Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Building Resilience in Young Children During Turbulent Times
“Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Building Resilience in Young Children during Turbulent Times”
Held November 19, 2020 from 3:00 -5:00 PM
Niagara University’s Leveque Institute for Civic Engagement is proud to present a Virtual Panel Discussion, “Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Building Resilience in Young Children during Turbulent Times”, will be moderated by Dr. Lynnette Haley O’Stewart, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, Niagara University.
The panel will present diverse perspectives on developing resilience from a trauma-informed lens in working with young children, families, and program staff. We will learn from the experiences and perspectives of a pediatrician, evidence-based trauma informed clinicians, early childhood program director, social worker and behavioral specialist, and a professor of school psychology. Our panelists will also share their career pathways and what has led them to this important work. Attendees will walk away with important considerations and strategies for promoting an inclusive program culture, trauma-informed care, and resiliency in caring for children, families, and staff in the era of COVID-19.
Cambria Daniels, Program Director of Social-Emotional Learning BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc.
Cambria Daniels is a Program Director with BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc. (formerly Child & Adolescent Treatment Services). She is an Alumni of Medaille College where she earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University College at Buffalo. Within the K-12 school based program Building Brighter Futures, Cambria coordinates, supervises, facilitates and monitors Social emotional Learning (SEL) programs within East Community High School, 21st Century programming, Matt Urban and Community Action Organization (CAO) partnerships.
Cambria attends and supports East Zone community school meetings to ensure and maintain collaborative planning of intentional social-emotional opportunities to be offered during Saturday Academy. Cambria provides oversight and direction to the afterschool Site Coordinator, Matt Urban and CAO Social-emotional Coordinators and meets regularly with staff members in order to foster professional development, strong interpersonal capacities and data management skills. Additional responsibilities includes the allocation of resources to efficiently operate and achieve the work needed to provide quality afterschool programming and alignment of school-day SEL supports. Cambria also ensures program compliance with the administrative, state regulations and evaluation requirements of OCFS, NY State Department of Education and Via Evaluation.
Cambria plans implements and tracks high quality SEL activities and evidenced based curriculums for referred clients and community school participants. She serves as a member of the school’s student support team (SST) and works with school administration and faculty in order to facilitate SEL and pro-social behavioral modification in adolescents via classroom push in’s individual counseling and group counseling also known as Tier 1 and Tier 2 mental health services. Additionally, Cambria coordinates and presents professional development trainings for faculty and staff and also provides linkages to students and their families for additional services dependent on need.
Cambria serves as the Board secretary with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Buffalo & Erie County and truly enjoys advocating, educating and supporting families whose lives have been effected by the challenges of a loved one with mental illness. Board membership with NAMI allows for the opportunity to expand my reach to further educate and expose the community to the support options that are available. The ability to contribute towards increased awareness of mental illness in order to assist in the challenge to end stigma around mental illness within the community is an invaluable experience.
Dr. Lisa Kilanowski, Associate Professor of School Psychology; Coordinator, School Psychology; Program Chairperson Department of Counseling and Applied Psychology, Niagara University
Dr. Lisa Kilanowski is an associate professor of school psychology and the chair of the Department if Applied Psychology and Counseling at Niagara University. She is also the school psychology program director. Dr. Kilanowski's primary research interests include response to intervention, reading disabilities, assessment and intervention in reading, math, and written expression, school reform and systems change, multitiered systems of prevention in behavior and counseling, leadership in the profession of school psychology, and advanced integration of neuropsychological principles and RtI data in the assessment of learning disabilities in K-12 environments.
Dr. Kilanowski routinely provides extensive district consultation, policy writing assistance, and professional development regarding the implementation of preventative academic and mental health models across New York state, in addition to presenting on the subject nationally and internationally. Since 2008, Dr. Kilanowski has trained thousands of school district and building leaders, school psychologists, and teachers via the provision of workshops dedicated to various aspects of schoolwide prevention models.
Similarly, Dr. Kilanowski has been pleased to present on a wealth of topics consistent with her research interests at national and international school psychology and education conferences, having written several articles, book chapters, and other scholarly contributions relative to the field of school psychology and counseling. Dr. Kilanowski is the Past President of the Trainers of School Psychologists, New York (TSP-NY), a current board member of the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP), and a graduate program reviewer for the National Association of School Psychologists.
Ashley Kowalyk, Social Worker and Behavioral Specialist, The Children’s Center for Success, Family Help Center
Ashley Kowalyk is a Behavioral Specialist and Social Worker at the Children’s Center for Success at the Family Help Center. She has a Master’s degree in from Social Work from the University at Buffalo with a focus on trauma informed care. Ashley has been in the Social Work and Early Childhood Education field for over 10 years. She is trained in the Pyramid Model and Teacher Child Interaction Training (TCIT) which is specific to trauma and early childhood, making her a leader in this unique multifaceted profession in Western New York. She has experience in training teachers in trauma informed approaches, linkages and support for families as well as social emotional supports to children. She sits on multiple task forces within the Erie County community. She is currently assisting on the planning committee for the new community center and medical clinic for the Seneca Babcock /University at Buffalo Health Sciences Task Force.
Kim Stewart, Director of Early Childhood Programming, Seneca Babcock Community Association
Kim Stewart is the Director of Early Childhood Programming at Seneca Babcock Community Association. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree in Diversified Curriculum and Leadership. She has been working in early care and education for over twenty-five years, with experience in public school, Head Start, private childcare sectors, and non-profit programs. She has spent much of her career learning and understanding about trauma and its impact on children, families, program staff, and communities. She has been trained in ACES through Child Abuse Prevention New York, Teacher Child Interaction through Best-Self, and the Pyramid Model for Infant/Toddler and Preschool. Kim is involved in many leadership committees in Buffalo, such as the Western New York Association for the Education of Young Children, Directors as Leaders, and New York State Quality Stars and works on the Erie County Task Force for Childcare. She was awarded Western New York Educator of the Year.
Sharon A. Ray, LCSW-R, Director of Evidence-Based Programs, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc.
Sharon Ray, LCSW-R, is the Director of Evidence-Based Programs at BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc. in Buffalo, NY, where she has served in various clinical, supervisory and program leadership capacities for over three decades. Ms. Ray holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from Niagara University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from SUNY at Albany. She has extensive experience in the implementation of innovative, research-supported mental health treatment services for children, adolescents, and their families, and has been involved in several community collaborations to promote effective early childhood mental health services. Ms. Ray has directed the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) programs at BestSelf since 2005, and is certified by PCIT International as a PCIT Therapist and Level 1(Within Program) Trainer. She is an adjunct lecturer at Niagara University.
Dr. Constantina (Dina) Spiropoulos, Pediatrician, Western New York Psychiatric Center
Dina Spiropoulos, MD is currently providing medical care in an inpatient setting to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. Many of these children have experienced trauma in their lifetime. Her current work has only fueled her passion for raising awareness of adverse childhood experiences and its lasting effects on lifelong physical and mental health.
She also presently is a board member for the NYS Association of Infant Mental Health and serves on the membership committee. She hopes to interest more pediatric providers to the field of infant mental health.
Prior to her current position, Dr Spiropoulos was in private practice and co-lead for a Healthy Steps program, a team-based pediatric primary care program that promotes the health, well-being and school readiness of babies and toddlers using a trauma-informed lens. She also had served as an invited panelist speaker over the past several years regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience and Infant Mental Health.
She completed the University of Massachusetts Infant-Parent Mental Health certificate program in 2015 and Health Leadership Fellows Program of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, The Eighth Cohort. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Albany Medical College.