Our advanced-degree, parenting and child development specialists are passionate about the science and sharing it with you to help you solve big and small parenting challenges
Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW
President & Founder
Ruth is a psychotherapist in private practice who has taught parenting education to hundreds of parents annually over the past 30+ years. She is co-founder of the Connecticut Parenting Education Network and lead author of Building Family
Futures, a University of Connecticut train-the-trainer parenting education curriculum. Ruth has also served as the Family Services Director for The Cove Center for Grieving Children, Family Services Manager for EASTCONN Head Start and Primary Therapist
at the Newington Children’s Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Services. Ruth’s approach
to parenting education incorporates her clinical experience with children and families
in crisis, as well as key concepts synthesized from a wide range of sources. Ruth freely
and humorously shares the real-life blunders, challenges and successes she has had
applying positive parenting as a bio mom, stepmom, foster mom and “Nana.” Hear more from Ruth.
Amy Alamar, Ed D has worked in the field of education as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, parent educator, and education reformer for over fifteen years. She currently teaches graduate levels courses in teacher preparation and curriculum design and implementation. Her first book, Parenting for the Genius: Developing Confidence in Your Parenting through Reflective Practice (Genius Press) is a comprehensive guide to becoming the most thoughtful and confident parent possible, applying practical strategies based in educational research. She was an invited guest of Michelle Obama at the White House for a conversation about kids’ health in 2016 and was the host of Parenting from the Trenches on Yellowbrick.me. She is a contributing author to the Disney parenting website, Babble and Psychology Blog, Hey Sigmund. Her second book, The Parenting Project: Build Extraordinary Relationships with Your Kids through Daily Conversation (Fair Winds Press), focuses on communication strategies. She serves on the boards of the Watkinson School and the Avon Education Foundation, dedicated to promoting and enhancing excellence in education. Amy is the married mother of three children whom she learns from and enjoys each and every day. She provides online classes and coaching for Peace At Home Parenting.
Joyleen Albarracin, MA is a specialist in bilingual curriculum and instruction as well as a seasoned and inspiring bilingual, bi-cultural parenting educator. She has served widely diverse families in Windham, Connecticut for the past two decades as Assistant Director of Quinebaug Community College, Program Coordinator for Windham Public Schools Even Start, and Family Services Coordinator for Windham Head Start. Joyleen is a statewide trainer for the CT Parenting Leadership Institute and “Lees y Seras,” a literacy outreach campaign targeting Hispanic families. She is the proud mother of two daughters and very happily recently became a grandmother. Joyleen serves as a Peace At Home Parenting teacher and coach.
Juan Pablo Arango holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Barcelona in Spain. He has focused his professional career for over 20 years on the field of education in Colombia, South America. In addition to being a teacher, he also trains teachers in best practices and designs curriculum tailored to the needs of today’s ever-changing new normal. Juan Pablo’s work as a researcher has led him to investigate practices with the greatest impact on the relationships between young people, their families, and formal education. Juan Pablo has also trained in the dynamics of socio-emotional learning in classrooms, at home, and in the workplace. This work led him to develop high school courses around responsible citizenship based on values, rights, and duties. Juan is the father of two and lives with his family in Bogota, Colombia.
Dana Asby, MA, M Ed, is a developmental and educational psychology researcher and author, as well as a mindfulness, growth mindset, transformational leadership, and instructional educator. She is the Project Specialist for the National Federation of Families.). Dana recently co-authored a book called “Compassionate School Practices” with her colleagues at MHTTC. Dana also founded a parenting education service called Parent in the Moment. As a trauma-informed yoga teacher and neuroscience researcher, Dana understands how mindfulness can change the structure of the brain to help heal the effects of attachment disorders, mental health challenges, trauma, and toxic stress. Dana is a Peace At Home teacher and parent coach. Hear more from Dana.
Kimberly Barton, Ph.D. is a Clinical Child Psychologist who has been in private practice in the Storrs, CT area for almost 15 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas and completed her internship and post-doctoral residency at Hartford Hospital/The Institute of Living in Hartford, CT. Prior to opening her own private practice, she worked in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and special education schools. She has specialized training in psychotherapy with children and teens with co-occurring medical disorders, play therapy, and severe psychiatric diagnoses.
