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Happy Holidays 2016

Happy Holidays from the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous and successful New Year.

- Michael E. Spagna, Dean

In this issue, we will take a look back at the accomplishments of our faculty and staff over the Fall 2016 semester. See you all again in the new year!

Happy Holidays from the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous and successful New Year. Michael E. Spagna, Dean

Fall 2016 Review

Special Needs Resource Fair

Special Needs Resource Fair 2016

Family Focus Resource Center held its 4th annual Special Needs Resource Fair at the USU on Saturday, October 29. This was our best attended event yet, with approximately 1,000 attendees of all ages! Families, students and professionals visited over 70 exhibitors to get resources related to special education, health care, therapy, recreation and public services. Our photobooth was a popular stop for everyone, and families enjoyed interacting with therapy dogs. This year we had a carnival with free games and refreshments on the Plaza del Sol, as well as a drum circle from Wahlbangers that was also attended by families through a collaboration with the DEAF Project. We would like to thank the other MDECOE programs that participated, as well as many CSUN students who volunteered.

See more pictures from the event here

California Department of Education and WestED Visits the Family Focus Resource Center

California Department of Education and WestED Visits the Family Focus Resource Center

Right to left:

  • Dr. Ivor Weiner, Professor, Special Education and Principal Investigator, Family Focus Resource Center
  • Nane E. Zadouri, Research Manager, WestEd, Center for Prevention & Early Intervention
  • Jennifer D. Teykaerts, WestEd, Service Systems and Coordination Content Specialist
  • Steve Perez, Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education
  • Victoria Berrey, Program Manager, Family Focus Resource

CTL on the Cutting Edge

Stick figures assembling a puzzle

Doing cutting-edge research? Please share your work with the rest of us!

The CSUN Eisner College of Education Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is calling for articles for its “CTL on the Cutting Edge” publication. This one-page research brief highlights an area of research that our own faculty are focused on and presents their work to the local community. The back side of the publication provides references, websites, and helpful resources related to the topic of interest. Articles should be approximately 450-500 words in length.

Our goal is to share the incredible work our faculty is doing daily. There are no specific requirements for the type of research highlighted. We are happy to spotlight grants you have, new programs you are offering, and collaboration with local schools or organizations if they relate to research you are doing. Doing research with your students? We’d love to hear about it!

All College of Education part-time and full-time faculty and students are welcome to submit a paper. Interested? Please contact Dr. Wendy Murawski, CTL Executive Director, at wendy.murawski@csun.edu or stop by the CTL in person!

Upcoming CTL Events

tick figures assembling a puzzleWhat Really Works flyer

The Center for Teaching and Learning is proud to announce that Dr. Temple Grandin will be coming to speak for our Education on the Edge speaker series! Dr. Temple Grandin is the most well-known individual with autism in the world and she will share the different ways that people with ASD view the world – from photorealistic visual, to pattern thinkers who view things spatially, to verbal thinkers. Her autism allowed her to think in pictures and that ability has made her a visionary in the fields of education and animal sciences. Come learn how parents and educators can focus on not on “labels,” but on strengths to foster students’ unique contributions to society.

Her presentation will be from 7-8:30pm on Monday, February 6th at the University Student Union. The enthusiasm regarding this event has been incredible, and we are already SOLD OUT!

Just following Dr. Grandin’s presentation will be the event of the year! The CTL is excited to host the all-day “What Really Works with Exceptional Learners” conference on Tuesday, February 7th at the University Student Union. This event will feature authors from the book of the same name. These experts are coming in from states across the country, as well as England and Denmark! All attendees will get a free book, edited by the CTL’s Drs. Murawski & Scott. Get more information and register here.

Any questions about either event can be answered by going to www.csun.edu/ctl or calling the CTL at 818-677-7494 or emailing ctl@csun.edu. Also check out our events by joining our Facebook page at facebook.com/CTLatCSUN or Twitter @CTLatCSUN.

Rally in the Valley

Students controlling fighting robots

Picture and text from CSUN Today

CSUN hosted the third-annual Rally in the Valley event May 7 in Redwood Hall, to showcase technology and engineering-related projects of more than 200 elementary school students from the San Fernando Valley.

"We were very excited [about the event] and pleased to promote awareness for parents and educators about the important way STEM-integration (science, technology, engineering and math) events like robotics offers girls and boys diverse opportunities to apply math and science in the problem-solving that engineers do every day,” said Susan Belgrad, one of the event’s main organizers and CSUN professor of elementary education.

Dr. Belgrad also had to say, "Thank you to all--with special thanks to Li Liu and SWE for organizing the CS Judges that served as volunteers throughout the Friday evening set-up and Saturday event. We are already looking forward to next year."

