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Alumni Spotlight

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Flint, Michigan

A greater purpose

April 24, 2018

Alumna Denise Smith knew she wanted to do more to help children. The water crisis in her hometown of Flint, Michigan provided the chance to answer the call.

Mount Everest

Journey: 5 steps to a transformation

April 24, 2018

“Journey: 5 Steps to a Transformation” explores five steps to a transformation through realization, exploration, knowledge, action, and actualization. Susan Livingston is the alumna highlight for Voices Spring 2018 issue.

Group of children with arms around each other

How Pacific Oaks changed the life of Pasadena’s Stark Spirits owner

March 30, 2018

Stark Spirits distillery co-owner Karen Robinson-Stark reflects on how Pacific Oaks influenced her career path—from childhood development expert to entrepreneur. Discover the “spirit” she found through her work.

Graduate student thinking and looking away from camera

The Open School opens minds

March 23, 2017

Imagine attending an elementary or secondary school where the students have as much of a say as the teachers. No more “because I said so,” or a mandatory syllabus, or needing permission to do something as simple as use the restroom.

John F Kennedy speaking at a podium

Lucy Clark: The epitome of a Pacific Oaks College graduate invested in social justice

March 08, 2017

Lucy Clark grew up in the 1940s and 1950s in West Texas. She was a bright, inquisitive teen who was encouraged by her biology teacher to pursue math and science as a career.

Family

Lifesaver

January 24, 2017

Myriam Avery built on her Pacific Oaks College master’s thesis to open an international adoption agency. Today, this proud alumna is bringing hope to children who wait around the globe for a family to call their own.

Animated map of Africa

World view

January 24, 2017

As Pacific Oaks College’s first student to study abroad in South Africa, recent graduate Paula Swearingen reflects on how the experience prepared her for her current role in early childhood education.

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STEM champion

January 24, 2017

Pacific Oaks alumna Susan Wood lives her mission delivering science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum in early childhood education settings.

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Quinn Hunter McGonagle, Pacific Oaks Children’s School alumna

January 17, 2017

As an alumna of the Children’s School, what would you describe as some of your best memories there?

Dr. Andrew Kami-M.A.

Dr. Andrew Kami, M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, Class of 2008

January 17, 2017

Tell me a little about what led to your decision to get a master’s degree from Pacific Oaks.

Heaven Cisse at Pacific Oaks

Community connector

November 02, 2016

Pacific Oaks College alumna Heaven Cisse received valuable hands-on practicum experience while finishing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. Within days of graduation, the agency offered her a full-time job.

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Top teacher

November 02, 2016

Pacific Oaks College alumnus and recent “Teacher of the Year” award winner Byron Flitsch combines his fun-loving zest for life and early childhood education training to inspire his students to love writing.

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Alum and Faculty Member Receives Prestigious Award

April 24, 2019

Todd Hioki—master teacher at the Children’s School, adjunct faculty member at Pacific Oaks College, and Human Development alum—has been honored with the 2019 UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Award.

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Pacific Oaks College Announces Commencement Speaker

April 08, 2019

A School of Human Development alumna, Dr. Antonia Darder, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker for the 59th annual commencement on May 11, 2019.

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Elizabeth Chamberlain, Ed.D., Dean of the School of Education, brings her voice to the Special Olympics and Special Education debate

March 29, 2019

Read Dr. Chamberlain’s full statement regarding the recent proposal and subsequent reversal to eliminate federal funding for the Special Olympics.

africa_feature

Perspectives from abroad: Q&A with Human Development student Gabriele Cabanilla

March 11, 2019

Human Development student Gabriele Cabanilla reflects on her new perspective following Pacific Oaks’ trip to South Africa.

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Perspectives from abroad: My first international experience

March 07, 2019

Pacific Oaks student Brittney Carey reflects on her first international experience during the “Identity in Context: Examination of South Africa” study abroad course.

