Since being promoted to professor with tenure in 2009 at San Diego State University, I have made a concerted effort to apply for at least two grants each year and to mentor students and junior faculty to publish. In so doing, I have experienced a decrease of my own single-authored publications. As you likely know, mentoring students and junior faculty through the publication process is rewardingly time-consuming. While I have collaboratively published or have in press 20 refereed journal manuscripts since 2009 (with the addition of 6 single-authored publications), the decline in single-authored publications has been a bit difficult on my striving personality. However, mentoring junior faculty and graduates into publishing their work is a service that builds the capacity of our profession and it is one that also brings me great joy.
In the attached CV, you will note that since being promoted to professor with tenure, I have chaired 4 masters thesis, 14 dissertations, and served on 5 additional dissertation committees. Many of the student dissertations that I have chaired have manuscripts that are either published, in press, under review, or have manuscripts in progress (some are missing from my CV as these students have chosen to submit them for review as single-authored manuscripts). Currently, I am chairing 9 dissertations. My intent to mentor these students to publish remains strong.
In spring 2013, I was awarded a sabbatical in order to shift my research agenda; an agenda that I had been exploring (and one that had informed my teaching) since arriving to SDSU. I was not able to take that sabbatical due to a colleague's coinciding unexpected medical leave. In spring 2014, thanks to many colleagues and higher-level administrators, I was gifted with full research assigned time. This time provided me an opportunity to re-focus my research; all culminating in an edited book entitled, "The Neuroscience of Learning and Development." I am pleased with the reviews of this book, which refer to the research as innovative, compelling, and helpful to anyone who works with students in any capacity. A second book emerging from this research is entitled Integrative Inquiry. The research presented in this book will be adapted for 8th graders next semester as I engage in a Senior Research Fellowship with UNESCO/MGIEP in spring 2017, pending board approval in December. I continue to seek funding to foster a research lab that explores the application of the findings and methodologies presented in these books.
While the bulk of my research has been in the standards and accountability arena, I transitioned to emotion regulation curriculum design and evaluation because I was noting, time and again, that there was something we were missing in curriculum measurement and design. In other words, for decades we have been collecting a lot of data and making changes to improve students' learning and development, yet, we are still falling short of achieving standards. Why? I posit that it is because we are not integrating the role emotions play in students', teachers' and administrators' ability to perform consistently at high levels without undue harm caused by stress.
In March 2012, I was humbled to be elected by my peers, to receive the National Association for Student Personnel (NASPA) George Kuh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature/Research in Higher Education for my work in outcomes-based assessment of student learning and development. The bulk of invited keynotes, conference presentations, and service areas remain associated with the research that was recognized with this award. While I won't pretend to claim that it was my research alone that brought outcomes-based assessment program review to our national regional accreditation process, I was honored that the work I had the opportunity to complete was recognized as contributing significantly to higher education in the United States.
As my research agenda shifts, I am delighted to report that the emerging research agenda on the neuroscience of learning and development was enthusiastically received at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) annual meeting in January, 2015 in Washington DC as well as at UNESCO's conference on the prevention of violent extremism in the fall of 2016.
In Spring 2017, I will have the privilege to engage in a Senior Research Fellowship with UNESCO/MGIEP where I will be working with an interdisciplinary team to take a curriculum that I have created (Rushing to Yoga Foundation) and adapt it for 8th graders. The curriculum seeks to prevent violent extremism by cultivating awareness of the internal experience and coupling it with the process of rationale external inquiry. We will also collaboratively be developing the assessment tools for this curriculum as well. The intention is to pilot this curriculum in India and 4-7 other countries with the hopes of it being taken up by 70 countries who are experiencing violent extremism. This project requires intense interdisciplinary efforts as we seek to bring together a multitude of disciplines in order to address all of the push-pull factors of violent extremism, while also addressing what may be the one key connector - the inability to deal with difficult emotions, thus leading to destructive behavior. I am familiar with the research on mindfulness-based practices and I have constructed a variety of curricula, workshops, and introductory seminars that use this research to introduce a variety of constituents to these practices.
I remain hopeful that I will have the opportunity to contribute to innovative conversations that could conceivably continue to transform how we design, deliver, and evaluate higher education.