In a special ceremony before staff and faculty at the downtown Los Angeles Campus, Dr. Debra Warner and Dr. Rachel Findel-Pyles received the first two President's Awards for Academic Leadership at LA/Orange County.
Dean Marty Harris made the presentations on behalf of Campus President Michele Nealon-Woods. Duplicate awards will be displayed prominently in the soon-to-be-unveiled "Hall of Fame" at the downtown location.
Dr. Warner, LA/Orange County's lead faculty member in the Forensic Psychology program, received her award for leadership in Community Service. The majority of community service hours are directly related to her work in developing strong partnerships throughout the Southern California region.
Among the partnerships are those with the Los Angeles Police Department, Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the Mayor's Office, and A Better L.A. Her achievements include arranging for seminars, conferences, and trainings in many areas, such as crisis intervention, hostage negotiations, and gang intervention.
Commenting not only on Dr. Warner's achievements but also on the positive impact she has on those around her, Dr. Harris warmly praised her as one who "brings a ray of sunshine even on the cloudiest of days."
Dr. Findel-Pyles, chair of the Department of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA, L.A. Campus, received her award for achievements in Teaching and Scholarship. She has been published in a wide variety of professional journals and has given numerous academic presentations.
Dr. Findel-Pyles is also active in setting up conferences. In April 2010, for example, she has arranged for the L.A. Campus Department of ABA, along with the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, to host a one-day conference on "Applied Behavior Analysis: Evidence Based Solutions for Helping People." The conference features nationally and internationally recognized speakers with expertise in evidence-based practices in science, reading, educational practices, and other behavioral applications.
Dr. Harris said, "Dr. Findel-Pyle's contributions exemplify that of the scientist-practitioner. She sets the professional bar for us all continually advancing both the practice and science of her field."