Personnel

CYFS Faculty


Susan Sheridan

Susan Sheridan

Director

160A WHIT
402-472-6941
ssheridan2@unl.edu

Biography
James Bovaird

James Bovaird

Director, Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics

36 TEAC
402-472-6945
jbovaird2@unl.edu

Biography
Michelle Howell Smith

Michelle Howell Smith

Research Assistant Professor

271 LPH
402-472-1821
mhowellsmith@unl.edu

Biography
Lisa Knoche

Lisa Knoche

Research Associate Professor

238 TEAC
402-472-4821
lknoche2@unl.edu

Biography
Natalie Koziol

Natalie Koziol

Research Assistant Professor

267 LPH
402-472-4287
nkoziol@unl.edu

Biography
Gwen Nugent

Gwen Nugent

Research Professor

201B LPH
402-472-1009
gnugent1@unl.edu

Biography
Lorey Wheeler

Lorey Wheeler

Research Associate Professor

160D WHIT
402-472-6944
lorey@unl.edu

Biography
Amanda Witte

Amanda Witte

Research Assistant Professor

162H WHIT
402-472-2490
awitte2@unl.edu

Biography

Postdoctoral Scholars


Katherine Cheng

Katherine Cheng

Postdoctoral Research Associate

162F WHIT
kat.cheng@unl.edu

Biography

Katherine Cheng


Kat Cheng is a postdoctoral research associate at CYFS. She supports data management and analysis for the Getting Ready project, and is the lead for establishing its online database. Cheng also provides analytical support for Teacher and Parents as Partners, exploring intervention effects of conjoint behavioral consultation. She earned her Ph.D. in family and human development, with a specialization in measurement and statistical analysis, from Arizona State University. She also holds a master’s degree in psychology from New York University. Cheng uses quantitative methods — repeated measures, longitudinal and categorical data analysis — to address research questions that pertain to child and youth development concerning behaviors, achievement, health and relationships. Her research interests also include assessing salivary biomarkers to examine stress regulation and predictors of well-being.

Project Personnel


Marianne Andersen

Marianne Andersen

Research Coordination Specialist, Learning Frontiers

162H WHIT
402-472-2018
mandersen3@unl.edu

Biography

Marianne Andersen


Marianne Andersen is a research coordination specialist for the Learning Frontiers: Pre-K to Grade 3 project, part of the national Early Learning Network. She assists with parent and teacher recruitment and retention, data collection in rural and urban Nebraska, and data collector training and scheduling. Andersen has more than 13 years of experience working with children and families. She earned a master’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Jentry Barrett

Jentry Barrett

Project Manager, INSIGHTS in Nebraska

215A LPH
402-472-4299
jbarrett3@unl.edu

Biography

Jentry Barrett


Jentry Barrett is the project manager for INSIGHTS in Nebraska, a comprehensive social-emotional learning intervention for kindergarten and first-grade students in rural schools that includes parent, teacher and classroom components. She manages recruitment, data collection, data management and team personnel. Barrett’s research interests include teacher professional development and understanding how professional development can create long-term changes in teaching practices. Barrett is currently a doctoral candidate in Child, Youth and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Lynette Block

Lynette Block

Project Manager, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

402-366-5766
lblock2@unl.edu

Biography

Lynette Block


Lynette Block is project manager on the Implementation Support Team for Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support (NeMTSS). In collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), Block provides training, technical assistance, research and development to school districts statewide in developing their MTSS process. MTSS is an educational framework for continuous improvement, problem-solving and decision-making. Her work focuses on supporting districts in planning and implementing quality instruction with fidelity, collecting and analyzing data for decision-making, and providing professional development and other support to help ensure that evidence-based academic and behavioral instructional practices are in place to improve learning for all students. She previously directed the federal grant Nebraska Reading First (NRF) through NDE. In addition to supporting NRF grantees, she provided professional development and technical assistance to Nebraska school districts to help improve student reading skills using research-based practices, assessments and data collection and analysis. Block is a former professional development consultant for Educational Service Unit 6, where she worked with K-12 districts to facilitate school improvement processes and planning, curriculum development, instructional techniques and strategies, and assessment development, processes and procedures. She has many years of experience collaborating with other educators in developing reading/writing frameworks and has worked on multiple federal and state grants.

