Kudos to Team Union

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Congratulations to the following Team Union members for continuing the mission of transforming lives and communities.

President Webb’s Service on Boards

Union President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb has been appointed to the Indiana University School of Education Advisory Board in Bloomington, and the Hoxworth Blood Center Community Advisory Board in Cincinnati. She also serves on the board of directors for Every Child Succeeds and Women Walking West, both in Cincinnati.

Dr. Soto Participates in Fireside Chat

Dr. Nelson Soto, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University, participated in “Adaptability and Resiliency in a Changing World,” a fireside chat with John Baker, president and CEO of D2L, and Steve Rogalsky, senior director and project manager for D2L. D2L is the creator of Brightspace, Union’s learning management system. View the VIP roundtable.

Dr. Gore is a Keynote Speaker

Dr. Shanda Gore, vice president of institutional innovation and economic development at Union Institute & University, was the keynote speaker for the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Toledo Chapter’s 32nd Annual Black History Celebration on February 27. Watch a video of the event and learn more about the chapter.

Dr. Alidou Works with UNESCO

Dr. Hassana Alidou, Ph.D., is a Union faculty member and the first Scholar in Residence for the Institute for Social Justice. UNESCO requested Dr. Alidou to coordinate a team of bi/multilingual education for the elaboration of a training guide to be used by African countries in conceptualizing their competency-based teachers. UNESCO and OIF, (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie), will publish the guide in 2021. Dr. Alidou participated as a panel member for the celebration of International Mother Language Day on February 19. Learn more about the event on YouTube, or view the PowerPoint.

Alumni/Student Achievements


Alumna named Superintendent for Human Resources

The Glen Cove City School District (New York) announced the appointment of Kim H. Rodriguez, Ph.D. as the district’s new assistant superintendent for Human Resources. In addition to having her own private practice in counseling, Dr. Rodriguez brings over 30 years of experience in public education to the district. Dr. Rodriguez earned her Ph.D. in 2004, with a concentration in Counselor Education. Read more.

New Chief of Police

Union alumnus Kevin Kilgore has been selected as Sebastopol’s (California) new Chief of Police. Kilgore, an Ohio native, earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute & University in 2012.  Read more.


Union Ph.D. Student Named to Top 100 Diversity Officers Listing

Diane McDaniel, Ph.D. student, has been named one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country by the National Diversity Council. She is the inaugural vice president, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Community Health Network in Indianapolis, IN. McDaniel leads and guides the network’s strategic work for positioning and achieving DEI organizational goals and serves as the Senior DEI Officer for 16,000 + employees, overseeing a $10 million budget. Read more.

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Authors of Union – March ’21

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Welcome to Authors of Union, highlighting our many published authors. Each month, we will highlight a selected few of our accomplished community of writers who are transforming lives and communities.

The Glorious American Essay

Dr. Philip Lopate, (Ph.D. 1979) is an award-winning author, essayist, editor, educator  and film critic. His latest book is “The Glorious American Essay”

The New York Times review describes the book as a kind of essay-built history of America, as opposed to a history of American essays — though Lopate points out that those histories are naturally intertwined. And naturally echoing. Many of these essays “speak vividly to our present moment,” he writes, about issues that “keep recurring on the national stage.”

The review goes on to say, “Lopate has cast his net intentionally wide, embracing critical, personal, political, philosophical, humorous, literary, polemical, and autobiographical essays, and making room for sermons, letters, speeches, and columns dealing with a wide variety of subjects. Americans by birth as well as immigrants appear here, famous essayists alongside writers more celebrated for fiction or poetry. The result is an extensive overview of the endless riches of the American essay.”

Dr. Lopate is the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. He received a Christopher medal for “Being With Children,” a Texas Institute of Letters award in the best non-fiction book of the year category for Bachelorhood, and was a finalist for the PEN best essay book of the year award for Portrait of My Body. His anthology, Writing New York, received a citation from the New York Society Library and honorable mention from the Municipal Art Society’s Brendan Gill Award.

