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January 2018 Faculty and Staff Accolades
January 26, 2018



Devin Mills, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Gambling Studies, has an article in press. 


Mills, D. J., Milyavskaya, M., Mettler, J., Derevensky, J., & Heath, N. L. (in press).  How do passion for video games and needs frustration explain time spent gaming?.  British Journal of Social Psychology.

Associate Professor Shari Munch has two recent publications to be released in print and online.
Ciocănel, A., Lazăr, F., Munch, S., Harmon, C., Rentea, G. C., Gaba, D., & Mihai, A. (2018).Helping, mediating, and gaining recognition: The everyday identity work of Romanian health social workers. Social Work in Health Care. Published online (print version forthcoming), doi: 10.1080/00981389.2018.1426674

Levick, J., Fannon, J., Bodemann, J., & Munch, S. (2017). NICU bereavement care and follow-up support for families and staff. Advances in Neonatal Care, 17(6), 451-460.


Alex Figueroa was elected to the Executive Council for the National Staff Training and Development Association and will proudly represent New Jersey and IFF with his leadership.

Lia Nower has been appointed to the editorial board of Addictive Behaviors (Elsevier; Impact Factor 2.944)

Mia Sena was reappointed by the Governor to serve a fifth term as a public member on the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners.

Maureen Braun Scalera was reappointed by the Governor to the New Jersey Board of Social Work Examiners.

New Staff Positions

Megan Kinney, MSW joined IFF as a Program Coordinator II with the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnearship.  Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Montclair State University with a dual degree in Child Advocacy, and Family and Child Studies.  During her undergraduate career she became a member of AmeriCorps and participated in projects that supported Hurricane Sandy’s reconstruction and National Day Service for 9/11.  She also earned a Master of Social Work from Stockton University and during her time there, she worked for the Child Welfare Education Institute, our collaborating university partner in the program.  

Kelly Ingra has accepted the position of Program Coordinator II with the role of Online Operations for Grow NJ Kids Training Services.  Her primary responsibilities will include administering web-based training sessions; supporting internal databases; maintaining components of the NJ Workforce Registry, and coordination of the Director’s Orientation for the state’s quality rating and improvement system.  

Pam Simone accepted the role of Program Coordinator II in a shared role with the NJ Coordination Center for Forensic Evaluation and Treatment (NJCC) and New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJCWTP).  Pam will bring her expertise organizing conferences and trainings to support NJCC dissemination activities and scheduling and training logistics for the Partnership.  During this time, Pam also celebrated her 10 year anniversary with IFF.  We’re proud to have her continue her IFF career in her new position. 

Carole O’Brien, a seasoned facilitator for several of IFF’s training programs will be joining IFF on a part-time temporary basis to support several initiatives within NJCWTP and GNJK, as well as, supporting work within the NJ Victim’s Assistance Academy. 

Terence Jordan accepted the position of Senior Program Administrator Supervisor with the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI). In this new role, Terence will directly supervise and support the instructional course design team. Terence has a long and successful history shaping and influencing the course development process at NJCSI and his expertise will be valuable in expanding the variety of course content offered to future participants. 

Tiffany Riccardelli accepted the position of Senior Program Administrator Supervisor for Grow NJ Kids Training Services and the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership.  Tiffany will lead a team that will focus on content and eLearning design, development, and modifications.  She will also oversee trainer recruitment and orientation, and collaborate on areas related to training quality.  Recently, Tiffany completed the Certificate in Educational Technology provide by Rutgers Graduate School of Education.  This study adds to the capacity she already offers to effectively integrate current and developing technologies into various educational environments. 

Institute for Families  Accomplishments 

A cross program team led by Milady Murillo and supported by Janell Harris, Tiffany Riccardelli, Julissa Vizcaino, and Carol O’Brien created the first online training for New Jersey’s Family Success Center network. The four modules represent an orientation to a practice profile IFF developed for the New Jersey Department of Children and Family Services (NJDCF) in collaboration with the National Implementation and Research Network.  Participate in these interactive modules here to learn about unifying principles and functions that guide Family Success Centers as “one-stop centers” for family support and child abuse prevention services.

Grow NJ Kids Training Services received formal notification from the Department of Human Services (DHS) for a continued role leading training and education for New Jersey’s early care and learning community. The team will continue to manage, coordinate, and develop professional development components that raise the knowledge and skills of early childhood professionals caring for our youngest learners and most vulnerable citizens.  The renewal includes an expansion in IFF’s role delivering online learning, content development, and instructor support.

The New Jersey Coordination Center for Forensic Evaluation and Treatment completed peer reviews of psychological evaluations in the Dorothy B. Hersh Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center’s catchment area and presented findings to the psychologists reviewed, as well as the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P) offices for which this work was conducted.  At the presentation, psychologists identified priorities for additional training and CPP staff discussed possible systems improvements. As a result of this work, the NJCC will develop two web-based trainings for psychologists and engage in an ad-hoc workgroup to develop a universal referral form and explore improvements to the referral process.  These efforts will support how child welfare workers interpret and utilize psychological evaluations which guide decisions around a child’s safety and risks to their well-being, as well as plans to support their well-being and permanency in stable homes.


Kerrie Ocasio presented the interim findings of a study examining the implementation of Virginia Children’s Services Practice Profiles. These practice profiles guide the state’s child welfare workers in applying key skills and functions in their work with families – from protection to permanency. Ocasio delivered three webinars attended by agency staff across Virginia. These data are also being used to develop tools for agency leadership to use in further supporting how Virginia’s counties implement the profile.

The holiday gift drive delivered generosity to more than 40 Rutgers students on all three campuses and collected almost 100 donated gift cards. A special thank you to all who participated.

Price Family Fellows increased enrollment from 20 to 26 students over the past two years. The team has already secured five career-related internships for the spring.

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