Friday, September 30, 2011

Sunetra Martinez completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Effects of Expressive Writing on the Mental Health and the Physical Well-being Of American Asian Indians -- Sunetra Tarafdar Martinez

Sunetra Martinez is a Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center

This study investigated the efficacy of Pennebaker’s expressive writing paradigm with American Asian Indians in helping them better express their negative life experiences. Pennebaker’s theoretical models, inhibitory process and cognitive process, were tested with this population to determine psychological and physical benefits. The study adds to the research investigating the mental health of American Asian Indians. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used in the present study to examine the difference between two groups, experimental and control, on all outcome measures. The outcome measures included the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression Scale (CES-D) and The Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) to measure psychological distress. Physical well-being was measured using the Pennebaker Inventory of Limbic Languidness (PILL) and The SMU Health Questionnaire (SMUHQ). The moderator variable for this study was acculturation Stress, which was measured using the Acculturation Stress for International Students (ASSIS). The mediator variables included inhibitory processing, measured using the Cognitive Avoidance Questionnaire (CAQ) and cognitive processing, and measured using the Impact of Events Questionnaire (IES). This results of this study indicated that there were no differences found between pre and post-test measures when comparing expressive writing group with a control group. Moderator effects of acculturation stress were not found for either psychological distress or physical well-being. Mediator effects of inhibitory and cognitive processing could not be determined as a result of no effects found between expressive writing and any of the outcome measures of psychological distress and physical well-being. Finally, future directions for continued research exploring the mental health of American Asian Indians are discussed.

Key Words: American Asian Indian, Expressive Writing Intervention, Pennebaker, Psychological Distress, Physical Well-being

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fielding graduate June Klein will present at the 2011 National Association for Multicultural Education Conference

The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), in cooperation with Teachers for Social Justice (T4SJ), is planning a one-day conference with the purpose of bringing together educators to collectively address issues of educational equity, social justice, and critical multiculturalism in California.

Keeping the Vision in Challenging Times- October 7, 2011
Location: UC Berkeley, 2515 Tolman Hall; 8:30am-5:00pm

Klein, J. R. (2011, October).  Cultural Intelligence of Students in an Undergraduate Multicultural Studies Course.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fielding graduate Keith Ray presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Culture Talk: Cultural Referencing By Work-Related Dyads -- Keith Ray, Alumnus (2009), School of Human and Organizational Development

The history of culture studies has evolved from a trait approach to cognitivist and constructionist approaches. This study suggests that a social constructionist approach such as the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) holds promise by considering context, local knowledge, and the dynamic nature of culture. CMM is derived in part from the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein who argued that language is performative and people do things with words. Culture is no exception. Rather than look for universals of culture or define significant cultural differences, this study examined what people are doing when they talk about culture. Specifically, this study used CMM to explore the processes of cultural referencing and what work-related dyads construct when cultural stories are told.

Seven dyads viewed videos or read dialogues of cross-cultural interactions that were either ambiguous or contained conflict. Through conversation, the dyads attempted to make sense of what they saw. Participants referenced culture in order to understand and evaluate the actions of others in the scenes. By telling stories that included cultural references, participants implicated and explicated culture and created a common meaning and action system. Participants used culture as an explanation for observed others’ actions.

In this study, participants told stories of culture, of people in the scenes, of real other people, of cross-cultural interaction, and of self. The participants co-constructed these stories using self-reflection and cultural references. In doing so, they often used hedging language as they talked about cultural differences and created a pattern of moving toward or away from culture as an explanation of what they saw. Referencing culture became a bridging function between the social worlds of the participants and the behaviors of the actors in the scenes. Participants used cultural references to mediate coherence across their social worlds. This study also examined how the participants struggled with ambiguity and conflation of culture, race, nationality, and ethnicity.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fielding student Billie Myers and faculty member Raymond Hawkins present at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Construct Validation of the Altman Self-Rating Scale for Mania in a Non-Clinical Population -- Billie Myers, Student, School of Psychology and Raymond Hawkins, PhD, Faculty, School of Psychology

