Points of Pride

Latest Books from Faculty, Students, and Alumni, Fall 2015

Posted on Wed, Sep 23, 2015

The following books were recently released for publication. 


A Communication Perspective on the Military 
by Michelle Still Mehta, PhD (Human and Organizational Systems alumna) 

This book reflects upon the ways the meaning of war is communicated in private lives, social relations, and public affairs. It focuses on three broad areas of concern: communication in the military family; the military in the media; and rhetoric surrounding the military. Michelle co-authored Chapter 7, "Work/Family Predicaments of Air Force Wives: A Sensemaking Perspective."


The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Psychology, Technology and Society, co-edited by Nancy Cheever, PhD (Media Psychology alumna)

Edited by three of the world's leading authorities on the psychology of technology, including media psychology alumna Nancy Cheever, this new handbook provides a thoughtful and evidence-driven examination of contemporary technology's impact on society and human behavior.

CheeverThe book reaches beyond the more established study of psychology and the Internet, to include varied analysis of a range of technologies, including video games, smart phones, tablet computing, etc. It provides analysis of the latest research on generational differences, Internet literacy, cyberbullying, sexting, Internet and cell phone dependency, and online risky behavior.


Successful Onboarding: A New Lens for Mid-Career Leaders by Louise Korver (Evidence Based Coaching alumna)

Newcomers often experience a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability as they establish themselves as valued members of the team. Onboarding for mid-career senior leaders is a make-it-or-break-it proposition, and to do it well takes longer than 90 days. Success requires a new approach so that executives can find the support they need for socializing into a new culture.Onboarding

This book, written by Evidence Based Coaching alumna Louise Korver, offers practical tools, lessons from experience, a troubleshooting guide, and best practice management routines to accelerate successful integration based on lessons learned by executives at large, global companies.


Tomorrow's Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD (Human Development alumna)

Each and every day, families, schools, and communities play important roles in raising and educating compassionate young citizens. But how does this happen? How do we support young people to become their best selves in a global society?

ChangeMakersTomorrow's Change Makers by alumna Dr. Marilyn Price Mitchell reveals new and surprising research, and delivers hopeful answers. Through powerful stories of American youth who believe in democracy, equal rights, social/environmental justice, and freedom, this book shows how their civic lives were shaped by relationships and service experiences during childhood and adolescence. The book will be released on September 30, 2015.

Looking for the One and To Love Again by Colleen White, EdD (Educational Leadership for Change alumna)

Colleen White is a recent graduate and an educator who resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This summer, she signed with Urban Chapters Publications, which published two African American romance novels this summer.  She also has had two poetry anthologies published.

Looking4theOneToLoveAgainIn Looking for the One, a small town, Mississippi Delta girl will begin to see the world differently, see herself differently, and see love unfold in a way she never thought it could once she realizes that she has finally found the one.  To Love Again is a romance novel with a slight twist.

All of these books are avilable at Amazon.com as well as other through other book sellers.

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


Tags: change agent, technology, social justice, multicultural, psychology, Organizational development, evidence based coaching, military psychology

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

Touching Lives, Changing Systems, Creating the Future

Posted on Mon, Oct 22, 2012
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By Henry H Fowler (ELC '10)

Fielding allowed me to thrive from the comfort of my cultural environment.

Fielding’s focus on the art of teaching brought me back to my Native land.  I was challenged to study and investigate curriculum as it related to my native population and create new approaches that could make a difference in the lives of young Navajo people. 

Even though I have long been motivated to teach math, throughout the years of my teaching career, I began to have mixed feelings about teaching math.  My enthusiasm about teaching math had begun to lessen. Each year in my math classes, I observed my students who were quiet and unmotivated to learn mathematics. My teaching was unattractive to them and they found my questions meaningless. My daily challenge was to teach math to students who lacked knowledge of basic math facts, were unmotivated, had high absenteeism and tardiness, were unprepared for class, lacked parental support, lacked current math books, had no access to technology, had high class enrollment, and were disruptive.  The sum of these reasons weighed heavily on me, and my passion for teaching began to stall.  Fortunately, my enrollment at Fielding afforded me a new platform for thinking critically about my teaching experience.  As a direct result of my work at Fielding, I have made inquiry and gained clear insight about teaching math to Navajo students.  This has set the stage for invigorated research about and development of new instructional strategies that have energized my students to learn math and me to teach.

