Points of Pride

Clinical Psychology Student Benefits from Postbac Program

Posted on Tue, Aug 18, 2015

By Marianne McCarthy

David_Alaniz_IMG_7637David Alaniz was accepted into the Clinical Psychology PhD program on his second attempt, and he’s really glad he wasn’t granted admittance the first time around.

“I thought I had what it took to do doctoral work,” said Alaniz, who knew he wanted to be a clinical psychologist but didn’t fully understand everything that’s involved, such as the importance of research, statistical analysis, and critical thinking.

“I didn’t know how a course like psychopathology would be delivered and what we might learn,” he said. “I was surprised that a course in critical thinking was really about writing critically.”

A case manager for Mental Health Systems, Alaniz works with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation helping reintegrate and re-socialize parolees who were incarcerated for anything from petty theft to murder.

Before he was accepted into the program, Alaniz enrolled in Fielding’s new Postbaccalaureate Clinical Psychology Certificate program to help him sharpen his skills. His first semester included multivariate statistics, and he had doubts he could do it.

“I had Dr. Bush for statistics, and he really explained the basics in a way that resonated with me,” said Alaniz, who immediately saw how statistics could benefit his work. He took what he learned back to his boss at Mental Health Systems and showed him how they could measure behavior. Now they are using a Likert scale system with support and risk factors to predict behavior of recently incarcerated felons.

 “What I love about the faculty is how they work with students and give them opportunities,” said Alaniz, who participated in research for the program lead faculty member, Kristine M. Jacquin, PhD. “I was a lead author for a paper that was presented at a conference, and that was my first authorship. I’m also a certified research assistant now.”

All this gave Alaniz more confidence when he applied to the program the second time. Even faculty saw it.

“There was a change in David’s professional demeanor when he applied the second time,” said School of Psychology faculty member Dr. Debra Bendell. “He was realistic about his options and how difficult the program would be.  However, he was optimistic based on what he had accomplished in the postbac program.”

“When David entered the certificate program, it was clear he had the passion for helping others, intelligence, and motivation needed to become a clinical psychologist. However, he was not familiar with the scholarly side of the field,” said Dr. Jacquin. “In a relatively short time, David gained the critical thinking, scholarly writing, and research skills needed to enter a doctoral program. I’m really proud of him. He will be a great clinical psychologist.”

Alaniz is the first in his family to pursue academics higher than an associate’s degree. He’s working full-time as well as helping raise a teenager as he continues his doctoral studies.

“I know that it’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m ready for the journey,” he said.

Learn more about the Postbac in Clinical Psychology

Tags: adult learning, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, education

Alumnus Completes 5-Week Stint as Fulbright Specialist

Posted on Thu, Aug 06, 2015

By Marianne McCarthy

Dr. Steven E. Wallis (HOD ’06) just returned from a five-week assignment in Halle, Germany as a Fulbright Specialist supporting experts at a research center develop better theory and policy for more effective teaching, research, and implementation.Wallis3

In true Fielding style, Wallis continued his work postdoctoral and developed a research method, Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA), which measures the transformative capacity of theories. As an expert at analyzing policies and strategic plans and looking at ways to increase their usefulness to individuals and organizations, 

he applied to the Fulbright Foundation and was added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster in 2013. When IPA caught the eye of a research associate at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Wallis got his first assignment.

IAMO (pronounced I-am-oh) develops policy recommendations in agriculture and commerce to support emerging nations in central and Eastern Europe. Wallis worked with IAMO scholars and researchers who want their theories and policies to be more effective in practical applications.

“I spent five weeks in a stimulating and intellectually challenging mix of presentations, workshops, and meetings with individual scholars,” says Wallis.

During his time in Germany, Wallis attended conferences and workshops, gave presentations on this methodology, and mentored scholars and researchers. He helped doctoral candidates sort their literature reviews to identify gaps in the theory where the candidate might focus their research. In another project, he helped researcher, Dr. Tuck Fatt Siew, create and integrate perception graphs of key stakeholders to understand complex problems of water usage in China.

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A doctoral student, Nozilakhon Mukhamedova, was having a difficult time compiling all her research on land and water reform in Central Asia into a coherent picture. Using IPA to map multiple theoretical perspectives, she was able provide a map for moving forward on her dissertation.

“I learned a lot about agriculture, economics, and life in transition economies from my new colleagues,” says Wallis. “In turn, they learned about IPA and made structural improvements to their theories.”

Some of the researchers provided suggestions for improving Wallis’s methodology. Ideas that he says will open a new stream of research.

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 “I am in awe, and deeply appreciative of the transformative events I experienced on this Fulbright Specialist adventure. I feel changed—more confidence in my approach yet, paradoxically, with a new understanding of how IPA may be improved,” says Wallis.

Being a Fulbright specialist is a five-year commitment, and there are a couple of institutions that have requested to work with Wallis. So there’s no telling where he will be placed in the future.

