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:
Cassandra Kisiel, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator & Director
Tracy Fehrenbach, Ph.D.
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 and the Co-Director of the Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions. Dr. Fehrenbach leads the Center’s activities within the areas of juvenile justice and health disparities. She has dedicated her career to clinical work and research that promote healing for people impacted by trauma. She is currently the principal investigator of one national and one international intervention program for justice-involved youth. She is also a co-developer of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS)-Trauma version and is passionate about the culturally sensitive and meaningful application of both trauma-informed assessment and intervention. Dr. Fehrenbach also enjoys teaching and training on these topics and is always eager to learn from others in the field.
Nicole St. Jean, Psy.D.
Dr. Nicole St. Jean is a clinical psychologist and a research associate at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the Clinical Director for the Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services, and Interventions where she provides clinical oversight and leadership to the Center’s activities in the areas of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice as well as to the Department of Child and Family Services. Dr. St. Jean has over 15 years specializing in the field of traumatic stress where she provides training, consultation, supervision, and psychotherapeutic services for youth and families who have experienced complex trauma. She is also actively involved with and dedicated to improving access and quality of care for populations who experience immigrant and refugee trauma.
Tracey Riley, B.S.
Rachel Sax, M.A.
Part-Time Project Coordinator
Daniel Serpa, LCSW
Resource Development Specialist
As a Resource and Product Development Specialist, Dan works to support the Center through facilitating focus groups and trainings; developing and disseminating trauma-focused products and resources; and enhancing training curricula and approaches. Dan has an interest in understanding and building experiences and systems that foster and inspire innovative thinking, imaginative ideas, and problem solving around the complexity of childhood trauma. With an undergraduate degree in fine arts and 10 plus years as a licensed clinical social worker, Dan offers a unique perspective that can both encourage creativity and motivate others to continue to enhance trauma-informed education across multiple systems.
Lindsey Weil, M.A.
Graduate Research Assistant
Tawny Spinelli, B.A.
Graduate Research Assistant
Allie Morford, M.S.
Graduate Research Assistant
Shannon Harper, M.A.
Shannon Harper supports Dr. Paul Schewe at the University of Illinois at Chicago to assist with evaluation work associated with CCTASI projects and activities. She is a fourth year criminology doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and has a Master of Arts in Criminology from UIC and a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis on Domestic Violence from the University of Colorado Denver. Shannon’s background includes working with and supporting female survivors of domestic violence and their children and serving as a research assistant on various grant-funded projects geared toward assisting families affected by violence.
Faith Summersett Ringgold, M.S., was a doctoral candidate in the Mental Health Services and Policy Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Domenico Carli, LCPC is a Behavioral Health & CANS Quality Manager and a Certified TARGET Trainer, Fidelity Monitor and Coach. His responsibilities include curriculum development, training, consultation, credentialing, remediation and coaching of child welfare professionals regarding clinical assessment (CANS) and treatment best practices. In addition to TARGET (Trauma Affect Regulation Guide for Education and Therapy), Domenico has been trained in several trauma focused evidence based clinical treatments: ARC, TF-CBT, SPARCS, and EMDR. He received his Masters Degree of Counseling in 1999 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gary McClelland, Ph.D., Project Analyst. Dr. Gary McClelland was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Medical School where he worked as a methodologist, epidemiologist and policy analyst. He served as the Director of Data Operations at the Mental Health Services and Policy Program and his work focused on child trauma in the Illinois child welfare system. As part of the CCTASI, he was responsible for oversight of all data analytic activities with an expertise in working with large scale systems data. He contributed 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.
Nicole Maj, M.S., Project Coordinator. Nicole was responsible for overseeing, organizing, and implementing the evaluation, clinical research 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.
Liz Torgersen, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant. Liz was 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 CCTASP. 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.