Our Team


dhightoweratchildrensinstitute.net (A. Dirk Hightower, Ph.D.)
Executive Director

A school and community psychologist, A. Dirk Hightower has been Executive Director of Children’s Institute since 1991. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the University of Rochester, a position he has held for over 20 years. From 1982-1991, he was the Director of Primary Project at Children's Institute and the Director of Research at the Center for Community Study. He holds an MA in School Psychology and a Ph.D. in School and Community Psychology. In addition to serving on numerous local and state boards regarding children’s services, Dirk is a Past President of the New York Association of School Psychologists and a Past President and Trustee of the Rush-Henrietta Board of Education. He is also a co-founder of COMET Informatics LLC. 

mallanatchildrensinstitute.net (Marjorie J. Allan, MPH)
Director, Center for Continuous Improvement / Co-Director, Training and Coaching Center

Marjorie Allan brings over 30 years of experience to her role as the Director of the Center for Continuous Improvement. Her background includes co-authorship of numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations at national meetings on topics germane to children's health. Marjorie is committed mentoring the next generation of researchers, practitioners, and child advocates. She works with student interns from the Medical Center and many area colleges and universities. Her primary areas of expertise include implementation of community health improvement programs, research in health disparities, and child health promotion and research. She landed at Children's Institute in 1992 when she first came to Rochester from Pittsburgh, PA where she had been working at Western Psychiatric Institute studying adolescent suicide. Once in Rochester Marjorie spent time working in both the Division of Adolescent Medicine and at the Hoekelman Center (formerly PLC/CARE). Marjorie returned to Children's Institute in 2006 and now lends support and direction for research, program evaluation, and all related activities. Much of her work is in schools (pre-K-12), clinical settings, and in the community. She has a Master's in Public Health from the University of Rochester.

edevaneyatchildrensinstitute.net (Elizabeth Devaney, MM)
Director of SEL Center / Research Associate

As the Director of the Center for Social and Emotional Learning, Elizabeth brings expertise, experience, and passion for social and emotional development, quality improvement, out-of-school time and expanded learning programming, youth development, and community-wide systems-building initiatives. She has worked in both research and practice settings, most recently as a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research. She has authored numerous articles, briefs, and toolkits, including "Sustainable Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Implementation Guide and Toolkit." Elizabeth has worked at the Providence After School Alliance in Rhode Island as well as the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). She received a masters of management and social policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

thartmannatchildrensinstitute.net (Terry E. Hartmann, MBA, CMA)
Director of Finance and Operations

Terry Hartmann is the Director of Finance & Operations for Children's Institute and an Adjunct Professor for St John Fisher College’s MBA program. Most recently, he worked for Ambrell in Scottsville, NY. He retired from Xerox Corporation after 37+ years in various financial roles, with his most-recent position being Director of Financial Services for the North American Finance group. Prior to that, Terry served as CFO, VP of Finance, Human Resources, and IT for Xerox International Partners in Palo Alto, California. He holds a BS degree in Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA in International Business from the University of Chicago. He is a Certified Management Accountant and Certified Financial Manager. In the past, Terry taught Management Accounting at SUNY Geneseo School of Business and delivered several webinars for Accenture Academy. Currently, he volunteers with the Rochester Chapter of Financial Executives International as a Director and past President, and with Geva Theatre as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee Chair.


slotyczewskiatchildrensinstitute.net (Bohdan S. Lotyczewski)
Director of Research and Evaluation

As Director of Research and Evaluation, Stas oversees a team of project managers and information analysts. He has over 30 years’ experience in the development and implementation of program evaluations and research studies. He is a master of designing, conducting, and interpreting quantitative evaluations. He has extensive expertise in data set development, the use of existing data sets, assessment protocols, and conducting program evaluations successfully in varied community settings. His recent work includes the refinement of a parent instrument measuring children’s social-emotional status, a survey of youth and parent attitudes about after-school programs, and evaluations of 25 after school programs and an in-school literacy tutoring program. 

gmontesatchildrensinstitute.net (Guillermo Montes, Ph.D.)
Director of Research and Evaluation

An economist, Guillermo is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Children’s Institute. He is also an Associate Professor at St. John Fisher College. He has authored numerous research papers, chapters, and a book. His primary interests include the use of large national datasets to measure social competence and other elements of emotional intelligence, particularly in at-risk subpopulations, such as children with autism spectrum disorders. 

