Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

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Advisory Board

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Advisory Board

The Psychology and Child Development Advisory Board is group of alumni and other professionals that collaborates with the Psychology and Child Development Department to support the Department’s objectives of improving the overall academic experience of our students and fostering strong alumni involvement. 

Meet the Board


Fran McIntyreFRAN McINTYRE-DALMAU, Board Chair

Fran McIntyre founded Children’s’ Creative Learning Centers (CCLC) in 1992. During her tenure at CCLC, she provided executive leadership and support for several new center openings, design and construction, long-term strategy development and client relations. Fran has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Her passion has been developing both corporate child care programs and working alongside HR professionals, helping them create the most valuable benefits for their employees. Over the years, Fran has participated in various roles with both state and national child-care organizations, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In 2005, she was named Alumni of the Year at Cal Poly. In 2015 Fran founded her own consulting firm, Pendulum Dependent Care Solutions, where she is able to further her passion in advising both HR and Early Childhood Education professionals to ensure that they are providing the highest quality offering. Fran earned her B.S. degree in Human Development and Psychology in 1990. 


Lynn DavisLynn Davis

Lynn Davis has over 30 years of experience in the corporate world as a senior level technology executive and consultant. Currently she is President of Lynn Davis Consulting and a Certified Executive Coach focusing on elevating Managers to Leaders and helping her clients be their best. She is certified in Tilt 365, an assessment tool for individuals and teams supporting self-awareness and self-knowledge while highlighting how one shows up. It was her background in Child Development and Education that provided her with a strong foundation to be successful in Leadership in the corporate world. She spent 20 years at Bechtel and later moved to Landor Associates where she provided leadership as Executive Director of ERP. She is currently chairperson for the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts Circle of Giving program. Lynn recently moved back to the Central Coast area, which has felt like home since her days as a student. She holds a B.S. degree in Child Development and an Elementary Teaching Credential from Cal Poly. Lynn has published 2 articles: The Octopus vs. The Eight Headed Monster and The Lucky 13 Client-Consultant Etiquette.


Doug EppersonDoug Epperson 

Doug Epperson spent his entire career in higher education. At Iowa State University, Doug went through the ranks of assistant professor through professor of psychology, served a term as Chair of the Department of Psychology, and concluded his time at Iowa State University as Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He moved to Washington State University as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts before transitioning to Cal Poly, where he served as Dean of the College of Liberal arts for six years, fall 2012 to fall 2018. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Cal Poly. Doug is also a licensed psychologist in the state of Iowa and a productive scholar and national expert in the area of actuarial risk assessment with both juvenile and adult male sexual offenders. He developed actuarial risk assessment tools that predict the likelihood of sexual recidivism for offenders completing their periods of detention or incarceration for sexual offenses. His earlier research focused on identifying and eliminating obstacles to the attraction and retention of women in science and engineering fields.


Veronica FruihtVeronica Fruiht

Veronica Fruiht is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, CA. She graduated from Cal Poly in 2007 with a B.S. degree in Psychology and from Claremont Graduate University with an M.A. (2010) and Ph.D. (2014) in Positive Developmental Psychology. As a researcher, her interests center around the mentoring relationships of young people and how supportive relationships help adolescents and emerging adults set and achieve academic and professional goals. She looks for ways to improve and foster mentoring relationships in her local community by consulting for mentoring programs, speaking to mentors about best practices, and serving a Girl Scout Troop leader in San Rafael. 


Karen KontzKaren Kontz

Karen received her B.S. degree in Child Development from Cal Poly in 2008. After college, she joined Teach For America, where she taught for 3 years at a Head Start program in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco.. Karen's years of teaching led her to pursue a career in public interest law, where she saw the potential to impact communities in a more systemic way. Karen received her juris doctor degree (J.D.) from UC Davis School of Law in 2014. Karen now works as a staff attorney for Legal Services of Northern California, a non-profit legal aid organization providing free civil legal services to poor and underserved communities in 23 northern California counties. She began her legal career in LSNC’s Ukiah Regional office advocating for low- income people in the areas of housing, public benefits, education, disaster relief, civil rights, and immigration. In 2016, Karen joined LSNC's Sacramento office. She continues to provide direct legal services as well as community education, impact litigation, and policy advocacy on issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, housing discrimination, food access, income maintenance, and education equity.


Jenny LucianoJenny Luciano 

Jenny Luciano graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. degree in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communications. For the past 30 years, she has spent her career in non-profit management field working in fund development, marketing, communications, public relations, government relations, program delivery and volunteer management. Jenny started her career in New York State working for Cornell Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth Development programs, and furthered her career in Santa Barbara and Silicon Valley working for a wide range of organizations including food banks, public policy/leadership, homeless shelters, and people with developmental/intellectual disabilities. Jenny and her family moved back to the Central Coast in 2015 where she took over leadership of the Child Development Resource Center in San Luis Obispo; a therapeutic preschool for low income and at-risk toddlers and young children. In March 2018, she became the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County. Throughout her career, Jenny has raised more than $70 million collectively for the organizations she has served.


