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Creative strategist who is passionate about innovative reforms to K-12 learning environments. Over 7 years of practical work and research experience with students, teachers, and administrators in various school districts around the country. Research interests include: educational technology, Blended Learning, Universal Design for Learning, critical pedagogy, student centered practices, and the education of low-income and minority students. 


2012May 2016

Ph.D. Leadership Studies (Specialization in K-12 Education)

University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, San Diego, CA                                                                                                                                              

Dissertation Title: Transformative Models in K-12 Education: The Impact of a Blended Universal Design for Learning Intervention
: Experimental Mixed-Methods Study
Description: Testing the efficacy of a Blended Universal Design for Learning intervention  in improving student achievement, engagement, and perception in a 7th grade Math class.

Professional Experience


Monitoring and Evaluation Research Assistant

Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership 

Develop and refine monitoring and evaluation tools to measure the programs' progress toward established outcomes. Determine the appropriate evaluation methodology: the plan for collecting and evaluating data, the standards of evidence to be used, the degree of data validity and reliability. Support partner organizations in aggregating monitoring data.


Doctoral Research Assistant

Mobile Technology Learning Center, University of San Diego

Leads, designs, and conducts qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method research projects and program evaluations/assessments related to technology and K-16 education for districts and other educational organizations nationwide. Responsibilities include all aspects of study/evaluation design, data collection, data analysis, identification and write up of findings, and sharing of results to research and practitioner communities through publications, presentations, workshops, forums, and social media.


Marketing & Public Relations Associate

Developed and implemented  a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan for, an online tutoring site that provides supplemental educational services to Title 1 schools across the country. Responsibilities included: developing original content for marketing and advertising materials; creating all promotional collateral; maintaining and updating information on the company website; assisting in the implementation of media marketing plans; and selling the product to prospective target markets. 


GEAR UP Coordinator

California State University, San Bernardino & University California, San Diego

Organized all aspects of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant at Carter High School in Rialto, CA and at Roosevelt Middle School and San Diego High School in San Diego, CA. Provided academic enrichment, informational, and motivational opportunities and interventions for targeted students, including mentoring activities, individual/group advising, student assemblies, family night events, and other student and parent supports. Collaborated with school site team to develop and implement a service plan to meet students’ specific needs and monitor progress of high school graduation and college readiness.

Research Studies & Reports

*Research study resulting in a written report of findings

**Research study resulting in a presentation of findings

***Research study resulting in a written report and presentation of findings

Jun 2015Present

Research Assistant

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

**Project Title: MTLC Technology Integration Panel (TIP)
This project involves the development and calibration of an instrument to measure a teachers' pedagogical practice and technology integration in the classroom.

Aug 2013Present

Lead Research Assistant 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

***Project Title: Texas "Power-Up" One-to-One Evaluation
This is a three year evaluation study of Houston Independent School District's "Power-Up" initiative. The evaluation monitors the program’s implementation, tracks changes in instruction, assesses the short-term outcomes on teaching and learning, and examines the sustainability of the program.

Jun 2015Apr 2016

Principal Investigator

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

**Project Title: MTLC Tech 360
This project involves the redesign and implementation of a mixed-methods process that examines a districts' or schools' readiness for technology integration through the evaluation of various contextual factors, including: district and school site leadership, organizational structure, teacher practice, and teacher disposition.

Aug 2015May 2016

Principal Investigator 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

 *Project Title:  San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts IntuiFace App Evaluation
The purpose of this evaluation is to test the impact of the new Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) IntuiFace iPad application on visitors’ experience. The application is designed to assist visitors in accessing key information and the appropriate navigation of the exhibit. The primary aim of this evaluation will be to determine if such benefits were realized through the use of the app.

Feb 2015Jun 2015

Co-Principal Investigator 

School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego
*Project Title:  LCAP Goals and Educational Improvement in Poway USD
This exploratory qualitative research study identified the key concerns and suggestions raised by various constituents in response to five critical questions crafted to address the California's eight priority areas covered in the Local Control and Accountability Plan requirements.
Aug 2014May 2015

Co-Principal Investigator

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

**Project Title: Technology Integration in a San Diego County School District
Building on Teaching With Mobile Devices , this year-long study reentered the same district to explore the current use of and instructional best practices with technology, the readiness of teachers to integrate technology, and the resources needed for effective integration.

