About Us

Leadership Team

Lynne Borden, PhD

Lynne Borden is Professor and Head of the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. As the principal investigator she provides overall leadership to all aspects of CYFAR PDTA team.

Daniel Perkins, PhD

Daniel Perkins is Professor of Family and Youth Resiliency and Policy at the Pennsylvania State University. He also directs the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State. As the co-investigator he provides overall leadership to all aspects of CYFAR PDTA team.

Janet Kurzynske, PhD

Janet Kurzynske is a Professor in the Dept. of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the University of Kentucky and directs the Research Center for Families and Children. She works to provide leadership with the development of comprehensive CYFAR Core Competencies training and tools.

Kimberly McCarthy

Kimberly McCarthy is the Coordinator of the CYFAR Coaching Model for Sustainable Community Projects. Housed at the Pennsylvania State University, Kimberly directs professional development, technical assistance, and resource development for the PDTA coaching team with the aim of promoting quality implementation, demonstrated outcomes, and sustainability of the CYFAR Sustainable Community Projects.

Mark Otto

Mark Otto serves as a Projects Director for CYFAR PDTA. In addition to providing guidance and oversight on CYFAR PDTA projects, he contributes to the development of deliverables, content, and resources developed by the CYFAR PDTA team.

Matt Roberts, MS

Matt Roberts works at the University of Minnesota as the Evaluation Specialist for the CYFAR PDTA team. He contributes toward the development of CYFAR evaluation projects and reports, and coordinates technical assistance for the CYFAR PDTA team.

Wendy Stivers, PhD

Wendy Stivers contributes to the leadership team at the University of Kentucky. In this role she works on the development of comprehensive CYFAR Core Competencies training and tools to promote capacity-building within the CYFAR community.

Coaching Team

Jan Carroll, PhD

Jan is Director, Civic & Federal Engagement for Colorado State University Extension. She provides leadership, facilitation, project management, and planning/summary evaluation and assessment processes for state-wide programs and plans of work. Jan works closely with Regional/Area/County Extension Directors and County Agents to foster interdisciplinary team efforts, coordinate extension and research programs, and stimulate and acquire new grants and funded projects. She started with CSU Extension as a Family Resource Specialist, and from 1996 – 2008 led K-12, military 4-H, and workforce preparation efforts as a 4-H Youth Development Specialist. She administered Colorado’s CYFAR projects for over ten years, and has secured over $2 million in external funding for Extension programming for Colorado families and youth. Jan has led the Diversity Catalyst Team (DCT) for CSU Extension, and was involved in the federally-funded Change Agents States for Diversity initiative.

Nancy Deringer, PhD

Nancy is an Associate Professor at the University of Idaho in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Statewide Evaluator for the Idaho CYFAR projects. In her faculty role, she teaches a variety of upper level and graduate courses for the Child, Family and Consumer Studies major. Previous to her faculty appointment, Nancy worked as an Associate Director for the University of Idaho Center on Disabilities and Human Development. She has over 10 years of experience developing, delivering, overseeing, and evaluating effective evidence-based programs for youth, families, and communities. She has been the Principal Investigator on five projects and has secured over $13 million dollars in federal, state, local and foundation grants and contracts. Through these programs, she effectively supervised and coached numerous employees, student interns, and volunteers. Because of Nancy’s involvement in youth and family programs, Idaho’s previous governor, Governor Kempthorne, appointed her to two statewide councils.

Autumn Guin, MS

Autumn Guin is an Extension Associate in the Department of Agriculture and Human Sciences at North Carolina (NC) State University and serves as the evaluation lead for the 4-H Curriculum Development Team at NC State. She has worked with CYFAR Programs for over 10 years as the Statewide Evaluator for three CYFAR projects and as part of the CYFERnet Program Team as the Assistant Editor for the Community Editorial Board. Autumn recently began work as a CYFAR PDTA Coach, providing support for program implementation, evaluation, and sustainability for CYFAR programs across the country. She holds a lifetime certification as a trainer for Ruby Payne’s Framework for Understanding Poverty, a program designed to train educators to effectively teach limited resource children. Autumn earned her B.S. in Psychology at Fayetteville State University, her M.S. in Community Psychology at NC State University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis at NC State University.

Laura Palmer, MS

Laura serves as an Extension Specialist with Purdue University. She is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Master of Science degree in Allied Health with a focus on community nutrition. In the field of dietetics, she has worked in both clinical and community nutrition settings. During her career with Extension, she has led nutrition programming and provided subject matter expertise for 92 Indiana counties. In addition, Laura has provided direct support to community-based initiatives, such as WIC, SNAP, EFNEP, Indiana Pregnancy and Parenting Teen Support Services and emergency food assistance programs. In her role as a CYFAR coach, she provides support and technical assistance related to implementation, evaluation and sustainability to community project sites.

Shane Potter, MS

Shane is a State 4-H Youth Development Specialist at the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. He holds a master of science degree in leadership education with a focus on community and youth development. Shane has worked with educators at the county, district, and state level.

Cathy Straub, MEd

Cathy is an Extension Educator with Penn State University. Cathy has extensive experience in building and promoting positive communities. She works with community collaboratives that are focused on preventing risky teen behaviors. She most recently served as chair of the Northwest Regional Pennsylvania Communities That Care (CTC). She is a member of the Pennsylvania PROSPER (PROmoting School, Community and University Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) team. PROSPER is a process for bringing evidence based programs into communities to help achieve positive outcomes for youth. Her role with PROSPER is that of Prevention Coordinator, where she provides targeted technical assistance to PROSPER sites. Cathy is a certified trainer for the Strengthening Families Program: for Parents and Youth 10-14. She also served as a trainer for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. She has written and administered grants totaling over one million dollars to bring evidence based programming into her local counties. Cathy resides with her husband, Ken and their weimaraner, Chester, in North Central PA. They are the parents of three daughters. Besides her family, Cathy is passionate about photography.

Jennifer Wells-Marshall, PhD

Jennifer is the State Leader for Program Development and Evaluation with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) at Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. She brings over 21 years of project management experience from the mental health, retail industry, social services, and Extension. For the past 18 years Jennifer has developed expertise in program design, implementation, and evaluation of programs for families, children, and communities. In her current role, she provides direct support for program design, implementation, delivery, and evaluation to five Strategic Program Initiatives, 14 program priority areas, 67 county offices, nine urban centers and nine research centers. Jennifer earned her BS in Psychology from Tuskegee University, her MS in Human Development and Family Studies and PhD in Educational Psychology: Evaluation and Assessment from Auburn University.