Presenter Bios: 2023 FLE Summit
The 2023 Family Life Education Summit is scheduled for Friday, June 23, 2023. This will be a virtual event to focus solely on family practitioners at all experience levels working with and for families.
Meet Our Presenters
Listed in presentation order
Dr. Kimmery Newsom is an assistant professor of human development and family studies University of Wisconsin-Stout. She has over 13 years of experience teaching graduate and undergraduate students from UW-Stout and before that, Kansas State University (KSU). She has a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in marriage and family therapy, and a doctorate in family studies, all from KSU.
Dr. Newsom is a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) and is licensed clinically as a marriage and family therapist in Kansas and Wisconsin. Her research interests are resilience, childhood sexual trauma in women, and diversity education in Family Science. She has published articles and completed numerous national and international presentations. Dr. Newsom is the first author on a textbook that was released in August 2020 entitled Culture and Diversity in Family Life Education. More recently, she self-published her first personal work entitled Sounds of the Soul as an eBook on Barnes and Noble.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and writing and spending time with her children and partner.
Mariann B. Taylor, Ph.D., CFLE, serves as an Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator for the Child and Family Sciences Master of Science program at The University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to her work in higher education, she worked as a CLFE while serving as Executive Director of several non-profit organizations.
Karen Shirer, Ph.D. has almost 50 years of experience as an educator, researcher, and administrator for family and consumer sciences programs in formal and non-formal settings. Her research interests have focused on at-risk and low-income families and family life education. She has a strong interest and expertise in participatory processes for planning, implementing, and developing community-based educational programs and services. Dr. Shirer earned a Ph.D. in Family and Consumer and Sciences Education at Iowa State University. Her current focus areas include educational program design, military families, behavioral health promotion, and relationship and co-parenting education.
Mara Briere, CFLE is a Master’s level Certified Family Life Educator. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit organization for families uprooted by mental illness called, Grow a Strong Family, to generate, share, and develop the resources, support, and network that families need and do not have.
Dr. Suzanne Bartholomae, Associate Professor and Extension State Specialist in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, maintains an engaged scholarship program centering on financial well-being initiatives designed to encourage adults to take action to build their financial security and reduce their financial stress.
Laura Rowell is a program manager at the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, where she oversees general grantmaking for research and education projects in addition to financial capability programming with emphasis on helping lower-income workers and households achieve their financial goals through the workplace. Prior to her role at the FINRA Foundation, Laura led workforce development and financial capability programming for nonprofit organizations in Buffalo, New York, including the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County and the International Institute of Buffalo. She obtained her MBA from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Dr. Kamala Ramadoss’s research interest lies in the impact of the work-family interface on organizational, individual and family outcomes. Specifically, her work explores relationship between work-family interface, acculturation, social support, diet and health among immigrants and refugees from China, Ghana, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Lindsay N. Seymour is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Woman’s University and the Director of a family preservation program. Lindsay believes that family is the foundation to effective support for children and It is through ongoing educational support and the accessibility to resources that Lindsay supports the families and communities she serves.
Chelsea Hammond, Parent Educator for NDSU Extension - Grand Forks County. I have a Masters of Education degree obtained from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a Minnesota Teaching License. My appreciation for adult and family education is endless. I became a parent educator because parenting is hard and it is my goal to help parents learn different skills and tools to make it easier.
Dr. Hannah Mechler is currently a faculty member at Grays Harbor College, located in Washington state, where she teaches classes centered on early childhood education and development. Her research interests primarily focus on meta-emotion, parent-child relationships, and children’s socio-emotional development.
Sean E. Brotherson, Ph.D., is a Professor and Extension Family Life Specialist with North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. He teaches Family Life Education and also Prevention Science courses. His work involves developing, implementing, and evaluating educational resources and programs for children, couples, and families.
Trina Simms is PAXIS Sustainability Coordinator for the state of Arizona. Trina is an instrumental member of the Arizona team growing the state wide implementation of the PAX Good Behavior Game. Trina is also a Master’s level clinician, and worked closely with families navigating the child welfare system. Trina is the grateful mother of a 16 year old daughter, and she also loves to delight people with full range catering.
