Loma Linda University
Behavioral Health News

Volume 2, Issue 2
honduras2014 SBH Students Make a Difference on SIMS Mission Trip to Honduras  
SIMS - Honduras 2014
Video by Wendy Wray in collaboration with Global Gateway Studios.

Hi, I'm Wendy Wray, a fourth-year Marital and Family Therapy PhD candidate in the School of Behavioral Health. I participated in the SIMS mission trip experience to Honduras in December 2014. While I had been fortunate enough to also take a mission trip to Mumbai, India in August 2014, I can honestly say that every mission trip has its own unique way of impacting your life. My time in Honduras did so in ways that I could never have imagined. Our mission trip took us to the mountains of North Western Honduras, to an organization known as Pan American Health Service. This nutritional rehabilitation program feeds starving children and provides shelter and guidance to abandoned children. It also offers educational programming to help break the cycle of poverty. These children now have the chance to dream about becoming doctors, dentists, nurses, and pastors (amongst other professions), and receive the necessary support so many of their dreams can become a reality.

Left: Wendy with a Honduran child.
Middle: Cindy Canales, Kayla Abrott, and Wendy.
Right: Kayla, Cindy, and Wendy with a Honduran family.

This trip was special to me because its main focus was to serve children at an orphanage. Being a schoolteacher in my first career, this trip revived my passion to serve children in poverty. Honduras also provided me the opportunity to get to know two of our very own Child Life second-year MS students, Cindy Canales and Kayla Abrott (picture 2). They were both wonderful team players! Together, we had the privilege of working with a doctor, three dentists, students from the LLU Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Allied Health Professions, Public Health, and two students from La Sierra University. Needless to say, we had a great multidisciplinary team in Honduras (picture 4). We participated in health and dental clinics and relieved staff at the orphanage so that they could take advantage of the free health and dental care that our team offered. A couple of memorable moments that come to mind: the rooster that crowed in the wee hours of the morning, waking us up because he slept during the daylight hours, and a neighborhood monkey that felt he was human; if he wanted something to eat he would boldly grab a piece of fruit off of your plate. There was never a dull moment in Honduras. Lastly, we had a chance to go shopping in town and had fun experiencing the waterfall and zip-lining on our final days (see video).

Why should Behavioral Health students consider mission trips?

Behavioral Health students should consider going on mission trips because the truth is that there is a great need for us around the world. While the need for dentists, doctors and nurses on mission trips may be obvious, many families in most third world countries experience trauma, and mental health professionals need to be there to assist. The training that we receive can help families and systems to better cope with the grief and pain that they experience. We can also engage in psycho-educational groups and grief therapy, as Cindy, Kayla, and myself did when asked to work with a family who had a tragic story and had experienced tremendous grief (picture 3). We were also fortunate enough to put on a teddy bear clinic, since the Child Life Specialist program graciously donated many supplies for children. Since we recognized early on that flexibility was essential, this helped us to have an awesome experience. I know many people say that mission service can be done right in your own backyard and I also had this belief for quite some time. For this reason, 2014 was the first year in which I decided to challenge my belief and to determine how I really felt about short-term missions. Due to the level of poverty and lack of resources in third world countries, I now believe there is a dire need. Families in other countries may not have access to the expertise, advanced technology, and services that we take for granted in America. Unless people like you and I volunteer to provide these services, they will have to go without. The beautiful thing is that in spite of their conditions, people are so gracious and they make you feel very appreciated. Needless to say, after a mission trip your life will forever be enriched. Not only will you be a blessing to many but you will also receive blessings that you never imagined. Don't miss out like I almost did. Make sure you add a mission trip to your bucket list and take at least one mission trip before you graduate from LLU. Who knows--maybe you too will fall in love and won't stop at one, just like me!

- Wendy Wray, Marital and Family Therapy PhD candidate

To find out more about mission trip and service experience opportunities, please visit the SIMS website.
sbhglobalSBH Goes Global!
Child Life and the Traveling Lab Coat. Next Stop...Bolivia! 

Sharing child life globally and educating others about the importance of developmentally appropriate health care education for children has taken flight...literally. Thanks in part to SIMS, over the past few months child life students have visited Belize, Honduras, and most recently, Bolivia. A group of fourteen from Loma Linda University decided to spend this year's spring break on the first ever SIMS trip to Bolivia. Clinical Coordinator for LLU's Child Life Specialist program, Alisha Saavedra, Child Life Specialist MS student Alejandra Kim-Arredondo, Marital and Family Therapy MS student Diane Morelos, and Social Work MSW student Silvia Gudino, were fortunate to be a part of this multidisciplinary team of travelers.