Andrea Boden

Andrea Boden

Implementation Manager, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

402-472-4894
aboden2@unl.edu

Biography

Andrea Boden


Andrea Boden manages the Implementation Support Team for Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support (NeMTSS). In collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education, she develops plans to support school districts as they implement their MTSS process. MTSS is an educational framework for continuous improvement, problem-solving and decision-making. She develops materials and resources that are used to provide training and technical assistance to school district teams. Boden and her team provide direct support to schools and use implementation science to guide their work in helping to ensure that evidence-based academic and behavioral instructional practices are in place to improve learning for all students. In addition to this project, Boden has extensive experience building systems and implementing practices that improve outcomes for youth, including working at a residential treatment center for at risk youth, reforming a large K-6 reading program and working in Australia to build a comprehensive system for education in four schools that was later replicated in more schools. Andrea holds an education specialist degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She is also a nationally certified school psychologist.

Georgia Blumenstock

Georgia Blumenstock

Research Coordination Specialist, Learning Frontiers

162G WHIT
402-472-2018
gblumenstock2@unl.edu

Biography

Georgia Blumenstock


Georgia Blumenstock is a research coordination specialist for the Learning Frontiers: Pre-K to Grade Three project. She assists in recruitment, data collection and data management. Georgia previously taught in public and private schools in Lincoln and O’Neill, Nebraska. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education/special education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Kristen Derr

Kristen Derr

Project Manager, TAPP Para Familias Latinas

160B WHIT
402-472-4875
kderr3@unl.edu

Biography

Kristen Derr


Kristen Derr is project manager for TAPP Para Familias Latinas. In this role, she manages collaborative teams of consultants, parents and teachers; maintains partnerships with school personnel; and develops working relationships with new schools and communities. Derr joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2012 as a key team member on an IES-funded study and has assisted with several projects involving the Teacher and Parents as Partners (TAPP) model. She received her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Doane College.

Laura Escobedo

Laura Escobedo

Research Coordination Specialist, Learning Frontiers

162H WHIT
402-472-2018
lescobedo2@unl.edu

Biography

Laura Escobedo


Laura Escobedo is a research coordination specialist for the Learning Frontiers: Pre-K to Grade 3 project, part of the national Early Learning Network. She schedules and tracks data collection activities, conducts trainings and assists with family and teacher recruitment and retention. Escobedo earned an master’s degree in bilingual education from Texas A&M-San Antonio and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Texas A&M University.

Jungwon Eum

Jungwon Eum

Research Coordination Specialist, Learning Frontiers

162G WHIT
402-472-2018
jeum@unl.edu

Biography

Jungwon Eum


Jungwon Eum is research coordination specialist for the Learning Frontiers: Pre-K to Grade 3 project. She trains data collectors, conducts observations, monitors data collection and manages observation data. She earned a doctoral degree in child, youth and family studies with a specialization in child development/early childhood education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She received her master’s degree in child and family studies from the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

Sommer Fousek

Sommer Fousek

Project Coordinator, Early Learning Network Lead

239 TEAC
402-472-3743
sfousek2@unl.edu

Biography

Sommer Fousek


Sommer Fousek is the project coordinator for the Early Learning Network Lead project. She develops and maintains cooperative relationships with Network research and assessment teams across the country. She also provides support for collaborative and supplemental activities. Fousek promotes Network research findings to researchers, practitioners and policymakers, and facilitates technical support for preschool development grantees and other early childhood practitioners. Fousek received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Tamara Hechtner-Galvin

Tamara Hechtner-Galvin

Project Coordinator, Getting Ready 0-3

243 TEAC
402-472-5529
thechtner2@unl.edu

Biography

Tamara Hechtner-Galvin


Tamara Hechtner-Galvin is the project coordinator for Getting Ready 0-3. This study focuses on strengthening the relationships children have with adults, as well as strengthening the partnerships between parents and their childcare providers. Collaboratively, parents and teachers identify and build on a child’s strengths, establish developmental goals, and create home-center plans to support developmentally appropriate child goals. Hechtner-Galvin's research interests include family-school partnerships, early childhood education, assessment and early intervention. She earned her doctoral degree in human development and family studies with an emphasis in early childhood education from Iowa State University.