“I was honored to have been selected for this project and wish to express my deep appreciation to Fulbright, IAMO, and supportive colleagues: President Dr. Katrina Rogers at Fielding Graduate University; my Department Chairperson, Dr. Rebecca Loehrer, at Capella University; and Dr. Vladislav Valentinov at IAMO,” said Wallis.

You can read more about Wallis’ experience, at his blog.

Tags: fielding graduate university, research, Fulbright, education

Alumni and Faculty Author Books on Creativity, Art Therapy, Sustainability, and more!

Posted on Mon, Jul 20, 2015

The following books, authored by members of the Fielding community were published in the first half of 2015.

BrandtBookThe Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut by Betsy Siwula-Brandt  (MA, Organizational Leadership alumna)

This book offers a new way of looking at creativity, and takes a long view of approaching your creative life. The Three Sources of Creativity is not a typical self-help book. It contains a self-assessment, exemplars (modern and ancient), many illustrations, cartoons, exercises and applications tailored to the readers.  Learn how the three sources of creativity work in your life.

This book is packed with inspiring mini-stories and fresh new insights for both your personal and business life.  As a former geoscientist and current consultant, Betsy has served in many industries required to "create something from nothing"—from discovering major oil and gas fields offshore to fostering creativity in international teams—and she wants to share my expertise with you.

For more information visit http://www.threecentersofcreativity.com/author/admin/.

 

FOCUS

FOCUS! Get What You Want Out of Life by Carol-Anne Minski, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumna)

This book is for any woman who is standing at the threshold of change or making a decision about the future. Women that were interviewed for the book share their successes and their struggles. You will be inspired by the stories of brave women, determined to achieve their goals.

Carol’s book condenses years of documented research and proven strategies for gaining confidence and overcoming fear. The powerful FOCUS model provides a step-by-step pathway that anyone can use to achieve personal and professional goals.

Watch the video about Carol’s book:  https://youtu.be/KQ3NyY25eSU.

 

Becoming An Art Therapist by Maxine Borowsky Junge, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumna)

ArtTherapyIn her eight book since graduating from Fielding, Maxine covers issues in supervision and mentorship, contains stories by art therapy students about what they are thinking and feeling, and letters to young art therapists by highly regarded professionals in the field. The reader has the advantage of ideas and responses from both a student art therapist and an art therapist with many years' experience and is clearly intended for students aiming for a career in therapy.

More information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website, http://www.ccthomas.com/details.cfm?P_ISBN13=9780398090739.

 

A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership by Steve Schein, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumnus)

ScheinIn this book, Schein explores the deeper psychological motivations of sustainability leaders. He shows how these motivations relate to overall effectiveness and capacity to lead transformational change and he explores the ways in which the complexity of sustainability is driving new approaches to leadership. Based on current reviews, the book appears to be opening a new type of discussion about sustainability leadership that could lead to deeper change.

Drawing on interviews with 75 leaders in more than 40 multinational organizations, NGOs, and academia, Schein explores how ecological worldviews and conscious mindsets are developed and expressed in the context of global sustainability practice. By empirically grounding key theories from developmental psychology in sustainability leadership practice, the Schein encourages us to think about leadership in a different way.

For more information visit http://www.greenleaf-publishing.com/productdetail.kmod?productid=4068.

 

GillespeBookThe Anatomy of Death: Notes from a Healer's Casebook by Elena Gillespie, PhD (Human Development alumna)

Elena Gillespie had no idea that her father's death would lead to a door that contravenes everything we think we know about death and dying. Promising her father that that she would learn everything she could about this process, she approached her visionary experiences with the open mind of the researcher.  

While serving as an alternative counselor and Reiki practitioner, Elena worked with the dying. She wrote her dissertation on her transpersonal experiences with the dying, discovereing along the way that death is not to be feared, but may be the beginning of the next great adventure.

Read more at http://www.amazon.com/The-Anatomy-Death-Healers-Casebook/dp/0692403841>

 

Rural_GeniusRural Genius 3: Secrets to Long-Term Marriages by Hilda V. Carpenter, PhD (Human Development alumna)

In the third book of a trilogy, Hilda humorously chronicles 44 years of marriage to three men. The book is a self-parody of Hilda's experiences in 3 marriages, ending with a chapter that identifies 12 lessons she learned and how she has stayed married to her current husband for 30 years.
Learn more this book and others in the trilogy at  http://hildac.wix.com/rural-genius.

Massaging the Mindset: An Intelligent Approach to Systemic Change in Education by Dr. Felecia (Wright) Nace (Educational Leadership for Change alumna)

Felecia Nace—a former teacher, a change facilitator for schools and businesses, and an education specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education—has written a book exploring the subject of systemic change in education.

