University of Southern Indiana

Speaker Bios

Karen Allen
George Brenner
Kathy Byers
Jean Capler
Beryl Cohen
Chad Connor
David Cousert
Donna Culley
Stephanie J. Cunningham
Jara Dillingham
April Mallory
Lori Mcintire
Elissa Mitchell
John Paulson
Marie Opatrny Pease
Sam Preston
Lisa Seif
Davi Stein-Kiley
Cayce Watson
Whitney Weir
Scott Wylie


Karen Neuman Allen is the director of the Social Work Program at Indiana University- Bloomington. She received her MSW and Ph.D. from Wayne State University. Karen is a licensed clinical social worker as well as a certified trauma therapist. Her hospital and private practice involves working with individuals with co-occurring disorders, severe illnesses and traumas such as burns, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, cancer and strokes. Karen has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and is the co-author of Social Work Practice in Healthcare: Advanced Approaches and Emerging Trends. Her current areas of research include recovering from trauma, domestic violence, and quality-of-life and chronic disease.



George was trained in Motivational Interviewing by William Miller, PhD, Theresa Moyers, PhD and additional faculty of the University of New Mexico. Advanced training provided by the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers in the Train-New-Trainers program. George is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers

George earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Evansville. George has 44 years of clinical, supervisory and administrative experience in the areas of Motivational Interviewing, problem gambling, substance use disorders, mental health, and integrated care for Co-Occurring Disorders. He is a regular trainer and consultant in these areas for agencies and at local, state, and national conferences.

George supervised Addictions Services for Community Health Network: Behavioral Health Services/Gallahue Mental Health Services from 1990 to 2011, since 2009 Addictions Specialist on the Psychiatric Consultation and Liaison Team for Community Health Network, and faculty for the Psychiatric Residency Program; now semi-retired. He is a partner in Continuing the Care: A Recovery Monitoring Program. George also provides counseling services in a private practice group; Family Counseling Associates.

George serves on the Boards of Mental Health America in Indiana (past Chair) and Indiana Council on Problem Gambling until 2016. George serves on and is the past Chair (2013-2016) of the Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and a representative of the Addictions Counselors section. George enjoys his family and being a runner.



Katharine V. Byers, Ph.D., is retired from Indiana University School of Social Work where she directed the Bloomington BSW Program.  She is treasurer of Influencing State Policy, a national organization of educators helping students learn how to influence policy. She taught social policy, co-authored a policy practice textbook, and conducted research on welfare reform and student activism.  She co-founded, with Jean Caplan, Call to Action, a Facebook page that supports those advocating for progressive social policies, and works on voter registration and voter empowerment.



Jean Caplan, MSW, LCSW, earned her Master of Social Work degree from IUPUI in 2000.  She has worked in mental health settings as well as providing psychotherapy services in private practice, specializing in working with people with brain injuries and with the LGBTQ community.  She has worked as an employment consultant, facilitated substance abuse IOP groups, and has been an adjunct professor in the IU School of Social Work.  She is the Local Support Network Leader in Southern Indiana for the Resource Facilitation Department of the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana.  In this position, she works to improve the lives of brain injury survivors by building capacity in communities.  She has co-founded two grassroots groups—FairTalk to fight for marriage equality and Call To Action to encourage progressives to make political action a part of their daily routine.



Beryl Cohen - Ms. Cohen is currently serving as the Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, Indiana Chapter. Ms. Cohen’s background includes over 20 years of work experience focused on program planning and implementation, advocacy, public policy and legislative work. Ms. Cohen worked as a registered lobbyist for over 7 years focusing on low income issues that impact children, families and individuals. In addition, she worked for Governor O’Bannon and Kernan as a Deputy Director of the Bureau of Family Resources, which was responsible for running 22 different statewide programs including TANF and Food Stamps.



Chad Connor, LCSW, MSSW is a Manager at Ireland Home Based Services, LLC.  He has nearly a decade of experience in roles ranging from direct service to agency leadership. Chad has extensive training in Motivational Interviewing and is a certified Family Centered Treatment (FCT) Supervisor. Chad has assisted with implementation of FCT in multiple service regions of Indiana’s Department of Child Services. Chad holds a Master of Science in Social Work form the University of Louisville and is a licensed clinical social worker in Indiana.



Dr. David Cousert, LCSW, ACSW is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana.  David has practice background in mental health, addiction/recovery, and management.  He is actively involved with the region’s social services community, currently sitting on the board of Directors of the Southwestern Indiana Regional Council on Aging (as Board President), Parenting Time Center, and United Caring Services. David also teaches a graduate course in Social Work related to clinical practice and human sexual issues.



