Scott Wituk, PhD
As the executive director of the Center for Community Support and Research, Scott oversees all activities and services, budget, and operations. Scott has been with CCSR for nearly 20 years. He is committed to creating thriving and supportive communities and organizations and has background in community leadership, organizational capacity building, and applied research and evaluation methods. He works with a variety of nonprofit organizations, community coalitions, government entities, mental health consumer organizations, and self-help support groups. Scott has played a major role in developing and implementing many of CCSR’s projects, including:
Read more about Scott Wituk
Aaron Davis, MBA
Public Health Initiatives Project Manager
AAron joins CCSR as a project manager for the Public Health Initiatives Team. A WSU graduate three times over, he has undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Integrated Marketing Communications, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. He worked for the Sedgwick County Health Department working largely with the Public Health Incident Preparedness and Response group. AAron was on the board of the Kansas Public Health Association for two years. Most recently he was the financial operations manager for a local printing company, in charge of all financial and human resource aspects of the business.
AAron serves on a local board for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and spends any free time he can with his wife and two dogs.
Adrienne Banta, BA
Adrienne volunteered at the CCSR as a research intern for six months in 2007 prior to becoming a part time employee. Then she juggled working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology at WSU, part time work at CCSR, and her role as president of Sigma Lambda Gamma Inc. She graduated May 2010 and has worked full time as a research associate since. Her favorite projects to contribute to have been the Russell Child Development Center Learn and Play Initiative, CRO and CPS research, StepStone Needs Assessment, and Vets4Vets Program Evaluation.
Amy Becker Amend, BFA
Financial Operations Specialist
Amy is a proud “Grizzly” and “Tiger” who has successfully transplanted herself into “Shocker” Country. She thinks that WSU is a great University! Being the financial operations specialist at the Center for Community Support and Research is wonderful. Each day brings new experiences. In her spare time she enjoys working on the house, and enjoying the company of her large family, including her husband Brad, a “Hornet”, and her “furry boy” Oscar.
Amy Delamaide, MPA
Director of Community and Organizational Development
Amy joined CCSR in 2007. She has helped two nonprofits achieve tax exempt status and more than 40 organizations complete strategic planning processes. She enjoys helping community coalitions identify their purpose and make plans to achieve it. Amy is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and a civic leadership coach working towards the Associate Certified Coach credential of the International Coach Federation.
Amy earned a Master in Public Administration with a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public and Urban Affairs. She also graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and French.
Angela Gaughan, MA
Support Group Project Specialist
Angela Gaughan is a support group project specialist at CCSR and began her career with the center in 2007. She shares information about support groups and the availability of a support group database with Medicaid providers and members across Kansas. Angela promotes the benefits of attending groups as an effective complement to other professional services.
Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Fort Hays State University and a Master of Arts in communication from WSU. She has a background in marketing nonprofits and university programs and has worked with a variety of audiences including medical professionals, business leaders, social service providers, and university faculty and students.
Anne Maack, MPA
Early Childhood Initiatives Coordinator
Anne’s career has been dedicated to improving opportunities for very young children, especially those living in poverty. CCSR brought Anne on in November of 2014 to support community early childhood initiatives.
Anne’s previous roles include directing the public affairs office at Child Start, grassroots organizing for the Kansas Coalition for School Readiness (currently known as the Partnership for Early Success), administering a child care provider training program, and Head Start home visiting.
Anne is a Shocker having earned a Master of Public Administration from the Hugo Wall School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in human services from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
Austin Burke, BS
Public Health Initiatives VISTA Fellow
Austin recently joined CCSR as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow for the Public Health Initiatives team. He spent last year as a team leader for AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps working in disaster relief in Iowa. Austin has a passion for public service and wants to continue working after his 1-year term of service at CCSR ends.
As a recent graduate of Michigan Technological University, Austin has degrees in Biochemistry and Biology. While at MTU, Austin was a player and coach for the club basketball team (a student organization) and was a student manager for the dining hall. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, being active and exploring new places.
Bailey Blair, LMSW, CPS
Behavioral Health Systems Specialist
A two-time Wichita State graduate, Bailey came to CCSR through volunteer research activities and was given a position on the Behavioral Health Initiatives team supporting youth with mental health issues through the Youth Leadership in Kansas program. After receiving her Masters in Social Work from Wichita State, she accepted a role as a peer trainer for the Certified Peer Specialist team. In doing so, Bailey provides training and resources to those living with psychiatric diagnoses to become Certified Peer Specialists and provide supplemental mental health services throughout the state of Kansas.
