Michelle Minyard-Widmann, MS

Associate Chair, Department of Counseling and Family Sciences
Assistant Professor, Counseling and Family Sciences
Director, Child Life Specialist MS Program

Contact Information

Email maminyard@llu.edu
Phone 909-558-4547, ext. 47072

Department of Counseling and Family Sciences
Loma Linda University, Griggs Hall, Office 112
11065 Campus St., Loma Linda, CA  92350

Degrees and Certifications

  • MS, Child Development/Child Life - University of La Verne, 1995
  • Certificate, National Bereavement Facilitator II - American Academy of Bereavement, 2000
  • Certificate, Child Life Specialist - Association of Child Life Professionals, 1999

Areas of Specialization

  • Child development
  • Stress and coping in the hospital environment
  • Grief and loss
  • Program development

Professional Memberships

  • Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)
    • Awards Committee (Chair 2023-2024, Chair-Elect 2022-2023, and member since 2021): Present the ACLP Board of Directors with the recommended winner for the Distinguished Service Award and the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award.
    • Mentorship Program (mentor) (2020-2019): Participated in a formal mentorship program, allowing for mentors to be identified and partnered with mentees.
    • Graduate Accreditation Task Force (Co-chair) (2013-2019): Facilitate and lead initiatives for future accreditation of graduate programs in the United States and Canada.
    • Students and Emerging Professionals Committee (member) (2017-2018): Creating a strategic, coordinated, and collaborative relationship among other task force leaders and key stakeholders to discuss student issues.
    • The Child Life Certifying Committee (member) (2007-2016): Committee was established to initiate, evaluate, maintain and oversee the CCLS credentialing program. Positions held: Item writer, reviewer, exam assembler and ethics committee member for the Child Life professional certification examination.
    • Member of the Education and Training Committee (member) (2008-2012): To promote the quality and consistency of academic and clinical preparation programs.
    • Conference Planning Committee, San Diego Conference (member) (2009): Plan and implement the Annual Child Life Conference.
  • Association for Play Therapy (APT)

Recent Publications and Presentations


  • December 2023. Ethical Considerations for the Child Life Professional. The Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Nursing Department. Hangzhou, China.
  • October 2022. Presentation on the Child Life Profession. Mt San Antonio College, Walnut, CA.
  • March 2021. The Future of Behavioral Health through a Post-COVID Lens. Panel member. Loma Linda University Health, LLUH Virtual Homecoming 2021. Loma Linda, CA.
  • July 2020. Student Interns and Internships during COVID. Panel member. Western States Child Life Symposium, Miller Children's and Women's Hospital. Long Beach, CA.

Community Engagement​

  • Your Village: ASD Support Group-Supervisor (2022)
  • Parent Teacher Group, The Grove School (2022)
  • Child Life IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness) Group-Supervisor (2020-present)
  • Pediatric Brain and Spine Tumor Support Group (2018-present)
  • Volunteer PTA member at Kimberly Elementary (2013-present)
  • Parent-Teacher Association (2012-2019)
  • Co-leader of Girl Scout Troop (2013-2018)