Saint Mary’s launches Master of Autism Studies program

first_imgIn 2018, Saint Mary’s will introduce new graduate program, a Master of Autism Studies. Although students cannot begin their coursework until 2019, the program will begin accepting applications and hosting workshops this calendar year. “Everyone knows about the critical need for understanding and responding to autism in the world today,” Michael Waddell, program director, said in an email. “The Master of Autism Studies program responds to this need by examining autism from scientific, therapeutic and humanistic perspectives.”The first proposal for the program was submitted in the spring of 2011, Waddell said. This program speaks to the values of Saint Mary’s and specifically a Holy Cross education, said Susan Latham, a Master of Autism Studies faculty member and program director of the Master of Science in speech language pathology program.“I think it’s important that this is happening at Saint Mary’s because we are Holy Cross. And Holy Cross means that we are educating our students in a way that reflects the way that Fr. Moreau envisioned our work happening,” Latham said. “So for example, one characteristic of Holy Cross educators is respect for the individual in that we don’t concern ourselves with only the mind but also the heart, and that really speaks to our values and how we approach families with whom we work.” Waddell said that throughout their time in the program, students will study autism in relation to both intervention approaches as well as other subjects.“The Master of Autism Studies program will provide the interdisciplinary, autism-specific expertise students need to become leaders in autism-related fields,” he said. “Unlike other programs, the Master of Autism Studies will introduce students to the full range of evidence-based autism interventions, including — but not limited to — behavioralist approaches. And it will do all of these things in conversation with the Catholic tradition.”Waddell said the program looks beyond just the science and examines the intersection of autism with the humanities.“Autism therapies are important because, when done well, they can improve the quality of life of people who live with autism,” he said. “And, of course, in order to provide the best autism therapies, you have to understand the science of autism. But autism is about more than a diagnosis and treatment.  It affects every dimension of life. That’s why it’s important to think about autism from humanistic perspectives too.”In these humanities courses, students will study autistic art and literature, as well as take into account how philosophical, theological, political and legal lenses can aid in the understanding of autism, Waddell said. “The humanities courses in the autism studies program help us to think about autism as more than a diagnosis and treatment — to understand that autism shapes the lives and identities of human beings and is giving rise to a distinctive culture,” he said. “This is the only program I know of that takes such a broad approach to thinking about autism as part of the human experience.”This specific approach is unique to Saint Mary’s. Most other programs across the nation look solely at the scientific aspects, and the holistic approach taken in this program is “visionary,” Latham said.“There aren’t other programs like this,” she added. “This is sort of groundbreaking, in having this degree being offered. It’s nice to know that right here, on this campus, we are creating something and are really passionate about something that I feel is visionary, that is not what everybody is doing.”The program brings together faculty and faculty fellows who are experts in various aspects of autism studies, Waddell said. “Every person teaching in the program has a significant interest in autism and brings a special kind of expertise to the table,” he said. “In my personal opinion, the quality of the faculty and fellows is one of the greatest strengths of the program. I want to take every course my colleagues will be teaching.”On March 2, the program will host its first workshop. Waddell said workshops will be focused on intervention techniques, sometimes offering an opportunity for certification.“The autism intervention workshops bring world-renowned experts to campus to provide training in state-of-the-art autism interventions,” he said. “… We strive to represent the full range of evidence-based interventions rather than just limiting ourselves to one particular approach, as happens in many programs.”Waddell said that many of the workshops offer students and community members the opportunity to achieve valuable certification in intervention methods at little to no cost. The upcoming one will be cosponsored by the Master of Autism Studies program, the Communicative Sciences and Disorders department and LOGAN Community Resources. It is free and open to all, as long as participants register online prior to the workshop. “This is the sort of thing that students can list on resumes and professionals can use to maintain licensure,” Waddell said. “The training would cost a lot of money for students and community members if they pursued it on their own, but it’s being offered for free in our workshops through the financial support of sponsors.”Latham looks forward to sharing her passion for autism studies to both the community through workshops and through teaching, she said. “It’s really encouraging to me to know that there are people that think that there is value in this as a graduate study and that they have that same level of compassion and concern for individuals on the autism spectrum,” she said. Tags: Autism, Holy Cross, Master of Autism Studieslast_img read more