Dr. Lopate has taught creative writing and literature at Fordham, Cooper Union, University of Houston, Hofstra University, New York University, and Bennington College. He is a professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches nonfiction writing. Dr. Lopate earned his Ph.D. from Union in 1979, with concentrations in arts and education.

On Freedom and Revolt: A Comparative Investigation

Alumnus Carl E. Moyler (Ph.D. 2000) presents a comparative analysis of the writings of Nobel Prize winners Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and French philosopher Albert Camus in On Freedom and Revolt: A Comparative Investigation.

Even though they came from vastly different backgrounds, both men stood for justice and freedom. Dr. Moyler explains. “Camus and King were born, reared, and lived as personal witnesses to the political, economic, and social ravages of their time and place. Neither man was willing to stand in the presence of tyranny, oppression, racism, exploitation, murder, and war and do nothing. Therefore their response, based on their calling, was a revolt for freedom. Camus was the moral conscience of thousands of people, young and old, in Europe, the United States, and beyond. He was able to impart to generations past and present a vision of hope and courage that gave optimism to doubt and uncertainty.

Likewise, Dr. King, in his nonviolent American civil rights struggle, has left a message for present and future times – a philosophy of militant nonviolent revolt in the face of overwhelming nullification against himself and his followers that is infused with hope, justice, and love. I hope, that by comparing the writings of these two Nobel Laureates and international hero-scholars, I have made a contribution to the never-ending quest for a more just, humane, and rational world where we coexist in a civilized society in pursuit of being ‘My brother’s keeper’.”

Dr. Moyler was born in Newport News, Virginia, and currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He was a graduate of West Virginia State University in 1954 with a major in foreign languages and was elected Alumnus of the Year in 2007. He holds a master’s degree in French from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He taught foreign languages at several high schools and served as professor and administrator at Urbana University and Wilberforce University. He is also a small business founder and president/CEO. Dr. Moyler graduated from Union in 2000.

TechStress-How Technology is Hijacking our Lives, Strategies for Coping and Pragmatic Ergonomics

In alumnus Eric Peper’s (1975) new book, TechStress-How Technology is Hijacking our Lives, Strategies for Coping and Pragmatic Ergonomics, co-authored with Richard Harvey and Nancy Faas, he asks you to reenvision your relationship with technology to reclaim health, happiness and sanity in a plugged-in world.

Dr. Peper argues, “Evolution shapes behavior—and as a species, we’ve evolved to be drawn to the instant gratification, constant connectivity, and the shiny lights, beeps, and chimes of our ever-present devices. In earlier eras, these hardwired evolutionary patterns may have set us up for success, but today they confuse our instincts, leaving us vulnerable and stressed out from fractured attention, missed sleep, skipped meals, aches, pains, and exhaustion.”

So how can we avoid the pitfalls programmed into modern technology use?

Tech Stress offers practical tools to avoid the evolutionary traps that trip us up and helps us address the problems associated with technology overuse. You will find a range of effective strategies and best practices to individualize your workspace (in the office and at home), reduce physical strain, prevent sore muscles, combat brain drain and correct poor posture. The book also provides fresh insights on reducing stress and enhancing health.

Dr. Peper is a professor at the Institute for Holistic Health Studies, Department of Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Holistic Health at San Francisco State University. He serves as president of the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe and is past president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. An international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation, he was a behavioral scientist for the United States Rhythmic Gymnastics team and received the 2004 California Governor’s Safety Award for his work on Healthy Computing. He is an author of numerous scientific articles and books, including Biofeedback Mastery, Muscle Biofeedback at the Computer, Make Health Happen Training and De Computermens. He is also the co-producer of weekly “Healthy Computing Email Tips.” His research interests focus on the psychophysiology of healing, illness prevention, voluntary self-regulation, holistic health, healthy computing, respiratory psychophysiology and optimizing health with biofeedback. He graduated from Union in 1975 with a Ph.D. and concentrations in Holistic Health and Biofeedback Training.

Check back next month for more Authors of Union and their publications.

