Points of Pride

Media Psych Students Talk Social Responsibility with grubHub

Posted on Tue, Jan 26, 2016

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Students Monica Helms, Colleen Cleveland and Adam Baldowski brought their Media Psych skills to Chicago to work with grubHub on corporate social responsibility.

By Adam Baldowski

It all started at Winter Session 2014, with a white page, a company name, and a can-do attitude. We were tasked to create a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) presentation for a company based out of Chicago. The company was grubHub, and we hit the ground running, discussing general ideas with a company liaison.

There were four of us in the group: Monica Helms, Colleen Cleveland, and I formed the student contingent, while Dr. Janet De Merode led the charge as our faculty mentor. We didn’t know it at the time, but the CSRproject would be one of the hardest, yet most fun experiences we would have during our time at Fielding.

Each of us brought a skill and prior knowledge from our own personal and professional experience to the group. For me this was the perfect marriage between my personal, professional, and academic lives because I was able to utilize prior knowledge of the design world and understanding client needs, while the Media Psychology program allowed us to bring a psychological perspective to the overall initiative.

We decided to remove the academic side of the presentation initially in order to focus on the brand we were working with. As students we would need to explain our choices and tie in our research to concepts we were learning—but as designers our focus needed to begin with two questions: Who is grubHub? What are they looking for in a Corporate Social Responsibility project?

From here we were able to fold in psychological theories on philanthropy and CSR initiatives currently in practice. This proved to be a harder task than we had originally thought, strictly because the client wants what they want, and most clients don’t want to spend too much money to get there. As a designer, this approach can be frustrating, but as a media psychologist, this set up an interesting challenge because we weren’t just showcasing our design skills, we were trying to get the client to understand why CSR is important and how perception can play a role in customer engagement and longevity.

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Colleen Cleveland, Adam Baldowski, grubHub liaison Cat de Merode, and Monica Helms on the roof of the Chicago grubHub offices.

Our team had not only grown academically through the many research sessions and online meetings we would have, but we also grew closer as friends. Our CSR project succeeded on a professional level because grubHub implemented some of the ideas presented to them shortly after the project concluded. But the project also succeeded by showing us, and hopefully others, why Fielding and the Media Psychology program is a cut above the rest.

Yes, media was used to gather for sessions, research ideas, and present material, but media also helped bring together a team of equals who put the client and the project above the needs of the individual. Our team connected online while many of us were in other parts of the country, at home with kids, and even in the hospital, yet we never missed a beat. GrubHub is an online company that uses online tools to connect with customers—and we used online tools to connect with our client and, more importantly, with each other.

This is why I am proud of what our team accomplished. We weren’t concerned with how we would look as individuals. Instead we wanted to create a campaign for a growing company and foster a relationship for Fielding. In business, it’s all about relationships. We formed a strong personal bond within our team and a professional relationship with grubHub and our liaison. We hope that others after us will work on future CSR projects to not only learn from each other but to further show that Fielding is a place where change can happen.

Tags: Media psychology, Corporate social responsibility

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

ISI Fellows present their work at Winter Session 2015

Posted on Thu, Jan 29, 2015

by Marianne McCarthy

Fellows from the Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) pursue consulting work and research projects that bring about innovation and change for individuals, organizations, and communities. Several ISI fellows gathered at winter session to share and present updates on their work in areas of education, leadership, politics, incarceration, healthcare, and social change. 

Silvina Bamrungpong and Drew Foley (HOD '12)

During the past year, Drs. Drew Foley and Silvina Bamrungpong have shared their research on Learning in Motion – Designing Connected Learning Spaces through conference presentations and workshops for innovative thinkers in the fields of education and business. 

In October, Drs. Foley and Bamrungpong conducted a workshop at the Innovative Pedagogy and eLearning Conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. The workshop focused on two central concepts: 1) Learning is in motion and 2) Learning spaces are connected.  They collaborated with educators and researchers with affiliations ranging from the London School of Economics to universities in Africa, Australia, South America, and Asia.

In 2015, they plan to publish a book that focuses on application of their research.

Steve Schein (HOD ‘14)

Dr. Steve Schein presented details from his ongoing research and new book, A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Worldviews. The book is based on his dissertation research on the deeper psychological motivations of sustainability leaders and how these motivations may influence their capacity to lead transformational change.

Zieva Konvisser (HOD ’06)

Dr. Zieva Dauber Konvisser presented an update on her research project on the implications and impact of wrongful conviction on innocent individuals and the findings from interviews with 21 innocent women in the United States. This study provides the wrongfully convicted women an opportunity to give voice to their lived experiences and the strategies that helped them cope with their situations and move forward.

