Dr. Matthews received her B.A. in Psychology from New York University, an MA in Education from Columbia University's Teachers College, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from CUNY. For five years, she worked as a developmental specialist overseeing the assessment and treatment plans for disabled infants, toddlers and preschoolers at the Neonatal Follow UP Program of the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York. This experience allowed her to develop a thorough understanding of navigating the Early Intervention Program, IEP development and the public and private special education system of New York City. Dr. Matthews is certified and trained in a variety of assessments including IQ testing, developmental and behavioral evaluation. Presently she is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Hunter College and works with teacher candidates in the areas of language and literacy development, curriculum and student teaching. As such she has cultivated relationships with a number of NYC private and public schools and has an inside perspective on the different educational settings available. Dr. Matthews is also the Executive Director of Project HAPPY , a not for profit program which provides recreational programming to children living with disabilities. In this capacity she has written many grants to fund the program and in two years secured over a quarter of a million dollars in funding . Dr. Matthews has been providing educational consulting services for both families and schools throughout NYC and co-founded SEED in 2008.
Liege Motta is a full-time Substitute Lecturer in the Early Childhood Masters Program at Hunter College in New York City. She has been the Educational and Curriculum Consultant for The Medical Center Nursery School, a NAEYC-accredited early childhood preschool in Manhattan, since 2002. She has extensive experience in the early childhood and elementary classrooms: seven years in two inner-city elementary public schools in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, her hometown, followed by another fourteen in a New York City synagogue-based program for children between two and five years of age. Having worked for twelve of those fourteen years as teacher-director, she moved on to direct two other early childhood programs in New York City before starting on a new venture as Educational Director of Two Rooms, a visionary concept which provided space for freelance professionals as well as educationally sound care for their young children. Liege holds a M.S.Ed. degree in Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street College of Education in New York City, as well as New York State certifications both as a teacher from nursery through 6th grade and as an school administrator. She is fluent in English and Portuguese, can read, write and converse in Spanish and Italian, read French, and has a basic knowledge of Hebrew. She has classical music training in piano and recorder, has sung in choruses since fifth grade, and is a strong advocate for arts in education. In her work as director, educational consultant, and graduate school professor, Liege’s focus has always been the professional development of teachers and the need for recognition of the field of early childhood. Not surprisingly, the courses she teaches at Hunter include Curriculum, Pre-Student Teaching, Student Teaching, and Practicum, where she can best challenge teacher candidates to become caring, reflective, inclusive, collaborative professionals as well as passionate advocates for young children and their teachers.