LEND Faculty and Staff

Karen WardDr. Ward has over 30 years experience working in and with community agencies providing services for children, youth and adults with ASD/DD. She came to Alaska in 1979. Dr. Ward has served as Principal Investigator on numerous federal grants focused on issues and systems change projects for individuals with DD. Dr. Ward has been the lead and co-author on numerous peer-reviewed articles as well as reports on a variety of DD issues. She is a Professor in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Ward has a doctorate from the University of Southern California in Higher and Post-secondary Education with an emphasis in training and development.
Contact Karen at karenw@alaskachd.org.
Jenny MillerDr. Miller is an Associate Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health Sciences. She completed her DrPH at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a Program Director for the Maternal and Child Health, Genetics Program at the Ohio Department of Health. In this role, she was responsible for program planning, administration and policy development for the statewide newborn screening program and a network of university-based genetic centers that offer services to families throughout the state. She completed an MPH in public health nursing and an MS in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include maternal and child health, women’s health, the impact of new technologies on families' lives and access to preventive health services for individuals with disabilities.
Contact Jenny at vlmiller2@alaska.edu.
Beth Ellen DavisBeth Ellen Davis, MD, MPH, is a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician (DBP) and the Discipline Leader for Pediatrics. She was a LEND trainee in 1999 while earning an MPH at UW, Seattle. She has spent the last 20 years in the US Army and retired in 2009 at the rank of Colonel. For a decade, she was the program director of the sole military DBP fellowship located at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA. In that role, she provided DBP consultation to military families in both Fairbanks and Anchorage over the past 5 years. Her research interests are in systems of care for children with NDRDs and ASDs, adolescent transition and pediatric palliative care.
Contact Beth at bedavis@uw.edu.
Ken HamrickKen Hamrick grew up in Traverse City, Michigan, “The Cherry Capitol of the World”.  He moved to AK in 1977 for a summer vacation and never left.   He has worked in the disability field in Alaska since 1978.  His academic background is in applied behavior analysis, and he has always had an interest in working with people with challenging behaviors. He has been a step or foster parent of children with IDD and complex medical conditions for over 20 years. He also worked as a direct service provider, community service program manager, staff training and development coordinator, and State of Alaska DD Program Specialist. While working for DMHDD, he assisted with major developmental disability systems change initiatives including development of individualized funding & services, transitioning individuals to community services as part of the closure of Harborview Developmental Center, and developing and implementing Alaska’s first Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver services.  He has worked on Academic Workforce Development for CHD since 2007.  Contact Ken at ken@alaskachd.org.
Catherine SullivanCatherine Sullivan, RN, MSN, CPNP is currently an Associate Professor in the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing (UAA SON) Baccalaureate Program. She completed her Masters of Science in Nursing and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program at the Catholic University of America. She worked as a registered nurse in medical oncology, pediatrics and geriatrics in the Lower 48. While in Alaska, she worked in Bethel/Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Region as an itinerant public health nurse (PHN) to villages as well as an itinerant PHN in Sitka/Southeast villages/logging camps/fishing towns. She also worked as a Nurse Consultant in Child Health for the State of Alaska before joining the faculty at UAA School of Nursing where she teaches community health nursing. She has an interest in rural health issues, refugee health topics, and health literacy.
Contact Catherine at afchs1@uaa.alaska.edu.
Mary Dallas AllenMary Dallas Allen, PhD, MSW, is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She received her PhD in Social Work and Social Research from Portland State University, her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her BS in Psychology from the College of William and Mary. As a social work practitioner, she has worked with children and families in a variety of rural and urban settings, including early care and education, Head Start, domestic violence shelters, schools, and juvenile justice. Her social work research has focused on early childhood mental health consultation with Head Start programs.
Contact Mary at mdallen@alaska.edu.
