Child & Family Studies Center

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Christa C. Dunlap, M.A.

Program Director, Child & Family Studies Center

Christa C. Dunlap received her Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from CSUN in 1991, and completed her Master's Degree in Educational Psychology: Early Childhood in 2008. Her thesis was on mentoring in early childhood education. Christa has worked as a Preschool Teacher, Parent Educator, Lead Teacher, and Director of Operations at the CFSC for the over 20 years. Her areas of interest include Parent Education, Child Development, Adult Development, Inclusion, and Mentoring Relationships.



Annie Cox, M.A.

Early Childhood Programs Director, CHIME

Annie Cox is the Director of the CHIME Infant & Toddler Program and the CHIME Preschool Inclusion Program that operates at the CFSC. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Masters Degree in Educational Psychology, Early Childhood Special Education. Her professional experience in the field of education extends for the past thirty years. Annie has served as a part-time instructor, master teacher, and fieldwork supervisor for the Department of Special Education at CSUN. She currently trains and supports teachers in the field of Early Childhood Special Education and since 1989 has provided mentoring and supervision for university students at CSUN. Annie has contributed significantly to the development of the CHIME mission and philosophy, supported development of new programs including the CHIME Charter Elementary School, and mentored newer members of the staff and leadership team.



Erika Sue Barnathan, M.A.

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, CHIME

Erika's educational background includes a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development, a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, and the Early Childhood Special Education Credential.  She has over 30 years experience working with young children with special needs and has been at the lab school since 1990 with CHIME. She has taught an undergraduate Special Education course at Santa Monica City College, and has extensive experience in mentoring early childhood special education students at CSUN.



Lead Teachers

Pariza Karamali, M.A.

Master Teacher, Full Day Preschool

Pariza is the Master Teacher in the Full Day class for the CFSC Lab School. She has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Social Behavior, a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology - Early Education, and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. She began working at the CFSC Lab School as a student assistant intern in 1997, then moved into a Lead Teacher position in both the Half Day and Full Day classrooms before taking on the position of Master Teacher in 2001.


Fiama Puccini, M.A.

Lead Teacher, Extended Day Preschool

Fiama is the Lead Teacher in the Extended Day classroom. She has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, and has recently completed a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science — she hopes to work as a children’s librarian one day. Fiama began working at the CFSC Lab School as a student assistant intern in 2018, then moved into a Lead Teacher position in the Half-Day classroom.


April Alvarez, M.A.

Lead Teacher, Half Day Preschool