7.0 PDP Staff

7.2 PDP Staff Accomplishments

7.2.1 PDP Promotions for 2020–2021

PDP places a high value on its staff, offering challenging and rewarding opportunities for both personal growth and career advancement within the organization. During the 2020–2021 year, five staff members received promotions to a range of positions, including a Training Program Coordinator, Interim Principal Investigator, Principal Education Specialist, Senior Trainer, and Project Staff Associate.

Abbi Jordan
Date of Promotion: 3/22/2021
New Title: Training Program Coordinator
Former Title: Senior Education Specialist

June A. Mastan, Ph.D.
Date of Promotion: 1/1/2021
New Title: Interim Principal Investigator
Former Title: Project Administrative Officer

Molly McHale
Date of Promotion: 12/21/2020
New Title: Principal Education Specialist
Former Title: Project Staff Associate

Michelle Ray
Date of Promotion: 6/14/2021
New Title: Senior Trainer
Former Title: Education Specialist

Kelli Reilly
Date of Promotion: 4/26/2021
New Title: Project Staff Associate
Former Title: Senior Education Specialist

PDP prides itself on providing promotional opportunities for staff and this past year is a striking example of PDP’s ongoing commitment to staff development.

7.2.2 Department of Child Welfare Training

Ellie Daiga received the 2020 Outstanding Trainer award for her work on the CC05 project at the annual PDP employee recognition event.

7.2.3 Department of Temporary Assistance Training

On June 14, 2021, Michelle Ray was reclassified and promoted to the position of Senior Trainer in the Department of Temporary Assistance Training. In her new role, Michelle is functioning as a master trainer, training team leader, and liaison with the project sponsor in support of a range OTDA programs related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance, and Audit and Quality Improvement. Additionally, on April 11, 2021, Michelle celebrated her 25-year anniversary working with the Professional Development Program.

7.2.4 Department of Child Care Subsidy and Legally Exempt Training

Colleen Faragon, Sage Ruckterstuhl, and Mary Stalker participated in a series of Regional Forums with OCFS Program and Enrollment Agency staff to discuss training development and scheduled training opportunities.

7.2.5 Department of Early Childhood Training

Ally Buonanno-Tardy virtually presented an informational training session at the NYS Network for Youth Success Annual Conference in April 2021. Information regarding available professional development and scholarship opportunities to school-age directors and administrators was presented. Detail regarding the Educational Incentive Program, locating training to meet the needs of their staff, especially to fulfill the new ACEs regulatory requirement, Virtual Classroom and other ECETP programs was discussed. Ally was able to speak individually with participants who had questions about their scholarship or the application process for EIP.

7.2.6 Information Systems and Programming

ISP staff member Aria Moshari was upgraded to Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Senior Member by the IEEE Admission & Advancement (A&A) Review Panels. IEEE Senior Membership is an honor bestowed only to those who have made significant contributions to the profession. Senior Member is the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply. Fewer than 10% of the more than 425,000 IEEE members in over 160 countries around the world hold this prestigious grade of membership, which recognizes significant professional accomplishment.

7.2.7 Training and Technical Assistance to Support Local DSS Permanency Planning

Michael Emmart (previous employee) Co-authored and published a book: Conversations Worth Having for Clinicians, Caseworkers and Coaches; Using Appreciative Inquiry to Foster Wellbeing. M. Emmart, L. Torres, C. Torres and J. Stavros 2021.

7.2.8 Child Support Training and Outreach Project

Jeff Isaacson was selected to conduct a workshop at the New York Public Welfare Association Winter 2021 conference on a very timely topic—Stress Reduction Strategies for Child Support Coordinators. The workshop focused on techniques to reduce stress in participants’ personal and professional lives.

7.2.9 Department of Media Production

Casey Becker completed the four-hour NYS Department of Health State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program’s Nourishing Healthy Eaters Training of the Trainer and the four-hour NYS Department of Health State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program’s Nourishing Preschoolers Training of the Trainer. She also attended the 1½-day New York State Infant and Toddler Association for Mental Health (NYS-AIMH) Basic Course #2.

7.2.10 Homeless Services Training Resource System

As a result of her work with the University at Albany School of Social Work SSW, Dr. Kimberly Johnson, Training Program Coordinator for PDP’s Homeless Services Training Resource System (HSTRS), was invited to submit a blog post explaining and promoting the purpose and work of HSTRS for publication on the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services website for publication in June 2021. Her blog is titled: The Upstate Homeless Training Resource System.