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Infant/Toddler Mental Health Graduate Certificate - Faculty

kathy bobula

Kathy A. Bobula, PhD, is a Child Development Specialist and Early Childhood Educator who has worked directly with children, parents, and teachers of young children for the past 45+ years.  Kathy’s professional experience includes having been a teacher-caregiver of children from birth through six years of age, in both full and part-day early childhood programs, and a teacher in Head Start, Early Head Start, two campus-based programs, two parent cooperatives, and a Native American tribal preschool.

In the mid-1980s, Kathy expanded her work in child development and began learning about the expanding field of neuroscience, and the influence of early experiences on the developing brain. She began teaching and conducting workshops about brain development and the implications of the particular environments into which infants enter the world and spend the first five years of their lives. She currently has a website for teachers and caregivers of young children: Self-Regulation in Young Children. After 15 years of working in the field, Kathy joined the faculty of Clark College in Vancouver, WA and taught Early Childhood Education and Psychology for 31 years.  In 2010, she began teaching in the Graduate Certificate Program in Infant/Toddler Mental Health at Portland State University: Dynamic Theories of Infant/Toddler Development.  As of June 2014, Kathy retired from Clark and is now Professor Emeritus. She continues to teach in PSU’s Infant/Toddler Mental Health program. Kathy received BS and MS degrees in Family and Child Development from Ohio State University in 1967 and 1969, respectively.  She earned a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University in 1996, with two field concentrations: Human Development and Policy Analysis.  Her dissertation, Characteristics of Administrators’ Leadership Style in Quality Child Care Centers, examined what worked in great early childhood programs.  In her teaching, Kathy takes this same positive approach in focusing on what can work to promote brain development and positive mental health in young children.

Lynn Collins

Dr. Collins has a Doctorate in clinical psychology from Miami University of Ohio. Over the past 25 years she has worked extensively with families from diverse backgrounds providing home, school and community-based mental health interventions. She has administered, supervised and coordinated family preservation and strength-based services for community mental health programs in both rural and urban counties in Oregon. In addition, Dr. Collins developed and supervised the Parent/Young Child Program at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center for 11 years, providing parent education to families with infants, toddlers and two year olds. Dr. Collins is the instructor for SPED 595, Prevention and Intervention in Infant Mental Health.     

Mary Foltz

Mary Foltz, Principle, Mary Foltz & Associates, LLC, is a program and professional development consultant supporting programs that serve children and families throughout the Pacific Northwest and across the country.   Mary has recently begun a new chapter in her professional life as a private consultant.   She worked as an early childhood and program development specialist at the Early Childhood Training Center at Portland State University for close to 25 years.  She was a co-developer of the ITMH program at PSU and taught Professional Development in the program for six years.  She’s excited to be returning the program. 

Since 1994, Ms. Foltz has been instrumental in the initiation and development of Early Head Start programs in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska.  This work has helped her develop a good sense of the program systems required to establish and maintain high quality services. She has coordinated numerous Pacific Northwest training events and is a frequent speaker at conferences nationally.  Mary has been providing consultation and professional development support for close to 35 years.  During this time, a strong focus of her work has been on helping programs develop effective systems which promote reflective practice and provide supportive, effective supervision.   She is grateful her work provides regular opportunities to observe and debrief home visits, parent-child groups, and center-based services.  This helps her remain aware of the complexities involved, appreciative of the wonderful work being done by staff, and excited by new developments in the lives of children and families.

Cynthia Jaeger

Cynthia M. Jaeger, EdD, is an administrator for an Education Service District where she coordinates programs for young children with special needs, 0-5, and works closely with school districts, K-12, and community partners to support the educational needs of all students.  Cynthia has a doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a specialization in Special and Counselor Education. Her doctoral thesis was dedicated to interagency collaboration and the social-emotional development of preschool children, and investigated what parents of preschool children, teachers, and mental health providers believe is needed to support the social-emotional development of young children who are faced with significant risk factors.

