Class Notes, Winter 2008


Tricia Devin (B, MA, Ed.D.) was named campus president and chief academic officer at Sonoma College in Petaluma, California. Sonoma College is a private for-profit postsecondary career preparation college that offers associate degrees, certificates, and continuing education in the allied health and homeland security disciplines.


Emuna Braverman (MA) created a blog on the Avraham's One Village Web site. The blog was titled "Distracted by Television: Turn Off the TV and Relate to Your Spouse."


Gary Rapkin (MA) was named superintendent of the Bonita Unified School District (serving the cities of La Verne and San Dimas, California).


Kenneth Santarelli (MBA), an organizational leadership doctoral student, has been named director of California State University, Fresno's engineering programs at the Lancaster University Center in Southern California.


Jan Keating (MA, Ed.D.) was the winner of the Women of Distinction Award given by the San Jose Business Journal for her work at Stanford University. Keating heads the new Online High School for Gifted Students, a pioneering distance learning program attached to Stanford's Education Program for Gifted Youth and funded with a $3.3 million grant from the Malone Family Foundation.


Marilyn J. Simpson (MA, Psy.D.) taught a course during the summer term at Brigham Young University titled "Penetrating the Darkness to See the Light Beyond: Straightforward Talk About Anxiety and Depression." She also presented a lecture on the topic "Leaps of Faith: Enduring Anxiety, Depression, and Gethsemane Times." Marilyn helped in filming the documentary Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. The film is based on research findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion, the largest and most detailed study of teenagers and religion ever undertaken by sociologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Mary Scott (Psy.D.) was named provost and executive vice president at Concordia University at Irvine.


Andrew Johnsen (MA) was appointed principal of Valley Elementary in Poway, California.


Renée L. Chmiel (M, Psy.D.) was offered a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.

Karla Kahler (M) has opened a private practice in the Larchmont district of Los Angeles. A licensed MFT psychotherapist, she will specialize in addictive behaviors, mood disorders, people living with HIV/AIDS, and the MSM (men who have sex with men) population.


Kimberly Kaye Read (MA), an adjunct education professor at GSEP, is undergoing aggressive surgery and treatment for cancer, and her experience was recently featured on the ABC Evening News in Los Angeles.


Jessica Dumpert (MA) was one of only two teachers invited to participate in the Northrop Grumman Space Technology Summer Teacher Intern program. A sixth grade science teacher at Will Rogers Middle School in the Lawndale Elementary School District, she was accepted to work as a science teacher intern for eight weeks, rotating through various space technology departments and working under project engineering.

Bernice Ledbetter (Ed.D.) chairs the University of La Verne's master of science in leadership management program.

Carina Cristiano-Leoni (MS) was selected by the City of Long Beach Human Dignity Program to be honored at the California Conference for Equality and Justice Annual Dinner in September. Cristiano-Leoni was chosen for her involvement with the First Fridays Long Beach events. The events take place on the first Friday evening of each month. Participating businesses in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach host in-store events to promote local artists and musicians.

Dawn Lindsay (Ed.D.) is the vice president of instructional services at Glendale Community College, in Glendale, California.

Allison Powell (Ed.D.) was elected to the North American Council on Online Learning board of directors. Powell will serve a three-year term on the board. Powell resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works as the coordinator for instructional Web design at the Clark County School District. As part of her doctoral studies, Powell has been working with the North American Council for Online Learning's president and CEO, Susan Patrick, to develop an online community of practitioners as well as surveying more than 30 countries to research their "e-learning" initiatives.

Reginald Sirls (Ed.D.) was honored as the 2007 Principal of the Year for the Inglewood Unified School District.


Luis F. Morales Knight (MA) and Dr. August John Hoffman, adjunct faculty of psychology, compiled an article published in Urban Education titled "Gardening Activities, Education, and Self-Esteem: Learning Outside the Classroom." The journal article details the results of a study of students enrolled in a psychology course at Compton Community College, who volunteered to work together in a gardening program. The collaboration that ensued resulted in significant reductions in ethnocentrism and increase in self-esteem. Additionally, after completing the volunteer gardening project, students had a greater sense of loyalty to the school.

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