Graduate School

Three Bank Street Graduates Make Top 20 List

Posted by Mihaela Schwartz on August 12, 2013
Annual CLC Conference
         Child Life Council Annual Meeting 

From May 16-19, 2013, in Denver, Colorado, more than 1,000 child life specialists gathered for the 31st Child Life Council (CLC) Annual Conference on Professional Issues. This annual meeting is known as the largest annual gathering of child life specialists, worldwide. Participants include child life specialists, child life assistants, university educators and students, hospital administrators and staff, school teachers, therapeutic recreation specialists, and others in related fields, as well as a number of  Bank Street faculty, graduates and students.

Each year, the top 20 highest-rated workshops,  seminars and intensives are announced at the CLC Annual Conference. This year, Bank Street faculty advisor, instructor and alumni, Deborah Vilas (MS, Special Education Early Childhood 1993), Suzanna Paisley (MS, Child Life 2010) and Caitlin Koch (MS, Child Life 2011), made the top 20 list giving the Bank Street Child Life program much to celebrate.

Deb Vilas, MS, CCLS, LMSW, Bank Street Faculty Advisor & Instructor in the Child Life Program was selected for two presentations: “Co-Creating Meaning: Loose Parts in the 5th Dimension” for which she was co-presenter, and “Play Maps and Life Lines: New and Borrowed Techniques for Crossing Cultural and Generational Divides.” As a special distinction, Deb was the only presenter to be recognized twice in this year’s top 20 list.

The sixth position was given to Bank Street graduate Suzanna Paisley for her presentation, “Decreasing the Trauma of Trauma: How to Safely Facilitate Trauma Debriefings with Children and Adolescents.” Suzanna currently works as a Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Caitlin Koch appeared in eighth position on the list as co-presenter of “Co-Creating Meaning: Loose Parts in the 5th Dimension Session.” Caitlin is a Certified Child Life Specialist the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.

The Bank Street Child Life Program prepares students for careers as certified child life specialists in both hospital and community health care environments. Students develop the skills necessary to promote family-centered care and learn how to work with children and their families who are living with the realities of chronic or terminal illness, surgery, trauma, injuries and disabilities. Students learn developmentally meaningful ways of working with children and their families in health care settings.