Rutgers Public Safety Building
55 Commercial Avenue, 3rd Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
390 George Street, 7th Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
3 Independence Way
Princeton, NJ 08540
1719 Route 10 East
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Cherry Hill Site
3 Executive Campus
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Theresa McCutcheon, MSW
Managing Director, Institute for Families
As Managing Director of the Institute for Families, Tess brings 25 years of success developing and managing programs to effectively strengthen vulnerable children and families and build the capacity of the professionals who support them. As a leader commanding practical knowledge of social service systems and the professionals within them, she has led organizations in the prevention, early learning, education, and child welfare sectors. Tess joined IFF after leadership roles for statewide child abuse prevention agency, training nationally for several parenting models, overseeing a school-based program for at-risk youth, managing volunteer centers, and mobilizing support for a statewide home visitation network. Tess earned her MSW from Rutgers in 1992 and serves as a board member for several volunteer organizations. In her previous roles at IFF, she served as the Director of the Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement. Theresa is working toward her MBA, is a part-time lecturer for Rutgers, and is the mother of two spirited young boys.
Maureen Braun-Scalera, LCSW
Director, Office of Youth Empowerment
Maureen joined IFF full-time in May 2011 as the Director of the Office of Child Welfare Initiatives. In this role, she oversaw the expansion of the Child Welfare Training Partnership, which provides professional development for public child welfare staff. Under Maureen’s tenure, the Partnership developed over 100 course curriculums and greatly increased the training offerings for the DCF community. In November 2013, Maureen brought Transitions for Youth, a suite of services that work with youth transitioning out of the child welfare system, into the Office of Child Welfare Initiatives. Responsibilities were divided into two separate offices in the fall of 2015 with Maureen assuming oversight of the newly formed Office of Youth Empowerment. Maureen’s work to improve the lives of families involved in the child welfare system began with the statewide implementation of Family Preservation Services. Other notable work has included training and technical assistance to start up the first Family Success Centers and Parent Linking Projects in NJ.
Acting Progam Lead
Alexander joined IFF in May 2006 and is currently the Associate Program Manager, Curriculum, for the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI). He manages NJCSI’s team of Instructional Course Designers, Program Development Specialists, and an Instructional Technology Specialist. He also manages the curriculum development process, which produces traditional classroom courses and Web-Based Trainings (WBTs) for more than 3,000 participants. Alexander began his career in New Jersey’s Child Support Program in 2002, serving as a Probation Officer and Judgment Coordinator on a county level, and, later, as Child Support/Paternity Specialist in the Tax Offset Program at the Office of Child Support Services, Division of Family Development. He is also a part-time lecturer at the School of Social Work, where he teaches both BSW and MSW students. Alexander has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Science degree in Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, and a Master of Social Work, all from Rutgers University.
John C. Klena, MSW
Senior Department Administrator
J.C. has been at IFF since its inception in July 2007 and with the School of Social Work since 2000. Originally coming on board as a demographics researcher and mapping specialist, he leads IFF's administrative processes in his current role as Senior Department Administrator. With an MSW degree specializing in management and nonprofit administration, Mr. Klena’s responsibilities at IFF center on administration, strategic planning, fiscal and facilities operations, and human resources management. He also leads several cross-collaborative technical assistance projects at the Institute. J.C. is also part of the executive management team in addition to leading several internal planning and supervisory committees. Outside of the office, he serves on the boards of several local nonprofits and is a volunteer firefighter.
Ann Marie Mooney
Ann Marie joined the IFF team in December 2014. With 20 years in education along with her time in the corporate world she brings her leadership skills to the administrative group. Ann Marie is a results-oriented professional with effective time management skills. She provides support to the Executive Director and works closely with the Executive Team. Ann Marie helps coordinate and organize the All Staff meetings for IFF. She works with staff to help get communications out to all areas of IFF in a timely manner.
