Friday, February 28, 2014

Spotlight on alumna Joanna Hulton (Ph.D. 1998)

Joanna Hulton, Union Institute & University
In the Union Institute & University tradition of transforming lives and communities, alumna Joanna Hulton (Ph.D. 1998) has dedicated herself for the past 30 years, as a teacher, workshop leader, and practicing psychoanalyst. She is committed to improving children's self-esteem, feelings of personal efficacy, and ability to learn by transforming the role of family, school, and community. Union Institute & University’s commitment to “explore ideas and issues from multiple perspectives” inspired her interdisciplinary approach.

Dr. Hulton recently authored the insightful Parent Fatigue Syndrome: What to do When Conventional Wisdom is Not Very Wise. The book combines the knowledge of how children develop emotionally and intellectually, the newest research in infant brain-development, and the humanistic psychoanalytic principles of Heinz Kohut’s Self Psychology. It features 20 warm and poignant case vignettes, all presented in an accessible form for parents.

Dr. Hulton explains that parents' natural re-identification with their own parents as they start to raise children can undercut their parenting ambitions. Steeped in outdated conventional wisdom stored in the memories of their childhood, modern-day parents do not feel that they are parenting effectively. To promote successful parenting and combat parent fatigue, she puts theory into practice and highlights the emotional growth of parent and child that can occur simultaneously when the two work together, using techniques that can be practiced at home, including play therapy, sand tray exercises, storytelling, and puppetry.

Additionally, in the section “The World Beyond: School Daze,” Dr. Hulton argues compellingly that education reform must address the emotional needs of children in the classroom, with practical examples of how teachers can use their skills to become social-change agents.

Dr. Hutton exemplifies Union's mission to inspire learners to “reflect their awareness of the social implications of their studies and of their obligation to share knowledge with integrity in uplifting the communities in which they serve.”

Windham Higher Education Cooperative established in Vermont

Marlboro, Vermont - On March 3, 2014 Union Institute & University and five other area colleges: Community College of Vermont, Landmark College, Marlboro College, School for International Training, and Vermont Technical College have established the Windham Higher Education Cooperative. Now students from the six colleges will be able to take one course at one of the other participating institutions each semester. A new internship coordinator, Jan Coplan, will work with the colleges, and Windham County-area employers, to find paid internships for the students enrolled in the six area colleges. President of Union Institute & University, Roger H. Sublett, Ph.D., was in attendance to represent Union and sign the document that establishes the Windham Higher Education Cooperative.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Union brings Criminal Justice Management degree program to Colerain, Ohio

In 1964, Union Institute & University, a national university headquartered in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, opened its doors with a mission to transform lives and communities by serving adults where they live and work. Now 50 years later, that hallmark quality guided the opening of a satellite classroom in the Northgate Mall to better serve local law enforcement officers pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management. 

 “The partnership between Union Institute & University and the Colerain Police Department is an opportunity to better serve our local community. Opening a satellite classroom in the substation of the Northgate Mall allows the university to adapt our programs to meet the needs of our local community, rather than the local residents having to adapt to our programs,” said Jon Mays, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Union Institute & University. “Bringing Union’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management program to the local law enforcement personnel allows officers an opportunity to complete their degree in an environment that is not only comfortable for them, but is also the perfect atmosphere to teach criminal justice management.”

Criminal Justice Management, Union Institute & UniversityDaniel P. Meloy, Colerain Public Safety Director, appreciates that Union’s Criminal Justice Management program was designed by criminal justice experts who grasp the complexities involved with law enforcement careers and the needs of today’s officers.

“Union has an understanding and respect for the training and education many of our officers received during their career. Additionally, Union’s decision to create a satellite classroom in Colerain helped our officers commit to the class without the usual issues associated with scheduling, class location, parking, and anxieties associated with the traditional campus education. This convenient arrangement helps each of the officers accomplish their individual goal of attaining a college degree,” said Meloy.

