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Although we are a small College, we are spread out across campus and around the State. To help us build stronger ties and get to know each other, we are offering short bios on our faculty and staff.

Join us this month as we meet colleagues in CEHD:

Jennifer Carrano
Assistant Professor, HDFS
213 Alison Hall
(302) 831-4797

Jennifer Carrano is conducting research that focuses on the interplay between social-contextual and biological factors in influencing adolescent development, with a particular interest in adolescent risk behaviors and resilience. She is also teaching courses on adolescent development and substance abuse within families.

Prior to coming to UD Jen received a B.S. in Family Studies and Psychology from the University of Maryland, followed by a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College. After completing her Ph.D., Jen worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Research in Child Wellbeing at Princeton University, where she examined joint influences of dopamine-signaling genes and neighborhood risks on child externalizing behaviors.

Jen enjoys spending her spare time with family, friends, and her two dogs, one of whom she’s training to (hopefully) do therapy work. She also loves traveling, most recently visiting France (see photo), Scotland, Arizona, and the Virgin Islands… with upcoming trips to the Bahamas and Germany. Now that she’s getting settled in DE, she’s hoping to find some time to take art classes, which is a hobby that has been neglected terribly over the last few years!

UD Ties:

Jen’s only link to UD is a cousin who is a senior in the Animal Sciences program– and she’s not sure if that counts. She’ll learn soon enough that, in Delaware, there’s only two degrees of separation between everyone, so this qualifies.


Joe Naccarato
Programmer/Analyst II, Office of Educational Technology
117B Pearson Hall
(302) 831-4376

As part of the Office of Educational Technology, Joe codes the CEHD department websites, helping to keep them up to date.  He supports and maintains online applications for completing student teacher evaluations for pre-service teachers (FEPS) and gathering accreditation data for the School of Ed programs (SEEDS).  OET holds technology training sessions for faculty and staff, and Joe leads sessions on website usage and administration.  And most recently, OET has begun developing iOS apps, with Joe as the lead programmer.

As a father of two boys, 6 and 8 years old, Joe doesn’t have time for his own hobbies; he and his wife spend most of their time doing kid stuff. He’s happy to report he’s reached Pro level at Wii Sports bowling, and recently learned how to play the Pokemon card game.  His oldest son has expressed an interest in building model cars, so he may be taking up that come Christmas.

UD Ties:
Joe is a Blue Hen. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Film Studies (2000) and another in Computer Science (2005).  He also moderates a student group the gets together for table-top role playing games (Dungeons and Dragons, etc.).


Joshua Wilson

Assistant Professor
School of Education
213E Willard Hall
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-2955

Joshua Wilson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education. His research focuses on methods of assessing and instructing struggling writers, and on the application of automated essay scoring technology in Response to Intervention contexts. Josh was awarded the Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Research, Student Research Award in the quantitative design method area for his paper: Does Automated Feedback Improve Writing Quality? (Wilson, Olinghouse, & Andrada, 2014). He currently teaches courses on elementary special education methods. He earned his Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Connecticut in 2014. Prior to that, he was a special education teacher for six years.

Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, Becky, and their three dogs: Samson, Penelope, and Professor (not featured). He enjoys playing guitar, hiking, and spending time at the beach.

February 2014

Lynn Worden

Assistant Professor & Undergraduate Coordinator
Human Development & Family Studies
107 Alison Hall West
(302) 831-1922

Lynn Worden joined the HDFS faculty in 2002, after completing both her MS and PhD degrees in the department.  She is currently an Assistant Professor and the Undergraduate Coordinator for the department and coordinates the Early Childhood Education major. She loves working with undergraduate students and sharing her passion for teaching very young children. One of her favorite experiences each semester is participating in the Early Childhood Education Mastery Portfolio defense because she can see the articulate, knowledgeable professionals her students have become. Before coming to UD, she worked with children and families in a variety of locations, including spending a year in Scotland.

Lynn is a newlywed (married in 2012) and she and her husband Kevin love to travel. They are enthusiastic skiers, although Lynn’s racing days are over because she decided she’d like to be able to keep her original set of knees. She has a son who lives in Boston and a daughter who is a junior at UD studying Exercise Science. Lynn’s 2 1/2 year old granddaughter (who is featured prominently in Lynn’s class about teaching infants and toddlers) attends UD’s Early Learning Center. 


David Coker

Associate Professor, School of Education
127A Willard Hall
(302) 831-3096

David Coker is an associate professor in the School of Education. His interests include writing assessment and instruction for young students. Currently he is working on a project in 50 first-grade classrooms in the state. Along with his two colleagues Charles MacArthur and Elizabeth Farley-Ripple (SOE), he is looking to determine the best approaches to writing instruction for students who begin first grade with varying levels of literacy skill. This project has provided research opportunities for doctoral students and undergraduates, and has involved a team of retired teachers to conduct classroom observations.