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Authors of Union – February ’21

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Welcome to Authors of Union, highlighting our many published authors. Each month, we will highlight our accomplished community of writers who are transforming lives and communities.

Peter Lazes

From the Ground Up: How Frontline Staff Can Save Americas Healthcare

Dr. Peter Lazes is passionate about transforming the healthcare system. He believes, “All Americans deserve and should have access to high quality, affordable healthcare services delivered by professionals who have sufficient time and resources to care for them.” His new book, From the Ground Up: How Frontline Staff Can Save Americas Healthcare, (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2020); written with his wife, Marie Rudden, M.D., the book presents proven and practical approaches for redesigning healthcare organizations. By tapping into the experiences of frontline workers, the organizations will be less fragmented and more patient-centered. Their work focuses on identifying and finding solutions to access and quality of care issues. They share case studies of the use of Labor-Management Partnerships to improve patient care and to redesign healthcare organizations.

Harvard Business School professor, Amy C. Edmondson, author of  The Fearless Organization urges healthcare leaders to read this book. “Everyone in a hospital leadership role should read this book as it offers a wealth of practical advice for organizations intent on improving their clinical care delivery.”

Mitchell H. Katz, MD, CEO and President, NYC Health + Hospitals encourages healthcare leaders to use Lazes’ book as an important roadmap for identifying and creating changes. He says, “…as you read this book you will not only learn the successful techniques of engaging and supporting frontline staff but will also be inspired to improve healthcare wherever you work.”

Dr. Lazes is a specialist in organizational change, leadership development, and Labor-Management Partnerships. He is also the founder and former director of the Healthcare Transformation Project and Programs for Employment and Workplace Systems at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where he has served for 40 years. He has worked with labor union and management leaders in the U.S. to customize and implement strategic worker participation programs. His recent work involves assisting hospitals and healthcare organizations to develop methods to improve patient care and reduce costs with a focus on frontline staff engagement.

Traveling extensively in Europe, Dr. Lazes conducts seminars on organizational change and ways to encourage employee-driven innovation opportunities. He has written more than 30 articles on such topics as the creation of agile work systems, new roles for unions in the 21st century, ways to create meaningful jobs, methods to increase civic participation and strategies for keeping American jobs; in addition, he has produced several videotapes on topics such as creating breakthroughs in organizations.

Dr. Lazes received his Ph.D. from Union Institute & University in 1974 with concentrations in clinical and industrial psychology.

Nancy Shiffrin

Game With Variations

Nancy Shiffrin earned her Master of Arts in English studying with Anais Nin. She earned her Ph.D. at Union Institute & University studying Jewish-American women authors. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Quarterly, Earth’s Daughters, Lummox Journal, The Canadian Jewish Outlook, A Cafe in Space, Religion and Literature, Shofar, and numerous other publications. She has received awards and honorable mentions from The Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Society of America, The Alice Jackson Foundation, The Dora Teitelboim Foundation, and most recently first prize in the Angela Consolo Mankiewicz Poetry Contest Lummox Journal 2019. Her poetry collection, The Vast Unknowing, (Infinity Publishing) is available from Her collections, Game With Variations and Flight, are forthcoming from Her recent works include:
FLIGHT. New poems accepted by Two new poems excerpted on
GAME WITH VARIATIONSLove poems; THE VAST UNKNOWINGPoems of the creative life; OUT OF THE GARDEN – a novella invoking Anais Nin. For more information visit

Betty Fox Cooper

Family Vital to Us and Society

Alumna Betty Fox Cooper, Ph.D. 1990, was living a life of purpose, facilitating professional and community development, peace studies, and directing the Adlerian Family Education Center. When she suddenly lost her husband of 62 years, she found herself crippled with pain and grief. This led her to an examination of intensive and extensive contemplation of the past. She journals this experience in her recent book, Family Vital to Us and Society.

