Our Approach

Data Action Team

The Data Action Team will engage in a landscape survey of existing national birth-to-eight indicators and those indicators being used by NC state-level organizations. The goal of the review will be to select a limited number of measures of success that best suit NC’s context based on our state’s strengths and needs. The stakeholder group will be kept abreast of the Data Action Team’s work, and their feedback will be solicited on a regular basis as the Data Action Team moves through the process of selecting the measures of success.

Meeting One Materials – January 28, 2016

Meeting Two Materials – February 25, 2016

Meeting Three Materials – March 17, 2016

Meeting Four Materials – April 28, 2016

  • Gary Ander

    NC Infant Mental Health Association

    Gary Ander, MS, currently retired, was the project director of the Alamance Alliance for Children and Families, an early childhood SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) system of care grant embedded in Alamance County Social Services. As a licensed clinical social worker, Gary has worked across the spectrum of populations living with mental illness from adults to very young children. For 15 years Gary coordinated and facilitated the Domestic Violence Prevention Program for men in Alamance and is the past chair of Victim’s Assistance Advocacy Council of Alamance. For the past twelve years Gary has worked on developing a community wide system of care in Alamance County to respond to the comprehensive needs of children and families living with mental illness. He currently is the Co-chair of the North Carolina Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families, and sits on the board of the North Carolina Infant/Young Child Mental Health Association where he chairs the organization’s advocacy committee.

  • Laila Bell

    NC Child

    Laila joined NC Child in January 2014. As Director of Research and Data, Laila oversees the agency’s research in child health, family economic security, and early literacy. Laila also leads the production of data-based products to provide insight into the well-being of North Carolina children, and directs NC Child’s Research and Policy Fellowship program.

    Prior to joining NC Child, Laila worked from 2010 to 2013 as the Director of Research and Data at Action for Children North Carolina. Preceding her work at Action for Children, Laila served as an analyst exploring child well-being for the Texas KIDS COUNT project at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. Laila also worked as a researcher at the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) where she examined public policy, evidence-based practices, and the impact of family violence on children and families. During her tenure at TCFV, Laila developed the Texas Family Violence Service Directory, an interactive tool that connects service providers to information about curricula and best practices.

    A native of South Carolina, Laila holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s degree with double majors in Political Science and Psychology from Winthrop University.


  • Jessica Murrell Berryman

    Parent Representative and Business Owner, Lango Kids RTP

    Jessica Hope Murrell Berryman was born in Cleveland, Ohio but was raised in Durham, North Carolina where she attended DPS. She is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Jessica is the owner of Lango Kids RTP, which is a foreign language immersion program for children between the ages of 18 months and 11 years old. She is a proud member of MomsRising NC, the PTA president at Pearsontown Elementary school in Durham North Carolina., and one proud mommy to two unique little girls.

  • Anna Carter

    Child Care Services Association

    Anna Carter is President of Child Care Services Association and former Deputy Director at the Division of Child Development and Early Education. CCSA maintains a data repository that contains information on early education services statewide, as well as is the home of multiple years of workforce studies of early educators across North Carolina. Anna has been at CCSA for almost 3 years.

  • KC Elander

    Department of Public Instruction

    KC Elander is an Education Policy Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI), currently serving in the role of Senior Data Analyst for the Division of Data, Research and Federal Policy. Her work includes managing data requirements for public school PK-12 data from the US Department of Education, serving as lead on all agency data requests and involvement in the federal grant work to develop both the P-20W longitudinal data system (SchoolWorks) and the Early Childhood Data System (ECIDS).  In prior work the NC DPI, KC served as the project manager for the development, implementation and support of the More at Four early childhood data systems, MAFKIDS and MAFPLAN.

  • Kelly Evans

    Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

    Kelly Evans is a research analyst at the Center for Child and Family Policy. Her work focuses on evaluating programs and policies that are designed to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. She is currently working on a NIDA-funded project examining the intergenerational effects of substance use, the Truancy Prevention Project, an IES-funded project related to truancy prevention; an evaluation of the America’s Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Summits; and Parenting Across Cultures, a prospective multi-country study looking at how risk-taking develops across adolescence as a function of biological maturation (puberty and age) and socialization (parenting and culture). Previously, she worked as a health educator, managing the Saving Babies Campaign at the Chatham County Public Health Department.


    Evans studied biology and classics as an undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She received her Master of Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in 2007. There she studied maternal and child health, as well as completing the Interdisciplinary Certificate in Health Disparities Program.

