Supervised Fieldwork Advisor; Course Instructor
Some of the Values that Shape My Work
Unconditional positive regard
Learning new things
Investment in people and learning
The developmental interaction approach
Learning through doing
Trusting the process
Work with Families, Children, Schools, and Communities
Recent Professional Contributions
Child Life Council, Certified Child Life Specialist & Member
Research and Scholarship Committee Member
The Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types (FIRST)
Chair of Membership Support Committee
Standish Foundation for Children Advisory Board Member
Bank Street College of Education Autism Annotation Advisory Board Member
Bank Street College of Education Website Committee
Bank Street College of Education Online Research Committee
Advising seven Child Life Students
- MSW, Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work, New York University
- M.S., Early Childhood Education with concentration in Child Life, Bank Street College of Education
- B.A., Sociology, Georgetown University
Selected Publications and Presentations
Vilas, D. (2014). Report on Findings of Play Practices and Innovations Survey: The State of Play in North American Hospitals, Child Life Council Bulletin, Winter 2014, 32(1).
Vilas, D. (2014). The State of Play in North American Hospitals. Keynote Address, Child Life Council International Summit on Pediatric Psychosocial Care, New Orleans, LA.
Vilas, D. (2014). Cool! Gross! Wow! Techniques for helping angry children; Going High Tech Responsibly: A conversation about balance; Loose Parts in the 7th Dimension: Co-Creating Meaning with Children. Plenary Speaker, Hospital Play Specialists Association of Aotearoa/New Zealand 7th Biennial International Conference, Auckland, NZ.
Vilas, D. (2014). The Element of Surprise. In Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2014). Visible Ink: A One-to-One Writing Program for MSK Patients Anthology 2014. MSKCC.
Vilas, D. (2014). Co-Creating Meaning: Loose Parts in the 7th Dimension. Child Life Council Bulletin, Winter 2014, 32(1).
Vilas, D. (2014). Pediatric Child Life Services - an in-service for psychosocial and nursing staff. Co-Presenter, Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories.
Vilas, D. (2013, 2012, 2011, February). Play Techniques with Angry and Withdrawn Children. Junior College Department of Social Welfare. Lecture conducted from University of Shizuoka, Japan.
Vilas, D. (2013). Trees, Houses and Sidewalk Cities: Child Life and Creative Arts Interventions at a Post-Sandy Shelter. New York Association for Play Therapy Newsletter, 16(2).
Vilas, D. (2012). Loose parts in the playroom. New York Association for Play Therapy Newsletter, 16(1), 9-10.
Vilas, D. (2012). Playful eruptions around the world. New York Association for Play Therapy Newsletter, 15(2), 5-6.
Vilas, D. (2012). Loss in the classroom. Conference presentation, Bank Street College of Education Retreat. Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY.
Vilas, D., & Boyd Webb, N. (2011). Children with medical conditions in the hospital and in the community: How play therapy helps deal with stress and anxiety. Keynote address, 12th Annual Conference. New York Association for Play Therapy, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Vilas, D. (2010). Illness, loss and death in early childhood classrooms. Staff in-service presentation, Bank Street Family Center SEIT Home & Community-Based Program. Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY.
Vilas, D. (2009). Child life practice in hospitals. In N. Boyd Webb (Ed.), Helping children and adolescents with chronic and serious medical conditions: A strengths-based approach (pp. 73-88). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Vilas, D. (2009). Emotionally responsive teaching. Staff in-service presentation. Little Red Schoolhouse, New York, NY.
Vilas, D. (2009). Playing for life: Making room for deep play in your classroom. Staff in-service presentation. Hyde Leadership School, Bronx, NY.