Massaging_the_MindsetThis book examines the psychology behind systemic change. School leaders will be equipped to view change from a perspective that has rarely been acknowledged. The reader will begin to see change as a process, and will understand the steps needed to attain targeted goals. School leaders will also understand that before any specific changes can take shape in a school system, leaders must first develop change skill sets in staff. Then, and only then will change become a part of school culture. Once this takes place, moving initiatives forward becomes a systemic effort, and administrators will find they have less time management issues as they can then spend more time focused on being a true instructional leader.

Even though it’s written with school leaders in mind, it’s presented in layman’s terms so that families, community members and educators in various positions to easily grasp the concepts about current trends and changes in schools in the US and how each of us plays a unique role, and most importantly, a shared responsibility in the education process.”

For more information about Nace and her book, visit https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475812145#.

Do you have a book that’s publishing soon? Send us your information and we’ll include your book in next month’s blog.

 

 

 

 

Tags: change agent, creativity, educational leadership, psychology, organizational change, Organizational development, women's issues, sustainability, leadership, fielding graduate university, human development, research

Books by faculty, students and alumni, Spring 2015

Posted on Tue, Jun 09, 2015

The following books, authored by members of the Fielding community, were published in January to May, 2015.

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Storytelling for Sustainability: Deepening the Case for Change by Jeff Leinaweaver (Human and Organizational Systems alumnus)

In this book, veteran sustainability strategist and alumnus Jeff Leinaweaver shows you how storytelling 'transmit resonance' and how it can lead to success or failure.  It describes techniques for using storytelling to attract attention and get better results, whether communicating statistics and priorities, advocating for change, organizing stakeholders, or building an authentic brand and community. Storytelling is an ancient practice and a priceless skill. For sustainability practitioners who want to be more strategic and have more influence in shaping a better world, it is a crucial skill to master. 

 

When The Ball Drops: An Exploratory Study Of Inner-City College Athletes And Crime: Socialization, Risk, Strategy, And Hope by Dexter Juan Davis (Educational Leadership for Change)

BallDropsAccording to Dexter Juan Davis, there has been a significant and disturbing trend of student athletes committing crimes on college campuses. Carefully using data generated from the study of these athletes, Davis utilizes interview data to determine the socialization and behavioral dynamics associated with the propensity for criminal activity by college athletes. This study focuses on emerging themes important in understanding why some athletes from similar backgrounds avoid criminal behavior and how those that run afoul of the law recover from their experiences.

 

Fielding Monograph, Vol. 4: Leadership Studies in Healthcare

“Leadership Studies in Healthcare,” is edited by Fielding Professor Marie Farrell, EdD, former visiting Professor at Harvard School of Public Health, who also served as program manager for nu

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rsing, midwifery, and social work for the World Health Organization (WHO).

This publication includes seven recent researches from outstanding Fielding’s School of Human Organizational Development (HOD) graduates. Read more at http://news.fielding.edu/bid/105090/Fourth-Fielding-Monograph-Published-Leadership-Studies-in-Healthcare

This Fielding monograph is now available worldwide on Amazon. An electronic version of the book, to be distributed by Apple iBooks, is in preparation.

Tags: educational leadership, leadership, fielding graduate university, healthcare, human development, coaching

Media Psychology Student's Documentary Premieres in NYC

Posted on Wed, May 06, 2015

Catherine Seo's Research is Creating a Model for Patients to Collaborate with Their Doctors

By Marianne McCarthy

Last month, Media Psychology student Catherine Seo debuted her documentary film, “The Disease They Call FAT,” at the 1st International Symposium on Lipedema in New York City. The film was part of a two-day event in which top medical researchers, surgeons, and other medical professionals from around the world gathered in support of finding a cure for the often misunderstood (and misdiagnosed) disease.Lipedema TheDiseasetheyCallFAT

Lipedema is a fat disorder characterized by irregular fat distribution under the skin. Typically, fat is disproportionately located on the legs and hips. Painful and debilitating, it can result in immobility if left untreated. An estimated 17 million women in the United States are afflicted with Lipedema; 11% worldwide.

Driven to discover the root of her struggle with unexplainable weight gain and constant pain in her legs, Seo stumbled upon the Lipedema diagnosis in a book by Prof. Dr. Etelka Földi. When she shared her findings with her primary care doctor, who knew nothing about the disorder, he encouraged her to learn more.

“He told me I’d have to help him so he could help me,” said Seo. “I was going to learn what I needed to learn, and do whatever I had to do, in order to find out what was going on with my body, and so, that’s what I did.”

Armed with her Handycam and her research skills, she traveled around the world to interview patients and medical specialists. Her efforts culminated in the documentary film and also a website, Lipedema-Simplified.org, which is a compilation of her research and her personal experience with this disabling disease. She’s even hosted a series of online symposia with doctors that she’s met from around the world.catherine surgery3

In a system that blames obesity on the individual, her goal has been, in part, to raise awareness so that those with Lipedema can stop blaming themselves. Through a partnership with Dr. Mark Smith, director of The Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & Treatment at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, they created The Lipedema Project, which helps patients form collaborations with their doctors to learn more about their health and what treatment options exist.