Amazon describes her journey as, “While contemplating life experiences, she saw how families had not only been vital to her but were also our society’s change agents. Feelings of gratitude became overwhelming as she saw the love, compassion, and encouragement given to her through the years yet previously overlooked. The book covers her journey of moving from grief to joy, from sadness to happiness, from malfunctioning to functioning, and finding life is enriching and invigorating.”

Check back next month for more Authors of Union and their publications.

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Union Institute & University welcomes new trustees

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The Board of Trustees of Union Institute & University have elected Dr. Edwin C. Marshall and Mr. James A. Hyatt to the board effective January 28, 2021. The appointments are effective through January 2025.

Union President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb looks forward to the new trustees’ contributions. “Dr. Marshall and Mr. Hyatt are seasoned higher education administrators. They are both innovators in higher education with experience in diversity, financial management, and research. Their insights and knowledge will assist us as we continue to move forward in our mission to educate highly motivated adults who seek academic programs to engage, enlighten, and empower them to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.”

Dr. Edwin C. Marshall

Edwin C. Marshall, OD, MS, MPH, FAAO, FNAP is professor emeritus of Optometry at the Indiana University School of Optometry and professor emeritus of Public Health in the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and the Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington. Prior to retiring from Indiana University in 2013, Dr. Marshall also served Indiana University as vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs. Before appointed vice president in 2007, he was the associate dean for Academic Affairs and Student Administration at the IU School of Optometry.

Dr. Marshall has served as chair of the National Commission on Vision and Health, chair of the Executive Board and vice president (USA) of the American Public Health Association, and chair of The Nation’s Health Editorial Advisory Committee. He is a past president of the National Optometric Association, the Indiana Optometric Association, and the Indiana Public Health Association. He also served as a United States Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellow and as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health and the National Eye Health Education Program Planning Committee of the National Eye Institute.

Dr. Marshall is a distinguished practitioner and fellow of the National Academies of Practice and a Diplomate in Public Health and Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He is a recipient of the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award in Public Health and Preventive Medicine from the Indiana Public Health Foundation, the Indiana State Health Commissioner Award for Excellence in Public Health, the Distinguished Service Award from the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, the Distinguished Hoosier Award from the Office of the Governor, the Carel C. Koch Memorial Medal from the American Academy of Optometry, the Person of Vision Award from Prevent Blindness Indiana, and the William “Bill” Mays Minority Health Titan Award from the Indiana Minority Health Coalition.

Dr. Marshall was named the Indiana Optometrist of the Year (2006) by the Indiana Optometric Association and the National Optometrist of the Year by both the National Optometric Association (1976) and the American Optometric Association (2007). In 2009 he was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame. In 2017 the Indiana Optometric Association honored Dr. Marshall with the Indiana Optometry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Indiana University has honored Dr. Marshall with the President’s Medal for Excellence, the School of Public Health-Bloomington Founding Dean’s Medallion for meritorious contributions to public health, and the Bicentennial Medal. In 2019 he was honored with the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

James A. Hyatt

James A. Hyatt is a senior research associate and principal investigator at the Center for Studies in Higher Education, at the University of California, Berkeley. He has extensive experience both as a senior level executive at a number of the nation’s major research universities, including UC Berkeley; the University of Maryland, College Park; University of Arizona; and Virginia Tech. He has served as principal investigator on externally funded research projects in the areas of higher education financial management, financial reporting, pension reform and campus safety and security.

From 2008-2010, Mr. Hyatt served as president of the World Institute for Disaster Recovery Management. He is a recipient of the Berkeley Citation for distinguished achievement and service to UC Berkeley and is vice chancellor for Budget and Finance and CFO Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

During his tenure as vice chancellor for Budget and Finance at UC Berkeley, Mr. Hyatt implemented a new campus-wide financial management system and an interactive campus resource management reporting system (Cal. Profiles). While serving as executive vice president at Virginia Tech, Hyatt was actively involved in the passage of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Higher Education Restructuring Act that provided enhanced operating flexibility to Virginia’s public colleges and universities.