Jeanette Puskas serves as the PAXIS Programs Manager providing guidance and support to organizations as they plan for PAX programming. Jeanette has spent over a decade providing support to our national and international sites in implementing, expanding, and sustaining PAX throughout their school and community. Jeanette is also an International PAX Trainer and works closely with local, state, and international sites in strategic planning for large scale implementation.
Cassandra Ratcliff is a second-year doctoral student studying Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies in the Communities, Families, and Addiction Sciences Department at Texas Tech University. She has been in recovery from NSSI for over a decade. She has since committed her life to educating others about NSSI recovery through education.
Julie K. Nelson, M.A., CFLE, SFHEA is an Assistant Professor of Family Science, the program Field Coordinator, and “Stronger Families Project” internship faculty director in the Department of Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University. [email protected]
Dr. Meeshay Williams-Wheeler holds BS and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC Greensboro and a MA in Clinical Psychology from North Carolina Central University. She received the Family Life Education and Coaching Graduate Certificate from North Carolina State University. She and her husband Daniel have one son DJ!
After years working in the field as a CFLE, Family Mediator, Public School Educator, Women’s and Children’s Ministry Director, and Developmental Specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Ramsey is Professor at Tennessee Technological University in Human Ecology. Elizabeth is married to Paul, and they have four children and two grandchildren.
Rita Julian is from Cookeville, TN and graduated from Tennessee Tech University with her Bachelor's in Accounting and Masters in Business Administration. She owns Julian Bookkeeping LLC where she provides bookkeeping services and educational courses for small businesses. Rita married her high school sweetheart and has two children, James and Clara.
Ms. Kelly Frisch, CFLE is a California Native and grew up in Northern California. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Family Studies and a minor in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento. She successfully completed her Family Life Education Certification with the National Council on Family Relations, and became a Certified Family Life Educator in 2007.
Ms. Frisch has worked in a variety of military and family support programs to include: Preschool teacher, Academic Advisor, Title 1 Resource Teacher, Fleet and Family Service Center provider, and, has served as both an Installation and Regional School Liaison Officer since the inception of the program in 2009. During that time, she has helped to develop the School Liaison program as a whole. Some of Ms. Frisch’s specific accomplishments include: Establishing Partnerships-in-Education with local schools and commands; implementing and overseeing the Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC) program; establishing military support “Connections Rooms” to enhance school based programming; ensuring all new families are made aware of local military resources; developing programs to help ease the transition of students into their new schools; supporting over 10,000+ new military families into the San Diego area.
From Oct 2013-2020, Ms. Frisch served as the Commander Navy Region Southwest Regional School Liaison Officer (SLO), providing military support services and oversight for K-12 military students and their families. As the Regional SLO, Ms. Frisch managed, coordinated, and facilitated program support to maximize the opportunity for academic success of military associated children. She worked with Region Commanders, state-level educators and legislators, and parents of school-age children to help them better understand the educational needs of military associated children. She served at the DoD Military Representative on the California Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC 3), was a long standing member of the San Diego Military Family Collaborative’ s “Coordinating Council,” and participated in the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce “LEAD Advance” class of 2020.
In Oct 2020, Ms. Frisch assumed the role of Regional EFMP Special Education Liaison with Navy Region Southwest Fleet Family Support Programs. She is responsible for implementing support to Navy EFMP families with special education needs as it pertains to Individual Education Programs (IEPs), 504 plans, and associated plans to support the special educational needs of military children. Ms. Frisch coordinates and collaborates with the Regional EFMP Special Needs Attorney, EFMP Case Liaisons, School Liaison Officers, educational providers, and other EFMP support stakeholders to leverage support on behalf of families and works to assess the needs of families and provide support as needed.
A native of Leesville Illinois, Force Master Chief Keith Goosby (U.S. Navy, retired) retired from the Navy in 2004 after completing 30 years of service. Upon retirement from the Navy, Keith served as the outreach coordinator for the San Diego and Imperial Counties American Red Cross. After one year with the Red Cross, Keith applied for and was selected as the Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) Work and Family Life Coordinator where he has worked from 2005 until present.
