PBIS Intervention Workshop for PES Students, Faculty, and Staff

ProjectREACHTuesday, October 11, 2016
Lowenstein Building, 12th Floor Lounge, Gerald Corrigan Conference Center

Workshop 1
4:50-6:50 p.m.
Tier 1 Interventions

Workshop 2
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Tier 2 & 3 Intervention Strategies

Presented by Dr. Laura Riffel
Dr. Laura A Riffel has over 30 years of experience as a general education and special education teacher, resource teacher, state program leader, director of a day clinic, and a parent. Dr. Riffel has studied general education, special education, behavioral interventions, applied behavior analysis, and cognitive and multiple disabilities.

Currently, she is the director of Behavior Doctor Seminars and travels the world sharing behavioral ideas with others who work with children with challenging behaviors. Her website is behaviordoctor.org.

This workshop is free and open to all students, faculty and staff. Seats are limited.

Please RVSP to Linda Cheung by October 1, 2016 at Lcheung4@fordham.edu.


Project REACH, a federally funded grant, is proud to present this professional development workshop. Any question or concerns about the project activities can be addressed to Dr. Su Je Cho (scho@fordham.edu).


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Akane Zusho, School Psychology

Dr. Akane Zusho is an Associate Professor of School Psychology. She was recently profiled for the School Psychology Newsletter.

What do you like to read? (Non-school related)
I don’t do as much reading as I would like during the school year but I do try to catch up on reading during the summer. I have to admit that I am a fan of young adult fiction (I’d appreciate recommendations). I also often end up listening to non-fiction books when I’m running. I recently listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, which was fun. I find that I’m often drawn to non-fiction books that have themes related to motivation (not surprisingly, since that’s what I research).

What was the most momentous moment of your life?
This is a hard question to answer. Although I don’t remember the day, exactly, I feel like the day I moved to the U.S. from Japan when I was 3 1⁄2 years old was pretty momentous in the sense that it has had a lasting impact on my life. I also think the day my mother passed away was “momentous”. I miss her every day.

What do you remember about being a graduate student?
You know how they say that painful memories generally fade over time, and that usually when you look back at certain experiences, you tend to only remember the good? Well, that’s true for me, at least when it comes to my memories of grad school. I wouldn’t trade my grad school experience for the world. I was really lucky. I attended grad school full-time and I was fully-funded. I had wonderful mentors who looked out for me and made sure that I got rigorous training in research methods.

The friends I made in graduate school remain my best friends. I mostly remember the times I spent working on various research projects with them… The time we stayed at the office until the wee hours of the night making sure that this program we were using to collect data was working is something I remember fondly.

Did you ever feel discouraged as a graduate/PhD student?
Of course! I think every grad student feels discouraged at some point. I distinctly remember walking into my mentor’s office one day in my third year and telling him that I was going to quit. At the time, I found grad school to be overwhelming. I was trying to pass my comps, teach classes, work on various research projects and publish papers. Most importantly, I seriously questioned whether or not I could spend the rest of my life writing papers. To his credit, my mentor just listened to me whine and then helped me figure out how to get my work done.

What is one (or more) piece(s) of advice you would give to the graduate/PhD students today?
I recently had the opportunity to visit my alma mater (University of Michigan) to give a talk and meet with current students. Many of the students that I had lunch with also wanted to know if I had any advice for them. Here’s what I told them: As difficult as it seems at times, try to enjoy it. Yes, it can be hard, and it is often overwhelming (I seriously don’t know how you all juggle all of your commitments – I know I had it much easier than you). But, it’s also a time when you can really learn and grow, like I mentioned earlier, the friends you make in graduate school often become friends for life.

Okay – now for some more pragmatic advice. Many of you are juggling school, work and a personal life, or at least trying to. I find that the students who are most successful are those who have good time management skills and are proactive in seeking help when they need it. So, don’t put off those big projects and when you need help, seek it. Don’t struggle alone.

Student Spotlight: Jason Frydman, School Psychology PhD Student

frydmanWhat’s your favorite part about being a student at Fordham?
There are a number of aspects to my education at Fordham that I appreciate. First and foremost is having access to the faculty and feeling supported in my research. I came into this program with a general idea of what I wanted to investigate and I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of encouragement and guidance from all members of the PES faculty. Second would be the location of the Lincoln Center campus and the variety of opportunities in the NYC area. Last, but certainly not least, would be my fellow classmates all of whom are genuinely good people.

How do you spend your time when you’re not at Fordham?
In addition to being a full-time student I work clinically at an outpatient mental health center in Brooklyn and teach undergraduate psychology courses at two different institutions. My time is generally spent course prepping, seeing clients, or in transit! Besides that I play a mean game of ping pong, fail respectably at learning the Banjo, spend time with my lovely fiancée, and enjoy live music.