Union’s Criminal Justice program is a management degree that focuses on organizational management responses to policies, programs, personnel, and technology.

Vice President Mays explains: “Students learn contemporary techniques for supervision, leadership and administration. They also study how current issues in the field of criminal justice impact organizations, personnel, and other stakeholders. Students interpret applied ethical theories in a contemporary environment; and analyze and critique criminal justice policy and service delivery from a management perspective.”

The Colerain Police Department is an internationally accredited law enforcement agency and works in partnership with the DEA Task Force, FBI Southern Ohio Joint Terrorism Force, and United States Marshal Service Fugitive Apprehension Team.

“We are proud of the fact that 30 officers are in college or have earned a degree. To be recognized as a professional in many organizations, employees are required to have a college education. While it is not a requirement of our department to hold a college degree, it is a requirement for promotion. Only officers and supervisors with college degrees may participate in promotional examinations,” said Meloy.

Union Institute & University is proud to be part of the Colerain community serving local law enforcement officers pursuing a Criminal Justice Management degree. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Union Institute & University President Roger H. Sublett, Ph.D. elected to Presidents’ Forum Board of Directors

Roger H. Sublett, president of Union Institute & University
Dr. Roger H. Sublett
Dr. Roger H. Sublett, president of Union Institute & University, has been named to the Presidents’ Forum Board of Directors. The Presidents’ Forum, established in 2004, is a collaboration of accredited, national, adult-serving institutions and programs which have embraced the power and potential of online education. The mission of the Presidents’ Forum is to advance the recognition of innovative practice and excellence in online learning.

Dr. Sublett joins other college presidents, including Dr. Robert W. Mendenhall, Western Governors University; Dr. Wallace E. Boston, American Public University System; Dr. Chris Bustamante, Rio Salado College; Dr. John F. Ebersole, Excelsior College; and Edward Klonoski, Charter Oak State College, on the Presidents’ Forum Board of Directors.

Dr. Sublett is a nationally known leader with a passion for history, an innovator and change agent in higher education, and an example of Union Institute & University’s mission to transform lives and communities.

The year 2014 is a very special year for Union Institute & University as the university is celebrating its 50 year anniversary. It also marks Dr. Sublett’s 11th year as president of the university. 

Dr. Sublett recently completed a three-year term as chair of the Commission on Lifelong Learning at the American Council on Education (ACE). Dr. Sublett serves on several boards, including Hospice of Cincinnati and the International Leadership Association. He was a senior fellow in the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland, as well as a senior scholar at the Center for Ethical Leadership, Seattle, Washington. In the past, he has served as executive vice president for the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) and as president of the Coalition for Adult Education Organizations (CAEO). Prior to his presidency at Union, Dr. Sublett served with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, overseeing the Kellogg National Leadership program. Dr. Sublett is also a frequent speaker, convener, and advocate in areas of adult and continuing education and leadership.

About Union Institute & University
The year 2014 marks a milestone in the history of Union Institute & University. The university is celebrating its 50th year of educating adults who seek academic programs that transform lives and communities. The university is a private, nonprofit, accredited university specializing in adult and distance education since 1964. Union strives to engage, enlighten, and empower students in a lifetime of learning and service. The university’s transformational and socially relevant programs promote creative and critical thinking, and connect scholarship with real-world practice. Flexible online classes, brief residencies, classroom experiences, and hybrid models of instruction lead to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Union graduates, including more than a dozen college presidents, leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, members of the United States Congress, and the first female prime minister of Jamaica, promote Union’s legacy of utilizing education to transform lives and communities.

For more information about Union Institute & University, visit or call: 888-828-8575.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Vote for Union's Cincinnati Center as a Top Historic Building

Union Institute & University, Cincinnati
Union Institute & University’s Cincinnati Academic Center
The Cincinnati Preservation Association has created a contest to select the top 50 historic buildings that define Cincinnati. Union Institute & University’s Cincinnati Academic Center, an early Tudor Revival landmark at 440 E McMillan in Walnut Hills, has been nominated.

