I have a confession. One
of the main things I enjoy about teaching at GSU is essentially quite
selfish. I genuinely love the
opportunity to facilitate the academic, personal, and professional growth of
students – which in turn facilitates my
academic, personal and professional growth.
It is truly one of the great ironies that I am unable to teach a lesson
without having learned a lesson or two for myself in the process. Our student body comes from diverse
backgrounds, experiences, philosophies and learning experiences that foster
unique perspectives and dynamic classroom discussions. I am indebted to the students and faculty at
GSU who have already taught me so much.
It is truly a “rush” to be a part of generating new ideas and fresh outlooks
that engage excitement and interest in the learning of psychology.
My role in the efforts to re-establish the School Psychology
program at GSU has also been extremely rewarding. School Psychology is a rapidly growing field
that encompasses clinical, educational, and developmental aspects of
psychology. My interest and passion for
those areas were initially grounded in my early personal experiences with
children in the foster care system that faced overwhelming odds in their life
journeys. I had an intense desire to promote
social justice for all children and
to equalize the playing field within the educational setting through direct
(e.g., testing, counseling, and parent training) and indirect (e.g.,
collaboration with educators, parents, and individuals/professionals in the
broader community) interventions and services.
At this point in my professional career, it is an incredible honor to
have the opportunity to educate and train future school psychologists in an
institution that offers such rich multicultural diversity and embraces
innovative teaching blended with high standards. It has also been fun and intellectually
stimulating to interact with senior faculty members who have been generous in
sharing their experiences and insights while brainstorming about innovative
ways to nurture the new program.
Prior to joining the faculty at GSU, I had the opportunity
to acquire 18 years of school and clinical work. Within that timeframe, I was able to engage
in a wide variety of activities that included parent education, workshop
presentations and lecturing in a university healthcare setting. Collectively, these experiences have created
a framework through which to integrate experiences in school and clinical practice
with didactic experiences and pedagogy to support my teaching efforts. Since my arrival at GSU two years ago, I’ve
especially enjoyed collaborating with colleagues and students on research
projects and serving as a mentor and advisor to both undergraduate and graduate
students. My areas of research interest
include acculturation, biracial identity development, contemplative educational
approaches, and social emotional aspects of learning.
Community service and social justice have always been
central to my professional and personal endeavors. Apart from pro bono services that I have
offered through my practice and work with community agencies, I have a deep
commitment to my involvement with the Special Olympics and volunteering in supporting
the development of staff and parents of children on the autism spectrum. In my free time, I appreciate the opportunity
to catch my breath by enjoying simple things such as spending time with family
and friends, running and reading.