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Middle Level Faculty


Erika Daniels, Associate Professor in Literacy Education, received her doctorate in Literacy from a joint program between the University of San Diego and San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program. She teaches Literacy courses in the teacher credential program and advanced Literacy in the Masters program while also co-coordinating the Middle Level Education program. Her other professional role is as the Director for the Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education. The Alliance is a regional collaboration between CSUSM, community colleges, and K-12 school districts that focuses on a comprehensive and comprehensible pathway to college access and success. Before coming the CSUSM as a full-time faculty member, Erika taught kindergarten and middle school in East Los Angeles and middle school in Oceanside, CA. Erika's research interests are twofold and explore literacy practices for reluctant and disengaged learners and as well as how the context of schooling fosters or hinders the motivation of young adolescents.

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-8547



Dr. Rong-Ji Chen is an Associate professor of mathematics education in the School of Education at CSUSM. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus on mathematics, science, and technology education. At CSUSM, Dr. Chen teaches K-8 mathematics methods courses in the Multiple Subject, Integrated Credential, and Middle Level programs. He also teaches an introductory educational technology course. His research interests pertain to teachers’ perceptions about the nature of mathematics and how they see themselves as learners of mathematics. He is also interested in technology integration in mathematics education and teacher education, especially with respect to a critical theory of technology.

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-8509



Janet McDaniel

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-4318


Dr. Moses K. Ochanji is the Associate Director of the School of Education and an Associate Professor of Science Education at California State University San Marcos. He teaches science education and general courses in the teacher credential and the Master of Arts in Education Programs. His research interest focuses on the “multiple phases of inquiry” in science classrooms and issues dealing with science teacher education. He has a wide experience in classroom science teaching having taught high school physics and mathematics in Kenya and in New York State for several years. He was a visiting lecturer on sabbatical leave at the Department of Educational Communication and Technology at Kenyatta University, Kenya, where he taught and collaborated with the department’s faculty on research projects focusing on building through quality teacher preparation and issues relating to teaching in large classes. Dr. Moses Ochanji received his undergraduate degree in Physics and Education, and masters degree in Science Education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from Syracuse University in New York.

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-8546



Julie Rich joined the School of Education in August, 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands in Business Administration and Economics, with a minor in English, and two master’s degrees: Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration from San Diego State. Credentialed in History/Social Science and English, Ms. Rich taught classes at San Dieguito High School, served as the ASB Director and then Assistant Principal before being selected as a middle school principal for the Escondido Union School District. After serving as Principal for Grant MS, Hidden Valley MS and Bear Valley MS, Ms. Rich began her second career at CSUSM. During her time in the School of Education she has served as a University Supervisor, instructor in the single subject and middle level programs, Accreditation Team lead and is currently the Single Subject Program Coordinator and Field Placement Director, as well as continuing to teach coursework

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-8550


Laurie Stowell

Laurie Stowell has been a professor of literacy at California State University San Marcos since 1992. She received her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in language, literature and reading. Prior to that, she taught middle school for eleven years in Columbus, Ohio. She teaches literacy courses in the middle level and elementary credential program, children's literature, as well as writing and assessment courses in the master’s program. In 2001, Dr Stowell also founded and directs the San Marcos Writing Project. Her research interests include writing, children’s and adolescent literature, and middle level literacy. Publications include practitioner’s journals, teacher education journals, a co-authored book and book chapters for practicing teachers and she has presented at numerous state and national conferences. She has also worked with elementary, middle and high school teachers in San Diego and Riverside County to plan and implement reading strategies and the teaching of writing. She was selected as the Outstanding Professor of the year at Cal State San Marcos in 1997, received the CSU Wang Family Excellence Award in 2005 and the California Teachers of English Classroom Excellence Award in 2008.

E-mail: | Phone: (760) 750-4286


Corey Espeleta | E-mail: