- MA, Northern Arizona University; BA, Tulane University
Michael graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2017 with an MA in Psychological Science. He then spent one year as a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. Currently, Michael is a Research Associate for the RYTE
mission-driven organizations achieve their goals.
- MSW Columbia School of Social Work and BA in Sociology, Barnard College at Columbia University
Mirka Feinstein is the Assistant Director of Operations at the RYTE Institute. She holds a Masters in Social Work as well as a B.A. from Columbia University. She is responsible for the operations and managerial leadership of the institute. Mirka is the project manager for the BSA study. Previously Mirka worked as the Program Director for an agency serving homeless youth as well as an Adjunct Professor at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Additionally, Mirka has worked as a social work and program development consultant for international and youth serving organizations.
- MA, Montclair State University; BA, Montclair State University
- Research Interests
- Program Development and Evaluation; Positive Youth Development
Lauren Gama graduated from Montclair State University in May 2016 with an MA in Family and Child Studies. While pursuing her degree, she worked as a graduate research assistant in the RYTE Institute. Lauren is now a Research Associate in the RYTE Institute, assisting on the Inspiring Purpose Project (a program evaluation of a character development program currently being implemented throughout secondary schools in Scotland) and the Boy Scouts of America Character Development Initiative (examining the training of adult volunteers, and the character outcomes for youth).
Ms. Gama graduated from Montclair State University in May 2014 with a BA in Family and Child Studies, a minor in Portuguese, and a certificate in Child Advocacy and Policy.
Megan currently has a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Montclair State University. As a 2017 graduate, Megan is taking a gap year after her undergraduate studies in order to work in the RYTE Institute, before sending out graduate program applications for the 2018-2019 school year. She hopes to move to California to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
She is currently working on the Inspiring Purpose project.
- BS, Bentley University
Colette is the Assistant Director of Budgets and Grants in the RYTE Institute. She is responsible for the administrative and financial components of the lab and is coordinating logistics for PACE. She currently works in a similar capacity at PRISM (Professional Resources in Science and Math) housed at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning located in Blanton Hall at the University. She has worked at Montclair State University part-time for over 14 years. Previously she worked at Patient Care Inc., American Cyanamid and Touche Ross. Colette graduated from Bentley University and is a CPA.
- PhD, CUNY Graduate Center
- University Hall, Room 2105
- PhD Social Work, Fordham University; MS Counseling Psychology, Northeastern University
Dr. LaPietra serves as the Research Interview Coordinator for the national Boy Scouts of America Study in the RYTE Institute. Dr. LaPietra began her career in the counseling field in Philadelphia working with adults with mental health and addiction disorders. She later directed an outpatient substance abuse program in New York City as well as a family case management program. After returning to Pennsylvania, Dr. LaPietra assisted with the oversight and support of mental health and substance abuse programs in the Bucks County Behavioral Healthcare System. Prior to arriving at Montclair State, Dr. LaPietra worked for Rutgers University as a Supervisor for the NJ Hopeline, the state’s suicide prevention hotline. Dr. LaPietra has been an Adjunct at Montclair State University and the College of Saint Elizabeth in NJ. Dr. LaPietra received her Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University in 2006, is a Licensed Social Worker in NJ, and a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor in PA.
- University Hall