In addition to her work fighting the stigma of mental illness, Bailey’s research interests include the efficacy of peer support, peer support in rural communities, and issues facing transition age youth. She is also actively involved in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, League 42 of Wichita, serves as the operations coordinator for the Anti-Sexual Exploitation Roundtable for Community Action, and is on the Board of Editors for the Advanced Generalist Social Work Journal. Bailey enjoys spending her down time with her daughter and volunteering throughout the community.
Brittney Hauck, LMFT
Behavioral Health Systems Specialist
Along with a Master in Family Therapy degree from Friends University, Brittney also holds a license in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing trauma therapy and utilizes her system-perspective training in her work with families. In her free time, she enjoys being with her two boys, reading, running, and anything geeky or sci-fi.
Candy Youle, BA
Candy has been with the Center for Community Support and Research since December 1998. A seasoned professional with thirty years of management, logistics and operations experience in for-profit, nonprofit and educational settings, as the operations coordinator her responsibilities include working with an active CCSR Advisory Committee, facilitating the Operations Team meetings, developing and implementing office procedures and handling office issues. In addition to these activities, Candy works with project facilitators to brainstorm and customize facilitation design. She manages all aspects of logistics, both local and statewide, for trainings including location, catering, procurement, schedule, materials as well as personal and e-mail communication with meeting stakeholders.
Read more about Candy Youle
Cassandra LeBrun-Martin, MA
Cassandra joined the research team in August. Her main project is helping with the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) evaluation. She is currently working on other projects as well, such as the DCF Strong Dad Super Kids Evaluation. Cassandra is a graduate of Wichita State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in sociology.
As a graduate student, she worked as a graduate teaching and research assistant for the WSU Sociology Department. In this position, she co-authored a research project with the Department Chair Jodie Hertzog, PhD. This project involved engaging early adolescents and school staff in dating violence prevention. Her thesis examined the role of parental involvement, family structure, and socioeconomic status on student academic achievement. Her research interests consist of early child development, education, family, deviance, stratification, and class analysis.
Dave Allen, BS
Financial Operations Assistant
Dave joined CCSR in August 2013. He is a native of Hutchinson and pleased to be working in the CCSR operations and finance department. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in industrial administration from the University of Kansas, he spent 30 plus years in his family's bowling and vending businesses. He brings experience in accounting, payroll, benefit plans and purchasing.
In his spare time he spends time with his pre-teen daughter or one of his seven grandchildren. Raising his daughter is proving to be a bit more of a challenge than it was when he raised two boys a few years ago, but he’s loving every minute of it. email:
Gina C. Maree, LSCSW
Gina C. Mareer, LSCSW, is an associate at the Center for Community Support and Resources. She is the president of Innovative Leadership Strategies, LLC; a leadership and strategy development firm that assists individuals, organizations, and communities build capacity and make progress on adaptive challenges to create systemic change. Gina trained and was a guest faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, executive education program on the art and practice of leadership development. She is a coach and affiliate faculty member for the Kansas Leadership Center and has extensive training and facilitation experience.
Read more about Gina C. Maree
Heather Perkins, MA, SPHR
Director of Operations and Finance
Heather Perkins joined CCSR in 2008 in the newly-created role of staff development coordinator. In this position, Heather focuses on expanding the capacity of CCSR staff around human resource issues and facilitates opportunities for the personal and professional development of CCSR staff. In early 2009, Heather responsibilities grew to include budgeting, accounts receivable, and other financial responsibilities for the organization.
Read more about Heather Perkins
Joyce McEwen Crane, PhD, PCC, BCC
Strategic Development Coordinator
Joyce McEwen Crane, is the strategic development coordinator for Wichita State University Center for Community Support and Research. Joyce works as a professional consultant and coach. After completing her bachelor's degree in psychology at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, Joyce attended Southern Methodist University where she earned a master's degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in psychology. Her current work in Kansas includes providing organizational capacity-building, strategic and succession planning, and leadership training and coaching for businesses, foundations and nonprofits across the state of Kansas.
