Class Notes, Fall-Winter 2010



Dr. M. Kent Gregory (EdD) is an adjunct assistant professor in the master of arts in teaching program at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. Gregory has taught music and arts in California public schools for 28 years.


Christine Collins (MA) was honored when La Ballona Elementary School in Culver City, California, was recognized as a 2010 California Distinguished School by state superintendent of public instruction, Jack O’Connell. Collins is the principal of La Ballona.


Dr. Mindy Puopolo (PsyD) was granted tenure by the board of regents of California Lutheran University. A resident of Oak Park, California, and a director of graduate programs in psychology, she received her bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University and master’s from Notre Dame College.


Natalie Hofland (MS); currently a student in the doctor of education in educational leadership, administration, and policy program; discussed her action research on KLCS’ The Teacher Hour in April and May 2010. The show was one in a series about response to intervention.


Dr. Evelyn Robertson (EdD) was elected to the board of trustees of Vanguard University. She will serve a three year term. Currently a member of that board’s advancement committee, Robertson provides oversight related to fundraising; current, deferred, and bequest giving projects; and marketing. She is principal of Robertson & Associates.


Dr. Marco Cavazzoni (EdD) was profiled for his work as an executive at Boeing in Charleston, South Carolina on, April 14, 2010.


Janie Bauman (MA) opened a new private psychology practice in California, with offices in Orange and Corona, joining a small group of private Christian therapists.


Susan Cherritt-Nave (MS), currently a student in the doctor of education in educational leadership, administration, and policy program, was honored as Teacher of the Year for her instruction at Pinetree Community School in the Sulphur Springs School District. She was highlighted in the April 22 edition of the Santa Clarita Valley Signal for this accomplishment.

Dr. David Silverberg (MS ’96, EdD ’05), an associate professor in the department of curriculum and instruction at the Schar College of Education at Ashland University in Ohio, is developing a book series called STEPS: Standard Themes for Educational Progress. The series focuses on teacher-friendly vertical alignment manuals for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Current district feedback indicates a 10 percent increase on standardized tests when teachers use the manuals for planning, differentiation, professional development, and assessment.


Elizabeth Lozano (MA) host of The Holistic Success Show signed a contract with FitTV, a national cable station owned by Discovery with over 42 million subscribers. The online television show, which advises on health and happiness, boasts viewers from more than 200 countries. Lozano was interviewed by LA Talk Radio on February 22. For more information, visit:

Dr. Jeffrey Watkins (EdD) was named principal of Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory in Livermore, California, as reported on on March 18, 2010.

Dr. Lionel Mandy (PsyD), a lecturer in the Africana Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach, received a Fulbright Lectureship Award to teach clinical psychology courses at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka during the 2010-2011 academic year.


Colette Cassinelli (MA) accepted a position as teacher, librarian, and multimedia professor at Valley Catholic High School in Beaverton, Oregon. In addition, Cassinelli has been busy presenting at conferences, including a session on “VoiceThread for Interactive Projects” at ISTE 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Cassinelli blogs on technology innovation in the classroom and is active on twitter: @ccassinelli.

Evelyn Lelonek Cruz (MA) is a math teacher at Ocean View Junior High School in Oxnard, California, and a coordinator of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a college preparatory program targeted at underachieving minority and low-income students traditionally underrepresented at colleges and universities.

Dr. Michael Moodian (EdD), along with GSEP organizational leadership students Margaret Minnis and Yifang Zhang, contributed to a new book entitled A Guide to the Top 100 Companies in China. The authors cover China’s top enterprises, including those from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Moodian is an author and assistant professor of social science at Brandman University.


Dr. John Gillham (MS ’98, EdD ’08) is an assistant professor at Ohio Northern University.

Greg Nehen (MA) is principal of Palmdale High School. He was previously principal of Littlerock High School in Southern California, where he expanded technology in the classrooms. The school was also the first in its district to offer online classes during summer school.

Jenni Taylor (MS), currently a student in the doctor of education in educational leadership, administration, and policy program, is principal of Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Lawndale, California, which was chosen as one of six finalists in the national Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, sponsored by the White House and the Department of Education. For this honor, a White House representative offered the commencement address at the school’s graduation. The contest received much media attention, including a mention on the April 26 Today Show.

Kimberly Smith (MA) was listed as a contributor to the “Resource Guide for Ethnic Minority Graduate Students,” published by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA). Smith, now a doctoral student, also contributed to three articles recently published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry; Trauma, Violence, and Abuse; and the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. She sat on the CEMA committee from 2008-2009, and was elected as the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) member-at-large, education focus, for 2009-2011.

Dr. Anne Ruane (MA ’03, PsyD ’08) opened a psychotherapy practice in Encino, California.

Dr. Deborah Ellerbusch (MA ’01, PsyD ’08) authored “Bullying: What’s a Parent to Do?” in the April-May 2010 issue of Health Matters Magazine. She is a psychologist at the Youth and Family Services Center at Prairie View, a private, faith-based behavioral and mental health provider in Newton, Kansas.


