Dr. Serra Acar came to TRI in 2014 and works on projects with an early childhood/early learning focus. Serra received her Ph.D. in Early Intervention from the University of Oregon. Serra's primary areas of expertise include family-centered practices in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE), developmental screening, personnel preparation, and program evaluation. She has over 15 years of experience in the EI/ECSE field. Serra is working as project specialist for the following projects: (1) Project Preparing Early Childhood Professionals for Inclusion (PEPI) and (2) Project Executive Functioning (EF). Serra has presented at numerous national and state conferences and is very involved with the Division of Early Childhood within the Council on Exceptional Children (CEC). Serra is the president of DEC Oregon. When not working, she enjoys painting, reading, cooking, and spending quality time with her family.
Patrick Aldrich received his bachelor’s degree in Wildlife biology and a minor in Entomology from the University of California, Davis in 1997. After graduation, he spent 5 years in various field biology positions, studying a wide array subjects from Bowerbird mating systems in Australia to integrated pest management of ground squirrels in Northern California. He subsequently decided to return to school to pursue a PhD at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. For his doctoral work (for which he is ABD), he studied the spatio-temporal variation of pollination networks in Hawaiian tropical dry forests. Following his graduate work, he was the project director for a project that used spatial analyses to study the random correspondence of fingerprint patterns. Through his work, he has acquired extensive experience in biostatistics. He is currently the data manager and statistician for the Oregon QRIS and other projects at the Teaching Research Institute, and continues to apply parametric, non-parametric and likelihood methodologies to analyze various datasets associated with early childhood research.
Ingrid Amerson has been involved in early child care and education for over 35 years. As the Director of TRI Child Development Center, she guided the Center through becoming an ORIS five star program. She is committed to providing a safe, nurturing, learning environment where children thrive, families flourish, and staff are successful. Ingrid is highly involved in the local community by being a member of Polk County Partners for Young Children and is a parent educator through Mid Valley Parenting. Her outside affiliations are the Oregon Association of the Education of Young Children, Oregon Association of Child Care Directors, and the National Association of Campus Children's Centers.
Aimee joined our teaching team as a WOU student staff and over the course of a few years is now the lead teacher of the Dragonfly classroom. Her special interest is in sharing the excitement of Science to preschoolers; their wondrous questioning of all that is around them lends it so perfectly with Science discoveries. It is her belief that every child, if given the chance to learn how to treat one another kindly and understand that they belong to a community will make our world a better place. Aimee brings active, hands on learning experiences for the children in her classroom. She loves the spontaneity and excitement of the children when they learn new things, and she offers them challenges which encourages them to figure out “how things happen.” Aimee is currently working on a BS in Early Childhood Education.
Hannah Anonson is the Early Learning Specialist at TRI. She earned her degree at Western Oregon University in Geography and Communications. Hannah's primary expertise in Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System and Central Coordination of Child Care Resource and Referral. Hannah has worked in the field of Early Education for 5 years. When not working Hannah enjoys attending college football games.
Lyn has been in Special Education for 41 years. Her jobs have been varied -- as teacher of the visually impaired/O&M instructor, principal of a school for the blind, rehabilitation specialist on a mobile team attached to an eye hospital, director of community programs in a rural area in India, director of a licensure program for training teachers of the visually impaired, and director of a state's deafblind project (12 years in Wisconsin, 8 years in Oregon).
Dr. Robert Ayres is Director of The Education Evaluation Center (EEC) housed at The Research Institute at Western Oregon University. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Oregon. He has been Director of the EEC since 2014 and is also a founding member of the Center on Research, Evaluation & Analysis (CREA - formerly known as ERGo). Dr. Ayres holds a standard certificate as a school psychologist and has over 35 years of experience conducting clinical assessments and consultations with students and their families on disability issues such as learning disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and other social-emotional issues. Dr. Ayres also is experienced with mixed-method/multiple-method evaluation designs and has prior experience with federal grants employing quasi-experimental pretest-posttest comparison designs and in research employing randomized control trials. He has served as principal evaluator on a variety of evaluation and research projects such as Structure of the Intellect, via contract with the Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Forestry Extension Program, via contract with the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and the Western Oregon University Teacher Effectiveness Project Phases I and II. In addition, Dr. Ayres served as team investigator for the human resources portion of the Final Evaluation of the City-State Partnership, Senate Bill 795-Improvements in the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) under the New Board of School Commissioners, via sub-contract with WESTAT. Dr. Ayres previously taught Research Methods in Education for 15 years in the College of Education at Western Oregon University.
