Kirk D. Rogers, Jr., Ph.D.

2023-24 Year 1 Members

Dr. Kirk D. Rogers, Jr. is an assistant professor in the College of Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He received his Ph.D. in education from the University of California, San Diego. His research centers on math as a major gatekeeper for BILPOC students interested in pursuing STEM careers. Kirk is also the newly selected Faculty Director of the Black Educator Excellence Initiative at CSUDH. Originally from the Metropolitan Atlanta area, Kirk is a two-time graduate of the University of Georgia, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and his Educational Specialist Degree in Gifted and Creative Education. He also attended Georgia State University, receiving his Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Level Math and Science Education. Kirk has been exposed to the gambit of educational experiences throughout his ten years of teaching. He taught for three years as the only gifted math teacher teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in an underresourced Atlanta middle school. He next transitioned to teaching 8th-grade science in a highly-resourced suburban middle school in one of the highest-achieving counties in Georgia. In addition, Kirk taught at STEAM summer camps for several years before the pandemic. Throughout these teaching experiences, his focus remained the same: supporting BIPOC students and encouraging their STEM interests while attempting to alleviate and reduce STEM, specifically math anxiety, by centering cultural relevance and belonging in his classrooms.


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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.