Tisha Marina Bernard decided to take on bullying after discovering how pervasive it is among young people today. It's a sense of personal responsibility that comes naturally to a Pacific Oaks graduate student. The college has been at the forefront of the march toward equality and inclusion since its founding days, and it instills its students with a passion for social justice.
Professors like Louise Derman-Sparks have set the tone, pulling in accolades from the American University of Colleges and Universities for her Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children, published originally in 1989 and used in classrooms across the country for more than 20 years. The curriculum's pioneering impact on teacher training earned Pacific Oaks a Special Commendation for Distinction in Undergraduate Education, as well as recognition from throughout the professional community.
As an M.A. student in the Human Development program, Tisha recognized the bullying epidemic that has infiltrated schools as just another form of bias that feeds on the natural differences and insecurities of young people. She provides anti-bullying training for the Safe School Ambassadors program, working to stop the vicious cycle of torment and intimidation. "Bullying is out of control and needs immediate attention," she says. "Pacific Oaks has given me the vocabulary and skills to work with kids from all walks of life. I'm seeing lives transformed before my eyes."