Staff

Faculty and Staff

Niloufar RezaiIMG_0052
Director
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5270
rezain@easternct.edu
Niloufar Rezai graduated from Rutgers University with a double major in psychology and French and has completed a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Eastern. She has been a teacher to young children for nearly 16 years. Additionally, Niloufar is an adjunct faculty member at Eastern. Niloufar is dedicated to fostering quality early experiences as a way of closing the existing achievement gap and giving children of all backgrounds a good foundation for becoming life-long learners. Niloufar is committed to making the Center a model program for teachers across the country.
Pamela AchukaIMG_0343
University Assistant
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
achukap@easternct.edu
Pamela Achuka graduated in 2015 from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut earning her Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.). Pamela hopes to become a Pediatric Audiologist in the future.
Karla AlamoIMG_0410
Teacher Associate
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
alamok@easternct.edu
Karla Alamo began her career in Early Childhood as a substitute teacher and quickly became a Lead Teacher in a Toddler Classroom. For the last two years she has been at the CFDRC where she began as a University Assistant and now works as Teacher’s Associate. Karla is currently working towards her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Karla’s passion lies in Bilingual education, as her first Language is Spanish, and she enjoys being able to help families and students who are Dual Language Learners.
Leisha FlynnIMG_0414
Lead Teacher
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
flynnle@easternct.edu
Leisha received her Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre. She spent several years acting in musical children’s theatre in NYC but always knew her passion was education. Leisha began teaching in the fall of 2013 as a University Assistant at the CFDRC while pursuing her Master degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. She has completed her second year teaching brilliant little minds in a center that embraces emergent curriculum and supports innovative research in early childhood education.
Patricia GardnerIMG_0027
Lead Teacher
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
gardnerp@easternct.edu
Patty graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. She went on to earn her State of Connecticut teaching certificate for grades pre-K through 8 at Central Connecticut State University and her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. Patty has been teaching young children for over 25 years and has been at the CFDRC since it opened in February 2006.
Tiona LusterIMG_0327
University Assistant
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
lustert@easternct.edu
Maria MartinezIMG_0395
Program Associate
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
martinezmar@easternct.edu
Maria Martinez graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Organizational Management at Eastern. She has worked at the Center since January 2012, transitioning from student worker to University Assistant upon graduating in December 2013 and become the Program Associate in September 2016. Since her start at the Center she has worked at the front desk and in classrooms.
Heather OskiIMG_0032
Lead Teacher
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
oskih@easternct.edu
Heather Oski is beginning her 3rd year as a Lead Preschool Teacher. She graduated from Eastern with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education, and is certified to work with children from preschool to grade three in inclusive classrooms (CT 113 certification). She has conducted research on play, mathematical thinking, and teacher-child interactions, with co-published work in the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. Ms. Heather has presented at local and national conferences about her research and curriculum, as well as worked with the Center for Early Childhood Education to develop resources for teachers and faculty. Her favorite event at the CFDRC has been inviting professional hockey players to participate in a special Physical Education class with students and families.

Patrice RammIMG_0028
Teacher Associate
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
rammp@easternct.edu
Patrice graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation. Additionally, she has completed graduate course work in literacy, curriculum development and adaptations for diverse needs. Prior to working here at the CFDRC, she spent nine years teaching preschool in Columbia, CT. Patrice joined our staff in April 2006.

Janette Rivera123_1_2
Teacher Associate
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
riverajan@easternct.edu
Janette has over 12 years of experience in teaching and began working with preschool aged children at Windham Public Schools. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Spanish from Eastern Connecticut State University. Throughout her life, Janette has dedicated a lot of her time to caring for children and empowering parents. She still enjoys every minute of it.

Sydney RodriguezIMG_0398
University Assistant
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
Sydney graduated with an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Quinebaug Valley Community College. She then completed both her practicum and student teaching at CFDRC. Sydney has participated in Refection from the Field video on the importance of music in the classroom. Sydney is devoted to continuing her education in the Early Childhood field.
Jennifer RuchwaIMG_0403
University Assistant
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
ruchwaj@easternct.edu
Jennifer graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Visual Arts and a Masters in Early Childhood Education.
Prior to working at CFDRC Jennifer worked six years as a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher and has worked with children since 2002. Jennifer enjoys painting and sharing her love of art with the children at the CFDRC.
Claudia SweetlandIMG_0034
Lead Teacher
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
sweetlandc@easternct.edu
Claudia graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, as well as minors in Physical Education and Psychology. She has completed graduate course work in literacy, curriculum development and adaptations for diverse needs. Claudia has worked with developmentally disabled adults, operated a licensed daycare, taught at a literacy based summer school program and tutored K-2 children in reading. Claudia has been teaching young children for over 30 years and has been at the CFDRC since October 2006.
Amie Theriaultfdd
Lead Teacher
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
theriaulta@easternct.edu
Amie received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut where she majored in psychology and minored in Spanish. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education here at Eastern Connecticut State University. Amie has five years of teaching experience with toddlers and one year of preschool experience. She also spent four years assisting in classrooms and substitute teaching.
Kaitlin ThibodeauIMG_0029
Teacher Associate
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
thibodeauk@easternct.edu
Kaitlin Thibodeau recently graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in May of 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology. While working on her Bachelor’s Degree, Kaitlin played soccer on the ECSU Women’s Soccer Team and worked several soccer camps for the University, engaging with and coaching children. Kaitlin has been working at the CFDRC for four years in different roles such as student worker, volunteer, University Assistant, and now as a Teacher Associate. The majority of Kaitlin’s clinical work has been with preschool-aged children and 2nd grade children. Kaitlin will pursue her Master’s Degree in Special Education at Central Connecticut State University.

Matthew Vizzomatt bio picture
University Assistant
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
vizzom@easternct.edu
“Mr. Matt” has worked with children of many ages both in the classroom and as a private tutor and English instructor. In Argentina, where he lived for four years, he taught at an English institute and brought “American” English into the lives of many eager-to-learn students. Educated at Florida Atlantic University in Elementary Education, Matt brings his skills as an educator and a musician to the children at CFDRC.

Carrie WoodwardIMG_0040
Teacher Associate
Child and Family Development Resource Center
(860) 465-5225
woodwardc@easternct.edu
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Carrie Woodward has been a part of the Child and Family Development Resource Center for over ten years. The majority of her experience has been with children 18 months to 3 years of age. Ms. Woodward has her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a concentration in children and youth. Her educational background includes many early childhood education courses, as well as graduate level special education credits.