Angela Hinrichs

Angela Hinrichs

Facilitator, INSIGHTS in Nebraska

160 WHIT
402-472-2448 
s-ahinric2@unl.edu

Biography

Angela Hinrichs


Angela Hinrichs is the facilitator for INSIGHTS in Nebraska, a comprehensive social-emotional learning intervention for kindergarten and first-grade students in rural schools that includes parent, teacher and classroom components. She works directly with students, parents and teachers in rural communities to help them learn temperament-based strategies to solve common dilemmas. She has experience teaching in public schools.

Jim Houston

Jim Houston

Science Coaching Specialist, CSI: Coaching Science Inquiry in Rural Schools

201 LPH
402-689-4244
jhouston2@unl.edu

Biography

Jim Houston


Jim Houston is a professional educator with more than 15 years of experience in rural and suburban school districts, ranging from classroom teacher to building level administration. His experiences in Nebraska public schools have allowed him to understand and reflect upon the needs of students, teachers, and administrators in the ongoing efforts for instructional improvement, as well as maximizing opportunities for student growth and performance in mathematics and science. A key aspect of Houston’s graduate studies is providing teachers with ongoing professional development in emerging instructional strategies while utilizing technology to support the learning process. He has focused on coaching as a mechanism to support not only instructional change, but also organizational change. Houston wishes to further research coaching to develop a cost-effective practice that successfully promotes student success through teacher professional development programs.

Cynthia Kritenbrink

Cynthia Kritenbrink

Early Childhood Coach, Getting Ready 0-3

402-850-6590
ckritenbrink2@unl.edu

Biography

Cynthia Kritenbrink


Cynthia Kritenbrink joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2011 to serve as an early childhood coach on the Getting Ready 0-3 project. She trains early childhood educators in the Getting Ready approach, and supports them through ongoing coaching to build strong partnerships with the parents and families they serve. Kritenbrink received her master’s degree in human development and family studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Braxton Lindhorst

Braxton Lindhorst

Project Associate, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

160 WHIT
402-472-4894
blindhorst2@unl.edu

Biography

Braxton Lindhorst


Braxton Lindhorst assists Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support program by organizing and scheduling day-to-day activities for the Implementation Support Team. He organizes technical assistance meetings/workshops, and coordinates activities such as transportation arrangements, workshop site reservations and training activities. In addition to providing general assistance to the IST specialists, his role includes interacting with school partners statewide to arrange meetings and trainings.

Amanda Prokasky

Amanda Prokasky

Project Coordinator, OLOS in Nebraska, Learning Frontiers

162F WHIT
402-472-7493
aprokasky@unl.edu

Biography

Amanda Prokasky


Amanda Prokasky is project coordinator for OLOS in Nebraska, a sub-study of the Early Learning Network. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Child, Youth & Family Studies with a specialization in child development/early childhood education, and a minor in statistics and measurement. Amanda has more than 10 years of experience working on and managing federally funded research studies. She earned her master’s degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Belle Scheef

Belle Scheef

Project Manager, Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan: Birth to Age 3 Evaluation

162J WHIT
402-472-0024
bscheef@unl.edu

Biography

Belle Scheef


Belle Scheef is the project manager for the Buffet Early Childhood Institute, Superintendent’s Early Childhood Plan: Birth to Age 3 Evaluation. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Child, Youth & Family Studies. Scheef is currently conducting her dissertation, funded by a federal grant through the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. She received her master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Sandra Scruggs

Sandra Scruggs

Early Childhood Research Technician, Getting Ready 0-3

243 TEAC
402-472-5924
sscruggs2@unl.edu

Biography

Sandra Scruggs


Sandra Scruggs has assisted with research-related tasks across multiple early childhood projects since 2007 and currently provides support for the Getting Ready project. She received her master’s in nutrition, with an emphasis in public health, from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Loretta Tabor