Cynthia also holds a license in school psychology and school counseling from Lewis & Clark College, a teaching license from University of Portland and a license in Administration from PSU.  As an Oregonian from the Portland area, Cynthia has worked in education for over 20 years, and has been entrenched in school-community relations for most of that time. Cynthia has worked in the K-12 school system as a general education teacher and school psychologist. She later held a position as coordinator of early intervention programs for children ages 0-5 with special needs. This work also involved coordinating services for young children in Migrant Programs, Oregon pre-K, and Head Start. This was followed by an administrative position as education coordinator for a county, which included working in close collaboration with schools and community agencies (e.g., human services, public health, mental health, center for domestic violence and women’s shelter, child abuse treatment center, parent education coalition, libraries, law enforcement, community service groups, community action teams, medical centers and more). Cynthia has been principal of two alternative secondary schools for behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Prior to her current position, Cynthia was the director of two small international schools in The Netherlands, one of which is a mainstream preschool with inclusion and the other a primary school for expatriate children with moderate to severe special needs. 

Ashley Lawrence is an EI/ECSE Specialist focusing on inclusion, trauma informed practice, PBIS and the prevention of child abuse. Ashley has been an instructor with Portland State University for 4 years, is the Early Intervention Outreach Specialist for Multnomah Early Childhood Program, and coaches educators throughout the northwest. Ashley has worked with children birth to 5 years old and thier families for 15 years, including community childcare settings, the Relief Nursery, and EI/ECSE. She has a MS and teaching license from PSU, and a BS in Education from the University of Oregon. 

Nan LeRoy

Dianne (Nan) LeRoy M.S. is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been working in the mental health field with children and families since 1985. Nan has worked as a Child and Family Therapist using a variety of therapeutic interventions including play therapy both in agency work and in private practice with much of her work focusing on trauma. She is a 2006 graduate of the first ITMH Graduate Certificate program at PSU and has been a University Supervisor for several subsequent ITMH programs at PSU. Nan also completed a yearlong training in Infant Observation and additional coursework through the Center for Object Relations NW Family Development Center in Seattle. Nan has been in the role of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant at a local mental health agency serving families and children for the last 12 years. In that capacity, she supports the healthy social and emotional development of children prenatal to 3 by teaching parenting classes, consulting with child care center management and staff, consulting with home visitors, and providing trainings for the staff. Nan is trained in the 20 week model of Circle of Security and the shorter Circle of Security Parenting Program. She currently teaches the Circle of Security Parenting Program for Western Psychological and Counseling Services in the Portland and Vancouver area. Nan has served on the council of the Oregon Play Therapy Association and is a founding member of the Oregon Infant Mental Health Association.

Paige Light Beard

Paige Light Beard is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Parent Educator in private practice in Southwest Portland. Her undergraduate degree was earned at Marylhurst College in Social Science and she holds a Graduate Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College. She completed PSU's Graduate Certificate Program in Infant/Toddler Mental Health in 2006. Paige has been working to improve the lives of children and families in her community for the past 22 years. She has worked in community mental health, corrections, schools, and hospital education program settings. She has served on the Council for the Oregon Play Therapy Association, on a crisis response team for a school district, and is a founding member of the Oregon Infant Mental Health Association.

Leslie J. Munson, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Special Education at Portland State University. She continues active involvement with research and the ITMH program as the faculty liaison and advisor. During her doctoral program at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Munson focused on infant development and parent-infant interaction. Dr. Munson developed the Infant-Caregiver Interaction Scale (ICIS), a tool to assess the interactive behaviors of caregivers and infants during feeding and playing in the home environment. In addition, she participated in the development of the Behavioral Health Screening Tool (BHS). She worked extensively with young children with special needs in a variety of settings, including hospitals, health departments, early intervention programs, and public schools. Her areas of interest include parent-infant interaction, families, parenting when the parent has a cognitive disability, and grief related to the death of a child. Her current research is related to developing a curriculum based upon the ICIS.

Katie Sass, MSW, LCSW is an early childhood mental health consultant who works with a local community mental health agency to promote social emotional wellness in various early childhood programs in Portland, Oregon. She is a Portland native who has worked in many different early care settings starting as a caregiver for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in a child development center moving to psychiatric day treatment for young children and now supports the mental health of infants and toddlers through her role as a mental health consultant. Katie is actively involved in supporting and designing supports for home visitors to utilize Early Childhood Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (ECPBIS/Pyramid Model) in their efforts to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. She is a proponent of reflective practice and supervision for early childhood professionals and has supported implementation of these practices as well.