“I’m hoping that my experiences provide a model for empowering people to take control of their own health in a way that they can get the kind of collaboration and partnership that they need with their health care providers,” said Seo.catherine photo

She believes that people with any kind of disorder have a lot to contribute to the understanding of it.

“We have a very top-down autocratic health care system. The idea of a patient group being able to collaborate with professional health care clinicians and researchers is unheard of in the health care system,” she said.

During her research, Seo began to realize that the anti-fat bias is deep-rooting in the health care system.

“People are blamed by the media. They are blamed by their health care providers because there’s an underlying assumption that it’s controllability—that the reason that you’re overweight is because you eat too much. Well, it’s much more complex than that,” said Seo.

For her dissertation research (expected completion January 2016), she is exploring how deeply women's lives are impacted by cultural distortions of women and their bodies. She admits that she was also quick to blame herself at first, even though she was doing all the right things. Healthcare professionals either explicitly or implicitly reinforced her self-assessment. 

As Seo finalizes her dissertation on media’s influence on women and the idealization of body image, she is exploring self-compassion meditation as an intervention because “so many of us try so hard to change ourselves to meet some external value structure.”

Her work won’t stop there though. She and Media Psychology Faculty Member Karen Dill-Shackleford have submitted a research grant proposal focused on improving body image dissatisfaction.

“Understanding the psychology of how media is projected, how it’s consumed, how it’s integrated into our culture, is the leading edge of what’s happening,” Seo said.

A preview of “The Disease They Call FAT” can be view at http://lipedemaproject.org/premiere2015. The full version will be available in June 2015.

Click to learn more about Fielding's Media Psychology program. 

Tags: Media psychology, women's issues, adult learning, fielding graduate university, healthcare

Col. Porter: First Psychologist to Command an Army Health Care Facility

Posted on Fri, Apr 10, 2015

By Marianne McCarthy

col porter

Rebecca Porter entered military service for much the same reason many young people did in the 70s—to help pay for their education.

“As it turned out I was not eligible for a scholarship because I had really bad eyes. But I was already enrolled, and I liked it, and so I stuck with it,” said Porter, now a colonel in the US Army with 20 years of service.

After her ROTC program, she was assigned to the Military Police Corps, but her real interests lie in psychology. So, she transferred to the Army Reserve and started on her master’s degree in counseling. That’s when she and a fellow student learned about Fielding’s doctoral program in clinical psychology.

This was back in ’91—before the prevalence of the Internet. She was pregnant with her first child, and her husband had just been deployed to Desert Storm. But Fielding’s distributed learning model made it all doable.

“With my husband being on active duty, I didn’t know how long we would be at any one location,” said Porter who re-entered active duty herself and applied for the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship. She joined the Reno cluster and graduated four years and three months later.

After his tour of duty, Porter’s husband was transferred to Hawaii, and she began her internship at Tripler Army Medical Center. Immediately following, she directed the chronic pain program there. Later she returned for a postdoctoral fellowship and then directed the fellowship program. (Porter is shown below in Hawaii with her mentor, Jerry Nims, PhD, JD, several years after her graduation.)

Hawaii to NY 075

Like many in the military, Porter’s career in the Army is characterized by a series of shifting assignments that span the country. When in the Army, you go where they tell you to.
For Porter, it was the Pentagon. She was first called to the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison where she received a different kind of education.

“It was an exciting job and so educational to see how Capitol Hill and the Pentagon work together, sometimes in a point-counter-point way but also in a complementary way,” said Porter.

In her second position in the Pentagon, Porter became a special assistant for the Well Being of the Army where she advised the Army senior leadership on things like how your work environment impacts your affinity to the Army.

“In that role I got another phenomenal education about how the senior leadership of the Army functions—how the processes work to fund programs, to look at evidence and look at the data to inform whether or not to keep a program,” she said.


DunhamPorter later went on to be the Chief of Behavioral Health for the Army Surgeon General and Director of Psychological Health for the Army. In that job she was a leader in Behavioral Health policy for the Army and testified before Congress on various healthcare matters.


Today Porter is Commander of Dunham US Army Health Clinic in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The facility provides primary health care for approximately 12,000 students at the US Army War College and other beneficiaries in the area. She is the first psychologist in the Army to be appointed to head a medical treatment facility, and she’s found her background essential.

“I have relied, almost daily, on my background as a clinical psychologist in doing this job,” said Porter. “I have addressed personnel and morale issues in the clinic through the use of some of what I know about attitude formation, attitude change, and confirmation bias. I’ve set up programs to try to shift peoples’ attention to positive things, rather than negative things.