In his spare time David likes to run the trails of local parks, such as White Clay Creek. With all the snow this winter, he has been able to get in some cross-country skiing with his family. He does the best he can to keep up with his wife, Cecilie.

 Barbara Ruane

Administrative Assistant, Delaware Stars
113 Pearson Hall

Barbara has worked in academia for over 25 years and enjoys the atmosphere of education. Working in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies and then Delaware Stars as an Administrative Assistant, she supports education and research in the two most important aspect of her life — family and children.  As a mother of three and grandmother of four, the education of young children is dear to her heart.

Barbara’s favorite hobby is working with fiber arts — knitting, weaving, spinning and sewing. When she travels, she likes to purchase materials for a knitting project as a souvenir.  Qiviut from Alaska and sea cotton from Aruba are her most unusual purchases. She also enjoys photography.

A lifelong learner, Barbara enjoys taking Continuing Ed classes at UD whenever it strikes her fancy.   

December 2013 Profiles

Ron Kelley

Computer Technician, Office of Educational Technology

Ron worked in Information Technology for thirty-six years, in industry, before joining the UD Office of Educational Technology in 2003. He worked full time for several years, helping CEHD faculty and staff implement new hardware and software, and solve their computer problems. He retired in 2010 but continues to work a few hours a week, mostly for the Center for Disabilities Studies, Early Learning Center and The College School.

In addition to his part time work at UD, Ron exercises most days at the Bear-Glasgow Family YMCA, helps his seven grandchildren with some of their activities and recently has done some writing. He just completed his first novel, Better Justice, a mystery, set in a small Arizona town with a big secret. The book is very special for Ron because his granddaughter, Christina Terranova, helped with the cover illustration.

UD Ties

Ron’s an alumnus, graduating from UD with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.


Bill Lewis

Assistant Professor, School of Education

121B Willard Hall
(302) 831-0728

Bill Lewis, assistant professor, joined the faculty of the School of Education in 2007 after a 20 year career teaching English language arts in Pennsylvania public schools. His research focuses on argumentation, strategic instruction, content-area literacy and young adult literature. Bill partners with a number of state school districts and the department of education to provide professional development opportunities related to their adoption of the Common Core State Standards and reading and writing instruction in the disciplines, and he especially enjoys his work with the ELA methods students and with his literacy colleagues in SOE. He most recently co-authored a book Cracking the Common Core, with Sharon Walpole (UD SOE) and Michael McKenna (UVA).

When not in Willard Hall, Bill enjoys fly fishing, hunting, playing banjo and guitar and traveling and camping with his wife, Laurie, and his children Paige and Gray. Although it causes him a great deal of pain, Bill is also an avid Phillies fan.

UD Ties:

Bill received his Ph.D from UD and his daughter Paige is currently a junior English major at the university.


Bahira Trask

Associate Chair and Graduate Coordinator, HDFS
(302) 831-8187

Bahira Trask joined the HDFS faculty in 1997 and is currently the Associate Chair and the graduate coordinator of the department. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Bahira is the author and editor of five books including most recently Women, Work and Globalization (2014) and Globalization and Families (2010). Her work focuses on the intersection of globalization, gender, economics, and family life.  For the last four years, Bahira has also worked on the Blueprints Delaware Project, an initiative that seeks to revitalize some of the most low-income communities in the state.

Bahira has 7 year old twins, likes to cook, swim, travel, and is a former magician. She also enjoys reading biographies and recently completed a work on Simone deBeauvoir and another on Virginia Woolf.


August Profiles

Steve Amendum

Associate Professor, School of Education and DCTE Faculty Scholar in Literacy
121A Willard Hall Education Building
(302) 831-1590

Steve Amendum joined us in August 2013. He is currently working with colleagues from Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill on developing a professional development program to create effective working partnerships between ESL teachers, classroom teachers, and families for the benefit of young English learners. This work is funded through the Institute of Education Sciences. Prior to coming to UD, Steve was an assistant professor at North Carolina State University where he conducted research on literacy development and instruction for multilingual learners, early reading intervention, and professional development for teachers. He received a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When he isn’t working, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Emily, and their three children – Paige, Evan Grace, and Griffin. Emily has also joined UD as an associate director for DCTE.  They all are excited to learn more about UD and all the area has to offer.


