Who We Are




CDI Staff

Tricia Hanley, Director, Child Development Institute
BA, Columbia University
MSEd, MA, Sarah Lawrence College

Tricia came to CDI in 2018.  She is a graduate of both the Art of Teaching and Child Development Masters Programs.  Prior to joining CDI, Tricia was a twos teacher, administrator, supervisor, parent advisor, and regular attendee of CDI professional development programs and events.  Tricia was a member of the Early Childhood Center faculty from 2007-2012, teaching the Twos and Parent program.  Tricia is personally and professionally dedicated to the goals and principles of CDI and thrilled to be a part of the group of programs that have been so instrumental in forming her perspective as a teacher, parent, and person.

Rachel Ford, Administrative Assistant, Child Development Institute
BA, Columbia University
MA, Teachers College

Rachel has a background in youth development and college and career readiness. She has worked in community and school-based settings, supporting high school students and their families in the college admissions and financial aid application process. A former ECC parent, Rachel enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and dog.

Steering Group

The CDI Steering Group is a collaborative group made up of faculty, staff and alum who meet regularly. Together, they design and plan the research, programming, and community outreach projects produced by CDI.


  • Lorayne Carbon, BA, SUNY Buffalo. MSEd, Bank Street College of Education. Director, Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center, 2003-present. Former early childhood teacher. Former adjunct professor, Westchester Community College. Workshop leader at seminars and conferences on early childhood education. Special areas of interest include social justice issues in the early childhood classroom and creating aesthetic learning environments for young children.

  • Jan Drucker, BA Radcliffe College; PhD New York University. Psychology Faculty (1972-present). Director of the Child Development Institute Empowering Teachers Program and Consultant to the Early Childhood Center at Sarah Lawrence College. She is a clinical and developmental psychologist with teaching and research interests in the areas of developmental and educational theory, child development and play and other imaginative activities in early childhood and their implications for later development.

  • Kim Ferguson, BA, Knox College. MA, PhD, Cornell University. Psychology (2007-present) and the Art of Teaching (2010-present) faculty. She is a developmental and cultural psychologist with special interests in sustainable, community based participatory action research, cultural-ecological approaches to infant and child development, children at risk (children in poverty, HIV/AIDS orphans, children in institutionalized care), health and cognitive development, development in African contexts, and the impact of the physical environment on child development. Author of articles and book chapters on African and American infants' language learning, categorization and face processing, the built environment and physical and mental health, and relationships between the quality of southern African orphan care contexts and child development and health.

  • Barbara Schecter, BA Sarah Lawrence College. MA, PhD, Teachers College Columbia University. Psychology faculty (1985-present). Director of the Child Development Graduate Program. She is a developmental psychologist with special interest in cultural psychology, language development, and theories of development. Author and researcher on Dewey's vision of development, and metaphoric thinking in children.


CDI Consultants are founding members of CDI who continue to provide guidance on CDI programming and planning.


  • Margery B. Franklin, BA, Swarthmore College. MA, PhD, Clark University. Former director of the Child Development Institute. Professor Emerita, SLC (psychology faculty from 1965-2002). Areas of interest include language development, psychology of art and play, educational theory and practice. Author of articles and book chapters on children's language, play, artistic development, developmental theory; co-editor of Development and the Arts: Critical Perspectives; Developmental Processes: Heinz Werner's Selected Writings; Symbolic Functioning in Childhood; and Child Language: A Reader. Fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the APA division, Society for Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

  • Yvette Richardson, BA, Howard University. MA, Sarah Lawrence College. First coordinator of the Child Development Institute and founder of the Empowering Teachers Program. Former elementary teacher and lead teacher at Sarah Lawrence College's Early Childhood Center as well as instructor in Purchase College's continuing education program. Numerous presentations at national, regional, and local forums. Program design and child development consultant to Kameleon Media's proposed flash animation, interactive, bilingual preschool program, NIKO and KIKA for PBS.

CDI Professional Advisory Board

The Professional Advisory Board is made up of a group of individuals who have a professional and personal interest in children and families, child development and education. They provide professional input on the work CDI is doing. Many members of the PAB are alums of SLC and have a strong interest in staying connected to SLC and CDI. 


  • Abigail Canfield, Chairperson, Writer
  • Miriam Arond, Director, The Good Housekeeping Research Institute; Former Editor-in-Chief of Child magazine
  • Camille Banks-Lee, Teacher, Writer and Co-founder of Daughters of the Nile; Former Executive Director, Mount Vernon Youth Bureau
  • Indhira Blackwood, Former Director, Child Development Institute, Sarah Lawrence College
  • Frances Clayton, Director, ANDRUS Early Learning Center (AELC) 
  • William Crain, Professor of Psychology, The City College of the City University of NY
  • Margery B. Franklin, Founder of CDI; CDI Consultant; Professor Emerita, Sarah Lawrence College
  • LaRuth Gray, Scholar-in-Residence, New York University
  • Mara Gross, Director, Community Partnerships & Service Learning, Sarah Lawrence College 
  • Roger Hart, Co-Director, Children's Environments Research Group, City University of New York Graduate Center
  • Mary Hebron, Professor Emerita, Sarah Lawrence College
  • Monika Heimbold, Social Worker
  • Cassandra Hyacinthe, EdD, Education Consultant, CEO, HY-Ed Group, LLC
  • Carol Hillman, Early Childhood Educator and Writer
  • Barbara Holland, President, Board of Directors, The Lois Bronz Children’s Center (White Plains, NY); Former member, White Plains Board of Education
  • Abby Lester, College Archivist & Head of Research Services, Sarah Lawrence College
  • Marjorie Miller, Social Worker
  • David Netto, Architect
  • Yvette Richardson, CDI Consultant; Founder of Empowering Teachers Program
  • Debi Riessen,  Lead Teacher, Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center
  • Carol Robinson, Director for Early Childhood Educational Programs, Family Services of Westchester
  • Clarice Dibble Walker, Professor Emerita, Howard University School of Social Work
  • Sara Wilford, Founding Director, Art of Teaching Graduate Program, Sarah Lawrence College