about contributors

We at PARfessionals want to say a big thank you to everyone that was privately paid from personal pockets that helped and contributed to making the development of the PARfessionals program 2011-2015 a fabulous success!


Social Blogger

Danyelle Mulin is a new addition to PARfessionals as a Social Blogger. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Rhode Island College in 2014, spending her last semester studying Russian in Yekaterinburg, Russia. She is now located in southern California, where she is a stay at home mother of two. In addition to spending time with her children, she volunteers as a docent at the Temecula Valley Museum, reads whenever she can, works on her garden, and enjoys the pleasant southern California sunshine.


Social Media Intern

Maxwell Liaw is an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California (USC), currently working towards a degree in psychology. He is also studying pre-law, and plans to pursue a career in law on completion of his degree program. Before attending USC, Maxwell attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked as a lab assistant in a conversation lab, administering psychological tests, collecting, and coding data. In his youth, he also worked with underprivileged children under foster and government care.

He has now been hired as a Social Media intern for PARfessionals. He will be helping with the management of PARfessionals’ Facebook page in order to share vital information on the significance of peer recovery workforce development. We anticipate great things from Maxwell!


Social Media Intern

Miseth Luna is an undergraduate student at Regent’s University in London, UK. She is currently working towards a Film, TV, and Digital Media Production degree. She has worked behind the scenes and collaborated on promotional videos for companies such as Hillsong Church, London and Percy & Reed. Miseth has also created websites and managed social media for student productions with a specific focus on allowing viewers a different perspective on the films. She has also volunteered at the organization known as “Feed My Starving Children” and assisted in packing boxes of food for children in the fight against hunger.

She has now been hired as a Social Media Intern at PARfessionals. She will be assisting with their social media pages in order to create a visual insight into PARfessionals and the significance of peer recovery. We are excited for all that Miseth has to offer!

Miseth Luna is an undergraduate student @regentsuni. She is our new Social Media #intern! #workforce #development


Questionnaire Design for Instructional Module Surveys

Dana Sparkman, Ph.D., is a university professor in the fields of Elementary and Special Education. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Elementary Education, Special Education and Education Research; an M.S. from Syracuse University in Special Education with an emphasis on Autism & Community-Referenced Curriculum; and a B.S. from the University of North Alabama in Special Education with a focus on Intellectual Disabilities.

She taught in primary and secondary schools for over 10 years before becoming an instructor in higher education. For an additional nine years, she was a professor in teacher preparation programs at Alabama A & M University; Georgia Southern University; and the University of Alabama. In the past six years, she has been teaching exclusively online at Northcentral University; Walden University; the University of West Alabama; and Capella University where she has developed thirty courses in the field of education.

Dr. Sparkman focuses her current research on the areas of effective mathematics instruction for students with disabilities, as well as the enhancement of mathematics numeracy for teachers before and during employment.

Furthermore, she was awarded the “Jack Miller Award for Teaching” through the School of Education at Georgia Southern University. She was also the recipient of the Learning Disabilities Association’s “Teacher-Educator Stipend”. Finally, she has written a test preparation book on middle school mathematics certification titled “The Best Teacher’s Test Preparation for the GACE Middle Grades” which was published in 2010.


Instructional Designer

Kimia Eslah is a writer, editor, researcher, and instructional designer. She makes content out of concepts for visionaries, entrepreneurs, and technical wizards.

She has been an Instructional Designer and Technical Writer at BlackBerry. She is highly trained in the fields of human resources, business administration and adult education.

She has a Teacher/Trainer of Adults Certificate; and a HR Management Post-Graduate Certificate from Conestoga College, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo.

Find her portfolio at


Human Resources Consultant

Tina Duncan graduated from Indiana University and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR); Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR); and a Certified Professional Business Consultant (CPBC).

She has a comprehensive background in the field of human resources with more than 20 years of experience. During her professional experience she focused on all vital aspects of human resources such as recruitment; on-boarding; employee benefits; workers’ compensation; unemployment claims mediation; performance reviews; evaluations; and self-evaluations.

She has also collaborated with diverse populations and industries in multiple states assisting employers in the compliance of local and federal requirements.

Furthermore, she has worked with a variety of small, medium and large organizations in the preparation of workforce development surveys as well as organizational satisfaction surveys from employees.

PARfessionals has successfully collaborated with Tina Duncan in the development of a new “Peer Recovery Global Leadership & Workforce” Survey which is the most comprehensive survey in the field of Peer Recovery to date.


Medical Consultant for PARfessionals Accreditation (APPROVAL GRANTED)

Melissa Doran Aiudi, RN, BSN is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Goodwin College, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Associates degree in Paralegal Studies from Tunxis Community College. Her nursing career has included nursing education, behavioral health, rehabilitation, pediatrics, general medicine and social services.

