By Jenene Craig, Ph.D.
It is with mixed emotions that we share the momentous news of the recent and upcoming retirement of our revered faculty members Milagros “Mili” Cordero, Ph.D, Joshua Feder, M.D., Ira Glovinsky, Ph.D., Kathleen Platzman, Ph.D., and Mary Warren, Ph.D.
As founding faculty members in the Infant and Early Childhood Development (IECD) Program, they each hold a special place in the history of our program and Fielding at large. These stellar faculty members were instrumental in shaping the foundation and vision of the program, contributing significantly to its growth and success over the years, each in their unique way.
The IECD Program is the only program in the world that offers a Ph.D. in Infant and Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on mental health and developmental disabilities. The program is the result of the work by Stanley Greenspan, M.D., and Serena Wieder, Ph.D., who initially developed the Interdisciplinary Council for Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL) PhD Program. Most of these founding faculty collaborated with Drs. Greenspan and Wieder during the early years and each helped to build Fielding’s current program. Throughout their distinguished tenure, each has exemplified the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership, mentorship to students, and commitment to our university’s mission.
Jenene Craig, Ph.D., who serves as the IECD Program Director and is one of the program’s early graduates shared: “It is with both joy and sadness that I reflect on this seminal moment in time. Joy in that each of these remarkable thought leaders now transitions into a season of retirement where perhaps they might enjoy different priorities. Because each is so close to my heart as a friend, it is a sad moment to appreciate the shift away from working together as much. My hope is that they will receive the message of gratitude and love from our IECD community and the knowledge that their hard work has led to transformational practice and lives. …mine included.”
Dr. Lorraine Ehlers-Flint. Ph.D, current Core IECD faculty and also a founding faculty, adds her sentiments: “It is with deep gratitude that I recognize the retirement of our esteemed founding faculty and colleagues, Mili, Kathy, Mary, Ira, and Josh. Your hard work and dedication to the IECD Program provided a foundation for interdisciplinary learning and collaborative thinking that continues to develop and unfold. Your combined authenticity, wisdom, charisma, depth, and joy of teaching will be missed! IECD’s faculty and students were fortunate to have your guidance and expertise all these years, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to know each of you. I wish you all a joyful retirement that includes time with loved ones and favorite leisure activities.”
To honor the remarkable careers of our esteemed founding faculty members, we invite the members of the Fielding community to offer words of gratitude, memories and/or photos by emailing brief (100 words or less) testimonials to email@example.com by August 15. In your submission, please share your affiliation with Fielding and the faculty member you are writing about. In addition, you can make a gift in honor of each retiring founding faculty and support the IECD Program here.
Please join us in extending our warmest wishes to our beloved IECD faculty members as they embark on their new journey beyond Fielding. We are immensely grateful for their unwavering dedication, leadership, pedagogy, and enduring commitment to educating the best in the field of infant and early childhood clinicians and scholar-practitioners. Their legacies will continue at Fielding for years to come.
A virtual celebratory gathering will be held in December 2023, and we’ll share the details with the community in the fall.
Our Distinguished Faculty Members: Bios and Career Sketches
Each faculty member has shared their brief bio with you. Get to know them through their unique descriptions of their career path and personal touches below:
Milagros “Mili” Cordero, EdD, OTR/L
Milagros “Mili” Cordero, EdD, OTR/L. With over 45 years as an occupational therapist, Dr. Cordero is still ‘playing’ as her daily work. Her passions include not only her work with children and young adults, providing occupational therapy services with a Floortime/DIR approach, but supporting and coaching parents and caretakers. Other areas of interest that have been part of her studies include cultural influences and family systems. Mili is the owner of Cordero & Associates, and a resident of Dekalb County, GA. She provides occupational therapy services to children, adults, and families through Individual and Team Therapy Services (ITTS) for Children/ Atlanta Tomatis, Floortime Atlanta and in the community at large. In working with students, she stresses the importance of offering support to parents and families by listening and being caring and compassionate.
A graduate from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, she completed her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Doctorate in Education (Special Education and Bilingual Education) from Boston University. It was a distinct honor for Mili to serve as faculty in the original IECD PhD program and continue when the program came to Fielding.
