Kate Barnes joined the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) in January 2022. Her responsibilities include working with OVPR units and leadership to create and implement a strategic communications plan for programs and projects, including website development, content creation, media relations, and external stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining OVPR, Kate served as Logistics Director for Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II (2019-2022), and Communications Specialist at a Lansing lobbying firm (2013-2019). Kate holds a B.S. in Journalism from Central Michigan University.
Ms. Becker is a Research Associate for Michigan Medicine on Project IntERact which aims to reduce risky firearm carriage. She has her Bachelor of Social Work and a Minor in Substance Abuse Treatment from the University of Michigan-Flint. She became especially interested in reducing risky behaviors among youth while at her internship where she worked with homeless youth in the Flint area.
Ms. Bitar joined the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention in February 2023 as a Project Manager. She manages the development, launch, and evaluation of a self-paced virtual training for an evidence-based after school program (Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES)) designed to help middle and high school aged youth become active participants and leaders in addressing youth violence and future firearm violence. She also provides general support and works closely with the team at the Institute to develop, design, and conduct Institute projects and initiatives. Marie Elena was born and raised in Lebanon and speaks three languages (Arabic, French, English). She is a Registered Dietitian and earned her Master’s in Public Health and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is passionate about social justice issues, youth empowerment, mental health advocacy, inclusive healthcare, and non-diet nutrition.
Research Therapist & Recruiter
Ms. Boskee is a research therapist and recruiter on Project IntERact which focuses on preventing risky firearm behaviors among youth. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Flint. Prior to joining IFIP, she served as a research therapist, recruiter, and study lead for SafERteens MCoach, a study aiming to reduce risky drinking and violence among adolescents.
Ms. Bowie is a research recruiter on Project SynERgy which aims to better understand health behaviors in young adults and teens. Project SynERgy identifies assault injured youth in the Emergency Department and is examining how to reduce both ED recidivism and negative outcomes among this population. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a pre-medical concentration from the University of Michigan-Flint. She plans to pursue her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health with a concentration in Health Behavior Health Education.
Melissa Chavez, MPH
School Safety Specialist
Melissa Chavez has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since 2022 as a School Safety Specialist. She has experience in clinical research, both in orthopedics and pediatric social & emotional neurodevelopment spaces, and public health research experience in equity and health & wellbeing. She also has experience in community engagement, advocacy, and outreach, and is a Board of Directors member for a non-profit organization in Grand Rapids, MI. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from Western Michigan University. She is passionate about social justice issues, youth empowerment, mental health advocacy, inclusive healthcare, and exercise science.
Haley Crimmins, MPH
Research Area Specialist
Ms. Crimmins is a Research Area Specialist with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. She is a graduate of University of Michigan School of Public Health with a Masters in Public Health. Her MPH has a concentration in Health Behavior Health Education. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked as a research assistant with the Detroit Urban Research Center, UM Poverty Solutions, and the UM Eisenberg Depression Center.
Isabella DeMino, MSW
Isabella DeMino (she/her) joined the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention in October 2023. She is the Evaluation Specialist for the Michigan School Safety Initiative which is focused on working with schools to provide training and technical assistance to improve school safety and prevent school violence by implementing evidence-based safety programs and strategies. She holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in Criminology from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration from the University of Chicago.
Kyana Dixie, LLMSW
Ms. Dixie is a Clinical Research Therapist on Project SynERgy and Project IntERact, both of which aim to reduce the recidivism of risky behaviors such as violence, firearm carriage, and substance use in young adults located in underserved communities. She received her MSW from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work and graduated as a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Scholar with a concentration in Interpersonal Practice. Prior to joining IFIP, she interned as a Behavioral Health Consultant for Starfish Family Services to deliver integrated behavioral health services to underserved and high-risk populations. She also worked as a Research Assistant for two esteemed professors within the Social Work department, Dr. Cordova and his Prevention Research & Health Equity La, and Dr. Daicia Price and the HRSA Scholars Program to promote academic research through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program.
