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Alumni Spotlight: 
Q&A with Reese Abbene

California School of Education at Alliant International University
MAE in School Psychology with Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Online Campus

Professional Information 

School Psychologist with the Newhall School District

Q: How did your Alliant experience contribute to your career growth?

A: I was continuously impressed by the caliber of experience and professionalism of the professors.  They were incredibly knowledgeable and because they were actively working in the field, the level of praxis they brought to classes was consistently strong.  Also, I found that many of my professors were available as mentors afterhours.  During my internship, I was able to reach out to a few of my professors to glean additional insight that helped me troubleshoot.  They were willing to pick up the phone and provide invaluable guidance.  They were, in a sense, modeling what great school psychologists do every day - reach out to each other to get different perspectives so that we can ensure we are comprehensively and creatively assessing kids and ensuring their needs are met.  

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work? 

A: The kids! To have a front seat to the life of a child who is working through a disability is inspiring and humbling.  I am honored, each day, by the children I serve and am so grateful to be able to hold their hand as they grow.  I also love how dynamic my role is.  Being a school psychologist integrates so many facets - we are part administrator, part therapist, part coach, part teacher and part legal expert.  Each new child presents a new challenge and I find the unfolding complexity of cases to be fun and compelling.  Also, I enjoy working with a team of professionals who are knowledgeable, compassionate, and driven to help children progress in spite of their differences.  

Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world? 

A: My children are my daily inspiration. I show up for the kids at my school the way I would want other adults to be there for my own kids.  I have a nine-year-old daughter, a seven-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old son.  A value I try to instill in them is to be a helper and an advocate to those who need you to show up for them.  The best way I can teach them this is to show them this value through my own work.  

Q: Share your advice for current students.

A:  Network!  Say, "Yes," to opportunities to connect with people in your community.  Show up to community events and meet people.  Volunteer.  So many doors have been opened in my life from volunteering in my community - you meet great people, get connected to worthy organizations and help to understand ways in which you can use your talent to make a positive impact.  To quote Neil Simon, "They're watchers in this world.  And there are doers.  And the watchers sit around watching the doers do."  Get out and do!

If you would like to share your reflections in an Alliant alumni spotlight, please click here or email

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