Joyce also provides training and coaching on community development and healthy living initiatives and is a member of the coaching team and adjunct faculty at the Kansas Leadership Center. Joyce has owned two successful businesses, managed two counseling centers, provided corporate training and developed curriculum for several relationship-based programs in Kansas. She is a professional certified coach, a board certified coach and is also certified in the use of the MBTI and the EQi-2.0. Joyce is very proud to be a fourth generation Kansan.
Judy Burgess, BS
Community and Organizational Specialist
Judy is working part-time as a member of the Community and Organization Development team.
A Wichita native, Judy recently returned to her hometown after 28 years in education and a stint as public library director in Abilene, Kansas. During that time, she participated in the Kansas Health Foundation and Center for Community Support and Research initiatives that allowed her to cultivate, leadership and facilitation training as well as opportunities to use her skills in group settings. Most recently, she has worked with the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University.
Judy’s local civic involvement includes working with the Wichita Public Library and the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center. She has three adult children and three grandsons.
Judy Frick, MEd
Executive Transition & Succession Planning Specialist
Judy spent 17 years as a “career volunteer child advocate” before becoming the founding director of Communities In Schools of Wichita/Sedgwick County, Inc. in 1990. Highlights from her experience include serving as president of Kansas Action for Children, Inc. and CASA, Inc. and as a member of the board of directors of the Junior League, the United Way, along with numerous child-serving organizations and coalitions. In 1997, she was chosen as a delegate to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future and served as a member of the steering committee of Wichita’s Promise for several years.
Judy retired from CIS in 2007 and returned as an interim director for five months in 2009. As the result of this experience, she successfully pursued a 2009-10 Communities In Schools National Robert H.B. Baldwin Fellowship during which she developed a paper and a toolkit to address Succession Planning & Leadership Transition. She serves as a CIS National consultant to local CIS affiliates and state offices on these topics. She served on the board of CIS of Mid-America for the past seven years, including four as the board chair. Judy currently serves as a consultant on succession planning and leadership transition for the Wichita State University Center for Community Support and Research.
Kevin Bomhoff, LMSW
Director of Strategic Development
Kevin Bomhoff has been with CCSR since 1999. He brings 30 years of experience serving Kansans in a variety of management and leadership roles including Community Support Services Director and Community Developmental Disabilities Director at COMCARE of Sedgwick County.
Kevin graduated from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare with a Masters in Administration and Planning, has been named a Kansas Health Foundation Fellow and serves on the Kansas Leadership Center faculty. He has designed and facilitated many collaborative planning efforts and is a leadership and executive succession planning trainer, consultant and coach. Kevin is Myers-Briggs certified and recently completed “Art and Practice of Civic Leadership Development” course work at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He’s an avid cyclist and loves the outdoors.
Kristina Helmer, BS
Public Health Initiatives Program Associate
Kristina joined CCSR in August of 2013 to support the Public Health Initiative. Previously, she worked at the Butler County Health Department where she served as the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Coordinator. She developed a coalition to address chronic disease risk reduction through evidence-based strategies that impact tobacco use, physical activity and nutrition. She also provided assistance to Butler Community College to implement a worksite wellness program for their employees.
For the seven years prior, Kristina worked as a public health educator at the Sedgwick County Health Department where she was responsible for the worksite wellness program for county employees. She planned conferences and completed program evaluations for multiple worksite wellness initiatives.
Kristina earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Kansa s.
Lacy joined CCSR in December of 2012 to assist all service areas with their marketing and visual needs. She earned her bachelor's in general studies from WSU’s Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2006. With a background as varied as the Liberal Arts College itself, Lacy has experience in photography, editorial writing, design, marketing, and branding. Lacy is encouraged to help tell the inspiring stories that come from the wonderful work that is done on a daily basis by the CCSR staff.
Lacy is a contributing author at DietsinReview.com. She is the resident running expert who also covers health issues that are near to her heart, such as children's nutrition and active living.
Away from work, Lacy and her husband are raising a little boy who at age 7, decided he wanted to go to MIT. Additionally, Lacy is a coached runner, consistently working on lowering her marathon time.
Lael Ewy, MFA, CPS
Behavioral Health Systems Specialist
Lael Ewy brings experience as a teacher, writer, and consumer to the position of behavioral health systems specialist and formerly as a peer educator at CCSR. He has been active in higher education since 1996, mainly at Hesston College and Wichita State, teaching composition, creative writing, literature, and film; developing curriculum; and serving on various committees with a modicum of wakefulness. While focusing on training and curriculum for the CPS program, Lael also continues to teach part time through WSU’s English Department.