Dr. Culley is a licensed Clinical Psychologist at Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. where she is the Director of Child and Family Services. She completed her undergraduate work at University of Southern Indiana earning a B.A. in psychology in 1983. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Mississippi in 1990 after completing her residency at the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine.

Dr. Culley is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Evansville were she has taught courses on Forensic Psychology and Test and Measurement. She was previously a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the USC School of Medicine for 20 years where she participated in the training of Medical Students, Psychology Interns, Psychiatry Residents and Forensic Fellows. While working in South Carolina, Dr. Culley conducted forensic evaluations for both the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs which involved competency to stand trial and insanity evaluations as well as death penalty evaluations with individuals serving time on South Carolina’s death row. 

In her current position, Dr. Culley serves as the Chair of Southwestern Behavioral’s Trauma Informed Care Committee and provides required training in trauma informed practices for all employees.  She trains law enforcement officers in Trauma 101 as part of the Crisis Intervention Training curriculum for the past three years.  She has also provided trauma informed care trainings through the Indiana Youth Institute Youth Worker Cafés in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey and Perry counties as well for the Deaconess Mental Health Professionals Luncheon. Dr. Culley has been involved with the Homeless Youth Coalition, the Suicide Prevention Coalition and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Ark Crisis Care Center.



Dr. Stephanie J. Cunningham is Senior Staff Psychologist and Outreach and Training Coordinator in the Counseling Center at the University of Southern Indiana.  Her work at USI includes providing direct clinical services to students, consultation with faculty and staff, supervision of professional staff, administration of the Counseling Center's outreach and programming initiatives, and development of the Center's nascent clinical training program for master's-level graduate students.  She earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Morehead State University and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology as well as a graduate certificate in Women's Studies at the University of Akron.  Her areas of clinical specialization focus on gender and sexuality, including identity development for individuals on the LGBTQ spectrum as well as concerns such as gender-based violence and healthy sexuality.  Other areas of interest in her administrative and scholarly work include feminist identity development, feminist praxis in clinical practice, multicultural competence, social justice, and use of an intersectional lens when exploring these issues.  She has experience with presenting to audiences of other mental health care professionals on issues regarding diversity, multicultural competency, and social justice as relates to clinical practice. 



Jara Dillingham, MSW, LCSW is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). She is a graduate of USI and current President of Prevent Child Abuse-Vanderburgh County.  Jara has 19 years of experience working with various populations, including children, families, child welfare, and adoption.  She has been teaching at the university for 6 years, where she has integrated her years of practice experience into the classroom (both online and in the traditional classroom) to provide varied learning opportunities. Her areas of interest include field education, skills based courses, online learning, and the integration of technology in teaching and learning. 



April Mallory is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Master Addiction Counselor. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work at the Nashville campus. Her social work practice experience includes outpatient substance use treatment and court services programs, program management at the Davidson County Drug Court, and inpatient psychiatric treatment with adults. She is a member of the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Assessment Program team providing evaluations for professionals facing professional consequences due to addiction, mental illness, sexual boundary violations, and disruptive behavior.



Lori McIntire, LCSW received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern Indiana in 2001. She began her career working with children and families in 1992 working for a Community Action Agency as a program coordinator of the Family Preservation Program contracted to preserve and reunify families involved with the Department of Child Services. Later, was promoted to the position of Program Director and managed the Family Preservation Program as well as developed and managed the Independent Living Program which focused on youth aging out of the foster care system. In December 2012, Ms. McIntire was hired by Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare as the System of Care Coordinator for the Southwest Region including Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties.  Since that time she has directed our Regional System of Care, FACES (Families and Communities Embracing Success); established the Access Site for Wraparound services; developed the High Fidelity Wraparound program for our community; and has facilitated our annual outreach event each May to promote children’s mental health awareness month. 



Elissa Mitchell, MS, MSW, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana. Elissa earned her graduate degrees from the University of Illinois and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield before coming to USI. The bulk of her experience is in macro practice, having served as the Director of Network and Outreach for a nonprofit organization based in Illinois for 7 years, focusing on policy analysis and advocacy, community organizing and development, and program evaluation.  Her current research focuses on children exposed to intimate partner violence, online learning, and the use of technology in teaching and learning, including online debate and social media.   



