Highest Quality Early Childhood Development through Honoring Relationships Rooted in Equity and Social Justice

The Family Development Program (FDP) has a diverse team of highly qualified program staff, each of whom brings in-depth experience of working directly with families, schools, and communities to improve education and the quality of life for children. Three of the statewide training team members are Spanish/English bi-lingual trainers.

Family Development Program Leadership Team

Lois Vermilya
Lois Vermilya

Director
Phone: 505-277-6943
vermilya@unm.edu

 

Lois is the Director of the University of New Mexico’s Family Development Program: A Center for Excellence in Early Learning. As one of the university’s oldest centers, the Family Development Program provides statewide professional development directly in local communities as part of the College of Education’s community outreach. The Family Development Program is taking a leadership role to develop community-based strategies for Early Childhood Investment Zones, collaborating with CYFD’s Office of Child Development to design a sustainable model for cross-sector coalition building. The program was also the first of six national pilot sites to launch Mind in the Making in 2004 as a major early childhood initiative for New Mexico. Lois works closely with author Ellen Galinsky (President, Families and Work Institute, NY, NY) to inform plans for Mind in the Making’s national outreach, and has served as a master facilitator for Learning Institutes in other states (FL, OK, NC, MA, AZ, WV, NE, NY, CN, RI, IN).

Lois has been a non-profit executive for over 35 years, leading and consulting with family-centered programs of education and community development both in the United States and in Latin America. She served for 6 years on the New Mexico Early Childhood Action Network (ECAN), a policy forum appointed by New Mexico’s Lt. Governor Diane Denish. As one of ECAN’s executive committee members, she provided advisory recommendations to the New Mexico Children’s Cabinet and legislature, giving strategic leadership for systems alignment and policy development as a major statewide early childhood agenda. In 2009, Lois was asked by Lt. Governor Denish to serve on the Advisory Board for the New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership (NMECDP), a public-private partnership of business leaders charged with developing public will and long-term investment strategies for the state. Lois was named a Zero To Three (ZTT) Leaders for the 21st Century Fellow, 2007-2009 and published an article in the ZTT journal documenting ECAN’s innovative collaborative leadership for systems change (Zero To Three, July 2009 Vol.29 No.6). Lois has a Master’s Degree in Symbolic Anthropology from the University of New Mexico and has co-authored training materials on dialogue, community education, collaborative leadership, parent engagement, and volunteer program development.

Dorothy Kerwin
Dorothy Kerwin

Associate Director
Phone: 505-277-9198
dkerwin@unm.edu

 

Dorothy has been a statewide trainer with the Family Development Program (FDP) since 2004, a role she continues to hold after being named Associate Director in 2018. Along with her knowledgeable and talented team of FDP Training and Development Consultants, Dorothy works throughout the state to bring the highest quality information regarding the development of young children and how they learn. This is accomplished through a variety of training topics, foremost of which are the importance of play and essential life skills. Dorothy facilitates early childhood coalition building in communities and provides leadership development to support the coalitions in attaining their goals and to ensure their sustainability. In addition to providing statewide training in early childhood education, she has presented at local, state and national conferences.
Dorothy has been a community activist and organizer over the course of her adult life while raising her four children in Albuquerque’s International District. She has served as a teacher, coordinator, home-visitor, board member and/or volunteer in an array of educational and community programs. She is a licensed massage therapist who specializes in prenatal and infant massage. Dorothy has a strong commitment to ensure that all New Mexico families are provided with the resources and support necessary to meet their children’s needs.
Dorothy is a member of the New Mexico Master Cadre for the statewide initiative to support teachers and parents of young children in their social-emotional development based on the Center on the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL). She has served locally and nationally as a Master Learning Facilitator for Mind in the Making. She has also been licensed to facilitate in Caring Communities, Nurtured Heart, Circle of Security, and Everyday Democracies Strong Starts for Children. Dorothy is the current editor and a contributing writer for FDP’s annual Journal. She has also co-authored an article for the Sept. 2017 edition of Zero to Three Journal which highlights the lessons learned from FDP’s support of cross-sector Early Childhood Coalitions in New Mexico’s Investment Zones Communities. Dorothy holds a Bachelor Degree from DePaul University and is a life-long learner who continues to take classes and to learn from folks she meets in communities throughout New Mexico.

