Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship
Current Minority Postdoctoral Fellows
Robert "Bob" Alcala, Ed.D., J.D.
Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis
- Bob Alcala, Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellow, earned his Ed.D. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
- Dr. Alcala’s dissertation examined how legal institutions serve as a source and locus of political education, arguing that normative theories in legal and political philosophy should better account for the educative function of law and political discourse.
- Dr. Alcala's research focuses on the public dialogue between educational professionals, civic groups, and the federal courts over race and educational diversity. He has also conducted research on education rights and international development.
- Dr. Alcala has taught at Harvard University, Williams College, and Ateneo de Manila University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of the Philippines Law School's Institute of Government and Law Reform.
Benjamin "Benji" Chang, Ph.D.
Department of Curriculum and Teaching & The Institute for Urban and Minority Education
- Benji Chang, Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellow, earned his Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his M.Ed. and Teaching Credential from UCLA as well, and his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.
- Dr. Chang’s dissertation, “The Platform: Liberatory Teaching, Community Organizing, and Sustainability in the Inner-City Community of Los Angeles Chinatown,” focuses on a multiethnic cohort of low-tracked students that he taught for several years in elementary school, and then coached, mentored, and organized with in secondary school. Based on data collected from 2000-2009, the study examines the cohort’s struggles and successes as they applied their long-term experiences with decolonizing pedagogy, funds of knowledge, and grassroots organizing to their own literacy practices and empowerment. This dissertation was recognized and funded by several entities, including the 21st Century Fellowship in Asian American Studies, and the Cultivating New Voices of Color Fellowship by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
- Dr. Chang’s scholarship focuses on critical and sociocultural approaches to teaching and community organizing in working-class and multiracial school communities. He studies these issues at the intersections of literacy, teacher education, race and ethnicity, youth popular culture, and social movements for equity and justice. Presently, Dr. Chang’s scholarship examines issues of sustainability and methodology when teaching and researching liberatory pedagogies in schools and community organizations with inner-city K-12 youth and their families.
- Dr. Chang has long been involved in social justice work with inner-city neighborhoods as a former public school teacher, union steward, organizer, and hip-hop artist. Prior to coming to TC, he was Director of Youth & Parent Leadership at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), the nation’s largest Asian American civil rights organization. There he directed education and leadership development programs annually serving over 800 parents, youth, and teachers.
- Dr. Chang has been a Visiting Scholar to universities in Australia, China, and Singapore. His work has been published in various outlets, including Rethinking Schools and AAPI Nexus and he currently serves on the NCTE Standing Research Committee and is advisor to the Asian Pacific Islander American Initiative at TC. He was recently presented with the Distinguished Community Advocacy Award by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) group, Critical Educators for Social Justice.