She is currently working as a freelance nurse consultant, nurse educator and medical writer.


Goldberg Sober Coaching & Host of The Addiction Show

Shira Goldberg is a sober coach, host of The Addiction Show and a graduate student at the University of San Francisco where she is studying to become a psychotherapist. Shira graduated from Kaplan University in 2011 with a degree in psychology, her emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Prior to that, she attended University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was in the pre-medicine program. She was awarded the Ronald McNair Scholarship, a Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, and a fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin where she did cancer research. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and is in Psi Chi, Psychology’s International Honor Society.

After surviving her own battle with alcohol, she had an awakening and began focusing her efforts and dedication on the recovery community and became a sober coach.

Her motivation is to encourage and celebrate recovery by promoting its message of hope. She is the host of The Addiction Show (, an online effort that reduces marginalization and stigma that surrounds addiction and to help those that have a need find not only resources, but community.

“By supporting and encouraging clients to achieve their life goals, within the context of long-term recovery, I get to see not only collectively, but individually, the benefits of recovery and their new lease on life. I cannot imagine doing anything more important than that.”


Shema Carter-Hanks currently a Ph.D. candidate is a mental health professional with more than 8 years of experience in working with adolescents, youth, and adults with mental health & substance abuse disorders. She has dedicated her professional career to creating therapeutic relationships with clients with the intentions of empowering and teaching them to achieve attainable goals. Mrs. Carter-Hanks hold a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and currently seeking licensure as an LPCA candidate. She has dedicated herself to being a mentor, lifecoach, and counselor to those that thrive and desire to change. She lives her life daily by the ACA Code of Ethics and strives to be an inspiration for the youth of today’s society teaching them to become tomorrow’s leaders.


Russia Robinson is currently a freelance writer out of Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a BA in English Creative Writing and American Literature from San Francisco State University and post graduate studies at Kennesaw State University in Technical Writing. With an extensive background in social services including youth mental health, behavioral counseling, and education, she has more than 10 years’ experience with helping young people achieve emotional and social well-being. As a writer, she promotes quality standards of care and evidence based, best practice approach to mental health. Creating articles, essays, and blogging, she educates others about the significance of mental health. This includes the impact mental disorders has on individuals and their families and approaches to treatment.

Russia Robinson is a certifiable Language Arts Teacher for the state of Georgia, with professional documentation training in mental health, counseling, and management. Her research articles describing mental health and its effects on society can be viewed on her website at


Writer, Train the Trainer Workbook

Racquel has an Associate degree in Sociology from Burlington County College and a B.S. in Workforce Education & Technical Writing from Southern Illinois University. She is currently the lead life skills trainer at the outreach center at the Beacon of Hope facility where she has created and implemented classes on Financial Management, 21st Century Employment, as well as a re-entry program for those re-entering from incarceration.

Racquel is also the visionary behind Virtual Business Management Solutions, which is an organization created to assist companies with their needed administrative tasks, which also in turn incorporates a network of skills from at-home moms. They have secured over $1 million in funding for various community projects and organizations. Racquel’s heart is also dedicated for the at-risk youth, therefore spending her time volunteering, advocating, and working on projects that contribute to their development. She can be reached


Contributing Writer, Correctional Curriculum

Terrence is the co-founder of Cash Money Records.


Gail has a master’s degree in transpersonal psychology (MTP) from Sofia University (formerly ITP) and is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation. She holds a black belt in To Shin Do, and a pastoral ordination from the Saint James Community Church. Her area of academic study is courage and creativity: She believes we are each brave and brilliant, with our own gifts to uncover and use in the service of humanity. She employs her talents as a coach, teacher, mentor and writer to help others discover and express their potential.


Don Cleveland has been working with people suffering from substance abuse for the past 15 years both as a senior pastor and as a counselor at treatment centers. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida and is currently working on an M.A. in Counselor Education at the same school.

Don is also working towards becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Rehab After Work in Brandon, Florida. It is here that he practices his passion of living in the moment with clients and writing about person centered and cognitive behavioral interventions.


Laura Pipoly earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hiram College. She then graduated summa cum laude with her master’s degree from Youngstown State University in education in both school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. She is a Professional Counselor (PC) and a certified K-12 school counselor. In addition, Laura is recognized as a National Board Certified Counselor. Laura completed her doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University with a dual concentration in instructional technology and distance education (ITDE) and special education. Her dissertation focuses on distance education counseling for students and is titled Counseling Students Perceptions towards the Efficacy of Online Counseling.

Laura enjoys teaching courses for Grand Canyon University and University of Phoenix. Most recently, Laura authored the book foreword to an E-book titled, “Meeting the Challenges of Bipolar Disorder: Self Help Strategies that Work!”


