Biographical Sketches

Joan Pennell, MSW, PhD, is Professor and Director at North Carolina State University, Social Work Program. She received her AB from Earlham College (Indiana), her MSW from Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada), and her PhD from Bryn Mawr College (Pennsylvania). She taught previously at the University of Manitoba, School of Social Work, and Memorial University of Newfoundland, School of Social Work, where she also served as Interim Director and chaired its PhD Committee. She has extensive research and practice experience in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence, and alternative social service programming. As a member of the (Canadian) National Crime Prevention Council, she advised the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and chaired the Council's Youth Crime Prevention Committee. She served as an evaluation consultant to the Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives, which are addressing child welfare needs in District of Columbia neighborhoods. As a principal investigator for the Family Group Decision Making Project in Newfoundland & Labrador (Canada), she administered and evaluated an early demonstration project of family group conferencing in North America. She is currently the principal investigator and project director for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project. On the model, she has numerous publications and has presented in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, England and Australia, and serves as an advisory committee member to the American Humane Association, Children's Services Division.

Jennifer Hardison, MSW, is the Evaluator and Trainer for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project. She manages the statewide evaluation processes of the Project and provides training to counties. She earned her MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated in May 2000 from the advanced standing program with a concentration in macro social work practice. She worked with the NC FGC Project as a field student during the 1999-2000 school year. She received her BSW from Appalachian State University in 1997. Prior to entering graduate school, she taught English in the public school system in Puebla, Mexico for eleven months after which she worked as an advocate, doing outreach and providing support services for battered Latinas. She has also worked with the Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse's Willie M. Services program.

Patricia Dodson, MSW, LCSW, is part-time trainer for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project. received her BA degree from Meredith College with a social work certification in 1982. Later, she completed her Masters in Social Work Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. Pat worked as a social worker in child welfare with Wake County Department of Human Services for over 13 years. She worked in many capacities in child welfare including CPS case management, Parenting Group Coordinator, Clinical therapist with the Child Sexual Abuse Team. She also provided consultation to CPS case management units in Family Centered Practice and Family Group Conferencing. She has also worked as clinical social worker in private practice and has taught courses in the social work program at NCSU. In addition to her work with the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project, Pat currently works as a consultant/trainer with the Wake County Partnership for Educational Success project providing training and consultation to staff in the use of family centered practice techniques and the use of Family Group Conferencing in the educational setting.

Amy Coppedge, BA, is the Project Assistant for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project. She received her BA in German and Creative Writing from Hamilton College in 1987, after which she spent a year as a full-time volunteer with the Community for Creative Non-Violence in Washington, D.C. She then spent time working for the NC Wildlife Federation, traveling and backpacking around the country, and eventually working as a Pastry Chef. She "retired" from the restaurant industry in 1998 and began working at NC State University. She joined the FGC Project in the Spring of 2000 and hopes to pursue her MSW at the University of North Carolina's School of Social Work.

Tanya Smith Brice, MSW, is a research assistant with the NC Family Group Conferencing Project. She is interested in using FGCs to address the disproportionate confinement of minority youth in North Carolina's juvenile justice system. She is particularly interested in those juveniles who have involvement in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Tanya is originally from South Carolina, where she has experience working with children involved in the juvenile justice system, particularly juvenile sex offenders and their families. She has also served as the Family Services Director of the Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity, where she assisted families in addressing housing needs. Tanya is active with the National Association of Social Workers, having served in leadership capacities for the South Carolina Chapter. She has made numerous professional presentations throughout the Carolinas on issues of juvenile delinquency and family group conferencing. Tanya holds an MSW from the University of South Carolina, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stephanie Francis, MSRA, is a Ph.D. student in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in issues of domestic and family violence. She is currently working as a research assistant on the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project. She is particularly interested in the use of FGC with families experiencing both child abuse and neglect and spouse abuse. Stephanie received both her BA in Sociology and her MSRA in Therapeutic Recreation from UNC-CH. She provided therapeutic recreation services to children in special education classrooms in the Chapel Hill Public Schools for two years during her Masters program. She then worked for a year as a Community Inclusion Specialist for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities before returning to school for her Ph.D.. Stephanie currently volunteers as a crisis counselor, group facilitator, and shelter adult advocate with Interact, the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy agency for Wake County, North Carolina. Upon completion of her degree, she is planning to teach. She is interested in both collegiate level teaching and community education.

Paul Bright, BA (hons), is Chief Inspector for the Hampshire Constabulary, England where he heads the Criminal Justice Department, Police Headquarters. Part of his job is to improve the care and support provided for victims of crime. Paul's first involvement with Family Group Conferencing was with the Basingstoke Police Division, Hampshire County. That project was based around juvenile offenders and saw a 30% reduction in recidivism. As the project progressed Paul developed partnerships with both professional and voluntary agencies using FGCs in childcare and educational welfare. He sits on the county's FGC strategic group. He also has worked over a two-year period to develop the DoVe project, a FGC domestic violence project in Hampshire, which held its first conference in November 2001. Referrals are plentiful, and it is hoped that 24 conferences will be held over the next 14 months. Portsmouth University is conducting research on behalf of the multi-agency steering group, which is chaired by Paul. The DoVe project has links with similar projects in the Netherlands and Raleigh, NC. Paul is at NC State University for 5 months, working alongside Dr. Joan Pennell, Social Work Program; James Horner, Director, AOMP; and Commander Chris Hoina, Cary Police Department on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is one of 6 police officers in the UK who have won Fulbright Scholarships to study in the U.S. for the 2001-2 academic year. He is serving as a visiting scholar with the NC-FGC Project.

