Our Team

Leadership Team

Lynne Borden, PhD

Dr. Lynne Borden is professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. As the principal investigator of the CYFAR Professional Development and Technical Assistance (PDTA) center, she provides overall leadership to all aspects of  team.

Daniel Perkins, PhD

Daniel F. Perkins is a Professor of family and youth resiliency and policy at Pennsylvania State University. He is principal scientist and founder of an applied research center, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State. Dr. Perkins has been designing and evaluating strengths-based family and youth development programs in 4-H and Cooperative Extension and leading complex projects for more than 20 years. Within the field of prevention science, in particular, Dr. Perkins examines Type II Translational research that is, examining the transitioning of evidence-based programs tested in tightly control environments to their large-scale expansion into real-world settings. He is currently investigating the utilization of technical assistance and the role of other contextual factors in contributing to long-term implementation quality and sustainability of evidence-based programs.

Phillip Ealy

Phillip L. Ealy earned a BS degree in communications from West Virginia State University, and a master’s in organization development and change from Pennsylvania State University. He is currently a PhD candidate for workforce education and development. Phillip is a retired Army Officer with an extensive background in leadership, mentoring, teaching, and coaching. Phillip has a solid understanding of evidence-informed strategies for project implementation.

Kimberly McCarthy

Kimberly McCarthy is the coordinator of the CYFAR coaching model for the CYFAR PDTA Center. Housed at Pennsylvania State University, she coordinates professional development, technical assistance, and resource development for the coaching cadre with the aim of promoting quality implementation, demonstrated outcomes, and sustainability by CYFAR grants. Kimberly holds a BS in health policy and administration and human development and family studies. She completed a coach certificate program and is certified as a health education specialist and as a facilitator and trainer of a variety of evidence-based prevention programs. Previous career experience has included roles as a community mobilizer and program implementer, state technical assistance provider, and curriculum developer and trainer.

Mark Otto

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

Adeya Richmond, PhD, LP

Dr. Adeya Richmond is a research scientist and contributes to the design and implementation of research studies within CYFAR PDTA.

Suzanne van den Hoogenhof, PhD

Dr. Suzanne van den Hoogenhof serves as the Evaluation Specialist for the CYFAR PDTA Center. In this role she not only works with CYFAR data, such as Common Measures and event evaluations, but also supports SCPs with their evaluation efforts.

Steven Pliam

Steven Pliam serves as the head software programmer and web developer for the CYFAR PDTA team. He provides guidance and implementation for the CYFAR web application software and is integral to the collaboration of the leadership team. Steven holds advanced degrees from MIT and Virginia Tech in Computer Science, Media Arts & Sciences, and Design. He has extensive experience developing software and advanced digital systems both for research and industry.

Coaching Team

Kerri Ashurst, PhD

Dr. Kerri Ashurst is a senior Extension specialist for Family and Relationship Development in Family and Consumer Sciences Extension at the University of Kentucky. She has worked with a variety of grants focusing on outreach and support to families and has worked with CYFAR for over 20 years. Kerri's focus is building capacity for reaching underserved or at-risk children, youth, families, and communities. Her primary areas of interest include families who are coping with major crises; positive youth and young adult development; couple communication and relationship building; and stress management. Kerri holds a BA in psychology, a MS in marriage and family therapy, and a PhD in Family Sciences from the University of Kentucky.

Misty Blue-Terry, PhD

Dr. Misty Blue-Terry is the 4-H specialist for matters of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the Cooperative Extension program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Her educational background is in industrial and systems engineering and human factors engineering. She has partnered with campus professors, community-based organizations, and other leaders to provide STEM related programming in robotics, basic engineering and design principals, the scientific method, and GIS/GPS applications. She is also the founder of the Innovation Station, the 4-H mobile makerspace, and STEM lab. Misty has served as a content expert for a CYFAR Sustainable Community Project grant and has goals to help broaden the reach of 4-H and STEM in underrepresented communities and to target girls for science programs.

Kimberly Burgess-Neloms

Kimberly Burgess-Neloms is an Extension community resource development specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. She provides statewide programmatic leadership to nine urban extension centers in the areas of leadership and volunteerism. Kimberly’s expertise lies in staff motivation, mentoring, and external funding sources. Kimberly holds a BS in human environmental sciences from the University of North Alabama and a MA in teaching from the University of Montevallo.

Candi Dierenfield, PhD

Dr. Candi Dierenfield bleeds green! Her experience with 4-H began in 1983 when she joined the Worden Riverdales 4-H club in Montana. She took sewing and made a skirt and a knit top. She loved everything about 4-H, except for record book time! Her first fashion review won best of class for construction, and there was no stopping her from there! 4-H gave her the confidence and life skills to get her first modeling job, start a sewing business at age 15, attend numerous national 4-H events, and pursue a degree in fashion design. Later, following new passions in life and a spouse who is an active duty Airmen, she found great joy working with out of school education programs while her family was stationed in England. While stationed in Alaska, she began working with 4-H again and she has been working with the CYFAR grant program in a variety of capacities since 2004. Candi received a bachelor’s degree from Woodbury University. She attended Montana State University - Billings to earn a degree in information systems and communication, and she earned a PhD in education from Northcentral University.

Phillip Ealy

Phillip L. Ealy earned a BS degree in communications from West Virginia State University, and a master’s in organization development and change from Pennsylvania State University. He is currently a PhD candidate for workforce education and development. Phillip is a retired Army Officer with an extensive background in leadership, mentoring, teaching, and coaching. Phillip has a solid understanding of evidence-informed strategies for project implementation.

Autumn Guin, MS

Autumn Guin provides support for program implementation, evaluation, and sustainability for CYFAR Sustainable Community Projects across the country as a coach and evaluation consultant for the CYFAR team. As a program design and evaluation Extension associate in the Department of Agriculture and Human Sciences and for the North Carolina 4-H Youth Development Program at North Carolina State University, she co-directs multiple grant programs and provides leadership in the development, implementation, oversight, evaluation, and sustainability of research-based and evidence-informed programs for youth, families, and communities. Autumn holds a BS in psychology, a MS in community psychology from North Carolina State University and is a PhD candidate in educational evaluation and policy analysis.

Pamela Payne, PhD

Dr. Pamela B. Payne is an assistant professor of human development and family studies as well as Cooperative Extension at the University of Nevada, Reno. Pam has worked with CYFAR programs previously working to pilot what is now the common measures process for CYFAR grant recipients. Pam is interested in positive relationship development, specifically romantic relationships, parenting and youth outcomes. She has also worked with developing extension programs and courses for military families. Dr. Payne holds a BA and PhD from the University of Arizona and a MA from Pepperdine University.