Gardner Fellows 2023-24

Ali Bhatti

Haider Ali Bhatti

Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME), UC Berkeley

Originally from Pakistan, Ali and his family immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Englewood, New Jersey. Currently, he’s a Ph.D. candidate in the SESAME program where his research focuses on how we can make undergraduate STEM education more inclusive, interpersonal, and interdisciplinary. He specializes in assessment, evaluation, and design-based research. In his dissertation research, Ali is measuring the development of “Innovation Skills” in undergraduate students taking a course called “Bioinspired Design.” In this course, students work in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams to solve design problems in society with design solution inspired by nature.

Charlotte Hoppen

Charlotte Hoppen

PhD Candidate in Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Charlotte Hoppen's research interests include inequalities related to education, organizations, gender, labor, and the family using mixed-methods. Charlotte's dissertation investigates the processes that Big 10 flagships and regional campuses use to provide resources to survivors of sexual misconduct on campus, and aims to understand how resource provisioning can be improved to support a diverse body of students. Charlotte earned her B.A. in Sociology and Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan and M.A. in Sociology from UCSB, and currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty of Sociology at Henry Ford College.

Irina Chukhray

Irina Chukhray

PhD candidate in Sociology, UC Davis

Irina's mixed-method research examines supports and constraints in accessing higher education among 1.5-generation immigrant youth (foreign-born students who arrived in the U.S. prior to age 18). Prior to graduate school, Irina was the Program Manager for an international collaborative study with OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) on students’ socioemotional skills and a Research Analyst for the Houston Education Research Consortium at Rice University. Overall, Irina’s long-term goals are to be a changemaker through her research on immigrant youth and college-going with the aim of establishing a research center that combines immigration and education research while developing community partner collaboration. Currently, in addition to the Gardner fellowship, Irina is a Visiting Scholar in Sociology in the University of Pennsylvania, she received Honorable Mention for her paper on 1.5-generation immigrant youth and college enrollment from the Society for the Study of Social Problems – Education Division, and she was awarded a Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship supporting her research from the University of California, Davis.

Website: is external)  
Twitter: @Irina4115

Elaine Luo

Elaine Hua Luo

PhD Candidate in Psychology, UC Berkeley School of Education

Prior to her time at UC Berkeley, Elaine completed her Master's in Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and earned her Bachelor's degree in Education Sciences with a Minor in Accounting from UC Irvine. Elaine's research interests center around understanding the development of individuals within their bio-socio-ecological system, which encompasses aspects such as the self, family, school, media, and society. She is also interested in understanding one's internal strengths and competencies as factors that promote and protect individuals' overall well-being and positive outcomes. As a Gardner Fellow, Elaine's current project focuses on understanding the role of time perspectives and other psychosocial factors in influencing the mental health of college students in the United States following the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, she aims to conduct a comparative analysis to uncover potential cross-cultural differences in the results obtained from two samples of college students in the United States and China.

Samantha Prado-Robledo

Samantha Prado Robledo

PhD student in the Education Studies, UC San Diego

Samantha Prado Robledo is a fifth year PhD student in the Education Studies program at UCSD. She is a first-generation college student and second-generation Mexican American. She attained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Sociology at California State University San Marcos. Prior to transferring, she earned Associates in Anthropology, History, Chicano Studies, and Transfer Studies from San Diego City College. Samantha has served the community in this past decade as an instructor county-wide at Continuing Education programs as well as in community college and university Sociology lecturer capacity. She has also engaged in research efforts that focus on educational equity and underrepresented student access to higher education. 

Wesley Jeffrey

Wesley Jeffrey

PhD Candidate in Sociology, University of California, Irvine

Wesley's dissertation looks at the positional (i.e., hierarchical) and relational (i.e., network) aspects of higher education and their consequences for understanding stratification within postsecondary schooling in the U.S. His research draws upon various quantitative methodologies such as regression discontinuity design, Heckman selection models, and social network analysis. 

Liza Chavac

Liza Chavac

PhD Candidate, Higher Education and Organizational Change, UCLA

Liza Chavac is currently a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program at UCLA. She is a first-generation college student who has earned an A.A. in Liberal Arts at Santa Monica College, a B.A. in Psychology at USC, and an M.A. in Human Development and Psychology at UCLA. Her research interests revolve around community colleges, their structures and practices, and the experiences of Black and Latino/a/e students. For her dissertation, she is currently investigating how community college structures and practices affect student decision-making and attrition in community colleges.