If you would like to vote for Union’s building simply click here to view the nominees. Select Union Institute & University and click the blue “vote” button. Feel free to share, like, or add a comment. Voting ends April 30, 2014. Anyone can participate. You may submit multiple votes for different buildings but only one vote per person for each building will be counted. The top 50 historic buildings and sites will be announced in April and included in a special exhibition in the fall.

A Brief History of the Building

Union Institute & University is headquartered in a historic building on Time Hill, north of downtown Cincinnati. The building was built, along with the Gruen building across the street, during the “City Beautiful” era in American history, a time when family companies began to emerge as national corporations, often using distinctive architecture to send a signal of quality and endurance. Because of their unique appearance and historic functions, this building and the Gruen Building, now owned by Lighthouse Youth Services, were restored by Union Institute and both buildings have been listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

The 440 East McMillan Street building is one of Cincinnati’s most important early Tudor Revival landmarks. Designed in 1921 by Elzner and Anderson, a prominent local architectural firm, the industrial building has its original half-timbered walls, a red tile roof, and an imposing tower, originally used as a water tower for fire safety. The first owners were the Procter & Collier Co., the marketing firm famous for creating Procter & Gamble’s slogan Ivory Soap – It Floats. The building changed hands in 1936, and for the next 50 years, Beau Brummell ties were manufactured for a national market. In the 1980s, it was owned by the Gordon B. Miller & Co., a jewelry fabricator.

Union Institute & University began an extensive renovation in 1989 that created offices and classrooms from what were once industrial spaces. The President and Provost’s offices, as well as the business office, enrollment, registrar, financial aid, human resources, instructional technology, institutional effectiveness and research, and alumni and communications offices augment the undergraduate and doctoral offices.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spotlight on MLK Studies Specialization

Did you know that Union Institute & University offers one of the few Ph.D. specializations in Dr. Martin Luther King Studies in the country? In recognition of this distinct honor, and in remembrance of Dr. King, we asked a few MLK Studies students to share how they apply Dr. King’s philosophies in everyday life. Learn more about Union’s MLK Studies Specialization.

Cheri Scott, Union Institute & University, Ph.D.
Cheri Scott

As a student in the Martin Luther King Specialization for Union Institute and University, I utilize Dr. King’s theories of social justice and equality to my area of study, which includes food and environmental justice. My passion for food and environmental justice stems from my personal experience as my son was diagnosed with a developmental disability. Researching his symptoms, I began to modify his food choices by eliminating environmental toxins as well as food toxins from his diet. Once I eliminated those toxins, my child's behavioral problems rapidly decreased. I incorporate whole foods that are fresh and organic. This is one of the reasons why I am seeking a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Social Change, as it relates to my theory that violent diets in predominately impoverished communities enhance behavioral issues in children and the entire community. All people should have equal access to full-service food markets that offer fresh and organic whole food. I have devoted my research work in pursuit of these mechanisms.

Cheri is a full-time student at Union Institute and University, starting her fifth year in the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program. From 2008 to July 2013, she worked as a Project Management Specialist for Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Her responsibilities included developing project budgets for all clinical research projects that required laboratory services and extensive review of clinical research study protocols that were approved through the Institutional Review Board. Cheri has extensive knowledge and training in Cerner Tools, an international health care information technology system that manages and integrates electronic medical records, computerized physician order entry, and financial information for hospitals and other medical organizations.

Cheri earned her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan and BS in Business Management from Northern Kentucky University.

Mildred Van Bergen, Union Institute & University, Ph.D.
Mildred Van Bergen

Dr. King said, “Develop within ourselves a deep sense of somebodiness. Don't let anybody make you feel that you are nobody.”

I have the privilege of striving to keep that philosophy alive in my position as director of academic support services for SUNY Empire State College at the Long Island Center.

