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Dr. Julie Vargas, daughter of B.F. Skinner, addresses graduates at the Southern California commencement

(LOS ANGELES) (OCTOBER 24, 2016) – “All of you take selfies for mementos to show to your friends and family how you look. Try taking a behavioral selfie. What would your behavioral selfie show?” were the words for reflection given from Dr. Julie Vargas, daughter of world renowned psychologist B.F. Skinner, to the more than 200 students graduating from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s (TCSPP) Los Angeles and Online Campuses. The Chicago School is one of the leading nonprofit graduate universities devoted exclusively to the study of psychology, and related behavioral health sciences.

Dr. Vargas who earned a doctorate in educational research at the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in music education from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in music from Harvard University, received an honorary Doctor of Human Letters at The Chicago School’s Southern California’s annual commencement ceremony.

“Dr. Vargas took an active part in the growing behavior analysis field and even after retirement, has continued to promote behavioral science through articles, talks, and her work with the B.F. Skinner Foundation,” said Dr. Dean Rishel, interim academic dean, The Chicago School’s Southern California’s Campuses. “We are honored to have such an exemplary scholar share her words of wisdom with our students who are ready to make a change within and outside their profession.”

Jazzmin Hicks-Bonam, a Forensic Psychology Psy.D. Program graduate also spoke at the ceremony. A wife and mother of three, Hicks-Bonam works fulltime in the Psychological Services Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her professional interests focus on increasing mental health awareness in underserved communities, combating bullying and conducting psychological assessments. She is a member of the American Psychological Association.

Manika Turnbull, Ph.D., a 2013 Organizational Leadership graduate was recognized with the 2016 Distinguished Alumna Award. Also recognized, was Dr. Daniel Velasco of the Online International Psychology Department, as the 2016 winner of the Adjunct Teaching Award.

“You have gained principles and techniques that enable you to help others, those same techniques will work with yourself to help reach your own goals,” Dr. Vargas said to the audience of eager graduates. “When you are pleased with your behavioral selfie, you will find it easy to shake off frustration and to treat others well. Better still, you will be creating a legacy of which you can be proud.”

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit, private university devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences. The Chicago School is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact. The university serves nearly 4,500 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles and Irvine); and Washington, D.C., as well as through online programs. The Chicago School is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, (WSCUC), and its Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program in Chicago is accredited by the American Psychological Association. With more than 20 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology education. To learn more, visit
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Elinor Gilbert
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