As a Research Associate for California Education Partners, Rakia Esver, Ph.D. brings diverse professional experiences in research, teaching, advising and counseling. Dr. Esver has over eight years of experience conducting research and working within the field of education in various capacities. As a researcher, Dr. Esver has been awarded research training fellowships through both the National Institutes of Health and the National Institutes of Mental Health, allowing her to research issues of equity and access both domestically and internationally.
Her research interests include college readiness and academic attainment for underrepresented students, peer influence on the college-going process among African American students, and teacher effectiveness. Utilizing an interdisciplinary psychological, human development, and educational framework, Dr. Esver’s most recent work examined the relationships of African American friends and the role of peer influence on an individual’s choice to attend college. Dr. Esver’s research experience draws from a wide array of mixed methodological designs and projects ranging from the quantitative investigation of access to HIV counseling and testing among pregnant women in West Africa, to the qualitative examination of the art of effective teaching in urban schools in California.
As an educator, Dr. Esver worked for the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program at the University of California, Davis for five years prior to her employment with California Education Partners. The McNair scholars program helps underrepresented and low income undergraduate students matriculate through the academic pipeline towards doctoral studies. Dr. Esver taught the McNair undergraduate research seminar course as well as provided advising and counseling for the McNair students. With a deep appreciation for diversity and a strong commitment to servicing and meeting student needs, Dr. Esver believes equal access and opportunity to high quality education is pivotal for all students.
Holding a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education with an emphasis in Learning and Mind Science from the University of California, Davis, Dr. Esver brings both relevant experiences and training to California Education Partners.