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Home > Board & Staff

Board & Staff

Board

Susan Dickler, MPA, MSW, President

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Susan started her career in the field of reproductive health and rights at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, running their pregnancy counseling hotline before the Roe v. Wade decision. Susan’s philanthropic training and interest developed while staffing the Reproductive Rights and Health Coalition Fund at the Ms. Foundation for Women and, later, as the Ms. Foundation’s Grants Director.  She was the founding Executive Director and Vice Chair of The Dickler Family Foundation, which supported family planning and reproductive health through grants to international and domestic programs.   She also served as Vice President for Management and Development of the Environmental Policy Institute and Executive Director of Voters for Choice, a pro-choice PAC in Washington, D.C.  Susan combines her foundation and non-profit management experience with a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia.

Lisa M. Stone, JD, Treasurer

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Lisa has been Executive Director of Legal Voice (formerly the Northwest Women’s Law Center), a  non-profit legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing legal rights for women, for more than 14 years.  In addition to her experience litigating on behalf of women patients and reproductive health care providers, she has expertise in the areas of civil rights, sex discrimination, the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and non-profit legal issues. Lisa has served on the Women’s Health Leadership Network of the Center for American Progress; is a founding Board member of the Women’s Bioethics Project, a think tank dedicated to bringing a feminist perspective to bioethics issues; and is a founding Board member and Vice President of the Washington Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation, which aims to provide brand-name medication to low-income uninsured people.  She has been an attorney with the federal government and in private practice, and an environmental manager with a national oil spill cleanup company.  She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington Law School in 1985.

Janet Singer, CNM, Clerk

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Janet has been a Certified Nurse Midwife since 1991 and a Clinical Teaching Associate at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University since 1998 where she regularly lectures on abortion to medical students, ob residents, midwifery students.  Trained in surgical abortion in 1998, she has presented on abortion at the American College of Nurse Midwives and helped change Rhode Island health department regulations to expand role of midlevel providers in abortion provision.

Traci Baird, MPH, Director

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Traci has worked for Ipas since 1995 on programs ranging from training midwives in postabortion care in Ghana to introducing new abortion technologies in Vietnam to expanding use of manual vacuum aspiration in Eastern and Central Europe.  As Director of the Medical Abortion Initiative, she led Ipas’s global initiative on medication abortion, managing a global grant designed to increase access to medication abortion and leading a team of staff to coordinate and maximize Ipas’s work in this field. Previously, as Ipas’s US/Europe and Asia Regional Director, she was responsible for developing and guiding strategies for Ipas’s efforts and for achieving sustainable results in those regions.  Since joining Ipas she has authored numerous articles, monographs, and technical guides on various aspects of abortion care.  Prior to joining Ipas, Traci worked as a manager of an abortion/family planning clinic in North Carolina and on programs to prevent sexual assault in California and North Carolina.  She earned a Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 1995, where her Master’s Thesis was on abortion providers’ perceptions of quality of abortion care.

Christy Fujio, JD, Director

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Christy Fujio is an attorney currently serving as Director of MENA Training and Legal Advisor at Physicians for Human Rights. Prior to joining PHR, Christy worked in private practice as an immigration attorney, and she currently handles pro bono cases through the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project and Kids In Need of Defense. She organized and conducted legal training and capacity-building seminars for women parliamentarians, executive officers, and civil society leaders from Rwanda, Liberia, Sudan, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, and Russia. She consulted directly with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf regarding the transitional justice hurdles Liberia faces in the wake of its civil war.  She has been published in the New York Times, Boston Globe, The Lancet, and legal journals at Georgetown University Law School, Michigan State University Law School, and University of San Francisco Law School, holds a JD from Suffolk University Law School and an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  Christy and her son played a role in Provide’s  “Why abortion” video filmed last summer and hosted on our website and YouTube.