Due to the tragedy in Newton, CT, SJM Family Foundation has contracted the services of Anita McCrary. Ms. McCrary will prepare a CE training series on Civilian Critical Incident Education, specifically for prevention, addictions treatment and recovery professionals.

Anita has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and currently pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology as well. As a collegiate team leader, she prepares lessons and assignment regimens on a range of psychological concepts including Critical Incident preparation and resilience, military conceptualization and PTSD, schizophrenia characterization, and adult learning abstraction. Possessing the ability to conform difficult theoretical conceptions into real-world applications, Anita has published several academic guides including situational awareness, antianxiety modems, delusional disorders, and Jungian theory. As a mother of two, U.S. Army National Guard specialists’, she volunteers at the Ft. Benning Georgia Soldier and Family Assistance (SFAC) Unit and Wounded Warriors. In her spare time, Anita is a country radio promoter and a regular contributor to the Jani Foundation and Bipolar Nation Radio based in Southern California.


Jennifer Souza earned her BS in Psychology from the University of Maryland, University College. She has worked with survivors of sexual assault, felons seeking to re-enter society, prostitutes seeking a career change, recent immigrants to the US and youth at risk for failing out of high school.

She completed her MA in Liberal Arts with a focus on International Human Rights through economic development and education.

The thread that weaves in and out of the myriad positions she has held is a belief in the human spirit to succeed over adversity and the idea that every person deserves a second chance. It is her fervent wish that all being be safe and protected from harm and experience happiness.


Yonason Gordon has earned a Bachelor’s in Marketing from Yeshiva University.

Ever try to fit a full epic story into 40 words? That’s the life of a copywriter. Each product has a story to tell, and with the way the world is today, he likes to write in increments of 140 characters. If you need writing done with a creative, compelling flair to it, please email Yonason at


Rebecca Barneson RN, MSN, ACNP is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner who has spent 13 years in Emergency Medicine and Nursing Education. She received her MSN at the University of California in San Francisco, where she graduated with honors. Rebecca currently teaches for a collegiate nursing program and as a freelance writer and consultant for nursing and social welfare projects. Additionally, she runs a website dedicated to assisting new graduate nurses entering the job market, named Rebecca can be reached by email at

She is the supplement writer and lecturer for the Accessing Social Services and Health and Wellness Programs component of the Peer Recovery course.


Kasie Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Political Science from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. She taught Special Education and became a Behavioral Specialist in 2009. In 2010, Kasie was accepted to the Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While there, she established the UNC Chapel Hill Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) On Campus.

Kasie Morgan served as a Psychology Intern at Central Regional Hospital in Butner, NC where she served individuals experiencing mental illness, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with her master’s degree in May of 2013. She is currently employed as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and serves as a Vocational Case Manager for a private rehabilitation firm out of Virginia.

Kasie has joined our PARfessionals team as a Curriculum Developer/Consultant for our online 6 hours Prevention Ethics course.


Mary Beth Scott received her BS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Thomas University in 2004. She began her career working as an Intensive Family Therapist while earning her undergraduate degree. Afterwards, she went into a career in education and earned an Interrelated Special Education teacher certification from Armstrong Atlantic State University.

In 2009, Mary Beth received her MS in Counseling Psychology from University of West Alabama. She has taught Psychology and Reading part-time for the University System of Georgia. Currently, she teaches at a public high school where she has been employed since 2003.

Mary Beth has joined our PARfessionals team as a Curriculum Developer/Consultant for our online 6 hours Prevention Ethics course.


Dr. Grant D. Nelson received his doctorate degree in Psychology with a specialization in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine from Northcentral University, Prescott, Arizona.

He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota in Developmental & Child Psychology and his Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services and Post-Master’s Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Dr. Nelson is also a Board Certified Professional Counselor from the American Psychotherapy Association.

Dr. Nelson practices Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine and works collaboratively with other healthcare professionals in the treatment of acute and chronic health conditions as well as those suffering from a dual diagnosis of a mental health disorder along with their medical condition. He holds a special interest in autoimmune disorders, sleep medicine, and acute & chronic pain disorders.

In addition, Dr. Nelson works with children and families who are dealing with the challenges of developmental disorders. He also works with individuals, couples, and families who have succumb to the challenges of substance abuse/dependency.

Dr. Nelson works with those suffering from a major depressive episode or a hypomanic/manic episode find their way back to a place of peace and stability. Along with that, he works from a position of the here-and-now to help those diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders, attention deficit disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) learn to quiet their mind.

Dr.(s) Grant and Phoebe Nelson is a husband/wife team that contributed to the 6 hours Prevention Ethics course.


