Meet Our Team

The Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions (CCTASI) is based out of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. We are housed within the Mental Health Services and Policy Program on the 12th floor of Abbott Hall (710 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611). Our Center is made up of a team of talented and passionate faculty and staff with experience and training in a variety of fields including trauma-informed interventions, trauma informed systems including child welfare, mental health and juvenile justice, and policy related initiatives. Our staff includes the following leadership, staff, and volunteers:

 
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Cassandra Kisiel, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator & Director

Dr. Cassandra Kisiel is a clinical psychologist and a research associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Dr. Kisiel also serves as a primary trauma consultant for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Dr. Kisiel has almost 20 years of experience specializing in complex, developmental trauma, dissociation, and child trauma assessment and evaluation and has written and lectured extensively on the assessment and treatment of children exposed to complex trauma across child-serving settings. She is the primary developer of Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS)-Trauma which has applications in numerous child welfare and other child-serving settings across the country.

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Tracy Fehrenbach, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Dr. Tracy Fehrenbach is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor with the Mental Health Services and Policy Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the Clinical Director for the Center for Child Trauma Assessment and Service Planning, where she provides training and support in the use of the CANS-Trauma and empirically based approaches for assessing and treating the developmental effects of trauma. Dr. Fehrenbach has specialized in research and clinical work with child and adult trauma survivors since 2002. She has a particular interest making trauma interventions more accessible to and culturally sensitive for traditionally underserved populations.

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Nicole St. Jean, Psy.D.

Project Manager

Dr. Nicole St. Jean is a clinical psychologist and a research associate at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is currently the Project Manager for the Center for Child Trauma Assessment and Service Planning, where she is responsible for the oversight and management of center activities. Dr. St. Jean has close to 10 years of experience working in the field of traumatic stress in both clinical and research settings, including medical and psychiatric hospitals, residential facilities, and outpatient treatment settings. She has specialized in understanding and working with youth and families who experience complex trauma in urban, underserved settings.

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Gary McClelland, Ph.D.

Project Analyst

Dr. Gary McClelland is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Medical School where he has worked as a methodologist, epidemiologist and policy analyst. He serves as the Director of Data Operations at the Mental Health Services and Policy Program and his current work focuses on child trauma in the Illinois child welfare system. As part of the CCTASI, he is responsible for oversight of all data analytic activities with an expertise in working with large scale systems data. He contributes to the development and implementation of data-driven of trauma informed practice in conjunction with this project and throughout the Illinois State child welfare system.

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Tracey Riley, B.S.

Project Coordinator

Tracey is a graduate from Loyola University Chicago and is the newest member of the Center for Child Trauma Assessment and Service Planning. As a member of the team, Tracey analyzes and reports project data, manages the CCTASI website and newsletter development, and works with project managers and collaborators in a variety of other coordination capacities. Tracey’s background includes research experience primarily on psychosocial adjustment and coping in emerging adults, and work experience in child welfare as an Intact Family Case Manager. In her free time, Tracey enjoys volunteering for hospice and a youth runaway hotline.

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Lindsey Weil, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant

Lindsey is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Mental Health Services and Policy Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. As part of the CCTASI team, Lindsey supports the CANS/FANS assessment collaboration, as well as projects related to dissociation education and research. Lindsey’s research interests include: childhood trauma and chronic illness, placement stability and permanency, and protective factors among youth in the child welfare system.

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Domenico Carli, LCPC

Staff

Domenico currently offers training and support to clinicians and child welfare professionals in Illinois in trauma-informed assessments and the implementation of evidence-based practices. He is a psychotherapist with extensive experience assessing and treating children in the foster care system who have been exposed to trauma.

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Andrea Ocampo, B.S.

Volunteer

Andrea is a volunteer research assistant who helps to coordinate and implement a range of CCTASI project activities. She has experience in direct clinical service, program design, intervention and treatment. As a director of psychology services for a Clinic of the government of Costa Rica in a marginal, urban community, she developed the psychology program while treating child and adolescents under stressful situations.

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Faith Summersett-Ringgold, M.S.

Graduate Research Assistant

Faith is a graduate research assistant on the CCTASI team. She is currently a clinical psychology doctoral student in the Mental Health Services and Policy Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research interests include placement outcomes, complex traumatic experiences and symptoms, and protective factors among racial minority youth in the Illinois child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

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Tawny Spinelli, B.S.

Graduate Research Assistant

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Emeritus

 

Gene Griffin, J.D., Ph.D., Project Co-Director, is a clinical psychologist and attorney who worked in the fields of child trauma, child welfare, children’s mental health, and juvenile justice. He served as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School and Co-director of CCTASI. He was a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas and a lead trainer and developer of the MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Action Network on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice’s curriculum on juvenile justice, mental health and child trauma.

 

Jennifer Marett, LCSW, provided training and consultation to child welfare agencies in Illinois to support the local application of trauma-informed practice for both caseworkers and therapists. She has extensive experience in the areas of quality improvement and has clinical experience with individuals experiencing substance abuse, trauma, mental illness, domestic violence in numerous settings.

 

Christopher Villa, M.A., helped to collect, manage, and analyze project data, manages website development activities, participates in a variety of other coordination capacities. His interests are health care research, policy and management.

 

Liz Torgersen, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant. Liz is currently a doctoral candidate in the Mental Health Services and Policy Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Liz supported the national Breakthrough Series Collaborative regarding the meaningful use of the CANS-Trauma/FANS-trauma assessments; worked at the interface of the CANS-Trauma and evidence-based trauma-informed practices; and supported data analysis and clinical report design efforts. Clinically, Liz has worked in settings including community mental health, university counseling center, academic medical center, and VA medical center settings. 

 

Nicole Maj, M.S., Project Coordinator. Nicole was responsible for overseeing, organizing, and implementing the evaluation, clinicalresearch and training activities for the Center. Nicole assisted the team in planning and coordinating activities related to the project including communication with partnering organizations and coordinating day-to-day project activities. She is currently a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.