Dr. Bernier’s doctorate dissertation research involved Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. As a breast cancer survivor while completing her Master’s degree, Dr Bernier worked as a Regional Executive for Patient Support for the American Cancer Society. Her internships included the D’Esopo Resource Center for Loss and Transition and New Britain General Hospital.
2010-present: Master’s Degree Human Services, Post University, Waterbury, CT
Adjunct Professor Online and Waterbury Campus, Courses taught are Human Development through the Lifecycle, Sociology of Human Services, and Applied Research Methods in Human Services.
2005-present: Department of University Studies, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Adjunct Professor: Courses taught in the Adult Journey in Search of Meaning.
2002-present: Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Department of
Education, St. Joseph College, West Hartford, CT
Adjunct Professor/Mentor/Lecturer: Courses taught in Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure Studies and Educational Research Methods.
In quoting Webster, “Education is the instruction or training by which people (generally young) learn to develop and use their mental, moral, and physical powers”. With this definition in mind, Dr. Bernier truly believes that one must incorporate traditional and untraditional teachings. In today’s society, the classroom is a mixture of cultures and diverse populations. In teaching, one must also look to the autonomy of each student and assist in developing it.
As an educator coming from a psychological and sociological background, it is vital to include curriculum that increases cultural awareness and student self-esteem. Teaching one to discover the inner-self and also to expand on utilizing group dynamics, does not only aid in the process of learning but also builds character.
Dr. Bernier’s teaching philosophy incorporates motivation as a strong stimulus in progressive learning. When one has an incentive to learn a new task, the mind is opened to new thoughts of thinking, including developing perseverance. When tasks are accomplished, self-worth soars and pride in one’s work shines through. By using creativity and with thinking “outside of the box”, motivating a classroom has a contagious effect, leading to strong team building.
Dr. Bernier’s professional career in healthcare includes fifteen years in long-term care as a Therapeutic Recreation Director. She has worked in assisted living facilities and nursing homes as an Executive Director and Dementia Program Director. Dr. Bernier also was an Executive Director for a vocational and rehabilitation agency for acquired brain injury and developmental disabled clients. These positions involved working with clients, families, state agencies, healthcare providers, caregivers, families, and board members.
She is founder of Bernier Hypnosis and Life Enrichment, LLC using hypnosis to guide clients to well-being and empowerment. She is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists and is registered with the State of Connecticut. Dr. Bernier is also on the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine team in Middletown, CT. She is the team's Guided Imagery Specialist where she facilitates workshops and teaches patients guided imagery techniques to ease stress and pain management.
Dr. Bernier is the creator of Designs with Inspiration, sewing shawls, scarves, ponchos, and turbans, each with a secret pocket that hold inspirational affirmations. She donates a portion of her sales to Stand Up To Cancer.
Dr. Bernier’s leisure time is spent traveling with her husband of over thirty five years, cooking for her family, and enjoying her grand daughters.
Dr. Bernier’s research topics and projects have dealt with low self-esteem in children, Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences, children of alcoholics, holistic approaches in working with acquired brain injury, body image, multiculturalism in therapeutic recreation, and dementia. She has presented her work locally and at national conferences in Oklahoma, Indiana, Florida, Texas, and Virginia.
2010 The Door Opener Holistic Health Resource Journal/Magazine Fall Issue
2010 Middlesex Cancer Center, Middletown, CT
2010-2011 Hospital of Central CT
2010 National Guild of Hypnotist Annual Convention, Marlborough MA
2009 Advanced training presentation for Allied Community Services
CT Valley Hospital, Middletown, CT
2006 Presented at the Gerontological Society of America’s 59th Annual Scientific Conference-November 2006 in Dallas, Texas
2006 Presented at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 32nd Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana
2005 Presented at the Gerontological Society of America’s 58th Annual Scientific Conference-November 2005 in Orlando, Fl.
2005 Presenter at the Alzheimer’s Association CT Chapter Education Conference
2005 Sigma Phi Omega student paper presenter at the Annual Association for Gerontology in Higher Educational Conference in Oklahoma City, OK
2005 Poster Presentation CT Community Care, Inc. Education Conference
2004 Sigma Phi Omega student paper presenter at the Annual Association for Gerontology in Higher Educational Conference in Richmond, VA
2003 Celebrate Women: UCONN Medical Center Educational Program
2003-04: Zen Shiatsu, LLC, A Therapy Center: Integrating the Body, Mind, and Spirit, Unionville, CT
Coordinator of Community Outreach and Marketing
2001 American Cancer Society, Meriden CT
2001 Central CT State University, New Britain, CT
2000 Poem published in Surviving: A Cancer Patient Magazine, Stanford Health Care and Hospital, Stanford, California
2000 internship at D’Esopo Resource Center for Loss and Transition: Facilitated widow support groups and special sharing and caring group for older adults coping with loss.
1999-2002 Facilitated support groups and teaching relaxation techniques to cancer survivors and family members sponsored by Bristol Hospital, New Britain General Hospital and the American Cancer Society
1999-2002 Presented program at New Britain General Hospital and Bristol Hospital
1999 internship at New Britain General Hospital: Psychiatric ward facilitating group therapy sessions and teaching relaxation techniques
1998 three month internship in advanced group facilitation Rocky Hill Institute: Graduate Assistant at Central CT State University and Quinnipiac College facilitating group dynamics to undergraduate and graduate students
Central CT State University, New Britain, CT