Mr. Hyatt received both his bachelor’s degree in English and his MBA in accounting and operations and systems analysis from the University of Washington. He is the author of several books on higher education financial management and is a recognized authority on college and university budgeting, financial management and cost accounting.

Union Institute & University’s leaders are committed to the university’s purpose and mission. To learn more about our trustees, click here.

The Power of Art and Autism to Transform the World – Don’t Count Me Out

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Human creativity knows no bounds. This is a core belief held by Dr. Temple Grandin, the narrator for the new two-minute trailer for the documentary film, FIERCE LOVE and ART. Alumnus and autism advocate Laurence A. Becker, who earned his Ph.D. in 1980 from Union, with a concentration in Creative Learning Environments, produced the film and its trailer.


“FIERCE LOVE and ART” was produced by Union alumnus Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D. 1980. It’s directed by Ron Zimmerman, who first collaborated with Dr. Becker for the 1981 “With Eyes Wide Open” documentary. Tony DeBlois, who served as the musician for the film, is a savant artist with autism who didn’t speak until the age of 15. Today, Tony plays 23 instruments & has a repertoire of more than 20,000 songs. He sings with perfect pitch & perfect enunciation in 11 languages. He has produced a dozen albums, has his own jazz band, & regularly performs professionally.

Human creativity is woven throughout the film as the nine artists display their various art forms, ranging from music to painting, with the plea, “Don’t Count Me Out.” The film, originally released in 2018, has been re-edited to include a narration by Dr. Grandin, who is also autistic. Dr. Grandin, an expert on autism and animal behavior, describes her life’s work: “to understand her own autistic mind, and to share that knowledge with the world, and aid in the treatment of individuals with the condition.” Grandin is a professor of animal science, consultant to the livestock industry, and best-selling author. This film marks her debut as a narrator.

Dr. Becker, 84, has been compelled to share the human story of savant artists with autism and their devoted parents for more than 40 years. He refers to himself as an “educator aqueduct.” “I’m not the water or the source, but the instrument through which the education flows.” Throughout his career, Dr. Becker has seen how the creative process has transformed many with autism, particularly young adults. “To me, the parents are a real testament to what happens in the lives of children with autism. I have witnessed how families fiercely take charge of their child’s development. It is a testament to the power of art in all our lives,” said Dr. Becker. His mission is to bring awareness of the myriad gifts individuals with autism and other disabilities bring to the world. He plans to market the film to Vimeo, Netflix, and PBS. “We need to realize that all of us are related, and we can all make the world a better place. In the film, FIERCE LOVE and ART, we meet individuals with autism and other disabilities who have been able to transform their own lives, contribute to their communities through art, music, and words. It is because of powerful support and love from parents who bring their children home from what I refer to as solitary confinement on ‘Autism Island.’”

Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D.

Dr. Becker’s distinguished career includes producing the internationally and nationally award-winning film, “With Eyes Wide Open: Richard Wawro.” Wawro was a legally blind and non-verbal artist until age 11. He was misdiagnosed with severe intellectual disabilities and an IQ of 30 when he was a young child, severely limiting Richard’s opportunities to attend regular school and develop communication skills. At the age of three, he began drawing with chalk. He was self-taught and used the unusual medium of wax oil crayons. His work received worldwide acclaim. As seen in the film, Dr. Becker shows there is hope and emphasizes that individuals with unique abilities and the loving support of a family can make a difference in cognitive and emotional skills, and ultimately lead productive lives. Richard’s fans included British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the late Pope John Paul II, who both own one of his works.

“Until 1976, I had never heard the word autism,” says Dr. Becker. “By chance, I attended an international conference on psychiatry and culture and saw a 10-minute film about Richard Wawro that changed my life. That was the start. I knew I had to make a film about Richard. I went to Scotland, to meet him and was overwhelmed with his story, his art, and his family.”