Marianne Barton, PhD is Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Training at the University of Connecticut, PhD Program in Clinical Psychology. She is also the Director of the Psychological Services Clinic at the University of Connecticut. Marianne holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She completed her internship at Brown University School of Medicine. She is a licensed psychologist and has worked for more than 30 years providing evaluation and treatment to young children and their families in multiple settings. Marianne also has many years of experience providing clinical training and supervision to graduate students in Clinical Psychology, Interns in Psychology, Child Psychiatry Fellows and practitioners in community settings. She provides consultation to multiple community agencies and serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health. Marianne is a Peace At Home teacher and program advisor.
LeAnn Beaulieu, MA holds a masters degree in Educational Psychology. Her career in education has touched on the full spectrum of academic, social and emotional development of students in preschool through grade 12. LeAnn has served as a teacher, administrator, and statewide consultant, focusing on practices that not only involve students in developmentally appropriate learning strategies, but engage their families as respected and essential participants in their children’s learning experiences. LeAnn’s professional work also includes training early childhood educators in executive function skills and purposeful play, as well as facilitating training for school personnel (grades K-12) in Student Assistance/Early Intervention Teams. She has served as an elementary school (K-6) principal and as the Director of an Alternative Education Middle/High School Program. LeAnn began her career as a middle school English teacher and brought those experiences to her work with The Governor’s Prevention Partnership (GPP) where she served as the Director of the School Partnerships before becoming the GPP Vice President. She currently serves as the Chairperson of KITE, an Early Childhood Collaborative/School Readiness Council in Enfield, CT.
Hanna Brinkhaus, MA, LCSW has focused for the last 25 years on supporting families throughout their parenting journey. Hannah is especially interested and experienced in working with the impact of life’s transitions and medical issues such as post-partum depression, pregnancy loss, diagnosis of a disability, divorce or geographical moves on families and children, especially from pregnancy to age 5 years old. She has worked in Head Start programs from Detroit to rural South Louisiana as therapist, mental health consultant and curriculum developer. Currently, Hanna has a full-time private practice in Connecticut where she works with individuals and families in her office, clients’ homes and school settings. Hanna holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood in addition to her master’s degree in Social Work. She offers strength based, relationship focused support to young children and the adults who care for them. She works with caregivers to increase awareness and understanding of the unique challenges and gifts these early years bring. Hanna serves as an early education specialist and coach with Peace At Home Parenting
Andrea, Ed.D has served as a school district Special Education Coordinator, a consultant with the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and adjunct faculty teaching at Bay Path University and University of Hartford. She recently retired from her role as Preschool Special Education Coordinator at the Connecticut State Department of Education. Andrea has almost thirty years of experience in education and has been a classroom teacher and central office administrator in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. Her work in the fields of early childhood and special education has emphasized meaningful inclusion of children with special education needs in general education settings and building a continuum of services from birth through grade 3. Andrea has presented on early learning issues at both the 3rd and 4th annual International Educational Symposia in the United Arab Emirates and has taught national webinars about PreK to grade 3 leadership and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). She also managed the School Readiness and Smart Start programs at Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.
Catina, PhD, ACSW, LCSW, MPA, is a widely recognized, passionate and award winning advocate for vulnerable children, adults and families with a focus on social justice, cultural intelligence and community organization in diverse settings. She served as a bilingual, bicultural public school social worker in Windham, Connecticut for 26 years where she was a senior facilitator of Race/Cultural seminars and provided professional development training on a wide variety of topics including child development, family dynamics and mental health. She was Connecticut’s School Social Worker of the Year in 2008. Catina currently teaches Field Advising at both the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Social Work and Eastern Connecticut State University Bachelor in Social Work program and is serving as a member of the Windham Public Schools Board of Education with a focus on Policy and Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Catina served as Program Director of Latino Family Services at United Services, Inc., a nonprofit behavioral health center providing mental health and social services in Northeast Connecticut, where she developed the first multicultural parent support center in the region. She is co-author of the Connecticut Commission on Children’s Parent-Leadership Training curriculum, an award winning program that has been replicated across the US. Catina founded the Windham, Connecticut Task Force to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect. She serves on the Connecticut Health Foundation Community Advisory Board and is a Health Leadership Fellow. She is also a Liberty Bank Foundation Director and served on the Windham Memorial Hospital/Hartford Healthcare Eastern Board of Directors as well as the Governor’s Partnership to Prevent Substance Abuse. She is a member of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families Racial and Cultural Issues Advisory Board and Racial Disparities Advisory Board to the Commissioner. Catina is the recipient of numerous awards including Big Brothers/Big Sisters Victoria Soto Memorial Award, University of Connecticut Outstanding Woman Scholar, Liberty Bank Community Diversity Award and Eastern Connecticut State University Latin American Award. She is a Peace At Home teacher and advisor.
