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Sylvie Taylor, PhD

Antioch University Los Angeles

Dr. Taylor received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her area of clinical expertise is working children, adolescents and families. She has extensive clinical experience working with gang-involved youth, pregnant and parenting teens, and substance-abusing youth in community settings. Dr. Taylor completed her clinical internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, where she worked with psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents, provided consultation liaison services with youth hospitalized at the UCLA medical center, inpatients in pediatric oncology, and outpatients through the Diabetes Clinic, the Spanish Speaking Clinic and the Child Outpatient Clinic.

Dr. Taylor’s areas of specialization include community psychology and community mental health, asset-based community development, disaster mental health (critical incident stress debriefing), developmental psychopathology, program development and evaluation, and multicultural competence. Her current research focuses on the impact of parental advocacy and family literacy in combating the impact of educational disenfranchisement among children and youth attending low performing urban schools. In addition, she works with colleagues in the field education developing methods and models for community engaged pedagogy. She is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Educator Award from the Council on Education Programs of the Society for Community Research and Action. Her community service to the City of Los Angeles has been recognized in Commendations from California Senator Barbara Boxer and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and a Proclamation from the City of Los Angeles.

For the past fifteen years, Dr. Taylor has worked with schools and community organizations providing consultation and strengths-based interventions with diverse populations. She provides parent education through public schools on a wide variety of issues that impact child, youth, and family wellness. She has extensive experience working with first responders to disasters and has worked with non-governmental international organizations providing consultation on trauma among children and youth displaced due to disaster, civil unrest, and war.

At AULA, Dr. Taylor serves as the Director of the Applied Community Psychology Specialization and teaching a wide range of courses in community, developmental, and multicultural psychology.

Educational History

PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
MA in Clinical Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
BA, Cum Laude with Distinction in Psychology, Boston University, Phi Beta Kappa

Teaching Statement

My philosophy of teaching has been heavily influenced by literature in critical and liberation pedagogy as articulated in the works of Vygotsky, Bruner, Freire, and Anyon. I view my primary responsibility as a teacher to facilitate a process that leaves students hungry to learn more, eager to fill the gaps in their own knowledge, and poised to share what they have learned. If a student completes a class with me satisfied that they have learned all they need to know, I did not do my job. I want students to see how they can move their learning beyond the boundaries of what a class has to offer. My courses focus on connecting learning with culture and history and challenge students to consider how ideas and issues discussed in class affect their world view. I frequently use documentary film to bring concepts covered in class to life, and all of my courses involve collaborative projects that take students outside of the classroom. My goal is to ensure that students have the information, tools, and strategies to become masters of their own learning – to become lifelong learners where the people and communities around them serve as their teachers and classrooms as well.

Stress resilience in children living in urban poverty
Family and community literacy
Critical pedagogy

Taylor, S., & Sarkisian, G.V. (2011). Community psychology values driven pedagogy: The foundation for empowering educational settings. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 2(2), 19-30. Retrieved 22/12/2011, from

Taylor, S. & McDermott, J.C. (2009). From idea to practice: The impact of technology on a new era of progressive education. Conference Proceedings of the International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2009), Madrid (Spain), November 16 – 18, 2009.

McDermott, J.C. & Taylor, S. (2009). Engaging communities outside the classroom. Encounter, 22, 33-36.

Sarkisian, G.V. & Taylor, S. (2009, September 11). 10 ways colleges can work with their communities. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A28.

Taylor, S., Parks, C.W., Shorter-Gooden, K., Johnson, P. B., Burke, E. A., Ashing, K. T., Mendoza, R. H., Halloway, J., Polite, K., & Masuda, G.I. (2002). In and out of the classroom: A model for multicultural training in clinical psychology. In Davis-Russell, E. (Ed.), The California School of Professional Psychology Handbook on Multicultural Education, Research, Interventions, and Training. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Taylor, S. (1999). Books for Our Children, Books for Ourselves: An African American Parent’s Guide to Reading Children’s Literature. Los Angeles: Healing Villagers Press.

Myers, H. F., & Taylor, S. (1998). Family contributions to risk and resilience in African American children. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 29(1), 215-229.

Taylor, S., et. al. (1998). Psychology education and careers guidebook for college students of color: Applying to graduate and professional programs. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

2008 Outstanding Educator Award, 2009
Society of Community Research and Action Council on Education
(Division 27, American Psychological Association)

Instructional Resource Award, 2009
Society for Teaching of Psychology (Division 2, American Psychological Association)

Letter of Commendation for Excellence in Community Service, 2007
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

Proclamation in Recognition for Excellence in Community Service, 2007
City of Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa

Letter of Commendation for Excellence in Community Service, 2007
City of Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa

Letter of Commendation for Service to Victims of Hurricane Katrina, 2006
American Psychological Association

President’s Award for Innovation in Multicultural Community Education, 2001
National Conference for Community and Justice

Sylvie Taylor


MA in Psychology

Director, Applied Community Psychology Specialization,

Director, Non Clinical Psychology Programs,


Courses Taught

Master’s Courses

Society and the Individual (PSY 545)
Prevention and Promotion (PSY 545F)
Community Psychology: Theories and Methods (PSY 545A)
Grantsmanship for Non-Profits (PSY 545CC)
Child Advocacy and Social Policy (PSY 543)
Child and Adolescent Development (PSY 543)
Research and Professional Writing (PSY 546A)
Program Development and Evaluation (PSY545E)
Field Study in Applied Community Psychology (PSY 512B)
Advanced Field Study in Applied Community Psychology (PSY 512C)
Psychoeducational Groups and In-Service Training Development (PSY 575E)

Master’s Workshops

School Violence Prevention (PSY 553F)
Psychological Aspects of Oppression (PSY 526)
Compassion Fatigue: Taking Care While Taking Care (PSY 545AA)
Seeing the Glass Half Full: Asset Based Community Development (PSY 545Q)
Season for Nonviolence: An Exploration of the Works of Gandhi, Rustin, and King through Documentary Film
Mental Health Services in the 21st Century: Implications of the Mental Health Services Act (PSY 545X)

Undergraduate Courses

Social Cognition (PSY 384)
Social Psychology (PSY 384A/ SOC 384A)
Abnormal Child Psychology (PSY 320A)
Infant to Child Development (PSY 343)
Community Psychology: Context and Change (PSY 358)
Contemporary Issues in Adolescent Development (PSY 424/SOC424)
School and Community-Based Interventions with Children (PSY 454/SCO454)

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