Diane Morelos (right) takes blood pressures in Bolivia. 

From the moment of arrival in Cochabamba, the staff and students of Universidad Adventista de Bolivia (UAB) provided the LLU team with a warm welcome. A sense of family and community could be felt immediately on the UAB campus. Not only does UAB educate university students, but it has an elementary and high school on campus as well. During the week-long trip, the group from LLU had the opportunity to provide two teddy bear clinics for 400 schoolchildren. What an exciting time for both the children and adults! Equipped with a suitcase filled with medical equipment, bubbles, pinwheels, and coloring pages, the teddy bear clinic, led by Alisha Saavedra and Alejandra Kim-Arredondo, allowed children to explore and manipulate the materials in a fun and non-threatening manner. Teddy bears, brought from home by the children, visited various stations where they were weighed, measured, and had their heart and lungs listened to. Additionally, the children learned relaxation breathing, colored their feelings, and had the opportunity for dramatic play with real medical equipment. Some even had the chance to try on the traveling lab coat! This lab coat is sized extra small so that children can try it on and pretend to be a doctor or other medical professional. It is beginning to make its way around the world as LLU's child life faculty and students take it to various countries for use in teddy bear clinics. In addition to being used at teddy bear clinics in our local community, it has traveled to both China and Bolivia. We can't wait to see where it will go next!


Left: The famous traveling lab coat! 
Right: A child has labeled this drawing with various feelings--alone, happy, sad, joy, and anger.

The school principal and teachers were very thankful for the opportunity provided to the children. This type of health education event was something new for them to experience. The children were curious, fully engaged with the various activities, and seemed to have a lot of fun. Not only did the children benefit, but the event provided a way for the disciplines on the LLU team, like dental, medical, social work, marital and family therapy, public health, and physical therapy to step out of their traditional roles and learn about child life. For instance, it was rewarding to see a medical student facilitate dramatic play with medical equipment, or a public health student engage with children on their level while weighing and measuring teddy bears. The bonds and sense of cohesiveness among the team will hopefully last beyond this week-long experience and support future collaborative approaches to caring for patients and families.


The LLU team with some of the attendees from the teddy bear clinic. 

During this Bolivia SIMS trip, I had the opportunity to co-lead a teddy bear clinic with my professor Alisha Saavedra. To me, this was the most memorable experience of the trip. I loved everything about it! From speaking with the school's principal, to organizing all of our team members into different stations, to teaching the children about their feelings and facilitating medical play with the children. This was a fun and creative way to introduce child life to a group who did not know anything about it. The SIMS trip to Bolivia provided an opportunity to learn a new culture and reminded me of my passion for expanding child life globally.
- Alejandra Kim-Arredondo, Child Life Specialist MS student
Left: A Bolivian woman at the plaza in Sipe Sipe.
Top right: The team's first health fair in the town of Quillacollo.
Bottom right: Alisha with a Quechua woman at the health fair in Vinto.

In addition to the teddy bear clinics, UAB and the LLU SIMS team participated in four health fairs that took place in the neighboring towns of Quillacollo, Sipe Sipe, and Vinto and one on UAB's very own campus. Through collaboration with UAB, the LLU team assisted staff and students in educating hundreds upon hundreds of townspeople about "The Eight Natural Remedies": water, air, nutrition, exercise, temperance, rest, sunlight, and trust in God. It was truly touching to meet the people of Bolivia. They took pride in sharing the beauty of their country with us. We will be forever grateful for their hospitality and for allowing us to share in our common goal of bettering health for everyone.

- Alisha Saavedra, MA, Clinical Coordinator of the Child Life Specialist MS Program
communityCommunity Engagement

Social Work Students Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House 


The Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House (RMH) supports more than 24 families each night. Referrals are made by the social workers at the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital (LLUCH) for families that meet eligibility. During their stay, families need to contribute $10 a night; however, with the support of community partners, no family is ever turned away. Considering their many financial stresses during these times, it is often difficult for families to purchase meals during their stay at the RMH.


During the past several months, graduate students from the Department of Social Work have devoted their time to serve these children and families by volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and preparing and providing "Meals of Love." Meals of Love allows organizations to prepare meals at the RMH's highly equipped kitchen, at their own expense.