Jennifer Marshall Pepper, Director

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Jennifer Marshall Pepper is the Program and Quality Manager for the Memphis Ryan White Program. Beginning her career as a sexual health peer educator as a teenager, she is deeply committed to fostering compassion and enabling justice to thrive in her communities.  Most recently, Jennifer has led the effort in Tennessee to increase the integration of HIV care and prevention and sexual and reproductive health.  In 2011, her work was featured as one of three US case studies in the UNAIDS report, Achieving sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls through the HIV response.  She was also a founding member of the 30 for 30 Campaign.  After seven years as the Assistant Director of CHOICES, a nonprofit feminist health care provider, Jennifer recently joined the Memphis Ryan White Program as the Program and Quality Manager. “I am very excited to make a commitment of my time, talents, and financial resources to support Provide’s mission to increase access to abortion care services for all women in U.S., especially women in the South and Midwest.” She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in Anthropology and Sociology and was trained as a sexual health educator through the North Atlantic Training Institute for Sexual Health Educators.

Daniel E. Pellegrom, MDiv, Director

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Dan Pellegrom’s career in reproductive health spanned more than 4 decades including Presidencies of three different organizations, concluded with a 26 year tenure as President and CEO of Pathfinder International.  Dan is widely respected for his experience in both management and advocacy.  His career at Pathfinder was the longest tenure of anyone serving as the head of a global reproductive health organization. Pathfinder became only the second US-based organization to receive the United Nations Population Award in 1996.  In 2011, Dan was awarded the Union Medal by Union Theological Seminary in New York City; Union does not award honorary Doctorates, hence the Union Medal is its highest honor. Dan served as Executive Director of two US based Planned Parenthood affiliates prior to his Pathfinder tenure.  He was Executive Director of Memphis Planned Parenthood from 1971 to 1975.  Soon after the Roe v. Wade decision it became the first Planned Parenthood in the South to add abortion services.  From 1975 to 1985 he was Executive Director of the state-wide Planned Parenthood affiliate in Maryland, an early provider of abortion services.  Its clinic in Annapolis, Maryland was fire bombed in 1984. Dan has served on various Boards of Directors including The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood League of MA, World Neighbors, and is a past Board Chair of both the Brush Foundation and InterAction, the largest coalition of US-based humanitarian organizations working abroad. He continues to serve on the Brush Foundation Board and currently serves on the 501-c-4 Board of the MA Planned Parenthood affiliate. He has written op-ed pieces for The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, and The New York Times as well as provided testimony at Congressional hearings and other public forums. In 1968 Dan was the President of the Student Council at Columbia University and provided days of testimony to the Fact-Finding Commission headed by Archibald Cox, after the student-led revolt at the University.  He has recently been added to the Board of Directors of Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and serves as a Senior Advisor in Global Health Policy at A.D.S. Ventures in Boston.

Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH, Director

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Joseph is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco.  He also serves as Director for Communication, Development and External Relations, in the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.  Joseph is a graduate of Harvard College in chemistry and physics and a graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. Joseph’s previous positions include direction of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) population research program and overall direction of the USAID Office of Population where he had oversight over the world’s largest program of population and family planning assistance.  Subsequently Joseph served as vice president and president of Population Action International (PAI), and between 1995 and 2003, he directed the population grants program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Joseph recently served on the board of directors of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), Ipas, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health and as founding co-chair and member of the board of the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health & Rights.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Provide, Population Connection and Venture Strategies Innovations.  Joseph is the author of more than 100 articles and chapters and editor or author of 14 books and monographs on issues relating to family planning, contraception, and population.  His professional accomplishments have been recognized by various awards, the most recent being the Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning from the Society of Family Planning.

Melanie Zurek, EdM, Director

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Melanie Zurek has spent a decade as the Executive Director of Provide, formerly the Abortion Access Project. In her time there, she has worked to reduce the stigma of abortion and to increase the availability of women’s health services in low access states in the South and Midwest. While at Provide, she has led the organization to develop important opportunities and resources for health and social service professionals, so that they can play their role in helping women get the care they need.

Melanie is driven by the individual woman’s experience of being able to access care and be supported. Growing up in a gay family during a time, the early 80’s, before gay families were understood or recognized, before gay marriage or kids coming out in schools, she remembers acutely what it felt like to face discomfort from counselors, health care providers, and other who were supposed to be able to help. She saw firsthand the deep importance of there being safe spaces for socially uncomfortable topics, and dedicated herself to creating these.

