GSE announces new leaders of research and diversity, equity, and inclusion

Moti Hara to serve as GSE director of research

Associate Professor Moti Hara has been appointed as the GSE’s new director of research. Hara will report directly to Dean Marvin Lynn and will work closely with GSE faculty, PSU’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnership (RSP), and community partners to enhance the school’s internal research capacity. The overarching objective of his role is to provide leadership, direction, coordination, and management of ethical and culturally responsive faculty research activities within the GSE.

Hara earned his PhD in advanced quantitative methods from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Since first arriving at PSU in 2010, he has been teaching quantitative research methods courses to the doctoral and master’s students. He also advises several doctoral students and has spent a substantial amount of time working on research projects focusing on closing the gap in student outcomes. Hara has published and presented many papers on topics related to student success, including projects co-led by Esperanza De La Vega and Maria T. Tenorio.

“Research is absolutely critical to the GSE,” he said. “As educators whose primary objective is to train the next generation of change agents in the field, we should always be curious about what more we can learn, what data we can collect, and who we can collaborate with as community partners.” Hara looks forward to further strengthening the GSE’s research capacity, which will lead to additional external research funding, produce more faculty scholarly work and could establish the GSE as a notable research institution.

Tara Cooper to lead GSE efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Teacher Pathways Program Coordinator Tara Cooper has a new role as the GSE coordinator for equity, diversity, and inclusion. She came to PSU in 2013 to lead the Teacher Pathways Program, which assists culturally and linguistically diverse students seeking education and counseling careers. Since then, she has taken on significant leadership to advance the GSE’s equity work as the co-chair of the GSE Equity Committee.

This past year, Cooper led faculty and staff professional development initiatives, bringing in outside consultants John Lennsen and Hector Roche to help frame difficult conversations about race and privilege. She organized an evening of conversation with guest speaker Tara Yosso prior to the GSE State of the School celebration as an opportunity to collaborate in a more intimate setting at the PSU Native American Center.

A new member to the GSE leadership team, she is working to build a strategic vision in line with the GSE priorities for accomplishing equity and inclusion in all facets of GSE operations. She will also be looking to advance conversations and practices around equity and diversity in hiring.

Cooper is looking forward to having an overall equity plan in place for GSE by next year. “We need a clear plan, and we need to be accountable to our students and each other as we dig deeper. I look forward to the work ahead and having multiple perspectives and diverse voices informing everything we do,” she said.

Cooper has a master’s degree in intercultural relations with an emphasis in higher education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and ethnic studies and was recently admitted to the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program at PSU.

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