Jennifer Tuten, PhD, Executive Director
Dr. Tuten began her work in education as a middle school English teacher in Hoboken NJ. She has also taught at the middle and high school level in London, UK, where she received an MA in British and American Literature from University College London. Upon returning to New York City, she taught for four years at an elementary school. After 16 years of classroom teaching, she obtained a doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Learning from Fordham University.
Penny Shaw, M.A., Project Director
Penny Shaw received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Bard College and her M.A. in Education from New York University. She taught at Hunter College in the departments of Health and Physical Education and Curriculum and Teaching from 1974 to 2003. She has been the project director for Project HAPPY since it's beginning in January 1981 and is a teacher of the Alexander Technique. email@example.com
Leticia Monteiro, M.S., Assistant Project Director
Semra Kayabas received her B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University, and her M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of New York. She has been part of the staff since the fall term of 2010.
Astria Richards, B.A., Assistant Program Director
Astria Richards received her B.A. in Sociology from Hunter College and is planning further eduction towards a career in Social work. She has been a part of Project HAPPY staff since the fall term of 2000.
Project HAPPY Head Counselors and Activity Directors
Brad Keller, Frisbee Director
Brad Keller has been exploring the many benefits of flying disc sports and activities for more than thirty years. In 1981, using his experience as a world class flying disc athlete, Brad developed a therapeutic recreation program that incorporates flying-disc skills and techniques, for Project HAPPY. In addition to Project HAPPY, Brad has conducted his flying disc workshops at numerous events for the City of New York Parks & Recreation and public schools. Brad works for Special Citizens Futures Unlimited, Inc., as a job developer for adults with autism spectrum disorder.
Natalie Palmer, Aquatics Assistant
Natalie Palmer received her B. A. from Purchase College. She has worked in the aquatics field for over fifteen years, specializing in instruction for infants and toddlers as well as special needs students. Natalie has been the Adaptive Aquatics Assistant at Project HAPPY since the spring term of 1998. She is a certified Aquatics Coach for the Special Olympics and the Athletic Facility Coordinator for St. Bartholomew’s Church. Natalie is the Adaptive Aquatics Director for SNACK (Special Needs Activity Center for Kids). She also is the CEO and founder of SWIM WORKS LLC since 2007 a specialized swim school in Midtown Manhattan.
Nicholas Dunkley, Aquatics Director
Cassie Sutherland, ABC Group 2
Cassi Sutherland earned her BA in health promotion and exercise science from the University of Iowa in 2006. She is currently working on her doctorate in physical therapy at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Cassi began her experience with Project HAPPY in the fall of 2006 with the swim program and now is the head supervisor of the ABC Groups.
Liza M Bridich, ABC Group 4
Liza Bridich currently works at Dennis Wedlick Architects, LLC. as a designer/staff architect. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but moved to New York City to attend Fordham University where she studied Visual Arts and concentrated in architecture. She has lived in New York City now five and a half years and is working towards becoming a certified architect. Liza is began volunteering with Project HAPPY in the spring term of 2007.