Meet the Team
Nicole D. Hurlbutt, Ph.D.
Nicole D. Hurlbutt, Ph.D. (she, her, hers), serves as the Associate Director for the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State. She received her Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development, Human Resource Development…
Keith R. Aronson, Ph.D.
Keith R. Aronson, Ph.D., is the Director of the Clearinghouse and is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Penn State, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Ball State University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from Rutgers University.
Daniel F. Perkins, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator & Scientist
Daniel F. Perkins, Ph.D., is the Principal Scientist (founder) of the Clearinghouse and is a Professor of Family and Youth Resiliency and Policy at Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Family and Child Ecology…
Faculty and Staff
Grejika Abram-Erby, M.S., M.P.H. earned her B.S. in Biology from Tougaloo College and her M.S. in Forensic Science, with a concentration in Molecular Biology, from Drexel University. She received her M.P.H. in Community-Oriented Primary Care from George Washington University. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse family, Grejika evaluated projects with the D.C. Department of Health as well as the Leadership Council for Healthy Communities in Washington, D.C. and served as a mental health technician in Centre Hall, PA. Grejika’s research interests focus on improving the health and well-being of vulnerable communities through increased access to tools, resources, and services, while also engaging communities via collaborative partnerships with advocacy groups, researchers, and other professionals. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, cooking, watching movies, and laughing with her family and friends. Grejika is excited for the opportunity to help strengthen military families.
Brandon Balotti, M.S., received a B.S. in Psychology from Slippery Rock University and a M.S. in Psychological Science from Shippensburg University. He is interested in applied research—especially of education programs on the topics of health, nutrition, and well-being. Outside of the office, he enjoys traveling, hiking, and learning computer programming. He also enjoys a good book and cup (or more) of coffee.
Lisa Bell, a Research and Evaluation Associate, received her B.S. in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from the University of West Florida. She is currently pursuing an M.S.W. from Widener University. Prior to her work at the Clearinghouse, she worked with New York University as a Research Scientist on the pilot of the Army Family Advocacy Program transition to the Incident Determination Committee. Lisa is a military spouse and is passionate about helping other military families whenever possible. When Lisa is not working, she enjoys running or working out with her family!
Mandie Boone, a Research and Evaluation Associate at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readinessat Penn State, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Social Sciences from Mount Aloysius Collegein 2007. Prior to her work at the Clearinghouse, Mandie worked as a preschool teacher for Hort Woods Child Centerat Penn State, and she has worked in the field of mental health for seven years as the Mental Health TechnicianManager and Staff Development Coordinator at the Meadows Psychiatric Center. Mandie is a military spouse, and sheis passionate about improving the health and well-being of our military Service members and their families. Mandieenjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Kristi Brawley received her B.S. in Management from the Louisiana State University. She is a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and was deployed in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Being a military member, military spouse, and a parent, she understands the challenges and opportunities that face our military communities. At the Clearinghouse, she is passionate about assisting partners with implementing evidence-based programs that will have a positive impact on Service members and their families.
Molly Burns, M.A., a Research and Evaluation Associate, received her M.A. from Duquesne University in Communication Rhetoric and her B.A. from Westminster College in Broadcast Communications with minors in Speech and Theater. For 15 years, Molly taught courses in Communication at Penn State Altoona and Saint Francis University. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy traveling and performing with theater groups in the area.
Ryan Chesnut, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. in Communication Arts & Sciences, with a specialization in Family Communication, from Penn State. He received his M.A. in Communication and his B.S. in Communication from Southern Illinois University – Edwarsdville. His research primarily focuses on understanding how parent-child interaction shapes children’s developmental outcomes. He is particularly interested in investigating how parenting prevention and intervention programs can be harnessed to strengthen parent-child relationships and promote child well-being. His current work at the Clearinghouse focuses on the dissemination, implementation, and evaluation of a suite of parenting programs that have been adopted by the Department of Defense to support military families. He is also currently working on understanding how moral injuries that military personnel suffer during their service impact relational functioning. This work will help to inform family prevention and intervention services designed to strengthen Service member resilience and promote successful reintegration into family life.