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Understanding trauma in children

March 01, 2019

Training adults cannot prevent children from experiencing trauma, but it can provide them strategies to reduce its negative impact.

Pollution feature

Real problems, real solutions: examining pollution in Los Angeles County

February 27, 2019

African American, Latinx, and Asian residents in L.A. County are disproportionately affected by pollution. What role can community psychology play in addressing this issue?

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Pacific Oaks’ students collaborate to re-establish Student Government Association

February 15, 2019

Work groups will meet over the next week and share their ideas in a second meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21.

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President Pat Breen, Ph.D., announces retirement

January 23, 2019

President Patricia A. Breen, Ph.D., is retiring from Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School after nine years of service.

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Do we value our teachers? Thoughts on the LAUSD strike

January 14, 2019

As a former LAUSD teacher and Dean of the School of Education at Pacific Oaks, Dr. Chamberlain shares her thoughts on the need to value teachers.

community psychology homelessness

Real problems, real solutions: sheltering the homeless

January 14, 2019

From 2015 – 2017 the homeless population in Long Beach decreased by more than 21 percent as the rest of Los Angeles County’s continued to rise. Discover how the concepts of community psychology applied in addressing this problem.

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Pacific Oaks’ past, present, and future in social justice

October 25, 2018

From the development of anti-bias curriculum to the Social Justice Night Awards, explore Pacific Oaks’ long-held commitment to the values of social justice.

Magazine Features

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Fight for Justice

Trending: #FightforJustice

April 24, 2018

From pounding the pavement to using hashtags, activists have found a new way to unite.

Child writing "A is for Access" on chalkboard

A is for access

April 24, 2018

More than half of low-income children enter kindergarten unprepared. When early childhood education is missing, how can teachers fill in the gaps?

How have today’s families evolved?

Roundtable Q&A: The new American family

April 24, 2018

According to three Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) professionals from Pacific Oaks College, the expanded mindset of families and relationships have necessitated a notable evolution in the Marriage and Family Therapy program.

Flint, Michigan

A greater purpose

April 24, 2018

Alumna Denise Smith knew she wanted to do more to help children. The water crisis in her hometown of Flint, Michigan provided the chance to answer the call.

Mount Everest

Journey: 5 steps to a transformation

April 24, 2018

“Journey: 5 Steps to a Transformation” explores five steps to a transformation through realization, exploration, knowledge, action, and actualization. Susan Livingston is the alumna highlight for Voices Spring 2018 issue.

Lessons for Life

Lessons for life

April 24, 2018

For nearly 75 years, young minds have been nurtured beneath the trees of Shady Lane. We asked four generations of alumni to share their favorite memories and lasting lessons from their time at the Children’s School.

Modern leader 366

Follow the (modern) leader

May 17, 2017

As practices and priorities evolve to meet the demands of the modern business landscape, a new leadership model must also emerge. Leaders with the skills to bring together the bottom line with the common good will be increasingly important.  

Graphic of broken chain-link fence

Excursion into empathy

May 17, 2017

Ten days abroad gave Pacific Oaks students a new perspective on the global immigration crisis and a new tool with which to practice their profession: compassion.

cartoon heart pointing to brain wearing cape

Roundtable Q&A: Wearing intelligence on your sleeve

May 17, 2017

Put your emotions aside so you can think clearly” is common advice we still hear today. But another line of thinking has emerged in the last couple decades—that wisdom and clarity can also stem from having a positive and productive emotional investment in your family members, co-workers, projects, and yourself.

Agriculture Steppes

How a helping hand created a humanitarian

May 10, 2017

Meet the Pacific Oaks College alumnus whose personal experience fleeing Vietnam as a child refugee inspired him to become a mentor and advocate for those experiencing homelessness.

Canvas with 2D print of world map in yellow

Global citizen

November 08, 2016

On November 22, 1963, a 13-year-old Patricia Breen woke up in Tokyo to news she would never forget. President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Within minutes, word spread across the globe—all the way to the American Embassy where her father was stationed.

