Interim Director of Undergraduate Programs & Lecturer
School of Education, University of California, Irvine

Jenel Lao directs and teaches in the Undergraduate Programs for the new Education Sciences major at the School of Education at UC Irvine. In this role, she has become an expert in digital teaching and learning and led the development of an online version of a Certificate in Afterschool and Summer Education (CASE) specialization. Jenel is particularly passionate about using afterschool programs to accelerate learning for underserved youth. After leading the ground-up development, implementation and evaluation of one of the first and largest district-wide afterschool scale-ups in California, Jenel went on to become the Executive Director of Research and Evaluation for a local non-profit. Here she led the development of a data-driven culture to inform strategic planning, grant writing and effective academic afterschool programming that helped secure partnerships with over 40 school districts across the state. Jenel is pleased to have served on several afterschool work groups tasked with developing standards and practices to foster high-quality programs statewide.