Autumn Cloud Ingram, LCSW truly enjoys supporting families and helping them to adapt to the challenges of parenthood. Autumn is Certified School Social Worker, Certified Parent Educator, Evidence Based Birth® Instructor, and Doula. Autumn is passionate about working with adolescents and has done so for 10 years in school, therapeutic, and home based settings.
In addition, Autumn is a strong advocate for maternal mental health and improving birth outcomes. Autumn is the founder of ParenTechnique, LLC which provides therapy to families from conception through postpartum with a specific focus on birth trauma and terminations. She also loves empowering families through pregnancy and birth by teaching the Evidence Based Birth® childbirth class.Autumn is the founder of ParenTechnique, LLC which provides therapy to families in the perinatal period as well as childbirth and postpartum education and consultation. Autumn’s area of specialty is working with families who have experienced a traumatic birth or a termination. Her passion lies in reproductive justice and improving health outcomes for birthing people and their babies. She has supported diverse families through a variety of pregnancy outcomes. Autumn continues to serve as an advocate for evidence-based pregnancy and postpartum care and educating families on their right to informed consent. Hear more from Autumn.
Jennifer Dealy, PhD, LMFT is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Academic Advisor at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut. She recently graduated from the University of Connecticut’s doctoral program in Human Development and Family Studies with concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy and Intervention, Prevention, and Wellness. Jennifer’s research has focused on community and school-based interventions with at-risk populations, therapeutic paradigms for parents and children, and high conflict divorce in families served by the Court Support Services of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. Jennifer also works with high conflict co-parents in a group private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Norwich, Connecticut. Jennifer is a Peace At Home coach. Hear more from Jennifer.
Tanika, Ph.D, LCSW, IMH-E® is an Assistant Professor of Social Work, Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. Tanika has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fairfield University, a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Connecticut. Tanika has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 20 years, and holds the CT Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Specialist. Her professional experience includes: child and family guidance clinics, early intervention programs, early childhood mental health consultation, policy work, parent-infant psychotherapy, and training/consultation with home visiting clinicians. Her research investigates individual and organizational factors related to work-related stress management amongst frontline and supervising infant mental health practitioners.
Joe L. Freeman, MDiv, LCSW, Founder and Curriculum Adviser has worked in a variety of settings with children and adolescents struggling to meet the expectations of adults. Clinician and parenting educator in psychiatric hospitals, residential programs, & community-based programs.
Neal’s (LPC, NCC) focuses on relationships and culture to help clients thrive within traditional and nontraditional families and in their community. He is a Certified Licensed Professional Counselor and National Board-Certified Counselor, with experience as a therapist in private practice and mental health consultant. He teaches Trauma Informed Counseling at Carlow University in Pennsylvania. Neal also holds a certification in drug and alcohol counseling. He works with families who have experienced trauma and helps clients to process their identity as trauma survivors as well as strengthening the parent-child bond. Neal helps families understand how sexual orientation, gender identity issues, and societal pressures can cause individuals to feel disconnected from those they love. His work also supports clients dealing with men’s issues, life transitions, chronic illness, and conflict resolution. Neal is currently the Director of Community Services for OUTMemphis where he enjoys creating and fostering community collaborations and partnerships. He is often featured as a guest speaker on National Public Radio and 90.5 WESA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, discussing mental health stigma and normalizing therapy for individuals and families. Neal also provides workshops to mental health and healthcare agencies about how to enhance work life balance for employees. He believes in incorporating play and laughter into his life with his husband, six godchildren, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bingo. He enjoys cooking, working out, meditating, reading, and traveling. Neal is a Peace At Home teacher and coach.