Tell us something about yourself that people may not know.
Professionally, I am a licensed creative arts therapist and a registered drama therapist. Personally, I have five siblings.

What are your future career goals?
I really enjoy teaching and wouldn’t mind sporting a tweed jacket for the entirety of my career, so academia is an option I am considering. Also, working in a school as a psychologist and/or designing trauma-informed, school-based mental health interventions.

Have you ever feel discouraged as a graduate/PhD student?
Absolutely. I think that is an integral part of any journey worth undertaking. After I was able to get over the first hump I encountered I realized that there would be many more along the way and I could get through them and push forward.

What is some pieces of advice you would give to the graduate/PhD students today?
I’ll pass along a piece of advice that was given to me by a mentor before I started: Graduate school is a marathon. The real test is whether you can summon the stamina to make it to the finish line. Keep two sets of eyes, one that focuses on the task in front of you and the other that maintains a steady lock on the finish line. Also, have fun with it.

Teach Math as You Would Reading, says Education Professor


Photo by Patrick Verel

If you had to look up every word in a dictionary in order to finish reading a newspaper article, your brain might end up sacrificing the deeper meaning of the story. Could relying on a calculator to do math have a similar effect?

That’s the crux of research by Yi Ding, PhD, associate professor of school psychology in the Graduate School of Education.

Ding’s research focuses on strategies that teachers can use to help children who are struggling with math. She makes the case that memorization of basic math facts, such as multiplication tables, is key because it allows children to store information in their long-term memory, and frees up their working memory to tackle more complex problems. For example, adults don’t have to actively remember their own names or birthdays because those facts are readily available in their long-term memory, which works on auto-retrieve.

“If you have to decode every word you are reading, what happens? You don’t have reading comprehension at all because your working memory is occupied by saying each letter. Your attention can’t go to the who, the how, the where, and the what,” she said.

“Math facts are the same. We have to memorize or automatically retrieve all this mathematical vocabulary so kids have this kind of fluency. Then their brain–their working memory–frees up to understand more complicated problems.”

Read the full story at Fordham News.

Vocational Personality Traits in Counselor Education and School Psychology Students

Susan Kozelka ’15 is a post-doc psychologist at the Columbia University Medical Center. She, along with Dr. Yi Ding and co-authors, recently published “Vocational personality traits in counselor education and school psychology students” in the Journal of Employment Counseling. 

We assessed the vocational personality of 104 graduate students in school counseling, mental health counseling, and school psychology programs using Holland’s (1997) theory of personality and career choice. The correlational findings confirmed the importance of vocational personality traits in relation to the academic performance of graduate students. Among the Self-Directed Search–Revised vocational personality types, the Investigative type emerged as a consistent predictor of performance on all sections of the Graduate Record Examination. The participants from 3 graduate programs predominantly identified Social as their primary vocational personality type, with variability in the secondary and tertiary code positions. The student group with the highest degree of congruence, defined as the degree of fit between one’s personality and the environment, had the highest graduate grade point average, indicating the relationship between the degree of congruence and achievement. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.





School Psychology Awareness Week

sponsored by Fordham SASP

Drama Therapy Workshop

Tuesday, November 10, 3:00-4:30 pm
Lowenstein 1002
Presented by: Jason Frydman, MA, RDT, LCAT (School Psychology PhD Student)
Interested in creative approaches to therapy? Check out this free workshop! Drama therapy is a unique, active, and experiential psychotherapy that utilizes role playing, improvisation, and storytelling to help participants reach their goals. It’s a great intervention for children (and adults) of all ages. The workshop will cover basic drama therapy theory and current practical use.

This workshop is free to all Fordham Counseling and School Psychology faculty and staff. Please make sure to RSVP to ssorenson1@fordham.edu!

Special Education Teacher Panel

Thursday, November 12, 3:00-4:30 pm, McMahon Hall 205/206
We invite you to listen to three experienced teachers and current Fordham graduate students in Counseling and School Psychology programs. In panel format, they’ll discuss transitioning from teacher to school psychologist, working as a teacher alongside school psychologists, experiences with IEP meetings and evaluating students, and more!

Faculty and Student Presentations

Dr. Yi Ding presented the following research:
Liu, R.-D., Ding, Y., Zhang, D., Wang, J., & Xu, L., (2015, April). Working memory in relation to mental multiplication in elementary students. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

School Psychology doctoral student Jason Frydman presented the following research:
Frydman, J.S. (Apr. 18, 2015). Playing with the Executive (Functioning): A theoretical construct of executive functioning in developmental transformations. The Institute for the Arts in Psychotherapy: 10th annual Conference. New York, NY.

