We are part of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at University of Colorado, Boulder. Committed to understanding the behaviors and contexts that put young people's health and development at risk, we work in collaboration with other researchers to design, implement, evaluate and disseminate effective prevention and intervention programs for families, schools and communities. The Institute of Behavioral Sciences and provides us with a unique opportunity to work alongside researchers and practitioners who share a commitment to advancing scientific knowledge of society's most pressing challenges. The academic context at the Institute allows us to pursue solutions to our most pressing social challenges through innovative and interdisciplinary research, education and engagement in the world.
Monica Fitzgerald, PhD, Co-Developer - Let's Connect
Dr. Monica Fitzgerald is a licensed clinical psychologist and Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science in Boulder, Colorado. Monica’s expertise and research focus on the impact of child abuse, violence, and trauma on children’s emotional and behavioral wellbeing and the powerful role of caregivers and adults supporting youth, building resilience and socializing children’s emotion management skills. She also has expertise in implementation and dissemination of youth and family focused, evidence-based prevention and intervention programs.Monica is a co-developer of prevention programs for families (Let’s Connect) and schools (RISE: Resilience in Schools and Educators). She is Principal Investigator (PI) and Director of the Center for Resilience and Wellbeing in Schools, a Category II Treatment Services and Adaptation Center of the NCTSN. She is Co-PI on the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools Grant to evaluate RISE implementation in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) and Co-PI on a grant with CDHS to evaluate Let’s Connect for families caring for youth in the child welfare system. Dr. Fitzgerald co-directs a Category III NCTSN Community Treatment and Services Center collaboration with Mental Health Partners and is Co-PI on a NIJ Comprehensive School Safety grant evaluating the feasibility and impact of the Safe Communities Safe Schools Model. She is an expert trainer in the evidence-based, trauma-focused interventions Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT). Dr. Fitzgerald obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Georgia and completed a clinical internship and NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Child Traumatic Stress studies from the National Crime Victims Research Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.
Kimberly Shipman, PhD, Co-Developer - Let's Connect
Dr. Kimberly Shipman is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder and PI of the Center for Resilience and Well-being that is part of the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Shipman is a licensed psychologist (clinical and developmental) with considerable expertise in emotion socialization, children’s social and emotional development, child mental health and child trauma as well as in the development and dissemination of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs for children and families. Based on her research in social and emotional development, she has co-developed Let’s Connect, an innovative emotion-focused parenting program. She has also co-developed Resilience in Schools and Educators which is a whole school, resilience and trauma-informed social and emotional learning program. Her current research focuses on implementation and evaluation of Let’s Connect and RISE and supporting trauma-informed care in mental health and school contexts. Dr. Shipman has extensive experience leading federal and state grants and contracts, provides considerable training in evidence-based mental health treatment, and is certified to train nationally in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
Jessica Gorrono, LCSW, Trainer and Consultant - Let's Connect
Jessica Gorrono is a licensed clinical social worker and the Director of Engagement and Equity for the Center of Resilience and Well-being in Schools at the University of Colorado Boulder. Ms. Gorrono’s career has focused on 1) providing evidence based treatments to trauma-exposed youth and families 2) developing and managing teams, systems and processes across sectors to improve outcomes for youth and families 3) providing training and consultation on evidence based and informed treatments and mental and behavioral health systems and processes to professionals in various roles within and across youth-serving systems 4) collaborating deeply in the development of structures, processes and pathways in teams that facilitate meaningful growth, innovation, engagement and equity. Her experience includes various roles in every major youth and family serving system, including child-welfare, education and community mental health. She is a trainer and consultant for Let’s Connect and RISE: Resilience In Schools and Educators as well as national consultant for Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Marcela Torres, PhD, Trainer and Consultant- Let's Connect
Dr. Marcela Torres is a licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist, and the Director of Training for the Center for Resilience and Wellbeing. Her areas of study include child social emotional development, childhood trauma and resilience, and the protective role of relationships throughout childhood. She is involved in intervention and prevention program development, evaluation and dissemination. Dr. Torres also provides training and consultation to mental health professionals in evidence-based treatments for children and families experiencing trauma, and in the RISE and Let’s Connect programs. She holds a B.S. in Human Development from the Cornell University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Child and Family Specialization) from The Pennsylvania State University. She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale University Child Study Center.
Lucianne Hackbert, PhD, Co-Developer - Let's Connect
Dr. Lucianne Hackbert is a clinical psychologist and co-developer of Let’s Connect. worked to refine and organize the LC materials into a multi-layered platform to support children and the adults who care for them. Dr. Hackbert has a unique talent for seamlessly guiding interactions so that participants feel supported and engaged in their own growth and healing. She designs curricula to address the whole system while being sensitive to the unique contributions of each individual within the group. She sees that our longing for connection has the potential to awaken new depths of compassion and courage as we meet the challenges of the 21st century.