A passionate team of cross-sector specialists committed to helping at-risk children, youth, and families.
Self-proclaimed Data Dreamer
Teri A. Garstka, PhD
Teri is an associate director at CPPR and oversees an awesome team of smart professionals who carry out multiple center projects in data science and research/evaluation. Teri feels a responsibility to make a difference for children and families by bringing the best data science practices and research/evaluation methodologies to bear for community and state partners working with families. She likes to ask the right questions and loves the challenge of solving complex problems, especially if it involves how to use data for social good. Teri has been involved in many large scale multi-partner data initiatives, helping use shared measurement approaches and solid implementation to support collective efforts to optimize the well-being of at risk children, youth, and families. She leads the strategic direction of two software applications (DAISEY, IRIS) designed to make life easier, not harder, when it comes to serving families and demonstrating the impact of investments in high quality programs. Teri received her PhD in Social Psychology in 1997 from the University of Kansas.
Chief of Staff Morale, Visionary
Jared Barton, MSW
Jared works across a variety of data teams, including Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa MIECHV (home visiting). Jared’s experience working with non-profits and their case management systems informs his expertise in understanding and communicating about how data systems could and should work for the funder and for the user. As a result, he leads our DAISEY team of business analysts on the conceptual and functional development of DAISEY and interfaces with our technical and programming partners to make DAISEY what it is today. Jared enjoys the challenges of bridging the gap of understanding and communication between community partners, end-users, and software engineers. Jared received his M.S.W. and is pursuing his Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Kansas. His favorite modes of communication are loud and sometimes inappropriate noises and Arnold Schwarzenegger sound boards.
Interpretive System Designer and Music Genre Maven
Joe Coburn, MSW
Joe works with our Nebraska MIECHV (home visiting) data team and other DAISEY projects, specializing in complex syntax development, quality assurance testing, and interpreting design use cases for our technical programming team. Joe’s past work with non-profit data systems informs his understanding and expertise in user interface and administrative data system integration. As a member of the business analyst team, Joe is well versed at making mock-ups of conceptual enhancements of DAISEY and translating needed features to developers. Joe received his M.S.W. in social welfare from the University of Kansas. Joe values his alone time and may have the music in his headphones turned up too loud.
Policy and Implementation Specialist, Office Optimist
Randi Harms, MS
Randi serves as DAISEY Implementation Lead coordinating the implementation and use of DAISEY for multiple large-scale initiatives. Randi feels a responsibility to use her skills in data science and facilitation to impact policy and programs, and improve outcomes for children and families. Using her implementation science expertise and experience working with state and local agencies, she supports partners’ work aligning policies to support systems at the state and local level. She also helps lead the development of training, security, and communication protocols for DAISEY. Randi received her M.S. in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University. Her perpetual positivity is uplifting, contagious and at times maddening.
DAISEY Support Staff
Implementation Specialist, Connector
Sarah Hernandez, LMSW
Sarah supports the implementation and use of DAISEY for Iowa Family Support and Kansas MIECHV. She gravitates toward connecting with others, whether it’s coaching high school girls, leading trainings, or working hard to get a new initiative off the ground. Before bringing her sense of acerbic humor and love of learning to DAISEY, Sarah worked in the child welfare field for more than 10 years. She earned a Master’s in Social Work from Kansas University. Outside of fun times with the DAISEY team, Sarah relishes time with family and friends.
DAISEY’s Technological Superhero
Charles Moore, MA
Charles is a member of the DAISEY training and technical assistance team. He has spent multiple years in the software and IT fields, which helps him bring a technical skillset to the DAISEY team. Additionally, Charles has previously worked as a journalist and editor out of New Mexico. He occasionally does freelance assignments for magazines and publications. He enjoys speaking with DAISEY users and helping to answer any questions they may have about DAISEY. Outside of the DAISEY team, you can find Charles reading comic books with his daughter.