Perhaps nowhere is that belief more visible than in the workshop series Women of Color: Valuing Experience, Identifying Learning. In this series of four workshops, my colleagues and I both support and learn from the women who attend them. We guide them to critically reflect on their daily lives, and emphasize the importance of valuing all learning and ways of knowing, as well as discuss what we all can learn from the historical struggles of minority women.

In addition, these workshops allow a safe space for analyzing and valuing the specific set of skills and levels of understanding that women of color have developed in order to successfully navigate a predominantly white culture, among these is the capacity to translate their experiences about race and gender to others. By supporting these students to tell their stories, and value them not only within the walls of academia, but within themselves, I pass on Dr. King’s philosophy of “somebodiness” to these remarkable women.  This experience continues to allow me to better understand not only the students I work with, but myself.” 

Mildred Van Bergen is the director of academic support services for SUNY Empire State College at the Long Island Center. She has the responsibility of helping working adult students develop their writing, reading, and research skills. In addition, she develops their prior college level learning—knowledge they bring with them that they can receive college level credit for. 

She is also an alumna of SUNY Empire State College, earning a B.A in Cultural Studies and an M.A. in Liberal Studies. Prior to serving as director, she worked for the office of Academic Support Services as a writing learning coach. In addition, she served the university as an adjunct instructor in College Writing and Literacy. Mildred has also worked as a teacher assistant in the West Islip School District, Easter Suffolk Boces and the New York City School System. As a student in Union Institute & University’s MLK specialization, Mildred is researching the cultural phenomenon related to how the creative process allows young women to engage in authority. She is examining how the creative process, or art in general, can empower young women to self-actualize and own their femininity and realize their full potential. 

Deborah Richardson, Union Institute & University, Ph.D.
Deborah Richardson

I grew up in Atlanta during the civil rights movement and lived on the same street with Dr. King’s parents—Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr. The work I do now is a direct reflection of what I saw and learned growing up. I often use Dr. King’s quote in my presentations: Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

It is not enough to do good work, but to change the systemic conditions that contribute to the situation. My work in addressing human trafficking has shifted, for instance, from rescue and restoration of the victims, to instead address the legislative and cultural conditions that facilitate the demand to purchase children for sex. There would not be a need for homeless shelters if a living wage, access to healthcare and safe housing is recognized as a human right—which it is.”  

Deborah Richardson is the Executive Vice President of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, leading its fundraising and program development. She was Chief Program Officer at Women’s Funding Network in San Francisco, CEO of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Director of Program Development for Fulton County Juvenile Court, founding Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Fund (now YouthSpark) and Managing Director of the National Black Arts Festival.

She has been honored by many organizations for her community service. Most recently she received the "Lives of Commitment Award" from Auburn Theological Seminary and The Pathbreaker Award from Shared Hope International. She is a nationally recognized leader on social justice for women and girls and an advocate to end child sex trafficking. She has designed leading programs for girls victimized by sexual trafficking and testified before Congress.
Deborah is a graduate of St. Mary's College of California with a Masters of Arts in Leadership.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Union Alumni in the News

Congratulations to Union Institute & University’s alumni in the news. Do you have a story to share? Tell us about your recent accomplishments here.

Portia Simpson Miller
Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller (B.A. 1997) was recently inducted into the prestigious International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of hall-of-famers including Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, and Margaret Thatcher. This coveted award pays tribute to women of courage, creativity, and passion who improve society and inspire others. Read more about her induction into the Hall of Fame here.