An educator and writer by training, Melanie’s career began teaching autobiographical writing workshops in New York City battered and homeless women’s shelters and has included work with rape crisis centers, Native American tribes, and adjudicated minors. Prior to Provide, Melanie served as the Education Outreach and Training Manager for the Family Planning Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At the Department of Health, she managed the program’s sexual and reproductive health education initiatives as well as provided training, outreach and community education resources to contracted family planning provider agencies across the state.

Melanie has also served as the Coordinator of Professional Education at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. There she provided training in comprehensive sexuality education to parents, educators, and health professionals. She has consulted on numerous health communications, curriculum development and professional training projects with private and government agencies and served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund. She received her B.A. from the New School for Social Research in New York and her Masters in Education from Harvard University.


Staff

Melanie Zurek, EdM, Executive Director

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Melanie Zurek has spent a decade as the Executive Director of Provide, formerly the Abortion Access Project. In her time there, she has worked to reduce the stigma of abortion and to increase the availability of women’s health services in low access states in the South and Midwest. While at Provide, she has led the organization to develop important opportunities and resources for health and social service professionals, so that they can play their role in helping women get the care they need.

Melanie is driven by the individual woman’s experience of being able to access care and be supported. Growing up in a gay family during a time, the early 80’s, before gay families were understood or recognized, before gay marriage or kids coming out in schools, she remembers acutely what it felt like to face discomfort from counselors, health care providers, and other who were supposed to be able to help. She saw firsthand the deep importance of there being safe spaces for socially uncomfortable topics, and dedicated herself to creating these.

An educator and writer by training, Melanie’s career began teaching autobiographical writing workshops in New York City battered and homeless women’s shelters and has included work with rape crisis centers, Native American tribes, and adjudicated minors. Prior to Provide, Melanie served as the Education Outreach and Training Manager for the Family Planning Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At the Department of Health, she managed the program’s sexual and reproductive health education initiatives as well as provided training, outreach and community education resources to contracted family planning provider agencies across the state.

Melanie has also served as the Coordinator of Professional Education at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. There she provided training in comprehensive sexuality education to parents, educators, and health professionals. She has consulted on numerous health communications, curriculum development and professional training projects with private and government agencies and served on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund. She received her B.A. from the New School for Social Research in New York and her Masters in Education from Harvard University.

Wyndi Anderson, Senior Director of Programs

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Wyndi Anderson is a nationally recognized feminist and social justice advocate who, for over 15 years, has been working to secure human rights and access to health care for some of the most marginalized women in the world. Through years of work with National Advocates for Pregnant Women, her work focused primarily on securing legal rights and access to appropriate health care for drug-addicted pregnant and parenting women, as well as ensuring that all women have access to a full range of reproductive and drug treatment health care services. She can’t leave out the incredible folks she met and work she was lucky enough to do as a consultant with the International Harm Reduction Development Program of the Open Society Institute where she traveled to Russsia, Ukraine, Kyrgystan and Indonesia. In the US, she has led efforts to establish state and local initiatives in the southeastern US for the National Network of Abortion Funds, managed an Emergency Contraception campaign in Georgia for NARAL Pro-Choice America, and currently serves as chair on the board of Choice USA. She has been profiled in national publications, such as Ms. magazine and Glamour, and she is frequently sought out for comment by members of the press. As Senior Director of Programs, Wyndi is responsible for providing leadership, strategic vision and support to the field team, as well as overseeing multiple projects.  She also contributes to operational and programmatic strategy and problem solving and development as a member of Provide’s management team.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Wyndi lives as close to Washington, DC as one can get and still maintain voting rights. She finds her family, friends, pets, and motorcycles to be just the things to keep her grounded in the midst of the sustained push towards her vision of justice – where ALL women can access the health care they want and need, without question, harassment or fear.

Maggie Baker, Office Manager

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Maggie volunteered with Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ Counseling and Referral Hotline for four years.  Prior to that she volunteered with NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts’ EC Network and the AIDS Action Committee’s Mass Red Ribbon Ride.  She has ten years of administrative experience.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Trinity College.  Maggie oversees Provide’s office and administrative functions.  In her spare time she likes to spend time with family and she enjoys traveling.

