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Inside Erikson | February 2024

a monthly comm(unity) newsletter

February 2024 — Welcome to the February edition of the Inside Erikson newsletter!

February is Black History Month. Throughout the month, we will highlight the achievements of African Americans and share events and resources across the Erikson community and on social media. This month, we are also introducing two new initiatives to promote wellness and professional development amongst students, staff and faculty; monthly Wellness Wednesdays and a quarterly Lunch and Learn series. And, we are excited to introduce the Gold Star Alumni series, where we shine a light on the Erikson alumni who work everyday to carry out our mission and commitment to young children.

Erikson Updates

Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Update

Cheers to Wellness! The JEDI office is pleased to launch the monthly 2024 Wellness Wednesday series. These will be intentional opportunities for our community to explore multiple forms of wellness, together. The JEDI office invites students, staff and faculty to join in on sponsored events or travel to participate in Chicagoland activities we promote.

On Valentine’s Day (2/14), enjoy a 10-minute chair massage from Body Works by Carla. Services will be from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm.

Jeanette Banashak, PhD

Jeanette Banashak, PhD

This month we lift Jeanette Banashak, PhD, Erikson faculty who initiated and led an outstanding virtual silent retreat. Silent retreats are intended for introspection and quiet that permits space for deeper thinking and self-care. The response and turnout were outstanding, and we are ready for more.

Advocating for rest and guiding our community to and through ways to settle down the noise is not only a force but a form of resistance when we are consumed with input. Thank you, Jeanette for looking toward peace and encouraging Erikson to engage by unplugging.

Erikson President Mariana Souto-Manning joins 2024 Daniel Burnham Fellowship cohort

Leadership Greater Chicago | The Daniel Burnham Fellowship 2024 Cohort | Mariana Souto-Manning, PhD | Erikson Institute

Congratulations to Erikson President Mariana Souto-Manning on being selected as a 2024 Daniel Burnham Fellow. Learn more about the fellowship and its 2024 cohort

Vote Meghan Green to NAEYC’s 2024 Governing Board

Meghan Green

Erikson’s Meghan Green, EdD., has the honor of being a candidate for Member at Large on the Governing Board of NAEYC. All current NAEYC members are encouraged to vote before voting ends on March 1. Lean more about Meghan and watch her candidate statement

Remembering Helene Block Fields, MEd ’70

Helene Block Fields

Erikson Institute remembers Helene Block Fields (3/28/1932–1/24/2024), member of Erikson’s first graduating class and an esteemed early childhood educator. Learn more about Helene’s legacy through this tribute from her friend and Erikson’s Associate Director of Development, Allison Rickard.

Introducing the Gold Star Alumni series

Erikson Institute Gold Star Alum | Heather Aranyi | MS in Child Development, 1999 | Founder and CEO, Alignment Coaching and Consulting

Our Institutional Advancement Team, in collaboration with the Communication Team, has launched a new initiative to showcase the outstanding achievements and experiences of our alumni. The Gold Star Alumni Series aims to celebrate the exceptional individuals who have not only excelled in their respective fields but have also made a significant impact on their communities. Learn more about our February feature, Professor Heather Aranyi (MSCD ‘99).

If you would like to nominate alumni for this feature, please contact Enrique Sanchez Freire.

Careers at Erikson

We’re hiring for a variety of roles that support our mission. Please check out new opportunities here and share widely with your networks.

Upcoming Erikson Events

Résumé Book Submission

Submit your résumé to [email protected] to be included in our annual resume book! This resource is sent to prospective employers who are looking to fill open positions within their organization. Don’t miss this opportunity to get noticed! Last day to submit your resume is Monday, March 4th.

Lunch and Learn

Erikson is launching a Lunch & Learn series for all faculty, staff and students. The first session will be held February 12 at 12 p.m., and will be entirely virtual. The topic is Artificial Intelligence, presented by technology, cybersecurity and data privacy expert Debbie Reynolds. Please check your email for a calendar invitation from Mariana with a link to the live ZOOM presentation. Thank you to Erikson’s General Counsel Maria DiLorenzo for planning and hosting our event.

Résumé Cafés

This month we are introducing Résumé Cafés! Every Tuesday during the month of February, students will have the opportunity to get their resume reviewed in person. ​

The February dates are: ​

  • February 6​
  • February 13
  • February 20
  • February 27​

Contact Associate Director of Career Services and Alumni Engagement, Alyssa Maestre, if you have any questions

Erikson in the News

Amanda Moreno, PhD, Director of Erikson’s doctoral program, recently published a blog for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning on the importance of SEL during challenging times. Read the article

Erikson’s President Mariana Souto-Manning was recently featured in a WBEZ Chicago article highlighting the home-based childcare provider crisis and its impact on Illinois’ working families. Read the article

Erikson’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Maria Di Lorenzo, was recently featured on National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) podcast, NAWLTalks. Listen to the episode

About Erikson

Graduate Education

Recognized for our groundbreaking work in the field of early childhood, Erikson specializes in preparing child development, education, and social work leaders to improve the lives of young children, families, and their communities. For more information on our degree and certificate programs, visit our website or email our admissions team.

Clinical and Community Services

Erikson’s Center for Children and Families offers pediatric mental health services for children birth to age 8 and their families. Services can be provided in both English and Spanish, and are available to families regardless of their ability to pay.

Policy and Leadership

Erikson’s Policy and Leadership department engages leaders in government, business, and nonprofit sectors to inform effective policies that benefit children and families. They offer unique programming that equips decision-makers and influencers with the resources, skills, and deep knowledge about early childhood development that will support their efforts to make lasting change. Learn more about our Policy and Leadership

Give to Erikson

The first 1,800 days of life set the stage for a child’s long-term physical and emotional health, socioeconomic trajectory, life expectancy, happiness, and well-being. Can we count on you to make a gift to strengthen our ability to serve children and families, as well as our students, faculty, and staff, during this time? Your support for Erikson prepares the heroes in young children’s lives—teachers, social workers, civic leaders, parents and caregivers—to get them safely through this crisis so they can soar into promising futures. Please donate here

Join the Erikson family with monthly news + events updates shared by academics, community members, and families.