A combination of indecision and unbridled interest in just about everything led him to WSU and a BGS emphasizing creative writing, philosophy, and anthropology. He stayed on to study creative writing under Albert Goldbarth, Janine Hathaway, Phillip Schneider, and Bruce Bond. This led fortuitously to a poetry fellowship and incidentally to an MFA in creative writing. His thesis, Smash and Grab, uses poetry to explore the intersections between mental illness, metaphysics, social (dys)function, baroque music, and auto mechanics.
Read more about Lael Ewy
Lana Messner, MSEd, IMH-E (IV)
Lana brings her strengths in early childhood to the research team at CCSR. She has experience with project management, evaluation, management coaching, professional development and technical assistance to early childhood programs such as Head Start, United Way, Child Care Resource and Referral, professional development organizations, public schools, and higher education. She is an experienced trainer for both face-to-face and online early childhood courses.
In Lana's role as a research associate she is providing training for Early Childhood Block Grantees on the myIGDIs (Individual Growth and Development Indicators) and IGDI as a part of the larger evaluation conducted by CCSR. She is an avid worldwide traveler.
Lynn Schrepferman, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Lynn Schrepferman, PhD, has over 16 years of experience in research, implementation of evidence based prevention and evaluation. Lynn is a full-time community and organizational researcher at CCSR. Previously she coordinated numerous research projects focused on prevention, positive youth development, substance abuse, bullying and other problem behaviors.
Lynn was also was the coordinator of WSU’s substance abuse counselor certification program. Lynn has extensive experience assisting community agencies and schools with the translation of promising and model evidence based prevention/interventions to best practice. She has worked on the implementation of several projects including the Incredible Years, Second Step, and the Family Checkup.
Read more about Lynn Schrepferman
Nicole Freund, MA, MBA
Nicole joined CCSR as a research association. She is in her third year in the community psychology doctoral program at Wichita State after graduating with a Master of Arts in English and psychology, a Master of Business Administration and over a decade in the private sector working in marketing research.
Nicole served as vice president of the Psychology Graduate Student Association, as treasurer and marketing director for the Community Psychology Association (the local chapter of the Society for Community Research and Action), and as an active participant of the SCRA Practice Council. Her graduate work in the Community Research, Assessment, and Methodology lab includes research on the federal drug re-entry court in the District of Kansas (Kan-Trac). She hopes to complete her doctoral work in 2017 and continue to contribute to research and evaluation in meaningful ways throughout the community.
Randy G. Johnson, MA, CPS
Director of Behavioral Health Initiatives
Randy Johnson brings his personal experience in the mental health system to his work providing technical support on the implementation of peer services. Prior to his appointment, Randy developed a relationship with CCSR through his position as the senior director of Advocacy and Recovery Services at Mental Health America of the Heartland and as a Program Director for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.
Ron Alexander is president of R.E. Alexander and Associates, LLC. He serves on the faculty of the Kansas Leadership Center. Ron directs and facilitates a range of leadership and community development projects and initiatives. His work is focused on promoting the healthy development of children, families and communities and the expansion of civic leadership.
For more than 30 years Ron taught and consulted in the areas of leadership development, youth development, prevention, community mobilization and change. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kansas State University and completed “Art and Practice of Leadership Development” course work at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. In addition to his work, Ron is passionate about his faith, his family and riding his bike.
Samantha Phouangpanith, BA
Samantha started as an intern at CCSR during the spring semester of 2012 and came back in the fall as a part time employee.
Samantha is a senior at WSU and who graduate in May 2013 with honors with a Bachelor of General Studies degree in chemistry and biology and a minor in dance. During her college career she has been involved with the School of Performing Arts Dance Program, Emory Lindquist Honors Program, Dean’s Scholars, Premedical Student Association, Asian Cultural Organization, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Asian Student Conference.
In her free time she enjoys dancing with organizations such as Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center (where she began dancing at a young age) and Ballet Wichita. Samantha also volunteers, working with SUCCESS in the Middle and Communities in School, at Curtis Middle School.
