Dr. Serra Acar has joined the Center on Research, Evaluation & Analysis (CREA) and working on projects with an early childhood/early learning focus since 2014. 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 the evaluation specialist for the following projects: (1) Project Preparing Early Childhood Professionals for Inclusion, (2) Project Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Educators, (3) Project Executive Functioning, and (4) Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. 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). 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 Ladybug 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.”
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).
Research Professor, Dr. Robert Ayres brings varied and deep experience in research, evaluation, and teaching. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Oregon, and is a a founding member of the Center on Research, Evaluation & Analysis (CREA - formerly known as ERGo) housed at The Research Institute at Western Oregon University. Dr. Ayres has extensive experience with mixed-method/multiple-method evaluations 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. He is currently co-principal evaluator for the "Science and Engineering in the Lives of Students," National Science Foundation grant with Oregon State University. Dr. Ayres previously taught Research Methods in Education for 15 years at Western Oregon University.
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 for the Center on Early Learning. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. Cori’s areas of expertise include child development, early childhood care and education, inclusion, parenting, and working with families, Cori began working at TRI in 2013. She works primarily on Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). Cori provides technical assistance, training, and support to statewide partners. Cori is proud to work closely with the TRI Child Development Center providing ongoing training and support to program staff. 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 issues involving 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 an Early Childhood Project Assistant 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 an Assistant Research Professor whose responsibilities include program evaluation, statistical analysis, and serving as the Director of Abby's House, Center for Women and Families. 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.
Carol Dennis is a Digital Media Specialist at TRI. She has decades of experience and extensive skills in the areas of video production and creating online interactive training modules. Carol has been with TRI since 2011 helping to create video elements for online trainings, including writing, directing, video editing, and producing. She works across projects as needed, and creates feature-length, multimedia articles for the TRI website. Carol served for 8 years on the Board of Directors of the Lane Education Service District (Lane ESD), and is currently the President of the Lane Education Foundation. She has been a member of Actors Equity Association since 1973 and enjoys being involved in the local theatre community where she lives in Eugene, OR.
Jeff Denton serves as the lead web developer for The Research Institute. Prior to his employment with TRI in 2005, he managed his own web consultancy, Upstart Productions, since 2000.
Jeff currently serves on the TRI and NCDB web development committees. When not working, he enjoys designing and crafting wood products of all kinds.
Andrea is the Abby's House Assistant Director (a part of TRI's WOU CASA grant-funded project). She has an MA and a BS from Oregon State University with a concentration in Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Andrea has taught a variety of undergraduate Women's Studies courses at OSU and has served as a Research Project Assistant at Northwest Professional Consortium Research.
Aaron is a Grant Project Coordinator 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. Since then, he has worked managing the traffic safety education program, a grant received from the Oregon Department of Transportation - Transportation Safety Division, to train and certify driver education instructors in the State of Oregon. 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.
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.
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.
Melissa Gritz is a Technical Assistance Specialist for the Central Coordination of Oregon's Child Care Resource & Referral system. She is a Master Trainer in the Oregon Registry providing workshops and professional development in a variety of early childhood areas. She received her graduate certificate in Infant and Toddler Mental Health from Portland State University and her bachelor's degree in Human Development from Washington State University.
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 is the Project Director on the Post School Outcomes project. Oregon has been tracking 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 over 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 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 Evaluation Specialist at TRI. 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. When not working, Pat enjoys training for triathlons, spending time with her family and friends.
Ken Kosko is an Associate Professor at The Research Institute at Western Oregon University (WOU) and clinician at the Education Evaluation Center (EEC). 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.
With over 25 years of experience working in early childhood education Cassie looks forward to each new day and the learning opportunities it brings for the children in the Butterfly classroom. As a teacher she loves to give children hands on experiences to learn about their world and to guide them in their discoveries. Cassie enjoys watching every child build relationships with each other and guiding them throughout their play.
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 Center on Early Learning Coordinator and the QRIS Project Coordinator at the Center on Early Learning at TRI. 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. Robyn contributes to the Early Learning field by serving in volunteer roles for NAEYC and OregonAEYC. She currently serves as the Region X representative on the NAYEC Executive Committee of the Affiliate Council as well as representing Oregon at on the Affiliate Council. She was recently elected President-Elect of OregonAEYC and looks forward to serving in that capacity over the next four years. 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.
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 nineteen 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 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.
