Points of Pride

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 mh.comfort.project@gmail.com. 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

Dr. Latisha Webb (ELC’13) Wins Entrepreneurial Award

Posted on Thu, Dec 19, 2013

Empowers Others through Multiple Ventures

By Marianne McCarthy

Dr. Latisha Webb ARWEY Award winnerDr. Latisha Webb, a January 2013 graduate of the School of Educational Leadership for Change (ELC), likens her ability to manage multiple projects as similar to an octopus. Last month when she received an American Riviera Woman Entrepreneur of The Year (ARWEY) award, however, it was not for her physical ambidexterity. Instead she received accolades for her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to multiple innovative endeavors that focus on empowering others.

"The ARWEY awards recognize and celebrate women and the accomplishments they have made in communities throughout the world. We applaud the efforts of women dedicated to creating the best possible environments in the workplace and improving communities using "new business" models,” said Tia Walker, ARWEY Awards executive director.

A true entrepreneur, Dr. Webb has her arms in several different ventures—nonprofit and for-profit businesses, as well as her own personal brand, On B.L.A.S.T.

“On B.L.A.S.T. stands for Being and Living my Authentic Self Today, which is a derivative of my Fielding dissertation, Discovering the Authentic Self: The Concurrent Processes of Being and Becoming.” said Dr. Webb. “It’s about defining and understanding the authentic self and then loving and embracing our very Being now while becoming who we inspire to be in the future.  We as individuals should align our core values, thought processes, actions, relationships, and every aspect of our lives so we can become who we're destined to become.”

She and her pastor provide weekly On B.L.A.S.T. conference calls that lead listeners through a six-dimensional self-discovery process of the physical, spiritual, psychological, emotional, social and sexual aspects of the authentic self.

“Sometimes we focus so much on the physical, but then we don’t take care of our psychological.  Or we concentrate on the social and neglect the spiritual.  From a systems theory perspective, On B.L.A.S.T. provides a way for us to understand that we as human begins many parts and those parts are all interdependent to make us who we are,” explained Dr. Webb.

She developed the curricula Demystifying Sexuality and the Impact of Trauma (DSIT) and Survivors of Trauma Educational Program: Stepping into My Authentic Self (STEP) based on several research projects while at Fielding. Her book, The Authentic Love Experience: Pillow Talk Topics for Couples who Desire a Holistic Relationship, addresses the six dimensions of the authentic self for couples and singles who desire to be in a committed relationship.

Named a Worldwide Network for Gender Empowerment (WNGE) fellow for 2011-2012, Dr. Webb presented at the United Nations on "Empowering Women through Demystifying Sexuality." A victim of sexual abuse herself, her mission is to empower women all over the world who have experienced sexual trauma to discover, be, and live their authentic selves.

Dr. Latisha WebbDr. Webb is also a committed human service professional. In her 13 years as a practitioner, she has served a myriad of populations: survivors of sexual trauma, the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, people in recovery, returning citizens, and neglected and abused children. She is currently the Director of Operations and one of the founding partners of OpportUNITY, Inc., a nonprofit organization which provides a myriad of educational and employment opportunities to disenfranchised populations, specifically targeting returning citizens, women, veterans, and people in recovery.

OpportUNITY’s programs are designed to foster economic empowerment, advancement, achievement, and self-determined homeownership. For example, the organization offers the welfare-to-work population hands-on experience through its PAATHS (Practical Application And Training in Human Services) program, which trains volunteers in the field of human services by providing opportunities to participants in the other programs who are returning citizens. Their flagship program is a 16-week residential construction-training program which provides homeless men, women, and others to learn a skill set and become gainfully employed. Willam and Latisha Webb at work at OpportUNITY, Inc.

“We have a great relationship with the South Philadelphia EARN Center who places public assistance recipients at job sites.  We train our volunteers from the EARN Center in the fielding of human services, in hopes to spark an interest and desire to apply for an entry level position in the field,” said Webb.

“Dr. Webb represents the new paradigm woman leader and business person, leading with her heart and creating economic empowerment for women which is at the core of the ARWEY Awards,” said Walker.

“In order to be a change agent, first you must go through a change process.  Having bought into the vision of Fielding and what it represents for world changers, I am lifelong learner and scholar-practitioner,” said Webb. “The more I learn, the freer I am. As I move in liberation, the freer I am to teach, free, and liberate others.”

Tags: change agent, educational leadership, trauma psychology, adult learning, fielding graduate university, authentic self, entrepreneur