Breakout Session II 3:00pm – 3:45pm



Dr. Anna Blair Cynthia Turner-Maffei

The Transformative Power of Maternal Child Health Education
Dr. Anna Blair & Cynthia Turner-Maffei, Room 118

The Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting program began more than a decade ago through a partnership with the Healthy Children Project (NGO) in order to fulfill the Surgeon General’s recommendation for increased education for those working with mothers and babies in order to improve the health of babies in the United States and eliminate disparities of care. Although all four of the university outcomes are analytic lenses, the ethical principle of social justice is the core of the program. The Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting degree program is transformative for the students and their communities as they focus their work on the right of every individual to enjoy good health and access to care.

Anna Blair, Ph.D., CLC, IBCLC, serves as faculty and director of academic programs at the Healthy Children Project, chair of the Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting BS program at Union Institute & University in partnership with the Healthy Children Project, and chair of Union’s Health and Wellness M.A. program. Dr. Blair is the director of a community lactation program that serves three counties in Massachusetts. She has conducted research in Latvia on sore nipples and positioning/latch. She has authored numerous research articles and publications and speaks nationally and internationally for the Healthy Children Project.

Cynthia Turner-Maffei, M.A., ALC, IBCLC, has been a lead member of Healthy Children’s faculty for many years. From 1997-2011, she served as the National Coordinator of Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. Cindy is an affiliated faculty member of the Union Institute & University bachelor’s program in Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting. An IBCLC since 1988, she has also worked as a nutritionist and breastfeeding coordinator in WIC and other maternal child health programs, and as a lactation consultant in private practice. She continues to work as a lactation consultant in community practice with the Center for Breastfeeding in Sandwich, MA, and is a delegate for Healthy Children to the breastfeeding coalitions on the local, regional, and national level. She is an author of numerous publications, most recently Continuity of Care in Breastfeeding.



Dr. Bill Lax Dr. Magui O’Neill

Increasing Cultural Competence by Developing Cultural Self-Awareness
Dr. Bill Lax & Dr. Magui O’Neill, Room 210

The need to develop cultural competence in our increasingly diverse and globalized environment has been recognized in educational, health, human services, business, media, and political contexts. The emphasis of most cultural competence training efforts tends to be: 1) learning about the characteristics of diverse populations and 2) gaining skills to work most effectively with them. While these two aspects are important and essential to the development of cultural competence, the foundational area of cultural competence does not receive as much attention: cultural self-awareness. We will present a process aimed at developing cultural self-awareness and self-empathy that can be adapted to a variety of settings, groups and organizations. This process is developmental and strengths-oriented, and aimed at harnessing the contributions of the cultural-selves of all individuals involved.

William D. Lax, Ph.D. is dean of the graduate programs in psychology at Union Institute & University. Prior to joining UI&U, Bill was a doctoral faculty member at Antioch University, Keene, New Hampshire, where he served as the associate chairperson in the clinical psychology program. He is a licensed psychologist in Vermont and New Hampshire with over 30 years of experience in clinical practice and is board certified in Couple and Family Psychology with the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Margarita R. O’Neill-Arana, Ed.D. is Director of Clinical Training in the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Union Institute & University. Margarita has taught, counseled, supervised and collaborated with individuals of diverse backgrounds in educational and clinical settings for over 30 years. She has also developed, implemented and managed programs aimed at becoming more inclusive of disenfranchised populations. She co-chaired the Multicultural Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health; and was director of Culture-specific Services at Worcester Youth Guidance Center in Massachusetts.



Dr. Lois Melina

Being the Change: The Occupation of Public Spaces
Dr. Lois Melina, Room 120

This presentation will discuss a narrative research study that explores the occupation of public spaces as a way to draw attention to social justice issues, create social change, find voice, empower the disempowered, and create community.

Dr. Lois Melina is the chair of the Ethical and Creative Leadership concentration in the Cohort Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her previous research explored the lived experiences of women who entered their adult lives in the 1970s, a time of rapid social change. She is the author of three books on adoption (HarperCollins), one on Olympic swimmers (Sports Publications, Inc.), and is currently editing a volume for the International Leadership Association, The Embodiment of Leadership (Jossey-Bass). Her creative nonfiction has been published in anthologies as well as in the journal Qualitative Inquiry. She lives in Portland, Oregon.



Dr. Anu Mitra

Art and Civic Engagement: Transforming Communities Through
Social Justice

Dr. Anu Mitra, Room 209

The artist has necessarily served as the voice of society, mirroring its shortcomings and projecting an ideal vision of the future. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore art that deals specifically with social injustices and offers solutions on how to deepen one's civic engagement with community with the intention of bringing transformational change.

Anu Mitra has a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. Since 1988, she has worked at Union Institute & University in various administrative and teaching capacities. Since 2007, she has served as an Ed.D. faculty member. She has also taught at Yale University, Antioch College, Empire State College, and Sichuan University in China. Her areas of scholarly praxis are visual culture and leadership development; social justice theory and practice; and education. Her work on visual cognitive strategies was accepted for presentation at the 6th Art of Management and Organization hosted by the University of York, York, England, September 4-9, 2012. In 2011, she received the Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Schools and Colleges.



Dr. Joseph Nolan

Student Debt Demonstrations – Today Quebec, Tomorrow the World
Dr. Joseph Nolan, Room 124

This presentation examines the student unrest in Quebec, and many other parts of the world. The growing economic problem of student debt and graduate unemployment in the midst of government austerity programs will also be explored. Finally, discussion will center on the role of faculty and administration in addressing this crisis.

Dr. Joseph Nolan is a graduate faculty member of the School of Education, and teaches in the Online M.Ed. and Ed.D. programs. His areas of research center upon Global Studies in Education and Teacher Preparation. A native New Yorker, who has spent the majority of his teaching career (20 years) in the Southwestern United States, he now lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

Return to Conference Day Schedule
Breakout Session I
Keynote Speaker: Peter Block, M.A.