Associate Program Manager
Milady joined the Institute for Families in February 2016 as an Associate Program Manager. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and holds a Master of Science in Social Work and minor in International Welfare from Columbia University. Milady brings significant experience managing multi-system educational and community-based initiatives. As director of NJ's Parent Information Resource Center, she led federally funded programming to improve parental engagement in their child's education and shaped the statewide program and its trainings into a national model. In other roles at Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey, she led a team of master's level professionals supporting outreach workers in programs across state-funded preschools. As a social worker, Milady worked as an international volunteer in Colombia and England, and supported families resettling from Latin America, served within NJ’s early intervention system, and provided clinical counseling for child-welfare involved families.
Nutan S Rubinson
Associate Program Manager
Nutan joined the Rutgers University Institute for Families in 2006. She graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Computer Science. Nutan has over 15 years of experience using adult learning methodologies to perform needs analysis, validate course content, develop training materials, and facilitate instructor-led classroom and virtual training. She also develops and delivers train-the-trainer courses, evaluates trainers, and consults on course design. As a Program Development Specialist, Nutan develops curricula, designs workshops, and delivers training and conference presentations related to a variety of professional development topics, including communication, conflict resolution, cultural competence, management, and leadership.
Doug joined the Institute for Families in 2006. He currently oversees the IT needs of the New Jersey Child Support Institute’s three training facilities, which include technology planning, server and firewall management, disaster recovery planning and testing, support to the School of Social Work’s IT department, and managing the New Jersey Child Support Institute’s IT staff. Doug specializes in Network design, Microsoft SharePoint Server and Data Backup/Recovery solutions overall for the School of Social Work. Doug is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and received his CCNA from Cisco Systems.
Unit Computing Specialist
Wade joined the Institute for Families in 2009. He provides support of desktop systems and software, and training for the New Jersey Child Support Institute Training facilities. Wade also provides support to the School of Social Work’s IT department. He specializes in audio/video and video production and has directed and edited training videos and Web-Based Training shorts. Wade also coordinates the barcode scanning technology for the annual New Jersey Child Support Conference
Cary joined the Institute for Families in 2008. He is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of NJCSI's Learning Management System, as well as the Family Development Credential Learning Management System. Cary also provides application development support to the School of Social Work's IT department. Cary graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Computer Science.
Leslie Huang joined the team in February 2016 as an Application Developer. She brings 17 years of experience of software and application programming and will apply this knowledge at the School of Social Work to developing learning management systems for the organization’s training services within the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. She is committed to optimizing the performance of current learning systems through customizations that fit users' needs. In past roles, Leslie supported IT development across the financial, health care, and telecommunication industries. She has experience leading projects through the full development cycle, as well as developing a variety of programming methods and procedures. Leslie holds a MS in Computer Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Leslie has a happy family and is the mother of three children.
Dr. Christine Allegra
Christine has worked at the Institute for Families (IFF) since 2009. She has conducted program evaluations in the areas of mental health, HIV/AIDS, and job coaching using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She is currently working on New Jersey’s Child Welfare Training Partnership where she leads the training evaluation in data analysis and reporting. Prior to coming to IFF, Christine worked as a mental health clinician at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care) and the Carrier Clinic providing crisis, inpatient, and outpatient psychiatric care to clients. Since 2009, she has taught a variety of classes for the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Rutgers School of Social Work. She earned her MSW and Ph.D. degrees from the Rutgers School of Social Work. Specific areas of expertise/interest: mental health, intimate partner violence, child welfare, training evaluation, program evaluation, and quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
Senior Project Coordinator Supervisor
Natalie joined the Institute for Families in March 2008. She is a graduate of the Rutgers School of Social Work. Her current work at IFF involves conducting technical assistance, needs assessment, and program evaluation projects for social service community and government agencies. Natalie‘s skills and expertise include leading focus groups, engaging stakeholders, conducting survey-based evaluations, and facilitating large-scale organizational and community planning processes. Technical skills include SPSS, Qualtrics, SNAP, and all levels of the MS office platforms. Research interests include HIV/AIDS, child welfare, crime victim issues, and social work management.
Instructional Course Designer
Flynn joined the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI) in April 2013. She currently works with subject matter experts, training coordinators, and other instructional designers to design and develop training for child support employees. Flynn has developed and co-developed several of NJCSI’s courses, including Data Security in Child Support, Triennial Review: Theory and Practice, and follow-up coaching sessions for the Professional Development Series for Managers and Supervisors Training. Prior to joining NJCSI, Flynn worked in human resources in training, instructional design, organizational development, employee relations, and community relations. Flynn has a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Kean University.
