Dr. Serra Acar is a Project Coordinator at The Research Institute (TRI). Dr. Acar works on projects with an early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) focus. Serra received her Ph.D. in Early Intervention Program from the University of Oregon and her master's in Birth-Kindergarten: Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development (BK:ISED) from University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Serra's primary areas of expertise are family-centered practices, culturally and linguistically responsive assessment approaches, and personnel preparation in EI/ECSE. She has over 10 years of experience in the field. Serra is the project coordinator of Project EF: Executive Function in Infants and Toddlers Born Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Preterm. Serra has presented at numerous national and state conferences and is very involved with the Division of Early Childhood (DEC). Serra is the elected Member-at-Large to the DEC Executive Board and a liaison for DEC’s diversity council, VOICES. She is also serving as Oregon Ambassador for the the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center’s aRPy project. At the state level, she serves as an active member for Oregon DEC and Oregon Higher Education Consortium. 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.
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).
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.
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.
Tonya EastSenior Project/Program Manager
Tonya is a collaborative and results-driven professional providing more than 15 years of cross-industry project management success within government and private industry. She is resourceful and innovative with record of successfully developing, implementing, and executing strategic initiatives and programs. Tonya is a staff/employee and stakeholder-centric change agent adept at building and leading top-performing, cross-functional and motivated teams to achieve goals.
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/Project 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 recently completed her Masters of Science in Management and Information Systems from Western Oregon University in June 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 grant proposal development and editing. Kjerstin started at TRI in 2013 in Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (now Spark). In 2015, she became the Centers Coordinator for TRI. As the Coordinator, she collaborates with TRI's Center Directors to improve communication and strategizing, ensures that TRI’s projects and products maintain cohesive branding, and coordinates the maintenance and growth of TRI’s social media accounts and newsletter. In 2016, Kjerstin took on additional responsibilities as Western Oregon University's Sponsored Research Coordinator, through which she guides faculty through the grant writing process, provides editing and review services, and submits grants on WOU's behalf. Outside of work, Kjerstin enjoys cooking, exploring the Oregon coast, and spending time with her husband and cat.
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.