Dr. Cordero has held various positions in her years of experience as a pediatric occupational therapist. Her extensive experience has allowed her to witness the changes in approaches to intervention. She found the transdisciplinary DIRFloortime approach to be the most respectful and effective approach in supporting all ages. The opportunity of collaborating with other professionals following this approach has proven to be life changing.
Dr. Cordero has also served on several committees and boards at the local, state, and national levels with the aim of improving services received by individuals and families. Most notably, she has served at the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Babies Can’t Wait (Early Intervention Program) in the State of Georgia inclusive of being the Vice-Chair for 4 years.
Coming from a long line of teachers, Mili has integrated it into her practice. She has taught everything from Folk Dances to Occupational Therapy, from crochet to sharing knowledge with Doctoral Students, from her love of nature to Mentoring others…
Mili is married to Dr. Jose F. Cordero, a pediatrician and epidemiologist who was the founding director of the Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are both originally from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and moved to Boston, Ma in 1973 to complete higher studies. A mother of 4 and grandmother of 7, Dr. Cordero balances her life between family, work, and international travel while also serving as a consultant in various topics of occupational therapy and as faculty for the International Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL).
Amongst her many interests, music is at the top of Mili’s list as is a passion for exploring and understanding how cultures and beliefs paint our lived experiences. She also seeks to understand how cultural diversity can positively influence an individual’s ability to become a respectful and peaceful citizen of the world.
Mili passed these ideals along to her family by encouraging her children and grandchildren to maintain and celebrate their Puerto Rican heritage and the Spanish language. She and Jose promoted this by making frequent trips to ‘The Island’ and maintaining very close ties to family and friends. At their homes, both in Puerto Rico as in Atlanta, Mili and Jose have constructed multiple opportunities to connect with individuals from many other cultural backgrounds, especially because of Dr. José Cordero’s role in international public health through the CDC and now as a college professor.
Joshua Feder, M.D.
Joshua Feder, M.D., is a child and family psychiatrist in Solana Beach, California. He is Editor in Chief at the Carlat Child Psychiatry Report, a continuing education publication free of industry influences and author of the Child Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice, Second Edition (2023). Dr Feder is the Executive Medical Director at Positive Development, building equitable access through public and insurance-based developmental relationship-based support for autistic children through young adults and their families across the United States. Dr. Feder teaches and conducts research with UCSD, SDSU, Fielding Graduate University, and An Najah National University in infant and early childhood development, and he develops technology supporting relationship-based interventions as Medical Director in the SymPlay division of Quicksilver Software. Dr Feder serves on the development team for the Autism Is inclusion program. He is on the Global Advisory Board of the climate action connector Our World 2 and holds a certificate from the Climate Reality Project where he speaks and advocates for responsible climate policy. Dr. Feder advocates nationally and internationally on access to care for Evidence Based Practices. He is a founding member of the California Association for Infant Mental Health, a chapter of the World Association of Infant Mental Health, serves as the programmatic lead for the Executive Council of the International Networking Group on Peacebuilding with Young Children with projects in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and the Balkans, and he has travelled and lectured extensively nationally and internationally. Many of Dr. Feder’s podcasts and lectures can be found online at joshuafedermd.com
Ira Glovinsky, Ph.D.
