Faculty

David Adicott

David Adicott

David Adicott, Senior consultant, NSCC. David is a school counselor with more than 30 years experience working us public school in the US and international schools around the world. Most of his experience has been at the elementary level and for 10 of the last 12 years he has been working in China. He has consistently looked for ways to weave social emotional education into the fabric of the school and to create safe and supportive climate for learning. While at the International School of Beijing, he initiated and coordinated a school-wide effort to infuse social and emotional learning in the classroom and throughout the culture of the school. During the past year, David has been working with BI-TO EQ Camp, a Chinese institution that delivers social-emotional lessons to children after school in 60 centers around China. His focus with BI-TO has been to help the teachers create a classroom climate that supports the social-emotional lessons being taught and to help parents create a positive climate for social and emotional learning at home. He is currently working on a book for Chinese parents on how to promote social and emotional competencies at home.

John Devine

John Devine, Ph.D.

John is a member of NSCC's faculty and the coordinator of NSCC' comprehensive school safety project. He was the Co-Chair of the Academic Advisory Council for the National Campaign against Youth Violence and is on the New York Academy of Sciences panel for Adolescent Violence Prevention. He is the founder and former director of the New York University School Partnership Program, a collaborative project between NYU and the New York City Board of Education. He is the author of an award-winning ethnography, Maximum Security: The Culture of Violence in Inner City Schools (University of Chicago Press, 1996), co-author of the forthcoming volume Making Our Schools Safe: Physically, Socially and Emotionally and numerous articles and papers dealing with the phenomenon of violence in American schools.

Ann Higgins

Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro

Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro is NSCC’s Senior Research Advisor. Ann is a graduate of the Life Span Human Development Department, Pennsylvania State University (1979). She is now the Director and Professor, Applied Developmental Psychology Graduate Program, Psychology Department, Fordham University, New York. Dr. Higgins-D’Alessandro’s theoretical work examines schools and workplaces as contexts for adolescent, adult, and older adult moral and social development and the formation, continuity, and flexibility of moral identity, especially moral identity development of students and teachers. From 1976-1989 she was Senior Researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she conducted research with Lawrence Kohlberg at the Center for Moral Development and Moral Education. Longitudinal research on the effects of an experimental democratic, civic high school intervention resulted in the conceptualization of the dynamics of school moral culture change (Power, Higgins, & Kohlberg; Lawrence Kohlberg’s Approach to Moral Education, 1989). Since coming to Fordham in 1990, Ann has also published in a wide range of areas including adolescent risk-taking, the development of empathy in infancy, spirituality and moral community, and moral reasoning. In 2002, she edited the SRCD New Directions monograph, Science for Society: Informing Policy and Practice through Research in Developmental Psychology. Since 2003, she has been Principal Investigator on research funded by a private foundation and two US Department of Education grants evaluating a national school reform and character education program entitled Community of Caring. These projects focus on identifying processes of school change, teacher attitudes, and student engagement by modeling intervention effects. Chosen in 2004 for the Advisory Council of the US Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and the Character Education and Civic Engagement Office she advises the federal government on pro-social education and school climate as well as co-authored (i) Mobilizing for Evidence-Based Character Education (2007); (ii.) co-authored an assessment of pro-social education efforts internationally, and (iii) co-created a teacher resource website.

Fred Jones

Fred Jones

Fred Jones is a Regional Partnership Leader at NSCC. He is also the Founder and President of Dreambridge Consulting. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of South Carolina and an Associates Degree in music management from The Art Institute of Atlanta. He is a gifted teacher and facilitator, drawing from his experiences as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, and as a professional performer. He began his career in education as a teaching artist in NYC public schools. He soon became a supervisor/trainer of teaching artists for The Leadership Program. After 3 short years, he moved on to manage 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) and violence prevention programs for the borough of Queens for the NYC Department of Education (DOE). During his time in Queens, the borough saw a 30% increase in 21st CCLC after school funding through grants he secured. He also managed a 3-year school climate improvement pilot program in partnership with the National School Climate Center. He has provided technical assistance for schools and community based organizations across the state on topics ranging from sustainability, to capacity building. Fred currently resides in Los Angeles Ca.

Sue Ruskin-Mayher

Sue Ruskin-Mayher, Ph.D.

Sue is the director of the Middle Schools Program at the Bank Street College of Education. She has extensive experience as a Staff Developer in the New York City Public Schools. She has also worked as a curriculum development specialist for the Office of the Manhattan High Schools Superintendent. Dr. Ruskin-Mayher began her career in education as a junior high school English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Junior High School 118 in the Bronx.

Marisa Zalabak

Marisa Zalabak

Marisa is a member of NSCC's consulting faculty. She is an Educational Psychologist, Teaching Artist, Curriculum Developer, and Director of Open Channel Education. A professional actress and teacher of arts-in-education for more than 30 years, she has worked with New York City Public Schools, Childrenʼs Aid Society, The 52nd Street Project, The Writers Theater, New Dramatists, Circle Repertory Theatre, The Public Theater, Fuller Young Peopleʼs Theater, and Non-Traditional Employment for Women. Marisa also holds a degree in Theater and Education as well as certifications in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and wellness. As an community activist she has served as a public school advocate and as speaker for the Anti-Violence Project in New York City.

She is currently creating arts-based interventions as preventative approaches for restorative discipline and conducting research with Lincoln Center Institute and CUNY on the effects of arts-integrated teaching strategies.