Brandman University Faculty to Host Webinar on Talking to Children about COVID-19

April 07, 2020

The following content first appeared on the news page while UMass Global operated under its former name of Brandman University.

IRVINE, Calif. (April 7, 2020) – The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis affecting all Americans, including millions of children who need adults to guide them through an experience that can be distressing for people of all ages.

Brandman University faculty members Hawani Negussie and Nakisha Castillo will lead a new webinar for parents and educators who are looking for advice on how to talk to children about the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The webinar, “Responding to Children's Concerns, Questions, and Fears During a Crisis,” is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 8. (Update: The webinar is now available via a recording.)

“Many of us are receiving a constant feed of information about COVID-19,” Negussie said. “This includes children, who often need help understanding what they are hearing when the news is on. We want to give parents, caregivers and teachers strategies they can use to answer difficult questions in ways that are appropriate to a child’s developmental ability with interpreting current events around the world.”

Negussie, an assistant professor of early childhood education, holds a Doctorate in Education from Cal State Long Beach and teaches courses on teaching and leadership in the field of early childhood education at Brandman University. Castillo, an assistant professor of psychology, holds a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University and teaches subjects including family therapy and group counseling at Brandman.

“This is an especially challenging time for families with children who are enduring disruptions to school and other rhythms of daily life,” Chancellor Gary Brahm said. “I’m proud of Brandman faculty members who are giving parents and teachers the information they need to help children stay healthy and resilient during a national crisis.”

Previous Brandman webinars focused on helping people get through the coronavirus crisis include “COVID-19: Moving Your Classes Online.” Originally webcast on March 19, this webinar features education professor Kimberly Greene’s advice for educators adapting to distance learning while school sites are closed to students. The webinar, initially viewed by more than 1,600 people, is archived here.



Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative programs and support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs. Brandman serves about 24,000 students, more than 14,000 of whom enroll in academic credit programs, at 25 physical campuses in California and Washington, as well as online. Brandman offers fully-online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For additional information, visit the university’s website.

Media Contacts:

Terri M. Carbaugh, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs: [email protected]

Andrew Edwards, Senior Multimedia News Writer: [email protected]

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