Iris Carlton-LaNey, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of several articles, book chapters and a monograph entitled, "Elderly Black Farm Women as Keepers of the Community and the Culture." She has co-edited two books entitled, African American Community Practice Models Historical and Contemporary Responses (1996) (with Dr. N. Yolanda Burwell) and Preserving and Strengthening Small Towns and Rural Communities (1999) (with Drs. Richard Edwards & P. Nelson Reid). She is currently working on a third edited book entitled, African American Leadership in Social Welfare History: An Empowerment Tradition. She has served as the guest of a special issue of the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare entitled, "The Legacy of African American Leadership in Social Welfare." Dr. Carlton-LaNey has served on many boards and task forces and currently is serving on the Durham County Social Services Board. She is a faculty consultant with the NC Family Group Conferencing Project.

Eun-Kyoung Othelia Lee, MSW, CAGS, PhD is assistant professor at North Carolina State University Social Work Program. She received her BA from Catholic University of Korea, her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work, and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University Sergeant College of Allied Health Professionals. She recently completed her PhD at Columbia University School of Social Work and worked at the Lighthouse International Arleen R. Gordon Research Institute as Research Associate. She has taught practice seminar courses and conducted multicultural training at Columbia University as an adjunct faculty. Prior to her doctorate, she was Senior Counselor at the Korea Employment Promotion Agency for the Disabled. Her main research is on psychosocial aspects of aging and disability. She is a faculty consultant for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project.

Karen Sandell, MSSA, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She received her BS from Pennsylvania State University and her MSSA and PhD from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Sandell taught previously at the Mandel School and was a Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Ohio Competency-Based Child Welfare Graduate Education Program, funded by the Children's Bureau. She served as a training associate for the Institute for Human Services in Columbus, Ohio, and was a professional associate for ACTION for Child Protection. Dr. Sandell has extensive practice experience in the area of child welfare including child neglect and abuse, foster care, intensive family services, interdisciplinary service planning, community education, and risk assessment. In addition, she has extensive experience in public human services planning and administration including developing interdisciplinary community teams, program planning, development and administration, and quality assurance. Dr. Sandell is also involved in women's studies and has developed a social work practice course on Special Issues in Working with women and has taught an interdisciplinary distance-learning course on Violence Against Women with faculty from UNC-Chapel Hill and Central University. She is a faculty consultant for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project.

Cheryl Waites, MSW, ACSW, EdD, is an Associate Professor at North Carolina State University, Social Work Program. She received her BA from Hunter College (CUNY), her MSW from Fordham University, and her Ed.D from North Carolina State University. She has previously taught at UNC Pembroke where she was the Coordinator of Field Education and taught Child Welfare, Social Work Practice and Race and Ethnic Relations (Multi-Cultural Social Work Practice). She has extensive experience in Child Welfare. Prior to teaching she worked as an Interim Program Administrator, Supervisor, Family Therapist, Protective Services Worker, and a Permanency Planning Social Worker. She has also published and done extensive training in the areas of Child Welfare, Practice Methods and Diversity. She is a faculty consultant for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project.

Marie Weil, MSW, DSW, is Berg-Beach Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She serves as the Associate Director of the Jordan Institute for Families and edits the Journal of Community Practice. Previously, she was Associate Professor at the University of Southern California. She received her doctoral degree from CUNY, her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, and her BA degree in Philosophy from UNC-CH. She has a twenty-year career in academia and social work research with major foci on services for families and children, community practice, and program evaluation. Her recent publications include two books on community practice: Community practice: Models in action and Community practice: Conceptual models. She has also published ten other books. Recent book chapters and articles focus on community development and domestic violence, and two chapters in the Encyclopedia of Social Work ­ "Community practice: Conceptual models" and "Citizen participation", as well as the co-authored chapter with Joan Pennell, "Initiating Conferencing: Community Practice Issues" in Burford and Hudson (Eds.), Family Group Conferencing: New Directions in Community-Centered Child and Family Practice. Recently she completed three studies: A five-year project ­ needs assessment, program development research and evaluation research for the North Carolina Family Preservation and Family Support Program, a one-year project examining case management in health settings for federal HRSA, and a North Carolina Study of Best Practices in Family Preservation in Mental Health Settings. In addition to fifteen other studies, she has conducted research on nonprofit organizations and was a PI for the seven-year California Adolescent Family Life Evaluation Project. She is a faculty consultant for the North Carolina Family Group Conferencing Project.


Last revised: 7 January 2002
Document author: Dr. Joan Pennell
URL: https://www.cface.org/projects/family_engagement/ncfgcp/bios.php