Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development European Cluster Working with Media Evolution City in Sweden

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Mar 29, 2013

Fielding’s Malmö Jam at Media Evolution City in Sweden: Learning, Sharing, Action, & Building Communities of Purpose

Malmö, Sweden, May 30 – June 2, 2013

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Members from all areas of the Fielding learning community are gathering for this dynamic learning session. Led by Human and Organizational Development (HOD) faculty facilitators Fred Steier and Dottie Agger-Gupta, the learning model for the event can be linked to foundational and advanced knowledge area assessments in systems, praxis, media, and other specialized studies. 

This conference is set to take place in Media Evolution City. For this event, HOD European cluster and co-connects Heidi Forbes öste and Sergej Van Middendorp, developed the concept for this conference with global media leaders who are affiliated with Media Evolution. The Media Evolution Community is a membership-based community of media related companies, large and small.  Their mission is to foster connections and collaboration between innovators, entrepreneurs, companies and universities.  It is a dynamic example of an emerging and new form of organizing and collaboration fit for our 21st century challenges. One of the key challenges facing such collaborative communities is the ability to move beyond the community of interest and the community of practice to form communities of purpose. The purpose is to solve particular client challenges, often in temporal organizations, without resorting to old forms of enterprise and organization that stifle opportunities for solutions. Participation will be both face-to-face and remotely via GoToMeeting. 

Malmo Jam: Click here for more information.

See the following links for more information on the Media Evolution participants:
Media Evolution: Where the Media Industries meet for Innovation and Growth:

Members from Academia, Digital games, Film, Communications,
Learning, Media technology, Music, Public sector, Publishing, TV, and the Web:

The May 30 and 31st sessions are reserved for Fielding students and alumni. Guests and potential students are welcome to join June 1 and 2. To pre-register please email:

**There is no registration fee, but all participants and guests are encouraged to pre-register no later than March 31, 2013**

Please email Dottie by March 31 to pre-register for in-person or remote participation:

Tags: international, adult learning, fielding graduate university

Samuel T. Gontkovsky, PsyD, named Director of Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate Program at Fielding Graduate University

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Mar 15, 2013

Samuel T. Gontkovsky, PsyD, joins Fielding Graduate University as the new director of the Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate Program

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Gontkovsky brings more than 15 years of professional experience in clinical practice, research, teaching, and administration to his new position at Fielding. He has published more than 75 professional articles, books, book chapters, and book reviews and has given more than 125 presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences.

Gontkovsky serves as a reviewer for numerous journals and professional organizations in the areas of psychology, neuropsychology, medicine, health, and rehabilitation. He is the former president of the Mississippi Psychological Association and former chair of the Education and Training Committee of Division 12 of the American Psychological Association. Gontkovsky presently serves on the Continuing Education Committee of Division 22 of the American Psychological Association and the Ethics Committee of the Nebraska Psychological Association.

Q & A:

-What are your main responsibilities in this position as director of the Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Program here at Fielding (for those that are not familiar with this program/position)?

As listed in my formal job description, principle responsibilities include recruitment, orientation of new students, budget management, program advising, and program oversight.

-What is it about Fielding that interested you the most to apply for this position?

I have had very favorable experiences in the past with individuals affiliated with the Fielding Neuropsychology Program. One of my first supervisors in neuropsychology was also a Fielding faculty member at the time. I have a colleague/friend who completed the Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate at Fielding and spoke very highly of the program. I also hired a Fielding Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate graduate in my prior position as head of the Department of Psychology at The Nebraska Medical Center, and I was very pleased with his work.

-What brought you to the Palo Alto/SF area from –(where were you before?)

I had been in Omaha, Nebraska for about 3½ years prior to coming to California and was the head of the Department of Psychology as well as the Pain Management Program at The Nebraska Medical Center. For several years, I have been looking to move to California. When I was offered the opportunity by Home Care Assistance, a private company based in Palo Alto, to develop a new non-pharmacological intervention program for individuals with cognitive impairment, I jumped at the chance. The approach, known as the Dementia Therapeutics Method, is based on the scientific literature and utilizes cognitive training/rehabilitation, sensory stimulation, social stimulation, dietary changes, physical exercise, stress management strategies, and recreational activities in an effort to slow the decline of progressive brain diseases/disorders and delay onset of new symptoms in areas of the brain which have not yet been affected.

- You are quite a prolific writer and presenter (numerous journals and professional organizations in the areas of psychology, neuropsychology, medicine, health, and rehabilitation), what are some of your most recent publications and presentations? What are you currently working on?

Below are my five most recent publications, two presently in press.

Killebrew, A. E., Smith, M. L., Nevels, R. M., Weiss, N. H., & Gontkovsky, S. T. (in press). Pregnancy among African American adolescent females in the southeastern United States: A review of the literature and an examination of the associations between peer substance use before sex, peer number of children, and parental influence and substance use before sex and history of pregnancy. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.

Nevels, R. M., Williams, B. E., & Gontkovsky, S. T. (in press). Paroxetine—the antidepressant from hell? Probably not, but caution required. Psychopharmacology Bulletin.

Gontkovsky, S. T. (2012). Auditory/verbal learning and memory deficits among individuals with traumatic spinal cord injuries may be attributable to undocumented traumatic brain injuries. Functional Neurology, Rehabilitation, and Ergonomics, 2(1), 9-16.

Ryan, J. J., Gontkovsky, S. T., Kreiner, D. S., & Tree, H. A. (2012). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition performance in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 34(6), 571-579.

