Charity Vasquez, PhD, CCLS


Assistant Professor, Director of MS in Child Life Program, Department of Psychology

Charity Thay Vasquez, PhD, CCLS, is a Karen ethnic born in Burma (Myanmar) and became a Southern Californian at age 12. Her interest in health care and children led her to pursue a career as a child life specialist. She has worked in the child life field since 1998 and has been a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) since 2000. As a CCLS, Charity Vasquez provided child life services to infants, children, youth, and their families both in healthcare and non-healthcare settings, including in a variety of leadership roles within the child life profession and in academic settings. Before joining APU to develop the Master of Science in Child Life program serving as faculty and program director, she was a child life director overseeing a clinical child life program at UC Irvine Medical Center. She is active in the community representing the child life profession, both in healthcare and the academic realm, including participation in various ACLP (Association of Child Life Professionals) committees. She currently serves in several advisory committees in the community, is a board member of the CACLP (California Association of Child Life Professionals), and the Founders Council of CLAS (Child Life Academic Society). She is passionate ands motivated to contribute child life practices to the public through the child life academic program locally, regionally, and globally.


  • PhD, Higher Education, Azusa Pacific University
  • MS, Child Development, University of La Verne
  • BS, Child Life, University of La Verne


  • Child Life Specialist (CCLS)

Academic Area

  • School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences


  • Children and Grief
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Pediatric Psychosocial Development