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I am a focused and passionate doctoral candidate in Social Psychology at Walden University, where I  completed my Masters of Science degree in General Psychology with a cumulative GPA of 4.0.  


My expected completion date for my doctorate in Social Psychology is in early 2020.

 

My areas of specialization include: ethics; social psychology; social and emotional learning (SEL); religious discrimination; religious privilege; anti-Semitism; microaggressions; multiculturalism; and positive education.

IN EVERY CHILD'S CORNER

I am the founder and Executive Director of In Every Child's Corner. The mission of this nonprofit organization is to provide all children, (early learners through 12th grade), access to proven social and emotional learning (SEL) curricula designed to assist children in developing social and emotional skills which will allow them to successfully navigate through a challenging world.  


This organization focuses on introducing and facilitating SEL curricula throughout various academic sites while maintaining teacher support and parent education, as well as gathering data to track student success. Emphasis on student success includes teaching children how to apply SEL skills in all phases of their lives, both within classroom environments and beyond.  


Staff support includes training seminars, implementation strategies, and suggestions for the successful integration of multicultural awareness and sensitivity, while maintaining an ethically informed sensibility throughout all interactions with students, parents, staff, administrators, and families.

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

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ETHICS

  

Ethics can be defined as a group of moral principles that govern or guide a person or a group’s behaviors. Ethics seeks to distinguish human behaviors on a continuum between right and wrong.   


Ethics define the beliefs that every individual holds as to what they believe signifies correct and appropriate conduct. Ethical codes are often created in many professions and within organizations in order to provide guidelines for individuals and groups as a framework for understanding ethical expectations.  

We should always continuously strive for uncompromising aspirational ethics in everything that we do, both personally and professionally.


My areas of ethical specialization include assisting clinicians, educators, researchers, and organizations navigate through the complex ethical dilemmas and ethical considerations that may occur when religious, spiritual, and non-religious beliefs become inserted, intentionally or unintentionally, into clinical, educational, organizational, and business environments.   

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SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING

  

A fundamental ingredient for success in school and all phases of life includes the important skills which are taught in social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula.  Empirical research has found that children who participate in SEL programs showed statistically significant gains in attitudes, behaviors, interpersonal skills, and academic achievement.  


Utilization of SEL curricula within learning environments helps to promote and foster social-emotional competence while empowering children with the skills they need for developing self-regulation, thereby equipping them with the tools they need to develop and sustain healthy relationships, evaluate and practice coping strategies to mitigate stress, and experience higher levels of academic success.  


Key concepts included in SEL curricula include empathy building, emotional management, and problem-solving skills.  Through repeated practice of SEL strategies and in conjunction with SEL curricula which focuses on bullying awareness and prevention, decreases in aggression and conduct problems may result, while boosting a child’s self-esteem and their ability to interact effectively with others.

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MICROAGGRESSIONS

  

Microaggressions are everyday occurrences of verbal or behavioral insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate a negative or derogatory racial or religious insult that causes a harmful and cumulative psychological impact on the targeted individual or group.  There are three forms of microaggressions: the microassault – which is a blatant verbal or nonverbal attack on an individual or group with the intention of conveying a discriminatory, prejudicial, and biased point of view; the microinsult – which is an unintentional behavior or comment which conveys a demeaning lack of sensitivity or rudeness toward a person’s identity, their racial heritage, their gender identity, their religious affiliations or beliefs, their socioeconomic status, or their sexual orientation; and the microinvalidation – which are unintentional verbal comments are behaviors whose intention is to negate, dismiss, or exclude the feelings or experiences or thoughts of an individual or a targeted group.


Microaggressions occur with such frequency that they have become a part of the American lexicon.  Some examples of microaggressions are: assuming people who speak with an accent are not American, assuming people of a certain ethnicity have a higher level of intelligence, telling a person of color that color does not matter, assuming someone is a criminal based upon how they look, using sexist or heterosexist language, denying the discrimination that someone has experienced, assuming that white privilege and westernized culture are the only viable and successful cultures, assuming racial ethnic stereotyping, objectifying men and women as sexual objects, assuming someone is wrong or abnormal because of their sexual orientation, denying someone’s personal identity, or assuming that your religion is the only correct one.

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BULLYING

  

Bullying is defined as a form of aggression which is intentional, repeated, and involves a power differential between the victim and the victimizer.  Bullying manifests in many forms including; physical, verbal, social, or relational. The newest form of bullying is cyberbullying, and it is especially problematic because of the far-reaching capabilities of cell phone usage, the Internet, and all forms of social media. 


All forms of bullying have an inherent probability of causing pain, stress, anxiety, and anguish to the victim, which can sometimes result in the victim feeling so hopeless and helpless that they may be at much higher risk for self-harm.  Bullying is a deeply entrenched and ubiquitous problem within school systems. Focused attention needs to be paid on immediate and pro-social interventions so that both the victims and the victimizers can learn how to move beyond the bullying cycle.

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MULTICULTURALISM

  

Multiculturalism is the social psychological and social scientific concept of embracing cultural differences with respect and understanding, recognizing that the world is full of a wide variety of peoples, cultures, and religions, and it is this variety, in its totality, that creates the amazing diversity which comprises the people of the world.  


By embracing multiculturalism we have the opportunity to learn about other people’s cultures and customs, religious beliefs, spirituality, values and relational structures, modes of behavior, symbolism, history, and so much more.  Our world is vastly diverse and this diversity must be recognized and respected as an opportunity for knowledge and learning, and in doing so we honor the spectacular tapestry of the human species.