Mellissa Gordon

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
117 Alison Hall
302) 831-1629

Mellissa joined us in August 2013 as an assistant professor in HDFS. She recently completed her PhD from Florida State University in the Department of Family and Child Sciences. Mellissa’s research is an examination of how families of origin (i.e., parenting behaviors, parent-child relationships) come to influence individual outcomes such as adolescents’ academic achievement, young adults’ educational attainment and career success, and relationship competence in adolescence and young adulthood. In addition, she is also interested in the broader community influences on such individual outcomes. She will be teaching the Youth-At-Risk course here at UD.

Mel is originally from the island of Jamaica, but spent most of her life growing up in south Florida. She obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Florida, which makes her a very proud UF alumna. Some of her favorite things to do includes spending time with her two siblings, Teddy and Deanna, traveling, watching Gator football, bowling, and bike riding.


Adrian Pasquarella

Assistant Professor, School of Education
124 Willard Hall Education Building

Adrian Pasquarella joined CEHD in August 2013. His research is on understanding language and literacy development in English language learners. He has focused on identifying the specific strengths and challenges bilinguals from diverse backgrounds face when learning English, and how instruction can be adapted to improve vocabulary and reading comprehension. He is especially interested in understanding how students can use skills developed in their first language to support English reading.

Adrian pursued his doctoral degree in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He loves spending time outdoors with his family, whether it is lying back in a hammock or going for a hike.


Assistant Professor in HDFS, joint appointment in DERDC
106 Alison Hall
(302) 831-4724

Staci joined the faculty in July 2013 with a primary appointment as an assistant professor in HDFS and a joint appointment in our Delaware Education Research & Development Center. She comes to us from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania where she was an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work. Her doctoral degree was from the U of PA’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Staci’s research interests are focused on using partnership-based research to promote the development and well-being of vulnerable children, youth and families. She has conducted research on early childhood interventions targeting young children in the child welfare and emergency housing systems and on adolescents who have experienced homelessness.

When not working, Staci enjoys spending time with her partner and son. She is an avid Phillies fan. She also loves baking, cooking, reading, and coffee. Most recently, she read the book, The Devil’s Cup, which detailed the history of the world through coffee.


June 2013 Profiles

Gillian Guadagnino

3rd Grade Teacher, The College School

Gillian started at TCS as a graduate assistant and is currently the 3rd grade teacher.   At TCS, she incorporates movement and music into the curriculum to make the material more meaningful and fun for her students.  Additionally, she hosts UD teacher candidates and methods students from the ETE program for their field experiences throughout the school year.

Gillian raised in Brooklyn, NY where her family still resides.  She loves making the trip home for some delicious pizza, and of course, bread and canolis!  In the summer, Gillian travels across the country to teach cheerleading to collegiate athletes and has even traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to teach cheerleading to Danish teams.  In 2010, Gillian represented the United States in a world competition against various countries in order to possibly develop cheerleading as an Olympic Sport!

UD Ties:

Gillian graduated TWICE from the University of Delaware, earning a Bachelors degree and Masters degree in Special Education.  She is certified to teach Elementary Education, Special Education, and Middle School English.  She also cheered for the University of Delaware for six years, and currently coaches the UD cheerleading team along side her stunt partner for 5 years, Ben Schreiber.  Come to a football game, and you might catch her flying through the air!


Ralph P. Ferretti

Professor and Director
School of Education

Ralph joined the School of Education in 1984 and was appointed Director of CEHD’s School of Education in 2012.  In his new role, Ralph is responsible for the School of Education’s administration, including the oversight of its academic programs.  His scholarship focuses on interventions that promote students’ self-regulatory skills in written argumentation, including disciplinary arguments about historical and literary interpretation. He served as co-editor of The Journal of Special Education and on the editorial boards of Exceptional Children and The Journal of Special Education. He is a member of the National Center for Intensive Intervention’s Technical Review Committee for Instruction.

After finishing his PhD in psychology at the University of Alabama, Ralph completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Kansas, and then took his first academic position at the University of Washington.  Ralph is married to Annette, and they have a daughter, Laura, who lives in Hong Kong with her husband John and their 3-month-old son A.J.  Ralph’s interests include ballroom and Latin dancing, which has been great source of personal pleasure and friendship.


Amy Harter

Program Coordinator
New Directions Early Head Start
(302) 831-0469

Amy is the program coordinator for NDEHS. She oversees the home based programs in Kent and New Castle Counties and work with the New Directions Early Head Start Leadership Team to ensure that UD’s program is meeting the Head Start Standard. Her particular areas are health, eligibility/recruitment/selection/enrollment/attendance (ERSEA), and collecting information for our annual reports.

