Dr. Jenene Craig: “Our IECD Alumni hold a special place in my heart, knowing that the work these professionals are doing is changing and supporting the earliest of relationships. Our latest graduate is a wonderful example of self-determination and perseverance. She accomplished her doctoral degree as a first-generation Latin American woman who now uses her knowledge to empower bilingual community leaders in the infant mental health field through reflective practice and supervision. Dr. Elvia Cortes has been working with young children and their families for over 15 years in Early Intervention in California. She received the Infant Family Mental Health Practitioner CA Endorsement in 2012 and the Reflective Practice Facilitator Endorsement shortly thereafter. Dr. Cortes reflects that her journey through her PhD work has supported dreams she had that are now coming to fruition. Her words say it best:”
Dr. Elvia Cortes, August 9, 2020: “Throughout my many years of experience working with families and training educators to work with young children, I learned their need to receive professional development to support their work in this sensitive field. Attending the PhD program in Infant and Early Childhood Development at Fielding Graduate University allowed me to strengthen my work with community leaders at a state and local level. My goal has been to bring Reflective Practice awareness to infant programs in my community. My Doctoral concentration on Reflective Practice at Fielding, my coursework, and my professors’ support, provided the caring and professional guidance to reach my career goals and to enhance my knowledge of valuing individual differences and responsive relationships in my Early Intervention world. I became an inaugural member of the California Association in Infant mental Health and continue to serve as the Clinical Intervention Committee Chair providing support to practitioners working with children and their families.
Currently, I lead an infant program providing in-person sessions to families of six counties and Reflective Practice groups in Southern California and the Central Coast. During the four years at Fielding, I gained the confidence to present my knowledge and experience at local, national, and international conferences in the field of Early Intervention, Professional Growth and Development, Reflective Practice and Supervision, and Infant Mental Health, in both English and Spanish languages,. My latest proposal was accepted by the Word Association of Infant Mental Health in Brisbane, Australia.
Attending Fielding Graduate University allowed me the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the nation and other countries. I presented to new students during two NSO sessions in Santa Barbara and supported their passion for research and practice in Early Childhood Development and infant mental health. I will forever be grateful for meeting wonderful colleagues and professors who supported my vision to help families and educators thriving to support young children no matter what the outer circumstances life can bring.”
Interested in the IECD Program?
Fielding Graduate University is dedicated to educating leaders, scholars, and practitioners for a more just and sustainable world. Consistent with the university’s mission, the Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) PhD program is committed to preparing students for relationship-based practice. Utilizing an interprofessional lens, the IECD program seeks service to the community through the thoughtful and strategic preparation of doctoral graduates who exemplify the highest level of personal integrity, professional ethics and wellbeing.
Visit www.fielding.edu/IECDmentalhealth for more information.