The Altman Self-Rating Scale for Mania (ASRM: Altman, Hedeker, Peterson, & Davis, 1997) has been useful as a screening tool for the assessment of symptoms of mild and moderate mania. Despite its good validity and reliability for this clinical sample, normative data for non-clinical populations are non-existent. The purpose of the current study was to determine normative data and establish validity among a non-clinical population. To establish construct validity, scores on the ASRM were compared to five personality traits: Neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The current study had 166 participants who completed the Ten-Item Personality Inventory and the Altman Self-Rating Scale for Mania. Relationships existed between scores on the ASRM and extraversion and scores on the ASRM and emotional stability. Moreover, the means from the original study with clinical samples differed from means from this non-clinical sample. The scale then, at least for young adult college students in this sample, does not appear to measure what it purports to measure, but replicated studies are needed to confidently make that claim beyond the current sample. Despite this need for replicated studies, the results provide some noteworthy normative data that extend beyond the original normative data.

For more info on research at Fielding, visit

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fielding graduate Sonia Maldonado presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Latinos' Learning Styles -- Sonia Maldonado, EdD, Alumna (2008), School of Educational Leadership and Change

Much of the literature about Latinos clearly indicates that Latinos are the largest growing ethnic group in the United States educational system (United States Census Bureau, 2007). Nevertheless, the educational attainment and performance of this ethnic group is uncertain and has not been addressed adequately (Almader, 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between Latinos’ learning styles, academic performance, and demographic factors in order to develop strategies to support the learning process of a group of 229 students enrolled at an urban Community College in the Northeastern part of the United States.

Learning styles are the different ways in which an individual receives and processes information (Kolb, 1984), as well as the factors surrounding the individual’s environment while learning (Dunn, Dunn, & Price, 1996). In order to identify students’ learning styles, two surveys were used: The Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) developed by Kolb (2000), and the Productivity Environmental Preference Survey (PEPS) developed by Dunn, Dunn, and Price (2003). A demographic survey was also administered to deter-mine students’ demographic factors. Responses were coded and analyzed using Pearson’s correlations, one-way Analyses of Variance, t-tests, as well as descriptive statistics.

Results from the study showed that 55.5% of the students at the community college preferred the Assimilator learning style on the LSI (Kolb, 2000), while the Diverger learning style was the second most preferred learning style in the study (23.1%). Findings from the study demonstrated a relationship between students’ learning styles, academic performance, and demographic factors.

Results on the PEPS, for instance, showed a relation-ship between four of the PEPS’ elements and the students’ G.P.A. Students’ G.P.A. was positively correlated with the element s of Design ( r=.162, p=.009) and Responsible/Conforming ( r=.174, p =.009) . On the contrary, the elements of Afternoon (r-1.75, p=.039) and Mobility (r =-.137, p=.008) negatively correlated with students’ G.P.A. In addition, this study demonstrated a significant differ-ence between the learning preferences of Dominican and Puerto Rican students. Mean scores of students from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America were different in some of the elements of the PEPS.

For more info on Fielding's research poster session, visit

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fielding graduate Anita Meng Liu presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Acculturation, Conflict Resolution, and Marital Satisfaction of Chinese American Immigrants -- Anita Meng Liu, PhD, Alumna (2008), School of Psychology

The present study examined the effects of perceived immigrant stress, conflict resolution styles, and acculturation strategies on marital satisfaction of 121 Chinese American immigrants living in Southern California. Besides the established Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Asian American Values Scale-Multidimensional, European American Values Scale for Asian Americans-Revised, Conflict Resolution Style Inventory, and Hassles Inventory for Chinese American Immigrants were administered in both English and Chinese languages to the community sample.

Multiple regression analyses revealed that perceived immigrant stress and withdrawal style negatively predicted marital satisfaction whereas problem solving style predicted marital satisfaction in the positive direction. Acculturation variables such as assimilation strategy, length of stay in the U.S., and perceived immigrant stress were found to have significant effects on problem solving style and withdrawal style, both predicting marital satisfaction.

Findings validated some aspects of Berry’s acculturation model and Karney and Bradbury’s vulnerability-stress-adaptation model of marital quality in the Chinese immigrant sample. Preliminary support for an integrated marital-acculturation model for Chinese American immigrants was also evident. Research and practice implications were discussed.

