Headshot of Rachel Kennison

Greetings, UCLA Instructional Community! 

Our team at UCLA’s Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences is eager to connect with and support you in all things teaching and learning. Each member of our team brings different areas of expertise including skills such as designing equitable assessments, support on embracing new educational technology, moving from traditional lecture to active learning in the classroom, cultivating an anti-racist approach to teaching, supporting TA’s effective facilitation of discussions and labs, and much more. Please connect with our team members to ask questions or schedule a time to meet. Department Chairs and team leaders can reach out to me directly to discuss your departmental needs. General inquiries can also be sent to our team email at media@ceils.ucla.edu and we can direct your message to the team member that can best support you. I hope to see you at a CEILS event soon!


Rachel Kennison, MSW, PhD

My pronouns: she, her, hers
UCLA CEILS Executive Director
Associate Teaching Professor, Dept. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Administrative Co-Leader, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning (CIRTL)


Meet our team! Learn more about each of the CEILS team members below, listed in alphabetical order by last name, and contact any of us to consult on your teaching support needs. General inquiries can be directed to media@ceils.ucla.edu.

Photo of Nubia

Nubia Cardoso-Arizmendi
Administrative Assistant

Contact me for:

General Inquiries


Nubia's Bio
Katie Dixie Headshot

Katie Ingraham Dixie, Ph.D. (she/her)
Assistant Director of Teaching Development Pathways

Contact me for:

Graduate Student and Postdoc Professional Development


Book a Meeting

Katie's Bio
Jess Gregg headshot

Jess Gregg, MA, EdM, LMFT (she/her)
Senior Associate Director

Contact me for:

Course Design & Teaching Consultation


Jess's Bio
Katie Rae Healey Head shot

Katie Healey, Ph.D. (she/her)
Associate Director for Collaborative Initiatives in Faculty Development


Katie's Bio
Headshot of Rachel Kennison

Rachel Kennison, MSW, Ph.D. (she/her)
Executive Director


Rachel's bio
Megan Lebre Head Shot

Megan B. Lebre, M.Ed. (she/her)
Communications Manager


Megan's Bio
JoAnn Roberts Head Shot

JoAnn S. Roberts, Ph.D. (she/her)
Program Director of Antiracist Educator Initiative


JoAnn's Bio
Shanna Shaked Head Shot

Shanna Shaked, M.A.T., Ph.D. (she/her)
Senior Associate Director

Contact me for: 

Learning Assistants Program, Course Design and Teaching Consultation, Assessment Design


Shanna's Bio
K. Supriya Head Shot

K. Supriya, Ph.D. (she/her)
Associate Director for Student Success

Contact me for:

Education Research and Assessment


Book a Meeting

Supriya's Bio
Current GRaduate STudent Researchers
Sonya Brooks headshot

Sonya Brooks
Graduate Student Researcher


Sonya Brooks is a Ph.D. student in the Urban Schooling division at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research interests lie at the intersections of education policy, law, and urban schools in an effort to design frameworks to build better educational trajectories for students, specifically Black girls. Brooks is a passionate advocate for the health and well-being of girls in PK-12, the advisor for Beautiful Brown Girls – a community-based program in the Bay Area— and is the recipient of the 2021 Center for the Study of Women Black Feminism Initiative Award for her research on Black women and empowerment.  After graduating from UCLA in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in History and Brown University in 2021 with a Master’s in Urban Education Policy, Sonya has been invited to speak about her work with Black girls and ways of dismantling the challenges they experience in academic and healthcare spaces. Currently, Sonya’s areas of research include the historical importance of intergenerational narratives and storytelling and its impact on the health, well-being, and educational opportunities for girls. In her spare time, Sonya loves roller skating, reading, writing, and spending time with her children doing everything or nothing at all.

Nadeeka Karunaratne Head Shot

Nadeeka Karunaratne
Graduate Student Researcher


Nadeeka Karunaratne is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education & Organizational Change program at UCLA. She conducts research on issues of campus sexual and relationship violence, exploring the experiences of minoritized survivors with a focus on healing. She also serves as an Adjunct Instructor in California Lutheran University’s Department of Counselor Education. She previously worked in the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California, in the Cross-Cultural Center at UC Irvine, and in UC Irvine’s Campus Assault Resources & Education office. She has a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. She is also a trauma-informed yoga instructor.

Former GRaduate STudent Researchers

Benjamin Hà
Former Graduate Student Researcher


Benjamin Hà, a CIRTL@UCLA STAR fellow, is going to be a 4th year PhD Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and has experience working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minorities. He is excited to join and support CEILS as a GSR to help learn more equitable and anti-racist teaching strategies.

Kiana Fox
Former Graduate Student Researcher


Kiana Foxx is a second-year doctoral student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change (HEOC) program. She researches underrepresented student experience with a focus on access and equity and is looking forward to helping develop equity-focused curriculum.

Samantha Theresa Mensah
Former Graduate Student Researcher


Samantha Theresa Mensah is a graduate student in the department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. She works under Professors Anne Andrews and Paul Weiss working into field-effect transistor based sensors for neurotransmitters. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, playing banjo, and trapeze.

Photo of Gadise Regassa

Gadise Regassa
Former Graduate Student Researcher


Gadise Regassa is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program and is working on her dissertation research around academic burnout, anti-black racism, and the pandemic. During her first four years at UCLA, Gadise worked as a Graduate Ambassador for the Graduate Division Diversity, Inclusion, and Admissions Office, co-founded an academic support group for Black women graduate students, and was a graduate researcher for an EDI and Spencer-funded youth participatory action research project called UCLA BEST. In addition to being a student, Gadise works on the side as an Educational Consultant and just finished a project with Youtube. Before starting her doctoral program, Gadise worked as a Program Administrator for the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, received her Masters from The Ohio State University in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and graduated with honors from UCSB with a degree in Black Studies and Sociology.

Photo of Emma Tran

Emma tran
Former Graduate Student Researcher


Emma Tran is a PhD student in the Community Health Sciences department at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. As a CEILS GSR, she is supporting team efforts to develop and facilitate anti-racism teaching workshops among UCLA faculty. Emma’s research draws on critical race and feminist theories to understand how interlocking forms of structural racism manifest in health disparities. She is especially interested in a theory of relational formations of race to clarify how communities not only passively experience health but also oscillate between exercising agency to resist white supremacy and weaponizing ourselves in the pursuit of anti-Blackness and racial capitalism.

As an MPH student at Yale, Emma helped to develop curricula for social justice and health courses both at the School of Public Health and undergraduate College. She is excited to bring lessons from her experiences as a facilitator in the classroom to continue learning how to re-center minoritized voices with her work at CEILS!