Staff

Ryann Monahan

Bio

Ryann Monahan is the Family Resiliency’s Communications Specialist. She is a former broadcast journalist and has worked in higher education instruction since 2012 as an adjunct instructor in the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Journalism. Monahan is also a founder and director of Project Athletes, a non-profit organization. She holds a BS in Media Studies and a MS in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Contact

Email: ryann@illinois.edu

Megan Mayer

Bio

Communications Intern Megan Mayer started working for the Family Resiliency Center in January 2017. She assists with the FRC's communications efforts, including writing and publishing content and managing social media. Megan is currently a senior at the University of Illinois and recently returned from studying abroad in Florence, Italy. She will receive her BS in Advertising with a minor in Public Relations in May 2018.

Contact

Email: memayer2@illinois.edu

Anne Hall

Bio

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.

Contact

Phone: 217-244-1395
Email: annehall@illinois.edu

Linda Tortorelli

Bio

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.

Contact

Phone: 217-244-1395
Email: ltortore@illinois.edu

Salma Musaad

Bio

Research Biostatistician Salma Musaad, MD, PhD, has more than 10 years of experience in clinical research, including 1.5 years in ophthalmology and stem-cell research, 4 years in molecular epidemiology in academia, and 4 years in clinical research organizations focusing on clinical trials and public health research. She has extensive expertise in epidemiological study design and conducting field studies, with additional experience in questionnaire development, validation, and testing. In addition, she comes with strong biostatistical experience in statistical consulting and advanced methods, including quantile regression, structural equation modeling, and generalized linear models.

Contact

Phone: 217-244-0179
Email: smusaad@illinois.edu

Jen Themanson

Bio

As the STRONG Kids 2 Project Coordinator since 2011, Jen Themanson helms one of the FRC's flagship research projects. In her role, she develops data collections, oversees statistical analysis, and develops research skills in undergraduate students. Jen has a BS in History Secondary Education and MEd in College Student Personnel Administration from Illinois State University.

Contact

Phone: 217-244-5119
Email: jthemans@illinois.edu

Diane Davis

Bio

Office Manager 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.

Contact

Phone: 217-333-7772
Email: ddavis5@illinois.edu

Brenda Davis Koester

Bio

Brenda Davis Koester is Assistant 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 Assistant 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.

Contact

Phone: 217-244-6486
Email: bkoester@illinois.edu

Barbara H. Fiese

Bio

Barbara H. Fiese, PhD, is a clinical and developmental psychologist whose research focuses on family factors that promote health and wellbeing in children. She holds the Pampered Chef, Ltd., Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency and is Professor and Director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with affiliated appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology. She is considered one of the national experts in the role that shared family mealtimes may play in promoting health.

She is a principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple federally funded projects aimed at examining environmental and biological factors contributing to early nutritional health including the STRONG Kids 2 Project which takes a cell-to-community approach to dietary habits from birth and the I-TOPP program, an innovative transdisciplinary MPH/PhD training program in obesity prevention. She is also the PI on several projects aimed at increasing the efficiencies of summer and after school feeding programs for food insecure children and youth.

She is past-president of the society of Family Psychology, editor of the Journal of Family Psychology, and inaugural editor of Advances in Child and Family Policy and Practice. Dr. Fiese's complete bio can be found here.

Phone: 217-244-3967
Email: bhfiese@illinois.edu

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