Dr. Phoebe P. Nelson received her doctorate degree in Educational Management from De La Salle University, Manila Philippines. She also completed B.S. Commerce major in Marketing Management and AB Philosophy at the same University. She completed her Master of Arts in Education at the Southern Luzon State University in Lucban, Quezon.

Dr. Nelson has over 16 years of work experience as an educator. She was the team leader in the preparation of the feasibility study for the creation of the City College of Lucena. She became its first College Dean from 2002 to 2007.

Dr. Nelson is currently working as the Dean at her family owned school Digital Communication and Technological College Inc. (DIGITECH College) in Lucena City since 2007.

Dr. Phoebe Nelson also works as a freelance researcher, writer and editor.

Dr.(s) Grant and Phoebe Nelson is a husband/wife team that contributed to the 6 hours Prevention Ethics course.


Research Assistant, Online Prevention Ethics course

In addition to being a freelance writer, Andrea attends graduate school, where she is pursuing her MS in mental health counseling and desires to specialize in trauma therapy and co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse and PTSD.


Editor, Grab ‘N Go CE Course Articles

Jenna Marks, B.S., J.D., is a professional editor with a graduate degree in law and an extensive editing experience both as a legal professional and as a long-time freelancer.

Her editing work includes full length books, e-books, periodicals, course materials, and short articles. Jenna has been working as an editor since 2007 and is located in the United States. She has worked extensively with both students and professionals, helping them to create polished products and effectively getting their message across to their audiences. Jenna believes that a second set of eyes can help any writer catch mistakes and improve the overall quality of a writing piece.

Jenna can be contacted at


Editor, Grab ‘N Go CE Course Articles

Gaile Campbell is a university Instructor and published writer with a Master’s Degree in English. Academic writing and professional editing is her specialties. She can edit in a variety of formats: deep line, track changes, and rewrites. She can also edit your writing for flow and consistency. In the field of academic writing, her specialties are thesis and dissertations, research, reports, proposals, and APA and MLA formats. In addition, she brings the skills of critical thinking and analysis to your project. If you want your writing project to reflect an excellent command of the English language and meet professional standards, she can make that happen! Gaile can be reached at


Editor, Train the Trainer Workbook

Ryan Behrens is an experienced writer, government planner, and passionate social services advocate who helps non-profit agencies secure funding, improve operations, and enhance their brands. With ten years of experience working with government and social services agencies, he understands the vital role these organizations play in promoting economic development, providing mental health and other social services, and connecting the community to valuable arts and cultural opportunities to reduce disorder, crime and human suffering.

Ryan specializes in writing business plans, grant applications, fundraising proposals, donor appeals, annual reports, newsletters, press releases, research reports, policy and procedures manuals, social media content, and website/ blog copy. In particular, he has written dozens of successful grant proposals worth more than $15,000,000; crafted and managed standard operating procedures for an agency with 1,000 employees; delivered professional reports to department heads, local government leaders, and business owners/managers; produced business communications for a professional property management company; collaborated with college professors to develop peer reviewed project proposals; created and managed a blog for a large condominium building; published book reviews in a local newspaper; and contributed content to two published collaborative books. You may contact Ryan at rybehrens@


Consultant, Train the Trainer workbook

Faith A. Coleman MD is a family doctor and award-winning journalist and artist. She graduated from the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, which is the nation’s first medical school to implement change in its curriculum in recognition of the importance of primary care. It served as the prototype for curriculum change at the Harvard Medical School and many others. Dr. Coleman trained in Family Practice at Wm. Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and Troy, Michigan, consistently listed among the nation’s top 100 hospitals by U.S. News and World Report. She has trained new medical graduates in the art and science of Family Practice and held clinical faculty appointments at three medical schools including the renowned University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Coleman has a passion for kids and young families. She was awarded two commendations by the United States Army for her service to soldiers and their families, including spiritual guidance and marriage-enrichment activities. She is the recognized Expert on Gifted Children for the New York Times. Readers describing her as caring, kind and knowledgeable.

Faith’s son and daughter have contributed to her medical expertise at least as much as formal training. God is her guide and reins her in at times. She writes poetry and skydives, but not simultaneously (yet). Her credo is “give”.


Instructor, Accessing Social Service and Wellness module

Michelle Zehr received a B.A. in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Professional Writing from Chatham University. While employed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Michelle received an M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania. She is currently employed at the University of Pittsburgh but is also a freelance writer that focuses on health, fitness and health promotion. Michelle has designed health promotion programs for a variety of companies throughout the United States.


Lecturer, Cognitive Disorders module

Lesa has recorded a lecture on Mental Health Advocacy for the Cognitive Distortions module in our online Peer Recovery course.