Sophie Hornick, MS, CCLS holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is the founder of Ready, Set, Cope! As a Child Life Specialist, Sophie is an expert in child development who is trained to help children and families cope with difficult healthcare encounters. Child Life Specialists aim to decrease the anxiety, stress and fear often associated with unfamiliar medical environments and processes. Applying interventions such as age-appropriate preparation, therapeutic play, psychosocial education, and parent support, Sophie serves as a hospital-based Child Life Specialist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in both the ambulatory and inpatient pediatric unit. Previously, she collaborated with the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center perioperative interdisciplinary team to provide procedural support, preparation and therapeutic activities to young patients facing medical interventions and surgeries. While at the hospital Emergency Department, Sophie helped create a streamlined and therapeutic process for pediatric psychiatric patients and contributed to a Pain Management Initiative. During her time at New York Presbyterian Sophie also supported children in navigating a parent’s illness such as Cancer or Covid-19. She presented at a national conference on the challenge of supporting patients with autism in the operating room. Sophie is now an independent practitioner who supports healthy coping with healthcare experiences such as dentist and doctor’s appointments, surgeries, chronic illness/injury, grief and loss and other child and family challenges. Sophie is also a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. She is a Peace At Home teacher and consultant for families with children facing medical challenges or experiencing losses related to medical issues. Hear more from Sophie.
Lucinda Gibbons, MMFT (she/her) is an accomplished professional with a diverse range of expertise and a passion for empowering individuals and organizations. She brings a unique blend of strategic thinking, interpersonal skills, and a deep understanding of human behavior to her work.
Lucinda holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and advanced training in Perinatal Mental Health from Postpartum Support International. She is the founder of Lake House Collective, where she specializes in men’s mental health, perinatal mental health for all family members, LGBTQ+ youth and parents, and cultivating inclusive and high-performing workplaces. She is the lead trainer for The Fair Play Method, where she trains practitioners and professionals from around the world to bring The Fair Play Method to individuals, couples, and teams of all kinds.
Lucinda has led numerous workshops and training programs on topics such as development of interpersonal leadership skills, collaborative partnerships, and unconscious bias. Her approach creates an inclusive learning environment that encourages active participation and personal growth. Lucinda’s career has included work with multigenerational family businesses of high net worth individuals, Harvard Business School, biotech, medical institutions, law firms, and film and television production companies. Her expertise lies in fostering diversity and inclusion, promoting effective communication, and cultivating a culture of collaboration, innovation, and kindness.
Lucinda lives with her toddler and retired rescue therapy dog just north of Boston, MA, where you can find them all kayaking, watching movies, and frequenting local farm stands.
Heather Kobylinski, MA (she/her) is a certified Student Assistance Counselor at Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey, where she is a member of the District Crisis Management Team providing counseling for groups, individuals, parents and colleagues. She facilitates group counseling for students requiring support for anxiety, social skills, bereavement and depression. Heather is also the coordinator/case manager of the High School Intervention and Referral Services and Section 504/ADA committee. She holds a masters degree in counseling with a concentration in substance abuse and is trained in Psychological First Aid and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Heather is Board Certified Coach and owner of Resfeber Coaching LLC. She also serves on the Lead Response team for the Rutgers UBHC Traumatic Loss Coalition of Essex County. She additionally provides support in the areas of mental health, academic planning, bereavement and parenting. She is a trustee serving the Glen Ridge Municipal Alliance Committee, Juvenile Conference Committee, and the Essex County Chapter of the Association of Student Assistance Professionals.Heather and her husband are parents of two young adults and she serves a Peace at Home Coach. Hear more from Heather.
Ki ki Anna Koehle, MA is Human Services Board-Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) with over 17 years of experience in human services and family building. She is an innovative, collaborative, trauma-informed child welfare subject matter expert and adoption and infertility consultant. She works collaboratively with state and local child welfare leaders, federal partners, community service providers, and those with lived experience in human services systems to implement and sustain effective change and process improvements. Anna is the owner of Xona Consulting, LLC. specializing in adoption, infertility and lifestory consulting and coaching. Anna is a Peace At Home teacher and consultant. Of the many roles that she holds, her most important are wife and mother.