For more information on upcoming poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fielding graduate Catherine Hiltz presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

The Role of Emotional Contagion and Flooding in the Group Process of Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

Catherine Hiltz, PhD, Alumna (2011), School of Psychology

The role emotional contagion and flooding has in group therapy for children traumatized by domestic violence (DV)—psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse—was examined. Participants were 123 children (ages 6-12) of women battered by a male partner who participated in a group therapy intervention. Information about the children’s adjustment and exposure to DV was collected from the mothers at three time points. Narrative responses were also collected after each session from the group therapists about group process. Emotional contagion and flooding occurred during the majority of the sessions, most frequently involved the expression of anxiety, and related to an increase in group participation or cohesion. Session topics and interactions were the most common precipitating factor to emotional contagion and flooding, and cohesion or bonding was the most commonly reported outcome. Emotional contagion and flooding was most likely to occur when the session topic was: Identifying Feelings, Saying Goodbye, and Safety Planning. Emotional contagion and flooding with the expression of negative emotions predicted greater group success with session goals, with group variables being the strongest predictors. When child characteristics were controlled, then group variables were stronger predictors of group success with session goals. Paired with previous research, the findings of this study further demonstrate that the group intervention has multiple positive or protective benefits that foster more favorable develop of children exposed to DV, especially for children whose mothers also participate in the parent component of the program.

For more info on research at Fielding, visit

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stephanie Richardson completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

Driven by Meaning: A Classic Grounded Theory of Personal Entrepreneuring -- Stephanie Richardson

Stephanie is a registered nurse by background. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Transformative Leadership. In 1995, Stephanie was hired as the Director and Lead Instructor of the Medical Assistant program at a Wisconsin Technical College.
Driven by Meaning: A Classic Grounded Theory of Personal Entrepreneuring was conducted using the classic grounded theory methodology (Glaser, 1978, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001; Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The methodology is primarily inductive and generates conceptualized theory regarding latent patterns of behavior, as indicated by data analysis. When people take charge of their lives in ways that are new for them, they demonstrate the concepts of driven by meaning and personal entrepreneuring. Personal entrepreneuring conceptualizes the three-stage process that people engage in when taking charge of their lives in ways that are new for them. Meaning-driven motivation, meaning-driven solutioning, and meaning-driven movement conceptualize the stages of personal entrepreneuring. Business entrepreneurs served as the initial unit of study for this research. As theoretical sampling progressed, the unit of study expanded to include adults who were not business entrepreneurs. Individuals, including business entrepreneurs, engage in the same processes when attempting execution of new ideas. These individuals are entrepreneuring, regardless of the activity.

Keywords: Entrepreneur, entrepreneuring, entrepreneurship, business, trajectory, meaning, meaningful, uncertainty, taking charge, pioneering, grounded theory

For more information on the Fielding School of Educational Leadership and Change, visit

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fielding student Angela Enlow presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Determining Parents’ Role Expectations within the Context of Pediatric Primary Care -- Angela Enlow, Student, School of Psychology

Psychopathology is prevalent in childhood and is a predictor of future problems. Pediatricians are the gatekeepers for childhood mental health, and the rate at which psychosocial problems are detected and treated within pediatric primary care has not been effectively identified in the extant literature, but appears to be low compared to the rate of parental and professional concerns around psychosocial problems. A major problem in the literature on discussion of psychosocial concerns in pediatric care lies in the methodology used. Although the studies mentioned above reflect a tendency for low disclosure of psychosocial concerns, many studies used disparate ways of operationalizing psychosocial concerns and obtaining data on disclosure of psychosocial concerns. Studies have also gathered information from various forms of pediatric practices (e.g., integrated, non-integrated, sites that received specialty training in eliciting and detecting psychosocial concerns).

The use of the integrated care model is one way in which psychosocial concerns may be elicited and treated. However, it is unknown whether parents are socialized for full participation in integrated care medical visits.

To date, there are no published studies that have attempted to determine parents’ role expectations within the context of pediatric primary care. Further, many patients have not experienced the services offered by integrated care practices. Because integrated care models acknowledge the importance of the biopsychosocial model, it is expected that discussion of psychosocial concerns will be a part of visits so that medical staff may more fully address patients’ problems and concerns.

If role expectations are uncertain in a novel situation, and if this uncertainty leads to lowered self-disclosure (Aronson & Overall, 1966; Lorion, 1974), then the role expectations of those entering integrated care must be determined. If it is found that parents do not expect to discuss psychosocial concerns with their pediatricians, this information could be used to tailor role induction interventions to reduce this uncertainty.