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RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGE

  

This construct is often very challenging for most people to accept or understand, and frequently results in rigorous pushback or denial as individuals grapple with the contrast between their personal convictions and empirical research.  Understanding the importance of this construct helps us to be more aware of all forms of discrimination.  Religious privilege may be defined as a wide array of unearned, invisible privileges which bestows religious and cultural dominance upon the majority religious group.  


As the overwhelming majority faith in America, Christianity enjoys a privileged status which dominates many levels of daily life, continually broadcasting and reinforcing an ethnocentric view of Christianity as the religious norm, conferring upon its believers a host of unearned benefits and privileges which are denied to members of religious, spiritual, and nonreligious minorities.  This domination through religious privilege frequently results in the unintentional oppression, subordination,  or marginalization of individuals and groups who adhere to or practice non-Christian expressions of religious, spiritual, or nonreligious beliefs.


Christian privilege impacts every aspect of American life, affording Christians the unchallenged and ubiquitous ability to successfully broadcast Christian-centered social values and religious beliefs upon others while unintentionally subjugating individuals who embrace a different set of religious, spiritual, or nonreligious ideologies.  Christianity, as a non-conscious ideology, often manifests in a lack of awareness or a denial of privileged religious status among believers, principally, because religious prominence and power are all that Christians have ever experienced as the dominant religious group in America.  


Manifestations of Christian privilege include implicit or explicit forms of religious or spiritual oppression, microaggressions, marginalization, or prejudices and biases toward the beliefs and religious cultures of others. 


In other parts of the world where Christianity is not the dominant religious group, they are subjected to the same negative effects of religious privilege as non-Christians experience in America.

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ANTI-SEMITISM

  

Hate starts small.  The seeds of hatred are often unwittingly planted in childhood and develop deep roots and strong branches over a lifetime of apathy, ignorance, or acquiescence.  Hatred toward people who hold different religious, spiritual, or nonreligious belief is not new.  Anti-Semitism is a form of religious hatred which is focused upon Jews and has existed, without ceasing, for over twenty-three centuries.  It is so prevalent throughout the world that it exists in places with almost no Jewish populations.  Its universality and enduring intensity, together with its capacity to evolve has succeeded in creating a climate of tacit anti-Semitic acquiescence or ignorance, so ingrained within our social lexicon that most people erroneously assume that anti-Semitism no longer exists.


The insidious nature of anti-Semitism ensures that the most consciously religiously tolerant among us, those who harbor no known prejudicial biases against Jews, may not be aware of holding any unconscious anti-Semitic feelings toward Jews.  Disturbingly, anti-Semitism is an evolving form of religious hatred, whose presence is currently experiencing an alarming worldwide resurgence.  Overt and violent forms of anti-Semitism still endure, although modern anti-Semitism has found expression through the frequent use of covert or subtle interpretations of religious hatred, propagated through outlets such as social media, and often exemplified through the use of microaggressions and derogatory stereotypes.  


Anti-Semitism is a challenging and often divisive topic, frequently met with vigorous pushback by those who deny its importance or existence.  Regrettably, anti-Semitism is not a resolved footnote in our collective past, nor is it simply a Jewish problem that we can politely ignore.  It is an evolving litmus test for hatred of all kinds.  Denying that anti-Semitism exists is actually a form of anti-Semitism.

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SOCIAL JUSTICE

  

Broadly speaking, social justice is the fair and equitable distribution of advantages within a society. The fair and appropriate application of social justice involves multiple complexities and considerations.  In order to achieve the goal of unilateral social justice for all peoples we must first develop accurate definitions, evaluate expectations, acknowledge social and religious privileges and subordination, and recognize our own individual prejudices and biases.  


America is a country which is steeped in oppression-based tactics of discrimination and bias, often unconscious, but nonetheless pervasive. Working together with the unified goal of achieving appropriate levels of safety and security for all Americans, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, nonreligious beliefs, ableism, age, or perceived level of value is the noble goal of social justice, benefiting all Americans.

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ON BEING A SCIENTIST

Scientific thinking permeates all of our lives and manifests in a multitude of ways. From early childhood we begin to develop specific skills which allow us to think scientifically as we navigate through our lives, whether through the processes of decision-making, problem-solving, emotional regulation, our interpersonal relationships, communication styles, and so much more.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

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PRESENTATIONS AND GUEST SPEAKER DISCUSSIONS

I truly appreciate having the opportunity to share my knowledge with others, and to learn from them, too! 


Interactive presentations designed to educate and entertain allow for a genuine connection to occur between myself and my participants, providing empowering outlets for information sharing and perspective-taking as we discuss important concepts.


I am available to speak to businesses, groups, and organizations of any size on the topics within my areas of specialization. Training seminars are also available. 


All presentations and seminars include a fusion of humor and science to help us understand the complexities, consequences, and importance of human interactions. 


Please contact me for more information.


PRESENTATION TOPICS:

On Being A Scientist

Defining Modern Prejudice And Why it Still Exists

What Is Religious Privilege and Why Should We Care?

Ethics, Anyone? Why it Matters

Microaggressions - Identifying Our Internal Biases

Balancing Identities In A Complex World

We Are All Intuitive Psychologists

Social And Emotional Skills for Children

Trying, Striving, Thriving

Group Dynamics - Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Goal-Directed Behavior

Effective Leadership

The Only Place to Find Perfection Is In The Dictionary!

We Are All Models - Role Models

Executive Functioning - It's Not About Business!

The Myth of Parenthood 

The Benefits and Consequences of a Child's Easy Life

The 3 Concepts That Our Children Must Master

The Happiness Quotient

Introversion/Extroversion - What? 

CONTACT ME

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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STOPPING BY!


TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE THE WORLD A SAFE, KIND, TOLERANT PLACE FOR EVERYONE!

CarolynCowl-Witherspoon.com

(281) 239-3703