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“I have always felt like I had the right academic background and interpersonal background to be able to do what I’m doing now.”

This past January, Porter came to Winter Session in Santa Barbara and spoke candidly about military psychology and how policy on post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) has changed since the 1980s. For example, you can stay on active duty with PTSD as long as you can complete your duty.

"PTSD affects the entire family," said Porter, which is why it's important to put counselors in the schools with children of military parents.

 

Tags: adult learning, higher education, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, army, graduate education, military psychology, veterans

New Books by Fielding Students, Faculty, and Alumni (December 2014)

Posted on Thu, Jan 22, 2015

The following books, authored by members of the Fielding community, were published in December 2014.

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Magic of Mentoring, by Barbara Perkins (Evidence Based Coaching alumna)

The Magic of Mentoring: Pearls of Wisdom is a collection of short stories written by 47 contributors, or “Pearls,” who believe that mentoring is the key to success for young people today. Each contributor’s story shares a personal journey on how their lives were changed for the better because of mentoring. According to Perkins, there is an overwhelming need to find perfect matches for children in cities across this nation in need of all the benefits that positive mentoring will bring to their lives.

The Psychotherapy Relationship: Cultural Influences (Fielding Monograph Series: Volume Two), edited by Sherry Hatcher (Clinical Psychology faculty)

This second volume in Fielding’s Monograph Series features six articles on the cultural ramifications of the psychotherapy relationship, based on recent dissertations by Fielding graduates. Edited by Sherry L. Hatcher, the studies explore unique socio-cultural aspects of the therapy relationship.Monograph Vol2

• Jessie Whitehorse Lopez’s article, co-authored by Robert L. Hatcher, tells us about Native American psychotherapy clients: how they evaluate standard measures of alliance, and which criteria they propose to add in order to foster trust in the therapy relationship.

• Christine Mok-Lammé reminds us to avoid stereotyping. Her article illustrates common expectations about what Chinese American psychotherapy clients want from their therapy, in terms of either cognitive or emotion-based interventions.

• Arielle Schwartz takes us into “new age” culture by asking what psychologists think about embedding mind-body methods in their work, such as the use of relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and more. She discovered interesting discrepancies between the mind-body techniques that psychologists value personally, and those that they are disinclined to incorporate into their professional work.

• The article by Shanna Jackson looks at parallel cultures of abuse and what happens when therapists, who have themselves suffered abuse and trauma, treat clients with a similar history. The potential for “vicarious traumatization” suggests that methods that typically promote therapist empathy may instead have the potential to unwittingly retraumatize some therapists.

• Chaya Rubin and Comfort Shields explore the culture of therapists’ judgments, based on archival data from a study published by the editor of this issue. They investigate the question of whether the perceived culpability or vulnerability of a psychotherapy client may affect a therapist’s ability to empathize with that client.

• Michelle Horowitz introduces the reader to an exponentially expanding culture of social media and, in particular, how the delivery of electronically-mediated psychotherapy may positively and/or negatively impact the therapeutic relationship.

The monograph series is available for purchase on Amazon.com

New Directions in Media Psychology (Fielding Monograph Series, Volume Three), edited Karen Dill-Shackleford (Media Psychology faculty)

Monograph Vol3In this third volume of Fielding's Monograph six articles broaden the boundaries of Media Psychology, a field that Fielding introduced as a doctoral discipline in 2003. This volume illustrates the range of topics that the media psychology discipline can encompass, as illustrated by the recent dissertation research of six media psychology alumni.

• Gordon Goodman’s study examines one medium of entertainment long ignored by psychologists, namely the stage. An accomplished actor and director in his own right, Dr. Goodman asked whether stage fright, popularly associated with young and inexperienced actors, continues to vex accomplished, veteran actors.

• The article by Jennifer Johnston summarizes her groundbreaking study on childhood exposure to pornography, a dominant genre in virtually all media, and the effects of such exposure on sexual satisfaction in adulthood. Dr. Johnson’s findings show that early exposure to pornography can increase sexual satisfaction when mediated by sexual experience.

• Jonny White addresses the realm of storytelling. Based on five in-depth interviews with accomplished authors of fiction, augmented by additional case study material, Dr. White concluded that authors benefit from stepping outside of their societal narrative conventions in order to develop new perspectives for storytelling.

• In her article, Bernadette Chitunya-Wilson underscores the enduring power of one of our culture’s most important legacy media: television. Her inquiry probes the question of whether frequent viewing of reality TV shows involving cosmetic surgery actually fosters a desire among viewers to undergo cosmetic surgery themselves.

• Alicia Vitagliano turns our attention to another legacy platform, namely, print journalism covering the field of professional sports. Given that the number of female sports journalists has grown in recent decades since the adoption of Title IX in 1972, she wonders whether a reader’s gender and internalized sexism would affect his or her views towards a sports article written by a female journalist.