lstranoatchildrensinstitute.net (Lauri) lbruggeratchildrensinstitute.net (Strano)lbruggeratchildrensinstitute.net (, MS)
Director of Programs and Services

As the Director of Programs and Services, Lauri has managed large-scale community-wide collaborations and assessment systems serving young children and youth. Her experience includes working with providers, parents, and policymakers in the context of local, state, and federally funded grants and initiatives. She holds BS degrees from University of Rochester in Psychology and Political Science, and an MS in Elementary Education and NYS certification (N-6) with specialization in early childhood from Nazareth College. Lauri also has fifteen years of previous experience in large health system-affiliated early childhood development programs as an administrator, teacher, and caregiver.

kaveryatchildrensinstitute.net (Kim Avery), MS, Early Care and Education Specialist
abifulcoatchildrensinstitute.net (Ashli Bifulco), Research Assistant
abobinatchildrensinstitute.net (Arlene Bobin), M.Ed., Senior Project Coordinator
cbrechkoatchildrensinstitute.net (Cate Brechko), Administrative Assistant, Training and Coaching Center
dbreitungatchildrensinstitute.net (Dawn Breitung), Senior Project Coordinator, Training and Coaching Center
jbrundageatchildrensinstitute.net (Jason Brundage), Manager, Information Systems
gconeatchildrensinstitute.net (Geralyn Cone), Senior Production Coordinator
ncookatchildrensinstitute.net (Nancy E. Cook), Executive Assistant
scookatchildrensinstitute.net (Stephen Cook), MD, Medical Consultant
bdraperatchildrensinstitute.net (Becky Draper), GROW-Rochester Navigator
kembtatchildrensinstitute.net (Kathleen M. Embt,) Information Analyst I & COMET Support
teale.foxatcomet4children.com (Teale Fox), MBA, COMET Product Manager
egreenatchildrensinstitute.net (Earlie Green), Lifespan-Senior Community Service Employment Program
jhaltermanatchildrensinstitute.net (Jill S. Halterman), MD, MPH, Medical Director
charperatchildrensinstitute.net (Cindy Harper), MBA, Senior Development Manager
cinfurnaatchildrensinstitute.net (Charles J. Infurna), Ed.D., Research Associate
jkaczorowskiatchildrensinstitute.net (Jeff Kaczorowski), MD, Medical Consultant
eleopoldatchildrensinstitute.net (Ellen Leopold), M.Ed., Social, Emotional and Behavioral Consultant
klynchatchildrensinstitute.net (Kristin Lynch), GROW-Rochester Navigator
mmaioloatchildrensinstitute.net (Mary Maiolo), Senior Graphics Coordinator
cmerleatchildrensinstitute.net (Chris Merle), MPA, Project Coordinator
ymossatchildrensinstitute.net (Yvonne Moss), Receptionist
lmurrayatchildrensinstitute.net (Linda Murray), Project Coordinator
corbanekatchildrensinstitute.net (Caitlin Orbanek), Project Coordinator, Center for Social-Emotional Learning
dpeelleatchildrensinstitute.net (David Peelle), MBA, Information Analyst
cranallettaatchildrensinstitute.net (Christine Ranalletta), Senior Accountant
JRichwalderatchildrensinstitute.net (Jonathan Richwalder), MBA, Systems Administrator
ssanyshynatchildrensinstitute.net (Shelley M. Sanyshyn), MS, Co-Director of Primary Project
tsheehanatchildrensinstitute.net (Tracey Sheehan), Financial Analyst
lsmithatchildrensinstitute.net (Lynn Smith), LMSW, Co-Director of Primary Project
gvanwagneratchildrensinstitute.net (Genemarie Van Wagner), Senior Project Coordinator
cwalkeratchildrensinstitute.net (Cyndie Walker), Data Clerk
mreynoldsatchildrensinstitute.net (Melissa Reynolds Weber), MS, Senior Research & Evaluation Manager
azimmeratchildrensinstitute.net (Ariana Zimmer), Research Assistant II
ezordanatchildrensinstitute.net (Edy Zordan), MS, CAS, School Psychologist, BCBA




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(585) 295-1090 (fax)
(877) 888-7647 (toll-free)




Children's Institute equips and supports those who work with children to ensure the success of every child.
Children’s Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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