Data Project Manager, CLIF-VP Coordinating Center
Ms. Farooqui is a Data Project Manager For the Community-Level Interventions for Firearm Violence Prevention (CLIF-VP) Coordinating Center. Prior to joining IFIP, she was a data curator for ICPSR and has worked as a research associate for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) and Fragile Families studies. She holds a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University.
Mackenzie Furnari, MPH
Research Area Specialist
Ms. Furnari is a Research Area Specialist at the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. She holds a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She manages the Byrne Grant, which focuses on developing and evaluating community-centered violence interventions and prevention initiatives across the state of Michigan. The Byrne Grants aims to utilize evidence-based solutions to prevent and reduce firearm violence in Michigan communities.
Policy, Implementation, and Evaluation Project Manager, CLIF-VP Coordinating Center
Mr. Holtz is the Policy, Implementation, and Evaluation Project Manager for the CLIF-VP Coordinating Center and provides policy implementation support for the Institute at large. Prior to joining the Institute, Mr. Holtz worked as a research administrator at the Institute for Social Research, providing full project lifecycle support for sponsored research at the Center for Political Studies, Population Studies Center, and Research Center for Group Dynamics. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University and a Master’s in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin.
Ben Jennett, MLS
School Safety Specialist
Ben Jennett has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since 2023 as a School Safety Specialist. He has experience in law enforcement, school discipline, restorative practices, and threat assessments in the school setting. Ben holds a Master’s in Legal Studies from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Cassandra Johnson, MAT
School Safety Outreach Specialist
Cassandra Johnson joined the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention in October 2023. She is the School Safety Outreach Specialist for the Michigan School Safety Initiative, which is focused on working with schools to provide training and technical assistance to improve school safety and prevent school violence through the implementation of evidence-based safety programs and strategies. Prior to joining the Institute, she retired from Michigan Public Schools, where she worked as an elementary teacher and media specialist for thirty years. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and a Master in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College.
Ms. Lagrou is a research assistant for the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. She supports the development of a real-time surveillance system of firearm incidents in Michigan with specific focus in Genesee County. She obtained her master’s degree in Anthropology from Western Michigan University and has previously worked as an autopsy assistant for several Medical Examiner Offices in Michigan.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Ms. Laski works on the SafERteens program that prevents and reduces youth violence. She works directly with the participating provider locations offering in-person and real time support and encouragement to sites. Ms. Laski’s previous positions include working in public health to support COVID-19 vaccine providers, as a behavior technician working with kids with autism and disabilities, and as a college adviser for high school students.
Lynn Massey, LMSW
Senior Project Manager
Ms. Massey is a Licensed Social Worker and a Senior Project Manager. She managed the Firearm-Safety Among Children and Teens Consortium. She is currently overseeing the research lab for Dr. Patrick Carter which is focused on reducing risky behaviors related to gun carriage and youth violence. She has over two decades of experience coordinating federally-funded research studies focused reducing and preventing substance use and youth violence, including the prevention of firearm injury.
Victor Medina Del Toro
Research Project Coordinator
Mr. Medina Del Toro joined the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention in January 2023 as a Research Project Coordinator. His work focuses primarily on supporting the Pathways to Potential (P2P) research project led by Dr. Rebeccah Sokol. He also provides general support for the Institute and its various ongoing projects. Mr. Medina holds a B.A. in History from Haverford College, a PgCert in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime from the University of Glasgow, and an M.A. in Global Criminology from Utrecht University. His Master’s thesis, (Re-)Imagining Gun Violence in Washington, DC, was a qualitative study that sought to understand how District residents conceptualize, discuss, and experience everyday gun violence.
Ms. Midoun is a Project Coordinator with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention where she currently focuses on community recruitment for Project IntERact. She has a background in interdisciplinary social sciences and holds a MSc in Behavioral and Social Sciences and a MA in Comparative Human Development.
Brent Allen Miller, MA, PMP
Mr. Miller is the Training Manager for the National Center for School Safety. In his role he manages the conceptualization and development of school safety training products for school-based personnel and their partners. He also serves as the community outreach coordinator for YpsiWrites, a writing-focused non-profit. Prior to joining the NCSS, Mr. Miller was a test developer for Michigan Language Assessment where he developed English language tests and examiner certification courses for an international audience. He holds an MA in Linguistics from Eastern Michigan University and a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute, and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in Educational Leadership.