William MitchellWilliam Mitchell

William Mitchell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, or as he calls it a “Hope Dealer.” Before going on to obtain his M.S. degree at San Diego State University in 2014, William earned his B.S. degree in Psychology from Cal Poly in 2011, while serving as the captain of the football team. He now serves as a Program Manager with the non-profit Second Chance and leads a team of Rehabilitation Counselors in the Youthful Offender Rehabilitation Program (YORP). YORP serves San Diego County’s most severe and chronic juvenile offenders (aged 15 to 21) in an effort to reduce recidivism and deter youth from entering the adult justice system. When he is not helping juvenile offenders envision and live out new realities for themselves, he is seeing clients in private practice at the San Diego Institute for Couples and Families.


Kara SamaniegoKara Samaniego 

Kara Samaniego is the Assistant Director of Wellbeing at Cal Poly. Her office is responsible for overseeing Safer, the campus’ sexual misconduct advocacy and prevention program, as well as general campus wellbeing strategic initiatives. She relies on her background in management, program development, and crisis intervention to serve the campus and is a California state-certified sexual assault and domestic violence counselor. Prior to her work with Campus Health & Wellbeing and Safer, Kara worked as the Client Relations Manager at a graphic communications company where she led a team of project managers to improve workflow and enhance the customer experience. As a two-term AmeriCorps Fellow for a hospice organization, Kara created a new program that provided in-home pet care for hospice clients and assisted with large-scale event coordination. Kara graduated cum laude from Cal Poly with a B.S. degree in Psychology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies, and later returned to Cal Poly to earn her MBA.


Justin ShinnefieldJustin Shinnefield 

Justin Shinnefield is a Senior Partner with Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. For almost 20 years, he has represented California public school districts, county offices of education, private schools, community college districts, and special education local plan areas in various aspects of education law, specializing in special education and student issues. He advises clients on all matters related to serving the needs of disabled students and has extensive expertise on topics ranging from Section 504 disability discrimination complaints and student disciplinary matters to special education administrative proceedings. Justin regularly provides presentations and legal trainings in the area of special education law. He has presented before dozens of school districts and organizations, including the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and the California School Boards Association (CSBA). He is a proud graduate of both Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (B.S. in Human Development & Psychology, 1994) and Pepperdine University (J.D.).

Faculty Representatives


Jennifer JipsonJennifer Jipson 

Jennifer Jipson is currently the Chair of the Psychology & Child Development Department at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She received her Ph.D. in 2000 in  Developmental Psychology from UC-Santa Cruz and completed a 2-year Postdoc at the University of Michigan in Psychology.  She came to Cal Poly in 2005 after spending 2 years on the faculty at the Sarah Lawrence College. Her research investigates preschool children's developing understandings of science, health and technology with a focus on how every interactions in informal settings contribute to children's learning. Dr. Jipson is dedicated to translating research to practice in her role on the Educational Advisory Board for Goddard Schools and as a consultant with children's museums,toy companies, and children's television networks.  Dr. Jipson was the 2012 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Richard K. Simon Outstanding Career Achievement in Teaching award.


Jasna JovanovicJasna Jovanovic 

Jasna Jovanovic is a Professor in the Psychology & Child Development Department at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She received her Ph.D. in 1991 in Human Development & Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and later completed a 3-year Postdoc at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Graduate School of Education. She came to Cal Poly in 2005 after spending 12 years on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has conducted and published research on a variety of topics, with a focus on girls/women in STEM and young women’s empowerment and intimate relationships. Jasna was the 2017 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Richard K. Simon Outstanding Career Achievement in Teaching award.


LIsa SweattLisa Sweatt 

Lisa Sweatt is the Program Coordinator for the Masters Program in Psychology at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where she teaches and supervises graduate students training to become future marriage and family therapists. Her teaching and research interests include multicultural education and training, Latino mental health and well-being, family and childhood trauma, and prevention/intervention programming for at- risk youth.


Denise DanielsDenise Daniels 

Denise Daniels is co-Associate Chair and Coordinator of the undergraduate internship program in the Psychology & Child Development Department at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.She received her PhD in Developmental Studies in Education from UCLA, and then taught in the Educational Psychology graduate programs at Northern Illinois University before coming to Cal Poly in 2001. Her publications include research on children's motivation and adjustment in school, and textbooks on child development and education. She has been actively involved in community and state endeavors to enhance the quality of early educational programs for children. 


Taylor SmithTaylor Smith  

Taylor Smith is co-Associate Chair in the Psychology & Child Development Department at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. 


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