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to experience a wealth of education through Fielding Graduate University. Fielding provided me an education that was practical, meaningful, and relevant. The Educational Leadership and Change curriculum was suitable for me and it was tailored to my needs.  The schooling I received at Fielding is closely correlated with the teaching of the Navajos. In the Navajo culture, our elders illuminate their teaching based on the notion that is up to an individual to be a self-directed learner, to find balance, and to produce positive experiences that will improve quality of life for everyone. Fielding’s similar emphasis on self-direction to create positive experiences, has allowed me to extend my knowledge in areas of my interest to me and to explore and integrate other theories to expand my perspective in education. Fielding was open to and supportive of my cultural background.  This support has allowed me to strive for more in-depth study.

Fielding helped open the opportunity for me to address the dismal outlook of the Navajo high school poor performance in mathematics.  As a direct result of the Fielding curriculum, I am more aware of my surroundings and how they impact teaching delivery and reception.  I bring an enlivened critical thinking mindset to my intellectual endeavors, and I feel empowered as a teacher to lead efforts to change the math education on the Navajo Reservation.  I am encouraged to broaden the perspective of my immediate horizon and challenged to actively pursue my interest in improving math education for Navajo students.  The Fielding approach to learning engaged me and afforded me learning experiences which were was relevant and meaningful.

The Navajos believe they are part of nature, and that this natural order gives directions for life.  The Navajos agree their natural surroundings bring the energy of spirit to the people.  That energy is infused with purpose and direction for the Navajo people.  According to Hozho, the Navajo purpose on this earth is to keep in balance, harmony, and respect with the natural order.  A good life resides in every angle of the morning light with a promising sense of beauty, hope, and determination for every individual.  The Navajo understand, that with a sense of the complementary and supplementary, an individual will feel beauty above, below, around, and before him or her from every angle.  The Navajo continue to practice this traditional heritage.  Complementary angles are two angles whose angles add up to 90 degrees and supplementary angles are two angles whose angles add up to 180 degrees. Using the Hozho model, this phenomenon could be represented to Navajo learners as ‘beauty above me + beauty below me = 90 degrees, and beauty around me + beauty before me = 180 degrees.  I believe it is time for Navajo educators to lead in creating educational math materials for the Navajo high school students to support their mathematical reasoning and communication. This approach to Navajo education would help students realize that math is part of their culture and to inspire students take an interest in appreciating and studying mathematics rather than feeling separate from it and mystified by it. 

The learning I acquired from Fielding provided me with new skills to tackle the problematic issues faced by the Navajo high school students in learning mathematics and succeeding on the standardized tests. Fielding staff provided excellent feedback for me to grow and expand my horizons in the scholarly world by recommending stellar literatures to read that related to my interests and field of study.  Fielding staff made me feel special because they listened to and valued my opinions.  I feel as if I have been nourished.


Tags: educational leadership, diversity, multicultural, graduate education

Alumnus Uses Organizational Skills to Improve Quality of Life for Native Americans

Posted on Wed, Feb 22, 2012

Dr. John CastilloI come from Apache heritage on my father’s side. I grew up in Compton, but my family moved to Orange County during the Watts riots when I was in second grade. I went from a black community to a white community. This transition was a defining moment in my life, influencing my choice to use my organizational skills to help the Native American community.

John Castillo (HOD '00) is the Executive Director of Walking Shield Inc., a non-profit organization based in Lake Forest, CA that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for American Indian families.

