Faculty and Staff

Get to know the instructors and staff in Elementary Education.

Our Faculty and Staff

Dr. Ali Borjian

Ali Borjian

Professor | borjian@sfsu.edu

Homayoun Ali Borjian received his Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Policy from Stanford University. Professor Borjian is a Fulbright scholar and has conducted national and international research on issues that impact teachers. His research interests include teacher education and contexts of learning for immigrant children and youth. Dr. Borjian’s most recent research project chronicles the experiences of teachers who have developed the willingness to explore the root causes of social inequalities and take action to bring about positive changes in their communities. Dr. Borjian taught elementary school children in the central coast of California prior to his appointment at San Francisco State University.

Dr. Margureite Conrad

Marguerite Conrad

Assistant Professor | mconrad4@sfsu.edu


Diane Garfield

Diane Garfield

Student Teaching Placement Coordinator | diangarf@sfsu.edu

Diane Garfield has been with the Department of Elementary Education for more than 25 years.  She worked as a fifth grade teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District and then began teaching in the Multiple Subject Credential Program half time, while maintaining her career as a classroom teacher.  She retired from SFUSD in 2010 and continued on as the placement coordinator, teaching various courses, and advising and supervising student teachers.  Her area of focus has been on mathematics education in the elementary classroom, working to empower teachers to make mathematics relevant to students, thus empowering them to develop true competency and discover the love and power of the subject.

Jisel Iglesias

Jisel Iglesias

Administrative Analyst Specialist | jiglesi1@sfsu.edu

Dr. Mina Kim

Mina Kim

Professor | minakim@sfsu.edu

Mina Kim, professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University, has an established expertise in the field of Early Childhood Education. She is a coordinator of the undergraduate ECE courses for prospective teachers and co- coordinating the Early Childhood Education (ECE) master program at SF State. She holds a B.A. in Child Development & Education, a M.S. in Early Childhood Education, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. She has participated in multiple presentations and has many publications focused on issues of early childhood curriculum development, paying specific attention to teacher action research, issues of math and science instruction, multicultural perspectives, and integrated play based curriculum in cross cultural contexts. She has served as a co-chair of ECE Interest Group at Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA) for the past three years. She has served on two early childhood teacher education journal editorial boards, in which she reviews articles related to educational action research, integrated math & science curriculum and multicultural education.

Christy Lao

Christy Lao

Associate Professor | clao@sfsu.edu

Dr. Christy Lao is currently an associate professor of education, former founding Director of the Confucius Institute (CI) at San Francisco State University (SFSU), Principal Investigator and Director of four major federal projects (1) Bay Area National Professional Development Project for English Language Learner (USED), (2) Project Chili: Chinese Literacy Instructional Materials & Curriculum Development (USED), (3) STARTALK Teacher Training Program, and (4) STARTALK Student Program at SFSU (NSA).

Daniel Meier

Daniel Meier

Professor | dmeier@sfsu.edu

Daniel Meier is professor of elementary education at San Francisco State University. He teaches in the M.A. program in Early Childhood Education, the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program with an Early Childhood emphasis, and the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership. He teaches courses in reading/language arts, multilingual development, narrative inquiry and memoir, educational research, and international education. Dr. Meier received his B.A. in english literature from Wesleyan University, Ed.M. in reading and language from Harvard University, and Ph.D. in language and literacy from the Graduate School of Education, University of California at Berkeley. He has written numerous articles and books on early childhood education, language and literacy education, international education, narrative inquiry, and reflective practice and teacher research. Dr. Meier works with local early childhood inquiry groups in the bay area as well as teaching preschool in the area of language and literacy development.

Dr. Isabel Quita

Isabel Quita

Professor | quita@sfsu.edu

An empowered teacher is a learner who is an inquisitive thinker and a reflective decision maker. One who learns and investigates the teaching-learning process. I view learning as a construction and teaching process. This process facilitates development.

As an advocate of a constructivist approach to a teacher's education, I believe in teaching that emphasizes learners to be actively involved in making sense of information and experiences—to reflect on their learning as well as to connect classroom experiences with real life situations.

Dr. Stephanie Sisk-Hilton

Stephanie Sisk-Hilton

Professor | stephsh@sfsu.edu

Stephanie Sisk-Hilton is a professor in the Department of Elementary Education. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections of children’s science learning, cognition and development, and collaborative teacher learning. Her current research explores how young children come to understand and use challenging science concepts when they are engaged in pedagogically ambitious approaches to teaching and learning. She also investigates how teachers develop and share science teaching knowledge through collaborative professional development. Dr. Sisk-Hilton leads professional learning experiences for early childhood and elementary school teachers throughout the bay area with the goal of developing classroom environments where every child has rich opportunities to grow in their science knowledge and identity.

Dr. Maria Zavala

Maria Zavala

Associate Professor | mza@sfsu.edu

Dr. Zavala is a mathematics educator teaching in the multiple-subjects credential program, Bilingual Education for Social Transformation (BEST) Spanish bilingual program, and special education program as well as graduate courses in the masters program for Mathematics Education.

Dr. Zavala joined the faculty at SFSU after completing her PhD in Mathematics Education with a focus on the learning sciences at the University of Washington Seattle. Her dissertation focused on the mathematics identity development of Latino/a students and is titled Race, Language, and Opportunities to Learn: The Mathematics Identity Negotiation of Latino/a Youth.  Many years prior she earned a B.A. in Mathematics from University of California Santa Cruz.

Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Josie Arce: jarce@sfsu.edu

Dr. Debra Luna: dluna@sfsu.edu

Dr. Carol Langbort: clangbo@sfsu.edu

Dr. Jane Bernard-Powers: jbp@sfsu.edu

Dr. Cecelia WAMBACH-SCHMIDT: drwams@sfsu.edu

Dr. Laureen Chew: laureenenator@gmail.com

Student Assistants

Jolie Aban

Jolie Aban

Student Assistant

Natalie Rosales

Natalie Rosales

Student Assistant