Personnel

CYFS Faculty


Susan Sheridan

Susan Sheridan

Director

64 CPEH
402-472-6941
ssheridan2@unl.edu

Biography
Lisa Knoche

Lisa Knoche

Co-Director

66 CPEH
lknoche2@unl.edu

Biography
James Bovaird

James Bovaird

Co-Director, MAP Academy

36 TEAC
jbovaird2@unl.edu

Biography
Katie Edwards

Katie Edwards

Associate Professor

160B WHIT
katie.edwards@unl.edu

Biography
Natalie Koziol

Natalie Koziol

Research Assistant Professor

75 CPEH
nkoziol@unl.edu

Biography
W. Alex Mason

W. Alex Mason

Professor

36 CPEH
wmason2@unl.edu

Biography
Gwen Nugent

Gwen Nugent

Research Professor

41 CPEH
gnugent1@unl.edu

Biography
Lorey Wheeler

Lorey Wheeler

Co-Director, MAP Academy
Research Associate Professor

71 CPEH
lorey@unl.edu

Biography
Amanda Witte

Amanda Witte

Research Assistant Professor

57 CPEH
402-472-2490
awitte2@unl.edu

Biography
HyeonJin Yoon

HyeonJin Yoon

Research Assistant Professor

61 CPEH
hyoon5@unl.edu

Biography

Postdoctoral Scholars


Donna Chen

Donna Chen

Postdoctoral Research Associate, MAP Academy

39 CPEH
donna.chen@huskers.unl.edu

Biography

Donna Chen


Donna Chen is a doctoral student in the Quantitative, Qualitative and Psychometric Methods program. She is currently working on mediation analysis and bootstrapping.

Joseph Gardella

Joseph Gardella

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory

162B WHIT
joseph.gardella@unl.edu

Biography

Joseph Gardella


Joseph Gardella is a mixed-methods community and applied social psychologist whose research focuses on better understanding individual and systemic causes of positive youth development in school settings, particularly with historically marginalized populations. His work focuses on developing, implementing and evaluating prevention and intervention programming and informing policy efforts, especially building structural interventions that increase opportunities to grow relationships and coach targeted skills. Gardella earned his Ph.D. in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University.

Project Personnel


Nicole Adams

Nicole Adams

Project Coordinator, INSIGHTS in Nebraska

33 CPEH
nadams4@unl.edu

Biography

Nicole Adams


Nicole Adams is a project coordinator for INSIGHTS in Nebraska. She provides day-to-day assistance to the project manager in coordinating all aspects of the project and assists with all necessary activities of data collection, cleaning and coding, liaison with school districts and intervention implementation. Adams earned her master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Marianne Andersen

Marianne Andersen

Research Coordination Specialist, Learning Frontiers

60 CPEH
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.

Emily Arkfeld

Emily Arkfeld

Social-Emotional and Behavioral Learning Specialist, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

emily.arkfeld@unl.edu

Biography

Emily Arkfeld


Emily Arkfeld is a Social-Emotional and Behavioral Learning (SEBL) Specialist with Nebraska's Multi-Tiered System of Support (NeMTSS) project. She provides professional development, technical assistance and coaching to educators regarding the social-emotional and behavioral learning needs of educators and students across the state. Arkfeld has spent nearly a decade as a school social worker and training new Child and Family Services Specialists for the State of Nebraska. She is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed mental health professional, and earned a master's degree in social work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Emma Brunke

Emma Brunke

Family-School Partnership Coach, TAPP Online

49 CPEH
emma.brunke@unl.edu

Biography

Emma Brunke


Emma Brunke is a family-school partnership coach with the TAPP Online project. In this role, she implements the Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) coaching framework to support school-based specialists as they work with parents and teachers to build partnerships between home and school to address social-behavioral concerns of students in elementary school. She previously worked at CEDARS Youth Services as an associate director, where she supported the Early Childhood Development Center, Community Learning Centers and Prevention Services. Brunke holds a master’s degree in education from Loyola University-Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Joan Carraher

Joan Carraher

Facilitator, INSIGHTS in Nebraska

62 CPEH
308-497-2411
s-jcarrah2@unl.edu

Biography

Joan Carraher


Joan Carraher is an INSIGHTS facilitator for the central Nebraska cohort. INSIGHTS in Nebraska is 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. Carraher has experience as a public school teacher, principal and superintendent and joined the INSIGHTS team after retirement from Pk-12 education.

Daniela-Cubas

Daniela Cubas

Data Collector, TAPP Online

60 CPEH

dcubas2@unl.edu

Biography

Daniela Cubas


Daniela Cubas is a data collector/coder for TAPP Online, part of the Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) research program. She is responsible for on-site coding and phone and digital data collection. She works with schools and communicates broadly using bilingual skills to capture diverse data from research participants. Cubas holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Peru State College.