The primary aim of this study is to determine parents’ role expectations within the context of pediatric primary care. Additionally, it will be determined if role expectations are significant predictors of the expectation of discussing psychosocial concerns within the context of pediatric primary care. If this is the case, role theory may be important for establishing a theoretical framework to the literature on parental disclosure of psychosocial concerns within the context of pediatric primary care.

For more info on research at Fielding, visit

Monday, September 19, 2011

Alina Perez completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Evaluating Factors in Jail Recidivism for Mentally Ill Offenders in Jail Diversion Programs: Self-Efficacy, Criminogenic Factors, and Stages of Change  -- Alina Perez

Alina currently works at Alliance for Psychological Services as a Mentally-Disordered Sex Offender Treatment Counselor. She also teaches graduate and undergraduate psychology and forensic psychology courses at a few universities as an Adjunct Faculty (Argosy University, Ashford University, Boston University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, University of Liverpool, and Columbia Southern University).

This study aimed at determining factors that distinguish mentally ill recidivists in a jail diversion program from mentally ill non recidivists in the same program. Initial study hypotheses predicted recidivists would exhibit a higher incidence of criminogenic factors and lower self-efficacy when compared to non recidivists. Additionally, recidivists were expected to be in early stages of change. However, findings did not confirm such hypotheses. Nevertheless, there were some small notable differences between recidivists and non recidivists of a jail diversion program. Results of this study can assist jail diversion programs when targeting services.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Randy Simon completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Men’s Views of Work-Life Balance: A Phenomenological Study -- Randy Simon

Randy Simon's background encompasses training as an art therapist and clinician, as well as senior positions in both corporate and consulting arenas, across many industries. She is the President of a New Jersey-based consulting firm, Simon Strategies. Practice areas include employee retention strategies, identification and development of top talent, succession planning, leadership development, and executive coaching. She has also provided career counseling and life coaching services to individuals. Prior to founding Simon Strategies, Randy was Vice President, Compensation and International Human Resources for Viacom, Inc. In that capacity, she had organization-wide leadership responsibility for executive and employee compensation, recognition programs, training and development, executive coaching and development, and international human resources. She launched Viacom’s first employee climate survey and consulted regularly with the various businesses on retention, pay, and development issues. Randy worked with Viacom’s internet businesses to benchmark competitive human resources practices and recommend a compensation and retention strategy. Randy's clinical training has involved work with adults and children with a broad range of presenting problems and diagnostic conditions. She has specialized in trauma intervention, working as an art therapist in the area of pediatric oncology and as a clinician in assessing and treating victims of abuse and neglect. Randy holds an MBA in Organizational Behavior and Development from Pace University's Lubin School of Business, and a PhD in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University.

Randy Simon, MBA, PhD

This study focused upon men’s experiences in integrating life roles, in order to facilitate a broader conceptualization of work-life balance as a continuing process of incorporating various life domains—one that affects all adults, despite its conceptual emergence as a predominantly female issue. Research to date appears to have neglected the views of men in this regard, with twice the number of work-family studies targeting women than men noted in a 2007 review of the organizational behavior literature (Casper, Eby, Bordeaux, Lockwood, & Lambert, 2007).

The work of Moustakas (1994) and Wertz (1983) was drawn upon in employing a phenomenological research methodology that produced an in-depth description of the meanings associated with work-life balance for men today. In addition to exploring experiences and decisions, individual identity, work history, family roles, and outside interests, questions were posed to foster the sharing of information about priorities, stressors, and vision for the “perfect” balance in life activities. Interviews were conducted with ten mid-career men with caregiving responsibilities to elicit detailed information about the way in which they experience work-life balance.

All interviewees consider both family and work to be high priorities. A psychological structure emerged that reflected an underlying need by many to integrate family into work and work into family in order to function within time limitations. These limits often forced continual decisions about trade-offs and produced an overlay of stress and overload. The way in which men make choices about issues of balance is based upon their value systems, at both the individual and couple levels. Values and the finite nature of time are therefore central components of the structure of work-life balance experiences. In addition, a significant new finding is that all of the men in this study expressed a keen desire for validation by others regarding their efforts and lifestyle. Insight was gained into the overall male experience of balancing work and non-work domains, filling a large gap in the literature and highlighting aspects that have previously been ignored.