Read the full article on CSUN Today for more information and pictures

Christine Hayashi

Christine Hayashi

This semester we were pleased to announce Dr. Christine Hayashi as our new Associate Dean. Below is the original congratulatory note from Dean Michael Spagna.


Please join me in extending congratulations to our new Associate Dean, Dr. Christine Hayashi.

Dr. Hayashi joined the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2001 and has taught in both the master’s degree and doctoral programs in the areas of school law and policy, the administration of special education, contemporary leadership, and the administration of school personnel.

Prior to opening her own practice, Dr. Hayashi worked as an attorney helping cancer patients in the Cancer Legal Resource branch of the Disability Rights Legal Center at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Before becoming an attorney, Dr. Hayashi was an elementary and middle school principal. She has also served as an educational consultant, providing teacher/staff development workshops in the areas of reading and reading assessment.

Professor Hayashi earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and holds Masters Degrees in both education and educational administration from California State University Northridge. In 2014 she was appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve on the California Private School Advisory Council.

I would like to thank the members of the Search & Screen Committee for their work and dedication: Beverly Cabello (Chair), Nancy Burstein, Greg Knotts, Wendy Murawski, Merril Simon, Michelle Jones, and a special thanks to Gloria Borysewicz for providing administrative support to the Committee.

Chris will be based in the Dean’s Office and reachable at extension 3198 or via Christine.hayashi@csun.edu.

Zhen Chai

Zhen Chai is a new assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at California State University, Northridge. She earned her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education from The University of Georgia in 2012. Zhen’s primary interest includes working with young children with special needs from birth to 5 years old and their families. Her research interests include using technology to promote early academic skills in young children with developmental delays, positive behavior support, and family-centered practices in early childhood special education.

Zhen Chai

CSUN Goes to JPL

Group picture of CSUN at JPL

Left to right:

  • Sitting: Patrick Campbell, Mila Brotz
  • Kneeling: David Seidel (Deputy Education Director, JPL), Dr. Norm Herr, Fadi Beyrouthy, Jonathon Tillman, Ashley Ortiz, Eunice Kwon, Diana Buck, Linda Yamamoto, Myisha Morgan
  • Standing: Donald McNish, Salvador Garcia, Steve Holle, Dr. Joyce Burstein (EED Department Chair), Dr. Ota Lutz (Senior Education Specialist, JPL), Casey Hayes, Kevin Seegan

A group of CSUN teacher candidates completed a weeklong workshop at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. Faculty Sponsors, Dr. Norm Herr and Steve Holle participated in the project-based activities along with six secondary and six elementary school candidates. The mission objective was to enhance STEM professional awareness by fully immersing the participants in hands-on opportunities to deepen their understanding of the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The interactive lessons were expertly created by the JPL Educational Resource team to promote collaboration among colleagues and purposefully designed for practical implementation in an age appropriate content connected K-12 classroom setting. After completion, the teacher candidates were strategically placed in a STEM focused school this fall semester, to enable each participant to put into action what they learned at the institute while inspiring their students in an appreciation of 21st century college and career skills.

See more pictures on our website

Cal State Northridge Writing Project

The Cal State Northridge Writing Project completed its 2016 Invitational Summer Institute. Fifteen teachers participated representing grades 1-12 and English/ Language Arts, social sciences, and math. During our four weeks together, we wrote and shared our writing, gave demonstration lessons modeling writing instruction, and read and discussed writing instruction. The group met once more in September in preparation for the October 15th Write to Literacy conference where they presented during the break out sessions. See www.csun.edu/writingproject for additional information.

Additionally, the Cal State Northridge Writing Project held a three-day advanced institute for 12 site Teacher Leaders. The first three days of eight that will be spread throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, this time provided professional learning focused on the National Writing Project’s College Ready Writing Program. The group took this program into their classrooms during the fall. Later meetings will focus on sharing and analyzing student work and refining curriculum. Funded by a grant from the National Writing Project, the program is designed to improve secondary students’ abilities to read and write arguments. Additional information is available at http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/doc/programs/crwp.csp.

Deaf People of Color Conference

Lissa Stapleton and students at Deaf People of Color conference

Dr. Lissa Stapleton (Deaf Studies) and some of her students presented at a Deaf People of Color conference in July. Below is her account.