  • Paula Henderson


    As Vice President of the State & Local Government practice at SAS, Paula Henderson is responsible for leading the government affairs team, assisting all 50 states and local governments to improve services, lower costs and save lives. SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. The SAS State and Local Government team leverages the power of SAS analytics to address many public service issues. These include the following target areas: Fraud, Waste and Abuse, Health Analytics, Substance Abuse, At-Risk Kids, Public Safety, Budget Transparency Visualization and Analytics as well as Cybersecurity. In addressing the data analytics needs for these target areas, Paula Henderson has ensured that a set of core principles are at the forefront of her team’s mind. These principles include: (1) Innovation that transforms the opportunities available to every community; (2) The government’s role, whenever possible, is to provide choices to the communities it serves in order to meet their needs in the most accountable manner; and (3) The action of taking a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach in addressing the target areas for State and Local Government concerns. In keeping in touch with these principles, SAS provides State and Local governments with the right tools and the right information in order to implement actionable decisions.

    By decreasing fraud, waste and abuse, improving public safety and healthcare outcomes and, most importantly, protecting children, analytics can be applied across state and local agencies to make our communities better and safer places to live and do business. As a mom of five, Henderson is passionate in her pursuit in assisting state and local governments in their use of data to strive towards an environment that is healthy, safe and educated.


  • Brisa Hernandez

    Carolinas HealthCare System

    Brisa Hernandez serves as Program Manager in the Research Division at the Department of Family Medicine, Carolinas Healthcare System. Her main research interests include decreasing health disparities, development of community based health interventions and the use of qualitative methods in working with underserved populations in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Hernandez coordinates and participates in research as part of MAPPR, The Mecklenburg Area Partnership for Primary Care Research a trans-disciplinary research group that engages a number of different community stakeholders to better understand the social and spatial determinants of health for various populations. She is the 2014 UNC-Charlotte Academy Health-Community Service winner and was a key author on a research article recognized as the “most influential research published in 2014 on identifying and eliminating health disparities” by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Over the years Ms. Hernandez has been asked to present or be a part of various panels addressing the changing demographics of Charlotte and how they impact health access and utilization. Lastly, she is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at UNC-Charlotte.

  • Jennifer Johnson

    NC Division of Child Development and Early Education

    Jennifer M. Johnson is responsible for assisting the Director with the management of child care workforce licensure, NC Pre-K services, subsidy services, and quality contracts.  She works closely with the Division Director to ensure the Division’s goals and mission are accomplished.  She is an integral part of the Division’s management team and assist with the overall Division policy and quality initiative efforts.  Jennifer also represents the Division Director as required to include representing the Division on Department committees, work groups and task forces and works with other DHHS divisions and partners and may act as the Division’s liaison with groups concerning issues related to child development services and other initiatives.

    Jennifer holds a MEd Special Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a BS in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught in the community college system for twenty years. Prior to her experience at this level, Jennifer has taught in public and private schools in Greensboro, Graham, Raleigh, and Charlotte. She was the director of a drop-in child care facility for 3 years and prior to that kept children in her home.

  • Sandy Johnson

    Director at the Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool

  • Mary Jones

    Nash-Rocky Mount Schools

    Mary Jones currently serves as the Principal at Bailey Elementary School in the Nash Rocky Mount Public School System. Mary earned her undergraduate degree in Applied Sociology and a minor in Business Administration from East Carolina University.  She began her teaching career as a lateral entry teacher and was selected to complete her education requirements through the NC Teach program at ECU.  Next, she earned her master's degree in teaching (MAT) with a concentration in middle school science and social studies. In 2007, Mary was certified as a NBCT after completing the requirements for National Board Certification in early adolescent science.  During the summer months, she served as a camp instructor for NCSU's engineering outreach camps for middle school students. Next, she joined the ECU cohort for aspiring administrators, where she completed coursework and earned her administrator license through the add-on program. She began as a school level administrator, serving as an Assistant Principal at Northern Nash High School. While at NNHS, she served as the administrator of the PBIS team, which received state recognition for the only high school to receive "Exemplar" status for three consecutive years. Mary began the Ed D program at the NCSU College of Education in the fall of 2013, in Administration and Supervision. In 2014, she co-authored a manuscript entitled "Diversity and Inclusion in Social Media: A Case Study of Student Behavior" under the direction of Dr. Lance Fusarelli. The manuscript was published in the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership (JCEL). In 2014, she became the Principal of Bailey Elementary School, one of sixteen elementary schools in the Nash Rocky Mount School System.

  • Jennifer Mattie

    Parent Representative

  • Kelly Maxwell

    Child Trends

    Kelly Maxwell currently serves as Co-Director for Early Childhood Development and Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends. She has over 15 years of experience in early childhood policy, research, and evaluation. She is known nationally for her policy-relevant research and evaluation focused on helping states improve their early care and education systems. Her research interests include early childhood policy issues, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), school readiness assessment, and evaluation of early childhood initiatives. Kelly has had a long history of working with North Carolina’s early childhood leaders. She co-directed the statewide evaluation of North Carolina’s Smart Start evaluation, conducted a statewide study of school readiness, and currently provides support to the state’s early childhood advisory council as well as the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant. She has also worked with several other states on early childhood issues. For the past few years, she has conducted various evaluation studies for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. She has also consulted with multiple states about QRIS development and evaluation. Within all of her projects, Kelly works collaboratively with policymakers and program administrators to collect, analyze, and apply research to their key decisions.

