Faculty Highlights

Faculty Highlights

Enjoy reading about the accomplishments of our talented faculty.

Faculty in Spotlight

Fairfield University recognizes Tomy Aprame for the University Excellence in Adjunct Teaching Award

Pictured (l-r): Interim Dean Evelyn Bilias Lolis, PhD, honoree Tomy Aprame MS, PD, LPC, and Tracey Robert, PhD, at the Adjunct of the Year Reception.

“This recognition is a great honor for me and a humbling experience. I owe my success to my students because they make me better at preparing them to be the best clinicians and therapists they can be. Each time I teach, I find Fairfield students want to make the world a better place. My hope is that together we can become the best keepers or our brothers and sisters that we can be.”

— Tomy Aprame, MS, PD, LPC
Adjunct Faculty
Program Director, MCCA Inc.

Julie Berrett-Abebe, PhD, LICSW, assistant professor of social work and director of the FCHC Scholars Program (BHWET HRSA grant), hosted a continuing education event for internship supervisors on trauma-informed supervision. Dr. Berrett-Abebe, also had two co-authored articles published, including “Counter-narratives: an anti-racist approach in social work education, practice, and research” in Social Work, and Community engagement in co-designing an innovative health equity program: A case report” in Health, Interprofessional Practice & Education.

Dr. Berrett-Abebe also presented at the 2023 National Collaboration for Education to Address Social Determinants of Health (NCEAS) annual conference, and at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) MA Symposium with alumna Emily Carveth MA’22 to discuss their workshop, titled “New Frontiers in Practice: Social Work in the Veterinary Setting.” Lastly, the FCHC Scholars Program hosted a viewing party for Fairfield faculty and staff to watch the virtual conference, Trauma and Resilience in Higher Education, organized by Mass Bay Community College.

Nicole Fletcher, PhD, assistant professor of educational studies and teacher preparation, was invited to serve as the chair for the Pursuit of Equity, Criticality, and Counterstories in Mathematics Education roundtable paper discussion at the recent annual meeting for American Education Research Association (AERA), the largest national education research society. Additionally, Dr. Fletcher co-authored a paper, titled “Storytelling for Mathematics: Teachers’ Perceptions of Mathematicians’ Digital Stories and Their Potential for Instructional Use,” presented at the AERA annual meeting.

Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, associate professor of psychology and director of the School Psychology program was invited as a national expert to create “Self-Care is Best Practice,” a webinar for online professional development website Schoolpsych.com that provides Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit for school psychologists to maintain their Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) designation.

As a founding member of the CT Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation, Dr. Gill Lopez provides training for school district safety and crisis team members. She presented a three-day crisis prevention, intervention, and recovery workshop for the regional safety coordinators, regional trauma coordinators, consultants from the Conn. State Department of Education, representatives from various school districts, and for Fairfield school psychology students. Dr. Gill Lopez also presented “Evaluating Behavior Using the CSTAG Threat Assessment and Response Protocol” to the Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) Regional Crisis Team for Conn. Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation.

John Kiweewa, PhD, associate professor of counselor education, in collaboration with other authors, was published for the following works: “Predictors of delayed Anti-Retroviral Therapy initiation among adults referred for HIV treatment in Uganda: A cross-sectional mixed methods study” in BMC Health Services Research, and “Cultural adaptation of a mindful and acceptance-based intervention to support adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among adolescents in Uganda” in PLOS Global Public Health.

Alyson Martin, EdD and Emily Shamash, EdD, co-directors of the special education program, secured two Community Engaged Learning Course Development grants through the Office of Social Impact to fund community-engaged learning as part of two existing partnerships with Westport Public Schools and The Kennedy Collective. The programming will continue to support adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities. Drs. Martin and Shamash also successfully completed year six of the Transition Opportunities for Post-Secondary Success (TOPS) program that supports inclusive practices for students with developmental disabilities on site at Fairfield.

Jovelyn Novella, PhD, LICSW, assistant professor of counselor education, as acting co-chair for the Public Policy and Legislation Committee of the Connecticut Counseling Association, testified before the Public Health Committee to express concern for loosening the standards for out-of-state licensed mental health providers to practice in the state of Connecticut.

Pierre Orelius, PhD, associate professor of educational studies and teacher preparation, has authored a new book currently in presale, titled, “All English Accents Matter: In pursuit of accent equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Yeddi Park, PhD, assistant professor of social work, had her paper, titled “Determinants of Life Satisfaction and Quality of Life among American Indian Women Cancer Survivors: The Role of Psychosocial Resources” accepted for publication in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work.

Dilani Perera, PhD, LPC-S, LDCD, chair and professor of counselor education, co-authored the following work, “The comprehensive assessment of co-occurring disorders” in Counseling individuals with co-occurring addictive and mental disorders: A comprehensive approach. Dr. Perera and Dr. Novella also co-presented “The counseling supervisor’s ethical responsibility to practice, teach, and foster a legislative professional advocacy among counseling students and advisees.” for Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International.

Mike Regan, PhD, NCSP, professor of the practice of psychological and educational consultation, was awarded the third annual Legacy of the Profession Award by the committee for the Connecticut Association of School Psychologists. This award recognizes one individual for their contribution at the local, state, or national level for leadership in the field of school psychology.

Bryan Ripley Crandall, PhD, associate professor of secondary English education and director of the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP)-Fairfield, was recently recognized as the 2023 Jeffrey P. Von Arx S.J. Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, in addition to being named an honoree and finalist for the prestigious national Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award in recognition of senior faculty achieving exemplary engaged scholarship. Dr. Ripley Crandall was also published in the second volume of “Special Issues: Critical Media Literacy.”

Additionally, Dr. Ripley Crandall led two CWP-Fairfield initiatives: Writing Our Lives & Using our Hands for Good, in collaboration with the 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation at Fairfield University, Dr. Ripley Crandall hosted 110 youth from Bridgeport Public and Parochial Schools for a Youth Leadership Institute, and Writing Our Lives & Living In Loud Silence, in collaboration with Fairfield University, the Taft School in Watertown, Conn., school psychology alumna Gina Ludlow, MA’18, and poet, scholar, and teacher Darius Phelps.

Jay Taylor, LCSW, clinical director of the aster of social work program, has been conducting workshops about healthy masculinity titled, "Breaking Out of the Manbox" through a collaboration with the Men’s Center at Housatonic Community College to facilitate critical conversations with the goal of liberating men from the traditional confines of masculinity to encourage safer environments for women and girls.

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