Toni Ann Capece
Program Coordinator I
Toni-Ann began her work with IFF in September 2014 as an intern with the Transitions for Youth program. Her work supported successful college experiences for youth who had varied backgrounds in the foster care system and prepared her for her current role as a Program Coordinator for the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership in the Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement. Toni-Ann is responsible for the coordination and preparation of trainings that improve the knowledge and skill set of child welfare professionals and oversees student research assistants. She holds a dual degree from Rutgers University in Social Work and Communications and will graduate with an MSW degree in Management and Policy in May 2016. Toni-Ann has a special interest in working with the child welfare population and wellness programs that teach a mind-body approach to medicine.
Instructional Course Designer
Ciji joined NJCSI in February 2016 as an Instructional Course Designer. She began her career in Child Support in 2009 as an Implementation Specialist for Courtland Consulting, assisting with on-site support during the rollout of the NJKiDS program. In 2011, she joined the Division of Family Development (DFD) as a Child Support and Paternity Specialist. She later rejoined the Courtland Consulting Company as a Senior Software Consultant where she assisted the State of Delaware with the rollout and implementation of their new child support program. At the completion of the Delaware project, she returned to the NJKiDS project in 2014 as a Consultant to the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS)/DFD, supporting the CWA and Family offices as a subject matter expert. In that capacity, she assisted with Quality Assurance and Business/Functional Analysis. Ciji holds an A.A. in Sociology from Rowan College.
Dana joined NJCSI in February 2017 as a Training Coordinator. She is the lead trainer for the SDU Customer Service course, and also assists in the development and design of curriculum and technology for the SDU classes. Dana began her career in the Child Support Program in 2015 as a Learning and Development Analyst for the State Disbursement Unit. Previously, she worked in the banking and insurance industries, where she gained experience in training, customer service, and management. Dana holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Arcadia University and a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Neumann University.
Instructional Technology Specialist
Lauren started with IFF in February 2012. She is an Instructional Technology Specialist for the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI). Lauren and her team create engaging synchronous and asynchronous learning objects and work with instructors and course designers to enhance their instruction through the use of learning technologies. She has specific expertise in the areas of Instructional Systems Design, Adult Learning Theory, and Instructional Technologies. Lauren had a 15-year career in the field of learning and development, spanning the industries of communications, retail, and construction. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Hampton University and is currently pursuing a Master of Communication Information Studies degree, with a concentration in organizational communication.
Research Project Coordinator II
Matthew joined the Institute for Families in November 2015. He is a graduate of Montclair State University with a master’s degree in Psychology. After graduation Matthew continues to work as a Professor in the Department of Psychology teaching: Introduction to Research Methodology, Introduction to Statistics, and Experimental Design. Matthew previously worked as a public health investigator for the New Jersey Autism Study, Rutgers University. At the New Jersey Autism Study Matthew worked on a population study using epidemiologic methods to understand the prevalence and expression of Autism Spectrum Disorders and to advance the scientific study of autism risk and protective factors. His background has provided him with extensive training and experience in qualitative and quantitative research methodology, data collection, and data analysis.
Theresa joined the agency that is currently known as the Institute for Families in 1993. She is a graduate of Douglass College and has a master’s degree from the Rutgers School of Social Work. Terri has more than 20 years’ experience conducting outcome evaluation and quality improvement. She has participated in evaluation activities for a wide range of programs in addition to Ryan White, including Child Welfare Training Partnership, Footprints for Life, Concurrent Planning, DYFS Supervisor Training, and Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs, Rutgers University Police Department, and the Trenton Public Schools Head Start Transition Demonstration Project. Theresa has been the tri-county database administrator for the Ryan White Program since 2001. Additionally, she serves as the Ryan White Quality Manager of a multisite program using a stakeholder approach to quality improvement. Terri has extensive knowledge of evaluation and quality improvement processes. She also supervises full-time employees and trains and manages student staff assistants.