Kate Ayres is a Project Specialist at TRI working for the Center on Educator Preparation and Effectiveness and the Center for Technology and Information Management Services. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Kate started working with TRI in October of 2015. Her work spans multiple departments, and she assists on a variety of different projects. When not working, Kate enjoys photography, political debates with friends, enjoying the outdoors, or binge watching tv shows.
Patricia is a Senior Fellow at Western Oregon University (WOU), and at TRI, works through the Center for Educator Preparation and Effectiveness (CEPE) and the Center on Early Learning. At WOU, Dr. Blasco is the Project Director for Project PEPI to infuse inclusion curricula into coursework at the community college level in the state of Oregon. She is CO-PI on Project PIECE, a five year professional development project to recruit, retain, and graduate Early Childhood Education/Early Intervention scholars from underrepresented backgrounds. Both of these projects are funded by the U. S. Department of Education: Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). She is Project Director of Project EF: Executive Function in Infants and Toddlers Born Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Preterm is funded for three years by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The study will follow infants and toddlers born LBW who do not have major medical conditions, and babies born full term without known delays. In addition, she is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Oregon Health & Science University. When not working, she enjoys riding her horse, running, reading, and enjoying time with family.
Dana Bleakney-Huebsch joins us from the Nike Child Development Center where she worked with infants and their families. Prior to that, Dana co-managed a day program for adults with developmental disabilities. Dana has taught child development courses at California State University, San Bernardino. She received her Masters in Child Development from California State University, San Bernardino.
Dawn has a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Wyoming. She worked for several years as an accountant in the manufacturing industry. Dawn joined WOU in 2013 as an accounting tech in the Business Office and the Health and Wellness Center. She joined the Grants Management Office at TRI in April, 2014.
Cori Brownell is an Early Learning Specialist in the Center on Early Learning. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University. Cori’s areas of expertise include early childhood development, early childhood care and education, inclusion, parenting, and working with families, including those experiencing multiple challenges. She began working at TRI in 2013. Cori provides technical assistance, training, and support to early learning programs and partners across the state. Serving on the Board of Directors for Abby’s House at WOU is both a professional interest and personal passion for Cori. She serves on various boards and committees, both locally and statewide, that are centered on outcomes to improve the lives of children and families.
Julie Bulen has worked at The Research Institute since the early 1980s and at TRI's Education Evaluation Center for the last 15 of those years. At the Education Evaluation Center, Julie is a Learning Disability and Transition/Vocational Specialist. She conducts in-depth psychosocial evaluations of clients from age 4 to adulthood and writes detailed reports of disability impact, recommendations for clients and parents, and legal accommodation needs for school, college and workplace settings. Her areas of expertise and experience include elementary and special education teaching, children and adults with mental health disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, and high school transition skills.
Robbin Bull is a Project Specialist on the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) Project. She earned her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Oregon University in 1991. Robbin's primary areas of expertise includes data management and design, technology support, and web support. She has worked for the The Research Institute for over 12 years, working for the National Deaf-Blind projects (TRACES, NTAC, NCDB) for most of those years. She provides technology support and management for project resources along with assisting in the management of data for the National Deaf-Blind Child Count. Robbin has designed many evaluation tools and databases to manage and evaluate project data over the years. In addition, she provides data management technical assistance and support to project staff as well as state deaf-blind project personnel.
Jackie Burr is a Special Education Secondary Transition Specialist. She has over 40 years of experience in education, including State level special education monitoring, professional development, special education administration and special/general education teaching. Jackie Burr brings many years of secondary transition experience to the professional development sessions to prepare districts, agencies, students and professionals for the successful transition of students from education to successful outcomes with the most appropriate diploma option. Her prior working experience includes working at the Oregon Department of Education as the Secondary Transition Specialist and the West Virginia Department of Education as a Special Education Specialist. Jackie holds two Master of Education degrees from West Virginia University.