Sarah Kopencey, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Glastonbury, CT. During her internship at University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst, she developed a concentration in eating disorder treatment in the college setting. She received specialized training on the treatment of eating disorders as a part of the UMass integrative treatment team and with the Massachusetts five college consortium. Sarah completed her post-doctoral residency at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and stayed on as a full-time staff psychologist in the student Counseling and Wellness Center for four years. She has continued to focus her clinical practice on the treatment of adolescent and young adult eating disorders. She understands that parents of teens who are struggling with an eating disorder often find themselves confused, overwhelmed, and uncertain about what they can do to support their child. Sarah offers evidence-based consultation to help parents understand their child’s struggles and clear steps toward recovery that centers on the parent-child relationship. Sarah is a mom of two young children and enjoys hiking and playing by the lake with her family.
Stefanie Larsen, MS, OTR/L holds a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. Specializing in pediatric occupational therapy, Stefanie has worked in a variety of settings including early intervention, pediatric outpatient rehabilitation centers, sensory integration based private practice and public schools. She is the founder of Sensationally Thriving Children Therapy which provides occupational therapy to children in their homes as well as parent education, resources and support. Stefanie has acquired a variety of certifications and specialized trainings including the Advanced Mentored Clinician from the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing, Therapeutic Listening, SOS Approach to Feeding and Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist. Stefanie lives in Massachusetts with her family and enjoys skiing and baking cookies with her two sons.
Marc, LMFT is licensed Family Therapist from Avon, CT who specializes in working with teens and young adults both in high school and college. With over 20 years of experience as a marriage and family therapist, Marc has worked with a broad spectrum of teens and their families as an interactive, solution-focused therapist. He worked with students in crisis and those struggling with substance abuse at New Directions in Enfield CT. Marc was also a primary therapist at the Institute of Living Eating Disorders program. He founded U Are Heard, an on-demand counseling and coaching program that delivers online services to teens and young adults at home or away at school.
Marc’s therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. He integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, Marc works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.
Lisa Day-Lewis, LPC-A, MEd, is a counselor specializing in adolescent mental and physical health, with a specialty in supporting youth with gender identity, anxiety, and attention issues. Lisa offers counseling through Cornerstone Counseling CT, where she offers telehealth and in-person counseling in West Hartford, CT. She has a background in school counseling, and certification in Yoga and Ayurveda, an ancient science of health and well-being. She is mom to two boys, and currently serves as President of the Tolland-Mansfield chapter of PFLAG. As part of her work with PFLAG Lisa offers two support groups monthly, one in-person in Tolland, CT supporting LGBTQIA+ folks, families and allies, and one virtual support group for parents and allies only.
Cora Megan, MA,IMH-E® is an early childhood specialist and parent educator who has worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families for over a decade. She is currently a faculty member at the University of Connecticut in the Human Development and Family Sciences department, where she teaches courses in early childhood development and education. She formerly served as the Director of The Nest Shoreline Campus, an early learning center located in Branford, CT. Cora is a trained Circle of Security Facilitator and a member of the Connecticut Association of Infant Mental Health. She views her work with families through an attachment lens, and provides support and guidance that promotes secure and positive parent-child relationships. She is a Peace At Home Parenting teacher and consultant. Hear more from Cora
Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D.,CBSM is a licensed child psychologist who is board-certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. She is the co-author of Pediatric Sleep Problems: A Clinician’s Guide to Behavioral Interventions, and for more than 22 years she has provided clinical treatment and education for sleep problems in children 6 months through college-aged. Lisa is the owner of Nyxeos Consulting in Denver, CO, providing pediatric sleep solutions for researchers and clinical providers, and is a Professor of Pediatrics at National Jewish Health and a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Lisa’s funded program of research focuses on sleep health across development, objective and subjective measurement of pediatric sleep, the impact of changing school start times on health outcomes, and pediatric sleep health disparities.
Acey, MA LPC, originally from South Carolina, has lived in New England for 20+ years. She received her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. A licensed professional counselor (LPC), Acey has worked at Wheelock College in Boston, MA and Eastern CT State University in Willimantic, CT. She is currently working for Holistic Health and Healing in West Hartford, CT as a psychotherapist. Acey’s work is highly influenced by relational, attachment, and developmental theory. She believes in the power of relationships to facilitate growth, healing, and views herself as a partner with, and not an authority over, the individuals she works with. Acey is the mother of 3 middle school-aged children and lives in Storrs, CT. She is successfully co-parenting with her former wife and believes her experiences as a parent and co-parent have only deepened her compassion and awareness as a therapist.