Danielle started with NJCSI in May 2007. She began her career in the Camden County Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit, working with parents to ensure enforcement and monitoring of child support cases. She is the lead trainer for the Establishment module, which includes paternity and child support establishment, SDU curriculum, and Professional Development Series. Danielle is also a True Colors certified trainer. She has delivered training at the NJ Child Support Conference; the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference; the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) Conference; and the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Conference. Danielle also managed several social service programs for the State, serving as Deputy Program Manager for the NJ Family Support payment center and then Program Manager of the NJ Paternity Opportunity Program, National Medical Support Notice, and New Hire programs. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Technology.
Tina Marie Gajda-Crawford
Program Coordinator l
Tina Marie Gajda-Crawford, MA, NCC, joined the Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement in June 2017. Her responsibilities include project reporting, instrument revision/development, and ongoing CQI for Grow NJ Kids Training Services and the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership. Tina came to IFF with 7 years of experience as a Program Coordinator at Rutgers/UMDNJ with her focus on data tracking, data analysis, and reporting. Prior to IFF, Tina held a position at the School of Social Work, coordinating a Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Department of Human Services funded study. She also has experience in direct practice working with children and as a therapist in outpatient. She earned her Bachelor degree in Psychology from Rutgers and Masters in Counseling from Kean University.
Kathy Gilbert joined the New Jersey Child Support Institute in August 2016 and brings a diverse set of skills from her experience working in the finance, education, and entertainment fields. Kathy supports management and staff in their administrative needs including the preparation of training materials, purchasing requests, and site maintenance. Kathy has an undergraduate degree in Labor Relations from SUNY Potsdam and an MBA from Monmouth University.
Yolanda joined NJCSI in September 2007. She began her work in the child support field as a Probation Officer with Middlesex County in 1999. In 2004, after receiving her master’s degree from Seton Hall University, she was promoted to Team Leader in Union County's Family Division in the Case Reception/Intake Team within the Non-Dissolution Unit. Over the past seven years, Yolanda has presented workshop sessions annually at the New Jersey Child Support Conference. She has also presented Child Support Guidelines twice at the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM) Conference, and has presented at the National Network for Social Work Management (NNSWM) Conference in 2013 and the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Conference in 2014.
Sonia Gonzalez joined the NJCSI team in February 2017 as a Training Coordinator. She brings with her 17 successful years with the New Jersey Division of Social Services. In 1997, Sonia joined the County of Union as a Case Manager for the Employment and Services Department, and then transitioned to the Division of Social Services as a Human Service Specialist in 1999. Sonia’s dedication paid off; she was promoted to Supervisor for the Child Support Department in the Intake Unit, where she continued to supervise for 12 years. Sonia served in several departments including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, and Family Care. During this time, she gained expertise in state welfare standards, policies, procedures, and laws, as well as case initiation, location, and, establishment. Sonia earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Kean University in 2004, and obtained her social work license that same year.
Michele A. Gregorio
Program Coordinator Il
Michele joined IFF’s Grow NJ Kids Training Services team in August 2016 as Program Coordinator II. She brings an extensive knowledge of early childhood education policy at both the national and state level, serves on the Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators Board, Family Child Care Organization of New Jersey Board, and is a past Board member of the National Association for Family Child Care, Communications Chair. A proud parent of two college grads, Michele plans to pursue a Master’s degree and holds a B.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, known for their focus on Social Justice. Her field experience informs her in-depth understanding of the needs of young children and families, as well as the current body of published research and legislation on early care and education. Michele is an accomplished administrator, conference and event coordinator, past staff member at Mercer County’s CCR&R Child Care Connection, with post-secondary special education administrative experience at The College of New Jersey.
Editor/Media Specialist II
Hilary joined NJCSI in October 2015. She holds a master’s degree in education from Salisbury University. Hilary has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, writing, and editing. Previously, she served as assistant editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Public Performance Management and Review, and copy editor for a series of public administration handbooks published by Rutgers University—Newark’s School of Public Affairs and Administration. Before joining Rutgers University, Hilary launched and managed a new magazine for Salisbury University’s Graduate Studies and Research division. She also has extensive experience in developing and editing computer-based training programs, website copy, and marketing content for clients in both the public and private sectors.