Sam Demel, BBA
Community and Organizational Specialist
Sam Demel started working at the WSU Center for Community Support and Research in May of 2004 as a community support specialist. He serves on the Mental Health Consumer Initiative, Consumer Run Organizations, Community and Organizational Development and Youth Leadership in Kansas teams. Sam is experienced in nonprofit start-up, strategic planning, succession planning, leadership development, board training and development, policies and procedures, collaboration, conflict resolution, grant writing, and learning thinking working styles.
Sam is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration degree from the WSU Hugo Wall School of Public and Urban Affairs. He graduated from the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in public administration, at the College of Santa Fe. Upon completing his degree he taught for two years at an agricultural College in Lesotho, Africa, with the United States Peace Corps. He brings nine years of nonprofit management and two years of economic development experience to CCSR.
When he is not working, Sam enjoys spending time with his two daughters, son, foster children and wife, Lynda. His spare time is spent on outdoor activities and home improvement projects.
Sarah Jolley, MA
Senior Research Associate
Sarah joined the CCSR in February of 2002. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in behavioral science from Sterling College in 2001 and a Master of Arts in community psychology from Wichita State University in 2008. Sarah has experience designing, facilitating, and researching capacity building for nonprofits and other faith-based and community organizations. She has also been involved in the development and implementation of several mini-grant processes and has experience with various research-related activities, including surveys, focus groups, and grant writing.
In addition to her work at the CCSR, Sarah is also working on completing her doctoral dissertation and anticipates receiving her PhD in community psychology from Wichita State University this year. Sarah lives in Wichita with her husband, Kris.
Director of Leadership Development
Seth Bate joined CCSR in 2006. He is the facilitator of the Leadership Initiatives Team and has been deeply involved in the design and delivery of leadership development experiences to a variety of audiences.
In support of leadership development projects, Seth works closely with the Kansas Leadership Center as a member of the coaching team, the Kansas Community Leadership Initiative consulting team and an associate faculty member.
The International Coach Federation has awarded Seth the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential. Of the estimated 30,000 professional coaches worldwide, only about 8,000 have an ICF credential. Seth coordinates CCSR’s individual and team coaching services.
Read more about Seth Bate
Simon Messmer, MSW, CPS
Mental Health Systems Specialist
Simon joined CCSR as a member of the Mental Health Initiative team. Simon provides technical assistance and support to Kansas organizations and systems seeking to expand or enhance professional peer support services.
In his last position, Simon worked at Mental Health America of the Heartland in Kansas City, Kansas as senior director of advocacy and recovery services. In this and other capacities, Simon gained experience in the development and oversight of peer support services, supportive housing, nonprofit management, and technical assistance services. Simon is a certified peer specialist. He earned a Master of Social Work and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and history, both from the University of Kansas.
Sonja Armbruster, MA
Director of Public Health Initiatives
Sonja joined CCSR in May of 2013 to coordinate a new initiative aimed at strengthening the public health system in Kansas. Previously, she worked at the Sedgwick County Health Department where she served in a number of administrative roles, including program and policy development, health promotion program management, development of the strategic plan and performance management system, supervision of the QI and accreditation preparation efforts, and leadership of MAPP (community health assessment). There, Sonja was active in a number of national efforts such as the National Association of County and City Health Officials MAPP Workgroup, which oversees the national model for community health assessment and improvement planning and serving as a site visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Her formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and a Master of Arts in communication, both from Wichita State University.
Community and Organizational Specialist
Steve Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (English) from Emporia State University (ESU) in 1964 and a master’s degree in school administration from ESU in 1969. As a professional educator, he spent six years as a classroom teacher and 24 years as a high school building administrator in Newton, Salina, and Brookville, Kansas.
During his tenure as an educator, Steve left the profession and worked in corporate business serving in various marketing positions for eight years. But, his love for education and working with “kids” called him to return to this profession.
Following retirement from public education, Steve became a consultant for the Kansas Health Foundation and assisted in developing materials and facilitating school teams with the “Take a Second. Make a Difference. Goes to School” initiative. At the end of the grant, he became a project facilitator with the Self-Help Network now the Wichita State University Center for Community Support and Research (CCSR). During this time, he received training as a master facilitator.
Steve currently serves as a community and organizational specialist at CCSR working with nonprofits in strategic planning, board development, and succession planning.
