Gregor Sarkisian, PhD
Associate Professor, MA in Psychology
(310) 578-1080 ext. 330EMAIL
Gregor V. Sarkisian, PhD, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Between 1994 and 1996, Gregor worked as a child protective service worker for the Los Angeles County, Department of Children and Family Services. In 2001, he earned his PhD in Community Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also worked as a program consultant for the Kansas City Metro, Child Traumatic Stress Center, funded by the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
From 2002 to 2004 Gregor was a postdoctoral fellow in the Clinical Services Research Training Program at the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He worked as the principal evaluator of programs administered through the UCSF, Center for Science Education and Outreach. During the 2004-2005 academic year, he worked as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut.
In the 2005-2006 academic year, Gregor joined the AULA faculty and teaches primarily in the Applied Community Psychology (ACP) specialization of the Master of Arts in Psychology (MAP) program. Gregor’s current interests include community psychology, social ecology, teaching community psychology practice, qualitative methods, social power, community change processes, social policy, and program evaluation.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Postdoctoral Fellow, January, 2002 to August, 2004, Department of Psychiatry, Clinical Services Research Training Program (CSRTP), University of California, San Francisco
PhD in Community Psychology, University of Missouri, Kansas City
MA in General Psychology, Thesis: Burnout, Job Satisfaction, and Caseload Related to Sense of Community within the Workplace of Children’s Social Workers
MA in Clinical Psychology, California State University, Dominguez Hills
BA in Psychology, University of California, Irvine
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
Gordon, R. D., Taylor, R., & Sarkisian, G. V. (2010). Psychoeducational workshops as a practical tool to facilitate resettlement with Iraqi refugees and anchor relatives. In press in the Journal of Muslim Mental Health.
Sarkisian, G. V. & Taylor, S. (2009). Commentary on the SCRA-CEP 2008 survey of graduate programs: Is it realistic to develop universal core competencies for training in community psychology? The Community Psychologist, 42(4), 20.
Sarkisian, G. V. & Taylor, S. (2009, September 11). 10 ways colleges can work with their communities. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A28.
Angelique, H., Lounsbury, D., & Sarkisian, G. V. (2006). Graduate training programs in community psychology: Moving toward global partnerships for research and action. The Community Psychologist, 49 (4), 85-87.
Sarkisian, G. V. & Portwood, S. G. (2003). Client violence against social workers: From increased worker responsibility and administrative mishmash to effective prevention policy. Administration in Social Work, 27, 4, 41-59.
Sarkisian, G.V. & Council of Education Programs (2010, January). What is community psychology? The Society for Community Research and Action. http://www.scra27.org/resources/educationc.
Sarkisian, G.V. & Taylor, S. (2009, September 7). 10 ways colleges can work with their communities. The Chronicle of Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/article/10-Ways-Colleges-Can-Work-W/48282
Professional Development Award, Antioch University, Los Angeles, 2009
Educational Fellowship, National Science Foundation (NSF), 2002
Psi Chi National Honor Society, American Psychological Association, 1994
Scholarship of Teaching
Learning Community Psychology Practice
Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA), Division 27 of the American Psychological Association (APA)
Member, CEP-Practice Task Force, June, 2009 to Current
Member, Council of Education Programs (CEP), November, 2008 to Current
Israel Science Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel
Invited Reviewer: Research Grant Application No. 573/09, February 23, 2009
Community Psychology: Theories and Methods (PSY 545A)
Community Consultation and Collaboration (PSY 545D)
Program Development and Evaluation (PSY 545E)
Prevention and Promotion (PSY 545F)
Empowerment in Community Practice (PSY 545DD/490AD)
Community Organizing (PSY 545U)
Community Coalition Building (PSY 545EE)
Qualitative Interviewing (PSY 545GG)
Field Study/Advanced Field Study in Applied Community Psychology (PSY 512B/C)
Field Study: Psychology and Society (On-Line) (PSY 512A)
Research and Professional Writing (PSY 536A)
Learning can take many forms. Freire (1970) has described differences between national educational models, labeling the traditional U.S. model as a “banking model,” where the student is seen as an empty vessel to have knowledge deposited by the instructor. He further argues, and I agree, that this process denies the student the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills because of reliance on authority and adherence to an assumption that the student enters the classroom with little value. Based on an empowerment philosophy, my experience teaching in undergraduate and graduate psychology courses in higher education since 1997, and my experience in using student feedback as a valued resource in the development of my teaching, I offer six value statements below which I apply in my teaching to facilitate opportunities for students to empower themselves through their education:
(1) Through engagement in active learning by linking contemporary social issues to course content, student interests, and student professional values, I have found that students are more confident, persistent, and committed when conducting research, writing, and in collaborating with peers.
(2) The integration of classroom and field-based learning serves as a vehicle for the development of critical awareness of social and political landscapes that directly impact student professional skill and values development.
(3) Within the classroom, experiential learning exercises can provide a structured process by which students can develop their critical awareness and deepen their understanding of course content.
(4) Through a syllabus which clearly communicates learning activities, expectations of student performance and sets achievable goals for student learning, students are in a better position to begin learning. Once the course begins, I have found that students’ critical awareness to the importance of writing can be raised through the provision of prompt, informative, and frequent feedback on written assignments.
(5) Students are empowered when they are able to apply theories and skills in community settings, collaborate successfully with peers and community partners, and, communicate the results of their work in written and presentation formats.
(6) Finally, through longer-term sustained efforts, students are able to refine their diverse talents and develop new ones through contributing to community well-being.