Heather Murphy, MA, LPC, NCC, CCTP-II
School Safety Specialist
Heather Murphy has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since 2021 as a School Safety Specialist. She has experience in clinical counseling, social-emotional learning development and implementation, mental health crisis prevention, response and stabilization, child welfare, and trauma-informed care. Prior to joining the NCSS, Heather served as a Licensed Professional Counselor in a variety of settings including schools, partial hospitalization, community mental health, and private practice, as well as completed research related to child welfare with the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Adler University. Heather is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, with a concentration in Diversity and Equity in Education and a Trauma-Informed Education Certificate of Specialization from the University of Illinois.
Ms. Musolf began working for the University of Michigan in 2007. She is currently the Administrative Coordinator with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention providing support to the Institute faculty and staff. She received her degree in Business Administration.
Community Engagement Project Manager – CLIF-VP Coordinating Center
Ms. Neumann is the Community Engagement Project Manager of the CLIF-VP Coordinating Center. Before joining the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, Ms. Neumann worked at the Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola University Chicago for over 10 years in a variety of roles, specializing in Community Based Participatory Research. She oversaw a large portfolio of community based research projects addressing issues including housing, access to health care, quality early childhood resources, homelessness, youth leadership, and senior tenant voice. Ms. Neumann previously worked as a youth organizer in Chicago and as a public health research assistant collecting data for the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System (IVDRS). Ms. Neumann has a MA in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Philosophy with a concentration in Community Studies from the College of the Holy Cross.
Mr. Portugal is a Statistician/Data Analyst with the UM Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. He assists in the development of research projects and provides statistical support. Mr. Portugal obtained his MS in Biostatistics with a Health Data Science concentration from the University of Michigan.
Chris Rudski, MPH, BSN, RN
Mr. Rudski is a Research Area Specialist at the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. He manages a research study aiming to understand racism, firearm injury risks, and resiliency among Asian Americans led by MPI Hsing-Fang Hsieh. Mr. Rudski holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Toledo. Prior to joining the Institute, as a Regional Coordinator for the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 response Workforce/Vaccine Initiative, he supported critical public health field employees serving state and local health departments and intermediate school districts in Regions 5 & 7, including Michigan. He worked as a Registered Nurse at Michigan Medicine in Oncology where he spearheaded various staff and patient DEI and wellness initiatives. He also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Japan for several years promoting cross-cultural communication for K-12 students in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Greg Sallabank, MA
Managing Director – CLIF-VP Coordinating Center
Mr. Sallabank is the Managing Director of the CLIF-VP Coordinating Center, an NIH-funded Coordinating Center to support research on community level interventions for firearm and related violence prevention. Previously, Mr. Sallabank was Center Manager at the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities at the University of Michigan where he led a multi-disciplinary research center focused on improving sexual health outcomes for marginalized groups.
Mr. Sallabank has managed NIH funded research studies focused on HIV and STD prevention and has supported research to understand the impact of intimate partner violence on sexual health. With over 15 years of experience delivering major programs that have included homelessness prevention, multi-agency neighborhood renewal, multisite research projects and health disparities research, Mr. Sallabank has expertise in project and program management, organizational strategy and development, stakeholder communications and engagement and multi-organization collaborations. He was previously a member of the Leeds City Council Safeguarding Children Board.
Allison Schreiber, MA
School Safety Specialist
Allison Schreiber has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since March 2021 as a School Safety Specialist. She is a retired secondary English/social science teacher in an urban, Title 1 school district. Allison also has experience working in the business world as a Human Resources Generalist and regional HR Director. She holds an MA in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University, a secondary teaching certification from the University of Detroit, and a BA in psychology from Michigan State University. She has experience in social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practices, restorative practices, peer mediation and conflict resolution, threat assessment, crisis intervention teams, climate and safety teams, and as a safety administrator developing emergency operations/safety plans and coordinating the safety committee.
