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Academic Success Center

Meet the Tutors

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Amberle Dekker
Senior Tutor, adekker@erikson.edu

Master of Science in Child Development with Infancy Specialization, 2013
Favorite course at Erikson: Language Development
Favorite textbook: The Cultural Nature of Human Development  by Barbara Rogoff
Fun Fact: My absolute favorite animal is the jellyfish.

Diane Carasig
Senior Tutor, dcrasaig@erikson.edu

Master of Science in Child Development, 2017
Favorite course at Erikson: Family and Culture
Favorite theorist: Lev Vygotsky – for emphasizing the role of the adult and the significance of culture in cognitive development
Fun fact: I got embarrassed by my kindergarten teacher for bad handwriting. My 5-year-old self vowed to never let it happen again, so I kept on practicing. My handwriting looks like a computer font.


 

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Alison Place

Master of Science in Child Development, 2019
Favorite Course at Erikson: Family and Culture
Favorite Concept: Theory of Mind
Fun Fact: When I’m not teaching (or grading!), I spend my time looking for new running trails to explore.

 

 

 

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Anna Cohen

Master of Social Work, 2019
Favorite Course at Erikson: Working with Individuals, Families, and Groups
Favorite Theoretical Concept: Winnicott's "Holding Environment"
Fun Fact: I lived in Spain for a year after college.

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Monroy

Master of Social Work, 2022
Favorite class at Erikson: Social Emotional Development I 
Favorite textbooks: The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia F. Lieberman and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk are stand outs for me.
Fun fact: I’ve read 145 books so far this year.

 

 

 

 

Catherine (Katie) Milliken

Master of Social work, 2021
Favorite class at Erikson: Collective Action for Social Justice and Social Policy and Advocacy
Favorite textbook: Disability: A Diversity Model Approach in Human Service Practice by Romel W. Mackelprang and Richard O. Salsgiver.
Fun fact: I love to cook, and I collect cookbooks

 

 

 

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Christy Cashman

Master of Social Work, 2019
Favorite course at Erikson: Collective Action for Social Justice
Favorite course reading: “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Fun Fact: I love to cook and bake!  
 

 

 

 

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Cristina Barkowski 

Master of Social Work, 2020 
Favorite course at Erikson: Biopsychosocial Assessment, Family and Culture, and SED1 
Favorite course reading: The article, “Beyond the Manual: Using Research and Evidence in Social Work Practice,” by Grade and Keenan (2014) was a turning point in my development as a social work student, as it helped me identify and validate my role as a social worker in the field of research. 
Fun Fact: In 2019, I ran the Chicago Marathon in support of “Imerman Angels” which is a charity that provides one-on-one support to cancer survivors and caregivers. 

 

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Cristina Gonzalez del Riego

Master of Science in Child Development with Infancy and Administration Specialization,   2016
Favorite course at Erikson: Human Development 1 
Favorite theorist and course reading: Alicia Lieberman, and “Ghosts in the Nursery” and “Angels in the Nursery” 
Fun fact: As an undergrad, the thought of doing research made me grimace, but now I work in it and love it. 

 

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Fernando Gonzalez

Master of Social Work, 2017
Favorite course at Erikson: Working with Individuals, Families, and Groups 2
Favorite theorist: Ed Tronick 
Fun fact: In 2013 I met Coach Quenneville from the Chicago Blackhawks and got to touch the Stanley Cup.
 

 

 

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Gabrielle LaBerge 

Master of Science in Child Development with Child Life Specialization, 2018 
Favorite course at Erikson: Family and Culture 
Favorite concept: CDC-Kaiser Permanente's study on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) 
Fun fact: I didn't go on my first airplane ride until I was 25-years-old! 

 

 

 

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Grazyna Jakubowska

Master of Science in Child Development, 2013
Favorite course at Erikson: Language Development or Human Development I (Superlative-type questions are hard for me.)
Favorite theory and concept: Clare Winnicott’s idea that “there’s no such thing as a baby” and Ed Tronick’s “mismatch and repair.”
Fun fact: My undergraduate degree is a BFA in Theatre.

 

 

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Holly Raftery 

Master of Social Work, 2012 
Favorite course at Erikson: So hard to choose but Seminar with Fran Stott and Prevention/Early Intervention Methods with Victor Bernstein & Pam Epley left significant & lasting impressions on my educational and professional career.  
Favorite course readings: Jennifer Rosinia's 'Jenniferisms"; Writings from Lisa Delpit and Victor Bernstein.
Fun fact: During the early months of the pandemic, I went to Costco for a few pantry staples and left with a 7 foot "Pop-a-shot" Basketball arcade. It is in our living room and quite the conversation starter.  

 

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Jessica E. Steele 

Master of Science in Early Childhood Education with Special Education letter of approval for birth through five years old 
Favorite course at Erikson: Cognitive Development  
Favorite theorist: I like the teaching methodology of Maria Montessori. 
Fun Fact: My bucket list includes orbiting the Earth's atmosphere. 
 