Amy grew up in the Gap, PA, in the heart of Lancaster County Amish Country. She enjoy cooking, spending time with her husband and children, trips to the beach and Disney.

UD Ties:

Amy graduated from UD as a family and community services major.  She has two daughters – the oldest graduated from the our Laboratory preschool last year and her youngest will be starting the 2-year-old program in the fall.  Her family enjoys UD football games and are active in the Future Blue Hens program.

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April 2013 Profiles

Joan L. Buttram

Director, Delaware Education Research and Development Center (DERDC) and Coordinator of EdD Program, School of Education
104A Pearson Hall



Joan oversees the DERDC, conducts evaluation and research projects on both K-12 and higher education programs, teaches a course in program evaluation and coordinates the EdD program – advising students and serving or chairing EdD committees.

When not at work, Joan is an avid traveler, having visited all but one of US states (You have to wonder what she has against Nevada). She has been to 16 countries and even lived in Tripoli, Libya for four years when growing up. Be careful if traveling with her though – she admits to being in San Francisco during the 1989 earthquake, and in NYC for the 2004 blackout.

UD Ties

No ties, per se, although she’s a big fan of the Woman’s Basketball team and was selected to be honorary coach for their February 24th game. “There was no talent involved,” Joan confessed. “They just pick someone to sit on the bench I expressed interest to one of my former students who worked in athletics, and she made the connection.” 


Rob Palkovitz, Ph.D.

Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
217 Alison Hall West


Rob teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Human Development, Intergenerational Relationships and Development, and Research Methods. His research focuses on the role of fathers in families, specifically how men’s engagement in fathering influences wellbeing of children, men, families and communities. He is currently looking to study the role of fathers’ coparental relationships in influencing nutrition and activity levels of children residing in poverty in Philadelphia.  This fall, his book titled “Fathering for Life” will be published, making the best of developmental and fathering professional literature accessible for everyday dads.

In the fall of 2012, Rob traveled to Kenya on sabbatical to engage in community development work among the Digo people.  His team visited projects begun by his son and daughter-in-law, Collin and Lindsay, who established an infant care and education program, a pre-K school for orphans and at risk children, an adult literacy program and a microfinance program for women. He is working to  establish a non-profit organization to create more life opportunities in Kenya.  And if that isn’t enough, he began training to run trail marathons last year, completing his first in Sept. and running half-marathons ever since.

UD Ties

All four of Rob’s sons are UD alumni- Nathan, Collin, Ian and Shane (pictured above).  Both Nathan and Shane are alums of our college. Shane will once again be providing musical entertainment at the CEHD Alumni Reception on May 31.


Carol Kitchen

Business Administrator
School of Education


Carol joined the University of Delaware in February where she serves as Business Administrator in the newly formed position for SOE. Her primary role is to manage RBB and the finances for the SOE. She will also focus on process improvement opportunities and managing the staff.

Carol received her MBA from the University of Delaware. She has fifteen years of credit card banking experience, along with seven years of small business accounting experience. Since birth, Carol has had a vision impairment which requires her to use enlarging software on her PC and an electronic magnifier in order to read print.

Outside of work, Carol spends time with her family, her husband and 17-year-old boy/girl twins, and her pets. She has rescued a Ridgeback Hound and a harness-racing horse which she is trying to train to be an English Jumper show horse. With Carol’s vision impairment and her big racing horse, they are quite a sight at local horse shows (pictured above).

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February 2013 Profiles

Diane Crossan Lawler

Laboratory Preschool
The College School

Diane began working at the Laboratory Preschool and The College School in 2005 as an art instructor and curriculum consultant. She teaches CEHD courses for undergraduate and graduate students emphasizing the importance of the arts in education. Diane earned her BFA from UD, and is currently doing graduate work in art and education with a focus toward art therapy. She has worked with children and adults for over twenty years, and recently became part of a certified pet therapy team with the studio rabbit, Claude Monet. Claude has become an integral part of the art programs for both schools (see his Facebook page).

Diane has two children, one of whom is attending UD. In her spare time, Diane enjoys painting, cooking, and gardening in her tree house by the river.


Donald Unger

Chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Donald oversees the HDFS Department, which includes two undergraduate majors (Early Childhood Education, Human Services), two 4+ 1 programs, an MA and PhD program, and four Graduate Certificate programs, as well as the student and faculty research and training activities for the Laboratory Preschool, the Early Learning Center: Newark & Wilmington, New Directions Early Head Start, Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, and the Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities and Leadership. In addition, Donald administers the HDSF Advisement Center and human services internship sites throughout the State of Delaware and serves on several academic boards.