Derek Croad, Learning Designer, received his M.A. in Higher Education and Adult Learning from Michigan State University and a B.A. in Education from the University of Michigan. He began his career as a K-12 classroom and mentor teacher and has been an instructional designer, developing engaging and authentic online courses, for the past 10 years.
Katie Davenport, Ph.D., a Research and Evaluation Scientist, received her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Agricultural and Extension Education with a focus on applied program development and evaluation. She received her M.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois. Her research interests include program evaluation and implementation. Katie appreciates translational research and discovering practical solutions to problems and applying science to practice and public policy. Katie joined the Clearinghouse in 2012 and has contributed to a wide range of projects related to research, program development, program evaluation, and implementation support for programs that support military family and veteran well-being. Her current work at the Clearinghouse focuses on the application of evaluation strategies to assess the impact of programs and policies that serve veterans.
Elise F. Dreibelbis is the Editor for the Clearinghouse, and she earned her B.A. in English – writing option from the Pennsylvania State University. She has used her professional editing skills in the following disciplines: Business, Continuing and Distance Education, Education, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geology, History, and Political Science. She has served as Editorial Coordinator for two professional Journals: The Association of Continuing Higher Education and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Elise joined the Clearinghouse in 2012 and is very excited to be working in a field which positively impacts military personnel and their families. She is married and has four children, all four of whom have received their bachelor’s degrees from Penn State. She is the proud mom of an Army veteran.
Phillip L. Ealy, M.P.S., earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from West Virginia State University, and a Master’s degree in Organization Development and Change from The Pennsylvania State University. Phillip is a retired Army Officer who has spent time working with foreign military around the world including Korea, Czech Republic, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Romania to name a few. His interest includes leadership and organization development. Phillip is passionate about military families and the challenges they face on a daily basis.
Forziat Pytel, Kellie
Jerah Griggs, M.Ed., L.P.C., a Research and Evaluation Associate, received her M.Ed. in Counseling from Georgia Southern University. She received her B.S. from Campbell University where she majored in Social Science and minored in Government. Jerah joined the Clearinghouse in 2016 and has worked on a variety of projects that have focused on the implementation and evaluation of mental health programs for Service members and military families. Having been an active-duty military spouse for over 20 years, and with a background in mental health, Jerah has worked to advocate for military Service members and their families for many years.
Cristin Hall, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the College of Education at Penn State and a faculty affiliate of the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness, received her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Penn State. She received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Cristin received her doctoral training from the Penn State School Psychology Program. Cristin is a licensed psychologist and has had many clinical and school-based experiences with children and adults in a variety of settings including residential treatment, community mental health, corrections, and private practice. Her previous work as a research scientist for the Clearinghouse and for the Child Study Centers at Penn State sparked her interest in the dissemination of evidence-based practice using the internet and other technology-assisted platforms. She is committed to assisting with Clearinghouse projects that utilize technology-assisted delivery platforms to help serve remote and underserved families. Further, she is committed to school-based implementation of prevention and intervention for social, emotional, and behavioral adjustment.
Mark Hixon received his B.S. in Information Sciences and Technology from the Pennsylvania State University with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. After graduation, he worked for Dell EMC in Pittsburgh but decided to return to Penn State and began working for the Clearinghouse in 2018. Mark diagnoses and resolves personal computer problems and consults with individuals to help them collaborate and streamline projects. Mark enjoys tennis, biking, recording music, and playing video games.
Brooke Kanaskie, M.S.P.M., a Research Project Manager, received her M.S. in Project Management from the Pennsylvania State University and her B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech University. Brooke is a Project Manager for the Penn State Schools Empowering At-Risk Students (SEAS) Team. She was previously a research assistant for the Child Study Center in the Psychology Department at Penn State under the direction of Dr. Karen Bierman and project manager for Project RESPECT under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Frank. Brooke has worked in a variety of research settings, including biology, biochemistry, psychology, and educational development.
