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March 2018 Faculty and Staff Accolades
March 5, 2018




Dr. Laura Cuesta has been awarded a 1-year $25,000 grant from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)’s Extramural Small Grants program for Research to Inform Child Support Policies and Programs. Her project will examine the regularity of child support and its contribution to family self-sufficiency in the United States.  

Ericka Deglau and Amy Strickler are presenting at the Rutgers Online Learning Conference on March 12.  The topic is Making it work:  Technology assisted hybrid education for non-traditional students. learn more about the presentation by going here

Sara Plummer was honored by the Camden Office of Student Involvement as a Woman of Excellence as nominated by students. 




Patricia Findley has a paper published.

Sabato, E., Owens, J., Mauro, AM, Findley, P., Sangeeta, L., Fenesy, K. (2018).Integrating social determinants of health into dental curricula: an interprofessional approach, Journal of Dental Education, (82) 3, 237-245. doi:10.21815/JDE.018.022

Announcements from the Institute for Families 


  • Tess McCutcheon and Christine Allegra prepared the 2016-2017 Workforce Report for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Cathy Liapes offered her editorial assistance in the project’s quick timeline for completion. 
  • Grow NJ Kids Training Services, led by Tiffany Riccardelli and supported by Amanda Suskin-Santarelli, developed a two-part training program on Working with Dual Language Learners and Building Cultural Competency for Technical Assistance Specialists (TAS) that work with early care and education programs in New Jersey. The initial six-hour online training is designed to provide participants with research and methods for supporting Dual Language Learners and their families, as well as strategies for building cultural competency in the classroom. Following the online course, TAS staff will attend an in-person training called Supporting Grow NJ Kids Programs in Working with Dual Language Learners and Building Cultural Competency. This one-day session will delve deeper into how TAS can support programs with their action plans. 
  • NJCSI completed development of inter-governmental lab courses for both the CWA and Probation agencies and walkthroughs and pilot sessions are planned for March. NJCSI also offered pilot sessions for two courses: Bankruptcy Process for PCSE Staff and Qualified Domestic Relations Order and train-the-trainer sessions for Establishment for CWA Staff and Bankruptcy Process for PCSE Staff.
  • As team leads for international and inter-governmental curricula, Eileen Kelly O’Brien, Yolanda Glover, and Ciji Carr-McManus represented NJCSI at the NCSEA Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., held February 14-17. The conference offers an opportunity for child support professionals to learn about recent changes in regulations and policy as well as updates from the Hague Convention.
  • NJCSI conducted a year-in-review session with state partners to examine current training patterns and plan future training initiatives.
  • The New Jersey Victim Assistance Academy (NJVAA) which aims to build the capacity of professionals serving victims of crime expanded course offerings to include the Foundational and Advanced Academies and a Skills Institute. The first foundational session is scheduled to run for eight days throughout the month of March.  An advanced two-day Human Trafficking Academy is scheduled for March 13 & 14. 
  • The NJCWTP developed a one-day training designed to familiarize the Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff with the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) system which is evolving in scope throughout the Department. Participants will gain basic awareness of CQI as well as an understanding of how their work is effected by, and effects, the successful implementation of a data-driven system. To give the training an added tool and variation in instructional delivery two videos (on the history and on reports) were developed for this course. Preview the timeline segment and reporting session for a glimpse of course content. 
  • On February 12, NJCWTP held the TtT for the newly developed course providing an overview of the Office of Resource, Families, Resource Families Licensing and Adoption Operation and Interstate Service.   This is a one day course designed to provide new Child Protection and Permanency workers enhanced understanding of how to engage general casework (permanency units) and foster and adoptive workers (resource units) together in their work, as well as team with birth families, extended family members and foster families, including those that live across state lines. 
  • Maureen Braun Scalera and Anthony Mack continue to lead development of a Trainer CQI Tool based on competencies framed by the National Staff Training and Development Association. 
  • Price Family Fellows is hosting a professional networking event on Friday, April 6 that provides the Fellows with an opportunity to practice interviewing, networking and engagement skills while meeting professionals who can help them actualize their own professional interests and endeavors.  Please consider offering your afternoon  to share your own professional journey and helping coach these youth persons in their own careers. To participate, email Adam Staats at
  • Lewis Hines Fellow, Jonna McKone, working with some of our Price Family Fellow program to create a photo journal project on their Visions of Families.  These journals will be presented in an upcoming exhibit of at the Zimmerli Museum in April.   While there is as general understanding that youth who have experience foster care may experience loss and disconnection in their earliest years, they may have missed the opportunity to celebrate or mark childhood memories.  Photographs may have been lost.  Scrapbooks of birthday cards and school achievements may not exist.  Jonna’s work with IFF offers the Price Fellows an opportunity to reclaim memories by exploring the words, images, and videos that recreate their personal narratives.

IFF Future Plans

  • Tiffany Riccardelli was invited to present a workshop at Rutgers University’s Online Learning Conference. On March 12th, she will deliver Playing in Powtoon: Creating Memorable Instructional Content with Multimedia Tools on March 12. This presentation validates IFF’s ability to provide both programmatic expertise and technical proficiency.
  • Nutan Rubinson and Tess McCutcheon were invited out of 300 submitted proposals to present New Jersey's 360 Degree Training Evaluation System at early childhood’s QRIS National Meeting later this summer in San Diego. This acceptance fits into the goals of the Department of Human Services and Grow NJ Kids Training Services in providing New Jersey an opportunity for a national voice in early care and learning.
  • NJCSI has joined the national Child Support Training Partnership (CSTP) established by colleagues at Iowa University.  This network brings together child support training teams serving more than thirty states across the United States.  A national survey details how teams, like NJCSI, across the country are supporting their child support systems through various models and resources. Lauren Walton will be a featured speaker on the CSTP conference call, February 22, discussing the advantages of eLearning in child support program education.
  • Mia Sena and Lauren Walton are creating a conference presentation entitled Engaging Solutions: eLearning & Digital Training Trends for the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference planned for April 15-19 in Daytona Beach, FL. Sena will present with Melissa Hilts, user specialist and supervisor with the Pennsylvania Child Support Program.
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