Mr. Paulson is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana where he teaches courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. His practice background is in behavioral health as a clinical social worker providing psychotherapy for a variety of mental health and addiction issues. He is a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed clinical addiction counselor in Indiana.



Dr. Marie Opatrny,Pease Ph.D, MSW, LCSW is an associate professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana, and teaches courses in crisis intervention, group leadership, clinical social work theories, and applied social research. She has over 25 years’ experience in community mental health and has conducted applied research studies with local and national non-profit partners, on issues pertaining to intergenerational poverty, suicide prevention, needs of the aging in rural areas, and homelessness.  In addition, Dr. Pease continues to maintain a small clinical practice.



Lt. Sam Preston has been a deputy with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years.  He has a BSW from Western Kentucky University and a MS from Indiana State University.  Lt. Preston is a Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board Master Instructor.  He currently serves as Sheriff’s Office as the assistant Patrol Commander, Hostage/Crisis Negotiator Team and Coordinator of the Crisis Intervention Team.



Lisa Seif, LCSW, LCAC, CSAMS has been involved in the field of addiction and recovery since 1982.She has been responsible for assessment, coordination of services, developing treatment court models for social workers, student assistance programs , delivery of training, individual, adolescent, and family treatment/therapy, and served on the past Governors Council for Drug Free communities. She facilitated Outward Bound programs for Youth First and helped develop and facilitate the Teenpower Camps through Youth Resources.

Lisa is a seasoned developer and trainer. Presently, she is a private psychotherapist. She is an adjunct professor for the USI Social Work department and serves as a consultant for the Vanderburgh County Treatment Court.

Since 1982, Lisa has devoted her passion for prevention and treatment to those suffering with substance abuse, addictive disorders, and co-occurring disorders. She provides both direct care and administrative support in public and private settings. This workshop will be empowering, engaging, and memorable!



Davi Stein-Kiley LCSW, LCAC, LMFT, RPT-S serves as the VP of Social Work and Program at Youth First, Inc. where she provides leadership, vision and clinical supervision to a team of 39 school social workers and 6 program staff serving 58 public, private and charter schools in a seven county region of Southwestern Indiana.

With more than 25 years of experience as a mental health practitioner her focus has been in developing systems that follow a public health model, reflecting collaborative, practical and measurable approaches in mental health. She’s an active member of community Systems of Care governance as well as the Southwestern Coalition for Suicide Prevention. Davi has a passion for helping young people thrive in school and in life.



Cayce Watson is a Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker and Master Addiction Counselor.  She currently serves as Associate Professor and Field Coordinator in the Social Work and Sociology Department at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.   She has co-authored peer-reviewed publications in the Journal of Dual Diagnosis, Social Work in Public Health, and Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.  Her social work practice experience includes working in adolescent psych, dual diagnosis, and family counseling.  During her tenure at Vanderbilt, she served the Addiction Medicine Clinic as research coordinator of a multi-site NIH and NIDA sponsored study concerning opiate use and treatment among pregnant women.  



Whitney Weir completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, she is a licensed social worker and a trained forensic interviewer. Whitney has been working in victim advocacy and anti-trafficking education for 5 years. She began her work at Albion Fellows Bacon Center working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Whitney left Albion in 2015 to be the Southwest Regional Coordinator for the Indiana

Trafficking Victim Assistance Program. In this position she continued to educate youth workers, law enforcement, and community members on human trafficking with an expanded focus to 19 southwest counties in Indiana. She stayed with ITVAP until she moved to Indianapolis to become a Victim Advocate at Restored in January of 2017.

Whitney has a passion for restoration in the lives of victims of trafficking here in the United States and around the world. Along with her work for the movement here in Indiana she also has done global social work with Uncharted International at their Restoration Center for survivors of human trafficking in Myanmar. Whitney has taken two trips to Myanmar to offer support to the staff of a Restoration Home for female survivors of human trafficking, as well as doing some work with the women living at the home.



Scott Wylie is the Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana.  A long-time public interest lawyer and educator, Mr. Wylie is a founding member of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Coalition for Court Access and serves on the Board of the Indiana Bar Foundation and Indiana Legal Services.  Mr. Wylie is the Family Law Project Coordinator for the Vanderburgh County Courts and has served as an instructor and peer consultant for the American Bar Association for nearly a quarter century.  From 1999 until 2002, he served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California ending his term as Vice President.  Form 2003 until 2006, he served as President of California Bar Foundation.  Now living in Evansville, Indiana, Mr. Wylie received his BA and JD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urban/Champaign.

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