Jennifer Karre, Ph.D., a Research and Evaluation Scientist, received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include fathering, parenting, and program evaluation. She is also interested in using data visualization techniques to effectively communicate research findings. Her work at the Clearinghouse has centered on program evaluation and data visualization.
Ray Kiser, Graphic Designer, received her B.S. in in Graphic and Web Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a B.S.Ed. in Art Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She spent 4 years as the University Graphic Designer for Indiana University of Pennsylvania before joining the Clearinghouse. In addition to graphic design, she enjoys video game design, digital illustration, and animation.
Kristen Lawton, M.S., is a Research Project Manager with the Clearinghouse. She earned an M.S. and B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse team, Kristen managed research projects and outreach initiatives related to child obesity prevention. At the Clearinghouse, Kristen manages a research project to assess Family Advocacy Program outreach effectiveness. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three dogs and traveling.
Luckey Goudelock, Jessa
Jessa Luckey Goudelock, Ph.D., is a Research Project Support Specialist for the Clearinghouse. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and a B.S. in Human Development from Howard University. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, Jessa worked in all levels of education as a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist, gifted program director, and professor. As a military spouse, Jessa is passionate about enriching the lives of military families. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, reading, and spending time with her family.
Jessica Lynch, a Research and Evaluation Associate, earned her M.S.W. from Syracuse University and her B.S.W. from Plattsburgh State University. For 16 years, she has managed family advocacy programs and provided clinical treatment to children, adolescents, families, and couples. She is passionate about providing education to military families to mitigate stress and enhance quality of life. She is a military spouse and enjoys spending time with family, exploring outdoors, and photography.
Brittny Mathies, Ph.D., a Research Project Manager, is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Auburn University, her M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of Alabama, and her B.A. in Psychology from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, Brittny worked as a director at a large non-profit organization where she oversaw research, strategic initiatives, and after-school programming. She has also taught several undergraduate-level courses in child and adolescent development.
Timothy Mazer received his B.S. in Secondary Education and History from Bloomsburg University. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, he worked as a lead teacher for a cyber school and provided training and support services to his colleagues. He is interested in the research, dissemination, implementation, and evaluation of school-based programs that improve the well-being of at-risk student populations.
Matt McGee, M.Ed., graduated with his B.S. in Psychology and his M.Ed. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Penn State. He is passionate about creating engaging learning materials and designing interactive learning experiences.
Nicole R. Morgan, Ph.D., received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Dakota and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She takes a developmental approach and applies advanced statistical analysis to evaluate prevention programs designed to reduce child maltreatment, post-traumatic stress, and improve well-being for Veterans and their families. Dr. Morgan has extensive experience in data management, measurement, program evaluation, and analysis. She has been data manager and analyst for The Veterans Metrics Initiative, a longitudinal study utilizing an innovative method for understanding the relationship between program components and Veteran well-being. Dr. Morgan’s experience with analytic models includes weighted data analysis, matched propensity, and longitudinal growth models. Prior to entering college, Nicole served five years in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Traffic Control Radar Specialist and Quality Control Specialist.
Christopher Nebgen is a Programmer/Analyst working with the Learning Design and Communications team. He received his A.A.S. from The South Hills School of Business and Technology. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, Christopher worked for Forever Media, LLC, and for vCreative, LLC, as a developer and system administrator.
Jillian Rodgers, M.P.S., earned her M.P.S. in Community and Economic Development and her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University. Jillian’s research interests include international development, policy, and the evaluation of community-based programs.
Jessie H. Rudi, Ph.D., received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota and her B.S. with honors in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University. Jessie is passionate about utilizing her quantitative skills and developmental mindset to solve complex data problems and answer applied research questions. Her research has examined technology use in the family context, parent-child relationships and parenting adolescents, program engagement and evaluation, and financial well-being during the transition to adulthood.
