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Stories of Leadership: Janice Gapasin

Janice Gapasin, '96, credits SDSU for expanding her world view.

Janice Gapasin graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in child development in 1996. 

She continued her education until she received her Ph.D. in psychology in 2002 from California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles.

Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?

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Janice Gapasin
After my education, I started a private practice helping children.  After some health issues, I opted to leave my practice and become a psychologist for the Poway Unified School District where I have been for more than 12 years.  I love my job knowing that by working with children I can change a life in a positive direction.  I have always been fascinated with brain behavior, so this job is a perfect fit for me.

What is your favorite college memory?

Although I remember receiving a perfect score on a final exam from a very difficult professor, I think my favorite college memory was when I graduated. Seeing how proud my father was of me for graduating gave me such chills.  I will never forget that day.

Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

I really didn’t have a favorite professor. I felt like I got equal treatment from all my professors.  I do have to say, that with the professors I worked with, I felt that they loved what they did and were very dedicated to their students.  Through their instruction, I felt I received a wonderful education at SDSU, which helped prepare me for graduate school.

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Don’t be lazy; love what you do; don’t be afraid; have faith in the professor’s knowledge; encourage your parents to take part in your education; and especially, have a balance between your studies and your social life. I think my biggest regret is not getting involved with the social life.  Use this opportunity to break out and see the world.  

What are you currently reading?  What’s your favorite book?


I don’t read that much but when I do I usually read fiction.  I usually use my reading to escape.

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What is your passion?

Being a mom is my biggest passion followed by helping people succeed and knowing that I make someone’s life better. I also enjoy watching people get together to be part of the larger community.

What is your motto?

Be kind and empathic.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

I would probably give back to myself, quit work and donate to some specific charities that my mother was involved in.  I would love to see some of the projects that she was passionate about come to life. 

Any other thoughts? 


Living a very sheltered life as a child, I am thankful to SDSU for opening my eyes to see such diversity within our community.  I really owe a lot to SDSU. 

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