• Ivone Umar examines the role of the Internet in an area largely overlooked by American scholars: the ability of students born in Latin America to integrate within an American college community in the United States. Dr. Umar’s data show that the use of the Internet in the host language—English—was a positive factor in the acculturation process, whereas the use of the Internet in the student’s native language was correlated with a slower acculturation on an American English-speaking campus.

The monograph series is available for purchase on Amazon.com

Do you have a book that’s publishing soon? Send us your information and we’ll include your book in next month’s blog.

Tags: Media psychology, psychology, fielding faculty, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, coaching

Student and Alumni Projects Improve the Lives of Veterans

Posted on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

by Marianne McCarthy

Veterans Day honors America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. While our nation pauses to reflect on those who have served our country, we would like to recognize a few of those in the Fielding community who dedicate their practice and study to improving the lives of veterans.

Preparing to Serve Vets and Their Families

“A lot of our veterans are coming back with brain injuries, and they are finding that they have increased sensitivity to light, memory problems, difficulty thinking and reasoning, and responding with the same kind of personality their spouses remember,” says Jeremy Jinkerson, a doctoral student in clinical psychology with neuropsychology concentration.

Jinkerson's interest in military psychology stems from his earlier work with children and adolescents, where he developed specialties and interest in the traumatic process and how PTSD develops.  He is currently doing his practicum at Little Rock Air Force Base and applying to become an officer in the Air Force.

Jinkerson is also the Commanding Officer of Fielding’s APA Division 19 Society for Military Psychology student chapter. Other officers include Tiffany Duffing (Executive Officer) and Athena Hubbard (Secretary/Treasurer). The group has put together a training series to help prepare students to serve active military families and veterans now and in their future careers.  They’ve brought in speakers and even had presentations from some Fielding students.Fielding Div19 officers

“We can learn a lot from [Fielding] veterans as well,” says Jinkerson.  “We’ve had presentations on military culture and on topics that are of interest and pertinent to us from a clinical perspective. We’ve had presentations from interns at active duty sites as well as national training directors who are teaching us what we need to know now to apply to their site this year or next year.

Later this year, Jinkerson will transition into a more national role for Division 19. As Director of Programming, he’ll be organizing programming and virtual dissemination strategies for all of Division 19 members.

Developing Entrepreneurship for Veterans’ Families

Growing up in Harlem with parents who were actively involved in community affairs had a huge impact on Stephen Redmon. The Human & Organizational Systems (HOS) alumnus (2013) has been devoted to community service since he graduated college and joined the Peace Corps. Today, Redmon serves as Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the Departments of Veterans Affairs. But in 2008, he was selected for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at Syracuse University where he developed an award-winning business plan for improving the quality of life for service-disabled veterans.

describe the imageHis dissertation explores the experiences of family members of veterans who participated in the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Family Program (EBV-F), an entrepreneurial learning and coaching program designed to assist family members of service-disabled veterans in an effort to support the discontinuous life transition of these veterans and their families. 

“Family members of service-disabled veterans oftentimes have to bring more income to the family to make up for the decrease in income because possibly of the service disabled veteran,” says Redmon. “The entrepreneur opportunity offers both the potential for income and resources for the family, but also a more flexible way to bring in those resources to the family.”

Redmon has been practicing law for 25 years. His doctorate in HOS has allowed him to take a “more holistic, medical-legal approach” to his practice. Rather than looking at a case from as a purely criminal justice matter, Redmon seeks out the root cause of a patient’s condition to see if there’s a legal component to it. Does the veteran need counseling? Assessment, diagnosis, or treatment? Is a drug or alcohol intervention needed?

Comforting Heroes in their Greatest Hour of Need

RebeccaA couple of years ago, clinical psychology doctoral student Rebecca Hodges started the Military Heroes Comfort Project. The nonprofit organization provides knitted hats, blankets and other sources of comfort to military heroes and their families going through chemotherapy, infusions, or radiation.

The project began following her own family’s struggle with cancer. When her foster son retired from active duty, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and needed infusions. According to Hodges, military budget cuts meant few of any items of comfort were available during these treatments. She saw a huge need for lap blankets, chemo hats, ball caps, slippers and quilts to help comfort patients as they bravely battled with cancer. Yet regulations prohibited anyone from giving or sharing these items to non-relatives. That’s when Hodges decided to create her own organization, one that is sanctioned by the US Judge Advocate General (JAG). In the short span of two years, her group, comprised completely of volunteer sewers, knitters, and donors from across the nation, has provided over $350,000 in donated or handmade gifts to patients of all ages (infants through geriatrics).ComfortProject

Hodges always needs donors and crafters, but she is especially looking for someone to help the organization with social media and a website. If you’re interested in helping out, email her at [email protected] All donations are tax-deductible.

Want to get involved?