Key Words: Work-life balance, men, work-life integration, border theory, phenomenological research, trade-offs, need for external validation

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fielding student Janet de Merode presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Two Halves Make a Whole: Evidence of Integration in Bicultural Adults' Chosen Visual Symbols of Self-Identity -- Janet de Merode, Student, School of Psychology


The lived experience and identity architecture of bicultural individuals is largely absent from research. Unlike biracial individuals whose physical appearance may expose a blended heritage, many bicultural individuals live their dual heritage within, positioning themselves at their own discretion. Consequently, this study employed a methodology enabling 10 bicultural females (mean age = 36) to illustrate their sense of self through narration about personal objects representing their identity, filmed using a self-operated video camera without a researcher present. The bicultural consciousness and identity expressed was thus an agentic choice, rather than reactive shifts in response to context. In addition to the videos created by participants, an online background survey and post-video telephone interview provided supplementary information. Common themes and a case study for each of the bicultural women were corroborated with a separate coding analysis of the chosen objects (n=104).

The findings in this study suggest that bicultural heritage need not, by definition, exert a negative or confounding impact on the sense of self, as much of the existing literature assumes. On the contrary: the findings in this qualitative and phenomenological study suggest that even when bicultural individuals grow up in a life of constant change – of language, home, school, community and social circle – they nevertheless can experience bicultural identity as rich and dynamic, developing a resilience to external change, and a deep respect for social diversity. Bicultural identity is mediated by close family relationships and emerges as evolutionary and malleable, rather than as an end-state to be achieved. The high geographic mobility and language proficiency in these study participants indicates that identity clarification is obtained through travel and multilingualism (mean languages = 3.3). Seeking identity coherence may entail denying some aspects of self, at least temporarily, making the management process as complex as the choices. In sum, this study concludes that biculturalism imparts benefits and a worldview well beyond the two halves of birth.

For more info on research at Fielding, visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fielding student Brian Emerson and associate dean Nancy C. Wallis present at the 2011 Academy of Management Annual Meeting

2011 Academy of Management Annual Meeting
West Meets East: Enlightening, Balancing, Transcending

Managing the Paradoxes and Polarities of Organizational Change

The Wisdom of Both-And: Using Polarity Management to Make Sense of and Utilize Paradoxical Tension
Author: Brian Emerson; Fielding Graduate University.;
Author: Nancy C. Wallis; Fielding Graduate University;

As the complexity of organizations rises, it becomes imperative for theorists and leaders to increase their ability to make sense of organizational paradoxes. While scholars have examined the phenomenon of inherent opposites, few have conducted research on how organizations can practically and effectively manage and harness the power of the on-going tensions by which they are continuously plagued. This is surprising, given numerous cultures throughout history have understood the world as inherently paradoxical. Taoists and other Eastern cultures for example, see paradoxical opposites as being intrinsically interrelated—each necessary for the other to exist, and both necessary for the good of the whole. Conversely, in the West, and by English speakers specifically, these opposites are often separated into either/or dichotomies, for despite their prevalence in the world, the English language does not adequately capture the true nature or power of polarities. This article contributes to emerging research in this field. Using differentiation and integration as a frame, this analysis examines organizational paradox, how it impacts the systems of which it is a part, and the need for organizations to make sense of the phenomenon to effectively manage the dilemma. This discussion raises the fact that little information or guidance exists in the scholarly realm to assist organizations in their efforts to deal with inherent oppositional forces. Finally, we suggest that polarity management can be used as a sensemaking tool to help organizations effectively harness the positive power of paradoxical tensions. The article concludes with a case study.

Keywords: Polarity Management, Organizational Paradox, Differentiation Integration

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jessica G. Alvarado completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

Instructor Input and Suggested Training on the Subject of Collaborative Learning Activities
A Study of an Early Childhood Development Department -- Jessica G. Alvarado

Jessica Alvarado has spent nearly her entire career in the field of education. Though the majority of her current work is at the college level, she has a great deal of teaching and administrative experience at the early childhood- high school level. She began her work in the education field working in a literacy program with elementary school children. From there she transitioned to working for the county of San Diego with abused, neglected, and children with special needs.

Following her work with the county, she began her teaching and administrative career after accepting a position at a local high school. Until 2009, Jessica was a director of a program for students with special needs at that school. There, she designed and taught a program to assist the students with individualized educational programs. It was at that school that she spent seven years of her career helping her students achieve their personal and academic goals that led to earning their high school diploma.

