Faculty Child Life

Hannah Knott, M.S, CCLS

Hannah is originally from Fresno, California, where she met and married her high school sweetheart Kyle, a special education teacher.

Hannah graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from CSU Fresno. She began her journey into the Child Life profession as a children’s hospital volunteer, then a graduate student in the MS in Child Life program at the University of La Verne. Hannah completed her internship at Children’s Hospital Orange County before beginning her career as a Child Life Specialist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Hannah had the opportunity to establish child life services in the acute pediatric unit and PICU of Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno. While there she initiated graduate and undergraduate Child Life practicums as well as a pediatric family advisory council. Hannah championed the introduction of several nonpharmacological pain management resources to the hospital and collaborated with nursing staff on multidisciplinary education efforts to improve staff approach to pediatric procedures. In her second year at the hospital, Hannah obtained over $50,000 in grant funding for the pediatric service line and was named the Pediatric Provider of the Year.

As a member of the community advisory board for CSU Fresno’s Child and Family Sciences Department, Hannah introduced, designed and taught the university’s first ever undergraduate Child Life course. Her professional interests include preventative strategies to address acute stress disorder and medical PTSD, nonpharmacological pain management, and parenting education.

Carissa Howard M.S., CCLS Carissa Howard, MS, CCLS,has worked in the field of Child Life since 2004 where her first job was starting a child life program for a pediatric sub-acute unit. From there

Carissa completed her MS in Child Life at Loma Linda University and spent 10+ years at a large children’s hospital in Southern CA. Carissa worked as a Child Life Specialist in a Level 1 Pediatric Emergency Department for 9 years, helping children and their families cope through accidents, trauma and loss. Carissa has also worked as a Child Life Specialist at a pediatric palliative care program providing therapeutic activities, sensory play and legacy building for patients and their families. Throughout her career in Child Life, Carissa has provided supervision and mentoring for countless Child Life students and interns as they complete their degrees and training.

Crystal Wigglesworth, M.S., CCLS Crystal was born and grew up in Sunny Southern California. Her interest in children and health care led her to pursue a career in child life; she has worked in the child life field since 2012, and has been a certified child life specialist since 2015. She has also worked with hospitalized children and their families in various children’s hospitals and clinical settings. Her enthusiasm to help children and families navigate and cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illnesses, and disabilities has provided an overwhelming satisfaction in her career. Her desire to equip future child life specialists is a passion which she continues to feed as she is teaching the next generation. She also has more than 8 years of college teaching experiences at various universities and churches, and was an early childhood educator.