Lesa Weller is an award-winning, internationally-known artist and author, and is an advocate for mental health care. Her colorful multi-media artwork, which is inspired by her recovery journey, can be found at She is the co-author of the daily inspirational book, The Trail, which Is published by the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas in 2010. Weller has served on state-wide mental health panels, committees and funding boards. She is a presenter, trainer and consultant for non-profit organizations. Weller’s experience as a consumer of mental health services in Kansas has led her to be an advocate for those dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. Weller is currently working on her autobiography I Lie: A Journey through Mental Illness.


Train the Trainer Program Consultant

Dr. Marilyn Lester, a Ph.D. Sociologist, now an academic researcher, writer and editor. Her articles are published in leading journals. She has also coded, analyzed, and written up qualitative research projects and helped young professors extract articles from their dissertations.

She received her Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and was an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, an Assistant Professor at Indiana University, and taught her own classes while a grad student. Dr. Lester was known as a child prodigy in sociology and was heavily involved by the second semester of her freshman year at Pitzer College. She has now retired from university service and derives joy working as a freelance researcher, qualitative coder and analyst, editor, writer, and mentor to young academics.


  • Completed Master’s level coursework in Counseling from Phillips Graduate Institute of Marriage and Family Counseling, Encino, CA.
  • Seminars in qualitative methodology, particularly Grounded Theory Methodology
  • Counselor, 15 years, Los Angeles Unified School District; worked with poor students with assorted difficulties: academic, personal, familial.
  • Coordinator, Special Education, state school for students unsuccessful in public school; tested and wrote IEP’s
  • Computer Coordinator, Los Angeles Schools: took care of student and staff data for 10 years, using interrelated set of software programs


With a strong interest in helping individuals with serious physical disabilities, Dr. Pfister practiced as a physiatrist at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey and at Herrick-Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California. She was employed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a Medical Consultant for disability entitlements.

Dr. Pfister obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed her Internal Medicine internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and is board certified in this specialty.

After a brief sojourn into the field of teaching, Dr. Pfister became a medical editor for the Audio- Digest and now devotes much of her time to freelance medical writing.


Brandy Buckholt is a recent graduate of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a professional and creative writing minor. She has previously worked as a copy editor for the college campus newspaper and as an editor intern for the college campus literary magazine. Brandy is currently residing in her hometown, Merrill, Wisconsin, with her family and their 10 beloved pets.


Instructor/Course Writer, Legal Overview for Peer Supporters

Attorney Gregory Samurovich, is a senior trial attorney with the law firm Wright & O’Donnell, P.C. in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. He has focused his practice on complex civil litigation in the medical device, manufacturing and transportation industries. Attorney Samurovich has represented national and international Fortune 500 companies. His experience includes matters involving product liability, serious injury and wrongful death claims, catastrophic motor vehicle and industrial accident liability, chemical exposure, property damage and fire, and construction and workplace accidents, as well as complex insurance coverage litigation and strategic advice.

Attorney Gregory Samurovich was selected for inclusion in the Rising Stars of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.


Consultant for Peer Recovery Training Course

The Masterwork Group provides services that enhance performance and position. It is based in Ontario, Canada where it delivers services worldwide such as in-house training, telephonic coaching and counseling. A team of husband and wife administer this organization. Bret is a certified life coach. He is also a member of the Center for Creative Leadership. Lynn has been a counselor through private practice for over 20 years, ordained for ministry and is a Career Management Consultant. She is also a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counselors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP), the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Christian Coaches Network.


Melissa Killeen earned both an MSOD and MPhil in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.

She is the CEO of Melissa Killeen Recovery Coaching MK/RC which focuses on coaching for executives that are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Her client list includes Allstate and Comcast and privately held health management businesses, high end retail and real estate firms.

Prior, to opening her own executive coaching business, Melissa has worked for several organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania, GMAC Mortgage, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Melissa Killeen is the former President of Recovery Coaches International.

She serves as a consultant for our Peer Recovery Training course.

Wendy Y.

Contributor, PARfessionals' Peer Recovery Workforce Development for Healthcare Workers College Course

Wendy began her college education as a 15 year old and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication-Print Media from The Master's College and a Master's degree in Justice Administration from Norwich University.

Wendy worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fraud department as a financial analyst. This experience allows her special knowledge in working with legal matters and how the court system works because of the various cases on which she assisted.

In the past, she struggled with extreme anxiety and agoraphobia and regularly experienced panic attacks and other personally destructive behaviors. Because of these experiences, Wendy has a strong grasp of moral and spiritual principles which can often apply to personal issues and she desires nothing more than to help others overcome their own personal struggles.