Jawanza KunjufuBusiness man, education consultant, author, film maker, and lecturer Jawanza Kunjufu (Ph.D. 1976) has spent his career improving the education and socialization of black youths. He has been a guest speaker at many universities and consultant to many urban school districts. In April 2013, Dr. Kunjufu was the guest speaker at the Indivizible meeting at the Guild Theater in Sacramento, California, where he discussed economic opportunities for the black community. He is the prolific author of 33 books including Black Students: Middle Class Teachers; Keeping Black Boys out of Special Education; An African Centered Response to Ruby Payne’s Poverty Theory; Raising Black Boys; 200 Plus Educational Strategies to Teach Children of Color; and his latest title, Understanding Black Male Learning Styles. His work has been featured in Ebony and Essence magazines, and he has been a guest on BET, Oprah and The Michael Baisden Show.

M. Charlotte Wolf (Ph.D. 2004) recently published Great German Short Stories of the Twentieth Century: A Dual Language Book. Her professional experience includes public school administration, teaching, and coaching. In addition, she has worked as a freelance translator and editor for twenty-five years. Currently, Dr. Wolf is researching a number of future translation and writing projects, including a collection of early German sci-fi narratives and a biography about the life of her father, an architect and designer who came of age during the turbulent 1930s and 40s in Germany. In her free time she likes writing poetry, cooking, practicing yoga and meditation, philosophy, and reading sci-fi and mysteries in English and German.

Sheryl L.W. Barnes
Sheryl L.W. Barnes (Ph.D. 2003) recently published the book Discipleship in the Age of Distraction. Her book identifies three major types of distractions that consume attention and devotion, explains their destructive effects, and gives Bible-based solutions that are practical and renewing. Dr. Barnes is the founder and president of Sterling-Xavier Consulting Group, Inc., a training and development firm. She has served as an adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University, adjunct professor of philosophy at Washtenaw Community College, dean of faculty at Berean Bible Center, and instructor of ethics and bioethics at Kaplan University. She was also a teacher, administrator, exhorter, and preacher in the CLFMI Discipleship Ministry. Her experience includes serving on the board of the Berean Bible Center, as president of Genesis Christian Academy Board of Education, and as a faculty member for Ministers-in-Training. Dr. Barnes was also a staff minister and youth minister at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden, Connecticut.

The prestigious Paul P. Haas Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Patricia Savage (Ph.D. 2005) at the Leading Age conference held in June 2013 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This award is presented to a distinguished individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, services and commitment to positively influence and advance the aging services field. Dr. Savage is the president and CEO of Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries. She previously worked as a social worker, director of senior companion programs for Telespond Senior Services in Scranton, and many other roles before becoming the vice president of program operations at Lutheran Welfare Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. in Hazleton. Read more about Dr. Savage’s work and the Paul P. Haas award here.

Louis R.Torres (Ph.D. 1985) and Carol Torres (Ph.D. 1985) are teaching and serving throughout the islands of the Northern Marinas and Micronesia: Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and the Marshall Islands. Dr. Louis Torres is president of the Guam-Micronesia Mission of Seventh-day Adventist, where he oversees 17 K-12 schools throughout the islands. He is the author of eight books including Bothersome and Disturbing Bible Passages, Left Behind or Sincerely Taken, and Great Stories for Gaining Decisions. He is also a regular on the global 3ABN network, as well as a frequent speaker on the Hope Channel. Dr. Carol Torres serves as president of Mission College of Evangelism in Guam-Micronesia. She authored the book Notes on Music and recently released a variety of violin and guitar duets entitled Still Praising.

Mark RosenmanMark Rosenman (Ph.D. 1977) has spent his career working for social change. He recently wrote “Progressive Foundations Need to Unite to Build a Better Government," in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Wall Street Pennies Can Yield Nonprofit Billions” and "No Truth or Consequences" in the Huffington Post and “How Charities Can Get $35-Billion a Year for Social Needs” in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Dr. Rosenman also wrote the articles “Philanthropy Not Talking Power” and “SIBs: Private Gain or Public Good?” for PhilanTopic. He recently made a case for taxing  financial transactions in “A New Tax to Raise Money for the US and Slow High-Frequency Trading” on PBS Newshour.