Laura Schreiner, EMPA
Ms. Schreiner has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since 2022. She has experience with the development and management of community-based programs and participatory research projects, as well as conducting policy analyses, evaluations, and better practice research for nonprofit and governmental organizations.
Prior to joining the NCSS, Ms. Schreiner served as a Reviewer for the ZOOM Foundation and their grantees working to improve safety and educational equity in schools. She also previously served as the Director of Civic Engagement and a community organizer with the San Diego Organizing Project. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Scripps College and an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.
Carolyn Seiger, MA
Instructional Design Lead
Carolyn Seiger has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since 2021. She has experience with developing training materials and adult learning. Her areas of interest also include curriculum creation, graphic design, and positive youth development. Prior to joining the PRC, Carolyn was an elementary school teacher. Carolyn holds a Master of Arts in Design and Technologies for Learning from The University of Michigan.
Technical Assistance Administrative Coordinator
Brianna Spears has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety (NCSS) since 2021 as a Technical Assistance Administrative Coordinator. Her role involves coordinating across internal teams, maintaining databases, and providing helpdesk support. Brianna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her other areas of interest include science, technology, and society studies; user experience; and mental health outcomes.
Philip Stallworth, JD
Mr. Stallworth joined the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention as a Research Analyst in 2022. In this role, he provides statistical support, data management, and data cleaning across projects supported by the institute. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School with a JD and has experience working with children and adults involved in the criminal justice system. Prior to law school, Mr. Stallworth worked as a research analyst with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. He also works as an analyst for the Michigan Injury Prevention Center.
Ms. Sullivan began working for the University of Michigan in 2020. She is currently an Administrative Coordinator with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention providing support to the Institute faculty, staff and projects. She has a background and passion in social and criminal justice.
Michelle Thomas, M.Ed
Ms. Thomas joined the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention in February 2023. She is, currently, the Project Manager for the Research Society for the Prevention of Firearm Related Harms, as well as, oversees the planning for the National Firearm Injury Prevention conference. She has experience in nonprofit management, holds a Master of Education degree in Special Education, and has a passion for advocacy within the disability community.
Cindi Thronson, MPH
Research Area Specialist
Ms. Thronson is a Research Area Specialist at the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. She is the project manager for the Michigan School Safety Initiative which is focused on working with schools to provide training and technical assistance to improve school safety and prevent school violence through the implementation of evidence-based safety programs and strategies. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked at the Prevention Research Collaborative at the University of Michigan School of Public Health at the National Center for School Safety in addition to various injury prevention studies. She holds a BS in Biology from the University of Iowa and an MPH in Health Behavior & Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Emily Torres, MPH
Research Area Specialist
Emily Torres has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety (NCSS) since 2020, and currently oversees the NCSS and the Michigan School Safety Initiative. She has experience with youth violence prevention, community engagement, and providing technical assistance to schools to improve health and safety. Prior to joining the NCSS, Emily worked for the Ohio Department of Health in their Primary Prevention Division. She holds a Master’s in Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan.
Elissa Trumbull, MPH, CRA
Ms. Trumbull is a Project Manager at the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention including management of the T32 Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens: Multidisciplinary Research Training Program. Prior to joining the Institute, she supported a wide range of externally sponsored research activities in the College of Engineering. She brought a career of experience with her to U-M, dedicated to working with communities to increase food security and healthy food access in partnership with diverse stakeholders, partners, and funders. Previous roles included Program Director of a statewide healthy food incentive program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients called Double Up Food Bucks. She has expertise in program development and evaluation in a range of settings, including projects aiming to assess the evidence for health impacts of a state-funded program run by the Michigan Department of Education called 10 Cents a Meal. She is a Certified Research Administrator and earned her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan – Flint.
Marketing Communications Specialist
Erin Wyatt has worked with the University of Michigan National Center for School Safety since January 2022. She has experience with social media marketing, communications, graphic design, and working with non-profit organizations. Her areas of interest also include creating inclusive spaces and accessible and effective communication for all.