Denise Parent, LMFT has been a licensed family therapist for over 22 years, experienced with a wide range of populations including children, adolescents, young adults, high conflict co-parents and most recently, aging adults suffering from chronic mental illness and addiction. She works from a strength-based and cross-systemic perspective, helping individuals and families to communicate with each other and collaborate on mutual solutions. She believes that her job is most often to help her clients, their families and their community supports to say what can’t be said and hear what can’t be heard. Denise has also had multiple training roles spanning almost 30 years. She worked in domestic violence prevention, developed courses and taught as an adjunct instructor in the graduate Counselor Education at Fairfield University and was the Director of the University of Connecticut Graduate Marriage and Family Therapy training clinic. In her spare time she dabbles in the arts, cooks with varying success, delves into American history and make fruitless attempts to discipline her cat Ed.
JoAnn Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized researcher on parent-child relations and young children’s emotional development. JoAnn is a retired university professor where she served as director of early childhood studies and has more than 80 papers published in scientific journals on supportive interventions for vulnerable families. She has been part of investigative teams studying parents’ perinatal well-being and mental health for 30 years. Her published research focuses on the outcomes of supporting parents throughout pregnancy and early childhood. JoAnn served as co-investigator in nationally recognized research efforts, including the national study of Early Head Start and the Nurse Family Partnership where the benefits of home visiting on parent-child relationships and child development were demonstrated. Also of note are investigations she co-authored on the benefits of kangaroo holding for mothers, fathers, and their preterm babies. Recently, JoAnn has consulted with international organizations about supporting parents of infants and toddlers caught up in the world refugee crisis. She is also a mother and grandmother. When not traveling around the world to research and teach about infants, young children and families, JoAnn serves as a Peace At Home teacher and coach. Hear more from JoAnn.
Stephanie Rondeau, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, CHC is a certified health coach with a background in sports medicine and fitness training. She is the founder of Rondeau Health and Wellness, offering private health coaching and small group coaching. Stephanie is a licensed and nationally certified Athletic Trainer with a MS in Nutrition, She has been working in sports medicine field for over 15 years and is currently an Orthopedic Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She has worked for years with the athletic population to diagnose and treat orthopedic injuries resulting from physical activity. Stephanie also contributes freelance health and fitness content for various websites and has written her own health and wellness blog since 2012. A busy mom of two, Stephanie helps other busy moms find their healthy “sweet spot” through fitness, nutrition, and general wellness coaching. Stephanie currently lives in Sharon, MA with her husband and young children.
Susan V. Schaefer, M.Ed., M.A.T. is recognized as a pioneer in the field of academic and executive function coaching. She founded Academic Coaching Associates(ACA) in 2010, in order to help students develop and strengthen their executive functions to increase academic success, as well as build independence and self-esteem.
Susan holds a Master of Education as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching and was a tenured classroom teacher. She began ACA to focus on students who struggle with executive functions, usually stemming from ADHD, mental health issues, as well as other learning challenges, by developing skills and strategies tailored to their particular challenges. In 2015, Susan founded Launch Career Coaching, a sister company to ACA, that assists recent college graduates with executive function deficiencies mount successful job searches.
Susan lives in Florida with her family where she spends a lot of time at dog beaches and dog parks with her tiny terrier mix, Murphy, and goofy chocolate lab puppy, Sophie.
Martha Staeheli, Ph.D., is a social and behavioral public health researcher focusing on school-based mental health and recovery and resilience-oriented health care. Martha is a former high school English teacher and is on the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry faculty, where she leads the School Mental Health Initiative at the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. She writes and presents on school mental health, equity in health services, and community psychiatry. As a yoga teacher, health researcher, and parent to a teenager, Martha understands how important it is for parents and educators to access evidence-based education on social emotional skills, adolescent development, and the well-being of youth, parents, and educators in challenging circumstances.
Liz Sweigart, PhD served as the Chief Product and Strategy Officer for Safe Kids AI, an EdTech company on a mission to empower kids to be safer online by helping them make better decisions. She is the American Psychological Association Program Chair for the Society of Consulting Psychology. Liz is also an International Coaching Federation credentialed coach who partners with emerging and established leaders to help them reach their goals and unlock their potential. She holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her research interests include ethical leadership, trust, and emerging technologies. Liz is passionate about using her well-honed skills to help parents support children to be safe online while respecting their autonomy and creativity.
