A Penn State Applied Research Center

Meet the Team

We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers, scientists, learning designers, and digital creatives committed to providing outstanding support. We’re here to partner with professionals who provide programs and services to military service members, veterans, and their families. Our team is comprised of more than 50 full-time employees located within the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at Penn State.

Leadership Team

 
 
Nicole D. Hurlbutt, Ph.D.

Nicole D. Hurlbutt, Ph.D.

Associate Director

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

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Keith R. Aronson, Ph.D.

Keith R. Aronson, Ph.D.

Director

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.

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Daniel F. Perkins, Ph.D.

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…

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Faculty and Staff

Abram-Erby, Grejika
Grejika Abram-Erby

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.

Grejika Abram-Erby, M.S., M.P.H.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Bailey, Robin
No Photo

Robin Bailey is the Proposal and Award Generalist for the Clearinghouse. She received an A.B.A. (associate degree in Business Administration: Accounting) from South Hills School of Business and Technology. Robin is a Navy veteran, and she served as a Logistics Specialist for 22 years. Robin joined the Clearinghouse in 2022. Her current work at the Clearinghouse focuses on sponsored research administration that includes pre-award and post-award administration. She enjoys good weather and is interested in collecting “old stuff.”

Robin Bailey

Proposal and Award Generalist

Phone: 814-865-2644

Balotti, Brandon
brandon Balotti

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.

Brandon Balotti, M.S.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Phone: 814-865-4720

Beaston, Micah
Micah Beaston

Micah Beaston, DSW LSW, is an Implementation Specialist on the Technical Assistance team at the Clearinghouse. She earned a DSW in Social Work Leadership and Education from Millersville University, an MSW in Social Work from Widener University, and BSW in Social Work from Shippensburg University. Before coming to the Clearinghouse, she worked in schools as a school social worker and mental health coordinator in districts in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Micah is a licensed social worker and is interested in research and projects with a focus on trauma, well-being, education, youth, and families.

Micah Beaston, DSW, LSW

Implementation Specialist

Bell, Lisa
Lisa Bell

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!

 

Lisa Bell

Research and Evaluation Associate 

Boone, Mandie

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.

Mandie Boone

Research and Evaluation Associate

Brawley, Kristi
Kristi Brawley

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.

Kristi Brawley

Research Project Manager

Burns, Molly
Molly Riva

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.

 

Molly Burns, M.A.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Phone: 814-865-7419

Chesnut, Ryan
Ryan Chesnut, Ph.D.

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.

Ryan Chesnut, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Croad, Derek
Derek Croad, M.A.

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.

Derek Croad, M.A.

Learning Designer

Davenport, Katie
Katie E. Davenport, M.A.

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.

Katie E. Davenport, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Phone: 814-865-7408

Dreibelbis, Elise
Elise Dreibelbis

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.

Elise Dreibelbis

Editor

Phone: 814-865-0618

Ealy, Phillip
Phillip Ealy

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.

Phillip L. Ealy, M.P.S.

CYFAR Coach

Phone: 814-865-7406

Forziat Pytel, Kellie
Kellie Pytel

Kellie Forziat Pytel, Ph.D., L.P.C, N.C.C., an Assistant Research Professor, received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lock Haven University with an emphasis on working with the military population. She has also earned two B.S. degrees, Psychology and Crime, Law, and Justice, from the Pennsylvania State University. In addition, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Her main professional interests in research are military and first responder issues, suicide prevention, trauma treatment, counselor wellness/self-care, and counselor training/effectiveness. Her current work at the Clearinghouse focuses on the development of a new staffing tool for the Department of Defense’s Family Advocacy Program.

Kellie Forziat Pytel, Ph.D., L.P.C., N.C.C.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Getgen, Cora
Cora Getgen, M.S. L.I.S.

Cora Getgen, M.S. L.I.S., a Research and Evaluation Associate, received her M.S. in Library and Information Science and Advanced Certificate in Management for Information Professionals from St. John’s University and her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lock Haven University. While receiving her master’s degree, she focused on research that examined cultural humility and explored teaching social justice issues using graphic novels. Prior to obtaining her master’s degree, she served in the N.Y. and P.A. Army National Guard as a Health Care Specialist.

