Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Early childhood expert returns to her roots

Early childhood expert returns to her roots

Chicago native Lynne Rooth Golomb earned her doctoral degree at Loyola and went on to develop the School of Education’s new EdD program for school psychology. Here, Golomb discusses how social justice guides her work, why she loves dealing with infants, and what she really thinks about marathon runners.

What brought you to Loyola?

I started at the University of Maryland working on a PhD in special education. I had completed all my course work when my husband had the opportunity to go to the University of Chicago. After about a year in Chicago, I started looking into different programs where I could finish my PhD and found that Loyola had one for educational psychology at the time that was very aligned with what I was doing. So I came here.

What drew you to working with infants?

They’ve always fascinated me. When I was in graduate school the first time in 1966, they were just starting to discover that babies could do things. They could see, hear, respond. It used to be that people thought babies came out like tabula rasa, which gave rise to the whole issue of nature and nurture. I always thought if we got in there early, we might be able to change behavior and give children more of a chance.

Talk a little about your work with infant temperament.

My research on infant temperament was really looking at families that had children with special needs. In my clinical work with those families, if I were to ask them to tell me about their child, they would say, “Well, my kid has Down syndrome.” And I would have to say, “No, tell me what your kid is like.” It didn’t seem like parents could separate the disability from the child. Once they learned the way their child was—not what the disabilities were—it made the parents see their kids in a much better light.

Was there ever a moment when you thought to yourself, “This is it. This is what I was meant to do”?

I have those moments all the time. Because my major work was with families, I have had many families keep in touch with me over the years. Just last week, I got an email from a mother whose little boy I had diagnosed as autistic. He’s now a junior at Lane Tech on the honor roll, getting ready to go to college. Those are the moments that make me go, “Wow.”

Can you talk about the new doctoral program for school psychologists?

We have a new EdD program in school psychology that we have developed over the last few years and it just started in the fall. It’s for people who are already practicing school psychologists. It’s primarily online and lets people learn more about how to change systems by using evidence-based research. This year, we have 17 students, some returning Loyolans and many from other programs. It’s a very exciting opportunity for us. (Learn more about the EdD in School Psychology.) 

How do you think social justice is connected to your field, and how does it inform how you approach your work?

It informs everything that we do as a program. We believe that all kids deserve an equal chance to get an education and that it is our job in the schools to make sure that children aren't losing out on services because of some inequity. It’s better for our world if everybody gets a fair shot.

Teaching and dealing with school psychology must be mentally draining at times. What do you do for yourself that keeps you on track?

I run every day along the lake and it’s wonderful. Running, for me, is a very private, personal thing. It keeps me sane, it’s very therapeutic. I don’t do marathons. I hate when people are training for the marathons and the lakefront gets so crowded. I think, “What are you doing here?” I get so mad. [Laughs]

About the professor

Name: Lynne Rooth Golomb, EdD

Title: Clinical assistant professor, program co-director of Psychology and Research in the Schools

Hometown: Chicago

Professor at Loyola since: 2002

Courses taught: Practicum in School Psychology (CIEP 461/463); Internship in School Psychology (CIEP 486); Doctoral Professional Seminar (CIEP 533); Doctoral Internship in School Psychology (CIEP 586)