Ira Glovinsky, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with a background in psychology and special education. He graduated from The University of Michigan in 1976 with a Ph.D. in Special Education with a specialty in emotional impairments in children. He then went on to receive his license in psychology in 1982. Ira worked in a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital as a teacher for three years and then helped develop an Early Intervention Program for preschool-age children with emotional difficulties in the hospital facility. He additionally worked on the inpatient unit with depressed adolescents and an anorexic unit with teenage girls. Ira then worked on a Level 3 NICU follow-up team following high-risk preterm babies for five years and went into private practice in 1982. He specialized in preschool-age children with disruptive behavior disorders and then specialized in pediatric bipolar disorder in preschool-aged children. Ira published two books with Dr. Stanley Greenspan, who established the ICDL Ph.D. program with Dr. Serena Wieder. Ira’s publications include those with Dr. Greenspan on pediatric mood disorders and other peer-reviewed papers on psychiatric topics. Ira became a member of the International Council for Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL) and served as the original faculty of the Ph.D. program. He taught in the ICDL Ph.D. graduate program as a teacher and Academic Dean and then co-led the program when coming to Fielding. Ira is currently in private practice in Ann Arbor working with families with preschool children with severe mood dysregulation problems. He is on the faculty of the Early Childhood/ Arts Education Program at Brooklyn College and teaches Masters level classes dealing with diverse families with children with emotional problems, and classes on Reflective Practice. Ira is also currently working with an agency for preschool aged foster children and supervising supervisors and home visiting teachers in Reflective Practice. Additionally, he works with a Head Start program in California supervising teachers and Administrators in Reflective Practice. Ira is working with a law firm in Seattle, Washington with lawyers working with substance using women who are pregnant, in a treatment program so that they can keep their babies when they are born. He is additionally doing psychological testing and psychotherapy for a Foundation for children with Vel-Cardio-Facial Disorder, a genetic chromosomal deletion disorder. Other current work includes working with an interdisciplinary team developing a training program on interoception and I supervising professionals interested in interoception, and teaching a Masterclass on mood disorders in young children in the Profectum Program. He has recently published a paper on Interoception in Zero-To-Three and is busy writing articles on the topic. Ira is also co-authoring a book on pediatric bipolar disorder.
Kathleen Platzman, Ph.D.
Kathleen Platzman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia. Her private practice, Floortime Atlanta, is multi-disciplinary and focuses on both assessment and treatment of individuals with a wide range of developmental disabilities and challenges and their families. She has been trained in compatible approaches such as EMDR and Brainspotting. Her research focus has been on prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol and their long-term developmental effects.
Before graduate school she worked with New World monkeys in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.
She received her doctorate in 1983 from the University of Chicago, Committee on Human Development. In 1992 she completed a respecialization in Child and Family Psychotherapy from Georgia State University.
She was in the Infant Mental Health Movement from the beginning.
She met Stanley Greenspan, MD in 1979, when she was a research assistant for Selma Fraiberg in Ann Arbor MI. One of her duties was to serve coffee to guests visiting Selma. Stanley would drop by every so often! She also sent out multiple copies of Selma’s “Ghosts in the Nursery” article.
Before FGU she was on the research faculty at Emory School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, where she worked in the Human Genetics lab and was part of a research team that focused on prenatal drug exposure and long-term developmental consequences thereof.
When at Emory she split her time with the Yerkes Primate Center where she did research on attachment patterns in chimpanzees. After that she stuck to her own species.
Kathy has always promoted the DIR/Floortime and relationship-based approaches. She has been lucky enough to watch this model grow over the years. In this vein, her proudest accomplishments are:
She was part of the team that designed the program for the DIR Graduate School, which eventually morphed into the IECD program.
She helped design the training program for ICDL and is now the chief advisor to that training program.
She was the first recipient of the DIR Lifetime Champion Award (2022).
Mary Warren, Ph.D.
Mary Warren, Ph.D., has state and national experience in administrative and policy work in healthcare and early childhood systems. She has degrees in anthropology, education, counseling, and sociology, and a strong interest in how culture influences parenting and early childhood education. Her academic interests include empowering Fielding students to engage in effective advocacy for young children and their families. Advocacy could be for services, funding, collaborations, policies, etc. She encourages Fielding students to join and support their state/province/regional Association for Infant Mental Health or establishing new ones where such associations do not exist yet. Mary’s reflections to others on topics we believe she will be most remembered for by all of us are:
- Mindfulness. Engage in some form of mindfulness nearly daily. I miss putting together my Mindfulness Moments to start each class—and have transferred that process to using a Mindful Moment to begin the Gardeners Group I chair now. Being mindful connects us to our presence, to nature, to each other. Reflective Practice engages mindfulness and is at the core to ‘being with’ our important people—family, client families, colleagues, friends.
- Application. Think through and apply what you are learning. All the interesting things we learn can’t just stay in our heads; they need to be artfully applied. I now volunteer one afternoon a week at the Arizona State University Child Development Lab on campus. 3–5-year-olds are so busy!
- Encouragement. Students have already taken the step to apply, enroll, attend classes, and write. That is a big step and can feel overwhelming sometimes. Encouragement yields more satisfactory progress. Offer it.