Lacey Davis is a Project Support Specialist for the Center on Early Learning at TRI. She started at TRI in 2014 and works primarily with Central Coordination of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCCCR&R). Lacey graduated from Western Oregon University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education. Lacey is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). When not working Lacey enjoys going to the beach and spending time with family.
Dr. Mary Ellen Dello Stritto is a Project Director whose responsibilities include program evaluation, statistical analysis, and serving as the Director of the WOU Campus Against Sexual Assault (CASA) program. Mary Ellen has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and has extensive experience in statistics and research methodology. She also spent 16 years as a professor of psychology and gender studies.
Aaron is a Financial Specialist at TRI. He earned his baccalaureate of science in 1987 from Western Oregon State College with a major in law enforcement and minor in business administration. Aaron's primary expertise is program and financial management. He has worked in the field managing programs in the areas of military service, criminal justice and early childhood for 25 years. Aaron started at TRI in 2013 as a Grants Financial Specialist. When not working, Aaron enjoys playing golf, wine tasting and hiking the red rocks of Sedona Arizona.
Eric Enright is a Web and Graphic Design Specialist working with the Central Coordination of the Oregon Child Care Resource and Referral system. He is a recent (2013) graduate of WOU's Visual Communications Design program. His skills include HTML, Java Script/Jquery, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (to name but a few).
Andrea Fewx is the Lead Data Specialist at TRI. She earned her B.A.degree in Sociology from Ottawa University. Ms.Fewx's primary expertise is in data analysis, and database design and development. She has worked in the field for 15 years. Ms.Fewx started at TRI in 1999 as a data specialist. Since then, she has worked on technology project leadership, collection of data, organization of data, analysis of data, design and development of databases using MS Access and MS SQL, and the management of a data processing group.
Cheri Freedman is a Database Specialist for the Center on Early Learning. She earned her Bachelors of Business Administration in Operations Management at The University of Houston in Texas. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Management and Information Systems from Western Oregon University and is looking forward to graduating Winter term of 2017. Her primary expertise is in Data Analysis, Systems Development, and Project Management. She has over 20 years of experience providing support to different industries including telecommunications, universities, community healthcare, and the federal government. In the past, Cheri has volunteered her time as a board member of a APICS, a professional organization supporting supply chain professionals. She is currently a member of the Willamette Valley chapter of the Project Management Institute and serving as the VP of Technology for the Corvallis branch. Cheri started at TRI as a student worker in 2014 and was hired as a Database Specialist in 2015. Since then she has spent time learning about TRI and co-presenting at the 2015 and 2016 Fall CEL conferences. With the birth of her second son in July of 2015, she doesn’t have much spare time. When she does have spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, making jewelry, and family time exploring all that Oregon has to offer!
Annie Friedman is a Project Coordinator at TRI. She earned her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland-College Park and is currently pursuing her Ed.M. in College Student Services Administration at Oregon State University. Her primary expertise is in higher education student services and she has worked in the field for three years. Annie started at TRI in June 2016 and is establishing a mentoring program at WOU that aligns career services, alumni relations and advising on campus. Annie has been a Corvallis Ultimate Board Director since 2013, where she serves as one of eight directors for a local non-profit supporting youth ultimate Frisbee and fostering international and national amateur competition. When not working, Annie enjoys anything outside including ultimate Frisbee, hiking, camping, backpacking, and snowboarding, usually with her husband, Steve, and border collie, JD.
Nancy Ganson is the Assistant to the Director, and is housed in the Grants Management Office. She is the Todd Hall Building Manager, Supervisor of Student Work Force and Travel Coordinator at TRI. She earned her BFA from Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO in 1981. Nancy’s primary expertise is in Logistical Management, Travel and Office Management. Nancy started at TRI in 1998 as a Travel Coordinator and Research Assistant for the Deaf Blind workgroup. Several years later Nancy began working for the Director of TRI as an assistant and has now worked with the past 4 Directors. Over the years Nancy has provided project coordination and project assistance to virtually all grants housed within TRI and she brings a certain organization, efficiency, and passion for the work we do. Nancy has served for both WOU and TRI in support of the Governor’s Food Drive. She has been the Faculty Advisor for Catholic Campus Ministries since 2003. She also served on the Abby’s House Board 2003-2005. When not working, Nancy and her husband Greg enjoy hanging out with their dog Buddy, and being very supportive of college athletics.
