Current and Interested Students

Current and Interested Students

Welcome to the Educational Foundations program! We are the cabinet for the Student Led-EDFN program. Since this Master's program does not have a cohort based system, we decided to work together to create a quasi-format organization to facilitate the interaction between us students. Currently, there are five official members of the cabinet but we, the students in the Educational Foundations program, share the responsibilities to make this club work.

This club is a way for those who are currently in or interested in joining the EDFN graduate program to get information and support from fellow students. Our group will either give you an answer to your question, or find someone who may have the answer. Any individuals please feel free to contact one of the members of our board. Study groups are held in the Graduate Resource Center on Level A in the library (as far down as you can go- straight ahead as you exit the stairs or elevator


The following is our current cabinet.



Samantha Lopez / M.A. Candidate / Pronouns: She/Her/Hers / President Student-led EDFN

  • Expected graduation date May, 2019
  • Research interests: Higher Education, Functional Fitness, and Queer Theory
  • Goals: Ph.D. program in Higher Education
  • Important identities: First-Generation College Student navigating Graduate School!

Hi EDFN students!

I hope you are enjoying graduate school! It is definitely a challenging and rewarding experience at the same time. I hope you find this website helpful and please feel free to comment or question anything on this page. I have made great connections here in this EDFN grad program. Our student leaders all work hard and we would like to keep this club going. We are all here to support and network with each other. Let’s connect and talk about readings, career, research, or just about a life as a student.






Oscar Gil

Pronouns: He/His/Him


M.A. Candidate

Expected Graduation Date, May 2019

Research Interests: First-Generation Students, Low-Income/SES, Latinos, High School Students, Parental/Legal Guardian Non-Financial Support, Transition from Secondary to Higher Education, Counseling

Important Identities: First-Generation College Student, First-Generation Graduate Student, Latinx, Bisexual


Oscar Gil is attending Cal State LA as a second year Master of Arts in Education Candidate, with the option in Educational Foundation. Oscar is currently a member of Pi Lambda Theta, Phi Delta Kappa, the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Gates Millennium Scholars Association (GMSA) and an ambassador for the Gates Scholarships Association and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. His interests involve academic counseling, educational policy, and immigration, labor and educational law.


During Oscar's graduate career, Oscar plans to write his thesis on the role that familial support has on first-generation Latinos on the transition from secondary to higher education. He is currently his department's student-led organization's (Student Led-EDFN) co-chair and Vice-President. Following his graduate career, he plans to continue his education and work on an Ed.D. or a Ph.D. as he wants to continue to make a difference in the educational community.


Erika Alvarez

Pronouns : She/ Her/ Hers

Writing Consultant

M.A Candidate

Candidate for LAUSD School Board District 5

Expected Graduation Date, May 2019

Research interests: LAUSD School Board politics, culturally sustaining pedagogy, queer theory, inclusive practices in K-12 education.


My name is Erika Alvarez and I have been working as an LAUSD English Teacher for the past 6 years. I am running for LAUSD School Board District 5. I am a product of my education; I graduated from Eagle Rock High School and California State University, Los Angeles. I am finishing an M Ed from CSULA. I’m a wife, and mother of an LAUSD student. I am fully invested in our district and am looking forward to advocating for public schools. I cannot be bought and will not take any contributions from big business or the charter school lobby. Your voice moves me.

Heather Digrius (MA Educational Foundations, Multiple Subject Credential; Expected Graduation- May 2019)

Pronouns: she/her/hers, they/theirs is fine too :)

Position: Social media/website coordinator

Research Interests: queer studies, educational equity, elementary education, disability studies, mental health


I am almost done with my joint credential and MA, and hope to stay in the area. I got my undergrad degree in NJ in social science with a psychology concentration in 2014. I am also an alumnae of Theta Phi Alpha. I am doing a project for my capstone, looking at ‘queering the literature’ and ensuring our students see themselves represented in the elementary curriculum specifically. Outside of school I enjoy reading, writing, and photography and love to spend time at the various gardens around southern California. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at

Joel Lovos

Pronouns: They, Them, Theirs/ He, His, Him


M.A. Candidate (Expected Graduation Date, May 2019)

Single Subject Credential Candidate - English & Art

Research Interests: Queer Studies, Gaming, Anime, Education, Literacy, Visual Art.


My name is Joel Lovos and I am in the Education: Option in Educational Foundations Master’s program at CSULA. I am also in the process of obtaining my Single Subject Credential in English and will be adding an Art credential. I am a substitute teacher for LAUSD and have been working in education at various posts for 4 years. I hope to learn from and connect with the community that is the EDFN program. Feel free to email me for anything!


OSD is located on the first floor of the Administration Bldg. Room 127 (near Financial Aid and Registrar). The office can be contacted at or (323)343-3140.

Other student supports on the Cal State L.A. Campus:

Student Health Services:

Food Pantry: University Student Union Room 308

CalFresh Outreach Center:

Graduate Writing Support Program:

Glazer Family Dreamers’ Resource Center:

Faculty and Spring 2019 Courses

Dr. Mattheis (She, Her, Hers)

KH 2036A

Dr. Tejeda (He, Him, His)

KH 2043A

4000-level courses:

EDFN 4131: Introduction to Psychological Foundations of Education (multiple sections / multiple instructors)

EDFN 4400: Diversity in Urban Schooling (multiple sections / multiple instructors)


5000-level courses:


EDFN 5060: Comparative and International Education (Tejeda- Tues. 4:30)

EDFN / WGSS 5090: Queer Studies in Education (Mattheis- Wed. 4:30)

EDFN 5250: Sociology of Education (Serrano- Th. 4:30)