Faculty & Staff
Principal Investigators/Project Directors
Ann Glang, Ph.D., is a Research Professor at the University of Oregon. Dr. Glang began her career as a researcher in 1987 after receiving her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Oregon. Combining her interests in Special Education with her commitment to the principles of effective instruction, Dr. Glang has designed and studied interventions developing effective strategies to help teachers and families support children and adolescents with brain injuries.
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Bonnie Todis received her Ph.D. in Special Education/Rehabilitation from the University of Oregon in 1988. Her dissertation, a life history of an elderly married couple with cognitive disabilities, was the first dissertation using qualitative methodology to be accepted in that department. Since receiving her degree, Dr. Todis has directed or co-directed 13 research projects focused on individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other disabilities. On most of these projects, Dr. Todis’s role has been to design qualitative research components to complement qualitative studies and permit the subjects of the studies—children with disabilities and their families—to participate in each phase of the research.
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Laurie Ehlhardt Powell
Laurie Ehlhardt Powell, Ph.D., is an Associate Fellow at the University of Oregon. For more than 10 years, she has conducted research and trainings in the area of evidence-based instruction applied to assistive technology for cognition (ATC) for individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI). Dr. Ehlhardt has published a number of papers on ATC and was lead author on a comprehensive literature review of research conducted in the area of instruction for individuals with ABI. She is also a speech-language pathologist with over 20 years of experience working with adults diagnosed with acquired cognitive-communication impairments due to ABI, across the continuum of care, including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and vocational settings.
Dr. Rode received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Muenster, Germany in 1996. Over the past six years, she has been the principal investigator on several NIH funded intervention projects aimed to improve cognitive performance and academic outcomes in various populations. She has published a number of peer-reviewed papers over the course of her career, including a recent publication in PLOS ONE on the effectiveness of training working memory.
Laura Beck has been a Research Librarian at CBIRT since January 1999. She received a BSW from the University of North Texas, an MA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and an MLIS from the University of Missouri. Laura has served on a variety of information management, educational research, and service-related projects at CBIRT. Her primary focus is in the field of traumatic brain injury. Laura’s professional responsibilities include creating and maintaining library databases, collection development, and dissemination of information. She also monitors and disseminates relevant state and federal-funding opportunities for CBIRT faculty and conducts literature searches for faculty to support grant proposals and ongoing grant activities. Laura’s interests include improving information literacy for persons with disabilities. She is a member of the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Elizabeth Backus has been in the research and grant administration field since 2004. She began working with CBIRT in 2013, assisting with proposal submissions and various project needs, and recently joined the CBIRT team full-time as Business Manager. Prior to coming to CBIRT, Elizabeth was the Grants Manager and IRB Administrator for a small behavioral health technology firm.
Melissa McCart, D.Ed., received her doctorate in Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership, her M.S. in behavioral disabilities and her administrator's licenses from the University of Oregon. She has worked extensively with at-risk children and families as a behavior specialist for school district 4j, as a behavior consultant for Lane ESD and as a special education teacher. Prior to coming to CBIRT, Melissa spent seven years as a school administrator of a Pre-K to 8th grade school. She is currently the Project Coordinator for the Oregon TBI Team and works on various other projects at CBIRT. Her work at CBIRT combines her educational experiences with her passion for helping children and families.
Amanda Perez received her BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Oregon and her MA in Professional Counseling from Northwest Christian University. She has 5 years of experience working with high risk populations and 3 years of experience working on a wide range of research projects. Amanda has primary responsibility for subject recruitment and data management. She also coordinates project management tasks, assessments, and maintaining contact with all research partners.
Carolyn Saraceno began her work with CBIRT as a research participant on projects including Training Assistive Technology in the Environment (TATE) and TEACH-M: Teaching Assistive Technology following TBI. Carolyn then became a volunteer, assisting with various projects and publications. She recently joined CBIRT as a contributor to our newsletter, content reviewer, and administrative assistant. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Education in Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon and is also a survivor of an acquired brain injury.
Jody Slocumb received her BA in Journalism and Communication from the University of Oregon. She has eight years of experience on a wide range of social science research projects. Jody has primary responsibility for data management and subject recruitment. She also coordinates program development activities, assessment, helps maintain contact with all research partners and assists with dissemination activities.