The California Association of School Psychologists (CASP) recognized Current Attallah College doctoral student and Chapman alum Joe Rubio earlier this month as an Outstanding School Psychologist during their annual convention awards luncheon. We checked in with Joe to get some more background about his passions, why he changed careers and why he chose to return to Chapman for his Ph.D.

Joe holding award

Q- What year did you graduate from Chapman previously?

A- I graduated from Chapman in 2011 with my Ed.S. in School Psychology and M.A. in Educational Psychology

Q- When did you return to pursue your Ph.D. and in what emphasis? Do you have any ideas for your dissertation research area yet?

A-I just started this fall in the Ph.D. program in the school psychology emphasis. As of today, I have no idea what I want my dissertation focus to be.

Q- Where are you employed?

A- I am currently employed with the Downey Unified School District. I work out of the district office. My current assignment is lead psychologist on the Mental Health Assessment Team and District Crisis Response Team.

Q- How did you learn that you were nominated for and won this award?

A- I learned about the nomination at a meeting with other co-workers. I was told I won the award during a District Crisis Team meeting.

Q- Have you won any previous awards for your work?

A- I haven’t won any previous awards but the Downey USD School Board recognized me in open session at the October board meeting. That was kinda cool too.

Q- What drew you to the field of school psychology? Why are you passionate about it?

A- I was actually drawn to the field by my sister. Before becoming a school psych, I was a Deputy Sheriff with the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. I needed a life and career change so in 2007 I decided to quit and pursue a career in education. I am very passionate about working with families. I have always been drawn to the helping professions.

Q- Why did you choose to return to Chapman? How has your experience been with the programs and professors?

A- I chose Chapman because of the mentorship I experienced during my first time around here. I respect the professors deeply and look to them as mentors.

Q- What are your future career goals?

A-I love presenting in front of audiences and also love teaching. I recently started adducting with the Los Angeles County Office of Education where I teach courses to teachers clearing their credentials. That experience has motivated me to pursue a career in higher ed as a professor. I also love to work with schools conducting Independent Educational Evaluations.