Joyce Cappiello, PhD, APRN-FNP, Director, Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing (ROE Consortium)

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Joyce has a strong interest and commitment to the field of reproductive health. She is the director of the Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing (ROE) Consortium which promotes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care in nursing education.  ROE is comprised of a dedicated group of nursing faculty that seek to address the gaps in reproductive options curricula  by integrating unintended pregnancy prevention and care into nursing education and practice.  Joyce also teaches family nurse practitioner students at the University of New Hampshire, integrating sexual and reproductive health issues in the primary health care curriculum.  In addition, she maintains a clinical practice at the Joan G. Lovering Health Center where she provides comprehensive reproductive health care to men and women as a family nurse practitioner.  Her PhD studies at Swansea University in Swansea, Wales culminated in a research study of Women’s Experience of Decision Making with Medication Abortion.  Joyce’s love of travel and strong interest in international health issues has taken her to Belize and Guatemala where she organized international field experiences for nursing students.  Most recently, she has conducted workshops on advancing nursing research skills in reproductive healthcare for nurses in South Africa.  Joyce’s favorite moments are spent swimming and relaxing with her family at her favorite lake in New Hampshire.

Rebecca Hart, JD, Associate Director of Programs

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Rebecca is an attorney who has dedicated her career to ensuring women live free from violence and have access to comprehensive reproductive health care. She is the Associate Director of Programs at Provide. Prior to joining Provide, she was the Federal Policy Director at the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers in North America. Rebecca held legal fellowships with the U.S. Legal Program of the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Congress of American Indians. She has published two law review articles on violence against Native American women, including an article in the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender and Society entitled ”No Exceptions Made: Sexual Assault against Native American Women and the Denial of Reproductive Healthcare Services.” Rebecca serves on the Board of Directors of the Reproductive Health Access Project. She earned a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she was the Senior Publishing Editor of the California Law Review and co-chair of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Prior to attending law school, Rebecca received a Fulbright Fellowship to examine human rights abuses against indigenous women in Guatemala and worked at Human Rights Watch. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in History and Spanish. When not at work, she can be found extolling the virtues of homemade canned goods.

Brooke McConnell, JD, Individual Giving Officer

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Brooke manages the individual donor development program, ensuring consistent financial support for Provide and encouraging individual donor involvement and partnership in Provide’s efforts. She is inspired by Provide supporters’ passion and concern, and seeing the collective impact their contributions can have on abortion access for women across the U.S. Prior to joining Provide in 2009, Brooke worked for the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government as Assistant Director of Major Gifts. Brooke holds a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School. She is author of “Quality Control: The Implications of Negative Genetic Selection and Pre-Birth Genetic Enhancement,” 15 UCLA Women’s L.J. 47, 2006, which is cited in model curriculum for courses in reproductive rights, law and justice. Other experience includes donor management as the Associate Director of the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board as well as work with the Family Planning Advocates of New York State and MergerWatch as a legal intern. Brooke is a former director of the Board for Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson. Brooke is a co-founder and steering committee member of SAVE Saratoga, a grassroots citizen movement in her hometown working to stop the siting of a mega-casino. Self-determination matters to Brooke whether it be about your body or the destiny of your community.  Brooke lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter and (new) faithful canine companion, Sandy.

Ashley F. Miller, MFA, Communications Officer

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Ashley F. Miller is a writer, activist, and communications scholar from South Carolina, who has worked for LGBT, secular, and women’s rights for over a decade.  She is one of the leading young women in the secular movement, speaking regularly at schools and conferences across the country about feminism and communications.  She has written for dozens of publications, including Salon, Freethought Blogs, and the academic journal CrossCurrents, and run local communications campaigns for law firms, news websites, and secular organizations.  She is a PhD candidate in Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, where she has focused on women and minorities in the media.  Before returning to school for her PhD, she worked in film and television in Los Angeles.  She has a Masters in Film Production from FSU, and a Bachelors degree in Film Studies from Emory University.