"While I was a graduate student, Fielding’s unique learning opportunities supported my efforts to create and sustain these successful collaborations—and continue to influence my work at Walking Shield," said Dr. Castillo.

John's goal is “to work on a statewide initiative to build a pipeline for Native American students to attend college.

"For Native Americans, there is a 50% high school dropout rate. My vision for the future is to improve that statistic and work on a statewide initiative to build a pipeline for Native American students to attend college," he added.

Dr. Castillo, works closely with tribal leaders to develop and sustain programs that provide shelter, healthcare, community development support, educational assistance, and humanitarian aid to Native American communities.

Walking Shield is collaborative effort that engages American Indians and the U.S. Military in a unique partnership. Through a special program called Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), military personnel applWalkingShieldy their talents to rebuild and strengthen American Indian communities through healthcare assistance and infrastructure support. Since IRT’s inception in 1994, Walking Shield has provided training missions for the military on American Indian reservations where conditions often mimic those in third world countries.

True collaboration is a unique art form. All partners commit to common goals and objectives, work together to achieve these goals, utilize each other’s expertise, and create a win-win situation for all. Our collaboration meets these criteria. Before efforts begin, all parties agree to the goals and objectives to be achieved. Throughout the military deployment, members of the tribe work side by side with the troops, combining their efforts to achieve success. Walking Shield mitigates any problems that arise.

All partners use their talents and skills to meet the goals within a predetermined time frame. Most importantly, everyone wins. The tribe may get new roads, homes, water wells, electrical lines, or much needed healthcare assistance.

The military gets to utilize its skills and talents, which enhance deployment readiness and promotes retention. Walking Shield wins by meeting its mission—to improve the quality of life on reservations.

Dr. Castillo has taught graduate courses in social work as well as undergraduate courses on Indian Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He has published several articles about American Indians and is a sought out speaker at functions across the country. With decades of experience in program coordination and a Ph.D. in Organizational Development (Fielding), Dr. Castillo is fully dedicated to improving the quality of life on American Indian reservations. For more information about John's work, please visit www.walkingshield.org


Tags: social justice, multicultural, adult learning, healthcare, human rights, graduate education

HOD Faculty Member Exemplifies the Essence of the Scholar-Activist

Posted on Thu, Mar 05, 2009

School of Human & Organizational Development (HOD) doctoral faculty member Christine GT Ho, PhD, received Fielding’s Social Justice Award at Winter Session 2013.


By Christine G.T. Ho, PhD
Faculty, School of Human & Organizational Development

For 25 years, I have been a migration scholar studying border crossing (literal and metaphoric), migration theory, immigrant adaptation, and transnationalism. I am also a globalization scholar, studying the workings of the capitalist global economy, the inequality it produces worldwide, and its impact on cultures around the world. I have published two books, Salt Water Trinnies (AMS Press, 1991), and Globalization, Diaspora and Caribbean Popular Culture (Ian Randle Publishers, 2005). I am currently writing a book that reframes immigration discourse away from violations of law to the recognition of globalization as a powerful engine of economic restructuring.

I am one of only two anthropologists at Fielding, a career that came from my interests in cultural differences, social inequality, and concerns about social injustice based on race, ethnicity, and gender. I taught these subjects at several universities before coming to Fielding, where I helped found the Structural Inequality and Diversity knowledge area and the concentration in Transformative Learning for Social Justice. I now serve on the Diversity and Social Justice governance team.


When I joined Fielding, I was looking for challenges beyond teaching undergraduates.  Fielding was the ideal solution, not only because of its dedication to adult learning but also its strong commitment to diversity and social justice. Fielding aspires to the ideals of social justice and understands its impact and importance.


If you are a prospective student wishing to produce social change, then I highly recommend you choose Fielding. Fielding is strongly committed to diversity and social justice, and many faculty members are knowledgeable about globalization, which has touched all human beings on this planet whether or not they are aware of it.

Tags: globalization, social justice, diversity, multicultural, graduate education