Janell D. Harris
Program Coordinator I
Janell joined IFF’s New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership in the Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement in September 2016. As Program Coordinator, she schedules and supports professional development trainings for DCP&P child welfare professionals. She earned her B.S. from Rutgers University in 2011 with a dual degree in Management from the Rutgers Business School and Psychology. She earned her M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology with Certification in School Counseling from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education in 2015. Janell has provided administrative, marketing and program support for child welfare, education and healthcare nonprofit organizations including Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, New Jersey After 3 and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Program Coordinator ll
Kelly joined the IFF team in August, 2016. She holds a B.A. in Political Science as well as a certificate in Child Advocacy from Montclair State University. Prior to joining the IFF team, she spent four years as Administrative Assistant at Anchor House, Inc. – a non-profit organization serving homeless, runaway, abused and neglected youth in Trenton, NJ. Kelly is thrilled to have joined the Grow NJ Kids Program as Administrative Assistant. Her responsibilities include providing administrative support for the Operations Team. Kelly is passionate about improving the lives of infants, toddlers, children, youth, and excited to join the Institute for Families.
Program Development Specialist
Terence Jordan joined NJCSI in 2007 as an Instructional Course Designer for the development of courses for the Probation Child Support Enforcement Unit and management of the online Child Support Program Manual. In 2013, he was promoted to Program Development Specialist, and while continuing to design coursework, Terence serves as a senior member of the design team, providing constructive feedback, helping to set internal standards, and monitoring completion of development activities. He began his career at AT&T, where he held positions as an Assistant Program Manager of the Insight program, a leadership development program for AT&T managers, and also as Assistant Manager at their Resource Center, which provided career management and career transition services to current and former employees. Terence has a B.S. in Marketing from Rutgers University.
Rob joined NJCSI in June 2008. He brings management experience from his 25 years as a Court Services Supervisor. Rob has been in Child Support Enforcement since 1996, supervising a team that handled interstate cases and the more difficult and complex remedy situations. Previous to that he designed, coordinated, and presented training for staff and community volunteers. He also supervised adult criminals and juvenile delinquents. In all, Rob worked for Gloucester County Probation for 31 years. Previous to that he held a position with the Gloucester County Welfare Board for three years.
Eileen joined NJCSI as a Training Coordinator in 2006. She has presented at several regional and national conferences, including the annual New Jersey Child Support Conference; the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference; the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) Conference; and the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Conference. Eileen is a graduate of Kean University and has also earned Bob Pike Training Certification, the Rutgers University Train-the-Trainer Certification, and the APHSA Leadership for High-Performance Certificate. Her career in child support spans more than 30 years and in 2004 she was named CSP Supervisor of the Year by the New Jersey Child Support Council
Program Coordinator II
Megan joined the Institute for Families in November 2017 as a Program Coordinator for the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership. Her role as a program coordinator includes scheduling and supporting professional development trainings for DCP&P child welfare professionals. She holds a dual degree from Montclair State University in Child Advocacy and Family and Child Studies as well as a Master’s Degree from Stockton University in Social Work. During her time at Stockton University, she worked for the Child Welfare Education Institute supporting numerous child welfare training activities and projects.
Editor/Media Specialist II
Bill joined NJCSI in October 2015. He holds a B.A. in Communications from Rider University and specializes in editorial quality control and publishing. During his 13 years as a Production Editor with Princeton University Press, he produced over 350 scholarly books in myriad disciplines. He has worked closely with world-renowned authors, scientists, and two Nobel laureates, and has collaborated on dozens of projects for major clients in academic, corporate, and nonprofit settings. Bill’s position at NJCSI entails fine-tuning training and course material.
Angela graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting degree and worked in finance at several major corporations. She obtained her Masters of Educational Psychology from Rowan University and shifted her career track from international systems and finance project management to training. In 2008 she joined NJCSI where she has served as lead trainer on various topics, participating in the development of curriculum for many courses, including Microsoft Excel®, BI Portal Map Analysis, Manager Dashboard, Track My Cases, Guidelines Theory and Practice, various financial topics, SDU Customer Service and SDU Financial training, and several professional development courses. Angela has delivered trainings at the New Jersey Child Support Conference; the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference; and the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) Conference.