Immediately following, Jessica and her family opened a private, online high school where she serves as the Director. The school serves many, but focuses on teenage parents and working adults. The school offers individualized programs for all and allows students to focus on their personal interests, while still meeting the state standards. In addition, she teaches both online and face-to-face child development courses for several community colleges and two universities.



Collaborative learning has many educational benefits as demonstrated through studies conducted in many different academic institutions at different educational levels. This study researched the use of, frequency of, and beliefs about collaborative learning with instructors who teach both online and face-to-face within an early childhood development department at a university in Southern California. The instructors were asked about the context in which they used collaborative learning in both their online and face-to-face classes, and what, if any, resistance to collaborative learning they had to its use. Finally, they were asked about what areas of training, if any, they would be interested in regarding collaborative learning.

Twelve instructors participated in this mixed methods study. I used quantitative surveys I designed to ask about the use of, frequency of, and beliefs about collaborative learning. I then used a qualitative interview protocol to gather input from the instructors about their beliefs about collaborative learning and to discover what, if any, training about collaborative learning they would be interested in receiving. This study analyzed the data both as a group and as twelve individual case studies. Results were mixed, showing that a small percentage of instructors were strong proponents of the use of collaborative learning activity in their classes. Consistent with the literature, however, the majority indicated use part of the time and a small number were opposed to using collaborative activity at all. Based on the analysis, I was able to provide the department chair with the findings to support the need for faculty training and development in this area. Suggestions for further research and practice were also offered.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fielding graduate Maaskelah Thomas publishes book

Calling the Elders: Reclaiming and Transforming Our Communities Through Elder Wisdom: A Guide and Toolkit for Developing Local Councils of Elders -- Maaskelah Kimit Thomas PhD

Councils of Elders are a unique and historical human development construct. Councils of Elders have their roots in indigenous African communities which viewed the Elders as repositories of knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, as the guardians and purveyors of a community's values, traditions, norms and interests. Likewise, Councils of Elders represent a significant stage along the rites of passage continuum from youth through elderhood and on through transition into esteemed ancestry. This is a simple guidebook, designed for those interested in our continuance. In it you will find one model for community Councils of Elders, along with practical steps and processes for ways to engage our entire community in reconnecting the links that have historically been our strength.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fielding student Dorianne Cotter-Lockard presents at the 2011 Academy of Management Annual Meeting

2011 Academy of Management Annual Meeting
West Meets East: Enlightening, Balancing, Transcending

The Corporate Mystic: Integrating Eastern and Western Spiritual Practices into Organizational Life

Corporate mystic at work

Presenter: Gerald Biberman; University of Scranton;
Presenter: Lynne Sedgmore; 157 Group of FE Colleges UK;
Presenter: Judith A. Neal; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville;
Presenter: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard; Fielding Graduate University;

While past research has focused on the characteristics and behaviors of “spiritual leaders” and of “spiritual organizations”, to date little has been researched regarding the influence and impact of mystical spiritual practices and mystical experiences on leaders, particularly in a work setting. In the proposed panel symposium, four “corporate mystics” will describe the spiritual practices which they follow and how these spiritual practices influence their organizational work. Their practices originate in both eastern and western spiritual traditions. They will then dialog with each other to compare and contrast their personal experiences and their observations of how their experiences have impacted the organizations with and within which they have worked.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fielding graduate Sonia Maldonado-Torres publishes article in the Journal of Hispanics in Higher Education

Maldonado-Torres, S. E. Differences in Learning Styles of Dominican and Puerto Rican Students: We are Latinos from the Caribbean and speak Spanish as our first language however; our learning preferences are different. Journal of Hispanics in Higher Education, 10(3), 226-236.

Currently, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States (United States Census Bureau, 2007), with a population of 44.3 million that will soon represent the majority of the student body in some of the largest school districts in the United States (Tapia, 2004; Trueba, 1989, 1987, 1999). As the Latino population continues to grow their academic success should be an important issue for Americans to consider, since the future of this country will rely to some extent on the educational performance of this particular group of students (Trueba, 1987). Statistics on the performance of Latino students have evidenced school dropout rates of about 2 to 3.5 times higher than the rate for White and non-Latino students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010). Additionally, Latinos are less likely to complete an undergraduate degree when compared with White students (González-Sullivan, 2007).