 

 

Jola Dohrmann

Master of Science in Early Childhood Education with ESL/bilingual endorsement, 2020.
Favorite class at Erikson: The two most memorable were Jennifer Rosinia's and Mary Hynes-Berry's classes.
Favorite theorist: Since Erikson, I call myself Vygotskyan and happily will talk about him, his family, his daughters, and his theory.
Fun fact: My previous degree is in Biology of Animal Reproduction, and my dissertation was about the difference in time of the first estrus between Persians and Siamese cats. Happy to talk about this too. In case the word estrus shocks people, I am happy to say that I love cats, and my favorite breed is Cornish Rex.

 

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Karen Davidson

Masters of Social Work, 2021
Favorite Courses at Erikson: Biopsychosocial Problems and Social Emotional Development 1
Favorite Theorist: John Bowlby 
Favorite Concept: Developmental Niche by Super and Harkness
Fun Fact: I am a huge Yankees fan, and I even named my Golden Retriever, Jeter.  

 

 

 

Katie Steinberg

Master of Child Development with Child Life Specialization, 2018
Favorite class at Erikson: Human Development 1
Favorite concept: I loved learning about biobehavioral shifts.
Favorite reading: One of my favorite articles was “Ghosts in the Nursery.”
Fun fact: My first time out of the country was when I went to Cape Town, South Africa.

 

 

 

 

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La Keisha Vereen 

Master of Social Work, 2021
Favorite course at Erikson: Biopsychosocial Problems 
Favorite course text: The Human Brain Book: An Illustrated Guide to its Structure, Function and Disorder by Rita Carter (2019)
Fun fact: I have a bracelet that I have had on since I was 16 years old. I would have to cut it off to remove it at this point. 

 

 

 

Madelyn Warner  

Master of Social Work, 2021 
Favorite course at Erikson: Collective Action for Social Justice
Favorite concept: One of my favorite relational and developmental concepts is researcher Edward Tronick's notion of  “Interactive Mismatch and Repair.” I hold this concept in mind throughout all of my therapeutic interactions with children and families.  
Fun fact: I have a twin brother who's *technically* older than me by a full 60 seconds.  

 

 

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Meghan Harkins

Master of Social Work, 2019
Favorite course at Erikson: Working with Individuals, Families, and Groups
Favorite textbook: The Cultural Nature of Human Development by Barbara Rogoff
Fun fact: I'm pretty sure I know every word of "The Princess Bride."

 

 

 

 

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Missi Jacobson

Doctoral Student, expected graduation 2022 
Favorite at Erikson: Key Concepts in Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood
Favorite theorists: William Corsaro (Peer Culture) & Lisa Delpit
Fun fact: Baseball is my favorite sport to play and watch (Go Cubbies!). I play in a fantasy baseball league with my   brothers and came in 1st place one season.

 

 

 

 

Miranda Franco

Master of Science in Child Development and Master of Jurisprudence in Children's Law and Policy, 2022
Favorite classes at Erikson: Language Development & Family and Culture 
Favorite course reading: Entangled Roots: The Role of Race in Policies that Separate Families by Elisa Minoff
Fun fact: My favorite shape is a ♥ and I love to bake!  

 

 

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Rachel Johnson

Master of Science in Child Development, Concentration in Child Life, 2019
Favorite course at Erikson: Physical Growth & Development or any of my child life courses
Favorite Textbook: Age of Opportunity by Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D & What's Going on in There? by Lise Eliot, Ph.D
Fun Fact: I love organizing. My color-coded planner and daily list-making helped me tremendously through grad school.

 

 

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Roniquee Marksman 

Master of Social Work, 2021
Favorite course at Erikson: Cognitive and Language Development
Favorite course concept: Reflective practice
Fun fact: I love rollerblading

 

 

 

 

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Sabina Hanani 

Master of Social Work, 2020
Favorite course at Erikson: Working with Individuals, Families, and Groups
Favorite course readings: I really enjoyed the readings from Kadushin and Kadushin which have helped me immensely as a new therapist. Two other great books I read while at Erikson include Bessel Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma and Irving D. Yalom’s Love’s Executioner & Other Tales of Psychotherapy. 
Fun Fact: I spent a year abroad teaching English as a second language to young students.  

 

 

 

Steph Marder

Master of Science in Child Development with Child Life Specialization, 2020
Favorite class at Erikson: Social Emotional Development
Favorite concept: Albert Bandura’s social learning theory
Fun fact: I love the outdoors and traveling, skiing, and hiking in different places!

 

 

 

 

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Talin Tokat

Master of Science in Child Development, Children’s Law & Policy Specialization, 2017  
Favorite course at Erikson: Family and Culture 
Favorite course readings: “The Developmental Niche” by Super & Harkness and “Ghosts in the Nursery” by Selma Fraiberg, Edna Adelson, and Vivian Shapiro 
Fun Fact: I am fluent in three languages. 

 

 

 

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Tara Lattanzi 

Master of Social Work, 2017, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate, 2022
Favorite Course at Erikson: Infant Observation
Favorite Readings: Ghosts in the Nursery (Selma Fraiberg) and Angels in the Nursery (Alicia Lieberman)
Fun Fact: recently broke a bone. Visualize impending Zoom call, bare feet, large piece of corner furniture, and subsequent small appendage sticking out at a 45-degree angle.

 

 

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Tricia Figueroa 

Master of Science in Child Development with Child Life Concentration, 2020 
Favorite Courses at Erikson: Cognitive Development I and II 
Favorite Concept: Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory 
Fun Fact: I have lived in 6 different states from the South to the West and a few in between.