Our Statewide Program and Administrative Team Members

Paige Abrams
Paige Abrams

Community Programs Supervisor
Phone: 505-277-8515
paige@unm.edu

 

Paige has been in the early childhood field since 1991. She was previously a NM PreK Consultant, a preschool teacher, a theater teacher, an art teacher, a movement teacher, a Montessori mentoree, along with other positions in the education field. She holds an Master’s degree in Education from Bank Street College in New York City and a Bachelor’s degree from The Colorado College. She upholds the significance of Loose Parts (recycled, open-ended materials safe for children) for their ability to nurture the creative, independent, and problem-solving spirit of all children and adults through an approach that emphasizes learning by doing.. Wemagination offers a rich learning environment tailored to support early childhood educators and other community members who work with young children. Paige believes children should have a life-long opportunity to grow through joyful learning experiences that are relevant to their lives. 

Brianna Avila

Administrative Assistant 3
Phone: 505-277-0525
briav1@unm.edu

 

Brianna graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration Degree from the University of New Mexico in December 2017. Her main concentration for her undergraduate work was Accounting and Human Resources. Before joining the Family Development Team, she worked as a Recreation Leader for Bernalillo County. Working with kids was one of the most remarkable times in her life because watching them bloom is absolutely rewarding! Brianna came on board in March 2018 and assists Arleen with all of the administrative work for Family Development. This includes accounts payable/receivable, payroll, extracting and updating reports and assisting the entire team whenever necessary. Brianna will continue her education starting August 2018, in hopes of completing her master’s degree in business as well. She truly enjoys working on anything that involves Excel and loves when tasks are completed with accuracy in a timely manner.

Mary Boldine

Senior Fiscal Services Technician
Phone: 505-277-8511
mlsmith@unm.edu

 

Mary has been with the University of New Mexico for over 18 years. She joined the Family Development Program family in January of 2019. Mary started her career at UNM as a Cashier and has worked her way up to her current position of Sr. Fiscal Services Tech. Her years of fiscal experience have included cash handling, accounts receivable/payable, account reconciliation, payroll, purchasing and inventory control. Mary also maintains confidentiality of records, documents and data in compliance with Federal, State, and University regulations and policies. Over the years, Mary has taken many Accounting classes as well as many classes in the Microsoft Office Suite with an emphasis on Access and Excel. She enjoys working with figures and takes pride in a job well done. Mary is very happily married with a blended family that includes two sons, three daughters and four beautiful granddaughters.

Andrew Castellano
Andrew Castellano

Program Specialist
Phone: 505-277-5800
andyc@unm.edu

 

As the Program Coordinator for Family Development Program, Andrew assists New Mexican and National Early Childhood organizations with their requests for the Family Development Program’s many professional trainings and educational resources. Additionally, as the Manager of the Wemagination Resource Center, he strives to maintain a welcoming and educational environment. With the help from a supportive staff and volunteers, the team keeps the Wemagination warehouse stocked with a large supply of clean and safe open-ended materials for our members. Before coming to the Family Development Program, Andrew managed a teen pregnancy prevention program for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). The majority of Andrew’s experience in the public and non-profit sector comes from his five years with the AmeriCorps Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) program. For three years he served as a VISTA volunteer with the New Mexico Hispanic Medical Association and then spent two years as a Program Manager for AmeriCorps VISTA. As a graduate from the University of New Mexico with a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s from the Anderson School of Management, Andrew has come to appreciate the University setting and the positive energy that flows through campus.

Alida Davila-Larrichio
Alida Davila-Larrichio

Wemagination Education Consultant
Phone: 505-277-8580 (Wemagination Resource Center)

 

Alida has rejoined the Family Development Program team as a consultant after retiring in January 2012 to give educational leadership to the Wemagination Resource Center. Alida was a full-time member of the Family Development Program’s statewide training team after working for 6 months as an Education Support Coordinator with our Baby Amigo home visiting program. She is a pre-primary and elementary certified teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching in Colombia and the United States. She has been a supervising teacher and coordinated community programs at the Community College in Santa Fe, and also has Montessori training certification with 11 years of experience. Alida is an active community volunteer and served as a member of the Board of Directors for Cuidando Los Niños (now CLN Kids) for five years, where she has helped raise funds for this Albuquerque organization that serves homeless children and families. Alida has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Colegio San Jose, Colombia, South America.