Tara Gregory, PhD
Director of Research & Evaluation
Tara has been a member of CCSR staff since 2005. Tara coordinates CCSR’s research and evaluation activities and supervises the community and organizational researchers, and research associates and assistants. Tara has coordinated or assisted with notable research/evaluation projects such as the Kansas Afterschool Leadership Development Initiative evaluation, Wichita Youth Empowerment Partnership community assessment and Photovoice project, “Our Voices” youth participatory arts-based community assessment, DELTA youth relationship violence prevention empowerment evaluation, and various needs assessments and outcome evaluations for non-profits and community-based organizations across Kansas.
Tara has a doctorate and master's degree in community psychology and a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in German, all from Wichita State. Tara has 20 years of experience working in nonprofits related to youth leadership/empowerment development, community assessment and mobilization, substance abuse prevention and treatment, grant writing, and nonprofit management. She was a certified substance abuse prevention specialist, taught the drugs and human behavior class at WSU from 1990-2005, and has previously worked as the WSU orientation coordinator.
Teresa Strausz, MSOD, LMSW
Community Engagement and Learning Coordinator
Teresa Strausz, MSOD, LMSW, began serving with the WSU Center for Community Support and Research in April 2007 as a community and organizational specialist and assumed the role of community engagement and learning coordinator in August 2013. Teresa is involved in many projects related to organizational change, development, and leadership (including serving as a leadership coach), and completed the Kansas Leadership Center’s Faculty Development Program in 2010. In addition, Teresa provides leadership to CCSR’s commitment to student engagement, pre-service learning, VISTA (a community engagement effort dedicated to addressing poverty), and to our efforts related to Trauma-Informed Systems of Care.
With nearly 18 years of experience in facilitation, training, capacity-building and supervision that spans mental health, education, early childhood, leadership development, youth development, community development and organizational development, Teresa contributes a wealth of skills, knowledge and expertise to her teams.
Teresa earned a master’s in social work from the University of Kansas in 1996 and a Master of Science in organization development through Friends University in 2012.
Ty joined CCSR as a project facilitator in February of 2014 to support the Public Health Initiatives Program. After eight years in the state and local health department setting in a variety of public health practice areas; Ty began Incite Health LLC in 2013 and now works as a public health contractor and consultant specializing in project management, process facilitation and training.
Ty holds a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's degree in public health from Kansas State University. He is recognized as a Certified Quality Improvement Associate through the American Society for Quality.
Vanessa Lohf, LBSW
Public Health Initiatives Project Specialist
Vanessa joined CCSR as a project specialist for the Public Health Initiatives Team. A proud graduate of the WSU School of Social Work, she brings over 22 years of experience in a variety of direct service, administrative and training roles including the Kansas Department for Children and Families, United Way of the Plains, CCSR, Child Start, and EmberHope.
Vanessa brings with her a passion for advocacy for families with children living with a disability and for strengthening systems at the organizational and community level. She is the current president of the WSU School of Social Work Advisory Board and a longtime member of the Sedgwick County Early Childhood Coordinating Council. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her husband, Chuck, experiencing Kansas from the back of their motorcycle.
Anna Caroline Chinnes, BA
Anna Caroline is interning at CCSR this summer. She is participating on the grant development team and helping with grant infrastructure and development.
She earned a bachelor of art degree from Francis Marion University in Florence, SC majoring in psychology and minoring in English literature. Currently Anna Caroline is in her second year of the clinical psychology doctoral program at Wichita State. She has plans to complete the doctoral program in May 2019 after completing a one-year internship. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, playing tennis, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, traveling and reading.
Ashlyn began interning at CCSR in August of 2014. She is a junior majoring in psychology and working toward a minor in sociology.
Ashlyn participates in activities at Project Independence. Some of her hobbies include taking photographs, painting, reading, playing games, running, lifting weights, cooking, going to art shows, watching sports and playing the violin.
Brandon Michael James
Brandon is working at CCSR this summer on collective impact and the KanCare Ombudsman volunteer project. His hometown is Wichita and he is a senior majoring in finance planning to graduate in May.
Brandon is currently involved with Sigma Phi Epsilon, the City of Wichita’s District 1 Advisory Board and Young Professionals of Wichita. Previously he was a legislative director for WSU’s Student Government, involved with the Student Activity Council (SAC) and a board of director’s member for Wichita State Athletics. His interests include biking, hiking, traveling, keeping up with current events and foreign affairs, and finding good coffee shops. After college he would like to get his Masters of Public Administration and help people be effective citizens and realize their civic potential.