Students from the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology make and serve meals for families staying at the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House. 


These various events have been led and organized by the student officers of Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work. The officers have hosted several fundraising events, early in the year, in order to purchase the food items required for the meals. We have successfully provided six meals throughout the past three months and have committed to over twenty hours of volunteer work. This event would have not been successful without the support of our loyal MSW volunteers nor the profound appreciation from the RMH's staff and their families!


- Silvia Gudino, Social Work MSW student and Phi Alpha President, Iota Pi Chapter 

translationalTranslational Research
Division of Interdisciplinary Studies


The Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) division of SBH currently consists of eight faculty members from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, and mindfulness counseling. Aligned with the aim of this division, "to promote and facilitate the conduct of interdisciplinary research," faculty are involved in a number of collaborative studies with members of other SBH departments. These include:


1) Mindfulness in clinical medicine and as an intervention for parents of children with developmental disorders.

2) Project CHANGE, a study on prostate cancer in Black men, which involves a campus wide collaboration of the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the School of Public Health. In all, five faculty members and ten graduate or post-doctoral students work to explore prostate cancer risk from both a biological and psycho-social perspective. The study has thus far resulted in two dissertations; two more are underway and several papers and posters are in various stages of readiness.

3) In addition, several IS faculty are collaborating with SBH faculty on a rigorous validation study of the Community Resiliency Model/Trauma Resiliency Model approach to addressing trauma and intense stress, anxiety and depression. As part of this work, a literature review for best approaches to biological validations of self resorted stress is also underway.


- Dr. Susanne Montgomery, Head of the Interdisciplinary Studies Division 


In order to familiarize readers with the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies and its faculty, we would like to introduce them individually, beginning with Dr. Andre Obenaus.

Andre Obenaus

Dr. Andre Obenaus
Andre Obenaus, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Behavioral Health. His BSc degree was obtained in Biophysics at La Sierra University and his PhD in Neurophysiology from the University of British Columbia. Postdoctoral research was completed at the University of California, Los Angeles and addressed the understanding of the anatomical and physiological basis for epilepsy. Currently, his funded (NIH) research interests include the use of novel magnetic resonance imaging to identify, non-invasively, neuropathology in brain trauma including its vascular consequences, tracking of stem cells in ischemic brain injury, altered brain connectivity after fragmented maternal care and febrile seizures. Finally, the ability to identify neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric abnormalities using neuro-imaging is a new emerging area of research interest

In collaboration with Dr. Richard Hartman (Department of Psychology) and with seed funding from SBH, Dr. Obenaus instituted a research program to identify the neuropsychological basis for affective and other disorders that manifest themselves in the human population following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Using an animal model he was able to identify the emergence of depressive like phenotypes after concussion, similar to the human disease. Using high-resolution neuroimaging to examine white mater structures in the brain, they were able to reveal altered white matter density and connectivity within the brain. This preliminary data suggests that there is a link between loss of white matter/connectivity and depression after TBI. Future work will investigate therapeutic interventions that could mitigate these effects


Currently, Dr. Obenaus is leading an SBH team (Dr. Susanne Montgomery, Dr. Adam Aréchiga, Patricia Villa, Dr. Beverly Buckles, Dr. Kimberly Freeman) to identify the physiological basis for the reported effectiveness of the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM). These efforts are focused on identification of a robust biomarker that can be utilized and validated against neuropsychological evaluations and in future studies, brain white matter connectivity will be assayed to provide a scientific understanding of how TRM produces its effects. The initial target for funding will be Department of Defense, given the significant neuropsychological effects after trauma in the war arena.

studentnewsStudent Scoop
5th Annual Child Life Symposium 



This year's Child Life Symposium, hosted by the Counseling and Family Sciences department, was held on March 11 in the Wong Kerlee International Conference Center. For the first time since the symposium was established, Child Life Specialist MS students were able to present at this event. Kayla Abrott, Cindy Canales, Alyssa Garcia, Alejandra Kim-Arredondo, Ariel Macaluso, Kayleigh Ocampo, and Amy Zide shared their experiences working in health care settings in China, Honduras, and Belize.


The objectives of this year's event were threefold: 1) to learn how child life specialists may utilize their education and training to make significant contributions to the health of the global community; 2) to understand new modalities for implementing psychosocial care for those living in diverse communities; and 3) to describe the development of cultural competence and the ability to care for diverse populations with compassion and excellence. All three objectives were met with sensitivity and academic excellence! 