Dr. Rosenman directs Caring to Change, an effort to promote charitable activity for the common good. He views his 25-year career of voluminous applied research as an extension of his earlier professional efforts in the civil rights movement, urban anti-poverty work, international and domestic program development, and in higher education. He is a frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Huffington Post, and PhilanTopic and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Times (London), BusinessWeek, Christian Science Monitor, Advertising Age, and Daily Mail. Dr. Rosenman was Vice President for Social Responsibility at Union Institute & University and now serves as a professor emeritus.

Nicholas Young
Nicholas Young (Ph.D. 2004) is the new superintendent of the South Hadley Public Schools in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He previously served as a teacher, counselor/psychologist, principal, and district level special education director. Formerly president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Dr. Young is a leader among superintendents. He coauthored the book Collapsing Educational Boundaries from Preschool to Ph.D.: Building Bridges across the Educational Spectrum.

Jacqueline McMillan
Jacqueline McMillan (Ph.D. 2012) is retiring after a distinguished 30-year career at Wright State University. During her tenure she held various leadership positions including vice president for enrollment management, director of financial aid, minority affairs and recruitment director in the Boonshoft School of Medicine, executive assistant to the president, secretary to the board of trustees, and associate provost.

Anthony Simms Howell
Anthony Simms Howell (B.A. 1990) and his wife Julieta Simms-Howell were awarded the Bridges for a Just Community Award for their lifetime of volunteerism to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. Anthony has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including: Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame 2011; YMCA Achievers Awards of Excellence 2012; 2011 African American Chamber Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Recognition Award; 2010 Su Casa Lifetime Service Award; 2010 Cincinnati USA Hispanic Chamber Community Award: Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year Award 2009; and the National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter-Region VI Public Citizen Award 2009.

Robert Wright, Jr., Union Institute & University
Robert “Bob” Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT (M.A. 2007) recently released the ebook Orgasmic Relaxation: Unleash The Power Of Your Mind To Relax Using The Tension Relieving Technique (TRT). He broke new ground with his study The Role of Endogenous Cyclic Nitric Oxide Spiking in Mother Loss and Existential Grief Recovery: A Modified Neuropsychological and Psychophysiological Heuristic Self Search Inquiry Approach to Stress Reduction, Homeostasis, and Healing demonstrating that the same physiological mechanisms needed to induce relaxation also help us dissolve pain and grief. The study bolsters the link between the physiological mechanisms underlying the relaxation response and any method which causes a relaxation response to occur. This was the first published study to show a correlation among grief, stress, and nitric oxide flatlining, and among grief recovery, stress reduction, and nitric oxide spiking.

Erika Smith Goodwin
The new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Wilmington College is Erika Smith Goodwin (Ph.D. 2006). Dr. Goodwin’s distinguished 18-year career at Wilmington spans teaching in the equine science program, the athletic training program, serving as head athletic trainer before holding the academic leadership roles of area coordinator and coordinator of athletic training clinical education, associate dean for academic affairs, and associate vice president.

Union alum and founding president and CEO of Age Wave, Ken Dychtwald (Ph.D. 1976) earned the prestigious Leadership Award at the 2013 Annual American Society on Aging Conference for his expertise in aging-related issues including lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce. Click here to watch his compelling keynote presentation “Transforming Retirement,” and stay tuned—he will also be giving a special presentation as part of Union’s 50th anniversary in 2014!

The Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence conference at Indiana University invited
Suzanne Epstein (Ed.D. 2012) to present her research to peers at a conference last year. The center focuses on multiple sectors and on both the practice and theory of leadership, distinguishing its agenda among leadership programs nationwide. Dr. Epstein also taught a graduate class in qualitative research for the Tobias Center over the summer.

Jessica D. Dixon (M.A. 2012) has recently been promoted within the Louisiana Office of State Parks and began her new job as a Parks Program Consultant in August 2013.

