Recent Notes

Nancy Kassam-Adams (M.Ed. ’92, Ph.D. ’95 Clin & School Psych) is president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and in her position at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, leads a program of research on child traumatic stress related to injury and other medical events.With kids grown and gone, she spends a lot of time at her home in lovely Nelson County, Virginia. www,

Kristi Samuelson (M.Ed. ’94, Ph.D. ’98 Clin & School Psych) Kristi Samuelson and familywas recently promoted to professor at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. “I am also a research psychologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. My husband Eric and I are the proud parents of a 4-year old boy, Declan.”

Wendy Freedman (M.Ed. ’99, Ph.D. ’03 Clin & School Psych) was honored to be appointed as the director of the Vassar College Counseling Service this year. “I am fortunate to have great colleagues and I’m excited to see what adventures lay ahead.”

Wendy McKee (M.Ed. ’70, Ed.D. ’73 School Psych)  

Cross the Atlantic? What Was I Thinking?!? Diary of a four year sailing adventure
by Wendy McKee.
Infinity Publishing (2010).

After a four year break from working, I wrote of my adventures sailing on a 41′ sailboat to the Bahamas, Caribbean, cross the Atlantic, into the Mediterranean and back across the Atlantic to Florida.

Tony Pisani (M.Ed. ’97, Ph.D. ’01 Clin & School Psych) and Amy celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary on August 1. “Mia (11), Luke (9), and Cara (7) are growing up. We’ve had our ups and downs as a family, but on the whole, we’re all doing better than we deserve.

“I am an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester, Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide. I devote 100% of my time to preventing suicide. I have a program of federally funded research, and I teach and consult in health systems, military installations, and schools.

“I am happy to say I’ll be in C’ville on January 22, 2015, to conduct a daylong workshop sponsored by the The Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy. The workshop, Commitment to Living (, focuses on assessing and managing suicide risk in clinical settings. I am looking forward to the visit for many reasons, including the chance to see faculty and alumni from the Curry School. Please do come to the workshop if you can make it.”

Jill (Haak) Bohnenkamp (M.Ed. ’08, Ph.D. ’12 Clin & School Psych) lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Brian. She is an assistant professor at the Center for School Mental Health within the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Jill (Haak) Bohnenkamp's Curry Memory

“Too many to list! Feel so lucky to have worked with such wonderful faculty, staff and colleagues.”

Janelle Peifer (M.Ed. ’11, Ph.D. ’15 Clin & School Psych) received a dissertation fellowship from the Southern Regional Education Board, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the university faculty positions. She is a predoctoral psychology intern at Vanderbilt University.

Janelle Peifer's Curry Memory

“Happy hour at Champion Brewery with the Curry Clinical faculty and students.”

John Reinhardt (M.Ed. ’74, Ph.D. ’79 Clin Psych) John Reinhardtis still working and has no plans for retirement! “The practice is going well. My kids are grown and gone. Matt is in Burlington, Vt., and Kim is in Lake Tahoe. Tanya lives nearby with my three grandchildren. The oldest is off to college this year at UVM. Mary and I are enjoying the lake when I have time off. Looking forward to returning to C’ville in October.”

Wendy McKee (M.Ed. ’70, Ed.D. ’73 School Psych) is still in private practice as a clinical psychologist and has no plans to retire as yet. She continues to enjoy this work and feels her education at U.Va. prepared her well for it.

Wendy McKee's Curry Memory

We had a small first class and were all friends and helpful to each other. There were lots of trips (and parties) to APA conventions and others that were great fun and of course educational!!

Cynthia Jenkins (Ph.D. ’94 Clin Psych) Cynthia Jenkins and family“Hi Everyone! It’s quite an experience to think of the news since graduation in the mid-90s! When I left Curry I headed to northern Virginia with my husband and Zach, our 3-year-old. We had our second son Liam, and I worked part-time until he started kindergarten. In 2000 we moved to Vermont and spent the next 8 years there, enjoying all that Vermont has to offer in and around operating a solo private practice. In 2009 we moved back to Virginia and I joined a small private practice where I have been working since.

“Bob and I celebrated our 25th anniversary this past year. Our oldest son Zach graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (Industrial Design) a year ago and is working for Williams Sonoma in San Francisco designing cooking tools. Our younger son Liam is about to enter his first year at U.Va., where he will be studying hard and playing soccer.
It has been beyond fun to be back on the campus again with some regularity.”

Cynthia Jenkins's Curry Memory

“My fondest memories from the Curry School years fall into two categories:

“Memories of my Curry School experiences…all the time spent learning together and experiencing so many clinical psychology firsts together…first assessments, first clients, first supervision experiences, first LIVE supervision experiences, first experiences in the schools, comps, interesting discussions in class, presenting as people with mental health issues for the class to diagnose in Susan Moss’ Abnormal Psych class, dissertation defenses…

“Memories of these years in general…these years also conjure up lots of memories of juggling (thankfully wonderful things) — grad school, research meetings, classes, research, a relatively new marriage, parenting for the first time, baby at research meetings, racing from home to school and back again.

“What may stand out most is the overwhelming support that the professors and students offered each other within the Curry program. I remain very grateful for that support and for all I learned during those years, professionally and personally.”

Camilla Rogers (Ph.D. 81 Clinical Psych) is in private practice in Davidson, N.C.

Billy Haun (Ed.D. 11 Admin & Supv) Billy Haun-220, the assistant superintendent for student learning for Albemarle County Public Schools, was appointed to be the Chief Academic Officer for the state of Virginia. The appointment was announced by Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Steven R. Staples. Dr. Haun will assume his new responsibilities on September 1. Read the full press release on the ACPS website.