Carey Gilbert is the Co-Director of the TRI Child Development Center. She earned her Master of Education degree from Loyola University Maryland. Carey’s primary expertise is in Early Childhood Education, and she has worked in the field since 2005. Carey started at TRI in January of 2016. When not working, Carey enjoys camping, hiking, cycling and is currently into completing puzzles.
Gary Glasenapp has worked at The Research Institute since 1984. He has extensive experience in the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of federal, state and local grants and contracts in the areas of early childhood education, early childhood special education, and professional development.
Dr. Sybille Guy is the Director of the Center on Research, Evaluation, and Analysis (CREA) at TRI. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis on statistics and methodology from UCLA. Sybille received her Master's in Organizational Psychology from California State University at Los Angeles. Sybille’s primary expertise is in statistics and evaluation, and she has worked in the field for over 20 years. In addition to her quantitative research background, she has experience with qualitative analysis and hybrid studies.
Sybille joined us from Washington State University at Vancouver (WSUV) where she worked as Special Projects Faculty in the office of Academic Affairs. Prior to WSUV, she has spent over a decade as a market researcher, working for both large and small market research companies. Sybille served as Vice President of Research & Analytics at Equation Research, Director of Media and Public Relations Research at Harris Interactive, and Director of Research at Plog Research.
Sybille started at TRI in 2013 as Lead Evaluation Specialist. Besides her work as the director of CREA, she has worked on QRIS, Project EF, and the WVCH Transformation project as well as aided in grant writing activities, survey development, and analyses for a number of other projects.
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Pattie Johnson serves as the Director or the Technical & Information Management Services Center at The Research Institute at WOU. She is also the Project Director on the Post School Outcomes (PSO) project, which follows the educational and employment experiences of students one year after they exit special education services, for the Oregon Department of Education. She has experience designing, building, and supporting online data collection and reporting systems, data analysis and management, and providing assistance in using data to drive school improvement during her 25 years with TRI.
Brian is an Associate Research Fellow at TRI with over twenty-five years' experience as a data manager and analyst in the field of education. Recent projects have focused on using SPSS to analyze large special education datasets for the Oregon Department of Education, but he has also worked with general education data from several states, including the analysis of assessment and discipline data. Brian specializes in data quality issues, the integration of data from multiple sources, and the development of systems designed to get timely and meaningful data to school districts which can directly impact student learning and performance. Brian regularly works with data across the educational spectrum, from early childhood to post-secondary, and assists states with the implementation of changing federal special education regulations, including FERPA and the development of funding models. Brian has a Master's Degree in Psychology from Pacific University and before coming to TRI worked for a market research company in Portland. He also spent over fifteen years studying wildlife biology and behavior, working for a variety of institutions including the Oregon Zoo, SRI, the Institute of Arctic Biology, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This included a six year period when he and his wife formed their own research company and obtained both federal and state funding to study marine mammals in remote areas of Hawaii.
Debbie has worked at The Research Institute since 1996. She came to TRI after graduating from WOU with a B.S. in business and working for 6 years in the staffing industry. She was originally hired as the office manager, but since 2003 has been in the Center on Early Learning as a project specialist. Developing systems, processes and procedures that enable the work of the Center to be accomplished is her specialty. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking with her dog, doing DIY projects around the house and enjoying a nice glass of wine while taking in a beautiful view.
Dr. Pat Ketcham is the Director of the Center for Health and Human Services. She earned her Ph.D. at Oregon State University. Her primary expertise is in Public Health and assessment and evaluation. She has worked in the field for 26 years. Pat started at TRI in 2014 as an Evaluation Specialist. Since then, she has worked on the Willamette Promise Project, 21st Century Community Learning Centers Project, and Project All. Pat is a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), Oregon Program Evaluation Network (OPEN), and the American College Health Association and the American Public Health Association. She has served as President of the American College Health Association and currently chairs the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) Advisory Committee.
