SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2, 2002 - Longtime nursing professor Charlotte Ferretti was recently named director of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth and Families at San Francisco State University.
Ferretti, who's been teaching at SFSU since 1985, coordinated the graduate nursing emphasis in clinical care management, and helped establish the former Mission High School Health Center, now the Valencia Health Services, a collaboration between SFSU and the University of California, San Francisco's School of Nursing. Students from SFSU and UCSF earn credit by volunteering at Valencia and serve more than 2,500 pediatric and adolescent patients, offering healthcare, case management and health education.
In her new role, Ferretti will focus on issues affecting children and youth, especially through the University's child and adolescent development program.
"I want to develop a program of excellence, whose graduates will directly and positively impact the quality of early child care and education, improve the opportunities for at risk youth to be successful and become involved in policy development on issues affecting children and youth," she said.
The Institute, founded in 1997 and housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, addresses the needs of children, youth and families through collaborations between SFSU and the community, encourages research and offers an interdisciplinary program on child and adolescent development. The child and adolescent development program, with an enrollment of more than 250 students, prepares students for work with children and families or in research and public policy.
A number of the Institute's programs have a local impact, especially in literacy.
The Institute sponsors Jumpstart, a local affiliate of the national Jumpstart organization, and trains students to prepare 3- to 5-year-olds for school. About 50 students from SFSU work with children and their families in the Bayview-Hunter's Point, Mission, Marina, Richmond and South of Market neighborhoods.
The SFSU Child Study Center, a lab preschool for early childhood teacher education, is also supported by the Institute. Students working at the center get hands-on experience working with children and their families, while learning about early childhood education through observation and research.
"Research and activities from these projects will influence policy decisions to improve the health, education and development of our children and youth," she said.
The Institute is also partnered with WiRED International, an organization founded by SFSU business professor Gary Selnow and dedicated to establishing Internet technology in developing nations. Proceeds from some Internet cafes established in Bosnia, Nicaragua and Kenya help fund health centers that educate residents about such topics as HIV and AIDS prevention and offer assistance to amputees injured by land mines.
Ferretti was chosen as director after a yearlong search. She also served as the Institute's interim director.
"She brings a wealth of experience in working with and for the community in her nursing work in establishing public health centers in San Francisco," said Joel Kassiola, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. "With extensive experience in grant writing and administration, Charlotte will be an excellent mentor for faculty needing assistance in obtaining external funds in order to conduct their research as well as managing the many different projects under the Edelman Institute."
Ferretti is a longtime Tiburon resident where she lives with her husband, Robert. She also has two adult sons, Rob and Chris. Next month she will be inducted into the American Academy of Nursing.
Student Writer Clair A. McDevitt assisted in writing this press release.
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