This study has been designed to explore and identify the learning styles of a group of Latino students in an urban community college in New York City to: 1) develop educational approaches geared to increase their academic attainment, and to: 2) understand the relationship between Latino students learning styles with their country of origin. As Nieto (1999) stated, Latino students learning styles are intrinsically related to their country of origin, the way in which Latino students learn may in effect be due to what is valued in their culture (Nieto, p. 112).

Findings of the study demonstrated differences between the learning preferences of Dominican and Puerto Rican students in the elements of Motivation (t = 2.846, p = .005), Several Ways of Learning (t = 2.351, p = .020), and Tactile (t = 3.469; p = .001).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gail Baksh-Jarrett completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

The Irony Of Open Access: An Examination Of A New York State Financial Aid Policy And Its Effect On Students --Gail Baksh-Jarrett

Gail is the Senior Director of Enrollment and Student Financial Services at LaGuardia Community College- City University of New York.  She can be contacted by email at

Open access institutions have achieved the goal of providing higher education to all who seek it. To compete in a global economy, these higher educational institutions must do more than open the door; they must ensure that admitted students succeed. This study examined effects of New York State’s financial aid policy that requires foreign-credentialed students to pass Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) tests in mathematics, reading, and writing to receive financial aid.

This study, conducted at LaGuardia Community College, focused on the impact of the ATB tests on foreign-credentialed students’ retention before and after implementation of the regulation. All first-time, full-time students with foreign credentials, U.S high school diplomas, and GEDs for the years 2006 to 2008 were compared in regard to their first semester placement in college remedial courses. The foreign-credentialed students’ pass rates in the college remedial courses were compared to their pass rates on the ATB tests for 2 years after implementation of the policy. The fall-to-fall return rate for all three groups of students, with and without state financial aid, was examined to determine their persistence. Records of approximately 6,400 students were analyzed. A sample of 105 students who had just taken the ATB tests responded to a survey about the test, and their future educational plans.

The findings indicate:

o More foreign-credentialed students needed remediation in reading and writing than U.S. credentialed students.

o More U. S. credentialed students needed greater remediation in mathematics.

o Foreign-credentialed students with and without aid persisted at a higher rate than U.S. credentialed students.

o The return rate for foreign-credentialed students after ATB implementation as compared to before, decreased slightly for those without aid and increased slightly for those with aid.

o Equal numbers of test-takers stated they would retake the ATB test(s) and they would seek alternative financing or continue without state aid.

The findings suggest that the New York State ATB criterion is redundant. The standard used to demonstrate ability-to-benefit should not be where the high school credentials were received, but rather when all students achieve certain academic skills to succeed in higher education.

Keywords: ability-to-benefit, foreign academic credentials, financial aid, remediation, retention

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fielding graduate Summer Nipomnick publishes article in the Journal of the Psychological, Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Cancer

Fingeret, M. C., Yuan, Y., Urbauer, D., Weston, J., Nipomnick, S. and Weber, R. (2011), The nature and extent of body image concerns among surgically treated patients with head and neck cancer. Psycho-Oncology. doi: 10.1002/pon.1990

Article first published online: 27 JUN 2011

Print Volume/Issue pending

The purpose of this study was to describe body image concerns for surgically treated patients with head and neck cancer and evaluate the relationship between body image concerns and quality of life outcomes. Data were obtained from 280 patients undergoing surgical treatment for head and neck cancer. We used a cross-sectional design and obtained data from individuals at different time points relative to initiation of surgical treatment. Participants completed the Body Image Scale, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Scale-Head and Neck Version, and a survey designed for this study to evaluate disease-specific body image issues, satisfaction with care regarding body image issues, and interest in psychosocial intervention.

Body image concerns were prevalent in the majority of participants with 75% acknowledging concerns or embarrassment about one or more types of bodily changes at some point during treatment. Significant associations were found between body image concerns and all major domains of quality of life. Age, gender, cancer type, time since surgery, and body image variables were significantly associated with psychosocial outcomes. A clear subset of participants expressed dissatisfaction with care received about body image issues and/or indicated they would have liked additional resources to help them cope with body image changes. These data provide useful information to document wide-ranging body image difficulties for this population and provide important targets for the development of relevant psychosocial interventions. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Body Image, Head and Neck Cancer, Quality of Life, Psychosocial Oncology