Ken Kosko is an assessment specialist at The Research Institute. He serves as a clinician at the Education Evaluation Center (EEC), where he also served as the Director. He holds endorsements and authorizations in School Psychology, Elementary Education, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Special Educator, Reading and Supervision. Since coming to WOU in 1974, he has taught many of the special education courses and worked directly with disability services. Ken has traveled throughout Oregon offering training to educators, and state agency staff, including professors at the major universities regarding issues of accommodations/modifications for ADHD and Learning Disabled students. Ken is involved in center operations which include psycho-educational assessments, multicultural assessments, consultations, and vocational functional assessments for adults and students transitioning into postsecondary education and/or work. Staff at the EEC work with college students from all the major universities, community colleges and private colleges in the state assisting them by diagnosing learning problems, determining eligibility, and providing recommendations/accommodations.
Gail Leslie has nearly 23 years of experience in the field of deaf-blindness. She came to TRI in 1992, hired to build the national clearinghouse on deaf-blindness. Currently she serves as the Coordinator of Information and Dissemination for the National Center on Deaf-Blindness. Her areas of expertise include information management, database design, website management, content curation, product development and dissemination. She is especially interested in community development in the interest of building shared knowledge and practice. She has a master's degree in library and information studies and has worked for more than 35 years in public service and information management as a public librarian and as an information specialist and project coordinator.
Robyn Lopez Melton is the Coordinator of the Center on Early Learning at The Research Institute at Western Oregon University where she Co-Directs Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System and the state coordination of Oregon’s Child Care Resource and Referral. Robyn currently serves a member of the NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council and was recently elected President of OregonAEYC and looks forward to serving in that capacity over the next four years.She has worked in early learning for over a decade. Her areas of expertise include working with monolingual Spanish speaking families, young children with multiple risk factors, parent education and Quality Rating and Improvement Systems. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from OSU Cascades campus with two BA degrees, Liberal Studies and International Studies and is currently pursuing her Master's in Education Information Technology. In 2015, she was recognized by ExchangePress as an Exceptional Emerging Leader in Early Childhood Education. Robyn is also the mother of 2 and a licensed Zumba instructor.
Cindi Mafit holds a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of California at Davis. She has worked in The Research Institute's Grants Management Office since 1998, and serves as the business manager and grants financial specialist to 85% of the grants and contracts funded at the institute. Holds Certificates in Grants Financial Management, Research Administration, and Leadership from NCURA and SRA.
Peggy Malloy has worked at TRI since 1997 on a variety of projects for children who are deaf-blind. She as a PhD in Public Health from Oregon State University as well as an undergraduate degree in nursing and a master's degree in library science. Peggy is currently the Implementation Practices Coordinator for the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) and has a particular interest in the ways that implementation science findings inform the provision of technical assistance. Before working for NCDB, Peggy spent many years as an information specialist at DB-LINK and was the Managing Editor of Deaf-Blind Perspectives. Peggy's areas of expertise are deaf-blindness, public health, technical assistance, library services, information management, product development, and family engagement.
Roxanna Marvin has worked for The Research Institute for the past 21 years on multiple state and federal projects in a variety of roles including administration, providing coordination and technical assistance, and designing and developing training materials and curriculum. Roxanna has a Master's degree in Special Education and experience working in the field of Early Childhood Special Education at the TRI Child Development Center.
Dr. McDowell’s expertise in deaf-blindness includes serving as the Administrative Director of the Mississippi Deaf-Blind Project since 1999, numerous publications, international, national and state presentations, and extensive service on national and statewide committees representing deaf-blindness as well as other low incidence disabilities. She has the perfect set of skills and expertise to continue the significant work of NCDB in collaboration with the National Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Network and the broader OSEP TA community.
