Team

Meet the BrainWise Team

Board Members

Don Eberle, J.D.

Telecommunications Attorney, Founding Director of the BrainWise Program

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Patricia Fiske

Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Worldwide Partners Inc.

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Sarah Hays, M.A.

School Based Mental Health Specialist and Prevention Coordinator

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Dan Himelspach, J.D.

Co-founder and Principal of Dispute Management, Inc.

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Doug Kinney

Senior Executive at ServiceNow

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Rebecca Persing, D.N.P., M.S.N., R.N.

Past Supervisor at the Jefferson County Public Health Nursing and Human Services Collaboration

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Patricia L. Peterson, B.S.N., J.D.

President and CEO of the Colorado Cancer Research Program

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Matt Sena, M.A.

Master BrainWise Trainer, Counselor, HOPE Counseling Center

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Research Team

Matt Sena, M.A.

Doctoral Candidate, BrainWise Trainer, BrainWise Board Member, Counselor, HOPE Counseling Center, Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Matt Sena, M.A.

Doctoral Candidate, BrainWise Trainer, BrainWise Board Member, Counselor, HOPE Counseling Center, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Matt Sena was instrumental in introducing the BrainWise Program to Alaska natives. He began this work with the Chugachmiut on the Kenai Peninsula, and has since been active in training native populations in both Alaska and in Canada. In addition to his teaching and counseling with Chugachmiut, he is a doctoral candidate in clinical community psychology at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, where he is completing his thesis on the use of educational technology in the delivery of the BrainWise Program. It was due to his efforts that BrainWise was listed on the Indian Health Service’s registry of programs approved for use with Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Marilyn Welsh, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

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Marilyn Welsh, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

Marilyn Welsh, Ph.D. is a professor of education and psychology at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and a recognized national expert on measuring the brain’s executive functions. She is co-author, with Dr. Barry, of the chapter on BrainWise in the book by D. Romer and E. Walker called “Adolescent Psychopathology and the Developing Brain: Integrating Brain and Prevention Science.” Dr. Welsh currently conducts research on outcomes of students who receive text reminders on their cell phones to “Be BrainWise.” She and her graduate students have devoted countless hours to evaluating BrainWise outcomes, and have presented papers and poster sessions at psychology conferences nationwide. Dr. Welsh continues to dedicate her time and expertise to BrainWise because, as she explains, “After more than 25 years of conducting research on executive functions, I was so impressed when I read Dr. Gorman Barry’s BrainWise curriculum.  Here was a program that took the theoretical concepts of executive processes and put them into a language that everyone can understand, relate to, and use in their daily lives.  From the youngest child who invariably has difficulty controlling emotions and planning ahead, to the at-risk teenager, who may be lacking the role models and practice needed to optimize these skills, BrainWise empowers them to engage their ‘Wizard Brain’ to more effectively deal with problems that confront them in our increasingly complex world.”

Mary Cazzell, Ph.D., R.N.

RN, Director, Nursing Research, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas

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Mary Cazzell, Ph.D., R.N.

RN, Director, Nursing Research, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas

Mary Cazzell, a professor for the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington, joined the BrainWise team in 2009.  With her nursing background and expertise in neurobiology and adolescent risk behavior, Dr. Cazzell adds a cutting-edge evaluation component to BrainWise Program research projects.  According to Cazzell, “I am a BrainWise advocate because BrainWise addresses the neurobiological basis of decision making and that has been the focus of my research on adolescents.  BrainWise offers 10 excellent modules that incrementally teach how to make better decisions, which will result in less impulsivity, better emotional regulation, better working memory for difficult situations, and increased ability to inhibit unhealthy responses.”  Cazzell’s expertise regarding neuroscience research on the brain’s plasticity will help the team better measure the impact of behavioral interventions on specific targets and processes.  Her contributions to federal grant applications have increased funding opportunities to evaluate and expand BrainWise.

Rebecca Persing, D.N.P., M.S., R.N.

BrainWise Trainer, BrainWise Board Member

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Rebecca Persing, D.N.P., M.S., R.N.

BrainWise Trainer, BrainWise Board Member

Persing is collecting pre- and post data, and helps write grants for the program. She promotes BrainWise in many ways, including nominating Dr. Barry for Jefferson County Public Health’s 2009 Public Health Champion of the Year award.  According to Persing, “BrainWise has enabled our Human Services clients to have both the belief and the skills they need to overcome the patterns of family functioning and environmental factors that led them to involvement with Human Services.”  As the primary nursing intervention, BrainWise gives nurses tools to teach clients skills that will help them make better choices and decisions.  Persing says the program “allows nurses to address multiple problems with clients of all ages simultaneously and provides a common language.”   She notes that, “Clients readily relate to the curriculum’s lessons on the brain and appreciate its non-judgmental approach to help them overcome barriers to being self-sufficient.”

Amanda Jacobs, M.S.

Doctoral Candidate, University of Northern Colorado

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Amanda Jacobs, M.S.

Doctoral Candidate, University of Northern Colorado

Christine Cerbana, M.S.

BrainWise Trainer, Director, Colorado Parenting Matters

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Christine Cerbana, M.S.

BrainWise Trainer, Director, Colorado Parenting Matters