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Center Leadership and Professional Staff

We have been providing services and conducting research for over thirty years. Both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches inform our work, which draws on perspectives from psychology, social work, psychiatry, public health, education, family systems, organizational and systems development, and counseling.

The Center's Director is Jacob Kraemer Tebes, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), in the Child Study Center, and in Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Prevention and Community Research. Dr. Tebes is also Chief Psychologist for the Connecticut Mental Health Center. His professional activities include research, service, teaching, and administration. He consults to public agencies and community-based organizations on the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs and services, and on the use of evaluation data to inform practice and policy. Dr. Tebes' research focuses on the promotion of resilience in at risk populations, including the prevention of substance use among adolescents; the integration of cultural approaches into practice, research, and policy; prevention and community research methodology; and interdisciplinary team science. He also teaches seminars and course sections to pre- and post-doctoral fellows related to applied and scholarly work in community psychology and clinical psychology on such topics as: prevention research methods, models of prevention, human diversity in clinical/community practice, and clinical methods of child intervention. In addition, he serves as the Program Director of a NIDA T32 postdoctoral training program in substance abuse prevention research. Currently, he is Editor of the American Journal of Community Psychology.

The Center’s Deputy Director of Operations is Joy S. Kaufman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale University School of Medicine, and she is the Director of Program and Service System Evaluation and the Director of Evaluation Research at The Consultation Center. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, Dr. Kaufman has 20 years experience conducting program evaluations, needs assessments, and evaluations of service delivery systems. She has provided consultation and technical assistance to state departments on issues such as the development of performance indicators, training and technical assistance plans to enable community-based organizations to implement mandated reporting requirements, and utilizing data to inform program and policy development. In addition to her research on evaluation methodology Dr. Kaufman's interests include the identification of risk and protective factors for children exposed to violence and at risk for severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.

The Center’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs is Nadia L. Ward, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale University School of Medicine, and she is the Director of Urban Education, Prevention, and Policy Research at The Consultation Center. Dr. Ward’s work in the area of academic achievement for African American and Latino youth has spanned 15 years and has included training and consultation to universities, public schools systems, and foundations. She has worked extensively with high-risk, as well as high achieving, urban youth and their families in a variety of capacities and has evaluated academic enrichment and competence enhancing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school and community settings. Currently, Dr. Ward oversees prevention programming and its rigorous evaluation for several multi-year urban school reform initiatives that involve more than 2,500 middle and high school students enrolled in over 30 schools in Connecticut and New York City.

Area Directors (listed below), provide leadership for each of our programs and research areas. Brief biographies are provided below for each program or research Director.

Christian M. Connell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of Child Development and Epidemiological Research at The Consultation Center. Dr. Connell’s research interests address contextual risk and protective processes that influence developmental and related outcomes for child and adolescent populations exposed to adversity. He has a particular focus on populations in contact with the child welfare and children’s mental health systems, including the intersection between parental substance use and child welfare (e.g., maltreatment and foster placement) outcomes. Another area of his research focuses on identification of individual, family, peer, and other risk and protective processes associated with involvement in adolescent substance use and associated risk behaviors, and evaluation of school-based interventions to prevent or reduce substance use. Dr. Connell has extensive experience in the translation of research findings into policy and practice. Finally, Dr. Connell has training and expertise in the use of advanced multivariate quantitative data analytic methods and teaches a year-long postdoctoral seminar “Data Analytic Methods for Prevention and Community-based Research” within the Division of Prevention and Community Research.

Cindy A. Crusto, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of Program and Service System Evaluation at The Consultation Center. Dr. Crusto has more than 15 years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating preventive interventions in schools and community agencies. She also has extensive experience providing training and technical assistance to schools and to community-based organizations on the evaluation of prevention programs. She is interested in culturally relevant interventions for children from racial/ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds and in school-based behavioral health services. Dr. Crusto's research examines the impact of family violence on children and the ecological influences on child and family well-being, and includes rigorous evaluations of community-based initiatives involving substance use and violence prevention, and the promotion of school readiness.