We attended the Deaf People of Color Conference in Austin, TX July 20-24th. Six students attended, Jaleesa Herrington, Stacy Jones, Rarity Lemons, MJ Jones, Jasmine Ruffin, and Tyler Pugeda. William Garrow and I are the faculty members who worked with three students (Jasmine, Tyler and MJ) in a year long Deaf Studies Scholar-N-Training Program funded by the CTL grant that lead to a co-presented paper on our research entitled "Where are the Interpreters of Color? Understanding Racial Diversity within Interpreting Training Programs.” The three students lead the presentation with me and all the students helped facilitate a community wide discussion on the themes of the research. A little over 100 people attended the conference and it was a real learning opportunity for all of us.

See pictures and more information about the conference.

Better Together: California Teachers Summit

Better Together: California Teachers Summit

Educators from the San Fernando Valley and other parts of the Southland gathered at California State University, Northridge on Friday, July 29, to take part in a free, statewide day of learning and networking.

Better Together: California Teachers Summit took place at 38 locations across the state to provide teachers an opportunity to share ideas, join a teacher network and learn effective strategies for implementing new California standards in their classrooms.

“Events such as Better Together highlight the importance campuses like CSUN play in convening the professional community for the public good,” said Michael Spagna, dean of CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education. “In this case, Better Together simultaneously fulfills the goals of valuing our teachers and maintaining a strong professional community of practice — both essential to serving the educational needs of the region.”

The program included addresses by education leaders, TED-style “Ed Talks” presented by local teachers, and “EdCamp” discussions on timely topics such as California’s education standards in English/language arts and math, and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Attendees walked away from the summit with access to new resources and concrete tools that are already working in classrooms across the state.

Text and pictures from CSUN Today.

New Teacher Summer Institute

Dean Spagna speaks at the New Teacher Summer Institute

The Michael D. Eisner College of Education was a proud sponsor of this year’s New Teacher Summer Institute, an event that is put on by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The event’s primary goal is to welcome new teachers to the district. This year’s institute, which is held over a period of 4 days, offers encouraging keynotes and workshops designed to inspire candidates as they embark on their first year of teaching. As proud sponsors the college was in attendance to welcome teachers this year.

In addition, Dean Spagna was invited to lead the keynote welcome on Wednesday, August 3rd with teachers enjoying his wisdom and tips for a successful first year. Many of the new teachers in attendance were also graduates from the college’s credential programs in secondary, elementary, and special education. We wish them well as they start the new year at LAUSD.

See more pictures here.

Jean Ramage

Professor Jean Ramage (Educational Psychology & Counseling) was an invited participant on a school psychology panel at the American Psychological Association (APA) convention in Denver, Colorado on August 7, 2016. She discussed as the first Director of the Psychology in the Schools Program how the program developed into the School Psychology Policy and Advocacy Office within APA by focusing on professional policy (e.g., professional standards and accreditation), and advocacy (e.g., in special education, mental health and general education.)

Ramage, Jean (2016) School Psychology in the APA Practice Directorate: In the Beginning. Invited participant on panel entitled School Psychology Policy and Advocacy Within the APA: Critical Advancement for the Specialty and chaired by Ronda C. Talley. American Psychological Association. Denver, Colorado

Stan Charnofsky

Stan Charnofsky

Stan Charnofsky finished a 5,000 word article that was requested by the editor of The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. The article is entitled HUMANISTIC THERAPY: AN OPERATIONAL GUIDE. The article ends with the phrase: "We do not learn to be therapeutic only for the hour we sit with clients; we become therapeutic humans in all our transactions."

Jessica ChenFeng & Dana Stone at American Family Therapy Academy

Jessica ChenFeng and Dana Stone

Jessica ChenFeng and Dana Stone presented at American Family Therapy Academy in Denver on June 23, 2016. The title of their presentation was “Finding Voice and Flourishing as Beginning MFTs.”

Adele Gottfried

Adele Gottfried

Adele Gottfried has several recent publications.

Gottfried, A. E. (in press) Motivation (Intrinsic, Extrinsic). In M. Bornstein, Ed. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Gottfried, A. E. (in press) Educational Attainment. In M. Bornstein, Ed. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications

Gottfried, A. E., Nylund-Gibson, K., Gottfried, A. W., Morovati, D., & Gonzalez, A. M. (in press). Trajectories from academic intrinsic motivation to need for cognition and educational attainment. The Journal of Educational Research.

Gottfried, A. E., Preston, K. S. J., Gottfried, A. W., Oliver, P. H., Delany, D., & Ibrahim, S. M. (in press). Pathways from parental stimulation of children’s curiosity to high school science course accomplishments and science career interest and skill. International Journal of Science Education.


  • Dec. 26 - Jan. 2, Campus Closed
  • Jan. 18, SPED Orientation for New Students
  • Jan. 19, Spring 2017 Begins
  • Jan. 21, Classes Begin


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College of Education faculty and staff assembled