- Michelle Minyard-Widmann, Child Life Specialist MS Program Director 

Psychology Department Holds Annual Practicum Fair 

Every winter, the Department of Psychology hosts an annual Practicum Fair. Training directors from clinical placement sites are invited for lunch and for a chance to meet with the Directors of Clinical Training about current requirements for the two graduate psychology programs. The training directors are given an opportunity to meet with students over two sessions, where they give 5-10 minute talks on their individual sites and training opportunities. These practicum fairs have been very beneficial for all involved, as students are able to come away with a better understanding of what each site has to offer and how it aligns with their training and career goals.
Counseling and Family Sciences Annual Student Retreat

This year's Counseling and Family Sciences Student Retreat, held at the Hidden Oaks Retreat Center in Rancho Cucamonga on February 6, provided students with the opportunity to interact with faculty and with one another in a casual setting.

We played many games that had everyone laughing! One game called "I have never" involved the group first gathering in a huge circle. Then one person would stand in the middle of the circle and share something they have never done. If anyone from the outside circle had done it before, they were required to switch spots with someone from across the circle. We also participated in a Skittle game, as well as speed mentoring--which was very popular at last year's event and will now become an annual activity!
The retreat also provided the opportunity for students to become more familiar with the varied programs within CFS as we read scenarios in small groups and identified what our role would be in that scenario. This truly helped to expand and enrich our interprofessional insight!

- Kayleigh Ocampo, Child Life Specialist MS student
Phi Alpha Winter Induction 

Membership in the Phi Alpha Honor Society is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to Social Work students. Our chapter, Iota Pi, has worked hard to bring the accomplishments of outstanding students to the attention of faculty, colleagues, community, and families. Our chapter strives to give practical meaning to the Society's standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. No student is inducted simply because of a high academic average. Membership, however, is more than an honor. It is an ongoing responsibility and an obligation to continue to demonstrate those outstanding qualities that resulted in their selection. Congratulations to our Phi Alpha Honor Society Inductees: Angela Miranda, Caitlin Muckey, Diana Garcia, Godwin Fenuku, Gabriela Navarro, Laura N. Palmer, Melissa Weipert, Shelan Campbell, Shelby L. Simpson, Tara Mackie, Valerie Banda-Rodriguez, and Veronica Gonzalez.

- Silvia Gudino, Social Work MSW student 
CFS Student Advisory Committee Hosts Det. Steve Dickey

On April 14, 2015, the CFS Student Advisory Committee had the privilege of hosting Detective Steve Dickey as he presented on the "Profile of the Perpetrator." Det. Dickey, now retired, worked for over twenty years with children who were survivors of sexual crime. He now devotes his time to advocating for them and for the perpetrators of these crimes. His presentation includes various warning signs and characteristics of a sexual perpetrator, as well as personal experiences that highlight the importance of recognizing when a child could be in danger. He also offered useful resources and emphasized the value of psychoeducating those we come in contact with. We appreciate the time Det. Steve Dickey took to help us make this event possible.


First CFS Family Picnic Held at Hulda Crooks Park   


The CFS Student Advisory Committee held its first family picnic at Hulda Crooks Park in Loma Linda on Sunday, April 19th. Many students attended and enjoyed great company, delicious food, and fun games. A soccer and volleyball match were played and students as well as their families took time out of a busy schedule to enjoy the beautiful weather and relaxing conversations.


- Vanessa Quintana, CFS Student Advisory Committee Chair and Marital and Family Therapy MS/DMFT student  

alumniAlumni Alcove
Octaviana Hemmy Asamsama ('14) received her dual doctorates in Clinical Psychology and Public Health (Preventive Care) from Loma Linda University. She completed her psychology internship at Cincinnati VA Medical Center in 2014. During her health rotation, she was
Octaviana Hemmy Asamsama 
a part of the Primary Care Mental Health Integration team; conducted psychosocial assessments for HCV interferon treatment, bariatric surgery, spinal cord stimulator, insulin pump, orthopedic surgeries, and organ transplant; and trained primary staff on motivational interviewing to facilitate health behavior change. In addition, she also completed rotations in Substance Abuse/PTSD, Dual Diagnosis, PTSD Research, Smoking Cessation, MOVE, Neuropsychology, and Geropsychology. For her dissertation, Octaviana evaluated the relationship between depression and type 2 diabetes in a population of older adults. She is passionate about health psychology, especially within the areas of disease prevention, collaborative and integrative medical care, and working with medically and psychiatrically complex patients. She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at national conferences. Currently she is the HIV/HCV postdoctoral psychology fellow at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center. She hopes to develop expertise in the area of integrative behavioral health sciences specifically within the area of health behavior research and program development. She is committed to better addressing the health and behavioral health needs of underserved populations within a healthcare setting (e.g. medication adherence, reduction of risky behaviors, substance use, depression, anxiety, PTSD, or health-care overutilization).

