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CED Graduate Conducts Literacy Research with Faculty Mentor

Kathleah Consul Pagdilao photo

Kathleah Consul Pagdilao is a three-time graduate of the College of Education who has been actively involved in both faculty and independent research related to literacy, storytelling, and oral histories. She started working on research projects while at CSULB, and her involvement in scholarly activities continues today. Kathleah completed her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (2012), her Multiple Subject Credential (2012), and her Master of Arts in Education, Option in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education (2014). She was a President’s Scholar, received several College of Education scholarships, and was honored as the Outstanding Liberal Studies Graduate in 2012 and a Graduate Dean’s List recipient in 2014.

One of Kathleah’s main scholarly projects is her ongoing collaboration with faculty mentor Dr. Jessica Zacher Pandya on literacy research. Part of Dr. Pandya’s research team since 2012, Kathleah has worked with over 150 third through fifth grade students at a local school to bring 300+ stories to life on iPads. Kathleah assisted in facilitating the creation of digital narratives, collecting and analyzing a wealth of data, and preparing data for dissemination. So far, the research team has published articles in Teachers College Record and the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, with more manuscripts under review. Kathleah has also taken the opportunity to present alongside her research colleagues at the Literacy Research Association Conference (2012) and American Educational Research Association Conference (2013, 2015). Through their research, the team has examined topics such as multimodality, critical digital literacy, English language learners, and identity. Kathleah’s love of this work centers on the fact that students are provided with opportunities to share their stories and create videos that are meaningful to them.

During her time in the Social and Cultural Analysis of Education program, Kathleah conducted independent research, including an autoethnographic study, which allowed her to investigate the impact of and relationship between immigration and education within her family. Alongside CSULB graduate Jack Dowsett, Kathleah also completed an internship at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, where the two conducted oral history interviews to capture the historical changes of the small town of Craig, Colorado. Kathleah’s rich and diverse research experiences have brought about a love for research that reaches beyond academia and into the lives of students and others.

Today Kathleah is a substitute teacher for three local school districts. Currently, she works as a long-term substitute teacher in Long Beach Unified School District. In addition, Kathleah is a passionate volunteer for the California Conference for Equality and Justice, an organization committed to fighting injustice and giving voice to all individuals. Working with strong and talented female faculty members has been empowering for Kathleah, inspiring her to pursue doctoral studies in the future. As a result of her experiences with literacy research, storytelling, and oral history, Kathleah concerns herself with individuals’ stories and sharing their voices. In her future endeavors, she hopes to both create opportunities for stories to be shared as well as to advocate for those whose voices are often marginalized.

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