Cristina Restrepo

Current Employer: District of Columbia Public Schools

The coursework presented throughout the Children’s Literature certificate program not only aligned with my undergraduate studies in Applied Developmental Psychology but presented an enriched lens of historical context that informs culturally responsive practices. Now, in my work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Coordinator of specialized programs designed for students with exceptionalities, I place a strong emphasis on ensuring children see themselves represented in literature in a format that is accessible to all students.

After my undergraduate studies in Applied Developmental Psychology, I completed graduate studies at Pitt in Early Intervention / Autism Specialization and Applied Behavior Analysis. Together with School of Education professor Dr. Mary Margaret Kerr, we led a project with graduate students in a school-based behavioral health course. Throughout the semester, students designed stories that are developmentally appropriate with the goal to help children gain a further understanding of interventions that may be in place to support that child.

The variety of perspectives in one classroom is something I highly valued throughout the Children’s Literature certificate program. Students from different majors analyzing content through a different lens led to enriched interdisciplinary conversations. Years later, I am so thankful for the students and professors I worked with throughout the program. The Children’s Literature certificate program is truly a gem.