CPP Student Spotlight: Sidney Reser

February 2024

by Mya Brossoit

The College of Professional Programs is excited to recognize Sidney Reser for February’s Student Spotlight. Sidney is a graduate student in the Child Life program.

Reser will soon graduate from EWU with a Master of Arts Degree in Child Life. She is currently interning at Flushing Hospital in New York City.

After growing up in Spokane with EWU Alumni parents, Sidney knew that Eastern Washington University would be a wise investment towards her future education.  After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Children’s Studies, Sidney wanted a deeper understanding of the diverse roles a Certified Child Life Specialist plays within a clinical setting, working with children who are receiving medical treatment.

Sidney advises other students who are interested in this area of study to reflect on their personal motivations towards becoming a Child Life Specialist and using that purpose to inform your pathway through the program. Along with this suggestion, she recommends students:

Take all the opportunities that come with this program like the EWU library, EWU writing center, online class practicum, thesis, and faculty support!

One of the many skills Reser developed while in the Child Life program, was experience writing a $55,000 mock grant for a hospital playroom, which is now a critical skill as her department within Flushing Hospital is working on a grant proposal for Child Life to be incorporated into a dental clinic.

I am so thankful to have the experience with grants already from my grant writing class at Eastern.

Like many students in graduate programs, Reser struggled to believe in her ability to write a master’s thesis, especially the first few weeks she worked on it. In spite of her personal doubts, she finished, with the help of faculty member Katie Walker during regular Zoom meetings and EWU Writers’ Center responders.  She states that:

A thesis takes months of research and hard work, and I couldn’t have done it without the support from my faculty and EWU’s writing center.

Sidney credits Katie Walker, PhD, CCLS, and Belinda Hammond, EdD, CCLS, CIMI, as significant contributors to her educational success. Katie was her champion while writing her thesis, and provided the opportunity for Sidney to serve as a Teaching Assistant.  Belinda helped Sidney begin the transition from student to a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).  Sidney  is grateful for the Hammond did to place her into a practicum and internship, amidst her multiple moves across the United States.

Reser’s greatest achievement so far is successfully defending her thesis, titled “Certified Child Life Specialists Perceptions Of Animal Assisted Therapy: On Their Psychosocial and Psychological Well-Being in Clinical Settings.”  She now plans to present her results in 2024 during a webinar sponsored by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).

With an exciting future ahead of her, Sidney dreams of returning to Eastern Washington University one day to teach Child Life as a professor. She states,

I love child life and being a support to students at EWU.

The College of Professional Programs is honored to feature Sidney for her excellent work and magnificent aspirations for the future!