Kristen Derr

Kristen Derr

Project Manager, TAPP Para Familias Latinas

59 CPEH
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

Project Manager, TAPP Online

53 CPEH
402-472-2018
lescobedo2@unl.edu

Biography

Laura Escobedo


Laura Escobedo is a project manager for TAPP Online, part of the Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) research program. She is responsible for managing on-site data collection scheduling and activities, maintaining communications with school personnel, providing point-person access to rural schools, service units, and other field staff in distant and remote areas assuring seamless study activities. Escobedo earned a 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

Project Manager, INSIGHTS in Nebraska

37 CPEH
jeum@unl.edu

Biography

Jungwon Eum


Jungwon Eum is project manager for INSIGHTS in Nebraska. She provides leadership in research and implementation and manages large-scale projects and 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. Eum received her master’s degree in child and family studies from the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

Sommer Fousek

Sommer Fousek

Project Manager, Coaching in Early Intervention

62 CPEH
sfousek2@unl.edu

Biography

Sommer Fousek


Sommer Fousek is the project manager for the Coaching in Early Intervention project, which aims to develop and refine an early childhood coaching model to increase the use of evidence-based practices among early intervention personnel and improve outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities. She serves as the project manager for the Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research (NAECR). NAECR provides resources and supports to early childhood researchers across the University of Nebraska system and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration. Fousek also supports the Early Learning Network Lead project. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Jill Guenther

Jill Guenther

Social-Emotional and Behavioral Learning Specialist, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

jguenther10@unl.edu

Biography

Jill Guenther


Jill Guenther is a Social-Emotional and Behavioral Learning (SEBL) Specialist with Nebraska’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (NeMTSS) project. She provides professional development and coaching focusing on social-emotional and behavioral learning needs to support educators and students across the state. Guenther earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of South Dakota and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska Kearney. She has spent the last 15 years — first as speech-language pathologist, then in special education leadership — providing training, support and services to students and staff at the secondary level.

Maureen Halpenny

Maureen Halpenny

Project Coordinator, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

162 WHIT
maureen.halpenny@unl.edu

Biography

Maureen Halpenny


Maureen Halpenny is a project coordinator for the Nebraska MTSS (NeMTSS) project. She provides logistical, technical, organization and communications support to the statewide NeMTSS Implementation Support Team while it works to empower educators to support and prepare all students for success by systematically delivering a range of high-quality instruction. Originally from Omaha, Halpenny earned bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics education from Boston University.

Tamara Hechtner-Galvin

Tamara Hechtner-Galvin

Project Coordinator, Getting Ready 0-3

21 CPEH
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

33 CPEH
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.

Cynthia Kritenbrink

Cynthia Kritenbrink

Early Childhood Coach, Getting Ready 0-3

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.

Robin Mills

Robin Mills

Family-School Partnership Coach, TAPP Online

65 CPEH
rmills8@unl.edu

Biography

Robin Mills


Robin Mills is a family-school partnership coach with the Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) Online project. Her work focuses on bringing parents, teachers and school specialists together to develop constructive relationships and support positive outcomes for children with behavioral needs. Mills has 13 years of experience in public school administration and special education services. She earned a bachelor's degree in theatre performance from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, a master's degree in communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a master's degree in educational leadership from Doane University.

Mackenzie Riedel

Mackenzie Riedel

Social-Emotional and Behavioral Learning Specialist, NeMTSS Implementation Support Team

mriedel2@unl.edu

Biography

Mackenzie Riedel


Mackenzie Riedel is a Social-Emotional and Behavioral Learning (SEBL) Specialist with Nebraska’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (NeMTSS). She provides professional development, technical assistance and coaching to educators regarding the social-emotional and behavioral learning needs of educators and students across the state. Riedel earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master’s and specialist degree in school psychology from Appalachian State University. Originally from Lincoln, she returned to Nebraska and worked as a school psychologist prior to joining the CYFS team.

Sandra Scruggs

Sandra Scruggs

Early Childhood Research Technician, Getting Ready 0-3

45 CPEH
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 earned her master’s in nutrition, with an emphasis in public health, from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson

Research Coordination Specialist, TAPP Online

kwatson17@unl.edu

Biography

Kathryn Watson


Kathryn Watson is a research consultant based in Colorado working with the TAPP Online project. In this role, she implements the Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) coaching framework to support school-based specialists as they work with parents and teachers to build partnerships between home and school to address social-behavioral concerns of students in elementary school. Watson previously worked in K-12 education as a social studies teacher. She earned a master's degree in integrated marketing from Marist College and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary social sciences: secondary education from Michigan State University and is working on her Ph.D. in education leadership, research and policy from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Katie Zabel

Katie Zabel

Early Childhood Coach, Getting Ready 0-3

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. Zabel 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


Istiaque Ali

Istiaque Ali

Lead Database Developer & Analyst

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.