Jill (Walker) Miller ('01) became an LCSW in 2005 and has been in private practice at Inland Psychiatric Medical Group, Inc. in Hemet, CA since 2008.

Jennifer Hastings ('01) is a graduate from the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology. She is listed among the "Who's Who" for the American Universities Academic Achievement Award. While attending LLU, she concurrently worked at Riverside Department of Public Social Services, where she is currently employed. Upon graduation, Jennifer continued to provide direct service work to clients. However, she quickly moved into supervisory and administration positions including: Program Specialist, Supervisor II, Assistant Regional Manager, and most recently Regional Manager for Planning and Resource Management. As Regional Manager, she is responsible for managing the data analysis and program evaluation units, which monitor her Division's child welfare outcome measures, analyzing budgets, coordinating hiring, managing strategic planning, and monitoring Riverside County's System Improvement Plan (SIP). She has served on the Allied Riverside Cities Narcotic Enforcement Team (ARCNET), the Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force (CVNTF), and the Riverside Gateway to College program. She currently serves on Riverside's Child Abuse Prevention Council and the Riverside County Family Preservation Court (FPC)
We'd love to hear from you! Send your updates  here .
pubpresawardsPublications, Presentations, & Awards

On March 2, 2015, a NASW-CA Region F Awards Dinner for National Social Work Month was held

Left to right:
Shelby Simpson and Dr. Victoria Jackson

at the Radisson hotel in Ontario, CA. This event was a great networking opportunity for local social workers and there were several honorees--one of whom was our very own Dr. Victoria Jackson! Dr. Jackson was recognized for both her extensive knowledge base and her years of service to the profession, and was awarded the Social Worker of the Year Award for 2015. The theme for the evening was "Social Workers Pave Change," and both Dr. Jackson and Dr. Anita J. Mackey (the honoree for Lifetime Achievement) spoke about changes in the field of social work, areas of growth and concern for future social workers, and ways in which the profession will continue to change and grow in the future--with special consideration to topics such as social networks and professional dress. For students who are interested in becoming more active and involved in the local chapter, meetings are held monthly at Denny's in Redlands (1180 Alabama St.) from 5:30-7:30pm.

- Shelby L. Simpson, Social Work MSW/Gerontology MS dual-degree student


Dr. Kenny Boyd presented at the LLU 2015 Spiritual Life and Wholeness Conference on January 17th. The presentation was on the integrated biopsychosocial-spiritual training model the psychology department has developed. Part of the presentation was a video of PsyD doctoral student Elizabeth Wolpern talking about how attending to the spiritual themes and concerns of one of her clients helped the clinical outcome of the case. The training model teaches that the therapeutic relationship has a spiritual foundation, and encourages therapists to listen for the spiritual themes of meaning, purpose, and the sacred.


Cameron Neece, PhD (Psychology):
Roberts, L. & Neece, C.L. (in press). Feasibility of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Parents of Children with Developmental Delays. Issues in Mental Health Nursing.


Przekop, P., Haviland, M. G., Oda, K., Morton, K. R. Prevalence and correlates of pain interference in older adults: Why treating the whole mind and body is necessary. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

This is a study of pain interference rates and their correlates in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. Fourteen point one percent reported severe pain interference (37.7% moderate). Advancing age, female gender, lower education, financial strain, traumatic experiences, worse health, increased weight, poor sleep, and depressive symptoms all were associated with higher pain interference ratings. Our data show that older adults with chronic pain are complex and, thus, will demand the formulation of innovative treatment paradigms. - Mark G. Haviland


Morrell, H. E. R., Lapsley, D. K., & Halpern-Felsher, B. L. (in press). Subjective invulnerability and perceptions of tobacco-related benefits influence adolescent smoking behavior. Journal of Early Adolescence.


