Jacqueline Counts, M.S.W., Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Public Partnerships & Research. She received her training at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Kansas. Before returning to the University of Kansas, she was the Region VII Project Officer for the Early Childhood Health and Development Branch of the Maternal Child Health Bureau of Health Resources and Services Administration. Jacqueline has been the principal investigator on numerous early childhood, systems-building, accountability and evaluation projects, including the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems evaluation, Project LAUNCH, Community-based Child Abuse and Neglect, several National Governors Association early childhood grants, and others.
Marcia Dvorak, project director of the Kansas Enrichment Network, is responsible for the development of a statewide system for expanded learning-afterschool opportunities. The Network focuses on educating Kansas stakeholders and policy makers about the importance of engaging experiences for children and youth during the time they are not in school. Work also includes developing partnerships and connections, with an emphasis on sustainability, and determining processes that lead to quality services. Marcia also manages grants targeting technical assistance for providers; increasing children and youth exposure to science, technology, engineering and math; incorporating healthy behaviors; and expanding youth voice and engagement. She has directed the Kansas Enrichment Network for over six years. Additionally, Marcia has executive experience as an elementary school principal, director of gifted education, and elementary teacher, and she serves as a board member for Communities in Schools-Kansas and Youth Build.
Teri Garstka (Ph.D., University of Kansas) is an associate director at the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research. Teri is a researcher and program evaluator with both academic and government contracting experience in leading national cross-site and program evaluations in areas such as child welfare, early childhood education, and substance abuse treatment for at-risk children, youth and families. She also is more broadly focused on designing and utilizing data performance management systems for monitoring quality assurance and continuous quality improvement in service systems and agencies. Teri has extensive experience in designing and implementing cross-system data solutions, often working with state or agency Management Information Systems to extract, match, analyze and report program performance indicators and child, adult and family outcomes across education, health, social services and juvenile justice.
Rebecca Gillam, M.S.W., Ph.D., is an Assistant Director with the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships & Research. Dr. Gillam has over 15 years of social service experience, including direct services, project management, and evaluation. She has facilitated and evaluated interagency collaboration at the national, state, and local levels, primarily in the area of early childhood. Dr. Gillam has conducted both qualitative and quantitative evaluations designed to support ongoing quality improvements in service delivery through effective interagency collaboration. Her dissertation, Predictors of Interagency Coordination in Early Childhood, examined data from 10 local interagency teams across 4 states. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator on the Delivering Change – Healthy Start initiative in Geary County, Kansas, a community collaborative model to reduce infant mortality, and the Kickapoo Project LAUNCH evaluation, a community-based early childhood systems development project. Dr. Gillam was part of the team that developed Lemonade for Life, a curriculum designed to teach professionals how to use the ACEs research to build hope and resilience in families.