Loretta Tabor

Project Manager, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

402-679-7500
ltabor2@unl.edu

Biography

Loretta Tabork


Loretta Tabor is project manager on the Implementation Support Team for Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support (NeMTSS). In collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education, Tabor provides training, technical assistance, research and development to school districts statewide in developing their MTSS process. MTSS is an educational framework for continuous improvement, problem-solving and decision-making. Her work focuses on supporting districts in planning and implementing quality instruction with fidelity, collecting and analyzing data for decision-making, and providing professional development and other support to help ensure that evidence-based academic and behavioral instructional practices are in place to improve learning for all students. Additionally, Tabor partners with select Educational Service Units and state colleges in Nebraska to build consistent, sustainable and effective processes for their educational practices and implementation strategies. Tabor holds a master’s degree in reading and school administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She previously worked for Omaha Public Schools as a teacher and instructional coach before moving to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010.

Katie Zabel

Katie Zabel

Early Childhood Coach, Getting Ready 0-3

402-791-5213
kzabel3@unl.edu

Biography

Katie Zabel


Katie Zabel joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2013 to serve as an early childhood coach on the Getting Ready 0-3 project. She trains early childhood educators in the Getting Ready approach, and supports them through ongoing coaching to build strong partnerships with the parents and families they serve. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education/human development from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she also received an elementary education endorsement.

CYFS Staff


Ronda Alexander

Ronda Alexander

Outreach Coordinator

162E WHIT
402-580-0731
ralexander3@unl.edu

Biography

Ronda Alexander


Ronda Alexander assists in the development of proposal budgets, grant extensions and budget modification. She prepares and processes proposal routing forms and grants.gov forms.

Istiaque Ali

Istiaque Ali

Database Developer & Analyst

277 LPH
402-472-4013
iali@huskers.unl.edu

Biography

Istiaque Ali


Istiaque Ali develops, manages and maintains research databases. He coordinates and analyzes CYFS project data, and programs database-driven websites for the center’s projects. His role also includes the development of electronic mailing lists and dynamic programs to chart and summarize data.

Evan Coleman

Evan Coleman

Computer Technology & Web Support Associate

270 LPH
402-318-7894
ecoleman3@unl.edu

Biography

Evan Coleman


Evan Coleman manages CYFS technology needs, including the maintenance of computer networks, hardware and software for faculty and staff. He assists in the development and maintenance of center websites and provides support for Web-based distance communications technology.

Julie Gillmor

Julie Gillmor

Proposal Development Coordinator

201 LPH
402-472-1947
julie.gillmor@unl.edu

Biography

Julie Gillmor


Julie Gillmor works with faculty, staff and graduate students to help prepare grant proposals submitted to external sponsors. She identifies funding opportunities, ensures comprehensive grant development support, organizes and coordinates proposal development and submission, and reviews and refines grant applications. Originally from Old Fort, Ohio, Julie earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Wooster in Ohio. She also has master’s degrees in health administration and public administration from Ohio State University.

Chuck Green

Chuck Green

Communications Associate

255 WHIT
402-472-2472
cgreen11@unl.edu

Biography

Chuck Green


Chuck Green collaborates with research faculty to gather information about grant-funded projects, then shares that information through articles, annual reports, promotional material and press releases across print and digital platforms. He also photographs research activities, assists with email marketing and social media, and manages the contact database. Originally from Lincoln, Chuck earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Matilda Kond

Matilda Kond

Database Developer & Analyst

275 LPH
402-472-4013
mkond2@unl.edu

Biography

Matilda Kond


Matilda Kond designs, develops and manages research databases. Her role also includes developing web interfaces and providing consultation with research staff to maintain the quality of CYFS data management systems. Originally from Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Matilda attended Nebraska's Concordia University on a soccer scholarship, where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration. She also holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Union College in Lincoln.

Dana Ludvik

Dana Ludvik

Communications & Media Specialist

255 WHIT
402-472-2472
dludvik2@unl.edu

Biography

Dana Ludvik


Dana Ludvik works closely with CFYS staff and affiliated faculty to develop and implement strategic communications that share the center’s research and help extend its impact. She engages internal and external audiences in the center’s vision and activities through social media, articles, annual reports and promotional materials. Dana is from Lincoln and earned an interdisciplinary master’s degree in marketing, communications and advertising, and a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Marj McKinty

Marj McKinty

Office Supervisor

160 WHIT
402-472-2448
mmckinty2@unl.edu

Biography

Marj McKinty


Marj McKinty supports the internal operations of CYFS through the organization and preparation of proposal submissions, information dissemination and the organization and scheduling of meetings.