Impact Evaluator, Bad Joke Teller
Hugh Naughtin, BM
Hugh is the Initiative Coordinator for the DAISEY Team’s partnerships with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Maternal Child Health programs and the Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program, and also a contributing member of the DAISEY reports team. He delights in working collaboratively with external partners to achieve shared goals and enable them to evaluate the impact of their work, whether that be as a facilitator or in designing and enhancing DAISEY reports in Tableau.
Hugh received his Bachelors in Music in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. His passions include singing (a member of the Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Chorale 9 years and counting), coffee, cheese, science (fiction and nonfiction), and basketball, and he has never met a bad joke he didn’t tell.
Evaluation and Data Blender, Humorist
Owen Cox, PhD
In addition to supporting evaluation projects at CPPR, Owen is part of the DAISEY business analyst team for the conceptual development of DAISEY. Owen’s experience with research design and program evaluation helps inform how data is structured and coded for subsequent analyses, enriching DAISEY data design and use. Owen relishes tackling the difficult task of structuring a system that is responsive to the evaluation needs of both funding agencies and community programs. Owen received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Kansas. He is always up for a challenge, be it an eating contest or helping create a comprehensive data system.
User Advocate by Day, Bookworm by Night
Mary Palermo, MCP
Mary is charged with championing the use of DAISEY for grantees of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund (KCCTF). She helps new programs and staff hop on board the DAISEY train by providing technical assistance and creating protocols and tracking forms. She handles every task and help request with dogged determination, working toward the most perfect solution for all. Mary has a Masters of Clinical Psychology degree from Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia), and when she’s “off the clock” Mary reads science fiction or mystery novels into the wee hours of the night.
Brian Vancil, MA
Brian proffers his services to several initiatives at DAISEY in the form of data management and analysis. He coaxes data into visualizations like caterpillars into butterflies. As a theoretical physicist turned science educator turned data scientist, he enjoys the quest to solve complex problems, relying on years of experience analyzing physical and social science data. Brian earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Physics from Stanford University, and an M.A. in Physics and Astronomy from Rutgers University. He loves to learn new programming languages in his spare time, and tends to sip dubious teas while pondering intractable questions.
Data Lover, Thinker, Supreme Snacker
Elliot Pollack, BS
Every day brings something new when you work with the data science team at CPPR, and Elliot likes it that way. As an Assistant Researcher, he gets to geek out all day long on a variety of projects, including building DAISEY modules, developing reports that allow DAISEY users to interact with their data, training users on using DAISEY and IRIS, and answering technical assistance inquiries about those applications.
A native of Los Angeles, Elliot’s favorite place to be is on the beach, or anyplace that looks out over the City of Angels. He is an adventurous soul, so when he found out about the position at CPPR, he decided his next adventure should be checking out the heartland. He packed his bags and moved to Kansas.
Number Cruncher, World Traveler
Sami Dhaliwal, PhD
Like the particles she has studied throughout her impressive academic career in high energy physics, Sami is full of kinetic energy. She has traversed the world, bouncing from her childhood home in London to Toronto to France to Switzerland, finally landing in Kansas.
As an Assistant Researcher Senior at CPPR, Sami focuses her considerable brain power on exploring the many ways we can use data science for social good. As part of our DAISEY and Data Science teams, she crunches numbers and wrestles data visualization tools like Tableau into submission. One of her goals is to work alongside our partners to not just use data to meet compliance needs, but to improve practices.
Sami can’t seem to turn her science-focused brain off, even after work. One of her hobbies is developing a website that has her dog, Paddington, evaluating a variety of machine learning programs. Even her reading list is sort of science based: She has a thing for really bad sci-fi novels. She is also a big believer in the science of eating well. On her bucket list is a trip to Thailand, where she eats her way across the country, one curry at a time.
Virginia Musser and Erika Gray
Virginia and Erika thrive on the challenge of supporting and anticipating the team’s needs, from coordinating work flow to finding just the right supply on short notice. Outside of work, Erika runs as quickly as she takes notes, and Virginia wrangles two children, including a Girl Scout troop and a Lego robotics team.