Center of Excellence in Communications

Welcome to the Center of Excellence in Communications (CEC) at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace!

The CEC celebrates and teaches about the myriad platforms for communication that exist and are ever-evolving in the 21st century. The CEC is dedicated to educating students about both the technical ways to share information, entertainment, and inspiration as well as the breadth of skills involved in developing high-quality media content. Exploring various forms of media, of which journalism, documentary filmmaking, popular culture, and advertising are a part, the Center of Excellence educates the aspiring media practitioner and the burgeoning media artist. Communication persuades or otherwise affects the behavior, the attitude, opinion, or emotion of the people receiving the message. Staying on the cutting edge of these modalities is of uppermost importance to its mission.

The CEC was created in August 2020 as a resource for students, parents, and the internal OLP community. Directed by Inez Odom, OLP's Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Innovation, the CEC will host virtual speaker series on topics related to mental health and well-being, college counseling, communications in the 21st century and more.

OLP parents are encouraged to attend the virtual presentations and will have an opportunity to ask questions. This page will also serve as a repository of answers to our most commonly asked questions.

Mental Well-being Series Events

Being There for Her During COVID-19: How OLP Parents Can Best Support the Mental Well-being of their Daughters During the time of COVID-19

This event included experts in the field of mental health and well being of adolescents:

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Cynthia Nguyen is a cross cultural psychiatrist in Palo Alto, CA. She is an adjunct clinical associate professor at the Stanford Medical School and an advisor to undergraduates at Stanford in the Program of Human Biology. She specializes in anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and focuses on post traumatic growth and resilience. She spent nine years on a Ph.D. in languages and civilizations at Harvard before switching to Medical school at Stanford. She is very much interested in the narrative arc, the unique story of every one of her patients.

Dr. Charlotte Houston is Founder and CEO of Psychology Consultation Services, Inc. She provides psychological treatment in addressing a broad spectrum of adjustment challenges for adults, families, and adolescents in her clinical practice. She focuses on communication, team-building, self-management and stress reduction strategies to increase personal and work effectiveness as well as an overall healthy, satisfactory balance in life. She is also a Testing Psychologist for the National Football League and a certified Executive Coach at Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), both for over twenty years. Dr. Houston collaborates to help individuals, teams, and leaders improve performance, results, accountability, and efficiency. The goal is always to achieve exceptional quality in personal and work-related endeavors as well as work-life balance.  

Educational Background
Dr. Houston received her B.A. in Psychology at Birmingham-Southern College and her Ph.D. in Psychology at University of Alabama. She became licensed in California as a Psychologist in 1982 and has since become certified as an Executive Coach. She is currently an active member of the San Diego Psychological Association.

Dr. Renna Wolfe earned her bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from Smith College and subsequently her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCSD in 2010. Her graduate research focused in the field of cortical neuroplasticity, the mechanisms that underlie learning and memory. Ultimately more drawn to education than research, Renna began developing science educational materials for a number of digital platforms and then eagerly stepped into the classroom at La Jolla Country Day school where she has been teaching Advanced Placement Biology for the past five years. 

Most recently, Renna reconnected with her fascination for what best primes our brains to learn, and what hampers it. She has been compiling and connecting research from neuroscience and psychology labs around the world to synthesize a better understanding of student wellbeing and compassionate behavior, from a neuroscientific, developmental, and educational psychology perspective. She is most passionate about sharing what the scientific community is learning about the interplay between increasingly common afflictions in youth such as anxiety and behaviors that are known to develop resilience and other protective countermeasures during childhood and adolescence.

Dr. Beverly Jacobson received her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from UCLA in 1989 and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University School of Education in 1997. She focused her graduate studies in quantitative and qualitative research methods, cognitive development, and education reform. 

More recently, she has been working in the field of mindfulness education for adolescents. She has achieved certification to teach the “.b” curriculum developed by the Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK) and The Inner Strength Teen Program developed by the Inner Strength Foundation (Philadelphia, PA).  She has also completed training through Mindful Schools (Oakland, CA) to teach their curriculum for teens. Since 2015, she has been teaching these mindfulness-based programs in Denver, CO through Kaiser Permanente’s Centers for Complementary Medicine, as well as in middle schools, high schools, and private groups. More information about these programs can be found at:


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