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STAFF

Jean Balutanski, MS, MA, CRC

Jean Balutanski oversees MarshAccess at the Meadowlands Environment Center, a program that provides accessible environmental education programming for people with disabilities. In addition to developing and coordinating MarshAccess programs for K-12 students, she is the Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation Marsh Access grant.

Prior to coming to the MEC, Jean served as the Director of Office of Specialized Services at Ramapo College of New Jersey, a disability services office providing support to over 250 students. She currently teaches the graduate course Introduction to Assistive Technology in Ramapo College’s Masters of Science in Educational Technology program.

Jean first started working with assistive technology while employed at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, in New York. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor and holds teaching certificates in special education and educational supervision.

Angela Cristini, Ph.D.

Angela Cristini received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York. Dr. Cristini is a Professor of Biology and serves as the Executive Director of Special Programs at Ramapo College. She has directed the Master of Science in Educational Technology program since 1999.

Since 2003, Dr. Cristini has served as the Director of the Meadowlands Environment Center.  Dr. Cristini is the project director of several National Science Foundation grants which utilize technology to improve the teaching of environmental and earth science in elementary schools. Her latest grant uses video-conferencing to link senior centers to the Meadowlands for discussions on environmental issues.

Dr. Cristini was President of the American Littoral Society (ALS), a national, not-for-profit, membership organization, dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitats. She was Assistant Director of Environmental Research, at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, where she was responsible for setting the research agenda for environmental issues in New Jersey.

Victoria Madden, Ed.D.

Victoria Madden formerly served as the science supervisor for the Paterson School District and as an assistant professor at William Paterson University. She has been responsible for staff development for science teachers and serves on the committees for NJASK-4, NJASK-8 and HSPA (now known as the end-of-the-year High School Biology test). She has presented at a number of science conventions, both locally and throughout the United States.

Dr. Madden holds a B.A. in Science and an M.A. in Biology both from New Jersey City University and an Ed.D. in Science Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Michele Daly, MSW, CSW

Michele Daly graduated from the School of Social Science at Ramapo College with a B.S.W. in Social Work. She earned her Masters degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, and began her career as a Social Service Worker for Head Start in Passaic County. In 2003 she became the Assistive Technology Specialist for the Office of Specialized Services at Ramapo College, and she transferred to the MEC in the summer of 2007. Michele also works as an Adjunct professor at Ramapo College.

Deborah Rios

Deborah Rios has extensive experience in both corporate and educational settings. Deborah earned her B.A. in Psychology at the College of New Rochelle. She worked on Wall Street for many years, primarily in information technology and project management. She is certified to teach students K-8 as well as students with disabilities, and worked in several Bergen County public schools. Deborah joined the MEC staff in 2007 at the inception of the MarshAccesss project.

Erica VanAuken

Erica VanAuken is a recent graduate of Ramapo College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies with a minor concentration in Anthropology. While at Ramapo, Erica participated in the Environmental Alliance (EA). Her duties with the EA led her to help organize two environmentally-themed conferences for Ramapo. Erica joined the MEC staff as Post-Baccalaureate Fellow in 2008 and is currently a member of the NJ Chapter of the Society for Women Environmental Professionals.