Shelby Morgan is a project specialist for the National Center on Deaf-Blindness at TRI. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Western Oregon University. Shelby's primary expertise is in content management, deaf-blindness and web development. She has worked in the field for four years. Shelby started at TRI as a student worker in 2009 working for the cochlear implant research project. Since then she has been hired as a Project Specialist to help maintain the national deaf-blind library, social media for NCDB, and to assist in the maintenance and development of NCDB's website.
Amy T. Parker, Ed. D., & COMS, serves as the Coordinator of Professional Development and Products at the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) located at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. She earned her doctoral degree in 2009 from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas in Special Education (Deafblindness and Orientation & Mobility). Her research interests include: single subject research, youth empowerment, transition issues for students with multiple disabilities, and neurolinguistics. Dr. Parker has also served as a Certified Interpreter in Texas and is currently a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Dr. Parker loves working with video and creating open access products that help educators and families around the world. Recently she led the national Deaf-Blind network in the creation of the Open Hands, Open Access Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning modules, which are being used by over 4300 people to increase knowledge and skills for serving students who are deaf-blind at the local level, www.moodle.nationaldb.org. She has been a professor, an advocate, a job developer, and a technical assistance provider supporting people with disabilities. One of the most important roles she has had in her life is that of being a family member to a sister with vision loss and multiple disabilities. Melody has been a friend, a roommate, and a teacher to her. She inspired Dr. Parker as a child to think differently. Melody gave meaning to Dr. Parker’s research when she was pursuing her doctorate in special education. Over the years she has learned that by including people with disabilities and their families in educational systems and communities, all people benefit. Melody taught her that; and she continues to show her the meaning of hope, compassion, and resilience.
Lauren Peterson is a new addition to The Research Institute, joining the Center on Early Learning as an Early Childhood Project Specialist. Lauren has worked in early childhood services for 25 years in both education and social services settings. She has been a Head Start supervisor, preschool teacher, program owner and director. Additionally, Lauren has been Adjunct Faculty in Early Childhood/Elementary Education at Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University. Lauren has a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s In Education. Areas of interest include curriculum development, early childhood environments and education policy. Lauren has two daughters and too many dogs.
Dr. Christina Reagle is the Director for the Center on Educator Preparation & Effectiveness. She joined The Research Institute at Western Oregon University after working at Oregon Department of Education and in Alaska. Her responsibilities are primarily focused in educational evaluation and program implementation. Dr. Reagle believes in a systems approach to education beginning with young children and continuing as adults work toward furthering their educational goals or making life changes toward a new career. She has comprehensive experience in Pre-K-12, adult, and university teaching; research and evaluation; educator preparation; program coordination; educational professional development; and grant writing. Besides education Dr. Reagle has been involved in social and mental health services, and justice department federal and state grants and contracts.
Marlene Richards, M.S., CCC-SLP is the Center Coordinator for TRI's Education Evaluation Center (EEC). She holds teaching certification in Elementary Education and in Speech Correction and holds an Oregon license in Speech/Language Pathology as well as her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA). Her employment experience spans over 25 years and includes itinerant speech pathologist in the public schools, adjunct instructor and clinical supervisor of graduate students in the former Speech Pathology program at WOU, consultant in private practice as well as her current position with the EEC for the last 20 years. Her work at TRI's EEC began briefly in 1980 and resumed in 1994 to the present time. Areas of focus include assessment of child language and its relation to learning to read, social language as it relates to high functioning autism, and assessment best practices for multicultural populations. She is a member of ASHA as well as the Oregon Speech, Language and Hearing Association (OSHA).
Amy Rizo works at the Center on Early Learning at TRI as a Technical Assistance Specialist for Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). Amy has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Art and a minor in Art History. She has extensive experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and focuses primarily on supporting Early Learning and Development Programs and providers serving children furthest from opportunity.