Dr. Nikki Schaper (MA ’05, EdD ’09), an educator at MiraCosta College, gave a presentation at St. Paul College in the Philippines to teach more than 100 student officials and administrators about the relationships between student government positions and their different strengths. The St. Paul College system is the oldest private K-12 and college system in the Philippines, and considered one of the most prestigious institutions of education in the country


Dr. Kathy Church, professor; Laura Péwé, professional development school (PDS) coordinator at the Environmental Academy of Research Technology and Earth Science (EARTHS); and a group of seven master of arts in education with teaching credential alumni (then-students) presented on “Equality and Social Justice: Student Teachers Reach Out as Change Agents,” at the American Educational Research Association 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on May 2. The alumni—including Danielle Owens, Brighton Gunter, Sara Cohen, Brittany Noble, Deborah Bergstrom, Megan Fitzpatrick (BA ’07), and Megan Holman—all participated in the PDS program at the Westlake Village Graduate Campus.

Kym Acuna (EdD) was confirmed to facilitate a workshop at the Character Educational Partnership National Conference in October 2010 in San Francisco, California.

Ligia Hallstrom (EdD) received the Outstanding Administrator Award by the Association of California School Administrators.

Ronald Buenaventura (EdD) presented at the 13th National Filipino American Historical Society Conference in Seattle this summer, and also received a scholarship award from the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Community Education Foundation. He is directing his Participatory Action Research and dissertation work around improving educational practice, including raising cultural awareness/identity and mentoring, for Filipino students.

Nicole Simmons-Johnson (EdD) presented on literacy coaching at the seventh annual University of San Diego School of Leadership and Educational Sciences Action Research Conference in May, and at the second Paris International Conference on Education, Economy, and Society in Paris, France, in July.

Dr. Tomas Martinez professor of psychology; as well as three master of arts in psychology students; Ellen Sugar, Elizabeth Ramirez, and Iya Ritchie; presented “Effectiveness of a Learning Center on Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) students in first to fourth grades” at the annual Western Psychological Association conference in Cancun, Mexico, on April 24. Martinez presented a workshop entitled “Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Interpersonal Violence within a Latino Family,” in Los Angeles earlier that month. The session was sponsored by the Latino Behavioral Health Institute, a national Latino mental health training center, as a part of its Professional Training Academy.

Betty Rengifo Tucker (MBA ’00) (EdD), executive vice president of Comerica Bank, was highlighted in the January-February 2010 edition of Hispanic Business in an article called “Corporate Elite: Diversity, Vision, Remain Keys to Success, Economic Recovery in the New Year.” She also recently spoke at a dinner honoring nominees of the “Pepperdine Woman of Distinction Award.” The event was hosted by Seaver College.

Terry Smith (EdD) discussed educational technology using Web conferencing with elementary students in an article entitled “Web Conferencing Finds Elementary School Niche” in the April 21, 2010 edition of Education Week.


Dr. June Schmieder-Ramirez, professor of education, and Dr. Arthur Townley gave a presentation at Loyola Marymount University in April on “How to Start a Charter School and the Current State of School Funding in California.” They are coauthors of School Finance: A California Perspective.

Dr. Gary Stager, visiting faculty of education, was named “one of today’s leaders who are changing the landscape of edtech through innovation and leadership” in the June 2010 issue of Tech & Learning Magazine.

Adjunct professor R. Todd Bouldin was featured for his role consulting on the Iron Man 2 film in an article entitled “Former Hill Staffer Gives Iron Man 2 Authentic Senate Feel” in May 17 edition of the popular trade publication The Hill. Bouldin worked with vice president Al Gore and other legislators before moving to Los Angeles in 2003 to teach at Pepperdine.

A joint effort between current student, alumni, faculty, and staff resulted in the successful “Key Strategies for Educational Administrator Advancement Workshop,” hosted by the GSEP Superintendent Advisory Council in spring 2010. Presenters included Dr. Robert Barner, adjunct professor of education at GSEP and retired assistant superintendent with the Los Angeles County Office of Education; Dr. Tom Johnstone (EdD ’97), alumnus of the institutional management program at GSEP and superintendent with the Wiseburn Elementary School District; Patricia Jaffe (MS ’95), alumna of the Educational Leadership Academy at GSEP and assistant superintendent of human resources with Culver City School District; Maribel Galan, educational leadership, administration, and policy (ELAP) student at GSEP and supplemental education program coordinator with the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District; and Marian Guirguis, assistant dean of internal and external relations at GSEP. Dr. Linda Purrington, professor of education and chair of the educational leadership programs at GSEP, moderated.

Dr. David Levy, professor of psychology, recently re-released his famed guide Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology (Waveland Press, 2nd Edition, 2010), and received rave reviews. The book was described as “A welcome new edition of a much-praised, well-organized, readable teaching guide to critical thinking” by Kendrick Frazier, editor of the Skeptical Inquirer; and a “scholarly text that is light, humorous, and fun…A winning combination for our audience,” by the Psychology Teacher Network, a newsletter that reaches approximately 3,600 teachers of introductory psychology.

Dr. Miguel Gallardo, associate professor of psychology, was awarded The Division VII Public Interest Award from the California Psychological Association. He received this honor for his consistent professional service to the division.

Dr. David Elkins, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, was named president-elect of Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology, of the American Psychological Association. He will assume office in August 2011 and serve for one year. Elkins, who retired in 2001 after a 20-year career with GSEP, is now the director of the doctor of psychology program at Saybrook University in San Francisco, California.

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