Colleen, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Early Childhood Education in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her work examines the experiences of diverse, marginalized, and minoritized young children and their families. Colleen’s scholarship also focuses on family engagement, particularly among families from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, linguistic, and ability backgrounds. Colleen teaches courses focused on family engagement in early care and education, family processes and dynamics, as well as research methods. Colleen is the creator of the Raising Unicorns website (www.raisingunicorns.org) focused on raising gender-expansive children in a gender-binary world. Raising Unicorns provides resources for children (see KK’s Kids Corner) parents, teachers, and caregivers to support and affirm gender-expansive children. Colleen lives in northern Virginia with her partner and their three amazing children, and she describes motherhood as the most humbling experience of her life.
Poshi’s (MSW) career has focused on improving the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth and their families, and is considered a subject-matter-expert in this field. Poshi has worked in multiple arenas, including LGBTQ research, legislation, advocacy, and training, as well as lead authorship on several statewide LGBTQ reports. Poshi has facilitated LGBTQ trainings for mental health providers, medical personnel, teachers, students, and parents. Poshi has also coached a wide spectrum of parents/caregivers ranging from those still struggling with their child’s LGBTQ identity to those looking for ways to affirm their LGBTQ youth.
Denise, APRN, PNP received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and worked as an early childhood educator for 25 years. In 2002 she received a Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University and is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In 2015, she earned the CT Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement in Infant Mental Health (IMH). For the past 19 years Denise has been actively involved in the much admired, evidence-based “Minding the Baby” (MTB) Program which aims at limiting the effects of chronic stress and enhancing physical and mental health in young families facing adversity. She maintains a part-time clinical caseload while taking an active role on the MTB training team. Denise worked with the MTB team to develop an introductory training on clinical approaches for reflective parenting programs that has drawn participants from around the world. In this role she serves as a primary presenter and co-authored accompanying training materials. Denise also serves as a consultant for the MTB program replication in New Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford, Connecticut; and multiple municipalities in Denmark. She serves as a Peace At Home teacher and coach.
Aaron Weintraub, MS has thirty years of experience in supporting families of children with special needs. Aaron’s approach is focused on recognizing strengths in the child and family system and draws from experience working in settings from infant development centers, public schools, university instruction, adult day services, private practice for children with special needs, and everything in between. Aaron has three children whose ages range from an adult daughter to a young son. Aaron is serving as both a teacher of live online classes and virtual parenting coach. He is the director of Kids Cooperate in Tolland, CT and the family specialist at CLICC supporting parents who are incarcerated. Hear more from Aaron
Bradford Wiles, PhD grew up on the small farm in Indiana where he was a ten-year 4-H member. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Indiana University and worked in Silicon Valley developing emerging technologies at a genomics/biotechnology company. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Human Development. Bradford is currently Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Kansas State University School of Family Studies and Human Services. He focuses his research building resilience and health in vulnerable families by providing rural, low-income, parents with knowledge, skills, and decision-making strategies to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Bradford’s vision is to reach all families with children and assist them in applying research based practices in the domains of brain development, physical health and activity, and social-emotional health. Bradford enjoys all manner of outdoor activities and especially playing with his two young children and wife. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Bradford loves playing just about any kind of music and is proficient in guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, ukulele, and all sorts of percussion instruments. He has a small recording studio where he serves as recording engineer, mixer, tech, and even the talent. Bradford is a Peace At Home Teacher.
Na Zhang, PhD, MEd is a family scientist and prevention researcher at the University of Connecticut who specializes in child and adolescent development, couples, parents, health, wellbeing and prevention. She directs the Family Resilience and Mindfulness Empowerment lab where she focuses on mindfulness, self-compassion and self-regulation as well as resilience in youth affected by traumatic stress or adversities. Na studies negative and positive parenting and emotion-related parenting and investigates how effective parenting may lead to resilience outcomes in children from at-risk families. Her current program of research focuses on mindfulness training as an intervention strategy to strengthen and optimize parenting programs. In particular, Na has expertise in grief and family bereavement. Na enjoys teaching and translating scientific knowledge into engaging parenting workshops for diverse parents and caregivers. She is a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, trained at Brown University. She speaks Mandarin and English.