Poet, critic, journalist, and teacher Nancy Shiffrin (Ph.D. 1994) published The Vast Unknowing in February 2013. In addition to writing books, she has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, Canadian Jewish Outlook, Women and Judaism and Dr. Shiffrin’s work has earned recognition from The Academy of American Poets, The Alice Jackson Foundation, The Poetry Society of America, The Pushcart Prizes, and The Dora Teitelbaum Foundation. Through her literary arts consultancy Creative Writing Services, she helps aspiring writers. Dr. Shiffrin chose to study Jewish American authors as part of her Ph.D. program at Union.

Kathleen Whitbread (Ph.D. 1999) associate professor at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut has been granted tenure in the School of Education. Dr. Whitbread holds a Ph.D. from Union Institute and University and M.S. and B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University.

Deputy for Leadership Development and Transitions at the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky Kay Collier McLaughlin (Ph.D. 1991), released Becoming the Transformative Church: Beyond Sacred Cows, Fantasies and Fears in August 2013. The book examines ongoing challenges of the church, including attracting young people, financial survival, corporate structure, and how traditional thinking may hinder progress.

Peyton McCoy
Walk into Your Season: The Art of Cultural Work is the latest work by author, speaker, workshop facilitator, and consultant Peyton McCoy (Ph.D. 2012). Dr. McCoy’s book, published in 2013, focuses on implementing empowering practices through cultural work and workers. Dr. McCoy specializes in issues surrounding diversity, empowerment, and post-secondary education and training.

Nelson A L Weller, Genealogy
Nelson A L Weller (Ph.D. 1975) recently served as the genealogist team member of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine clinical paper researching genetic kidney disease. Dr. Weller played a key role in the study by tracing to the early 1700’s the family lineage of two patients with no known relatives. The exploration led to the discovery of living relatives that are assisting the medical team in treating the patients. Dr. Weller is one of only two Union Institute & University graduates with a focus in Family History/Genealogy.

Jeffrey Scott Dennis, Chief of Police
Jeffrey Scott Dennis (B.S. 2013) was sworn in as North Miami Beach Chief of Police in December 2013, only two months after graduating from Union’s criminal justice management program.

The new Provost of Ashford University is Union alumna Lori Williams (Ph.D. 2009). Dr. Williams has 25 years of experience in education including work for Kaplan University, Walden University, and Laureate Online Education. In addition to being an alumna, she also once served as the director of instructional technology at Union. Learn more about Dr. Williams’ new position here.

Lt. Frederick Bobbitt Jr. (B.S. 2013) and Tony Silva (B.S. 2013), new graduates of Union's Sacramento Criminal Justice Management program, have each earned the Mark Dunakin Award. They were recognized for their extraordinary achievements during California commencement on July 14, 2013. Read more about their achievements and the Mark Dunakin Award here.

Mary Lee Esty
Mary Lee Esty (Ph.D. 1995) had peer-reviewed research published in the Spring 2012 Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. The research was done with veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. This work is based on a National Institute of Health-funded study for TBI published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation in 2001. Due to the success of the 2012 study, Dr. Esty is now collaborating with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), a military medical school, on a new study for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans with TBI and PTSD. Dr. Esty holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in health psychology.

Bruce E. Bechtol Jr. (Ph.D. 2000) is Associate Professor of Political Science at Angelo State University in the department of Security Studies. He is an expert on North Korea and is often called upon by the media for his opinion. Dr. Bechtol was recently interviewed on the EFM radio show "Primetime" in Seoul, where he discussed Korea wartime OPCON and CFC.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Dorothy Firman

Dr. Dorothy Firman, psychology

Dr. Dorothy Firman takes the value of social responsibility seriously—and she lives out the definition of that value in her work, her teaching, her life in the surrounding communities and in their outreach.

Dr. Dorothy Firman has been a member of Union’s faculty since 2006. She is a prolific author, speaker, life coach and counselor. She was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, and her book Chicken Soup for the Mother & Daughter Soul (2012) was a New York Times best-seller. Fox News, New Morning, Wisdom Television, Nightbeat, Eldervision, Time for Spirit, and the CBS special Family 2 Family have all been media venues that have featured Dr. Firman and her work.