Wendy worked with PARfessionals' Founder/Director, Jorea M. Kelley on the " Cultural Intelligence in Addictions" (also known as Cultural Competency in the healthcare field) chapter of the PARfessionals' Peer Recovery Workforce Development for Healthcare Workers college-level coursework.

Mark M.

Contributor, PARfessionals' Peer Recovery Workforce Development for Healthcare Workers College Course

Mark graduated from University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Psychology, and the University Of Tennessee College Of Law and has worked in politics, employment law -- as an appeals hearing officer and Equal Employment Officer. His legal expertise extends to legislative analysis and criminal law; he worked as a clerk for a State Supreme Court Justice.

While clerking for Tennessee State Supreme Court Justice, Mark wrote death penalty opinion. He served as Attorney for State Legislature, where he wrote and analyzed legislation presented for vote. As an Equal Employment Officer, Mark conducted investigations into charges of discrimination, conducted seminars on federal law and as an Appeals Hearing Officer, he held quasi-judicial hearings on award of unemployment benefits, performed fact-finding, evaluated witness testimony, ruled on motions of parties, wrote opinions based on legal analysis.

Additionally, Mark is a freelance journalist with 17 years of experience writing for print publications and the web. Mark has been a Contributing Writer for The Tennessean and The Nashville Scene institutions with circulations of 200,000 and 100,000 readers respectively. He's placed pieces in national magazines as well. Mark's first published works were short fiction and poetry, and he has written scripts for instructional television programs for educators. He has also written for Legal Zoom and other websites that discuss matters of law.

He has also written PR for colleges and universities, their academic and athletic programs, served as a Senior Research Associate on Title III grant where he wrote an application for federal grant which the government awarded $350,000 for a legal historical study along with serving as an Editor at a Historical Black University.

He also participated in the National Minority Editorial Writers' Seminar, sponsored by the Association of Editorial Writers.

Mark worked with PARfessionals' Founder/Director, Jorea M. Kelley on the "Cultural Intelligence in Addictions" (also known as Cultural Competency in the healthcare field) chapter of the PARfessionals' Peer Recovery Workforce Development for Healthcare Workers college-level coursework.

Sylvia W.

Contributor, PARfessionals' Peer Recovery Workforce Development for Healthcare Workers College Course

Sylvia is a regular blog contributor, research professional and social media connoisseur. She holds an advanced degree in educational leadership from Walden University and an undergraduate degree in English and History from Western Washington University. In addition to being a writer, she is a Washington state certified teacher since 2000. Her endorsements include English and Social Studies.

Sylvia recently served as a secondary teacher and the Director of Education & Special Needs at a large Head Start preschool program. As a teacher and educational director, Sylvia has a passion for education and human development.

She has written extensively on topics related to education within the United States and throughout Europe. She has a Masters of Science degree with an emphasis on educational leadership. As such, she has published a number of articles related to administrative leaders, educational technology, child development, and diversified learning.

She has traveled throughout the country with politicians to learn about issues pertinent to education and advocate for educational reform to members of the Senate. Her writing has been published in various educational publications, including "Education Today".

Sylvia's web and print publication credits include Parents Magazine,, eBay, Staples, The Autism Site and The Knot. Additionally, she has authored over 2,000 blog posts, magazine articles, web pages, press releases and product descriptions for various online writing platforms.

Furthermore, Sylvia enjoys writing about health-related issues and leverages her background in the medical field to provide knowledgeable content for clients. Her work has been published on Healthline and She loves to author content related to nutrition, healthy living, medical conditions and medical news.

Some examples of her writing include:

Thyroid Disorders, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Paranoia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Addiction, Arthritis, Pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Obesity and many more.

Also, having served in executive leadership at a non-profit agency, Sylvia successfully obtained millions of dollars in grant money. She authored grants relating to education, business expansion, literacy, language courses and travel. Her audiences includes federal, local and individual organizations. Additionally, she has effectively landed grants for low-income families, English Language Learners and prior convicts.

She stays in shape with yoga, fitness, swimming and meditation. She has a passion for social change and seeks ways to help people become advocates for themselves and others.

Sylvia worked with PARfessionals' Founder/Director, Jorea M. Kelley on the "Cultural Intelligence in Addictions" (also known as Cultural Competency in the healthcare field) chapter of the PARfessionals' Peer Recovery Workforce Development for Healthcare Workers college-level coursework.

Shema Carter-Hanks CNHP

Shema Carter-Hanks CNHP, LMBT has an educational background in mental health therapy, holistic health and wellness, and massage therapy. She strives daily to combine these modalities when working with clients. Utilizing the concept of mind, body, and spirit, she has dedicated herself to assisting clients thrive in a holistic environment. She is presently working on a doctoral in holistic health and wellness in order to serve the community to her fullest.