Amber Ryerson has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She has a 2nd Masters degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. She has worked in the field of Education for the past 20 years with expertise in working with families, observation and assessment, EI/ ECSE. Her prior experience includes being a preschool-6th grade teacher, mentoring and evaluating K-12 teachers new to the field, being a literacy coach, and being a Title One Administrator of K-12 programs. Currently, Amber works as a Program Coordinator for Traffic Safety Education and Oregon’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Mr. Mark Schalock currently serves as a Project Coordinator within the Center on Deaf-Blindness and a Project Director within the Center on Research, Evaluation and Analysis (CREA). Mr. Schalock earned a BS in Economics from OSU. Mark joined TRI in 1981 to conduct educational benefit-cost analyses. Mark’s primary expertise is in educational research, evaluation and data analysis. He had directed or co-directed numerous evaluation and/or research projects at the local, state and national level for over 30 years, focusing on the areas program and personnel evaluation, teacher preparation and licensure, teacher mentoring and induction, professional development, and more recently autism and deaf-blindness.
Candice (Candi) Scott is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Project Director for the Center for Educator Preparation and Effectiveness and an Early Learning TA Specialist with the Center on Early Learning. She earned her MS in Counseling and BA in Elementary Education from Oregon State University. She has served as an instructor and head teacher at Oregon State University's Child Development Center, as a Head Start teacher, and as an elementary teacher in the Corvallis, Lebanon, and Hermiston school districts. She has worked in the field for over 25 years.
Candi began working at TRI in 2013 as a TA Specialist for Central Coordination of Child Care Resource & Referral. Since then, she has worked as a TA Specialist for Oregon's QRIS and is the Project Director of Oregon's 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant with ODE.
When not working, Candi enjoys spending time with her husband and sons -- a junior at Western Oregon and a freshman at Oregon State University. She's also been playing women's slowpitch softball in Corvallis for the past 25 years -- including unsuccessfully trying to retire for the past three years.
Jennie Smith is a Financial Specialist in the Grants Management Office at The Research Institute. She has several years of related experience from working at both WOU and OSU. Jennie joined the GMO team at TRI in February of 2015. When not working, she enjoys boating, photography, and music.
Kjerstin Stanavige is the Centers Coordinator at TRI. She earned a Bachelor of Science in English from Brigham Young University–Idaho. Kjerstin’s primary expertise is in communications, social media, and marketing. Kjerstin started at TRI in 2013 as a Project Assistant working with Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). In 2014, she moved up to act as a Social Media Technical Assistance Specialist on the QRIS. In 2015, she became the Centers Coordinator for TRI. As the Coordinator, she ensures that TRI’s projects and products maintain cohesive branding. As part of this work, she coordinates the maintenance and growth of TRI’s social media accounts. Kjerstin also works with center directors to improve communication and strategizing within TRI. Kjerstin is a member of Western Oregon University’s Social Media Committee, and currently serves on nine internal committees and work groups. Outside of work, Kjerstin enjoys cooking, exploring the Oregon coast, and spending time with her husband and cat.
Ella's primary areas of expertise include research administration, program evaluation, educator professional development, and special education. She has over 25 years of experience in higher education. Ella received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida. Ella joined TRI in 2002 as a project evaluator. In 2011, she was selected as the Director of TRI. Her responsibilities include networking with national, state and local partners; facilitating the flow of research, technical assistance/training, professional development and dissemination activities; and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the TRI Centers. Ella serves on the Marion-Polk Early Learning Hub Advisory Board, the Willamette Promise Advisory Board, and the Oregon EHDI (Early Hearing Detection & Intervention) Board. She is the President-Elect for WOU's Phi Kappa Phi honor society. On a personal note, Ella enjoys spending time with her three Tennessee Walking horses and trail riding throughout Oregon.
Tom Udell is the Director of TRI's Center on Early Learning. He has over 25 years of experience in early childhood education and early childhood special education. He has worked on multiple state and federal projects in a variety of capacities including serving as director, providing coordination, professional development, technical assistance, and designing and developing curriculum.
Nathan Winegardner is the Bilingual Early Learning Project Specialist at TRI. He earned his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of Oregon. Nathan’s primary expertise is in Head Start program administration and he has worked in the field for seven years. Nathan started his position at TRI in 2015. Since then, he has worked on Spanish translation of TRI and QRIS materials, helping Central Coordination of CCR&R, and Oregon’s QRIS. When not working, Nathan enjoys being outside, paintball, painting, and spending time with his wife Brooke and daughter Kylea.