Current Team Members:
Dr. Holli Tonyan
My name is Holli Tonyan and I am the Principal Investigator for the project, the leader for the whole project. I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at CSUN and I teach classes about children's development. I became interested in child care to understand how children might have their first experiences with adults other than their parents and with peers, and I became interested in family child care when the best place for my own young children was a lovely family child care home. I am particularly interested in how family child care providers create and sustain programs that can enrich young children's lives and where young children can experience close, trusting relationships with children and adults.
My name is Elena Paredes and I have been working for the Are You In? project since February 2014. I started off as an interviewer in Year 1 of the project, and have since then taken on many roles, from trainer to now Project Manager. I also recently started doing follow-up interviews with family child care providers in Year 3 of the project. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies from California State Northridge, and I am currently a second-year graduate student, pursuing my Master’s degree in Social Work. I was interested in joining this project because I hope to advocate for family child care providers and help their voices be heard, so that they can be recognized for the hard work that they do and the many roles that they take on when caring for children in our communities. A fun fact about me is that I have two fur babies, a pet bunny named Allie and a Husky puppy named Nala.
My name is Edgar Hernandez and I am one of the Research Assistants for the Are You In? Project. Within this project I do a little bit of everything whether its transcribing, completing holistic ratings and interviewing. I received my B.A in Cultural Anthropology from California State University, Northridge and currently I am finishing up my master’s degree in Applied Anthropology at California State University, Long Beach. I became involved in this project because I wanted to expose the working conditions and testimonies of the thousands of unsung heroes that care for children on a daily basis who are muted by our unjust system. One interesting fact about me is that I LOVE to watch cooking shows for hours! I’ve always been intrigued in the way ingredients intermingle with each other to produce flavor.
My name is Amanda Hysell. I am an interviewer for the Are You In project. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Early Human Development. From a professional standpoint, this project is of interest to me since I recognize early childhood as being a crucial period in development. With more children being placed within family childcare in their earlier years, I feel it is important to better understand FCC in order to optimize experiences for children. On a personal level, my niece has been in a FCC since infancy, which was a big motivator for why I wanted to be part of this project.
Dr. Susan Savage
My name is Dr. Susan Savage, the community-based partner for the project and the Director of Research at the Child Care Resource Center. I obtained a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods from the University of California, Riverside, and I received my B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a member of the Are You In project, I work closely with Dr. Tonyan to co-develop some of the research methods that are feasible for community-based agencies and to bring awareness of the project to policymakers, researchers and practitioners through the dissemination of information and results from the project. I believe in the quality of home-based care and I have two successful children who are products of home-based providers (both licensed and unlicensed). Quality Family Child Care works to support families and children and their futures!
My name is Jesse. I am the project manager that handles the day-to-day functions for the Are You In? Project. I graduated from CSUN in Spring 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and Honors in Philosophy. One of my main interests in the Are You In? Project is qualitative methods and how it is applied to understand family child care providers. In my spare time, I work on discrimination research and examine how antecedents (e.g., skin color, stereotypes) influence perceptions of discrimination.
My name is Alice Herrera and I have been working with the Are You In? Project since July of 2015. As a Research Assistant, my role includes indexing and coding English and Spanish interview transcriptions. More recently, I have taken on the role of conducting English and Spanish follow-up interviews with providers that participated during the first year of the project. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Chicana and Chicano studies at California State University, Northridge. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. What drew me to the project was understanding how crucial the learning and developmental stages prior to kindergarten are. It is my desire then to spotlight the work being done in Family Child Cares to facilitate this critical stage. A fun fact about me is that I have experiences decorating cakes and have a certificate in makeup artistry.
My name is Denice Castellon, I am an undergraduate student at California State University, Northridge. I am majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Welfare and Social Justice and a minor in Journalism. I am an interviewer for the Are You In? Research project. I am interested in this project because it allows me to learn more about how family childcare homes affect children in positive ways and what services are helping family childcare providers. A fun fact about me is that I have traveled all throughout Mexico.
David W. Bloom
My name is David W. Bloom and I serve as the lead analyst and a project manager for the Are You In project. I am also a Senior Research Analyst with Child Care Resource Center of California. I earned my Master of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University, Northridge and my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. As the senior analyst for the project, I am responsible for analyses based on observations from our Regional Survey, which has been distributed to thousands of Licensed Family Child Care Homes and I have worked with partner agencies across the state to secure data and oversee dissemination. I am also managing a series of Focus Groups facilitated by Child Care Resource Center. Since joining the project team in late 2013, I have become a strong advocate for Family Child Care and have developed a strong affinity towards the many Family Child Care Providers that I have met. Their dedication and passion for our children has a profound impact on our future and I take great pride in contributing to this body of work.
My name is Jeannette Torres and I have been with the Are You In? project since 2014 when I started as a research assistant and interviewed various family child care providers. In the second year of the project I became project manager and in this third year of the project I am excited to get back to interviewing and revisiting providers. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles and I earned my master’s degree in clinical psychology from California State University, Northridge. I am now attending Pepperdine University to obtain my doctorate degree in clinical psychology. I am particularly interested in looking at the working conditions of providers as well as the various components of what makes a family child care home. In my spare time I love to travel and explore new places.
My name is Kirsten Reyna and I am an Interviewer for the Are You In? Research Project. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from CSUN. I got involved with the project as a volunteer in April 2015 because I enjoyed Dr. Tonyan’s child development class and I wanted to learn how to apply what she taught in her class out in the field. A fun fact about me is that I am a Grey’s Anatomy fan and I have seen the entire series multiple times.
Former Team Members:
My name is Lidia Corral and I helped interview family child care providers and helped with interview training in Year 1 of the project. I also helped create the different classifications for working conditions and the cultural model codes. I received my M.A. in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Northridge. I was interested in the quality care that children were receiving in family care homes as well as how FCCP’s managed their daily routines. A fun fact about me is that I’ve always wanted to be in a musical.
My name is Ivanna Ayala and I was with the Are You In? project during its formative years. I helped with many aspects of the project’s development, including training research assistants and interviewing providers during its first year. I was specifically interested in provider’s service need and use, such as their satisfaction of current services and need for future services. After receiving my M.A. in Clinical Psychology from California State University, I sadly left the project to pursue a career helping children directly. Like many of the providers that I was fortunate enough to meet, I now play hard but work even harder to enrich the lives of the children that I work with. Cue the impromptu dance party!
My name is Danette Fuentes and was an interviewer for the Are You In? project in Year 3. I interviewed a total of 5 providers, in the summer of 2016. I received my B.A. in Psychology and I plan on continuing my studies in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. My previous experience as a Quality Assurance Specialist in a behavior intervention agency has pushed me to further research the needs of children and how those needs play a role in the family childcare providers. I enjoy hiking with my two dogs, Leo and Laila.