If you are a veteran or are interested in learning more about veterans' issues, there are two Fielding communities to consider joining. Psychology students can join Division 19 of the American Psychological Association (APA). Any student can join the Fielding Veterans Connection, a group that was initiated by Redmon and fellow HOS alumnus Bart Buechner as a space to share interests and offer support. The group has both a Moodle (login required) and LinkedIn forum and is open to both veterans and non-veterans. 

Tags: psychology, trauma psychology, APA Division 19, fielding graduate university, graduate education, military psychology, veterans

MA-CEL Alumna Invited to White House to Receive Presidential Arts Funding

Posted on Thu, Aug 14, 2014


By Marianne McCarthy

Malissa Cindy Rachel with captionWhen Principal Rachel Clark Messineo (MA-CEL, ’08) received an invitation to the White House this past May, she knew her school had been chosen as a recipient of an arts education initiative that could help make a difference in her school. But the students of Burbank Elementary and the rest of San Diego didn’t know for sure until they watched the event streaming live from the White House. Of course, they couldn’t be more proud and excited, as are we at Fielding.

Burbank Elementary is one of only 35 schools across the nation to participate in the Turnaround Arts Initiative, an assistance program that provides training, development, and workshops to ensure that the arts are an available avenue to success for all students.

Underperforming School Struggles to Change

Led by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, together with local partners, Turnaround Arts aims to help failing schools implement high quality arts education to “turnaround” the pervasive problems found in high-poverty, chronically underperforming schools. By using the arts as a strategic tool, students are engaged while they learn 21st century skills critical to their success.

Burbank Elementary is located in the “Barrio Logan” area of San Diego, serving 350 students, all of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged. In 2010, it was identified as performing in the lowest 5% of all California schools.Burbank Elementary

 “We’ve been a chronically under-performing school for many years working hard to make a difference, but our scores just go up a tiny bit each year, so it’s hard work. Our kids are low income, second-language learners, part of a very transient population. There are lots of things working against us, but we’re really hoping that integrating arts will be an avenue to attract students to stay at our school,” says Rachel.

She explains that due to limited funding Burbank Elementary doesn’t offer any on-going activities like some of the other more affluent schools in her district. When funds get cut, it’s usually the arts and extracurricular activities that go first. Burbank doesn’t have funds to provide anything other than the core classes: reading, science, math, and history. Kids who struggle in these areas typically don’t want to come to school, says Rachel.

“If we had an acting class, or a singing class, or a dance class, they’d be more excited about coming to school and could learn through song or dance. They could learn through acting, building sets, things like that.  So we’re looking at integrating arts as a way to improve our academics which will ultimately improve self-esteem, confidence, and attendance…maybe we could even become a school of choice for new students.”

Believing in the Value of Arts Education

She believes that there is a connection between arts education and academic achievement. She has a personal connection and passion for arts education as she has played the flute, piccolo, and piano since elementary-school age. She has experienced first-hand how arts education increases student motivation, confidence, and teamwork.

Associated with the school since 2009, Rachel has moved up the ladder from teacher to grant coordinator to just last year being appointed principal.

“As I began my journey toward an administrative position, I started utilizing materials that I had learned at Fielding. It just kept sinking in deeper and deeper,” says Rachel.  “Now that I’m a principal, I frequently draw upon the readings, the books, the activities, and the collaborative tasks that were assigned. Facilitators said, ‘Trust the process,’ and several years later, I see what they meant.”

Turnaround Arts Equips Teachers with Powerful Tools

TurnaroundArtslogoAccording to the Turnaround Arts website, placing the arts as the heart and soul of a school gives leadership and teachers powerful tools to improve school climate and culture, increase student and parent engagement, which ultimately contributes to improved academic achievement and the successful turnaround of a failing school.

Obamas KidsTurnaround Arts began as a pilot program with eight schools, and celebrating that success is what the White House event was all about. First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a talent show in the East Room of the White House, which was transformed into an old fashioned school auditorium. Students from the program’s inaugural schools showed off their skills singing, dancing, making music, and reciting poetry. The First Lady also announced the expansion of the program, from eight pilot schools to 35 schools, 10 from California. Celebrities Sara Jessica Parker and Alfre Woodard, artist-mentors who were paired with one of the original eight schools, were there to help promote the event. President Barack Obama even made a surprise appearance before the show concluded—and Rachel and her superintendent got to shake his hand at the event.

Burbank Gets Assigned an Artist-Mentor

This month, Burbank Elementary meets their new artist-mentor, Grammy award-winning musician Jason Mraz, who lives in the San Diego area. Mraz will work with Rachel and Burbank teachers to infuse the arts into curriculum and campus culture over the next three years.

“We have planned to learn how to play the guitar and ukulele, and Jason plays both!” says Rachel.  “Our hope is that we can have a concert with him at the end of the year with students all playing one of his songs.”

