UCLA CRESST

Meet the Team

UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) is known for its expertise in assessment design, evaluation, implementation, scoring, and standards.

Meet the Team

Li Cai

Project Lead

Dr. Li Cai is a Professor of Education and Psychology in the Advanced Quantitative Methodology program within the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He also serves as Director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). In addition, he is affiliated with the UCLA Department of Psychology in the quantitative area. His research agenda involves the development, integration, and evaluation of innovative latent variable models that have wide-ranging applications in assessment research in educational, psychological, and health-related domains of study. Dr. Cai is a native speaker of Chinese and has a beginning level of French.

Edynn Sato

Co-PI

Dr. Edynn Sato is a Researcher at the Graduate School of Education & Information Sciences at UCLA and serves as ELPA21’s Director of Research as well as co-Principal Investigator for the Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment of English Language Proficiency (CAAELP). She has more than 25 years of experience in education research and development, evaluation, training, consultation and technical assistance, and management. Her work focuses on fairness and the validity of assessments, as well as on making learning inclusive, accessible, and equitable, particularly for English learners and students with disabilities, both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Sato also is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Research Scientist for a small, woman-owned business, Sato Education Consulting LLC.

Cathryn Still

Program Director

Cathryn “Cat” Still is the Executive Director of ELPA21, an English language proficiency assessment system supported by member states and housed at CRESST. Cat also serves as CRESST’s Program Director for the Iowa CAAELP Project. Prior to joining the team at CRESST, Cat worked as Program Director for ELPA21 at the Council of Chief State School Officers, leading the development of the ELPA21 assessment. Cat brings strong expertise in assessment and system design, partnership development, organizational management, operations, and contract management, as well as years of experience building new programs, developing and executing strategic plans, and identifying and deepening operational efficiencies.

Nami Shin

Data and Standard Setting Manager

Dr. Nami Shin is a Research Scientist at CRESST whose focus is on the use of quantitative methods to explore English language learners’ (ELLs) experiences in K-12 school settings, along with the ELL classification and relevant educational policies as a whole. Specifically, her research includes the effect of the ELL classification on students’ long-term academic performance and educational experiences and aims to examine the validity and reliability of standardized tests for ELLs. She works for ELPA21’s research and psychometric team and serves as data and standard setting manager for the Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment for English Language Proficiency (CAAELP) project. Dr. Shin received her PhD in Education, Social Research Methodology from UCLA. Nami is a native speaker of Korean.

Kara Schlosser

Outreach and Communications Director

Kara Schlosser is the Director of Communications for the CAAELP project and ELPA21. Kara has a Master of Arts in Education, Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, from New Mexico State University. Kara for the last 8 years has owned a consulting firm; ELPA21 is one of her original clients. Kara’s professional experience includes classroom and post-secondary educator, and nonprofit, academic, and for-profit communications. As communications director for ELPA21, Kara oversees both internal and external communications, marketing, and outreach. Kara is an intermediate Spanish speaker.

Jobi Lawrence

Professional Learning Expert

Dr. Jobi Lawrence has over 20 years of experience working with English learners and at-risk populations through program administration, evaluation, and implementation with educators across the state of Iowa and nationwide. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, she leads the work at the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA). Prior to joining the NCELA team, she served as the Director of Title III and Education Program Consultant for the Iowa Department of Education. She is also the Chief Executive officer, Senior Consultant, and Grant Writer for Kids Count and Read Too (KCR2) Educational Consulting.

Hamida Askaryar

Project Manager

Hamida Askaryar is a Project Manager at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) — currently overseeing the Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment of English Language Proficiency (CAAELP) project. In her leadership role, she ensures that the project is managed and clients are served with integrity and high quality. She has over 10 years of experience in project management, dental public health, child/maternal health, and chronic disease prevention. She is a Registered Dental Hygienist, a Master Certified Health Education Specialist, and holds an MPH from California State University Northridge.

Eric Shekoufeh

Program Representative

Eric Shekoufeh is a Program Representative for the CAAELP project. He provides support to project managers and research staff on a broad range of initiatives, with a focus on communications and publishing. Prior to joining CRESST, Eric worked in the publishing industry, where he served as a copy editor and contract coordinator. Eric received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UCLA. He is an intermediate Spanish speaker.

Christine Boissevain

Outreach and Membership Coordinator

Christine Boissevain, CAAELP’s Outreach and Membership Coordinator, supports our communications, marketing, and outreach initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s in Sociology and Psychology. Through her professional experiences in the education, nonprofit, and creative agency industries, she has developed a diverse communications skillset. Her love for cross-cultural experiences incited her to backpack on the El Camino de Santiago – a 500-mile long trail across Spain. On this venture, she discovered a passion for language learning. This fueled her to become fluent in Spanish and to support English learners in her personal and professional life.

Contribute to the CAAELP Mission

Contribute to the CAAELP Mission

Educators are making a positive impact on the project and its local influence by joining their state’s CAAELP Community of Practice.

By participating in a Community of Practice, educators have the opportunity to learn with others and make meaningful contributions to the work of the project, serving as an ambassador for CAAELP and our new Alternate English language proficiency assessment.

Learn More