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Research Associate for the VisMO Initiative

Apply now Posting #: 4274
Position Status: Full-time temporary
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Administrator, School of Leadership and Education Sciences

Position Title & Department:

 Research Associate for the VisMO Initiative; School of Leadership and Education Sciences
Posting #


Department Description:

Rooted in social justice, led by compassion, inspired by curiosity, driven by a shared vision.

Mother Rosalie Hill Hall on the University of San Diego campus is home to the School of Leadership and Education Sciences' (SOLES) vibrant and vision-driven collective of academic departments, centers and institutes. Here, we combine innovation with introspection, academic with real-world application, and study with social impact.

Our nationally-accredited programs span the realms of leadership, teaching and counseling, both at graduate and undergraduate levels. They're all approached with an emphasis on social justice, multiculturalism and a determination to forge a better world together. 

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

This is a full-time temporary, benefit-based position with an anticipated end date of June 30, 2023.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Project VisMO was a three-year fundamental research project that investigated the causal link between children’s visuospatial skills development and their longitudinal gains in mathematical competencies. This research effort brought together cognitive psychologists, learning scientists, mathematics education researchers, and origami artists to develop and evaluate an innovative origami-based program for elementary school children, with a focus on the English Language Learners (ELLs). In its fourth year, the VisMO Program Research Associate will co-lead the next stage development of the program to create, implement and lead instruction and learning experiences for students centered on hands-on origami-based activities.

This position requires supervising and supporting teachers, and traveling to school sites in San Diego. Candidates should consider themselves learning-centered educators, creators, change agents, and risk-takers who have a commitment to educational equity. This is an in-person, San Diego-based position. We are a Google-based institute.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Program Development

  • Provide program leadership by co-designing and managing program agenda and goals.
  • Develop programs that help students enhance their visuospatial skills through paper folding. 
  • Develop programs that provide hands-on opportunities for students to enhance their visuospatial, socioemotional and mathematical skills. 
  • Identify and cultivate funding sources for continued growth and sustainability of the VisMO initiative.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the fields of interest.

Teaching and Instructional Design

  • Support the enhancement of a professional development program for teachers to teach the VisMO program.
  • Plan, design, and deliver VisMO instruction using researched-based best practices and Collaborative Education strategies, in conjunction with federal law, state law, the University of San Diego’s mission, vision and values.
  • Foster students’ learning and collaboration in the classroom by establishing norms and expectations that provide connection, consistency and compassion.
  • Communicate necessary information regularly and effectively to students, supervisor, the Jacobs Institute, and the University of San Diego, as needed.
  • Use relevant technology to effectively create and implement the curriculum.
  • Prepare the teachers and classroom for class activities and support clean and organized sessions and classrooms before and after each session.
  • Maintain high academic standards and expectations while simultaneously supporting students’ social emotional learning and positive experiences.
  • Provide an executive summary of program facilitation after teacher development and teaching take place.
  • Provide detailed information for reports, presentations, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Program Management

  • Works closely with Principal Investigator and JI administrative team to coordinate teacher staffing and work schedules, purchases and supplies for the VisMO Program.
  • Provide guidance and strategic direction to program teachers.
  • Create, identify, encourage and support team members as they participate in professional development  opportunities to build the collective capacity of the organization.
  • Recruit, train and supervise VisMO teachers and prepare materials needed for instruction.
  • Share information about VisMO and maintain the VisMO website and social media up to date.


  • Support thorough literature review and information research, utilizing institution library, archives, and collections, internet-based information, and other sources of information, to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate facts.
  • Support field research through interviews, surveys, focus groups and other site methodologies to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate facts.
  • Support research that generates new knowledge and inform practices.
  • Support the preparation of project proposals.
  • Support the dissemination of information related to JI research and evaluation projects to research, practitioner, policy, and/or stakeholder communities through publications, presentations, workshops, forums, and/or social media. Support the preparation of conference proposals, journal articles, and/or technical reports, papers, or records.

Special Conditions of Employment:

The University of San Diego is requiring all employees to follow our Covid-19 vaccine requirement process. https://www.sandiego.edu/onward/ 

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Job Requirements:

 Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with equivalent work experience
  • Teaching experience
  • Excellent program management, interpersonal and communication skills, and attention to detail. 
  • Broad awareness of the issues and challenges confronting K-16 education and experience  with the challenges of introducing innovative educational practices.
  • Passion for advancing educational equity
  • Willingness to engage in productive struggle

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Teaching Credential
  • Masters degree in Education
  • Experience or interest in paper folding
Posting Salary:

Commensurate with experience; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

Special Application Instructions:

Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click Apply Now to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu

Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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