Voices: Women in class

A few good families

November 08, 2016

Margie Young was an infant when her father, Robert “Bob” Young, got together with six local families in Pasadena to found a children’s school unlike any other. Her father was a Quaker. Some of the other families were not.

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New Doctors

New doctors in the house!

November 13, 2018

The School of Education is thrilled to announce two new doctors in the house: Dr. Beth Chamberlain, Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. Jerell Hill, Administrative Faculty, School of Education.

SJ Night Feature

Pacific Oaks College Hosts Social Justice Night Awards

November 05, 2018

Pacific Oaks College held its inaugural Social Justice Night where Lesford Duncan, Pacific Oaks’ first Social Justice Hero was honored

Career fair with CARE

CARE hosts career fair on PO’s Pasadena Campus

August 01, 2018

On July 21, 2018, CARE hosted a successful career fair on the Pacific Oaks College Pasadena campus.

TIME'S UP

President Breen pens letter of support for TIME’S UP movement

January 09, 2018

President Breen, moved by the organization’s commendable actions in addressing systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace, wrote a letter pledging the support of Pacific Oaks to their cause.

Large group of students and faculty

Study abroad in Austria: Now accepting applicants

November 17, 2017

Discover an education unrestricted by geographical boundaries during our Spring semester study abroad program at Krems University, Austria.

teaching credentials, california teaching credentials

Negative labels may be removed for aspiring educators

November 08, 2017

California’s ESSA State Plan proposes that instructors with intern and preliminary teaching credentials should no longer be labeled as “ineffective teachers.”

Pacific Oaks College logo

Pacific Oaks College awarded $103,200 grant from The Fletcher Jones Foundation

October 12, 2017

Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School, one of the nation’s leading pioneers in the study of education and human development, will be able to further advance its mission thanks to a $103,200 grant from The Fletcher Jones Foundation.

Student hidden behind stack of books

Pacific Oaks College launches B.A. and M.A. in Advocacy & Social Justice programs

September 20, 2017

Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School (PO) announces the launch of two new programs, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Advocacy & Social Justice.

Two girls clapping hands together in a field

President Breen selected as honorary committee member for Pasadena’s Early Learning City Movement

September 04, 2017

President Breen was recently selected to be an Honorary Committee Member for the City of Pasadena and the Office of the Young Child’s “Launch of Pasadena as an Early Learning City.”

Group of students smiling in front of the Berlin wall

Video recap: Experiencing humanity

August 15, 2017

Pacific Oaks’ students visit Berlin to explore the experience of refugees for the “Immigration in Context” study-abroad course.

Group of students talking in a library

Pacific Oaks develops an adjunct faculty mentoring program

August 15, 2017

In October 2017, Pacific Oaks’ Human Development faculty member Dionne Clabaugh, Ed.D., will be one of the presenters at the University of Mexico’s Mentor Institute Conference, “A Decade of Cultivating an Inclusive Mentoring Community.”

Students at a career fair

Pacific Oaks College hosts successful career fair for students and alumni

July 20, 2017

On July 15, 2017, Pacific Oaks College hosted a successful Career Fair on its Pasadena campus. Taking place on a Saturday afternoon from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the event was well-attended, with roughly 80 attendees and 35 recruiters from 18 organizations.

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Pacific Oaks College alumni association

Join the Pacific Oaks College Alumni Association

January 05, 2018

Join the Pacific Oaks College Alumni Association to network and reconnect with Pacific Oaks. We have added some exciting additional membership benefits.

Group of students smiling in front of the Berlin wall

Video recap: Experiencing humanity

August 15, 2017

Pacific Oaks’ students visit Berlin to explore the experience of refugees for the “Immigration in Context” study-abroad course.

Woman smiling at camera

Pacific Oaks College: From self-discovery to transformation

March 08, 2017

Recently, we asked several of our students, alumni, and faculty what Pacific Oaks College means to them. It was clear from their answers that they feel a part of a community dedicated to making significant change in the world around them.