Dr. Becker’s doctoral studies at Union inspired him. “Professor Roy Fairfield was my core professor. He coined a term I had never heard before, ReFIREment. That means to be creative all your life. I have always been inspired to live by that motto,” said Becker. “Union has always been an important part of my life. I have served on 15 Ph.D. committees as a peer and adjunct professor, served on several committees including admissions, and have just been elected once again to serve on the board of Union’s International Alumni Association.”
Since 1976, Dr. Becker has worked with several of the world’s most noted artists with autism. Currently, in addition to sharing the work of Richard Wawro, of Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr. Becker works with the art of Christophe Pillault, of France, Ping Lian, of Malaysia/Australia, Kimberly Dixon of Texas, Erik Warren of Kansas, Grant Manier of Houston, and Seth Chwast, of Ohio.

Dr. Becker, a prolific writer and sought-after workshop presenter and consultant, is the author of numerous publications, poems, essays, books, and films, including writing the foreword for a book on the prodigy Marshall Ball, author of Kiss of God: The Wisdom of a Silent Child. Recently, Dr. Becker was a presenter at the Global Autism Summit.

Prior to earning his Ph.D. at Union, Dr. Becker served for ten years as chair of the English Department at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, where he founded and directed the Texas Student Film Festival, at the time one of the largest and most successful student film festivals in the United States. He also served as an Artist-in-Schools in Filmmaking in rural Maine while working with the Washington County Handicapped Children’s Program as a film and video consultant. In addition, he worked with Bill Coperthwaite at the Yurt Foundation, an educational foundation that collects folk wisdom from throughout the world. In 1980, he co-authored with Dr. Frederick B. Tuttle Jr., two books published by the National Education Association on gifted education. The indefatigable Dr. Becker was a lifelong tournament tennis player, coach, and bicyclist. He and his wife of 60 years, Rosanne, have three children. Dr. Becker lives his PFE: (Purpose for Existing) that says, “To Experience, To Embody, To Express ReFIREment Each and Every Day of my Life!”
To learn more about Dr. Becker and his work, visit his website at

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Alumna wins the National Book Award for Poetry

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Congratulations are going out from all corners to Dr. Don Mee Choi (Ph.D. 2003), poet and translator, on being named the winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry.

Her collection, “DMZ Colony,” explores lives affected by colonization and war and is described as “a collage of survivor accounts, prose, and quotations with photographs and drawings that takes its name from Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.”

Dr. Don Mee Choi- Photo was taken from

Choi, born in South Korea and now based in Seattle, deftly explores the histories of South Korea and the United States via her return from the U.S. to South Korea in 2016. Powell’s City of Books reported, “Woven from poems, prose, photographs, and drawings, Don Mee Choi’s DMZ Colony is a tour de force of personal and political reckoning set over eight acts. Like its sister book, Hardly War, it holds history accountable, its very presence a resistance to empire and a hope in humankind.”

In an emotional speech at the virtual awards ceremony on November 18, Choi dedicated the award to her father, a photojournalist. “Poetry and translation have changed my life,” she said. “For me, they are inseparable.” (Source: Youtube.)

Dr. Carol Barrett, creative writing faculty in Union’s Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, herself a published poet and a 1998 Union doctoral alumna, shared comments from Dr. Choi’s core faculty member, former Union professor, Dr. Minnie Bruce Pratt, who said about Dr. Choi’s prestigious award:

“Don Mee earned her Ph.D. from Union Institute & University in Modern Korean Culture and Translation, with a distinguished essay on and translation of modern feminist Korean poets. In addition to the National Book Award, she recently received a Whiting Writers Award, another note of honor in the poetry world, and has received many other awards since her Union days.”

The highly prized National Book Award for Poetry is one of five annual awards given by the National Book Foundation to recognize outstanding literary work by U.S. citizens. They are awards “by writers to writers,” with nominations provided only by publishers. Dr. Pratt noted that Don Mee’s books have all been published by small experimental presses, rather than larger houses.

“She set her path clearly when she defined the work she wanted to do when she was at Union,” continued Dr. Pratt, “and she has followed it faithfully and brilliantly. It is gratifying to see her reaping this national recognition.”

