Jacinda K. Dariotis, PhD, holds the Pampered Chef, Ltd., Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency and is a Professor and Director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois. Her areas of specilization include research and evaluation methods, survey research, biosocial methodologies, prevention and translational science, public health, adolescent and young adult risk-taking decision-making and behaviors, stress reactivity, and mindfulness-based programs. Her work has been supported by nearly $25 million in funding and she has authored or co-authored over 50 articles published in top-tier journals.
Previously, Dr. Dariotis served as the director of the Evaluaction Services Center at the University of Cincinnati for almost six years, prior to which she was a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health. She values partnership with and driven by community; accessible, acceptable, and actionable programs; and optimizing developmental trajectories for all to move from suffering and surviving to resiliency and, ultimately, thriving. She is excited to discover new synergies and develop collaborations in Champaign-Urbana. Feel free to contact her.
Brenda Davis Koester is Associate Director of the Family Resiliency Center. Her research and policy work centers around food insecurity; children’s feeding programs; effective community collaborations; and translating research into policy and practice and she serves as Co-PD and Co-I on several externally funded projects. She has experience supporting and coordinating transdisciplinary teams and co-instructs the HDFS 494 Undergraduate Transdisciplinary Research Course.
As the Associate Director she supervises staff and directs the professional development, communication, and policy work of the Center. She also provides pre- and post- grant support for FRC projects and affiliates. She holds a BS in Communication and an MS in Labor and Employment Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Stephanie Sloane is a Research Specialist for the Family Resiliency Center. She began working with the Center in 2011 as a graduate student and continued as a Research Specialist in 2015. She specializes in qualitative data collection, data management and data analysis and has worked on many projects during her almost 10 years with the Center. She holds a BS in Psychology from Michigan State University, and an MEd in Educational Policy and PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Karen Hernandez Patricio became part of the STRONG Kids Research Project in 2018 as an undergraduate research assistant conducting field work and data collection. Upon graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Community Health and a minor in Communication, Karen joined the STRONG Kids Team. She is excited to continue working with both the STRONG Kids Team and STRONG Kids families.
Chelsea Hetherington is a Research Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Studies and the Program Director of the STRONG Kids Program. She earned her Ph.D. in Child Development from the University of Minnesota and previously worked as a program evaluator with Michigan State University Extension. Her interests center around using research-based information to support and enhance the lives of children and families.
Kelly Uchima is a Project Coordinator for the Family Resiliency Center and has been an integral part of the Strong Kids 2 Research Project since 2013. As an undergraduate, she learned to conduct field work and data collection that contributed to studying childhood health and discovered a deep interest in research. Upon graduating with a BS in Agricultural Consumer Economics and a minor in Communication from the University Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Kelly became a Strong Kids family specialist and gained experience conducting research, coding and collaborative academic publications.
Since 2005, Linda Tortorelli has been the coordinator for The Autism Program at Illinois on the Urbana-Champaign campus, which is a collaborative initiative between the Departments of Special Education and Human Development and Family Studies. Linda is a dynamic force behind community education about autism as well as providing direct service to families. Linda was recently the recipient of the College of ACES Professional Staff Award for Innovation and Creativity, and she is a driving force behind TAP's vibrant presence in the local community.
Serving as Resource Room Coordinator for The Autism Program at Illinois, Anne Hall oversees the day-to-day operations of the TAP's resource room, which is dedicated to helping individuals with autism in the local community. Intregal to the TAP team, Anne also supervises the University of Illinois student interns who assist in TAP's programing for local families.
Diane Davis assists with the day-to-day operations of the FRC and is an integral member of the team. Originally from Indianapolis, Diane has been with the University of Illinois for over 30 years in a variety of roles and offices, including more than 14 years of service working for Residential Life in Student Housing where she was able to assist various student groups like I Guides or Women of Color.