Where Pikler® meets Neuroscience Conference Presenters’ Biographies

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Linda Hinrichs

Linda Hinrichs | Conference Chair
Linda Hinrichs is the Director of The Children’s Corner Play Center, which she founded in 1980. Linda consults with parents and offers parent education evenings at her Center. Linda met and began her studies with Magda Gerber in 1979. Through Magda, she was introduced to Dr. Emmi Pikler and traveled to Budapest, Hungary to attend the first English study tour at Lóczy in 1986. She has returned to Budapest numerous times to study and has participated in all of the Pikler/Lóczy USA Intensives. Linda is completing her training as a Pikler® Pedagogue at this time. A RIE® Associate, she continues to learn, grow, and share her love of RIE® and Pikler

Peter L. Mangione, PhD

Peter L. Mangione, PhD, co-directs WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies. Mangione is one of the lead developers of the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC), a national model for training early childhood practitioners. He is one of the principal collaborators in the development of the California Department of Education’s Desired Results Developmental Profile. Mangione has served on advisory groups for the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Zero To Three, and participated in meetings conducted by the National Academy of Sciences. Mr. Mangione serves on the Advisory Board of Pikler/Lóczy USA.

Enid Elliot, PhD, Camosun College, Victoria, BC, Canada

Currently Enid works at Camosun College educating caregivers who will work with babies and young children. As a college instructor she is interested in encouraging students to be curious about babies’ and toddlers’ explorations and learn to attend to the relationships that they form with babies. As a board member of Pikler USA she has worked on proofreading and editing the videos and text, which will be in English. After working with babies, young mothers and infant toddler caregivers she did a PhD in Early Childhood Education. From her dissertation came the book, We’re not robots, listening to the voices of daycare providers, which examined the experiences of women who worked with babies, and she has written several chapters in books on infant/toddler care.

Natasha Khazanov, PhD

Natasha Khazanov, PhD, is a neuropsychologist, a psychotherapist and creator of the SMARTT™ Parenting program. She also is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Medicine. Her interest in the neurobiology of trauma led her to forensics, where she served as an expert witness in over 80 criminal cases.

Zsuzsa Libertiny, Executive Pedagogue of the Pikler® Daycare Center

Zsuzsa Libertiny, Executive Pedagogue of the Pikler Daycare Center, became closely acquainted with the Piklerian ideas with the birth of her first child (1997). An employee of the Pikler Institute in 2002, Libertiny was responsible for family programs and parent-child groups. She left Lóczy for a few years to work in Canada supporting newly immigrated parents with young children. After her return to the Lóczy team, she resumed her previous role, as well as joining the daycare center as a pedagogue. Since 2009, Libertiny regularly participates as a lecturer both in Hungary and abroad. Her topics encompass the everyday work with children, the support for families, day-care centers, and residential institutions.

Jutka Hafner

Jutka Hafner has been a caregiver with the Emmi Pikler Institute, both at the home for the infants and toddlers and the daycare program since 1985. She took a few years off when her children were born, but was soon back to do her work with babies, and as she says, to work “in a such a way that each child can feel good…with opportunities to develop and unfold his or her unique personality”. As an experienced pedagogue she shares her knowledge and skills of the Piklerian practice with others in workshops around the world.

Katherine Bussey, MEd

Katherine Bussey, MEd, is a passionate infant and toddler specialist and activist currently waiting for the examination of her PhD that she undertook about infant and toddler teacher education in Melbourne, Australia. She has spent the last 15 years actively learning about and developing practice in New Zealand and Australian early childhood education based on the Pikler approach and Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach (RIE) after taking part in training in Hungary and the USA. Katherine is the chair of the Infant and Toddler Advocacy Network Australia (ITANA) http://www.itana.org.au which hosts Pikler and other related training from around the world; and is a member of the Pikler USA Research committee. Katherine mentors and provides professional learning and development to educators and is engaged in inspiring critical reflection, learning and growth in infant and toddler teams.

Debbie Laurin, PhD

Debbie Laurin, PhD. Debbie is the Chair of Research for Pikler USA® and is an Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University with the Department of Early Childhood Education. Her research and writing to date examines the care routines, specifically diapering, in Infant and Toddler out-of-home childcare settings and child well-being and involvement. Last May, Debbie presented a research poster on Caregiver Types of Talk during Diapering at the World Infant Mental Health Association’s conference in Prague.

Ken Jaffe, J.D. Director, Global Leader, ICRI

Ken founded ICRI in 1981 to improve the lives of children and families. ICRI (International Child Resource Institute) has established over 500 child and family programs in more than 50 countries. Ken studied child development at the University of Uppsala and UC Berkeley, where he also earned a Masters degree. Additionally, he holds a Juris Doctor degree in law, specializing in juvenile justice and children’s rights. Ken has authored two books and numerous articles on ECD. Ken has been a member and chair of ECD Boards, committees and commissions, including the California Governor’s Commission and the World Forum on Early Care and Education. He has advised the national governments of Singapore, China, Malaysia, Sweden, Ecuador, Ghana, Bosnia, Croatia, and Nepal.

Gabrielle Anwar

Gabrielle Anwar. Born in Berkshire, England, the endearing and accomplished Gabrielle Anwar has over 45 film and television performances to her credit in both Europe and the States. In 2001 Gabrielle discovered the work of Emmi Pikler after the birth of her second child. Her three children were raised within the Pikler® method, Gabrielle siting the insightful work as “life-changing.” In 2017 Gabrielle completed a biographic screenplay about Pikler’s life, and hopes to continue working with PLUSA to develop a documentary to bring this same enlightenment to parents globally. An actress, painter, writer and director, Gabrielle has emphatically enthused, “When children are raised without violence, even in it’s most subtle form, they learn not how to harm another, instead with this approach, they learn how to love. Herein lies the key to peace.


Elsa Chahin

Elsa Chahin is one of only two certified and accredited Pikler® Trainers in North America, and is currently President of the internationally renown non-profit corporation, Pikler/Lóczy USA, through which she carries on the mission of Dr. Emmi Pikler, that of raising healthy, happy children. A staunch advocate of early childhood education and development, Ms. Chahin, also a RIE® Associate (Resources for Infant Educators), and PITC Trainer (Program for Infant Toddler Care) has coauthored In Loving Hands with Anna Tardos and is that rare leader who not only brings passion and commitment to her work, but a deep knowledge coupled with both insight and generosity.

Susan Patrick, PhD

Susan Patrick, PhD, plays an active role as Treasurer and the shipping manager for Pikler/Lóczy USA’s on-line bookstore. She worked closely with fellow board member, Beverly Kovach and late Pikler/Lóczy USA founder, Laura Briley to produce the book Being with Infants and Toddlers: A Curriculum that Works for Caregivers. Susan is an assistant professor at Northeastern State University and is the lead faculty for a recently initiated Early Care – Birth to Three Bachelor’s Degree Program. She teaches undergraduate courses related to early care and development and maintains a research focus on the relationships and organizational structures that best support the caregivers of infants and toddlers. Susan lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma and enjoys collaborating with others who are inspired by the Pikler® approach.