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Alumni News

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Union Institute & University Alumni News

  • Diversity Month Spotlight on Ph.D. Student Diane McDaniel
    Diane McDaniel, a Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Studies at Union Institute & University, has been named a 2021 Top 100 Diversity Officer by the National Diversity Council. Recognized for her leadership and counsel to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives, Diane provides innovative solutions to advocate for diverse talent in...
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  • Social Justice: Empowering the Incarcerated through Education
    You are invited to a free webinar, Social Justice: Empowering the Incarcerated through Education, a thought-provoking discussion on social justice, art, and mass incarceration on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. (ET). Register Now The event is hosted by Union doctoral faculty members, Dr. Anu Mitra and Dr. Diane Allerdyce....
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  • Union Institute & University Celebrates Founders’ Day April 2, 2021
      Each year, the university devotes a day in the spring to recognize the unique and historic vision of its founders in creating the blueprint for our journey forward. Union Institute & University was founded during the tumultuous 1960s, a time of change and transformation throughout all facets of our society. Looking...
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  • Women’s History Month – Alumna fights for women’s rights
    Juli Parker, Ph.D., organized her first women’s rights cause in college and hasn’t looked back since. “I took a Women’s Studies class as a junior, and I learned about women’s issues and activism. I started volunteering at the campus women’s resource center where the director, Sharon Barker, became a...
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  • Social Justice Webinar: Saturday, March 20, 2021 - Restorative Practices: Learning About Reciprocity, Courage, and Inclusion
    Union Institute & University’s Ph.D. program is pleased to present Restorative Practices: Learning About Reciprocity, Courage, and Inclusion on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at 11 a.m. (ET). Join Ph.D. alumna Dr. Linda Kligman, recipient of Union’s 2020 Virgil A. Wood Award for Excellence, and moderator Dr. Stewart Burns, professor in...
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  • Kudos to Team Union
    Congratulations to the following Team Union members for continuing the mission of transforming lives and communities. President Webb’s Service on Boards Union President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb has been appointed to the Indiana University School of Education Advisory Board in Bloomington, and the Hoxworth Blood Center Community Advisory Board in...
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  • Authors of Union - March '21
    Welcome to Authors of Union, highlighting our many published authors. Each month, we will highlight a selected few of our accomplished community of writers who are transforming lives and communities. The Glorious American Essay Dr. Philip Lopate, (Ph.D. 1979) is an award-winning author, essayist, editor, educator  and film critic. His latest...
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  • Women’s History Month Spotlight on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority - “To be supreme in service to all mankind.”
    To be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) is to be part of something larger than yourself. Kristina James “Membership is a commitment to a lifetime of service,” said Kristina James, 2016 Union alumna (Master of Science in Organizational Leadership), and a management consultant with Accenture. “The sorority has...
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  • U.N.’s World Day of Social Justice resonates with Ph.D. students through Penumbra, Union’s journal of critical and creative inquiry
    The United Nations sets aside February 20 annually to observe an international day of Social Justice. Students in Union’s Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies examine social justice within a context of academic excellence every day of the year. One vehicle Union has created to examine and further social justice is...
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Congratulations 2018 California Graduates

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Union Institute & University California Commencement Ceremony was a day of celebration as over 160 adults received their diplomas and joined Union’s legacy to engage, enlighten, and empower in a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility on August 19, 2018.

Dr. Rhonda Brinkley-Kennedy, executive director of the Los Angeles Academic Center, welcomed the audience and reminded our graduates “there is only one Union Institute & University. It not only transforms our lives, it can – and does – transform the world around us.”

President of Union Institute & University, Dr. Karen Schuster Webb, congratulated the graduates and welcomed them into the legacy of service and leadership that our alumni provide to their communities every day.