Dr. Konvisser also reported on the numerous publishing and promotional activities related to the 2014 release of her book, Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing (Gefen Publishing), which is based on interviews that were conducted as part of her doctoral and post-doctoral research studies.

Her latest collaborative project on exonerees in the innocence movement involves Wayne State University Criminal Justice Professor Marvin Zalman and looks at the effects of this work on the innocence movement and the lives of participants.

Susan Mazer (HOD ‘11)
In the two years since her graduation, Dr. Susan Mazer has entered a different dialogue within healthcare and within the academic music community.  Her presentation provided an overview of both what has been achieved and what is in process regarding improving the patient experience and quality of caring.

Linda Honold (HOD ’99)
To ensure a healthy vibrant democracy our political structures must engage citizens, be fair and transparent. Dr. Linda Honold’s case studies of state redistricting campaigns are critical because if the process does not fairly represent us our democracy is at risk.

She is conducting five studies of reform efforts in California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and states limited to legislative reform efforts. Data derived from interviews with activists and other primary players will be analyzed to discern activities and events contributing to the outcome of the effort revealing commonalities and differences. These lessons learned might then be used to inform plans for other ballot initiatives that advocates in other states engage in.

Susan Stillman (ELC '07)
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to use emotions, combined with cognition, to make optimal decisions. Emotions affect how and what we learn. Scholar/practitioners have demonstrated how critical it is for all students and the adults who care for them to learn the skills of EQ, or Social Emotional Learning as it is called in education. Emotional literacy, consequential thinking, emotional navigation, optimism, and empathy, are a few of the skills that comprise SEL.

Dr. Susan Stillman shared the iterative process used to develop the free online course, Introduction to Social Emotional Learning. She also discussed how participants in the ISI session can become involved in the project to share iSEL with thousands of educators worldwide. 

Stephen White (MP '13)

Stephen White's current research centers on a social innovation in the film issue space: the emergence of an online convener platform called FilmRaise.  The website was created to allow the audience to watch a social issue documentary film and choose a charity to donate to for free.  He hopes to explore whether measures that are used to evaluate and promote people’s subjective well-being or happiness, can be used to shape content and measure impact for media makers trying to bring about positive social change. 

To learn more about the work of these and other ISI fellows, view the current list of fellows and their research topics.

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ISI Fellows pictured above from left to right (first row) Susan Stillman, Linda Honold, Anita Chambers, Zieva Konvisser, (second row) Drew Foley, Silvina Bamrunpong, Pamela Kennebrew (guest), (third row) Steve Schein, and Tracey Long.

Tags: Media psychology, organizational change, women's issues, graduate fellows, research, fellow program

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

Making My Mark on an Emerging Field

Posted on Wed, Apr 15, 2009
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By Jon Cabiria, PhD (Media Psychology ’08)

My professional life encompasses four domains: consulting, research, public speaking, and teaching. My focus is on identity redevelopment using various mediated environments. I utilize online social networks to help individuals and corporations reinvent themselves. My research is considered groundbreaking because it shows how positive virtual experiences can transfer to the real world. Thanks to my experience at Fielding, I also speak internationally and have taught at UCLA, Baker College, Walden University, and Pennsylvania Institute of Technology.

While at Fielding, I focused my doctoral research on the online world of Second Life. This virtual world is an online meeting place where members create representations of their idealized selves and socialize, conduct business, engage in research, and hold classes, all in real time. One of my studies focused on marginalized people as they found communities of similar others in virtual environments. The resulting positive effects carried over into their real lives, suggesting that the virtual world can be useful in redevelopmental processes.    

WHY FIELDING

I decided to pursue a doctoral degree because I had come to realize that the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. I was accepted into three programs but chose Fielding because it was flexible, had a great reputation, was accredited by the American Psychological Association, and the media psychology program allowed me to make my mark on an emerging field. Fielding provided the space and support for exploration and discovery.

FIELDING’S IMPACT ON MY LIFE

Fielding was one giant “aha” experience spread out over time. Learning should be a transformative process. I can say, unequivocally, that I was transformed. I came to Fielding seeking to fill gaps in knowledge, and came out with more knowledge, more skills, and more opportunities than I ever imagined before entering the program. Since graduating, the opportunities to achieve my goals have only increased, and the timeline to achieve them has been remarkably shorter. I now face the enviable dilemma of how to choose from so many excellent opportunities.

 

Tags: Media psychology, Second Life, APA Division 48, APA, Transformational learning