Janelle Garcia Cole
Janelle Garcia Cole

Training and Development Consultant
Phone: 505-277-8512
jcole4@unm.edu

 

Janelle joined the Family Development Program in May of 2015 as a Training and Development Consultant. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from New Mexico State University and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Language, Literacy and Socio-Cultural Studies in the College of Education from UNM. Janelle was an educator for twelve years in the Even Start Family Literacy Program for Albuquerque Public schools. She has a passion for working and advocating for young children and their families. She is a certified Elementary and Early Childhood teacher with a TESOL endorsement. She is committed to working to improve the wellbeing of children in New Mexico and advocating for the importance of play as the foundation for learning. She also enjoys sharing with others about the benefits of mindfulness. She is part of the leadership team for the Bernalillo County Early Childhood Partnership (ECAP) and active in its support for young children and their families. Janelle and her husband have three beautiful boys.

Ybeth Iglesias
Ybeth Iglesias

Training and Development Consultant
Phone: 505-277-8507
yiglesia@unm.edu

 

Ybeth has been working with children, adolescents, and their families for over 20 years, in New Mexico and Oregon. She has worked as a case manager, medical clinic coordinator, and behavioral specialist in a wide range of community agencies and settings. Ybeth worked as a Family Service Coordinator and Developmental Specialist III with the Family Infant Toddler program, with the New Mexico Department of Health for over 11 years. She is trained and certified in the Fuzzy Baby and Circle of Security models, and has led several Circle of Security groups. In 2015, Ybeth joined the Family Development Program. She provides professional development support to early childhood educators throughout the state and facilitates early childhood coalition building through collaborative leadership development and trainings. Ybeth is registered in the New Mexico Trainers Registry as a Master Level trainer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from New Mexico State University, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico. She is bilingual and bi-literate in Spanish, and tested at the highest proficiency through Language Line Academy with Educated Professional Spanish Language Proficiency. She is enrolled in a doctoral program with UNM’s College of Education, Teacher Education and Educational Leadership & Policy Department.

Samuel Rodriguez
Samuel Rodriguez, LBSW

Training & Development Consultant
Phone: 505-277-0860
srodrig6@unm.edu

 

Samuel is a licensed social worker who has devoted his career to working with families because he feels that the family unit has the strongest ability to nurture a child’s well-being. Samuel has been an investigative worker, placement worker and permanency worker under the child protective services umbrella. Following his work with CPS Samuel engaged in behavioral health work with the treatment foster care program. Samuel later supervised caregivers in the central region of New Mexico who supported the elderly and people with disabilities. He then shifted his focus to working with infants, toddlers and expecting mothers as an early intervention provider. Samuel’s work experience has helped him understand the importance of family and has enhanced his passion about supporting the family unit. Samuel has been deeply impacted with the reflective practice he has developed throughout his career and advocates for reflective support in the field to help improve outcomes for families, children and providers.

Teresa Sierra
Teresa Sierra

Program Manager
Phone: 505-277-8510
tsierra@unm.edu

 

For more than 30 years, Teresa has demonstrated success in higher education and non-profit organizational settings in the areas of grant writing and funding development; program design, development and management; marketing and media production; and, administrative and fiscal management. Previous to her position with the Family Development Program, Teresa worked for several years as a contract and grant administrator at UNM’s Southwest Hispanic Research Institute; previous to that she was manager of marketing and development at the New Mexico Center for Dispute Resolution. Teresa received her B.A. in journalism and political science and completed graduate work in American Studies, both at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. She is the mother of an adult son and daughter, and caretaker of a seven-year-old Welsh Corgi.

Christian Soto

Training and Development Consultant
Phone: 505-277-9193
csoto1@unm.edu

 

Christian is a statewide, bi-lingual Training and Development Consultant. He will work with families and early childhood providers to support high quality early education. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Arizona, and lived in Northern Arizona before moving to Albuquerque, NM. Christian has a background in community health and has facilitated many health and chronic disease workshops for individuals and families throughout New Mexico. Before coming to the Family Development Program, he was part of a pediatric trauma-informed care initiative for families with babies and young children led by physicians at UNMH. Christian enjoys the health and life coaching approach, understanding that everyone is competent, capable, and whole. He has a deep desire to help every child in New Mexico obtain the best education. He is an activator, advocate, listener, and doer. And he likes Red Lobster.

Contact Us

Family Development Program
A Center for Excellence in Early Learning
MSC 06-3630
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
phone: 505.277.5800
email: fdp@unm.edu

About Us

“When as educators we expect to make profound changes in our students’ lives, we haven’t the right to begin without their parents at our side.” - Dr. Maria Chavez, Founder

The Family Development Program (FDP) is a community-based outreach program of the University of New Mexico’s College of Education.

 

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