The recipients of this year’s Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA) Alumni Awards include a marriage and family therapist who founded AULA’s Bridge Program; a poet, educator and therapist who has led workshops across the country for LGBT youth; a social psychologist, program evaluator and writer who has positively impacted the lives of many women and young adults; and a community college instructor who spearheaded a key partnership with AULA. All four will be honored at an October 16 luncheon at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.
Shari Foos, a marriage and family therapist, educator and activist, will be the first recipient of the university’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, she and David Tripp co-founded Antioch’s Bridge Program, which offers free college courses in the humanities to low-income adult learners.
Foos, who earned both a BA in Liberal Studies and an MA in Clinical Psychology from AULA, is the creator of The Narrative Method, a dynamic group experience that uses stories and big ideas to transform relationships. The Narrative Method provides free workshops to veterans as well as young adults, women’s shelters, and others dealing with PTSD, homelessness and other issues.
Steven Reigns will receive the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. A poet, educator and therapist, he was named the first City Poet of West Hollywood in October 2014. He has published two poetry collections and a dozen chapbooks, and edited My Life is Poetry, featuring his students in the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors.
Reigns has taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. A nine-time recipient of the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs Artist in Residency Grant program, he earned an MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch in 2010.
Dr. Ashaki Jackson is the recipient of the 2016 AULA Alumni Association Award for Exemplary Community Service and Activism. She is a social psychologist and program evaluator whose work focuses on youth moving through the juvenile justice system. As a consultant, she has worked on federal and state-sponsored studies of vulnerable populations.
A 2006 graduate of AULA’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Jackson has volunteered as a writing instructor and youth mentor for many youth programs, including WriteGirl’s In Schools program for teen girls and InsideOut Writers for incarcerated and post-release youth and young adults. She co-founded a women’s writing group, Women Who Submit, devoted to increasing women’s presence in top-tier literary journals.
Wally Hanley, recipient of the 2016 AULA Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Service to the University, has two degrees from AULA–a BA in Liberal Arts (1996) and an MA in Organizational Management (1998). As a program manager for Habitat for Humanity Los Angeles, he ran the partnership homebuilding operations in South Central LA, which delivered over 100 single- and multiple-family residences for people to buy and own. From there, he became a full-time instructor at LA Trade Tech College (LATTC), where he now serves as Academic Senate President and co-chair of the College Council.
Over the past year, Hanley led the development of an important new partnership between AULA and LA Trade Tech. As a result of this joint venture, AULA is now offering a degree completion program onsite at LATTC.
“Each of our honorees demonstrates an exceptional dedication to the University’s ideals and mission,” said AULA Interim Provost Dale A. Johnston Ph.D. “They have had a deep and lasting impact on the communities where they live and work. We are all honored to recognize these alumni for their incredible contributions and the inspiration they have been to others.”
Foos, Reigns, Jackson and Hanley will be honored on Sunday, October 16, 2016, at the 2016 AULA Distinguished Alumni Awards luncheon and reunion.
Karen Hamilton ’17 (Antioch Los Angeles, MA) is Antioch's Director of Marketing for Content and Communications. She has used her storytelling and copywriting skills for more than twenty years, crafting articles and creating publications. She believes that communication is a powerful driver for social change.