Leadership Initiatives Intern
Dylan started as a volunteer at CCSR in the fall of 2013 and he has transitioned into a paid position. He contributes his skills to the Leadership Initiatives team where he said that he has been challenged to think more adaptively and strategically.
Dylan is a member of the Honor’s Program at Wichita State.
Emily Chace, BA
Community and Organizational Development Intern
Emily Chace recently joined our staff as a Masters of Social Work student. She is helping with our Home & Community Based Services Medicaid project and contributing to the Trauma-Informed Systems of Care (TISC) team. Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with minors in sociology and Spanish at Wichita State University.
This semester she is researching what other states are doing in the area of trauma. This work may possibly contribute to her future interests as she one day plans to continue her education toward a PhD in clinical psychology.
Hunting is a favorite pass-time for this girl who grew up in the country. She’s hunted just about everything, especially deer. We’ll want to watch what dish she brings to the office potlucks because she said that the only thing in her freezer is deer meat. “For fun I like yoga, visiting my one-year old nephew, JW, and being outdoors.”
Emma has been a research assistant at the Center for Community Support and Research since spring 2014. She is a senior at WSU and will be graduating in May 2015 with honors with a bachelor's degree in psychology and minors in sociology and Spanish. During her college career she has been involved with the Tri Delta Sorority, Student Ambassador Society, Emory Lindquist Honor’s Program, and Dean’s Scholars.
Jessica Hutton. BS
Jessica Hutton joined the Center for Community Support and Research as a Master of Science in Social Administration practicum student in 2014. An honor graduate from Newman University, Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2013. She is a distance learner through the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Wichita, concentrating in community practice for social change.
Jessica has contributed to the efforts of the Trauma-Informed Systems of Care team and the AmeriCorps VISTA program and looks forward to contributing to additional projects in the two years she will continue as a practicum student at CCSR.
Jessica is passionate about systems change and program development, especially related to corrections and other traumatized systems. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, writing non-fiction, watching movies and spending time with her teen son and life partner.
Lucy started at CCSR in January and is working on researching and developing tools for work with Collective Impact. She is a senior majoring in psychology and philosophy.
Lucy’s involved with the Philosophy Society and LAS Dean’s Advisory Council on campus. Her hobbies include travelling, reading, and reddit.
Public Health Initiatives Intern
McKenzie is a summer intern on the Public Health Initiatives team. She is working toward graduating in December with a health services management and community development degree and a minor in business administration. Her home town is Udall, Kansas.
McKenzie is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Her hobbies include reading and keeping up with her dogs. She also works as a student assistant in NIAR and working with children in the KidZone at the YMCA.
Melissa Christensen, BS
Student Engagement Assistant
Melissa joined CCSR in October of 2014 as an intern assisting with our student engagement and VISTA projects.
Not long out of college, Melissa graduated from Northern Michigan University (NMU) in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. While at NMU she was a member of the varsity track and field team; participating in the pentathlon and heptathlon. She also has been an avid equestrian her entire life with a special love for rodeo. For the last five years she volunteered with the Great Lakes Rodeo as the queen and court coordinator after passing on her own crown in 2009.
Melissa is attending Wichita State University and taking graduate classes in sport management. In her free time she volunteers as a coach for Wichita State University’s track and field team and gives horseback riding lesson to children at a local stable.
Percy is a senior in the bachelor of social work program at WSU. He is planning to graduate in May. His hometown is Hamden, Connecticut.
Percy will be recruiting for the KanCare Ombudsman volunteer project. He brings 10 years of experience in human services, working in residential with children, as a case manager, in a crisis stabilization unit, and currently as a case manager in crisis observation. He has worked in training, giving presentations, and he is looking forward to furthering his education in the field plus getting his feet wet in macro practice.
His hobbies include writing, reading, spending time with his wife and children, scolding his dog, Zeus, occasionally playing video games, listening to comedy, and working on the house and yard.
Sydne McCluskey began her position on the research team during the spring semester of 2015 and she plans to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Sydne is a family consultant with the Family Check-Up program in the Psychology Department with Dr. James Snyder at Wichita State and she is a supplemental instruction leader, helping with general psychology classes. Sydne also volunteers with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children of Sedgwick County. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking, reading and dancing.