Her most recent book is titled Engaging Life: Living Well with Chronic Illness (2013). In this collection of stories, self-help exercises, and meditations on the importance of friendship and family, Dr. Firman tackles the difficult subject of how to successfully navigate the path of pain and suffering and how to support those who are bearing the burden of a long-term illness.

Part of the inspiration for the book came from one of Dr. Firman’s former patients—a woman struggling with terminal cancer, with less than a year to live. This woman’s journey became a remarkable story of survival, recovery, and of finding meaning in the midst of incredibly difficult circumstances. Drawn from similar experiences, Dr. Firman unpacks the emotional methods and interpersonal tools that will allow an individual to seek the help they need and to cultivate the relational support to walk through sickness and loss.
Self-reflection and self-examination are among the tools that Dr. Firman recommends for her patients. She provides exercises that help individuals become more aware of their own life narrative—the trajectory of their own story—and to begin to see and shape that narrative as a story of resilience, relationship, and purpose.

Dr. Firman teaches in Union’s Master of Arts with a Concentration in Counseling Psychology program, and she is the co-founder of the Synthesis Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she acts as director of training in Psychosynthesis—an integrated, medical-spiritual approach to psychology and counseling. She is often both a national and international guest speaker and workshop leader. Her focus and expertise prioritizes coaching people around the topic of meaning, purpose, and empowerment in their lives. She is especially equipped for counseling people as they walk through times of transition, including grief counseling, spiritual and existential therapy, and coaching on dealing with age, illness, and disease. She has also worked within the corporate world to provide consultation regarding staff and personnel dynamics.

When asked how she understood the value of social responsibility, Dr. Firman said “For me, personally, having been in the field for over thirty years, social responsibility requires two things of me. The first is that I see clients and all humans in their social context. In their social context means that a client who is struggling, is struggling within their system (school, culture, family, job, country). No one can be diagnosed, treated, cured, or transformed outside of their community context and often a fair share of what creates a problem for an individual is located squarely in the culture and is not simply a psychological issue. Practitioners in the field now recognize that the most effective treatments occur within a person’s social context and even have come so far as to understand the very different essential impact of treatment on people of various cultures. The meaning of counseling or psychotherapy is different within one culture and another. Even the impact of a particular medication is now understood to have different effects on people of different ethnicities. So that's the first important take home for me. Who is this person sitting in front of me and who is this person within the social system that he or she lives in?

The second value for me that arises from this knowledge is that I, as a professional, have a responsibility within society to work towards its improvement. Having been an activist for most of my life, this responsibility comes naturally to me, but I have had to carve out the ways that a socially responsible activism works within the field of psychology. In part it means being involved in professional organizations, presenting at conferences on issues related to social responsibility, and continuing to be trained on issues of diversity, social justice, oppression, and human rights. It also means helping clients and students see themselves within a system and take steps (however big or small they can) towards being empowered within the system.

To watch an individual find voice, stand up for what they believe, confront injustice and hold strong to their values, is a wonderful thing and one of the great gifts, for me, of being in this field.”

Visit Dr. Firman’s blog at Psychology Today for more information on her work.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Write it Right! An Online Resume Workshop

Union Institute & University - Career Services
April 30, 2014
6-7:00pm EST

This is a free special event for all Union Institute & University students and alumni.

Join us for the Career Center’s first webinar on resume writing. This is a great opportunity to get the extra help you need to start your resume or learn some new tips to polish an existing resume.

We’ll discuss:
--The difference between a CV and a resume
--Different resume formats and which is best for you
--How to write a marketable resume for today’s competitive job market
--How to make your resume stand out

For more information or to register contact Stefanie: 305-653-7141 x2170, 800-861-6400 x2170 or