Class Notes Spring-Summer 2014


Robert deMayo, PhD, was an award presenter at the Voice Awards, an event sponsored by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMSHA) on September 25, 2013. In March, he accepted the award for Outstanding State Psychological Association on behalf of the California Psychological Association.

Louis Cozolino, PhD, received a positive review of his book The Social Neuroscience of Education by the Harvard Education Review.

Susan Hall, JD, PhD, presented a poster with CELINE CRESPI-HUNT (PsyD ’13) at the Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 10. The poster, “A Directed Content Analysis of Expressions of Social Support in Psychotherapeutic Case Studies of Trauma Survivors,” reviewed literature on existing social support constructs and presented research findings demonstrating how psychotherapy clients frequently discussed social supports in therapy sessions.

Carol Falender, PhD, was awarded a commendation by the American Psychological Association. President Nadine Kaslow cited Falender’s innovative contributions to the theory and practice of clinical supervision and tireless service to professional psychology locally, nationally, and internationally.

Reyna Garcia-Ramos, PhD, was elected by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to serve as Member-at-large for the Family, School, and Community Partnerships SIG, which supports the AERA mission and commitment to education research.



Dan Ahlstrom (EdD ‘13) was appointed head of Beth Yeshurun Day School in Houston, TX.

Crystal Jensen (EdD ’13) was named in the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s (NCAIED) 2013 “Native American 40 Under 40” list. She also wrote an article titled “Career Tracks: Educational Entrepreneur,” which was published in Pi Lamba Theta’s Educational Horizons Magazine in February.

Derek Pelland (MA ‘13) along with Organizational Leadership doctoral candidate Calvin Bonds are working on an e-Learning project designed to introduce technology and distance learning to schools in developing countries.


Nicole Johnson (EdD ‘12) hosted a doctoral retreat in Oahu, HI, April 11-13. The retreat was designed to help students regain clarity in order to finish their dissertation.

Jeffrey Thrift (EdD ’12) will now handle all leadership development training for Southern California Edison.

Jason Viloria (EdD ’12) is now the Executive Director of Education Services at San Dieguito Union High School District. He was previously a high school principal at Woodbridge High School in Irvine.


Jill Florant (MA ‘11), director of customer programs at TenMarks Education, an Amazon Company, and former senior engagement manager and customer advocate for Edmodo, led a webinar during Pepperdine’s Career Week providing advice on how to build career success in learning technologies.

Kaley Zeitouni (MA ‘11) was featured in a SensatioNail YouTube campaign that recognized women who make a difference. She shared the ways in which she used her health challenge as an opportunity to help others.


Beverly  S. Quaye (EdD ’09) was recognized for her contributions to the nursing community in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. The publication is a reference guide for patients featuring the most distinguished and desired medical professionals from every specialty.

Stephen Hawn (MS ‘09, EdD ‘12) recently became a professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Justine Ruotolo (MA ’09), aka Miss ADD, published a new book that explores how ADD can be a gift.


Tina Rooks (EdD ‘08) was interviewed by EdTech Digest about trends in educational technology, leadership, and how her experience at GSEP has guided her work.


Tracy Bevington (MA ’07) was recognized by the readers of LA Parent Magazine as “Best Family Therapist of 2013.”

Shannon Curry (MA ‘07, PsyD ‘11) was featured in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper for her work as the head of the Hawaii Canine Assistance Network’s (CAN) public access program.

Ramon Flores (EdD ‘07) was one of three members recently added to the Ventura County Community Action Agency’s governing board.

David Greenfield (MA ‘07), Sylvia Martinez (MA ’99) and Betty Winn (MS ’97) led conference sessions at a joint day-school leadership conference entitled: “Moving the Needle: Galvanizing Change in Day School at the Westin LAX on January 19-21, 2014. Greenfield, a current Doctorate in Learning Technologies student, also taught a six-week course on the Jewish Graphic novel at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Joe Whitcomb (MA ‘07) published his book, Reboot Your Relationship: Restoring Love Through Real Connection in a Disconnected World, in July 2013.


Angela Fiorita (MA ‘06) was married in September 2013.


Jade Dearing (MA ‘05) started a nonprofit organization, Sober Surfers, which treats drug and alcohol addiction through travels to exotic surf locations in underdeveloped countries.


Jody Bremer (MA ‘04) was a guest on Military Mom Talk Radio to discuss how to maintain and strengthen relationships while separated, and how to enhance and nurture them when reunited.

Martine Ehrenclou (MA ‘04) spoke at the Impact 80 Summit: Global Caregiving & Health Care Social Media Virtual Initiative on February 11, 2014.


Beth Prandini (MA ‘02) published an article about getting a better night’s sleep for Find Bliss magazine. Prandini is a writer and YogaWorks Certified instructor.


Kevin Lee Fujimoto (PsyD ‘01) has developed a program called Surfrider Spirit Sessions, which works with at-risk and adjudicated youths through mentors, surfing, building cultural awareness, and community service.

Bill Bercaw (PsyD ‘01) and Ginger Bercaw (PsyD ‘99) published an article on discussing the potential benefits and consequences of married couples who try to use pornography to enhance their love life.


Dawn Lindsay (EdD ‘00) was a featured speaker at the BWI Business Partnership’s January Signature Breakfast in Linthicum, MD. As president of Anne Arundel Community College, she spoke about the college’s ongoing efforts to provide the educated workforce needed by businesses in the region.


Debra Farar (EdD ‘99) was reappointed to the California State University Board of Trustees by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. She has served as a trustee since 1999.

Bita Ghafoori (MA ‘99) received a Fulbright Specialist grant that will send her to Greece’s University of Crete to help Greek students and educators deal with the mental health effects of its economic crisis.


Ann Reitan (MA ‘96) has contributed several articles to Some of the topics she has covered deal with the brain functioning of the schizophrenic and overcoming trauma.

Nanci Hibschman (MA ‘96) was named National Practice Director for Private Foundations and Public Charities at Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc.

Geoff Yantz (MS ‘96, EdD ‘01), who has served in the El Segundo district for 17 years, is the newly appointed superintendent of the South Pasadena Unified School District.


Jeff Miller (MA ‘94) had an article published on motivating employees on the Human Capital Magazine website.


Minnie Douglas (EdD ’83) was one of six award recipients honored by Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews at the Long Beach City Council meeting as part of Peace Week.

Claudette McLinn (MS ’83, EdD ’06) presented “Serving on Children’s Book Award Committees and How They Work!” at the Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival at the University of Redlands.


Georgianna Jones Hicks (MA ‘80) was the grand marshal of a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Ridgeland, SC, on January 18, 2014.

In Memoriam

Diane N. Goodwin (MA ’96) passed away January 26, 2014.

Jeanette M. Eden (CER ’87) passed away December 26, 2013.

Debra S. Hooks (MA ‘78) passed away January 12, 2014.

Harold Brunner (MS ’77) passed away January 9, 2014.

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