Cora Getgen, M.S. L.I.S.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Gregor, Courtney
Courtney Gregor, M.S.

Courtney Gregor is a Research Project Support Specialist with the Clearinghouse. She received her M.S. in School and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Franklin and Marshall College. Prior to coming to the Clearinghouse, Courtney worked as a middle school counselor and a clinical research coordinator. She has managed projects that have used implementation science and evidence-based practices to improve community behavioral healthcare. Courtney enjoys hiking; listening to music; exploring thrift shops; cooking; and spending time with her husband, Zach, and their dog, Mabel.

Courtney Gregor, M.S.

Research Project Support Specialist

Griggs, Jerah
Jerah G. Griggs, M.Ed.

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.

Jerah Gregory Griggs, M.Ed.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Gyurik, Jaemie
Jaemie L. Gyurik

Jaemie Gyurik graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a B.A. in Communicationand specialized in public relations and advertising. Previously, she has worked in web design/development andmarketing.

Jaemie Gyurik

LDC Project Manager

Hall, Cristin
Cristin Hall, Ph.D.

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.

Cristin Hall, Ph.D.

Faculty Affilliate

Hawkey, Kyle
Kyle Hawkey, M.Ed.

Kyle Hawkey, Ph.D., a Research and Evaluation Scientist, received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Workforce Development and Education with an emphasis in Human Resource Development and Organization Development. He received his M.Ed. in Human Relations from Northern Arizona University. Kyle has spent the last decade enabling organizations, like the Department of Defense, the Air Force, the Army, and the Department of Agriculture, and their teams, to go from good to great by leading them in organizational-change, initiative-change, and enterprise-change management. His experiences, in working with these organizations, include learning development, training, needs assessments, policy development, program implementation, evaluation, and data-driven decision making.

Kyle R. Hawkey, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Hixon, Mark
Coming Soon

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.

Mark Hixon

IT Support Specialist

Kanaskie, Brooke
Brooke Kanaskie, M.S.P.M.

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.

Brooke Kanaskie, M.S.P.M.

Research Project Manager

Phone: 814-865-4716

Karre, Jennifer
Jennifer Karre, Ph.D.

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.

Jennifer Karre, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Phone: 814-865-7407

Kiser, Ray
Ray Kiser

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.

Ray Kiser

Graphic Designer

Lawton, Kristen
Kristen Lawton

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.

Kristen Lawton, M.S.

Research Project Manager

Luckey Goudelock, Jessa
Jessa Luckey Goudelock, Ph.D.

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.

Jessa Luckey Goudelock, Ph.D.

Research Project Support Specialist

Lynch, Jessica
Jessica Lynch

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.

Jessica Lynch, M.S.W.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Mathies, Brittny
Brittny Mathies, Ph.D.

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.

Brittny Mathies, Ph.D.

Research Project Manager

Phone: 814-865-7417

Mazer, Timothy
Timothy Mazer

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.

Timothy Mazer

Research Project Manager

McCarthy, Kimberly
Kimberly McCarthy

Kimberly McCarthy is a Research Project Manager with the Clearinghouse. She received her B.S. with high distinction in Health Policy and Administration and Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She is certified as a health education specialist, and she has experience as a coach and as a trainer for a variety of evidence-based youth-development, parenting, and community-mobilization programs. In addition, she is a graduate of Leadership Centre County. At the Clearinghouse, Kimberly’s current focus is as a trainer and curriculum developer for the THRIVE parenting initiative. Previously, she managed a project focused on assessing veterans’ well-being during the military-to-civilian transition, and she coordinated coaching, technical assistance, and education efforts for a federal initiative aimed at improving outcomes for low-resource populations. In prior positions, Kimberly promoted the utilization of evidence-based strategies for positive youth development as part of a state-wide initiative; increased medical and dental access for underserved populations; and advanced large-scale evaluation efforts, including a randomized control trial. Kimberly is grateful for the impactful work of her current position, and she strives to contribute to the Clearinghouse by embracing the perspectives of a community implementer, technical assistance provider, master trainer, coach, grant writer, program developer, and military spouse.