Program Development Specialist
Catherine joined NJCSI as an Instructional Course Designer in 2006, also serving as the project’s curriculum editor. In her current role as Program Development Specialist/Senior Editor, she is helping NJCSI develop an editing unit and works with the development team to set style guidelines and standards for NJCSI instructional materials. Catherine began her career in book publishing with Charles Scribner’s Sons, where she was Editor and Manager of Imports, English Language Rights, and Co-productions, and she later served as Assistant Director and Project Editor for the Northeast Curriculum Coordination Center, New Jersey State Department of Education. Before joining NJCSI, she served as Research Editor for the Center for Urban Policy Research at the Bloustein School, Rutgers University. Catherine is a graduate of Douglass College, with a B.A. in English, and holds a Master of Communication and Information Studies degree, with a concentration in Organizational Communication, also from Rutgers University
Norma joined NJCSI in 2007, bringing with her from her career in the New Jersey Judiciary an extensive background in all aspects of child support collection, management, the adult and juvenile justice system, child custody, and substance abuse services. She has worked in the area of child support, court management, probations services, educational services, and training for over 30 years. In addition to her responsibilities as Training Coordinator, Norma has collaborated with NJCSI’s instructional course designers to create courses for child support staff, and she has presented or moderated several sessions at the annual New Jersey Child Support Conference.
Dr. Chieh-Wen Liu
Chieh-Wen holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from Rutgers and is the Evaluation Coordinator for the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI). Her responsibilities include coordinating all aspects of ongoing evaluation activities to measure training programs delivered by NJCSI, developing and implementing evaluation procedures and tools, providing direct supervision to her research assistant by monitoring and evaluating job performance, providing innovative ideas to the evaluation process, and ensuring the efficient and effective operation of projects. She also produces quarterly reports and submits research papers for publication. Chieh-Wen’s research skills include extensive knowledge of SPSS, Mplus, and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis statistical programs.
Associate Program Manager
Anthony joined the Institute for Families in 2009 as the Associate Program Manager for the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJCWTP). Currently, he serves as the Associate Program Manager of Training for the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI), where he manages a team of nine professional development trainers. He is also NJCSI’s lead trainer for Facilitation Skills and a co-lead facilitator for the Professional Development for Managers and Supervisors Training Series. Anthony began his career in training and development in 1999, facilitating job-readiness and fatherhood workshops for Operation Fatherhood, a community-based organization in Trenton, NJ. In 2004, he joined the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Child Welfare Training Academy as an Educational Development Specialist, delivering professional development trainings for public child welfare professionals. Anthony has a master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University.
Program Coordinator II
Matthew is a 2014 MSW graduate of the Rutgers School of Social Work with a concentration in Management and Policy. He began working with the Institute for Families as a second-year intern underneath Terri Fox, working with service providers and consumers utilizing funding from the Ryan White Care Act, and later joined the staff as one of the team leaders for the Sandy Child and Family Health Study. Outside of his duties in the Office of Research and Evaluation, his activities include being a Big within Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties; serving as lead volunteer of the St. Peter’s Food Pantry of Chelsea, NYC; acting as Alumni Ambassador to the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Student Supporting Student 2015 campaign; and being an active board member on the Triple C Housing Inc. board of directors.
Program Coordinator II
Malikah joined the Institute for Families in March 2012 with over 10 years of experience in the field of child welfare as a confidential secretary for the Department of Children and Families and the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Her current role for the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership entails providing administrative support for several child welfare training programs by assisting with day-to-day office operations; the coordination and administration of the scheduled trainings; the preparation, control, and reconciliation of trainer payment arrangements and attendance records; and preparing and organizing training materials/handouts, generating mailings, and overseeing the shipping of related materials. Malikah received her certification in Human Resources Management from Union County College and was recently accepted into Rutgers University’s Dual Degree program.
