Wednesday, April 30, 2014

EC-SEBRIS Student Poster Presentations

On April 17, 2014, our EC-SEBRIS Graduate Certificate students presented research posters at the Inaugural Partnership Conference co-hosted by the Department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. 

At the end of each semester, our students showcase their research at an event open to the public. The intent is to share "fact sheets" with mental health providers regarding key strategies to successfully impact the lives of young children and their families.

This semester our students shared the posters they created last semester, reaching a much wider audience than we could have anticipated– 350 conference attendees! The content focused on the importance of early assessment and intervention related to language development, social-emotional development, sensory motor development, fine motor skills and parent-child attachment.

More information on the EC-SEBRIS Graduate Certificate Program in early childhood mental health can be found here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Highlights of the First Annual Partnership Conference

The Department of Child and Family Development co-hosted the Inaugural Partnership Conference April 17, 2014.

Dr. Karen Moran Finello
The San Diego Association for the Education of Young Children, the California Council on Family Relations, and the Center for Family, School, Community Engagement (CFSCE) also hosted the conference.

The conference featured keynote presentations by applied developmental psychologist Dr. Karen Moran Finello and licensed clinical social worker Michael Jones.

Dr. Finello's presentation explored the topic of home visiting and its ability to support families and strengthen not only mental health, but child-caregiver relationships.

Mr. Jones presented on the topic of Trauma Informed Care, along with the importance surrounding a professional's ability to identify their own trauma histories and their awareness regarding the possible impacts of those experiences in work with clients.

Dr. Michael Jones

The conference also featured workshops by some of San Diego State's very own. Dr. Shulamit Ritblatt, Dr. Audrey Hokoda, Dr. Sascha Longstreth, Dr. Sarah Garrity, and the Director of CFSCE, Jeana Preston.

All of these experiences provided excellent opportunities for the 350 student and professional attendees to be inspired, while building on their knowledge of Infant and Childhood Mental Health.

Thanks to CFD undergraduate Victoria Kapper for contributing this post.

Dr. Shulamit Ritblatt

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Master's Student Mashaael Alwashmi Explains Why SDSU Is First Choice

My name is Mashaael Alwashmi and I am from capital city Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I graduated from Princess Nora University, which has the largest female campus in the world. My undergraduate major was Home Economics that includes subjects about home, family, and children. I decided to join the (KASP) King Abdullah Scholarship Program that offers full funds for distinguished students because I graduated from PNU with honors.

I chose San Diego State University in particular for many reasons. First, my brother, uncle, and cousin were in San Diego seeking their education, and they highly recommended San Diego as a nice city for studying and for families. Second, SDSU was one of my first choices because they ranked high, especially the College of Education. Also, the Child and Family Development department has the most suitable master’s program that is an actual extension to my undergraduate major. In fact, the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia added the program to their list for recommended and approved programs all over the world on:

I started planning to apply when I was in the American Language Institute (ALI) at SDSU by learning about the application requirements and completing them one by one. During the language-learning period I was able to earn an English level sufficiency certificate, qualify my undergraduate degree certificate, take the GRE exam, and write the required essays. After sending the required documents, I was extremely happy to hear from the department as per the scheduled timeline they had provided telling me that I was accepted in the Fall 2013.

I have loved the program so much. During the first semester, I had the pleasure of working with many people with different backgrounds. I especially loved the courses CFD 634, CFD 660, CFD 590 as well as ED 690. Additionally, the program was flexible to the extent that I was able to take some undergraduate classes that I really enjoyed and learned from. This gave me a whole new perspective in this filed and made me interested more and more about children's problems and developmental challenges. I look forward to the courses I will take this year that will assist me in writing my thesis on children’s school readiness in Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait to apply the knowledge I have gained from this master’s program in my country.

My goal is to enhance the invaluable experience of working with children during my studying in SDSU. I want to work with the SDSU Children’s Center and learn the successful ways that they follow, and apply them to my future children’s center in Saudi Arabia. Also. I will back to work at PNU as a lecturer, so I get the opportunity to transfer the great information and knowledge from the CFD master’s program to the Early Childhood Department at PNU.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Aitor Sendino Fernández from Spain Shares What he Took Away From the ECD Program

My experience at SDSU was very rewarding at a personal, academic, and professional level. I first came to SDSU as an exchange student for two semesters, taking several classes in the Child and Family Development department. Needing to adapt to such a different educational environment and methodology, compared to my country of origin, was a really interesting challenge.

All the professors and classmates were very helpful and I soon started enjoying the learning experience at SDSU, finishing with great academic results as well! After my two semesters as an exchange student, and thanks to one of my professors from the Child and Family Development department, I had the opportunity to come back to SDSU for a third semester working as a research assistant at the Youth Violence Research Lab, supervised by Dr. Emilio Ulloa and Dr. Audrey Hokoda.

I'm sure that the experience and the skills I gained working with such a great team will be very useful for my professional future. With the help of my mentor at the lab, I developed my own research project on dating violence, which resulted in a research manuscript. This manuscript in particular, and my international working experience at SDSU in general, are now helping me find better job opportunities back in Europe, giving me a competitive advantage over other candidates without any experience working or studying abroad.

In the next months, I'll be starting an internship abroad with a program sponsored by the Basque Government and the European Union through the Leonardo da Vinci scholarships.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Saba Borjianboroujeni from Iran provides an international look inside the Master's Program

When you get admission to go abroad and study in a different country, you have no idea what you are going to experience. In my first week at SDSU, I felt like Alice in wonderland. Everything was new and the system was not familiar for me, on top of the language barrier. However, the professors were very friendly- they helped me with all the new things. The program requires lots of writing and reading, which is more difficult for international students, so the first few weeks is all about adjusting to the language and new system.

After the first month, I started to realize how interesting my program is. In every assignment, the professors forced us to apply what we had learned in the texts and articles to real situations, which helped to understand the techniques more deeply. The professors make plenty of time for each student and clarify all the tasks. They explained all the assignments over and over for me; therefore, they tried to speak more slowly and simple in class, which I really appreciate. In total, I found my school and my faculty very friendly and helpful. This is an experience that is very unique and I wouldn’t exchange it with anything in my life.