Five ways to grow your loan portfolio in a slower economy

first_imgMany economists continue to predict slower GDP growth in 2020 than the previous two or three years. This poses a potentially significant challenge to a credit union aiming to grow its loan portfolio during the next 12 months. However, there are certain strategies that can be deployed to nurture growth in any economic cycle.Here are five methods to consider when attempting to grow your loan portfolio, even as the current cycle begins to slow.1. Develop Lending Specialties That Cater to Niche IndustriesExpand your service offerings to solutions that cater to specific needs, such as working capital finance, government guaranteed finance or lending to niche industries. Loan portfolio growth may require that your lenders study new markets, or that you acquire new technologies that will support such strategies. These efforts can pay significant dividends for years. The first step is to thoroughly examine your market for existing and emerging industry trends and opportunities. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Mitch Kupchak says Lakers can ‘be in the hunt quickly’

first_imgThe Lakers’ historically sturdy foundation crumbled even further. Their 21-61 record cemented the worst finish in the franchise’s 67-year-old history and ensured a missed playoff appearance for the second consecutive season, providing an obvious conclusion the Lakers face a busy offseason rebuilding project.But with the dust still clearing amid the rubble, the Lakers seemed clouded by the most pressing question. How long will it take for them to contend for their 17th NBA championship?Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss reportedly told his sister, Jeanie, the Lakers’ president, that he would step down if the Lakers fail to advanced to the Western Conference Finals within three years. Since then, Jeanie Buss has reiterated she would make changes if the Lakers failed to reach that benchmark.“What’s my sense of being in the conference finals within three years? I think it’s possible,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo following exit meetings. “But what if you get to the conference semifinals, you lose in seven (games) and you have a great team that you know is going to get better and better? So I don’t think there is anything etched in stone that would determine any change in direction. Three years from now is forever.” How much can the Lakers improve next season?“We can get better quickly,” Kupchak said. “We can be in the hunt quickly.”Yet, Kupchak said that largely hinges on the Lakers’ fortunes in the NBA draft lottery on May 19. Then, the Lakers will find out if their 82.8-percent chance of retaining their top-five pick happens. Otherwise, the Lakers will owe the selection to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash trade. Lakers coach Byron Scott maintained “the glass is half full,” before admitting uncertainty if he will accept becoming the team’s draft representative. He joked the Lakers should send the son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, whose presence became a good luck charm when Scott coached Cleveland when it landed the No. 1 pick in 2011 to select Kyrie Irving. “That’s the only thing that’s on the agenda,” said Scott. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Although Scott conceded he could have handled both X’s and O’s and his personnel better, Kupchak credited the former Showtime Laker for holding players accountable. But when Scott meets with Kupchak and Jim Buss on Friday, the conversation will mostly steer on the team’s roster.Although Kupchak said “this would be a good draft to participate in,” the Lakers’ general manager held all options open on what he would do with both a top-five protected pick and a late first-round selection Houston owes the Lakers as part of the Jeremy Lin deal.The Lakers could use either or both as part of a trade for a star player. Even with the emergence of rookie guard Jordan Clarkson, Kupchak still said he remains open toward pursuing both point guards and post players in the draft and free agency. Kupchak expressed uncertainty whether they will exercise Jordan Hill’s $9 million team option. But Kupchak sounded open to negotiate with Lakers forward Ed Davis, who plans to opt out of his $1.2 million player option in hopes of a long-term deal.“We’d love to have Ed Davis on our team,” Kupchak said. Carlos Boozer expressed interest in staying if the Lakers become contenders. Wesley Johnson said he hopes to land a multi-year deal. But the Lakers will have other priorities. Kupchak said the Lakers will become “active participants” in pursuing marquee free agents, possibilities including Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Miami’s Goran Dragic or Dallas’ Rajon Rondo.Kupchak still touted the Lakers’ market, fan base, Los Angeles’ appeal and the Laker’s championship history as advantages in the free agency sweepstakes despite missing out on both retaining Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol as well as acquiring LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Kupchak expressed his wish again to retain Gasol, mindful he helped the Lakers win two NBA titles before leaving for Chicago. But Kupchak downplayed the Lakers relying too much on their storied history in free agency pitches.“We rarely sell the past and legacy,” Kupchak said. “The players really don’t want to hear about it. They want to know about the team you’re building.”How long it takes for the Lakers to build a new championship structure might involve a prolonged renovation. “You want it to turn around as quick as possible,” Scott said. “But I also know when I first sat down with Mitch and Jim, the plan that they had given me wasn’t going to be something that was just going to happen over night.”last_img read more