Restoring Community

In the past year, the IIRP Graduate School has welcomed four new faculty members, enhancing our geographic diversity and expertise in the areas of research and education.

Fernanda Fonseca RosenblattPhoto by Marina Rodrigues

IIRP Assistant Professor Fernanda Fonseca-Rosenblatt, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Brazil. She has a dozen years of experience teaching law and restorative justice and conducting empirical research in Europe and South America.

Dr. Fonseca-Rosenblatt teaches the IIRP graduate course RP 622: Restorative Justice in Communities. The course includes study of the history and development of restorative justice, examination of basic concepts, such as participation and involvement of victims, offenders and other participants, as well as the function of reparations. She also provides analysis of empirical research into restorative justice to date.

She is currently completing a national study in Brazil on the potential for addressing domestic violence with restorative justice. When victims report domestic violence, she says, they often say they want the beating or threatening behavior to stop, but they don’t want to see the person go to prison. “From what we have heard from victims,” she comments, “there is a big potential for restorative justice. It gives more voice to victims and other means of conflict resolution.”

Dr. Fonseca-Rosenblatt has presented at many national and international conferences and published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the field of restorative justice.

She adds, “What I hope to bring to the Graduate School is more experience in research projects. Research is something that has to be common practice within the faculty.” 

Michael DeAntonioLecturer Michael DeAntonio, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the IIRP model program, Buxmont Academy. He has three decades of experience as an educator and administrator in public education, from middle school science teacher to school principal to Kutztown University Graduate School Instructor of Secondary School Administration.

At Buxmont Academy, Dr. DeAntonio is leading initiatives combining academic and social and emotional learning to create a whole-student perspective. In the Fall 2017 term, he taught RP 500: Basic Restorative Practices and will help develop and teach upper level education courses based on his experience working with high-need, high-risk students.

“I am honored to be a member of the IIRP faculty,” he remarks, “I see no better opportunity to engage a global community of dedicated learners about the benefits of restorative practices.”

Miguel TelloMiguel Tello, Lecturer, is Executive Director of the Strachan Foundation, a family foundation that supports education and health projects throughout Central America. Based in San Juan, Costa Rica, Tello has for more than 10 years brought restorative practices training and consulting to NGOs, schools, churches and criminal justice professionals across the region. He has also been instrumental in introducing restorative justice to the criminal justice system in Costa Rica.

For several years, Tello has been a featured speaker in IIRP online courses, with overwhelmingly positive student response. He currently teaches the online course RP 623: Restorative Justice: Global Perspectives and is exploring the possibility of serving Spanish-speaking communities with IIRP online education.

“I´m delighted to be part of the IIRP faculty,” he comments. “Teaching here allows me to share the work of a variety of colleagues in the field while maintaining an ongoing scholarly dialogue with graduate students about developments and new ideas in restorative practices and restorative justice.”

Gina Baral AbramsGina Baral Abrams, Dr.P.H., Director of Research and Program Evaluation and Assistant Professor, will help develop the field of restorative practices through research and scholarship. She is assisting with developing the IIRP’s implementation of the SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change program in large school districts and will aid in interpreting the data for the forthcoming RAND study of restorative practices implementation in 22 Pittsburgh Public Schools. 

Dr. Abrams has been working to develop healthy communities as a public health practitioner, mixed-methods researcher, program evaluator and macro social worker for 20 years. She teaches research methods in the online M.S.W. program at Boston University School of Social Work and previously served in student affairs at Lehigh University and in health and wellness at Princeton University. She has also been principal investigator in many research studies regarding health issues.

“I am excited to engage with the committed and talented students at the IIRP Graduate School to further their learning and development as leaders and community builders,” she affirms.

Adds IIRP Provost Craig Adamson, Ph.D., “I’m excited about the growth of our faculty to provide new opportunities for learning for our students!”