Work History: Alette's first official job was at Contra Costa Psychiatric Emergency Services in 1998 as a psychological intern. Her next opportunity was at Contra Costa Juvenile Hall and the World Institute on Disability. She is now one of the leading forensic evaluators for the state of California.
Her current place of employment is at John F. Kennedy University as a professor and Interim Director of Clinical Training
How: In 2004, Alette attended the American Psychological Association Convention in Hawaii and ran into her former doctorate professor while taking a continuing education class. Her professor asked if she was interested in teaching a course at JFK University to which Alette replied, “Of course!” By the beginning of fall 2005, Alette joined the core faculty
and taught most of the courses in the clinical doctorate and sport psychology program.
Why: Teaching and learning is her passion. The beauty of teaching is that she gets to continue to challenge herself to learn and grow. She has the pleasure of meeting the incredible people who have impacted her life in such profound ways. JFK University promotes multicultural awareness and social justice. She felt empowered to advocate for all of the accommodations she would need to be an effective professor. She feels respected and valued when issues arise related to disability or discrimination connected to disability.
Mission as a Professor: Helping her students engage in critical thinking. Alette enjoys challenging her students to dissect their ideas through multiple lenses and explore every thought and perspective from different angles. Her teaching philosophy: the importance of always being a continual learner. Once you think you know it all that is usually the first sign that you should challenge yourself to dig a little deeper because there is always more to learn and valuable ways to grow
There is no greater gift than being able to witness her students transform themselves and the world around them!
Strengths: Alette has pride in being a woman with a disability. She loves who she as a woman with Cerebral Palsy! She embraces her CP accent and muscle spasms. Through self-reflection, she is proud of her disability. Her powerful community gives her strength; she has learned how to be a professor, psychologist, employer, employee, mother, spouse, advocate, and friend. She loves being creative, thinking outside of the box, and listening to other perspectives and philosophies.
Hobbies: Swimming, skiing, exercising, painting, going to Broadway theater, and traveling the world.
Advice for Project HIRED’s clients: Alette writes, “Believe in yourself, you have value, and you have a purpose! You have the ability to define who you are in society. Don’t spend your energy adapting to society; rather, we need to demand that society value us and create spaces that are inclusive of us! Why should employers hire us? Simply put, the workforce needs us. People with disabilities are highly adaptable. We see the world through a different lens. We are the largest minority. There are 61 million people with disabilities and if you don’t include us in the workplace then you are not meeting demographic representation. We are an important and powerful voice! We are the people! Our voice is the voice of the future!”
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