As the NRSW Work and Family Life Coordinator, he provides policy, guidance, support and oversight to programs such as deployment support, personal financial management, military transition to civilian life, family employment, the ombudsman program and life skills education. He also serves as one of four team leads for the Commander Naval Installations Command (CNIC) Fleet and Family Support Certification program.
Keith has a Bachelor of Science in Management from University of Phoenix, and a certificate of completion in Strategies for becoming an Effective Diversity Practitioner from Northeastern Illinois University. Keith is also a certified Life Coach, teacher, trainer and speaker.
Dr. Brittney Schrick is Associate Professor and Family Life Specialist for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service where she curates, composes, and coordinates marriage, parenting, family life, and mental health programming for distribution through Arkansas’ 75 county extension offices by family and consumer sciences extension agents.
Holly Tiret, Senior Extension Educator, Health and Nutrition Institute, Michigan State University Extension has taught classes in mindfulness, anger management, caring for the caregiver, and sleep for the past 21 years. Her focus is on helping people become socially and emotionally healthy so they can lead satisfying and productive lives.
Christi Demitz joined Michigan State University Extension in 2014 as a health educator. In her role, she provides health education to prevent and manage chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, and depression. Christi is trained in several evidence-based programs and facilitates both online and in-person workshops. Before joining MSU Extension, Christi spent 10 years as a public health consultant where she implemented chronic disease prevention programs, managed grants and contracts, and collected data to measure the effectiveness of interventions. Christi holds a master’s in social work from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s in administration from Central Michigan University. She is a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Master Trainer, a Certified Family Life Educator, and the statewide coordinator for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for MSU.
Dr. Ruben Viramontez is the Founding Program Chair of the Human Development and Family Relations Program at the University of Colorado Denver. He has been a culturally responsive CFLE for 25 years. His work has primarily focused on serving immigrant and multigenerational Latino families and their children's education in rural and urban contexts. He has worked with Latino family and other underserved families for over 30 years.
Greyson Arnold is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. He will continue his studies of Family Sciences at the University of Minnesota working on his MA and Ph.D. His research interest is queer wellness; he hopes to bring diverse and accessible knowledge to all who seek it.
Jennifer Krafchick, Ph.D., CFLE is Professor in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and the University Honors Program at Colorado State University (CSU). She currently serves as the Co-Director of Campus Connections program. [redacted] earned her Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies with an emphasis in Social Justice Education, her Masters in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a graduate certificate in Women's Studies from CSU. Her research centers on mentoring and at-risk youth. Jennifer Krafchick, Ph.D., CFLE is Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University. She is Co-Director of Campus Connections. She earned her Ph.D. in Education and M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy (HDFS). Her research centers on mentoring and youth who have experienced adversity.
Marcia L. Montague is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Special Education at Texas A&M University (TAMU). She earned her doctorate from TAMU’s Department of Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Special Education Leadership and Interagency Collaboration. She has over 20 years of experience in the special education field, combining her public school teaching and her work preparing pre-service and in-service teachers. Her research and service interests focus on equity in access for individuals with disabilities, including family empowerment and transition to higher education. Her efforts support partnerships with surrounding school districts and Local Authorities on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (LIDDAs).
Dr. Yi-Fan Li earned her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University with a major in Educational Psychology and emphasis in Special Education. Before she came to the U.S., she was a special education teacher for five years, mainly teaching students with intellectual disabilities, autism, and multiple disabilities in a high school. During her teaching career, she had the experience of being a transition coordinator. This valuable experience led her to keep exploring the transition education for individuals with disabilities. She is also interested in working with teacher candidates to explore inclusive teaching practices, such as universal design for learning, to support students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Letitia Omaboe is a British - Ghanaian Doctoral Student in Special Education, and Graduate Assistant at Texas A & M University (TAMU). She earned a law degree and master's degrees in general and health Psychology in the United Kingdom and has over 5 years of experience in the special education field. Primarily, her research interests focus on equity in access and quality of education for individuals with disabilities. This includes transition to higher education and employment, classroom management, and teacher preparation and professional development. She is additionally interested in the topic of exclusionary school discipline. Ultimately, she has a passion to effectuate a greater awareness and understanding of inclusive education globally, especially in her home country Ghana.