Teaching Practices in Guatemala

Dr. Marshall George, Chair of the Division of Curriculum and Teaching, and Alyson Fitzpatrick, School Psychology doctoral student, visited schools in Guatemala over spring break to continue their collaborative research with the organization Funsepa.

They conducted student and teacher observations and interviews and continued to learn about the teaching practices in Guatemala.

Dr. George, Dr. Abigail Harris, and Alyson hope to use their findings to provide recommendations to the Funsepa and the Ministry of Education in Guatemala on how to best utilize technology in their classrooms.

PES Newsflash

The PES Newsflash is a weekly news roundup from the Counseling and Counseling Psychology and School Psychology departments.

Dissertation Oral Defenses

School Psychology doctoral candidate Susan Jean Kozelka successfully defended her dissertation, “Executive Function Inhibition as Moderator of the Anxiety-Intelligence Relationship.” Her dissertation committee members include her mentor, Dr. Yi Ding, and readers, Dr. John Houtz and Dr. Amy Margolis.

Dr. Kozelka is currently completing an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at The School at Columbia University. She has accepted a pediatric neuropsychology post-doctoral fellowship position with Promise Project at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dissertation Proposal Defenses

School Psychology doctoral candidate Fallon Lattari successfully defended her dissertation proposal, “Performance Goal Structure and Self-Regulated Learning: The Role of Autonomy Support.” Her dissertation committee members include her mentor, Dr. Akane Zusho, and readers, Dr. Karen Brobst and Dr. Anthony Cancelli.

School Psychology doctoral candidate Hugh Love successfully defended his dissertation proposal, “Potential Moderators of Masculinity Ideology and Health Risk in College Black Men.” His dissertation committee members include his mentor, Dr. Abigail Harris, and readers, Dr. Akane Zusho and Dr. Jay Wade.

Student Presentations

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Michael Stoyer will present his research, “Assessing Personal Development Throughout a Domain-Focused Approach to Multicultural Instruction,” at the 29th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and Innovations Research/Data Driven” on March 27th.

His co-researchers are Jose Soto and Nana Dawson-Andoh of Pennsylvania State University.


  • Two studies are presented that assess students’ development throughout a domain-focused approach to multicultural instruction, in order to better understand the effectiveness of this course design. A qualitative research design was employed to uncover that among the most important topics students perceived learning were: Greater knowledge and awareness/appreciation in the domains of societal injustice, other cultures, and their own culture. Study two used the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and a new measure designed to assess self-awareness focused on themes identified in study one. Both ethnic identity and self-awareness were found to be significantly higher following the completion of the course.

Student and Faculty Presentations

“Beliefs about the Physical, Psychological, and Social Effects of Smoking Cigarettes,” a study by Counseling Psychology doctoral students Molly Brawer and Atara Wertentheil in collaboration with Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz has been accepted by American Psychological Society for a poster presentation at the 2015 APS Convention.

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Jaclin Gerstel-Friedman, with Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz:
Rabinowitz, M., & Gerstel-Friedman, J. (2015, March). Not Perceiving the Deep: Lack of Knowledge or Production Deficiency? Poster presentation at The International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Student and Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Abigail Harris and School Psychology doctoral student Alyson Fitzpatrick’s proposal for research in Guatemala, Enhancing Impact of Khan Implementation in Guatemalan Primary School Classrooms, has been funded by Funsepa, a Guatemala based foundation. The Fordham team also includes Dr. Marshall George (Chair, Division of Curriculum and Teaching) and Elizabeth Fuentes (School Psychology doctoral student).

This project is a collaboration between Fordham University and Funsepa, a Guatemala-based foundation dedicated to improving education through the use of technology. Funsepa has delivered over 16,000 computers to over 1050 public schools in Guatemala and, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), is providing technical and teacher training support in the instructional use of technology.

Why I Chose Fordham GSE

by GSE student ambassador Emily

In speaking with many prospective students, the most common question I find I’m asked is why I chose Fordham’s Graduate School of Education. The reality is that there are other schools with quality programs, but Fordham’s community is what makes it unique.

I chose Fordham because of it’s warm and cooperative student body and faculty. I found that while the programs at the GSE are competitive, they are not competitive within the programs.

Students are eager to help one another and the faculty members are very approachable. I liked that even though it is a commuter school, I could feel the sense of community from the first day I set foot on campus for my interview.

This is what set Fordham apart for me when I was deciding between grad schools.

School Psychology Students
Hear more from Emily at our upcoming Online Information Session for students interested in our School Psychology programs.

December 10