Due to autoimmune diseases residing within her vessel and not receiving the care needed from Western medicine, she applied her knowledge of herbs, seed oils and the pure essential oils in which she makes and created her own organic creams that bring relief from pain. Out of this Kimani's Holistic Wellness Center was established to help those with an open mind to alternative care.

Her certifications include that of medical massage practitioner, neuro muscular therapy, lymphatic drainage with detoxification for weight loss and detoxing the vessel, reflexology, yoni practitioner and a licensed massage and body work therapist with the state of North Carolina.


Manager of Operations

Julie Cotton is currently the Manager of Operations for PARfessionals. Due to her diverse background, strong work ethics and significant contributions, PARfessionals has promoted her to her current position at PARfessionals. She has already maintained a strong and positive working relationship with PARfessionals as the former Credentialing Specialist.

Julie has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego; a master’s degree in library science (MILS) from Pratt Institute and a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from the University of Southern California.

She has previous experience in community outreach, social services and advocacy for adults with HIV, adjudicated youth, low income communities and Asian immigrants. She has also worked as a Senior Librarian in the greater New York City area where she successfully developed new programs and improved existing services for the local teens in a low income community.

She is committed to program development, higher education, and non-profit administration. She will do her best to assist PARfessionals in the successful pursuit of effective workforce development in the field of peer recovery!


Researcher/Instructional Curriculum Designer

Trudi A. Griffin, MS, is a Licensed Professional Counselor currently working for her supervisor’s private practice. She provides trauma-informed counseling for individuals and families recovering from substance abuse, mental health issues, and co-occurring disorders in Waxahachie, TX.

Ms. Griffin is a graduate of Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI), and holds a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Addictions and Mental Health. As a clinic manager and counselor at The Bridge Health Clinics & Research Centers in Milwaukee, WI, she provided trauma-informed counseling to individuals utilizing evidence-based therapies including CBT, DBT, REBT, and Seeking Safety, and facilitated substance abuse groups utilizing SMART Recovery, CBT, REBT, Seeking Safety, Motivational Interviewing, and 12 Step interventions. She also counseled survivors of sexual assault and conducted groups for survivors in recovery.

In Eddy County, NM, Ms. Griffin served as an Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Therapist and provided counseling to adolescent drug court participants and their families, using Moral Reconation Therapy. While there, she also coordinated a new adolescent intensive outpatient substance abuse program based upon The Matrix for Teens and Young Adults, which included groups, individual, and family therapy.

Ms. Griffin’s training and presentation history includes numerous workshops, seminars and roundtable groups during her first career in event production. She also served as a psychology teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and has presented informational seminars on multiple mental health topics.

Miseth Luna

Miseth Luna is an undergraduate student at Regent's University in London, UK. She is currently working towards a Film, TV, and Digital Media Production degree. She has worked behind the scenes and collaborated on promotional videos for companies such as Hillsong Church London and Percy & Reed. Miseth has also created websites and managed social media for student productions with a specific focus on allowing viewers a different perspective on the films. She has also volunteered at the organization known as “Feed My Starving Children” and assisted in packing boxes of food for children fighting against hunger.

She has now been hired as a Social Media Intern for PARfessionals. She will be assisting with their social media pages in order to create a visual insight into PARfessionals and the significant of peer recovery. We are excited for all that Miseth has to offer!

G. Chip Kosboth

Contributor, Bringing it all together: Valuing the expertise of lived experience of recovery from a multicultural perspective presentation at the 2014 International Addiction Therapy medical conference

G. Chip Kosboth has worked in public mental health for over a decade, providing counseling services; most recently at the Oregon State Penitentiary in the Mental Health Infirmary working with the most severely mentally ill and behavioral inmates in the Oregon Department of Corrections. Before entering the mental health field, Chip was a stay-at-home dad, which was tougher than the prison job. He currently has a private practice in Portland, Oregon specializing in supporting families with loved ones who have a debilitating mental illness. He has a Masters in Counseling from George Fox University and a Masters in Communications from Ohio University.