Bonnie is a Project Director in the Center on Educator Preparation and Effectiveness at TRI. She earned a Ph.D. from Oregon State University, specializing in online education. Bonnie’s major expertise is in pK-12 education and literacy, and she has worked in the field for more than 40 years. Bonnie started at TRI in 2005 as an Assistant Research Professor with a focus on Teacher Quality programs. Since then, she has worked as the higher education coordinator of Oregon’s Title II-A University/School teacher professional development grant program, the statewide coordinator for the 5-university ReadOregon reading endorsement program (8 years), the coordinator of two environmental education/STEM programs, the coordinator of the Oregon Teacher Recruitment and Mentoring project until its end in 2008, and the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator of WOU/TRI’s Traffic Safety Education Program. Bonnie is a member of the International Literacy Association and the National Association for Multicultural Education, and serves on the Board of the Oregon Association of Teacher Educators and the Oregon Deafblind Project. She is also webmaster for the Oregon Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. When not working, Bonnie enjoys reading, walking, swimming, traveling, and volunteering for Benton County Special Olympics.
Hi, my name is Amy Parker. I completed my doctorate at Texas Tech University through the National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment (NCLVI) fellowship program in 2009. I have been working with individuals who have sensory impairments since 1994. My emphasis of study at TTU was on evidence-based practices in teaching and rehabilitation for people who are deafblind. My dissertation focus was the use of adapted Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) as a functional communication intervention for students with multiple disabilities and visual impairments. Through partnership with colleagues, I have enjoyed delving into research and sharing the outcomes of studies in the peer-reviewed literature. While in my doctoral program, I also pursued a certification in orientation and mobility and am interested in exploring interventions for people who have multiple disabilities including deafblindness.
Dr. Christina Reagle is an Associate Research Fellow who joined The Research Institute at Western Oregon University after working at Oregon Department of Education and in Alaska. 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. Dr. Reagle has been involved in education, 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 is a Project Support Specialist and primarily works on the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program, which raises the quality and consistency of child care and early learning programs across the state. Amy is a 2014 graduate from Western Oregon University with a bachelors degree in Art, and a minor in Art History.
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 Early Childhood Education for the past 20 years with expertise in working with families, observation and assessment, EI/ ECSE. Her prior experience includes being a preschool-5th grade teacher, mentoring and evaluating K-12 teachers new to the field, being a literacy coach, being an administrator of Early Childhood Programs. Currently, Amber works as a Technical Assistant Specialist working with Central Coordination of Child Care Resource & Referral, Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), 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 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 and Liaison Coordinator 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 freshman at Western Oregon and a junior at Crescent Valley high school. 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 TRI. She has 16 years of related experience, which includes several years at OSU. Previously at WOU, Jennie worked in both the Business Office and the Payroll Office before joining 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.
Mandy Stanley has a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from PSU and a Master’s degree from WOU in Special Education with an endorsement in EI/ECSE. She has worked in the Early Childhood Education Field for the past 15 years bringing expertise in inclusion, adult learning, working with families, and screening and assessment. Mandy worked for TRI as an ECE trainer and as the Director of the TRI Child Development Center before leaving to expand her knowledge and skills through work as an early intervention specialist working with infants and toddlers with moderate to severe disabilities and as a adjunct faculty member for both Linn Benton Community College and Chemeketa Community College. She returned to TRI to assume a number of roles including technical assistance specialist, adjunct faculty for the WOU Early Childhood Department and as project coordinator on a collaborative grant with Willamette Valley Community Health. Mandy is currently working across a diverse group of projects including PEPI as a TA, project EF as the project coordinator and the Transformation Funds Grant as the project coordinator. In addition to her duties at TRI, Mandy serves on the Chemeketa Child Development Center Advisory Board, the Coalition for Children and Families with Special Needs (Marion County), the Early Learning Hub Inc. (Marion County’s Early Learning Hub), the State Interagency Coordinating Council and is the Vice President on the Board of Directors for Creating Opportunities. Mandy has a passion for the greater good of children and families and believes strongly in a strength based approach to help set-up sustainable systems that support positive outcomes for children and families. She feels strongly about her role in assisting families to support their goals and dreams for their child
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.
Cathy Thomas is a Data Manager and Statistician for the Center on Research, Evaluation, and Analysis (CREA) at The Research Institute (TRI). She earned her Bachelor in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and has over 75 post-grad hours from the University of Oregon in Statistical Analyses, Evaluation and Methodology. Cathy’s primary expertise is in statistics and evaluation both quantitative and qualitative, and she has worked in research for over 25 years. Cathy has worked at TRI since 1999 on multiple state and federal projects in a variety of roles including administration, project coordination, technical assistance, product development, program evaluation, and statistical analysis. In addition to Cathy’s work in CREA, she has worked in the Center on Early Learning, as well as aided in grant writing activities, survey development and analyses.
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.