2015 . Haywood, C. Jr., Williams-Reade, J., Rushton, C., Beach, M.C., & Geller, G. "Improving Clinician Attitudes of Respect and Trust for Persons with Sickle Cell Disease." Hospital Pediatrics. Accepted February 2015 (in-press).

This list is a sample of recent published work by faculty in the School of Behavioral Health.
Andrea Lewallen (Clinical Psychology, PhD) 
Lewallen, A., & Neece, C.L. (in press). Parent Stress and Child Social Skills Development in Families of Children with Developmental Delays: Understanding the Role of Parent-Child Relationship Factors. Journal of Child and Family Studies.
Merideth Robinson (Psychology, PsyD) 
Robinson, M., & Neece, C.L. (in press). Mindfulness and Parental Stress Among Parents of Children with Developmental Delays: The Role of the Marital Relationship.
Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities.

Natacha Emerson ( Clinical Psychology, PhD)
Emerson, N. D., Morrell, H. E. R., & Neece, C. L. (2015, April). Predictors of age of diagnosis for children with autism spectrum disorder: The role of a consistent source of medical care, race and condition severity. Poster presented at the 48th Annual Gatlinburg Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Natacha Emerson poses with her poster. 
Natacha also received the John G. Borkowski Diversity Travel award for the Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  

Dr. Holly Morrell's Lab
Dr. Morrell with one of the presented posters. 
Students from the lab presented two posters at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in Philadelphia: 
  • Brown, W. N., Artinyan., E. G., Jhawar, A., Johnson, B., Mathews, C., & Morrell, H. E. R. (2015, February). Adolescents' understanding of addiction may predict smoking outcome expectancies. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Brown, W. N., Mathews, C., Johnson, B., Jhawar, A., Artinyan, E. G., & Morrell, H. E. R. (2015, February). Does an adolescent's understanding of addiction predict their willingness or intentions to smoke cigarettes? Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Philadelphia, PA.
jimdyerreunion Jim Dyer Fireside Chapel & Alumni Reunion


On May 27, the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology will host an alumni reunion honoring the fifth anniversary of the James Dyer Fireside Chapel, as well as twentieth anniversary of the Social Work program. The event will be held in the Social Work building, located at 1898 Business Center Drive, San Bernardino, CA, from 6-8pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Professor Dyer served as a faculty member at Loma Linda University for thirty-nine years. He was an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry. He had also served as the Director of Student Counseling Services and the Academic Program Coordinator for the Department of Social Work. He passed away on May 28, 2006, but his legacy will always be remembered. He believed strongly that social workers "lead people to the heart of God."


The Social Work department began in 1994 as a result of Dr. Beverly Buckles' commitment to have highly trained social work professionals providing quality services to the community. The department boasts a large number of talented and dedicated alumni, many of whom serve in management and supervisory positions within the community.


If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Lynn Neuenswander at 909-558-3154 or vneuenswander@llu.edu.
bhishares BHiShares


As part of the BHiShares Symposium Series, "Impacting Communities through Academic Research," Dr. Sylvia Herbozo, Assistant Professor of Psychology, presented on "Binge Eating and Associated Symptoms in Overweight/Obese Treatment Seeking Adults" on January 21, 2015. She reviewed the current research on this topic and discussed the findings of her own work. Her specific areas of research include the influence of sociocultural and interpersonal factors on the development and maintenance of body image disturbance and disordered eating, as well as the assessment and treatment of disordered eating in Latino adults. 


The last installment of this lecture series, "Cognitive Status Improvement After Detoxification" with Ricardo Whyte, MD, will take place on May 27 at 12:15pm at the Behavioral Health Institute. Please RSVP to BHiShares@llu.edu.


BHiShares is sponsored by the School of Behavioral Health and the BHI Office of Research. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend.

telegrams Singing Telegrams for Scholarships!


Back in early February of this year, the Philanthropy Team of SBH met to decide how SBH could raise and grow scholarship funds for students. The idea of "singing telegrams" surfaced and took hold! With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it was perfect timing for employees across LLUH to join in and send a singing telegram to a friend, loved one, or even a whole department.


But there were some big obstacles in the way to actually make it happen. We only had a few days to pull it all together and get the word out! We needed to find singers who would be reliable and available on such short notice, an online "sign up" form had to be generated, fees needed to be collected, and a host of other details had to be put in place practically overnight! There were some setbacks, but Miriam Domingo, Dr. Colwick Wilson and Diana Krueger were able to pull it all together in the end. In times of panic, their only plan and backup plan was simply, "Have faith." 


