Inside Erikson | October 2021 Newsletter

October 2021 – Welcome to the October edition of the Inside Erikson newsletter!

As we prepare for trick or treating and other fun fall activities, Erikson is welcoming our students back to campus for the first time since the pandemic started. As students returned to classes on October 4, it is important to keep our community safe and follow all the protocols outlined in the COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy including providing test results to HR if you have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms. Remember to wash your hands frequently, wear your mask, keep a safe social distance, and most importantly stay home if you or someone in your household is showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Please visit the websites below to find free testing locations:

Keep reading to learn more about our latest announcements and events and thank you for being a committed member of the Erikson community


Update from the President

Last month, Erikson’s new president, Mariana Souto-Manning, hit the ground running by hosting a virtual town hall meeting to connect with students and share more about herself as well as her plans for Erikson. This meeting was both informal and a great way for Erikson students to learn more about Dr. Souto-Manning and her journey to Erikson Institute.

Mariana is currently hosting similar meetings with small groups of Erikson employees to open the lines of communication between herself and the Erikson community. These virtual chats are scheduled twice a week until November 12.

Erikson Updates

Vaccine Policy Update

On September 2, Erikson held an open dialogue about COVID-19 vaccines with Dr. Candice Robinson – a public health expert and Medical Director of the Chicago Department of Public Health’s vaccine rollout. Students and staff were invited to attend. Erikson also held a vaccine clinic on September 29 for staff and students.


Patty Lawson is a finalist for “Chicago CFO of the Year”

We are delighted to announce that Patty Lawson, Vice President of Finance and Operations and CFO, is a finalist for “Chicago CFO of the Year,” an award granted by the Financial Executives International (FEI). Patty was nominated by Board Chair Elenne Song, who described Patty’s extraordinary performance over the past year while serving as Interim President along with her other duties: “In the fall of 2020, when the Board discussed all of our options regarding an interim President and considered a potentially protracted search for a new President, we unanimously agreed that we had the confidence to hand over the reins of the Presidency to only one person. Since then, we’ve received affirmation from external and internal stakeholders that we made the right decision…”

Congratulations on being a finalist, Patty, and all of Erikson is pulling for you to win.


Upcoming Erikson Events

Self-Care for the Social Worker: An ethical practice for preventing burnout

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, social workers have been inundated with persons seeking help as rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse have risen. To explore how reflective practice is a form of self-care, and to facilitate active coping skills which can reduce social worker burnout, Erikson is hosting a 3-hour workshop on October 22 with faculty presenters, Cassandra McKay-Jackson and Catherine Murray. Social workers, social work supervisors, and mental health practitioners are invited to attend. This workshop satisfies the mandatory ethics training for social work licensure renewal in Illinois. 3 Ethics CEUs. Register here by October 15, 2021.

Erikson in the News

Erikson’s own Sara Anderson, Associate Director for the Center of Children and Families, was recently featured in a story from WBEZ on the anxiety children face as they return to in-person learning. The link to the article can be found on our Erikson In The News homepage.

Erikson alum Matthew Steuer (MSECE ‘14) was featured in a recent “Vows” column in the New York Times about his marriage to a fellow educator.

Our Early Math Collaborative was mentioned as a resource in a recent story in Chalkbeat’s Philadelphia edition.

Luisiana Melendez, Clinical Professor at Erikson was featured in this segment on Univision, talking about access to early childhood education.

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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

As we adapt to these unexpected and challenging times due to COVID-19, Erikson’s Center for Children and Families is offering virtual mental health services to parents, caregivers, and children, as well as crisis counseling and consultation to support first responders and early childcare providers and teachers. Services can be provided in both English and Spanish, and are available to families regardless of their ability to pay.

We have also re-opened our River North clinic for services that require in-person assessments, including Early Intervention Medical and Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Evaluations.

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 1,100 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.

More ways to connect

Learn more about Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative and TEC Center.