Derrick M. Gordon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of the Program on Male Development at The Consultation Center, and on the faculty in the Community Research Core of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). Dr. Gordon has considerable experience in intervention and prevention development having served as an investigator on several federal, NIH, and state funded projects and studies focused on those factors that either support or undermine men transitioning from prison back to the community; the engagement of low-income, non-custodial fathers; the identification and service of adolescent fathers committed to child protection services; and men mandated to batterer intervention groups in the community. He is currently a co-investigator and a minority supplement recipient on an NIH funded project that examines the STI risk of heterosexual young men to their pregnant female partners. As part of his supplement, Dr. Gordon is interested in understanding how the young men use preventive health care services and the factors that either facilitate or inhibit their access. Dr. Gordon’s work with men has and continues to focus on increasing the health of men and their positive involvement in family and community life. In his mentorship role, pre- and post doctoral fellows get to explore with Dr. Gordon how issues like adolescent fatherhood, low income fatherhood status, transitioning from prison to the community, and men’s access and use of health care services impact their efforts to be healthy community members. Overall Dr. Gordon in his research seeks to identify those factors that enhance the access and use of preventive and indicated health care services by men on the "fringes."

Susan Ottenheimer, LCSW, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Social Work), Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of Adult and Elder Programs at The Consultation Center. She serves as the Program Director for the Coping with Work and Family Stress dissemination project. Ms. Ottenheimer has extensive experience providing organizational development and technical assistance consultation, serving as a senior consultant and lead trainer in the development and implementation of preventive and health promotion interventions particularly in the workplace, and in the behavioral health field. She has designed and implemented a wide array of preventive and community-based programs for adults at risk for behavioral health disorders, negative health outcomes, chronic diseases and homelessness. Ms. Ottenheimer currently provides project leadership to a team that delivers comprehensive workplace wellness programming at a New England based company with over 1,600 employees, including program development, training, organizational consultation, evaluation and service delivery, with an emphasis on promoting a healthier workplace through healthy diet, weight management, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation. She is involved in collaboration with an organization in the Washington, DC area that is testing the effectiveness of Coping with Work and Family Stress intervention with a population of minority women at risk for HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. She also is collaborating with faculty at Columbia University and staff of the National Health Promotion Association on the dissemination of science-based workplace interventions to military personnel and their families. She has special interests in service system development aimed at facilitating access to needed services, minimizing duplication of effort and promoting inter-agency collaboration and coordination.

Deborah S. Stewart, B.A., C.P.P., is Director of the Youth Development Training and Resource Center (YDTRC) at The Consultation Center. She has led a number of youth development initiatives in Greater New Haven and the state (e.g., Project Manager for the statewide initiative Connecticut for Community Youth Development (CCYD), a five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CT Office of Policy & Management). A trainer, consultant, and advocate for many years in education and youth work, Deborah is a leader in youth development efforts on the local and state levels. YDTRC’s role as one of 15 national B.E.S.T. sites (Building Exemplary Systems of Training in Community Youth Work) has brought Deborah national level contact with other leaders in youth development. Deborah’s work in YDTRC and CCYD has led to implementation of training in youth development and developmental youth outcomes for hundreds of youth workers. YDTRC continues to provide on-site technical assistance to youth-serving agencies, community networks, and consultation to agencies, policy makers, and diverse funders concerned with youth development and youth issues.

Tami P. Sullivan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology), Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of Family Violence Programs and Research at The Consultation Center. Dr. Sullivan’s program of research centers on individual- and system-level factors that affect the mental and physical health of women victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). At the individual level, she conducts risk and protective factor research and is particularly interested in applying micro-longitudinal designs such as experience sampling methods and conducting research that informs the development of interventions to be implemented in community settings. Specifically, Dr. Sullivan focuses on advancing knowledge of IPV, posttraumatic stress, substance use, and HIV/sexual risk – as well as other co-occurring problems. At the system-level, she focuses on understanding the capacity of systems (e.g., criminal justice system) to meet the unique needs of IPV-exposed women. Dr. Sullivan is a scientific advisor to NIDA-funded T32 and R25 fellowships on substance abuse prevention and treatment research. She is a licensed psychologist who has extensive clinical experience with victims and offenders of IPV, providing services in a range of settings from inpatient units, intensive outpatient day programs, and outpatient clinics to domestic violence shelters, transitional living programs, and community programs.

We also employ two full-time professional staff to provide leadership for financial and human resource administration. Carrie Johnson, supports administration of Yale/CMHC programs and Gail Hammell supports administration of The Consultation Center, Inc. programs. Both administrators have extensive experience with accounting and grants management we well as human resources monitoring and administration. Finally, we also employ or sponsor approximately 75 staff and students, full-time and part-time positions, to carry out program and research activities for the Center.

More information about individual programs and research areas can be found at our Web site: The Consultation Center.