Dr. Webb introduced the keynote, Adrienne Lamar Snider, Executive Director for Operations at the Child Abuse Prevention Center. Dr. Webb bestowed the university’s highest honor, the Doctor of Humane Letters: Honoris Causa to Ms. Snider with the following words. “ Ms. Lamar Snider, in recognition of your lifelong dedication to selflessly serve others and to provide pathways to success, it is an honor not only for Union to have you as our speaker today, but also to bestow upon you the university’s highest honor, the Doctor of Humane Letters: Honoris Causa. Through your life’s work, you have become a beacon of service, and one whose work echoes Union Institute & University’s beloved mission to engage, enlighten, and empower all to a life of learning, service, and social responsibility.”

Ms. Snider shared with the graduates that she understood their journey of work, family and courage to pursue their degrees. She reminded them how smart adults are because they possess the kind of experiential knowledge gained only from life experience. She also asked the graduates to think of what’s next in their lives.

Other Highlights included:

  • Grand Marshal – Dr. Birgit Monks, faculty in the undergraduate program.
  • Invocation – Presented by Kent Wilson, a new graduate in Criminal Justice Management.
  • Announcer – Dr. Allison Leggett, lead faculty for the Child and Adolescent Development major
  • Recognition of veterans – Designated by wearing a special red, white, and blue honor cord, in recognition of their service to our country.
  • “America the Beautiful” – Sang by Ms. Ami Bryant and Ms. Mercy Smith.
  • 2018 Mark Dunakin Award for Extraordinary Achievement – Awarded to Sergeant Heather Forsythe in honor of Sergeant Dunakin, a UI&U student killed in the line of duty and presented to a new graduate of the Criminal Justice Management major who serves in law enforcement and who emulates his commitment to community service and academic success.
  • Special thank you – Thank you to the Los Angeles Academic Center staff especially Ms. Camila Pulido, Ms. Katy Sue, and Ms. Brenda Melendez, who coordinated commencement events.

Congratulations 2018 California Graduates! Enjoy the pictures of the 2018 California Commencement Ceremony and connect with us on our Facebook page to see more commencement pictures.

Union’s next commencement ceremony will be the National Commencement on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati.

Discover your UI&U academic path towards a new career.

Union Meets The Need of Childcare Profession

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The child development profession is growing and Union Institute & University (UI&U) is providing the degree needed to excel towards that growing career pathway through the Child & Adolescent Development (CHAD) Bachelor’s program major.

The CHAD program prepares graduates for a variety of childcare careers. Those professions include preschool and kindergarten teachers, childcare director and worker, and child life specialist. In addition, graduates obtain the skills needed to guide the developmental needs of children from infancy through adolescence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the employment of childcare workers is projected to grow seven percent from 2016 to 2026.

“The CHAD degree offers many career pathways,” said Dr. Guillermina Hernandez, UI&U Site Coordinator, and program coordinator of the University of California, Riverside Extension.

A new community partnership has been formed with Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO), a nonprofit agency that focuses on helping people and changing lives through serving nearly 40,000 persons in 10 counties in California. The goal is to eliminate poverty by empowering individuals and families through an array of community-based programs. This affiliation mirrors Union’s mission to empower adults to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.

“CAPSLO wanted a partner that could upgrade the quality of the teaching staff and provide a pathway to a bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development. Many of the CAPSLO staff members have their associate’s degree so all they need is additional coursework towards a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Elizabeth A. Pastores-Palffy, Executive Director, Los Angeles Academic Center. “Union is able to fill that need. Union is able to provide classes at CAPSLO sites demonstrating its capability to be flexible and provide an adult delivery model to students regardless of where they live and work.”

“CAPSLO has many programs designed to improve success for preschool children of migrant and seasonal farm workers, overall school readiness and comprehensive child development and family support services to low income families,” said Pastores-Palffy. “UI&U will produce well-educated teachers for immigrant communities. That can only elevate the stature not only of the teachers, but also improve learning that these teachers impart to the immigrant children that they teach.”

Dr. Pastores-Palffy is proud of the affiliated faculty teaching the CAPSLO students. “Many of the faculty members are local instructors who also teach at the community colleges around the area and are very much-involved in the child development community at their respective locales. This partnership is truly transforming lives and communities.”

Enroll in the Child & Adolescent Development degree program now to take advantage of this growth! Click below!