Program Coordinator I
Shyamala Muthurajah joined the Institute for Families in 2016 as a Program Coordinator I. She works with the NJ Child Welfare Training Partnership and Grow NJ Kids Training Services focusing on training evaluation. Prior to joining IFF, Shyamala worked for more than 7 years on training projects where she led data collection, statistical analyses, and reporting. These training projects were in the areas of youth suicide prevention, trauma, school and community-based psychosocial interventions, and tobacco surveillance. Shyamala received her Masters in Public Health from UMDNJ and is a certified SAS base programmer. Shyamala's area of expertise includes designing web-based/paper-and-pencil surveys, tracking and managing data, and project coordination.
Dr. Kerrie Ocasio
Assistant Research Professor
Kerrie coordinates a variety of child welfare research and evaluation projects at IFF. As part of the School of Social Work’s Child Welfare and Well-Being Research Unit, she is involved in conducting an experimental evaluation of intensive adoption recruitment programs for legally free youth, a multiyear study examining the experiences of resource parents; and an experimental evaluation of a program targeting young parents with young children involved with the child welfare system. Kerrie has direct service experience in early childhood home visiting and child protection services, as well as experience in public policy analysis, strategic planning, and program development and implementation. Her research focuses on child abuse prevention and protection services, including predictors of voluntary service engagement, implementation of best practices, and services for disconnected foster youth. Dr. Ocasio holds a Ph.D. in social work from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University.
Instructional Course Designer
Chinaza Okonkwo joined NJCSI in April 2017 as an Instructional Course Designer. Previously, she served as Project Coordinator for the Transitions for Youth Program. Chinaza has also held positions teaching at Douglass Residential College, as well as mentoring and coaching students through the Rutgers Learning Centers. Chinaza holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. With her experience working with a variety of students in teaching, advising, mentoring, and supervising capacities, Chinaza is dedicated to advocacy and innovation within institutions of higher learning.
Instructional Course Designer
Ryan Pang joined NJCSI in February 2016 as an Instructional Course Designer. His career started in I.T., which later transitioned to the healthcare industry where he was for the last 7 years, providing I.T. support, project management, implementation, and training. In his last role at GoHealth Urgent Care, he worked as a system analyst rolling out their electronic healthcare system for 20 locations in a year and a half. Ryan also built and designed their training program which is now used in multiple markets around the country. Ryan earned his B.A in Economics from Rutgers in 2008.
Program Coordinator I
Marian joined NJCSI in February 2007. With 28 years of experience in the legal and marketing fields, she brings her leadership skills to the administrative group. Marian works closely with management and staff in training preparation and delivery. She also supports the Associate Program Manager of Curriculum in duties related to that position. She creates marketing materials such as the semiannual NJCSI Course Catalog, conference materials, and other items. Marian interacts with participants, vendors, and customers on a daily basis, and is responsible for logistics and the production of course materials for her site.
Instructional Course Designer
Lori joined IFF in February 2012. She works for the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI) at the School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. In that role, she is responsible for the design and development of curriculum materials for NJCSI’s training programs for child support professionals. Lori previously served as an Instructional Designer for the National Transit Institute (NTI) at Rutgers University. While at NTI, she facilitated webinar trainings and developed curricula in the following areas: advanced technologies, civil rights, and program management. Lori holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University.
Learning & Development Supervisor
Tiffany Riccardelli has been working with the Institute for Families at Rutgers School of Social Work since February of 2012 and supervises activities across two large-scale training programs: New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership and Grow NJ Kids Training Services. As Learning and Development Supervisor, Tiffany oversees the development of new curricula and leads eLearning initiatives across the Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement—including both online and hybrid course development, microlearning, and multimedia design. With a heavy focus on high-quality programming and continuous improvement, she also supervises the recruitment, orientation, and ongoing support of OCWWA’s consultant trainer cohort. Tiffany holds an Ed.M. with a focus on Adult and Continuing Education from Rutgers Graduate School of Education and earned a certificate in Educational Technology in 2017. Prior to joining IFF, Tiffany worked in fundraising and development for various nonprofit organizations and considers herself a passionate advocate for New Jersey’s most vulnerable children.
Baheejah Salahuddin joined the IFF team in July 2016 as the Administrative Assistant supporting the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership. She joins us after serving several positions responsible for providing high levels of Administrative Support to Company Executives. In her previous role at Everest Institute, Baheejah provided Executive-level support to the Campus President and assisted with all HR functions. Her current responsibilities include managing supply orders, securing quotes and tracking invoices around purchases orders, overseeing payments to trainers and vendors, and providing central support to key functions within the Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement.
