, Evaluation, and Reform at the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. She has taught first grade for the past ten years at La Canada Elementary School here in southern California. While working with students during the day, she has also been an advocate for teachers in the evening. She has served the teachers in her public school district as the President and Negotiations Chair of the local association as well as a state council member of the California Teachers Association. In addition to working as a teacher and advocate, Mandy has also taught future teachers in the teacher preparation program at University of La Verne. Mandy has had the opportunity to support multiple new teacher candidates by being their Master teacher during the student teaching experience. In 2008 Mandy worked with other educators around the state to develop the Teaching Performance Assessments, the exam used to qualify preservice teachers for the profession. Mandy’s dedication to her profession continues as she pursues research to better understand the impacts of today’s reform efforts on students and teachers. She currently belongs to the American Education Research Association, National Education Association, California Teachers Association and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. You may contact Research Associate Mandy by e-mailing her at email@example.com.
Veronica Ortiz is currently working on her dissertation at Claremont Graduate University in the School of Educational Studies and has a wide range of interests in the field. She received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education from CGU and has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Occidental College. She hopes to bring together her background in college admissions and her interests in educational diversity and institutional research. When not working with the Institute, Veronica teaches an online class about the college admission process for UCLA Extension and consults college bound students. She is a member of AERA and has submitting some of her work on the significance of ethnic identity in the social and academic adjustment of Latino students to college. Veronica is also a member of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling. She has been with IIH for three years and currently serves as a Senior Research Associate. You may contact Veronica by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Pieratt is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Claremont Graduate University. She is pursuing a PhD in Educational Philosophy. Her current area of research lies in student achievement, particularly the role in which teacher-student relationships and pedagogy play in promoting student achievement. Jennifer also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, with a minor in Sociology and a M.Ed in Cross-Cultural Education. She is currently a 10th grade Humanities Teacher at the innovative, and highly touted charter school, High Tech High North County. Jennifer enjoys putting theory into practice, by applying the concepts she is learning through her studies and research, to the classroom. Jennifer’s work has been published in Culture and Education and Unboxed, both peer-reviewed journals about education. She has presented at various conferences, ranging from student research conferences at CGU and Harvard, to organizational conferences such as Coalition of Essential Schools and the Comparative International Education Society; In addition, she has presented at the Thomas Jefferson Institute in Queretaro, Mexico, where she mentored teachers through the process of Project Based Learning. Jennifer resides in Carlsbad, CA. You may contact Research Associate Jennifer by emailing her at Jennifer.email@example.com.
Ms. Sandy Rakich is working on her Ph.D. in Education at San Diego State University/ Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests in the areas of Special Education and Educational Counseling are driven by over ten years of work experience in both areas.
Ms. Rakich’s work experience includes, providing guidance and leadership in a multicultural school setting as a Special Education Teacher, and later, as a Dropout Prevention Advisor for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her efforts consisted of serving as a mentor teacher, leading many teacher trainings, and creating new programs. When working in Dropout Prevention, she was tasked to create dropout prevention programs, recover dropouts, and retain “at-risk” students.
Additional leadership experiences in the K-12 setting incorporate Ms. Rakich’s work as an Educational Consultant and State Director for an after-school tutoring. Her responsibilities included hiring, training, and managing a staff of over 100 tutors and program coordinators, and creating an individualized program to meet the needs of nearly 1200 students, as well as, serving as a liaison to over 20 school districts in Southern California.
Ms. Rakich’s other educational credentials include Masters Degree in Educational Counseling, a specialized certificate in College and Career Counseling from UCLA, Special Education and Counseling Credentials, and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California.
You may contact Research Associate Ms. Rakich by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie St. John is currently in her second year at Claremont Graduate University as a dual PhD candidate in Educational Studies and Social Psychology. Her research interests include emotions, interpersonal relationships, and academic achievement as it relates to culture, stigmatization, and identity. Presently, Katie works at the Institute at Indian Hill as Research Associate. She is also a part of the Pomona CARE lab at Pomona College researching social and emotional outcomes of children (ages 8-11) as a function of parent’s ability to engage in reflective functioning and the Heath Psychology and Prevention Science Institute at Claremont Graduate University researching adolescent substance use. Katie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Spanish and Hispanic studies from Auburn University. She also completed a Master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University in Women’s Studies. She is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SCRD) and the American Psychological Association (APA). You may contact Research Associate Katie by emailing her at email@example.com.