At the end of this academic year, Dr. Unger completes his term as Chairperson. He looks forward to returning to the classroom, continuing his program of research in family support, disabilities, and program evaluation, and traveling to exotic destinations with his wife. He is married to Dr. Sharon Jacobs, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, who directs Associates in Health Psychology, LLC, a group mental health and health psychology practice in Delaware serving children, youth, adults, and their families.


Laura Glass

Associate Director, School of Education
Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education


Laura joined the School of Education in August 2002. One of her responsibilities as the Associate Director is coordinating the Elementary Teacher Education program, which includes overseeing the curriculum, field experiences and accreditation of the program. She is also an assistant professor of mathematics education and enjoys working with students in EDUC 100: Introduction to Elementary and Middle School Education and as the faculty advisor for the Association of Pre-Professional Leaders in Education (APPLE).

Laura is married to Dr. Brad Glass, Assistant Professor in the School of Education and coordinator of the Masters of Arts in Teaching program. They spend time travelling throughout Europe every year and taking care of their two talkative parrots.

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November 2012 Profiles

Stephanie Fox

Infant Teacher, Early Learning Center
(302) 831-6205

Stephanie joined the ELC team in August of 2012 as a Teacher in the Infant room. She has three years experience in a day care setting working with ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. She and her assistant teacher care for six infants and their families, developing lesson plans and establishing routines that promote positive development and growth. She also works with students in Human Services, ECE and Nursing, as they obtain field experience with young children.

Stephanie was born and raised in Sweden, moving to the U.S. with her parents in 2000. She loves traveling and trying new and exciting things, including zip lining.

UD Ties:

Stephanie earned her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education in May of 2012. She now has her certification from the State of Delaware in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, as well as Special Education. She is also engaged to an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware, and is looking forward to becoming a Double Del next summer.

Jennifer Gallo-Fox

Assistant professor, Human Development and Family Studies
(302) 831-7370

Jennifer joined our faculty in September 2012 and is excited to be a part of the University of Delaware. She currently teaches HDFS 221 Child Development II: Ages 3-10 and HDFS 413: Inclusive Curriculum: Kindergarten–2nd Grade. Jennifer began her career as a classroom teacher before returning to graduate school during the Standards reform of the 1990s. She was inspired by her teacher education experience at Bank Street College of Education, where she had learned to teach in ways very different from her own K-12 traditional learning experience. Dr. Gallo-Fox was most recently an assistant professor at Loyola University Maryland where she taught undergraduate and graduate students in the Teacher Education Department and Literacy Program.

When she isn’t working, Dr. Gallo-Fox enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children. In her spare time, she likes to garden and cook.


Laurie Palmer

Coordinator for the Southern Delaware Elementary Teacher Education programs
Milford, Delaware

Laurie joined CEHD in August 2000. She is the coordinator for the Southern Delaware Elementary Teacher Education programs which include the Associate in Arts Degree in Education in Georgetown and the UD/Milford Professional Development School in Milford. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she teaches in both programs. Laurie is married with two children who live in South Dakota and Florida — so traveling is one of her favorite leisure activities.

UD Ties:

Laurie is truly a Blue Hen, earning two Bachelor of Science degrees, one master’s degree, and her doctorate at the University of Delaware. She is married to Jeff, the University Registrar, whom she met at UD.

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 September 2012 Profiles

Kathleen Minke

Professor and Coordinator, School Psychology Program

Kathy joined the faculty in 1991. She has worked as a school psychologist in several states and is a licensed psychologist in Maryland. She was president of the National Association of School Psychologists in 2010-11 and is chair-elect of the NASP convention committee. This summer, she conducted a study abroad trip to Australia, with Gail Rys and 18 ETE students.

Kathy loves blues music and her performance photographs have appeared in Offbeat, Blues Revue, Big City Blues, and Living Blues magazines. She is an avid scuba diver (see photo), most recently diving the Great Barrier Reef. She lives with her husband and two large, marginally well-behaved dogs. Her main focus is preparing outstanding school psychologists who support the learning and development of children and youth in our public schools.


Carol Phipps

Assistant Director of Clinical Studies, DCTE

Carol joined the Delaware Center for Teacher Education in August 2012. She is the Assistant Director of Clinical Studies and is responsible for assisting in placing students in their field placements in the schools and community centers. Carol is married and has twin sons. She studied French in France for her post graduate studies and also earned her Masters in History from Washington College. Although she loves traveling and cooking, her deepest interest in found in her friendships.

UD Ties:

Carol’s heart has been with the UD since graduating with her Bachelor of Education in Psychology/Sociology. She has been a part of the University of Delaware as an advisor, cooperating teacher, and honored by the UD as a teacher of the year.