Kimberly McCarthy

Research Project Manager

McGee, Matt
Matt McGee, M.Ed.

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.

Matt McGee, M.Ed.

Learning Designer

Morgan, Nicole
Nicole Morgan

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.

Nicole R. Morgan, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Nebgen, Christopher
Chris Nebgen

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.

Christopher Nebgen

Programmer

Phone: 814-867-4273

Nusom, Holly
Holly Nusom

Holly Nusom, M.A., a Research and Evaluation Associate, received her M.A. in Teaching from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, and a B.S. in Child, Family, and Consumer Studies from the University of Idaho. As the spouse of an active duty Soldier and parent of four, Holly understands the complex challenges and opportunities inherent to military life. She works to cultivate connection and wellness in the military community through involvement with local and national military spouse networks, installation support agencies, and community organizations. Most recently, Holly assisted with the implementation of the Army’s first Spouse Employment Center at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Her current work at the Clearinghouse focuses on parent education, military family transition to civilian life, and military spouse resource identification.

Holly Nusom, M.A.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Phone: 814-865-4687

Richardson, Cameron
Cameron Richardson

Cameron Richardson, Ph.D., a Research and Evaluation Scientist, received his Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland and his B.S. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on program implementation and evaluation, including how to translate evidence to practice, inter- and intra-group relations, and moral development across the lifespan. He has taught college-level courses in research methods, developmental psychology, and psychological theory. His current work at the Clearinghouse involves analyzing the policy landscape in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as it relates to the support of veterans and identifying what is working and what could be improved for veterans with regard to finding where gaps in service provision exist. In addition, Cam is working on understanding the impacts that exposure to morally injurious events while serving in the military can have upon military personnel and their loved ones.

Cameron Richardson, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor,
Research and Evaluation Scientist

Rodgers, Jillian
Jillian Rodgers

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.

Jillian Rodgers, M.P.S.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Rudi, Jessie

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.

Jessie Rudi, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Rudy, Terri
Terri L. Rudy, M.P.A.

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.

Terri L. Rudy, M.P.A.

Research Project Manager

Saathoff-Wells, Tara
Tara Saathoff-Wells, Ph.D., CFLE

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.

Tara Saathoff-Wells, Ph.D., CFLE

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Phone: 814-865-7408

Schulte, Jill
Jill Schulte

Jill A. Schulte, M.Ed., a Research Project Manager, earned a M.Ed. in Youth and Family Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in Family Services from the University of Northern Iowa. Jill worked as the Program Coordinator for the Department of Children and Youth Domestic Violence Program in Buchanan County, Iowa, and as a Family Worker for Head Start. At the Clearinghouse, Jill manages several research projects that are designed to support military professionals who work with the Family Advocacy Program. Her research interests include programing that promotes well-being for families and youth. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

Jill A. Schulte, M.Ed.

Research Project Manager

Smith, Jennifer
Jennifer Smith, M.Ed.

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.

Jennifer Smith, M.Ed.

Implementation Specialist

Urbassik, Robert
Robert Urbassik

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.

Robert Urbassik, Ph.D.

Research and Evaluation Scientist

Urusow, Avery
Avery Urusow

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.

Avery Urusow

Graphic Designer

Weldon, Brett
Brett Weldon

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.

Brett Weldon

Research and Evaluation Associate

Phone: 814-867-6316

White, Lisa
Lisa White, M.Ag.

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.

Lisa White, M.Ag.

Research Project Manager

Woika, Savanna
Savanna Wokia

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.

Savanna Woika, M.Ed.

Research and Evaluation Associate

Wong, Sing
Sing Wong

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.

Sing Wong, M.Ed.

Manager of Learning Design and Communications

Zack, Melissa
Melissa Zack, Ph.D.

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.

Melissa Zack, Ph.D.

Research Project Manager

Phone: 814-867-5647

Graduate Assistants

Boucher, Juliana
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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.

Juliana Boucher

Graduate Assistant

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