Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing


Autism Affinity

The Autism/ASD Affinity Group’s mission is to collectively share common center based and faculty interests that pertain to campus wide Autism/ASD initiatives that promote the development of Autism/ASD research and service. The Autism/ASD Affinity Group’s goal is to enhance CSUN autism related services and related educational opportunities by creating mechanisms for faculty and program communication, cooperation, and mutual support. The following are a list of key objectives supporting the goal: 1) to identify existing common avenues for achieving Campus wide ASD initiatives; 2) to develop new avenues for achieving Campus wide ASD initiatives; and 3) to support Campus wide ASD initiatives through the sharing of available resources.

The Autism/ASD Affinity Group also aims to help focus campus resources and services for families impacted by a family member with autism or by autism spectrum related challenges. A CSUN Autism Directory summarizing on-campus resources and expertise is currently in development. The group is in the process of obtaining promising funding opportunities for the coming year that may be used to strengthen and expand autism-related services at campus centers and promote interdisciplinary research and activities.

The Autism/ASD Affinity Group focuses strategic attention on developing a collaborative with community organizations that could evolve into (a) a quality care network of Autism-related resources and services; (b) a robust, easy-to-use online portal providing information about and access to these resources and services; and (c) one-on-one case management support to help families navigate a path to the resources and services that will best meet their specific needs.

In 2013, the CSUN Teenage Drama Workshop put on a special sensory-friendly performance of “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” to make the theater experience more accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum or people with special needs. This was the first sensory-friendly theatrical performance on the West Coast! You can check out the event by clicking this link:

The Autism/ASD Affinity Group continue to meet twice each semester. For more information or to be added to our mailing list, subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking here:

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Autism Affinity Members

Autism Affinity Members

Below is a list and description of the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing’s affiliated committees.


▪ Wendy Ashley: Social Work
▪ Carol Bennett: Center of Achievement through Adapted Physical Activity
▪ Victoria Berrey: Family Focus Resource Center
▪ Debra Berry Malmberg: CSUN Autism Center
▪ Ronald Borczon: Music Therapy Wellness Clinic
▪ David Boyns: Sociology
▪ Nancy Burstein: Special Education/ Center for Educational Intervention and Therapy
▪ Sandra Chong: Elementary Education
▪ Annie Cox: CHIME Institute
▪ Christa Dunlap: Family and Consumer Sciences
▪ Vicki Ebin: Health Sciences
▪ Tara Fahmie: Psychology
▪ Claudia Fajardo: Family and Consumer Sciences
▪ Amanda Finch: CSUN Autism Clinic
▪ Craig Finney: Recreation & Tourism Management
▪ Ronald Fischbach: Health Sciences
▪ Rachel Friedman Narr: Special Education/ Deaf Studies
▪ Joyce Gilbert: Marilyn Magaram Center, Family and Consumer Science
▪ Beth Halaas: Social Work
▪ Michele Haney: CHIME/ Special Education
▪ Jerry Ann Harrel-Smith: Child and Family Studies Center
▪ Jennifer Henningfield: Social Work
▪ Sharon Hsu: Kinesiology
▪ Jodi Johnson: Disability Resources and Educational Services
▪ Taeyou Jung: Center of Achievement through Adapted Physical Activity
▪ Sun-mee Kang: Psychology
▪ Gary Katz: Psychology/ Child and Adolescent Diagnostic Assessment Program
▪ Virginia Kennedy: Special Education
▪ Amy Levin: Social Work
▪ Sheryl Low: The Physical Therapy Center for Advanced Clinical Practice
▪ Joyce Medley: The Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic
▪ Nancy Miodrag: Child and Adolescent Development
▪ Sharon Pollock: Pediatrician, Community Member
▪ Dianne Philibosian: Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing
▪ Tara Reisbaum: Educational & Behavioral Consultant
▪ Louis Rubino: Health Sciences
▪ Sue Sears: Teaching, Learning and Counseling Consortium
▪ Dee Shepherd-Look: Psychology
▪ Merril Simon: Educational Psychology and Counseling
▪ Sally Spencer: Special Education Literacy Lab (SELL)
▪ Diane Stephens: Academic Resources and Planning
▪ Mark Stevens: University Counseling Services
▪ Shari Tarver-Behring: Educational Psychology and Counseling
▪ Matthew Terhune: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
▪ Teri Todd: Kinesiology
▪ Maria Ultreras: Social Work
▪ Ivor Weiner: Family Focus Resource Center
▪ Janice Woolsey: Language, Speech, and Hearing Center/ Communication Disorders & Sciences

Council of Center Directors

Through the Council of Center Directors the Institute facilitates communication and collaboration among campus centers and institutes related to the work of the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing. The Council supports the planning efforts of the Institute, and works to address problems and challenges faced by centers with the intent of improving center operations and services.

View Members

CSUN Faculty/Staff Wellness Campus Task Force

This multi-disciplinary committee, including  representatives from human resources, is meeting this year to develop a sustainable model for our  worksite-based wellness program serving the campus community. The current program consists of an  on-campus class and coaching program designed to improve cardiovascular capacity, strength, and  mobility. The program also incorporates the par course  outdoor exercise equipment stations recently installed.

Financial Literacy Affinity Group

The mission of this multidisciplinary committee is to promote financial literacy to students, faculty, staff and the community through the utilization of campus-wide resources for the purpose of increasing financial knowledge and wellbeing. 

The following objectives support this mission:

• To build ties among individuals interested in financial literacy on campus and through the  community to encourage collaboration in teaching, research and outreach;

• To identify and disseminate financial information and resources to the target audiences;

• To develop new venues for promoting financial literacy; and,

• To seek support for enhancing the mission.

Early Childhood Leaders Affinity Group

The mission of this committee is to bring together people from a variety of departments and colleges to “map” out “pathways” and resources at CSUN for students, staff and faculty who seek to support children during “early childhood”.

*Those interested in joining this affinity group, please email the Institute at .