Austin Druse

Austin Druse

Communications & Media Associate

162J WHIT
adruse2@unl.edu

Biography

Austin Druse


Austin is a visual storyteller that uses video and other forms of multimedia to support the mission of CYFS. Austin also assists in day-to-day operations for the Center. He graduated from Hastings College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Journalism.

Julie Erickson

Julie Erickson

Administrative Coordinator

160 WHIT
julie.erickson@unl.edu

Biography

Julie Erickson


Julie Erickson provides administrative support to the director and oversees office management. She works collaboratively with grant support personnel to achieve a high-level of efficiency and productivity in the pre-award process. A native Nebraskan, Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Julie Gillmor

Julie Gillmor

Proposal Development Coordinator

162E WHIT
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

162J WHIT
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 and events, assists with email marketing and social media, creates and updates website content, and manages the contact database. Originally from Lincoln, Chuck earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Tina Horan

Tina Horan

Assistant Director for Research Operations

162C WHIT
tina.horan@unl.edu

Biography

Tina Horan


Tina Horan leads the research business/organizational operations of CYFS. She provides leadership and oversight for the center's fiscal operation, including budget monitoring, analysis and forecasting, and helps develop and implement business plans, policies and procedures. Tina is from Nebraska City and earned her bachelor's degree in finance/business administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Matilda Kond

Matilda Kond

Database Developer & Analyst

63 CPEH
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.

Braxton Lindhorst

Braxton Lindhorst

Grant Specialist

162G WHIT
braxton.lindhorst@unl.edu

Biography

Braxton Lindhorst


Braxton Lindhorst analyzes grant budgets and expenditures, initiates grant budget reports and reconciles monthly budgets. He also assists in the development of proposal budgets, grant extensions and budget modification.

Dana Ludvik

Dana Ludvik

Communications & Media Specialist

162H WHIT
dludvik2@unl.edu

Biography

Dana Ludvik


Dana Ludvik works closely with CYFS 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.

Maggie Montoya

Maggie Montoya

Proposal Development Coordinator

162E WHIT
maggie.montoya@unl.edu

Biography

Maggie Montoya


Maggie Montoya 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.

Jeff Mueri

Jeff Mueri

Grants Specialist

162G WHIT
jmueri@unl.edu

Biography

Jeff Mueri


Jeff Mueri assists in the development of proposal budgets, grant extensions and budget modifications while working with multiple team and department members to ensure the project reaches full potential. He also analyzes grant budgets and expenditures, initiates grant budget reports and reconciles monthly budgets.

Kyleigh Skaggs

Kyleigh Skaggs

Visual Communications Designer

162H WHIT
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 Arts in visual communication and design from the University of Nebraska Kearney.

Seth Teager

Seth Teager

Communications & Media Manager

160D WHIT
402-499-7974
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)

160E WHIT
rvoigtlander2@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
Madison Atwater CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Kirstie Bash CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative, & Psychometric Methods UNL
Austin Bolton CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Karalynn Brown CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rae Bullinger CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Anna Burton CEHS Child Development/Early Childhood Education Child, Youth & Family Studies UNL
Emily Camp CEHS Educational Psychology Counseling Psychology UNL
Bailey Cerveny CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Donna Chen CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative and Psychometric Methods UNL
Keting Chen CEHS Child Development/Early Childhood Education Child, Youth & Family Studies UNL
Dongho (Tom) Choi CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative and Psychometric Methods UNL
Miriam Crinion CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Kailee Groshans CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Bailey Hinrichs CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rebekah Hutchinson CEHS Special Education & Communication Disorders Speech-Language Pathology UNL
Catie Jones CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Samantha Kesselring CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Hannah Kerby CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Madison Lawler CAS Psychology Developmental Psychology UNL
Amelia Miramonti CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Jayden Nord CEHS Educational Psychology Quantitative, Qualitative, & Psychometric Methods UNL
Rebecca Overfield CEHS Educational Psychology School 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
Abril Rangel-Pacheco CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Rachel Schumacher CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Cody Solesbee CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Cassidy Spradlin CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Fabianne Tavares Gondim CEHS Child, Youth & Family Studies Human Development and Family Science UNL
Jeffrey Tlamka CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Renata Trefiglio Mendes Gomes CEHS Child, Youth & Family Studies Early Learning Network UNL
Brittany Tvrdy CEHS Educational Psychology School Psychology UNL
Yao Yao CEHS Child Youth & Family Studies Human Development and Family Science UNL