Professional Staff

Patrick Burns


Patrick Burns, ECS

Patrick Burns has a B.A. and M.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. Patrick’s experience in therapeutic work is extensive and varied. More than 20 years ago he was a client of ECS, and attended a therapeutic outdoor program and later a therapeutic boarding school. He subsequently spent two years on the staff at the San Cristobal Ranch Academy in Taos, New Mexico where he worked with adolescents and young adults struggling with issues related to substance abuse and addiction. Not long after that he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Cornell. Patrick served for five years as the Associate Director of Student and Young Alumni Programs at Cornell University. He returned to ECS as a consultant before succeeding Dr. Posner as owner of the practice. Patrick's research and published work focuses on attachment, adoption and substance abuse. His publications have appeared in Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, The Portland Oregonian, Tulsa World, and Studies in American Humor. Pat has also worked intensively and over extended periods of time with teenagers, young adults and their families as a Life Coach and advisor on appropriate schools and programs. An avid athlete and outdoorsman, Pat cannot think of a better place to spend time with his family (and Chloe, his Golden Retriever) than Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York.

Dr. Betsy Grigoriu


Dr. Betsy Grigoriu, ECS

Dr. Grigoriu earned a B.S.E. in Secondary English Education (1989), an M. A. in Clinical Community Psychology (1993), both from Mansfield University in PA, and a doctorate in the field of Educational Psychology (Cornell University, 1998). She is an Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Dr. Grigoriu has worked in public school systems as a teacher at the high school level and a therapeutic counselor at the elementary school level. Her experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and couples in clinical and school settings involved conducting individual and family therapy, psychological assessments, treatment team meetings with school psychologists, principals, teachers, and parents, and individual and group counseling with students. She has taught educational psychology undergraduate courses in adolescent development and learning processes, in the areas of cognitive, emotional, moral, and social development. She has taught graduate courses in adult development and program evaluation and has conducted numerous program evaluations in school and clinical settings. Dr. Grigoriu's research, conducted as a doctoral student, in cognitive-emotional development informs much of her work in analyzing the psychological needs of clients and formulating recommendations for placement. Her strength lies in helping families sort out a large amount of information to determine their options and make well-informed decisions. When she is not helping families as a consultant, she finds a lot of joy in her family, flying as a private pilot over New York Finger Lakes, hiking in local woods and streams, and traveling all over the world with her spouse. She lives in Ithaca, NY, with her husband, Mircea, a Professor at Cornell in Engineering. They each have a grown son and a daughter-in-law who live nearby.

Dr. Glenn Altschuler

Family Systems Specialist/Advisor

Dr. Glenn Altschuler, ECS

Dr. Glenn Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies, Dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions, and former Vice President for University Relations at Cornell University, also serves as an advisor and family systems specialist for ECS.

Glenn Altschuler is the author or co-author of ten books. In addition to his essays in scholarly journals, he has written more than one thousand op/eds and book reviews for American Heritage Magazine, The Australian, The Baltimore Sun, Barron's Financial Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, The Jerusalem Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Observer, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR's Books We Like,, and His essays appear regularly on The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. The National Book Critics Circle has cited his work as "exemplary." Psychology Today has featured it as "essential reading." For four years he wrote a column entitled "College Prep" for the Education Life section of the New York Times.

Professor Altschuler is the recipient of the Clark Teaching Award, the Donna and Robert Paul Award for Excellence in Faculty Advising, the Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Award for Outstanding Advising, and the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship, Cornell's most prestigious award for effective, inspiring and distinguished teaching.

Glenn likes to play poker, go to the theater, walk 13,000 steps a day, and keep in touch with his former students.

Susan H. Ainslie

Placement Associate

Susan H. Ainslie

Susan earned an AAS degree in Food Service Administration from SUNY Morrisville (1968), a BS in Dietetics from Western Michigan University (1970,) and an M Ed. from St. Lawrence University (1975). Her experiences as a daughter, student, employee, wife, and mother lead to professional careers in education, school food service management, health care, and real estate. She has been a Cornell University lecturer, Cornell Cooperative Extension Agent, and a Consultant Dietitian at hospitals and nursing homes. She has served on boards of many organizations, including the Campus Club at Cornell. In addition, Susan is a past member of both The American Dietetic Association and the NYS Nutrition Council.

Dr. George J. Posner, EdD

Founder/Advising Consultant

Dr. George Posner, CEP

Dr. Posner has a B.S. in Psychology (1965), and a masters degree in Physics Teaching (1970), both from Union College, and a doctorate in curriculum and educational psychology (University at Albany, 1972). For more than forty years he has been teaching and advising youth. He has been on the faculty at Cornell University since 1972 (currently retired and Professor Emeritus of Education), where he served as both Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Education and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Posner has been an award-winning faculty member while at Cornell, the principal author of three major textbooks used around the world and more than thirty articles on teaching and curriculum. In addition, Dr. Posner served on the National Advisory Board of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Study (an independent evaluation of the DARE program) and on the Board of Education, Ithaca City School District (Ithaca, New York). He has also served as a consultant to schools, universities, foundations and states throughout the country and in several countries abroad on matters of curriculum, teaching and teacher education. This extensive background has provided the expertise needed to evaluate schools and programs and to assess their appropriateness for his clients. At Cornell and within the Ithaca community, Dr. Posner has always advocated for students with emotional and learning challenges. This commitment drew him to educational consulting and, in particular, to a focus on students with special needs. He lives in Ithaca, NY, with his wife, Adrienne, and has two married daughters, both mothers, one living in Rochester, NY, the other, a living in Greenwich, CT. He is an avid skier and is thankful for his wonderful grandchildren, who are the highlight of his life.

Latest ECS article!
"Why Wilderness Therapy Works" by Patrick Burns
Psychology Today, December 1, 2017