We Are Family!
Jacinda K. Dariotis, Director
What I do at FRC is... work with amazing people intersecting across diverse research, community, service, outreach, and teaching interests and expertise to envision AND make thriving the norm. How? By co-researching, co-learning, co-teaching … collaborating in as many ways as possible.
I am skilled in... asking challenging questions and thinking outside the box. I study risk-taking decision-making (or the lack thereof) from biosocial perspectives and explore how different practices (e.g., mindfulness and mindful movement) facilitate alignment of intentions with behaviors.
FRC is family because… we are putting the PH into PHamily (PH = public health). 😊 Being a team means stepping up, supporting each other, and doing what is needed to make progress toward the mission and vision (yes, that includes collecting saliva, fecal samples, stories, statistics, and so much more). FRC is a community of members committed to optimizing the lived experience, with and by others .
My hobbies and interests outside of FRC are… yoga, disco music, crossfit, and non-academic reading and writing.
Stephanie Sloane, Senior Research Associate
What I do at FRC is... all things qualitative. I conduct interviews, develop coding manuals, manage data, code data, write manuscripts, write reports, work with undergrads and train others on qualitative software and methods. I work on many different projects at the center and can find interest and excitement in almost any topic. I love what we do at FRC because it has a positive impact on the real world.
I am skilled in... interpersonal communication, creating order out of chaos, multitasking, philosophizing, toddler wrangling, and laundry.
FRC is family because... I’ve been working here since 2012. I started as a grad student and never left! It was love at first Ecocultural Family Interview 😊
My hobbies and interests outside of FRC are… being a stellar dance mom to two daughters who dance competitively and one that just knows how to move and groove. I can’t do the splits, but I can do a mean ballet bun. I love sushi, scones, Sauvignon Blanc, and good conversation. In my “free time," I assist my husband on photography shoots and occasionally clean my house.
Dana Eldreth, Senior Research Associate
What I do at FRC is... data management, data analyses, assist with manuscript preparation, and mentor talented graduate and undergraduate students.
My skills and interests will benefit FRC because... I can provide a neurocognitive and emotional-regulation perspective on understanding risk behaviors and decision-making throughout the life course. I also have extensive experience in project management for multiple intervention studies in children and older adults who are at risk for adverse behavioral and health outcomes.
I am excited to be at FRC because... of the opportunity to work with a talented team of investigators and students who are dedicated to improving resiliency in children and promoting public health.
My hobbies and interests outside of FRC are... spending time with my family and making art with my 4-year-old daughter.
The Autism Program (TAP)
Jeanne Kramer, Director
What I do at The Autism Program at Christopher Hall is... I am the director of The Autism Program (TAP) at the University of Illinois and an assistant teaching professor in the college of HDFS. TAP has a fully staffed and operational resource room here in the Family Resiliency Center that connects children and family with autism supports throughout the community. I also interface with Illinois students to teach courses on autism, supervise clinical experiences, and support university students on the autism spectrum through our new program, the Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative (I-N-I).
I am skilled in... teaching! Trained as a doctor of speech language pathology, I have expertise in the support and remediation of executive function difficulties. This expertise allows me to be effective teaching individuals, families, students, or classrooms about issues of neurodiversity.
TAP is family because… we come alongside families of all types to learn, grow, and support the development of each individual. Within this organization, we have each other's backs; we celebrate one another's victories and work hard to help one another be the best they can be.
My hobbies and interests outside of TAP are… my husband and four adult children, who are the main priority in my life! I love flowers, cooking, and singing in my church choir. But most of all, I love to love people.
Adrienne Shockley, Assistant Director and Instructor
What I do at The Autism Program at Christopher Hall is… I am the assistant director of The Autism Program (TAP) and an instructor of autism and neurodiversity in the Department of Human Development & Family Services. I oversee TAP’s Resource Room and student interns who help staff it. I also provide community support and training on autism and neurodiversity, primarily in early childhood settings.
I am skilled in… coaching and modeling best practices for helping children with autism spectrum conditions. I have training in early childhood special education as well as in PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters). I worked as a teacher at Head Start for several years. Later, I worked in early intervention, providing evaluations and developmental therapy services. I was also the director of the Child Development Center at Parkland College. I have a brother on the spectrum, so I have worked with autism in multiple settings — parents, teachers, administrators, and providers from all over Champaign County. I love collaborating with other agencies to help support communities’ needs.
TAP is family because… you can turn to TAP when you need support. Each “family member” brings a unique background and perspective. We work together to not only support each other but to support the community.
My hobbies and interests outside of TAP are… I enjoy being outdoors, preferably surrounded by trees and/or water. I love to camp, hike, kayak, fish, and swim. I’m also a sucker for a good game night: board games, video games, card games, especially Euchre! I also enjoy cooking for friends and family with my husband and spending time watching my daughter learn and grow.
Former FRC Team Members
Brenda Davis Koester, Associate Director
Brenda served as the Associate Director of FRC for 16 years. She was responsible for engaging in research, policy, and outreach efforts of the center to ensure that thriving becomes the norm for everyone.
Brenda is the new Associate Director of the Center for Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Ye Rang Park, Research Assistant Professor
Ye Rang was a Research Assistant Professor at the FRC. She supported transdisciplinary, participatory research at the FRC, building strong partnerships with communities and families through cross-discipline collaboration.
Ye Rang is now a Senior Research and Policy Associate at the Early Childhood Education Institute at The University of Oklahoma - Tulsa.
Jenny Barton, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Jenny was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the FRC. She led, collaborated, educated, and disseminated transdisciplinary research on child nutrition and health within the family context.
Jenny is now an Assistant Research Professor in the Center for Childhood Obesity Research (CCOR) at The Pennsylvania State University. She will be working to support the on-going research at CCOR centered on improving child health through early intervention in both home and childcare settings.
Brianna Vargas-Gonzalez, Research Specialist
Brianna was a Research Specialist at the FRC. She was involved in participant tracking and communication and undergraduate research assistant training and supervising for the STRONG Kids2 Research project. She also helped manage a Mixed Methods Covid Study.
Brianna is now at the Office of the Registrar at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Diane Davis, Office Support
Diane served as an office assistant at the FRC. She is now enjoying her retirement.
Annie Bruno, Consulting Specialist
What I do at The Autism Program is... I am the consulting specialist at The Autism Program. I work with individuals, children, and families to provide resources and referrals to get connected to community supports. I facilitate New Diagnosis Orientation for families to assist in their understanding of autism and how to best support their child. Further, I provide training to community members on autism, facilitate support groups, and work collaboratively with community stakeholders.
I am skilled in... providing support and consultation to families and community members about autism. I have a master's degree in social work and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I am skilled in building rapport with others, providing coaching and education, and creating a safe environment. I also hold a QIDP licensure (Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional). I have worked as a service facilitator and an independent service coordinator for those receiving state-funded disability supports. I am skilled in navigating community and state support systems, providing education and expertise to families and supporting independence through person-centered planning.
TAP is family because... anyone who wants our services is open to receiving them. We seek to be a valuable community asset where folks can feel welcome and heard. We each bring a unique perspective and background to the conversation which allows us to customize supports and recommendations.
My hobbies and interests outside of TAP are... working in the garden with my husband and using our harvest to make jams, jellies, hot sauces, and interesting recipes. I love to explore local parks and natural areas, as well as host gatherings for family and friends.