Kyleigh Skaggs

Kyleigh Skaggs

Visual Communications Designer

255 WHIT
402-472-2472
kskaggs3@unl.edu

Biography

Kyleigh Skaggs


Kyleigh designs and executes visual concepts for CYFS. She approaches each design with a clear set of goals for how best to elevate the brand and effectively reach its intended audience. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Art in visual communication and design from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Katie Steffen

Katie Steffen

Business Manager/Financial Officer

160 WHIT
402-472-4894
ksteffen3@unl.edu

Biography

Katie Steffen


Katie Steffen is the main point of contact for information regarding UNL Human Resources appointments. She prepares letters of offer for new grants and contract employees, and assists with employment paperwork. Her role also includes grant budget and expenditure analysis, the initiation of grant reports for PIs and assistance with PAR reports.

Seth Teager

Seth Teager

Communications & Media Manager

255 WHIT
402-472-2472
steager2@unl.edu

Biography

Seth Teager


Seth creates purpose-driven visual communications that elevate, enhance and clearly define the brand and mission of CYFS. With an emphasis on user interface and user experience, he designs and develops websites for the center and center-based projects. He also designs print materials and provides videography for promotional and educational purposes.

Rebecca Voigtlander

Rebecca Voigtlander

Grant Specialist (Post-Award)

160 WHIT
402-472-4297
rfulkerson2@unl.edu

Biography

Rebecca Voigtlander


Rebecca Voigtlander analyzes grant budgets and expenditures, initiates grant budget reports and reconciles monthly budgets. She maintains updated hours for each staff member and creates categorized reports for hours logged per project.

Students


Name College Department Specialization Campus
Bailey Aden CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Madison Atwater CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Kirstie Bash CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative, & Psychometric Methods UNL
Rachel Beeney CEHS Special Education & Communication Disorders Speech-Language Pathology UNL
Courtney Boise CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Karalynn Brown CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rae Bullinger CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rileigh Burke CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Emily Camp CEHS Educational Psychology Counseling Psychology UNL
HeeJae Chung CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Victor Collazo Vargas Hixson-Lied CFPA Theatre Film & New Media UNL
Corinne Cominator CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Megan Conley CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Miriam Crinion CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Paul Dizona CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Valeria Sigala Dominguez CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Samantha Eastberg CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Sandra Estrada Gonzalez CEHS UNL
Evelyn Estrada Gonzalez CEHS UNL
Renata Trefiglio Mendes Gomes CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Early Learning Network UNL
Kailee Groshans CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Cassandra Hermiller CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rebekah Hutchinson CEHS Special Education & Communication Disorders Speech-Language Pathology UNL
Spencer Jackson CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Hannah Kerby CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Mary Kincheloe CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Madison Lawler CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Katelyn Loogman CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rebecca Maas CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Zachary Martin CEHS Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education UNL
Amelia Miramonti CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Amanda Nelson CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Angela Nguyen CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Nathan Nguyen COB International Business UNL
Jayden Nord CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative, & Psychometric Methods UNL
Gabriella Ochoa CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Human Development and Family Science UNL
Rebecca Overfield CEHS Educational Psychology UNL
Susan Pense CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative, & Psychometric Methods UNL
Cody Perrien CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Marriage & Family Therapy UNL
Barbara Racine CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
McKenna Ryan CEHS Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education Elementary Education (K-6) UNL
Hannah Scholes CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Brenna Schulte CEHS Special Education & Communication Disorders Speech-Language Pathology UNL
Rachel Schumacher CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Darrin Smith COB Economics UNL
Cody Solesbee CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Cassidy Spradlin CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Jared Stevens CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Fabianne Tavares Gondim CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Human Development and Family Science UNL
Hannah Terrell CAS Psychology UNL
Jeffrey Tlamka CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rosa Torres CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Marriage & Family Therapy UNL
Yao Yao CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Human Development and Family Science UNL