Umfleet, L. G., Ryan, J. J., Gontkovsky, S. T., & Morris, J. (2012). Estimating WAIS-IV indexes: Proration versus linear scaling in a clinical sample. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(4), 390-396.

My current ongoing research projects are looking at accurate identification of the neuropsychological deficits associated with multiple sclerosis, the influence of cognition on the ability of individuals with multiple sclerosis to maintain employment, the differential sensitivity of neurocognitive screening instruments in assessing individuals undergoing inpatient rehabilitation, and the under-recognized drug interactions that may occur with methylphenidate.

-What are you looking forward to now that you are at Fielding? What are you looking forward to contributing to the students and the program in general?

I am working diligently at marketing right now and hoping to increase enrollment in the Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate Program. As I said, I have had great experiences with individuals who have completed the program, and I think many more people could benefit from the training if they only knew about it.

School of Psychology acting dean, Kristine Jacquin, PhD, commented, "The School of Psychology is pleased to have Dr. Gontkovsky join our esteemed faculty as director of the neuropsychology postdoctoral program. Gontkovsky brings valuable experience and training to this position and I am confident he will enhance this already stellar program."

Click here to view: Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate Program Brochure

Tags: psychology, higher education, fielding graduate university

Fielding doctoral student Carol A. Preston-Brown selected to present at 14th Annual Narrowing the Gulf Conference

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Mar 14, 2013

Carol Feb 2013 no logo 6480pix resized 600Fielding Graduate University Educational Leadership & Change doctoral student and alumna Carol A. Preston-Brown, MA, (OMOD ’06) chosen to present at the Narrowing the Gulf 14th Annual Conference at the St. Petersburg College Critical Thinking Institute on April 4-5, 2013, in Clearwater, Florida.

Identified as an emerging scholar, Preston-Brown will present a workshop based on her dissertation research titled “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: An Intervention for Youth Aging Out of the Foster Care System," in which she states: 

Education outcomes for former foster youth are dismal. Although 70% of youth in foster care want to go to college (Rassen, Cooper, & Mery, 2010), the resources available for their success in California Community colleges are clearly insufficient.  My dissertation research begins with the mandate of the Chancellor of California Community Colleges to create systems of support for former foster youth who transition to community colleges.  My work also addresses the significance of academic K-12 preparation, which should lay the foundation to support quality-of-life-goals, so former foster youth can become contributing members of society.  

The annual Narrowing the Gulf Conference focuses on improving classroom instruction and supporting services for underrepresented students in postsecondary education. Preston-Brown’s research dovetails well with the theme of the conference given that she discusses former foster youth on the community college campus. Her research follows the theories of Maslow, Friere, Chickering, and Erickson as she explores the lack of positive outcomes and support for these students.

To view the full conference schedule, click here.

Tags: educational leadership, learning, research

Fielding HOD doctoral faculty member Christine GT Ho, PhD, recognized for her contribution to social justice

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Mar 07, 2013

christine ho cropped resized 600School of Human & Organizational Development (HOD) doctoral faculty member Christine GT Ho, PhD, receives Fielding’s Social Justice Award

HOD doctoral faculty member Steven Schapiro, EdD, stated, “the award had not been given for several years, but since Christine seemed so deserving of it, myself along with several other faculty members nominated her for it and suggested that we reinstitute this award as a way to recognize faculty and give visibility to social justice work.”

Ho was awarded for her meritorious service to the HOD doctoral concentration in Transformative Learning for Social Justice (TLSJ) in acknowledgment of her commitment and outstanding contribution to the TLSJ learning community. Ho was also awarded the faculty nominated Social Justice Award during the HOD Winter Session 2013 in christine with steven resized 600Santa Barbara, CA.  The Social Justice Award was reinstated as a way to distinguish faculty and increase visibility of social justice work in recognition of Ho’s significant contribution and commitment to social justice over the years.

HOD doctoral faculty member and chair of the Senate Commission on Social and Ecological Justice, Placida Gallegos, PhD, stated:

As an anthropologist, Ho continues to be involved in the most critical issues of oppressed people, currently working to change conditions for undocumented students and families across the globe.  Her recent book, Humane Migration: Establishing Legitimacy and Rights for Displaced People, Ho documents the inhumane treatment of migrants and the human, social, and economic costs of current policies and practices.

In the preface of that book, Christine tells of her early years and how she began her career…

“…it was not until I studied anthropology at UCLA that my intuition about what was happening all around me took a more cerebral shape, inspiring my quest for self-understanding and igniting my concern with inequality and social justice.  Although I did not encounter it until much later in my intellectual development, the concept of structural violence has been very important to me.  Armed with newly acquired knowledge of how culture and society worked, I joined the professoriate of the US hoping it would allow me to give public voice to the plight of people, including immigrants, who suffer indignities of all sorts.  In other words, I feel a responsibility to speak out and to document the truth.”

Gallegos declared in her presentation speech awarding Ho:

You have inspired us all and set a very high bar. During winter session this year, faculty and students were discussing the history of Fielding and the “giants” who were part of our founding faculty.  I am pleased to be able to acknowledge Christine as a “gentle giant” who has made us a better institution by her presence.  Among her many contributions, she has been instrumental in the founding of the TLSJ concentration and for creating the KA715 in Structural Inequality and Diversity. 

Even more importantly, Christine exemplifies the essence of the scholar-practitioner and challenges us to take action in the world as a result of our scholarship.  In fact, scholar-activist is a more fitting description of what Christine calls us to become.