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.
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
WSU VISTA Fellows Project Specialist
Angela began her career with the center in 2007. She shares information about VISTA with nonprofit organizations in Kansas. She promotes the benefits of serving, helping organizations build capacity and working toward moving Kansas' out of poverty.
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 nonprofit and business leaders, social service providers, support group leaders 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.
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.
Chad Childs, MSFT, LCMFT
Prevention Systems Project Coordinator
Chad Childs is the Prevention Systems Project Coordinator for the Center for Community Support and Research. Chad has over 17 years of experience in outpatient mental health and has management and leadership experience in other nonprofit organizations in the fields of higher education, child welfare and prevention. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Natural Science at Bethel College, Kansas, Chad earned a Master of Science degree in Family Therapy from Friends University in Wichita. He has a wealth of experience volunteering for various agencies and has served as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer.
Chad’s career focus has been on providing direct services and facilitating larger system changes with the goal of helping people to both overcome barriers to increase their well-being, and to improve their quality of life by using their strengths and the resources available to them. He is interested in the integration of social services, science, and research, and values community efforts to make and sustain lasting changes for the better.
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.
Jung Sim Jun, MSW
Sim is a research associate at CCSR. Her focus is on various research and evaluation projects relating to the Kansas Home and Community Based Services (KHCBS), Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG).
Sim is also a doctoral student at University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Social Work and is interested in conducting research to improve the psychological and physical well-being of older adults, immigrants, and people with disability as well as to make better communities for disadvantaged people. She received her master’s degree in Social Work from Wichita State University and bachelors of education from Kangnam University, South Korea. Sim has served as a graduate research assistant, a director of the Wichita Korean School, and a NIH R01 interdisciplinary research team member at University of Missouri previously. She is actively participating in volunteer works at senior retirement facilities, schools, and community organizations.
Kacy joined CCSR in August of 2015. She is in hot pursuit of a PhD in Psychological Anthropology and is just getting started as an undergrad at Wichita State. Kacy’s scientific aspirations are a different means to the same ends she’s been seeking to meet since her once creative career began 7 years ago. Her main aim has always been to work with others to identify and realize collectively beneficial goals while emphasizing compassion, innovation and thorough effectiveness. The shift comes from a wish to apply her capacities for abstract problem solving and visual communication to the more concrete realm of analysis.
Kacy feels blessed to have worked with incredible mentors and invaluable teams to do this through a variety of media, including vacant downtown window installations, video, print, photography, and graphic design. Projects of Kacy’s include work with Downtown Wichita and the Knight Foundation as well as independent endeavors such as Blank Page (art gallery), Drinking and Thinking (networking events with real-time crowdsourced project/entrepreneurship support) and PRETTY (all photo fashion magazine.) You can often find Kacy studying Russian during breakfast on the porch of the little yellow house in Riverside she rents with her Engineer boyfriend Alex and their (probably upside down) cat Woodrow— who happily prefers his massive yellow fluff be professionally maintained a la lion— with bootsies, tail puff and a mane.
Katie Mahuron, BA, BSN
Katie Mahuron is from Cambridge City, Indiana. She has a B.A. in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has previously served with AmeriCorps as an Education Specialist at a domestic violence shelter in New Mexico, and she has worked with a grassroots women's organization in Serbia. She has also assisted a social enterprise with the delivery of evaluations, good relations assessments, and peace projects in Northern Ireland. Additionally, she interned at the Marion County Public Health Department in Indianapolis, Indiana. Katie enjoys reading, hiking, and quilting.
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 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 is a research associate. 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.
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.
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.
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
Director of the ImpACT Center
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.
Cerae is a Senior in psychology at WSU. She is working with CCSR by devoting her time to the KanCare Ombudsman project as an intern. Cerea is currently involved in The National Society of Leadership and Success, Unsuspected Inner Resource as volunteer, and works part time at The Research Partnership. She also plans to attend WSU’s Master in Business Management program.
Corina started as an Intern in the fall of 2015 and is assisting with our Ombudsman Volunteer project which CCSR is working on with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
She is currently a senior at Wichita State and plans to graduate with her certificate in Community Psychology and Human Factors Psychology in May. On campus Corina is an active member in the LAVA Human Factors Lab. In her free time she enjoys biking, reading, swing dancing, video and board games and karaoke. Her hometown is Wichita.
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.
Alissa is a senior at Wichita State majoring in psychology. She is a Resident Assistant, Peer Leader and one of the founding members of Mind Matters. Alissa started her internship with CCSR August 2015, working with the Trauma Informed Systems of Care team. She is originally from Evansville, Indiana and some of her favorite hobbies include dancing, traveling, being involved with social change, watching Modern Family and being a Shocker!
Lindsey Stillwell, BSW
Lindsey is an advanced standing graduate student at Wichita State planning to earn her masters in social work degree in the spring. She is assisting with the HCBS waiver integration team.
Lindsey received her bachelor’s in social work from WSU in May. She is a McNair Scholar and is giving back by volunteering some of her time to assist fellow scholars with their projects. She is also a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Outside of school Lindsey spending time with her husband, three boys and two dogs, watching the Kansas City Royals, listening to Indie Bands, reading and completing adult coloring books.
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.
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.
Sydne began her position on the research team in January 2015. She graduated from Wichita State in December of 2015 with an bachelor’s degree in psychology and plans to begin graduate school in fall 2016. Sydne provides support to Kansas Head Start Association programs, as well as managing and analyzing data for the Kansas Early Childhood Block Grant.
She has experience as a family consultant on Dr. James Snyder’s Family CheckUp program in the Psychology Department and has worked on a research assistant on several faculty projects at the university. She has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for CASA of Sedgwick County. She enjoys collecting interesting socks, travel, and computer programming.
Victoria Macias, BSW
Victoria began the masters of social work program at WSU and started her practicum in August.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in May from Upper Iowa University while at Fort Riley. Victoria is passionate about helping those who have experienced some form of trauma or have had mental health related symptoms. Her goal is to earn a PhD and work with suicide prevention advocates and victims’ advocates. Her native state is California. More recently her family moved to Kansas with the military. She keeps busy with her two children and spends time watching her favorite TV show, The Golden Girls.