Mraz said in a statement, “I’m humbled by the opportunity to support and represent a school in our country and my local community that will greatly benefit from the support of a vibrant arts education program. The arts are the key to life and the Turnaround Arts program will open the doors for youth to life, love, creativity and endless imagination.”


Tags: art education, change agent, social justice, educational leadership, diversity, multicultural, arts, fielding graduate university, graduate education, teacher education, MA-CEL

Winter Session Attendees Explore Homelessness in Paradise

Posted on Mon, Feb 10, 2014

Fielding tours Santa Barbara Housing Facilities

By Marianne McCarthy

National Sessions provide a great opportunity for Fielding students to get a practical view of social change in action. As our community gathers in one geographic area, we often dedicate a day to investigate first-hand how agencies within a local community address issues such as worker’s rights, poverty, and other social issues.

This January, during the Winter Session, Fielding’s School of Human & Organizational Development (HOD) organized a day-long field trip and evening symposium called “Homeless in Paradise.” Approximately 20 Fielding students and faculty members visited shelters and low-income housing projects and learned how local agencies and nonprofits tackle homelessness in a city that is considered by many to be paradise. Later that evening, a panel of local officials and agency directors addressed the general public on innovative policies and partnerships that lead to effective and transformative programs. They were joined by recent HOD graduate, Michael Wilson, PhD, whose work with The Phoenix Centre in British Columbia exemplifies the benefits of building a socially innovative community that can respond to the complex and interconnected issues of homelessness.

Developing Transitional Opportunities

Despite its reputation for locals with wealth and fame, Santa Barbara surprisingly ranks in one of the lowest categories for affordable housing. Rob Fredericks, deputy director of the Santa Barbara City Housing Authority, attributes this to the community’s high rental prices and low vacancy rates.

“The need is not only to provide shelter to those on the streets, but also to house seniors and a work-force that can’t afford to rent at market rates,” explained Fredericks, who cited a waiting list of over 7,500.

Fredericks led the Fielding group on a tour that progressed from shelters and supportive housing programs to low-income residences, demonstrating how a local in need might transition from homelessness to greater independence.

At the 200-bed Casa Esperanza, we learned how the struggling shelter has had to change its model to survive. According to Executive Director Mike Foley, the nonprofit recently merged with the Community Kitchen and changed from an open shelter to one that mandates sobriety, to keep dollars flowing.

Our next stop was Transition House, an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence which also provides long-term housing and supportive services for individuals and families. By offering mental health, case management, and career development services, the nonprofit works to address the issues that lead to homelessness.

Executive Director Kathleen Bauske expressed that since “children of the homeless are more likely to be homeless as adults,” it’s important to break the cycle.

“Combining services with housing helps get people to integrate back into society,” added Fredericks.

Artisan Court, Santa BarbaraThis type of model is also proving successful for Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, a regional nonprofit that provides affordable housing to 5,000 low-income children, adults, and seniors.  By providing constituents with supportive services such as youth education, skill development, and income counseling, its programs are helping marginalized individuals gain greater self-sufficiency.

But these agencies can’t do it alone. They rely heavily on federal redevelopment dollars (which area disappearing), in-kind donations, and thousands of volunteers to make ends meet.

Overcoming the NIMBY factor

According to Fredericks, one of the challenges that cities around the country are facing is “Not In My Back Yard.”

As we toured these facilities, scattered throughout the downtown area, it quickly became evident that design matters. All the residences are clean, quiet, and well-kept. Low street-front profiles and groomed landscaped help them blend into their neighborhoods, many of which are residential.

As he reiterated throughout the tour, it's important to landscape and maintain properties to keep public support. "If you give people a nice place to live, they're going to take care of it. If they take care of it, the public is going to support it.”

Making a Difference Takes Collaboration

If there was a theme for the day, it was collaboration. And on this, the panel at the evening symposium all agreed.

Homeless in Paradise Panel

Panel participants included (Left to right) Michael Wilson, Kathleen Bauske, Mayor Helene Schneider, Rob Federicks, and Supervisor Doreen Faar. They all agreed that creating effective and enduring partnerships between public and private agencies and garnering community support are the essential ingredients to building successful and innovative programs that help people transition out of homelessness. You can view the entire presentation online.

“If we can produce socially beneficial initiatives on the community level, we can do the same on a global level,” said Wilson.

Special Thanks

Fielding would like to express its gratitude to everyone who took time away from their busy schedule to provide us with an informative and meaningful exploration of their city’s approach to homelessness. In particular we thank Rob Fredericks, City of Santa Barbara Housing Authority; Micki Flacks, County of Santa Barbara Housing Authority;  Mike Foley, Casa Esperanza; Kathleen Bauske, Transition House; Kristen Tippelt, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing; Doreen Farr, Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor; Helene Schneider, Santa Barbara Mayor; Michael Wilson, The Phoenix Centre; and The Santa Barbara Trolley Company

Tags: social justice, fielding graduate university, human rights, human development, habitat