October 17, 2006
For immediate release
The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education has developed a new means to support its graduate students beginning with the 2006-2007 school year. The School’s Dean’s Council, whose members provide leadership, counsel, and financial support, has risen to a new challenge. Recognizing that many potential students, confronted with the rising cost of graduate education, are finding it impossible to follow their dreams of becoming teachers, psychologists, special educators, or educational researchers, the Dean’s Council members have pledged $5,000 a year to provide fellowships. These fellowships will enable students to dedicate themselves to full-time study and help the Gevirtz School continue to attract the best graduate students.
“Members of the Gevirtz School Dean's Council have made a difference in the lives of eight students who will, over the course of their professional lives, positively influence thousands of children and families in California,” says Dean Jane Close Conoley. “The investment in graduate education is daunting for many. The vision and generosity of the Council members have made the dream of professional success a reality for Gevirtz graduate students. This ongoing commitment from the members is a key to our long term success as a School.”
The 2006-07 GGSE Dean’s Council Scholars, each receiving a $2,500 fellowship, are Adrienne Auten, Luke Campe, Claudia Kouyoumdjian, Jessica Little, April Regester, Rene Staskal, Laura Van Auker, and Kara Wilson.
Adrienne Auten is a Multiple Subject Teacher (MST) candidate in the Teacher Education Program. Adrienne’s undergraduate degree from UCLA is in History and Environmental Studies, and she worked as an inner city literacy tutor with UCLA Bruins Corps. After graduation she taught at a bilingual school in Los Cabos, Mexico for two years, developing a science curriculum based on the Baja California Ecosystem and adhering to the California Science Standards.
Luke Campe is a Single Subject Teacher (SST) candidate in Science in the Teacher Education Program. Although Luke began at Cal Poly SLO studying Mechanical Engineering, he changed his major to Physical Science because he wanted to become a teacher. Between earning his BS and enrolling in the Gevirtz School Luke traveled the 48 contiguous states, played in a band, learned carpentry, coached a junior high football team, and worked as a full-time substitute teacher at Dos Pueblos High School.
Claudia Kouyoumdjian is a doctoral student in the Department of Education, Emphasis in Child and Adolescent Development. Claudia has a BA in Psychology, a BA in Spanish, and an MA in Education She also holds a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential with a BCLAD emphasis. Claudia's research interests focus on adolescent development, specifically, sexuality, achievement motivation, ethnic minority family processes, and culture, gender, and health socialization. Her future aspirations are to continue her research as a faculty member at a Research I University and work on the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority students in graduate school.
Jessica Little is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. Before coming to UCSB she received a B.A. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Master’s Degrees in Counseling and Applied Psychology from Columbia University. To date her research has focused on the assessment of severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders in adults, and children with severe behavioral disorders. In the future she would like to focus on academic research, teaching, and mentorship.
April Regester is a fourth year doctoral student focusing on Special Education, Disabilities and Risk Studies. She attended Santa Barbara City College and transferred to UCSB to receive a BA in Psychology. April has an Education Specialist Credential (ESC) and has worked as a TA for the coordinator for the ESC program and supervises student teachers in their placements. This year she is collaborating with the Teacher Education Program in adapting the language arts curriculum to meet the needs of the ESC students required to take the course.
Rene Staskal is in her second year in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. She received her BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While her emphasis is in School Psychology, she was attracted to the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education because of the combined nature of training available. Her current research interests include understanding best practices for identification and treatment of students with anxiety disorders in the public school setting.
Laura Van Auker is an Education Specialist Credential (ESC) candidate in the Teacher Education Program. Laura’s undergraduate degree is from UCSB, where she also taught swim lessons, worked as a counselor for the Junior Lifeguard Program, and the Surf and Kayak Camp. She also has worked as an aide in a special day class at Aliso Elementary School in Carpinteria. She is a passionate advocate for students in special education and works for full integration of all students.
Kara Wilson is a Single Subject Teacher (SST) candidate in English Language Arts in the Teacher Education Program. Kara’s B.A. is in Literature from UCSB. While an undergraduate she worked as a Resident Assistant in the dorms for two years while also being involved with groups such as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Student Action Forum on the Middle East, and Hall Council as Multicultural Chair.
[The Dean's Council Scholars are available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789.]
Caption: Six of this year's eight Dean's Council Scholars from UC Santa Barbara's Gevirtz School flank Dean Jane Close Conoley at a reception in their honor. From left to right: Claudia Kouyoumdjian, Luke Campe, Adrienne Auten, Dean Conoley, Kara Wilson, Laura Van Auten, April Regester