Mica Pollock, an anthropologist of education, joins UCSD's Center for Research on Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) as its new Director. Pollock's work explores communications that support student success in diverse schools and communities. Her first book, Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School (winner of the 2005 AERA Outstanding Book Award), helped readers navigate six core U.S. struggles over talking (and not talking) in racial terms in schools. Because of Race: How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in Our Schools (2008), examined the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights as the background for analyzing common debates over improving the everyday school experiences of students and families of color. In Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real about Race in School (2008), Pollock next organized 70 scholars to write short essays for teachers. Winner of a 2008 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center, “EAR” is being used to spark inquiry in schools and districts across the country.
In 2009-11, Pollock began collaborating with educators, families, young people, and technologists in The OneVille Project in Somerville, MA, a participatory design research project piloting new ways that commonplace technology — cell phones, computers, free software — might help people who share students, schools, and a diverse community to communicate and collaborate regularly to support young people's success. Pollock and colleagues in San Diego are now forging a bicoastal partnership with OneVille participants and others to help improve the “communication infrastructure” of public education — that is, to assemble a set of free and low cost communication tools and strategies that support everyday collaboration and student support in diverse schools and communities. As the new Director of CREATE, Pollock is excited about helping to network UCSD's students, researchers, and professional development experts with the diverse K-12 educators, youth, and families of San Diego County. She and CREATE/EDS colleagues are now mapping educational partnerships linking UCSD to the San Diego community. Pollock previously taught high school in California and received her Ph.D. from Stanford.