Melissa Moore, South Carolina Field Coordinator

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Melissa Moore, a native of Charleston, SC, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the College of Charleston. She currently serves as the South Carolina State Coordinator with Provide, where she works to expand access to reproductive health services. She is a consultant for the Miscarriage Management Training Initiative, MMTI, a project that aims to integrate office-based Early Pregnancy Loss Management (ELPM) curriculum into family medicine residency programs across the state. She is also the Executive Director for We Are Family, where she advances leadership development projects and support services for youth who have been marginalized on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Melissa was recently published in an anthology of essays called, “Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio,” from South Carolina’s first GLBT radio show. She is a founder of Charleston Gay Pride celebration and annual Reel Grits Pride Film Festival. She is a Grinnell College Young Innovators Social Justice Prize nominee and a Liberty Fellowship candidate. Over the past five years, she has worked toward building a more inclusive South Carolina through her work as Executive Assistant with Alliance For Full Acceptance and Field Director with South Carolina Equality. Melissa plays bass in an all-female band, which fulfills her life-long rock-and-roll fantasy.

Jenny O’Donnell, MSc, Deputy Director

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Jenny serves as the Deputy Director for Provide. As Deputy Director, she stewards organizational development and oversees the Core Functions team and work in development, communications, operations, personnel and research/evaluation. As a member of Provide’s Management Team since 2010, Jenny works with colleagues to ensure strategic and effective programming in support of the organization’s mission.

Prior to the role Deputy Director, she managed Provide ‘s communication activities. Other past experience includes NSF-sponsored research/ writing with Professor Rosanna Hertz on her 2006 book capturing a qualitative study of single motherhood, work with the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School, and consultation with Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Board as well as internships at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ development department, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s government relations department, and Our Bodies Ourselves’ translation and adaptation program.

Jenny has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, a Master of Science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health, concurrent with her work at Provide. A Maternal and Child Health concentrator, her research interest is the intersection place and identity as it influences access to reproductive health, specifically abortion care. Jenny is Fellow in the 2012-2013 cohort of the National Council for Research on Women-Amex Fellowship, a program dedicated to developing women leaders in the nonprofit sector. As a coastal dweller (both right and left) for most of her life, she is delighted that her work with Provide has introduced her to the art-deco buildings of Oklahoma, the soybean fields of Iowa, and the small town bakeries of Kentucky.

Bree Pearsall, MSW, Kentucky Field Coordinator

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Bree Pearsall currently serves as the Kentucky State Coordinator with Provide, where she works to expand access to reproductive health care across the state.  Bree lives in Louisville, Kentucky and has worked across a range of issues including immigrant and refugee rights, reproductive rights, violence against women, and worker’s rights.  Bree has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington and bachelor’s degrees in political science and social work from the University of Kentucky.  She has worked as a counselor, case manager, and advocate for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.  During graduate school, she worked with Seattle day laborers organizing around the issue of wage theft.  She is an active volunteer with the Kentucky Support Network, an all-volunteer-run abortion fund that supports people across the state who are facing barriers in accessing abortion care.  Bree strives to cultivate an anti-oppressive practice in her life and work and she believes in the power of communities to create lasting social change.

Karolyn Chowning, MS, Oklahoma Field Coordinator

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Karolyn Chowning currently serves as the Oklahoma State Coordinator with Provide, where she works to expand access to reproductive health services. She lives in Oklahoma City’s south side and is a doula-in-training with Birth Matters. Karolyn also serves on the board of Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, a 503(c)(4) organization formed in 2010.

Before relocating to Oklahoma, Karolyn grew up in Dayton, Ohio: home of the Wright Brothers and birthplace of modern aviation. At age 10, she was the youngest cadet to join Civil Air Patrol, the official civilian auxiliary of the USAF. In September 2001, Karolyn enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and served for ten years as a construction specialist and training sergeant.

Prior to Provide, Karolyn directed two U.S. Department of Education college access TRiO grant projects, Upward Bound and Student Support Services, hosted at Oklahoma City Community College which provide support to increase the number of bachelor’s degrees obtained by first-generation, low-income students. At the University of Oklahoma, she worked for the Center for Independent and Distance Learning assisting administrators, instructors and students with high school and college course management; for the College of Liberal Studies as an adjunct professor; and for the College of Arts and Sciences as a research assistant and instructor. Karolyn has taught college courses in introductory psychology, introductory writing, personality, research methods, and adores teaching behavioral statistics. She has worked on research projects addressing traumatic brain injury, smoking cessation, assertiveness, self-focus, incivility, decision making, and optimism. She received her B.S. from Wright State University and her M.S. from the University of Oklahoma in personality and social psychology.