Sharon Shaffer (Ph.D. ’04 Soc Fdns) Sharon Shafferhas for a decade now been known to many of our off-Grounds students as the instructor of the Social Foundations of American Education course.

Despite teaching this conventional education course for our program, she has spent the past 26 years working her day job in a more unconventional education context.

Shaffer is considered a leading expert in the field of early learning in museums. From 1988 to 2012 she worked with the Smithsonian Institution and founded the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, a model lab school for young children.

Shaffer’s connection with the Smithsonian happened serendipitously when she and her family moved to the Washington, DC, area. She had been directing a lab school for young children in Pennsylvania, but all her training was in formal, in-school learning contexts. The Smithsonian grabbed her up anyway.

“They had a blank slate for me,” she says. “They told me, ‘We want you to create a national model for museum-based learning for young children.  There is little in the field to guide your work, but our goal is to develop an educational approach that will serve as a model for others.’”

So Shaffer created a museum lab school, at first for preschoolers and kindergarteners, where they learned through an authentic approach—exploring everyday objects in their classrooms as well as learning from exhibitions, libraries, monuments, and gardens in the community.  Later, she was able to infants and toddlers to the program.

Museums have not always considered young children among their targeted audience, Shaffer says, but interest in early learning has exploded over the past 15 years. “More and more, museums open their doors to and welcome young children.”

After the first decade of gaining expertise on the job at the Smithsonian, Shaffer wanted to consider a more academic perspective. She began looking for a doctoral program that would enable her to pursue a formal study of museum learning.

“U.Va. had the best fit to shape the program I wanted,” she says. She was able to keep working at the Smithsonian through her two semesters of classes on Grounds and also took some courses at the Northern Virginia Center.

“I loved the culture of learning,” she says of her experience at the Curry School. Her dissertation was a comparative case study examining programs for young children at the U.Va. Bayly Art Museum (now known as The Fralin) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “I focused on what both of these two very different programs had in common.”

“It’s the nexus between her professional and academic careers that makes her such an interesting and valuable faculty member.”

After the doctorate, she became a highly sought-after expert. She is asked to write and speak about early learning in museums at workshops and seminars for educators and museum professionals across the US and in a dozen or so countries abroad. In 2012 she was guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Museum Education on the topic of early learning, and she is currently working on final revisions of a book called Engaging Young Children in Museums.

Since her retirement from the Smithsonian in 2012, she has devoted time to her own international consulting business on object-based learning –a topic she finds applicable to both informal and formal learning contexts. Shaffer worked in Kuwait over a three-month period earlier this year and was featured in an Arab Times article. Later this year, she will teach a museum course for the University College of London in Qatar.

And, of course, she continues to teach for the off-Grounds Social Foundations program, which she has done since finishing her Ph.D. work.

“It’s the nexus between her professional and academic careers that makes her such an interesting and valuable faculty member,” says Dan Driscoll, associate professor in the Social Foundations program.

Last fall she put the Social Foundations of American Education course online. Then, she developed a new face-to-face course, called Visual Education:  The Intersection of Museums and Schools, which she delivered for the first time this past spring.

“The course was oversubscribed and was the most successful new course we’ve ever introduced in the off-Grounds Social Foundations program, based on student evaluations and feedback,” says Driscoll.

Stefanie Santangelo, a history teacher at The Potomac School in McLean who took the new course, agrees:

“Dr. Shaffer is an extraordinarily caring and attentive instructor whose expertise is second to none. But perhaps what sets her teaching apart from others’ was how immediately practicable and accessible the learning was,” she says. “Even while I was still taking Dr. Shaffer’s class, I felt empowered enough to try out the methods and strategies I was learning.”

Shaffer is passionate about learning herself, which is why she continues to teach. “It pushes me to keep abreast of current practice and thinking about learning,” she says. The visual education course is the perfect opportunity to bring together her life’s work and apply it across formal learning contexts.

“It’s at the heart of what I’ve done. I’m so excited to talk about it with practicing teachers.”

Jennifer Miller (M.Ed. ’13 Speech Path & Aud) is working as a speech-language pathologist at West Florida Rehabilitation Institute in Pensacola, Fla., covering inpatient rehab and acute care patients.

Nate Foot (M.Ed. ’13 Kines) was a finalist in the master’s oral presentation competition for his abstract, “The Relationship between Drop Landing Performance and Knee Extension Torque following ACL Reconstruction.” which was his thesis project done at U.Va.  Nate presented his findings on the podium at NATA in Indianapolis.

Laura Leviski (M.Ed. ’11 Speech Path & Aud) recently moved back to Baltimore, Maryland and accepted a job as a speech-language pathologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Molly Mattare (M.Ed. ’13 Speech Path & Aud) recently completed her clinical fellowship and is a full-time speech-language pathologist at a pediatric private practice in Springfield, Va.

Lisa Power-deFur (B.A. ’75, M.Ed. ’76, Ph.D ’82 Speech Path & Aud) was elected to the position of Vice President of Standards and Ethics of Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association for the term, 2014-2016.

Chris Kuenze (Ph.D. ’13 Kines) was a finalist in the doctoral poster competition for his abstract, “Jogging Biomechanics After Exercise in Individuals with ACL Reconstructed Knees.” which was a study done while at U.Va.  Chris presented his findings at NATA annual meeting last month in Indianapolis. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Miami.

Andrea Hedley-Williams (B.S. Ed. ’85 Speech Path & Aud) , a recent clinical doctorate in audiology (AuD) graduate, is busy at work both clinically and in the research laboratory. She is currently working on some exciting research in the field of cochlear implants and image-guided cochlear implant programming that will be presented at the International Cochlear Implant 2014 Conference in December.

Andrea Hedley-Williams's Curry Memory

Graduation in the Dell – the setting was beautiful – so green and vibrant.