Faculty

Susan Sheridan

Susan Sheridan Director, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools

Susan Sheridan provides leadership in establishing and furthering the vision and mission of CYFS. She collaborates with university-wide research initiatives, conceptualizes new research programs and provides direction for center staff. Her support of research team activities includes grant proposal evaluation and writing.

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Jim Bovaird

James Bovaird Co-Director, Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics

Jim Bovaird directs the Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics, which provides statistical and methodological support to researchers. He oversees MAP Academy staff, training and workshops, and conducts research to advance sophisticated analytical models.

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Leslie Hawley

Leslie Hawley Research Assistant Professor

Leslie Hawley provides psychometric, methodological, and evaluation support for CYFS affiliates. She also offers analytical support for complex survey and assessment data such as the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey and the Programme for International Student Assessment.

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Michelle Howell Smith

Michelle Howell Smith Research Assistant Professor

Michelle Howell Smith brings expertise in mixed methods research design to the MAP Academy. Her research interests include educational supports for at-risk students, increasing women and underrepresented students in STEM fields, and best practices for developing surveys and assessments.

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Tanya Ihlo

Tanya Ihlo Research Associate Professor

Tanya Ihlo develops and provides project-related training, professional development sessions and guidance documents. She is currently the lead project manager for the Nebraska Multi-tiered System of Supports Implementation Support Team.

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Lisa Knoche

Lisa Knoche Research Associate Professor

Lisa Knoche develops, implements and evaluates early childhood intervention and prevention programming. She works closely with researchers and community partners to develop research proposals and implement investigations. Her role includes research administration, data management and analyses, as well as research dissemination. Knoche also directs CYFS' Nebraska Early Childhood Research Academy.

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Gina Kunz

Gina Kunz Research Associate Professor

Gina Kunz promotes and organizes interdisciplinary research teams whose research relates to the center’s mission. In addition to participating in center-supported research projects and teams, she monitors grant-funding opportunities, edits grants, and assists in proposal preparation and submission.

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Gwen Nugent

Gwen Nugent Research Professor

Gwen Nugent supports faculty in the preparation of grant proposals and organizes development activities to support faculty research and grant writing. She promotes and participates in interdisciplinary research projects and teams, and assists in grant management of ongoing center projects.

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Lorey Wheeler

Lorey Wheeler Research Assistant Professor

Lorey Wheeler provides statistical, methodological, and design support for CYFS affiliates. Her methodological interests include prevention science, dyadic data, and latent profile analysis. She also conducts research on risk and protective factors related to Latino youth and families’ psychosocial, educational, and health outcomes.

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