Elizabeth Salerno joined NJCSI in May 2017 as a Training Coordinator. She brings with her 15 years of experience working with LGBTQIAA adolescents, first-generation college students, and youth who have experienced the child welfare system and homelessness. She currently teaches Diversity and Oppression, and Generalist Social Work Practice II at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. Elizabeth joined IFF in 2009 as a Program Coordinator for Transitions for Youth. In 2013, she was promoted to New Jersey Statewide Youth Advisory Board Coordinator, where she led a team of 12 people in an effort to help young leaders who have experienced foster care and homelessness advocate for improvements in the system. Prior to joining IFF, Elizabeth provided counseling to young people at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQIAA youth organization. She holds an LCSW in New York State and an LSW in New Jersey. Elizabeth also holds a master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.
Program Coordinator ll
Pam joined the Institute for Families in April 2006. She currently is working on a comprehensive needs assessment for the Ryan White project. She also serves as coordinating, planning, and event logistics specialist for the Casey Management Fellows Project. This project trains DCP&P local office managers and higher-level personnel to develop their skills to become more effective leaders. During her tenure at the Institute for Families, Pam has supported four executive directors and worked in collaboration with Continuing Education and the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership. Ms. Simone has extensive experience working with outside stakeholders that collaborate with the School of Social Work. In 2013, Pam earned her bachelor’s degree and is currently working toward a master’s degree in management and Labor Relations.
Program Coordinator ll
Amanda joined the Institute for Families in October 2016. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a B.A. in English Literature in May 2010. Prior to her work with IFF, she was the Administrative Assistant for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey and CASA of Middlesex County. In her current role as a Program Coordinator on the Grow NJ Kids Training Services team, she provides trainer support and technical assistance, develops training content, supports various aspects of the continuous quality improvement of the program.
Senior Program Coordinator
Adam joined the Rutgers School of Social Work’s Institute for Families in 2006. He received his MSW from Rutgers University’s School of Social Work in 2011. Adam has worked with young people aging-out of foster care for over 10 years, in a variety of residential, educational, and community-based settings. During his time at Rutgers, he has coordinated substance abuse prevention groups, mentoring programs, youth advocacy committees, housing and internship programs, as well as training and nonprofit development programs. Adam has also designed case management systems, as well as websites and videos to better inform and serve young people in foster care.
Program Coordinator I
Cathy joined the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI) in March 2007 with a commanding knowledge of Operations, Budgeting, Marketing, Logistics, Technical Writing, Communications, and Human Resources. A 12-year veteran of International Operations for a Fortune 100 Company, Cathy monitors and performs many functions for the Office of Training and Educational Programs (OTEP) and NJCSI. She provides research and cost analysis, quarterly expense reports, coordinates all-conference and travel activities, offers technical and desktop support, creates program promotional materials, and oversees day-to-day administrative and logistical program support. Cathy is often OTEP’s “go-to” person when seeking ideas or solutions. She is a graduate of Somerset Christian College, is certified in Non-Profit and Public Management, and is enrolled in the Master of Divinity Program at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Cathy is also a Board Member of the Ruth and Naomi Foundation, a 501(c)(3) for victims of domestic violence.
Leslie Van Putten
Leslie joined the New Jersey Child Support Institute in June 2011 bringing 25+ years of corporate administrative and human resources experience to her position. She prepares and fulfills the training materials for her site, as well as other administrative duties, including conference materials, scheduling, purchasing, and maintenance coordination. She also supports the Associate Program Manager of Operations and Evaluation in duties related to that position. Leslie continues to complete her degree in Human Resources, and has various certifications related to her field.
Julissa joined the Institute for Families in December 2003. In her current role, she provides leadership and oversight on multiple projects. She supervises internal and external staff and is responsible for cultivating strategic external relationships, coordinating with funders and key stakeholders, and overall administrative/fiscal management of the New Jersey Family Development Credentialing program. She has extensive experience in conference planning, curriculum development, training facilitation, program development, and management. Julissa has a master’s degree in Applied Social and Community Psychology.