Meet the Berger Institute at the CMC Club & Institute Fair

The Berger Institute will be hosting a booth at the CMC Club and Institute Fair on Friday, September 6 on Parents Field at CMC. Come learn about our exciting research initiatives and programs, and speak with current staff and students about their experiences. We are advertising for two positions for Fall 2019:

Office Assistant

Deadline: Friday, September 20
Eligibility: CMC first-years, sophomores, and juniors

Volunteer Research Assistant

Deadline: Friday, September 20
Eligibility: 5C sophomores and juniors. Must be willing to commit 6 hours per week over one (1) academic year.

Resilience and Connections with Sleep and Health

Despite the fact that many children grow up in poverty, many exhibit resilience, or successful adaptation and competence. Recent data, however, has also shown that adaptation in the face of adversity often comes at a health cost. At the same time, there is much we do not know. Why does resilience lead to health cost? How can we mitigate these consequences?

With a generous grant from the National Institute of Health, the Berger Institute’s Applied Mind and Health lab is collaborating with the University of California, Riverside’s Adversity and Adaptation lab, directed by Dr. Tuppet Yates, to answer some of these questions. Dr. Doan and Dr. Yates have started gathering and analyzing data on a large, longitudinal study looking at a diverse sample, including 46% Latinx youth, ages 4-14. The data set followed 250 children and their caregivers through adolescence and examined stress, family, and personality characteristics. In addition, the grant funds new data at age 14, particularly sleep and health variables. Altogether they will assess children’s poverty-related risk exposure, academic competence, physical health, and sleep functioning. Adolescence is a critical period for identifying risk due to the lasting effect of health patterns that begin at this age. This study is an exciting move forward in learning more about this crucial time and what can be done in both research and practice to help these children and adolescents thrive.

Students and Staff from Berger Institute Engage Audiences at WPA Convention

Berger Institute researchers and students were excited to present their research April 25-27 at the 99th Annual Western Psychological Association (WPA) Convention in Pasadena. Presenting both through posters and talks, the Berger Institute researchers engaged attendees with topics ranging from effects of maternal behavior to children’s helping behaviors to connections between physical health, mental health, and race. Students and recent alumni had the opportunity to share their research and practice discussing their research professionally to a wide audience. In addition, students attending the conference had the opportunity to learn about new research and network.

In addition to multiple posters, the Berger staff and students presented a series of talks focused on parenting behaviors and emotion regulation in both parents and children. The presentation ended with a lively Q&A with several questions from researchers, students, and even practitioners who were in the audience. For more information on recent research from Berger Institute staff and students, click here.

Berger students

APIDA Panel Addresses Mental Health on Campus

On Thursday, April 11th, a panel of CMC faculty and staff came together to discuss Asian mental health and identity with the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community on campus. Any other interested students, faculty, and staff were welcomed as well. Co-hosted by the Asian Pacific American Mentors (APAM) and the Berger Institute, the event was created to bring awareness to the issue, especially in light of recent events on campus. Panelists had friendly and informal discussions with attendees over dinner at the Athenaeum and then dived into more formal discussions on mental health. Topics revolved around how APIDA communities and 7C’s students respond to mental health issues, how having faculty of color on campus benefits the students, and strategies to help improve well-being. To keep track of future panels and events through the Berger Institute, follow us here. For more information on APAM, click here. For mental health resources on campus, visit the 7C’s Monsour Counseling Services site here.

Special thanks to our contributors: Anushree Belur, Courtney Chan, Wei-Chin Hwang, Michael Chen, and Gayle Lee!

Being. On Purpose. Annual Women of Color Empowerment Retreat

A group of hand-selected students gathered in sunny Lake Elsinore on April 4-7, 2019, to learn from experienced facilitators about empowerment and their authentic voice. Sponsored by the Berger Institute and Kravis Lab for Social Impact, the students spent a full weekend together in a large, beautiful lake house and took part in a series of workshops. The facilitators, who are part of the International Cultural Arts and Healing Sciences Institute, helped them to examine their perspectives of themselves and others, especially in light of systemic injustices. They then shifted and reframed those perspectives through self-expression and dialogue. The workshops included music, visualization, breath work, film, theater, and active discussion. Students also bonded with each other throughout the weekend through additional activities, such as cooking meals together. At the beginning of the weekend, Gemma Bulos, the Director of Kravis Lab, had encouraged the students to not only be engaged and listen to each other, but to “connect in a way that we will be able to go back and have a posse of women who are going to help each other.” The students left with not only a better understanding of how to access and use their voices for effective communication and change, but with a network of peers who have a shared empowerment.

Special thanks to our facilitators: Gemma Bulos, Susan Callendar, and Amikaeyla Gaston Proudfoot!