With much prayer, determination, and effort, the SBH Singing Telegrams were delivered during the week of February 9-13. Even the President of LLU (Dr. Richard Hart) received a singing telegram, delivered by Dr. Beverly Buckles, Dr. Curtis Fox, and Dr. Dave Vermeersch!


From the feedback we've received, it appears that this really was a perfect fit as a fundraiser for our school! It was a real treat for the sender, the receiver, and even the singer! Even better is that our main goal of growing our scholarship fund was successful! Students of SBH will greatly benefit from the generous donations made toward the new SBH Scholarship Fund!


Planning for next year's Singing Telegrams is already underway. What a very unique and great gift at only $25 per telegram! Be thinking of who might like to receive one from you!

- Miriam Domingo, Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

You've Got a Friend in Me - Coder Birthdays
Watch a Singing Telegram delivered by Katherine Egan, Social Work MSW student!

simsStudents for International Mission Service
Amy Zide's Mission Experience in Belize

I have never had the "travel bug." Yes, I've always found other cultures exciting and interesting, but I did not have much of a desire to get on a plane, go somewhere foreign, and soak it all in. You see, I'm a creature of habit. If there is one thing I have learned during my time at Loma Linda University, it is that the best kind of learning happens when you push past what you know--you defy your habits and you experience something unfamiliar.

Amy talks with a Belizean boy.

I am not quite sure what made me decide to go on a SIMS mission trip. Maybe it was my program's focus on global health, or a friend's gentle nudging to join her, or the tiny voice inside my head ready to break free from habit and do something new. It was likely a combination of many factors--and in the spirit of learning about others, my future career, and myself, I ended up on a flight to Belize the evening I finished my fall quarter finals. On that flight were twenty other incredible women about to embark on a journey together as a team of health care professionals.

Left: Megan Meyer, Occupational Therapy student, and Amy with a group of Belizean children.
Right: Amy works with Kayleigh Ocampo, Child Life Specialist MS student.

Belize opened my mind and my heart. Our team members formed a deep bond before we even hit ground, and it grew as we were welcomed with open arms to a country whose beauty cannot be explained in words. Months later, I am still blown away by the interdisciplinary collaboration and friendship that allowed us to bring health care education to rural villages in the south of Belize. Our health care clinic was a great success that I hope touched many lives. But, if I'm being totally honest, what I hope at the very least is that we made a difference to just one of the adults or children I had the privilege to meet. If we changed just one life for the better, then we accomplished what we set out to do. To experience health care through the eyes of another culture was a gift and an experience I will reflect upon often as I begin my career as a child life specialist. SIMS offered me the opportunity of a lifetime: the ability to take my knowledge and share it with the world.

- Amy Zide, Child Life Specialist MS student
Upcoming SIMS Trips
June 2015
June 2015
August 2015
Visit the SIMS website for more information!
booksBook Recommendations
From Kim Freeman, PhD, MSW, Executive Associate Chair of the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology:

by T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua D. Sparrow 
This is a great book for parents and practitioners to learn about infants and small children. T. Berry Brazelton addresses the physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of development that offers understanding and insights into the child's inner world. He also offers practical advise regarding a number of common childhood problems.
by Elaine Miller-Karas 
This book provides a biological perspective of trauma that reframes the human experience from one of shame and pathology to one of hope and biology. It also presents the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) and the Community Resiliency Model (CRM), which are practical skills specifically designed to build resiliency in the individual and reduce the effects of trauma. Once learned, these skills can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment approaches. 

From Monte Butler, PhD, MSW, Professor of Social Work & Social Ecology:

by George Lakoff

Accessible cognitive science, linguistics, and political advocacy.




by John Steinbeck


A moving story of love and personal ethics. 





From Walleska Bliss, MPH, MSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work & Social Ecology:


by Debra Burdick

This is an easy-to-use reference for clients, students, and practitioners as it provides core skills and tools for integrating mindfulness in practice through teaching and utilization of creative exercises. If you need a simple and comprehensive literature-supported resource on mindfulness, this is a good one. 



by Ethan Watters


I was drawn to this book because it provides an eye-opening perspective on mental health globally, from a journalist's  lens. The author creatively shares his perspective on the diversity and the multiple " languages" and expressions of mental health worldwide. If you are interested in global issues, this read may pique your interest!

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