Terri Rudy, M.P.A., earned her M.P.A. and B.A. (Psychology) from Penn State University. Terri is a Research and Evaluation Associate at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness and the Project Manager for the Resource Center for Improving Family Health Behaviors. She joined the Clearinghouse in 2012 and, currently, manages the outreach and communication efforts for several applied social science research projects. Terri has been involved in the development and implementation of programs and projects that focus on promoting health among military families, including the programs that fall within the THRIVE Initiative.
Tara Saathoff-Wells, Ph.D., CFLE (Certified Family Life Educator) earned her M.S. in family relations and child development at Oklahoma State University, received her doctorate in organizational culture and family development from the University of Alabama in 2000, and became a certified family life educator in 2011. Her research focuses on strengths and challenges experienced by highly mobile families, early intervention, and parent education and home visitation programming. She recently co-authored a textbook on military families and taught a variety of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) courses including a course on military family life, during her time as a faculty member at both Central Michigan University and the University of Central Florida.
Jennifer Smith, M.Ed., earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Communication Arts at Clarion University in 2000. She completed her graduate work in 2008 at Lancaster Bible College and earned her M.Ed. in School Counseling. Outside of her work with the Clearinghouse, Jennifer’s interests include being a group fitness instructor, running, theater and music performance, and being a mom of four children.
Robert Urbassik, Ph.D., is a Research and Evaluation Scientist with the Schools Empowering At-Risk Students (SEAS) Team at the Clearinghouse. He received his Ph.D. and M.Ed. in School Psychology from Penn State and his B.A. in Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College. Robert has experience serving students ages 2 to 22 in school-based and private practice settings. His previous experience as a practicing school psychologist helped create his interest in evidence-based practice and research dissemination. As a member of the SEAS team, he works to implement systemic change to increase positive academic, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for military-connected students. His research interests include social, emotional, and behavioral readiness and functioning of school-age children; school-based systems to support positive student outcomes; and program implementation and evaluation for military-connected students.
Avery Urusow graduated from The Pennsylvania College of Technology with an A.A. in Advertising Art,and Temple University with a B.S. in Advertising. Although classified as a graphic designer, Avery also enjoysillustration, animation, and anything else art related.
Brett Weldon is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences with a minor in Organizational Leadership for Nonprofits. Brett is currently working on earning his Master’s degree in Public Administration at Penn State. His current professional interests are concentrated on program design, development, and evaluation.
Lisa White, M.Ag., a Research and Evaluation Associate, earned her M.Ag. in Horticulture and her B.A. in Anthropology from Penn State. Lisa joined the Clearinghouse in 2014 and has led a variety of research, evaluation, and cost-benefit analysis projects in partnership with the Army, Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For almost a decade prior to joining the Clearinghouse team, Lisa was a project manager at Penn State’s Survey Research Center. Lisa has applied research experience in both the natural and social sciences. Most recently, Lisa has managed projects that focus on the military’s Family Advocacy Program, which is a program designed to help prevent and treat intimate partner violence and child maltreatment within military families. Lisa is gratified to be part of an organization with a mission to help support and foster the resilience and well-being of the military community.
Savanna Woika, M.Ed., received her master’s degree in counseling education and her B.S. in Rehabilitation from Penn State. At the Clearinghouse, she has worked as a graduate assistant and as a research assistant for the Schools Empowering At-Risk Students (SEAS) project since January of 2019. She is excited to be working with the SEAS team because it is an opportunity to positively affect the school experiences of thousands of military-connected children.
Sing Wong, M.Ed., received his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, with a focus in Curriculum Development, from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. in Finance from Penn State. Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, Sing worked in several different roles, from instructional production to learning design, that have centered around curriculum development and online learning. His research interests include the use of education technologies and learning sciences in creating effective communities of learning. Outside of the office, Sing enjoys spending time with his family and his dog.
Melissa Zack, Ph.D., earned a B.A. in Sport and Exercise Science, an M.S. in Nutrition in Sport andChronic Disease, and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences. Melissa enjoys spending her free time walking, weighttraining, reading, and being with friends and family.
Juliana Boucher is a Graduate Assistant and earned a B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology at Penn State.