Apr 2014Aug 2014

Lead Research Assistant 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

*Project Title: Technology Review for a Public School District in the Northeast
This study "mapped" the quantity and quality of current technology devices, infrastructure, and other resources in a  school district as it prepared for the integration of technology. The current use of technology, professional development needs, and the space design of classrooms were explored.

Jun 2013May 2014

Lead Research Assistant 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

***Project Title: San Diego County Technology Needs Assessment
This mixed methods study assisted in developing a greater understanding of how San Diego County school districts were using technology. Technology needs, challenges, and future plans were also highlighted. Thirty-eight of the 42 school districts in San Diego County participated in the study.

Feb 2013Jun 2013

Lead Research Assistant 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

***Project Title: Teacher Readiness for 21st Century Learning and Technology Models
This study assisted administrators in a K-12 school district in assessing teacher readiness for technology integration. The report helped to inform the district’s professional development strategy and the implementation of their 2013-2014 technology plan.

Aug 2012Jun 2013

Research Assistant 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

***Project Title: Teaching with Mobile Devices
This year-long multi-case study focused on five elementary school teachers in a K-8 school district who utilized either an iPod Touch or iPad as part of their classroom instruction. Findings focused on student engagement and teacher challenges with implementation.

Aug 2012Jun 2013

Research Assistant 

Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC)

***Project Title: Using iPads for Instruction
This year-long multi-case study explored the use of mobile devices in a one-to-one initiative in a K-6 school district. The findings from the report informed all district stakeholders on how teaching and learning was being affected by the technology and brought to light the various pedagogical practices that were being used in the classroom.  

Fellowships & Awards

Barbara Jackson Scholar - 2013-2015
University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)
Nominated by the Dean of their school, accepted doctoral scholars enter a two-year scholarship program developed to mentor future faculty of color in the field of educational leadership and policy.

Program Centers Graduate Student Fellowship - 2014-2015
Center for the Advanced Study in Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE)
Merit-based fellowship including $5,000 plus research and mentoring opportunities while in residence for 6-8 weeks at one of the UCEA program centers. 

Doctoral Assistantship - 2012-2015
Mobile Technology Learning Center, University of San Diego
$20,000/yr. stipend, plus 18 units of tuition scholarship

Publications & Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Buczynski, S. &  Mathews, K. (2015). An urban school district's 21st century teaching vision: Integration and readiness to incorporate technology. Submitted for publication.

Conference Presentations

  • Mathews, K. (2015, November). Transformative Models in K-12 Education: The Impact of Universal Design for Learning in a Blended Learning Classroom. University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Thomas, K. (2015, April) Online Education and Flipped Classrooms. Chaired roundtable session at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Thomas, K. (2015, April). 21st Century Learning across a K-12 School District. In M. Corke (Chair), The Current Landscape of Mobile Technology Integration in a Diverse County. Roundtable session at the American Educational Research Association (AERA)  Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Mobile Technology Learning Center .(2014, February). Mobile Learning Perspectives from the United States: Three Superintendents Share their Experiences and Insights. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Mobile Learning Week, Paris, FR.
  • Kulkarni, R., Shook, A. & Thomas, K. (2014, April). Veteran Teachers Responses to Mobile Technology in the Classroom: Searching for Proof. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Key Skills

Project Management
Project Design
iWork Suite
Expert knowledge and experience with Keynote, Pages & Numbers. Assisted entire workplace with the creation of Keynote templates and presentations.
Microsoft Suite
Advanced knowledge and experience with Word, Powerpoint & Excel.

Professional Affiliations

California Association for Public Information Officials (CAPIO) - Member
University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) - Member
Association for Education Communication and Technology (AECT) - Member
American Educational Research Association (AERA) - Member
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) - Member