Meet the Staff


Headshot of Amanda Winkelsas.

Amanda Winkelsas

Amanda Winkelsas is originally from Buffalo and began her education in the Buffalo Public Schools. Later, she earned a BA in secondary English education from Canisius College, an MSED from Fordham University, and a PhD in urban education from the CUNY Graduate Center. Winkelsas worked in the New York City public schools for nearly 10 years, where she taught English in grades 7-12 and served as a literacy coach. Upon returning to Buffalo, she worked in education technology before transitioning fully to higher education. Her research interests have focused on educational equity, diversity in the teaching force, and preparing teachers to work with historically underserved student populations. 

Assistant Director for Core Programs, Recruitment and Outreach

Yuldonna Middleton

Yuldonna Middleton is the assistant director of UB Teacher Residency Program who believes that every student deserves a high quality education which requires educators to adapt teaching in ways that support all learners. Prior to working for UB, Yuldonna served as a business teacher for the Buffalo Public Schools, launched an entrepreneurship program, served as a school-to-work coordinator, a supervisor of curriculum for the district and an assistant principal in the Buffalo Public Schools. She worked in schools with large populations of African American students and English language learners from East Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.

Assistant Director for Professional Learning and Consortium

Kristin Cipollone

Kristin Cipollone was born and raised in Western New York and has 20 years of experience in education, working in schools, universities and community organizations. She began her career as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher in the South Bronx before pursuing her PhD in education, culture, policy and society at the University of Buffalo. Most recently she was associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the Department of Elementary Education at Ball State University where she also directed the Schools within the Context of Community, a community-engaged teacher preparation program. Cipollone’s research interests include the preparation of pre-service educators, educator dispositions, the intersections of school-level factors and race, and class in the (re)production and maintenance of inequality. She holds BA degrees in history and Italian language and culture from the University of Rochester, and a master’s degree in elementary education from Mercy College.

Postdoctoral Associate

Halley Maza, PhD

Halley’s professional background spans various roles, including school counselor, mental health professional, curriculum developer, and education consultant. She earned a BA in psychology from The New School University, an MSED in school counseling from Old Dominion University, and a PhD in curriculum, instruction and the science of learning from the University at Buffalo. Her focus lies at the intersection of counseling and transformative social-emotional learning in the context of teacher education and school-wide systems integration. Her research explores the emergence of interpersonal concepts in teaching and learning, drawing from sociocultural contexts, critical reflection practices and social-emotional learning concepts such as belonging, identity and care.

Professional Learning Coordinator

Ashley Wiese

Ashley Wiese is the professional learning coordinator for UB Teacher Residency Program. With experiences as an assistant professor, school administrator, instructional coach and evaluator, art educator, professional learning designer and facilitator, wellness workshop developer, and classroom teacher, Wiese has dedicated her professional life to exploring wholehearted teaching and learning at every level. Born and raised in the WNY Southern Tier, Wiese earned a BS in childhood education and BA in art history at SUNY Geneseo before continuing her education at the University of South Florida with an MSED in educational leadership and policy studies. She earned PK–12 administration certifications in New York and Florida and a CYT 200 certificate in yoga and mindfulness. Wiese’s greatest research interests are in teacher and administrator wellness and the remoralization of educational leaders.

Program Advisor and Coordinator

Mar Gooding

Mar Gooding has been working with the UB Teacher Residency Program (UBTR) since July 2022 where she capitalized on her skills in student support and retention. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with an EdM in higher education and student affairs. She is committed to assisting UBTR students with navigating UB’s system and overcoming the barriers in higher education. She recognizes the complexities of completing an accelerated program and strives to provide additional support to residents whenever possible.

Program Manager for Consortium, Recruitment and Community Partnerships

Vonetta T. Rhodes

Vonetta T. Rhodes is a proud mother, educator, trainer/consultant and advocate.  She has worked in the field of early childhood education since 1993. She also earned a master’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in language arts from the University at Buffalo. Rhodes is a co-founder of the Western New York Child Care Action Team (2019) and humbly serves many other WNY organizations including Live Well Erie's Working Families, Empire State Campaign for Child Care, and Human Rights, Equity, Anti-Racism & Diversity (H.E.A.R.D.), Reimagining Our Work (ROW), Buffalo Kwanzaa Committee, Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, Community Action Organization of Western New York and Malika Kambe Umfazi Sorority, Incorporated. Rhodes was appointed by Governor Hochul to serve on the Child Care Availability Task Force and the Office of Child and Family Services Advisory Board. She is a member of Senator Jabari Brisport's NYS Universal Child Care Advocates.

Program Manager for Program Operations and District Partnerships

Kathleen Kinney

Kathleen Kinney, a Buffalo native who grew up on the culturally diverse and dynamic West Side, graduated from Buffalo Public Schools and is a dedicated and student-centered educator with a passion for inclusive, engaging and inspiring education. She holds a Master of Science in childhood education and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Canisius College, as well as a Master of Urban Planning in urban management from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Kinney has extensive experience in teaching and program administration. She strongly emphasizes fostering positive relationships and building capacity within individuals and organizations. Outside of her professional life, Kinney loves dogs and enjoys visiting Buffalo's many outdoor, dog-friendly patios with her family and friends.