G.Chip was featured in the article, "Getting back to work after long-term unemployment"

Anthony Tinsman

Contributor, PARfessionals Peer Recovery Correctional Training

Anthony Tinsman is a former advisory board member of the International Certification Board of Recovery Professionals (ICBRP) and designer of Take a Load off, a prisoner reentry program used in six federal prisons. TLO was designated a 'Best Practice' in August 2014 for the south central region. His lectures, curriculum, and articles have helped thousands of prisoners prepare for re-entry and life with a record. Tinsman's articles about prisoner and ex-offender issues have appeared on Huffington Post, Blog Critics, Google Finance, The Gr1nd, Telezscope, Spotlight on Recovery Magazine, Prison Law Blog, Incarcerated Voices, Prison Education News, Inmate Shopper, Prisology's Prison Speak, and many others. He is an advocate for sentencing reform and fair chance policies including employment and housing opportunities for ex-offenders. "Life with a Record" will be joined by more books designed to help prisoners and ex-offenders address critical needs. Tinsman's first book 'Hungry Robot', a children's book, is available on Kindle, his next book is "Jailhouse Publishing: How to Build a Writing Career in Prison" with The Cell Block. Tinsman has a diploma in Business Management from Stratford Career Institute and is currently studying law. He lives in Arkansas. For more information, or to provide feedback on any of his books write: Dear Tinny, 649 N. Rupple Rd., Fayetteville, AR., 72704.

Additionally, Anthony's articles can be read on MY MISADVENTURES AS A BANK ROBBER and Freebird

Ayesha Bryant, MD, MSPH

Contract Editor for PARfessionals Health Related Peer Review Research Journal (2014) (defunct)

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, at University of Alabama School of Medicine and is the former Director of Clinical Research, Cardiothoracic Surgery / MD | UAB Healthcare.

She earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Medicine from University of Alabama School of Medicine and a Master's degree in Public health, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Alabama School of Public Health, and B.S. from Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

For more information on Dr. Bryant's memberships, presentations, international editorial reviews, clinical trials and hospital affiliations.

Rene Cato

Mental Health Public Service Announcement for PARfessionals (2014)

Rene is a Physician, an English-Spanish translator of medical texts, and creator of English teaching materials with ample experience.

In 2014 he earned a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) from the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí of Panama.

The PSA can be seen online and through mobile app on

Nisha Cooch, PhD, PMP

Dr. Cooch is a neuroscientist that worked as a Director of Healthcare Communications, an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation and is the CEO & Founder of CureComms Inc, a private Medical Communications, Marketing, & Branding firm in Washington DC.

Nisha earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Psychology from Washington & Lee University and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) of Neuroscience from the University of Maryland School of Medicine where her Dissertation was on "Mechanisms of Valuation: Encoding of Outcome Variables in the Orbitofrontal Cortex and Ventral Striatum.

Deanna Miller, RN, MSN, Ed, HCE

Deanna Miller is an Ohio based Nurse, Writer and Editor that also served as a contract worker for PARfessionals' founder Jorea Kelley.

She earned a Masters in Nursing and Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix, Bachelors of Nursing from the University of Phoenix, Nursing- RN from the University of State of New York Associate Applied Science- Registered Nurse.

Deanna Miller, RN, MSN, Ed, HCE, manager of critical care and staff development at University Hospitals Geneva (OH) Medical Center discusses a case involving a New York nurse that filed a lawsuit against her employer for forcing an abortion and denied the patient's and healthcare provider cultural and spiritual rights (Cultural Intelligence in Addictions).

In the news article, " NURSE SUES HOSPITAL AFTER ALLEGEDLY BEING FORCED TO ASSIST IN ABORTION ", Nurse Miller states " While late-term abortion is permissible in cases where the mother's life is at risk, the clinician's cultural and spiritual beliefs must also be taken into consideration, says Miller. "We emphasize cultural competency and diversity with those that we care for, but who is looking out for the provider?".

Deanna also authored " THE FINANCIAL IMPERATIVE OF STAFF DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION ", SEVERAL BOOKS, "UNDERSTANDING Leukemia" and "Surviving Congestive Heart Failure", which can be purchased on

Sadia P.

Clinical Psychologist and Academic Writer

She earned a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from the Punjab University in Lahore, Panama.

Sadia works with fellow clinical psychologists at the Punjab University and enjoys teaching along with attending conferences at other universities.

She enjoys writing on social issues and some of the conferences she attended were:
" Gender Issues in 21st Century in Pakistan " at the University of the Punjab, Lahore (2008) and the "Impact of Global Violence on Mental Health: A Challenge for Mental Health Professions."

Cassandra Smith

Administrative Assistant, PARfessionals

Skilled in Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Team Building, Management, and Account Management and Tax Preparation (business and personal), Cassandra Smith owns a tax accounting firm.

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work from Tarleton State University.

Additionally, Cassandra studied Music Education at the University of Texas at Austin, studied abroad in Music in Italy, France, Switzerland and England while in the Princeton University and the Royal College of Music Partnership Exchange Program (England), received an Associates in Arts and Teaching from Tarrant County Community College, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education from Southwest Texas State University.

While studying in the music exchange program, she performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, St Patrick Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral, The Palace of Versailles in Paris and all over Europe.

Cassandra Smith is a personal associate of Jorea and also worked directly with PARfessionals' Founder Jorea on Peer Recovery coursework.


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