Ellen BrighamEllen Brigham, M.S., CCC-SLP received her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Syracuse University and her B. A. in Linguistics from the SUNY at Binghamton. She has worked in the field of Speech-Language Pathology since 1977 as a clinical instructor at Bridgewater State University, University of Maryland, and Gallaudet University and as a clinician with clients across the lifespan in a variety of settings including public schools, schools for the deaf, acute and rehabilitation hospitals, home health and long term care. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Education where she is the Clinical Coordinator of the Alaska cohort of the University of Alaska Anchorage/East Carolina University affiliated Speech-Language Pathology Master’s degree program.
Contact Ellen at etbrigham@alaska.edu.
Cary Moore Occupational Therapy Faculty Cary Moore has recently transitioned into a new role as the Academic Program Coordinator for the Creighton University/University of Alaska Anchorage Occupational Therapy Program. Cary has served as an adjunct faculty member in the CU/UAA program for the last five years. Cary has been an occupational therapist for 20 years with an emphasis in outpatient pediatrics and early intervention. She has enjoyed working at FOCUS, Inc in Eagle River for the last nine years. She is currently working on her PhD in occupational therapy at Texas Woman's University. Her current research interests include development of an occupation-based assessment tool for young children birth to three years of age. Cary and her family have lived in Alaska for 10 years and enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits and recreation: hiking, biking, skiing, and fishing. Contact Cary at CaryMoore@creighton.edu.
Tracy Charles-SmithTracy Charles-Smith, adjunct faculty, is currently the president of Dot Lake Village Council and the current special projects coordinator. Prior to working for her tribe she worked at Tanana Chiefs Conference as a Foster parent recruitment and placement specialist for 37 tribes. She also worked as a shift supervisor for a youth residential treatment center for S.E.D children. She also served as a BOD member for The Alaska Medicaid board for 9 years, Alaska Center for Children and Adults, The Fairbanks Chapter of Key Coalition. Also served on the FACES team to assist in FASD diagnosis. 28 years of experience working with Children with special challenges both biological and foster children. I also am a family advocate to assist families in our region in education and access to services. 
Maggie Winston, Self-Advocate Faculty for LEND
 Maggie Winston, adjunct faculty, is a self advocate and lifelong Alaskan that lives in Kenai. She is a Systems Advocate and Transition Specialist at the Independent Living Center in Soldotna, and has a fiery passion for disability policy and advocacy. She has a BA in psychology from UAA and is a former LEND Advanced Medium Term Trainee. She is involved with several advocacy groups including Key Coalition, Peer Power, Shared Vision for the Developmental Disability System in Alaska, and is the current Chair for the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education.
Krista JamesKrista James is a Term Assistant Professor of Special Education in the College of Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She earned an M.Ed. from Wilmington University in Special Education.  She is currently pursuing an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  She has 16 years in the field of special education beginning with teaching students with autism and other significant disabilities in a variety of settings from co-teaching in the general education classroom to self-contained settings in five different states.  After leaving the classroom, she worked for Louisiana State University in the Human Development Center on a statewide autism project, coordinated the Alaska Autism Resource Center, and managed the Title VI Indigenous Education Program for Anchorage School District before joining the faculty at UAA.

Contact Meghan at meghanc@alaskachd.org.
Larrisa CummingsLarrisa Cummings offers Administrative Support to the LEND Faculty and Staff at the UAA Center for Human Development. In addition Larrisa is the data coordinator and is responsible for gathering, entering, and reporting on all required data for the LEND program. She has been with the Center for Human Development since August 2007.
Contact Larrisa at larrisa@alaskachd.org.
Holli YanceyHolli Yancey is the Faculty and Student Technology Coordinator with the Center for Human Development. She has a specialty background in Assistive Technology having worked at ATLA and mentored under Rich Sanders.  After five years in the assistive tech field, Holli moved on to work with Alyeska Vocational Services focusing on the launch of Project Search in Alaska and the foundational work to establish the Denali Deaf Center. Since coming to UAA, she has served as an Instructional Designer where she believes that technology is simply one tool among many to connect people to the world.  As a parent and family member of individuals experiencing a variety of disabilities, she lives the concept of "person first" in her work.
Contact Holli at holli@alaskachd.org.