    Kelly is actively engaged in public and professional services. She has served on multiple advisory boards nationally and within North Carolina, has served as a consulting editor and reviewer for major journals in the field, and has been invited to speak at national, regional, and state meetings. She serves on the editorial team for the Society for Research in Child Development’s Social Policy Report. She also is a Research Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Before coming to Child Trends, Kelly was the Associate Director for the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In joining Child Trends, she will continue her state work while also adding national projects to her portfolio.


  • Priscilla Jacobs Maynor, Ph.D.


    Priscilla J. Maynor, Ed.D is a systems-focused education strategist, generalist and collaborator who is recognized in several circles for her broad knowledge base in public education, her business acumen and forward thinking leadership spanning from early childhood through higher education. Priscilla has experience at varied levels across the public education sector – including classroom, school, local district, regional and state. She has extensive experience working with schools, government agencies, foundations, nonprofits and for-profit organizations. Priscilla is the Founder and Principal of imaginED Partners LLC, an American Indian, woman-owned educational leadership, strategy and design consulting firm. The mission of imaginED Partners is to inspire and catalyze innovation that leads to new learning models and effective systems that are community-centered and grounded in cultural knowledge, rigorous standards and high quality teaching, learning and management practices. Central to Priscilla’s work is a strong focus on building strong community collaboratives that work collectively to ensure students start school ready to learn and finish prepared for life, career and college success.

    Priscilla earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and serves as an adjunct faculty member for the School of Education. She is an advisor on the BMGF Technology Partner Network and has served as an expert advisor with the U.S Department of Education’s Reform Support Network.  Prior to starting imaginED Partners, Priscilla was the executive vice president for leadership development for the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology, where she oversaw the company’s leadership development and shared learning systems portfolio, which included Next Generation Learning Initiatives supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Priscilla worked several years for the state education agency in North Carolina. In this capacity, her work involved designing systems and scaling statewide reform initiatives in early childhood education, special education, district and school transformation, quality data management, and strategic performance management. In addition, Priscilla led the State Advisory Council on Indian Education for 10+ years in policy efforts that gained the state national recognition for improving Indian education. In 2014, Priscilla’s research examining social class and the academic achievement of American Indian students in North Carolina published in the Springer International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Social (In)Justice.

    Active in the community, Priscilla serves on the Advisory Board for the UNC American Indian Center, the UNC Advisory Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, the Advisory Board for the State Employees’ Credit Union, the Board for a leadership development nonprofit and is the Board Chair for a new Charter School. She is an alumnus of the William E. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations and the IEL Education Policy Fellowship.






  • Mark McDaniel

    UNC Center for Community Capital

    Mark McDaniel is senior research associate with the UNC Center for Community Capital. He consults with foundations, policymakers and others on strategies that help connect low-income populations to economic opportunities.

    These strategies include connecting neighborhoods to regional workforce opportunities, connecting the unbanked and underbanked to financial services and leveraging investment in low-income areas for housing, community facilities and other economic development opportunities.

    McDaniel leads the center’s collaboration with Bridges2Success, an early childhood-to-career research and education initiative focused on helping males of color achieve academic and life success. The center provides research and program management support for the project.

    McDaniel brings a diverse set of experience in conceptualizing, designing and implementing initiatives intended to improve the socio-economic outcomes of low-income residents and the neighborhoods in which they reside.

    He has demonstrated capacity in establishing and maintaining rapport with diverse constituencies including low-income community residents, public- and private-sector officials, direct service and policy practitioners, and evaluation/research professionals.

    McDaniel has particular interest in the economic challenges and pathways to opportunity taken by different subpopulations, including students, residents of public housing, youth and the formerly incarcerated.


  • Karen Mills

    Program Manager, Partnership for Children of Johnston County

    Karen Mills is the Program Manager at the Partnership for Children of Johnston County.  The Partnership is a non-profit, community-based organization that serves as the local Smart Start and NC PreK contractor for Johnston County.  Programs work to improve the overall health, education and well-being of children birth through age 5.  Karen has worked for the Partnership for the past 16 years in service delivery and managerial roles.  She currently leads program development, implementation and evaluation to ensure programs are effective and implemented to fidelity. 

    Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University Office of Continuing Studies.  She is currently completing a Master of Educational Leadership, Policy and Advocacy in Early Childhood at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Watson College of Education.

  • Tazra Mitchell

    Budget and Tax Center

    Tazra Mitchell is a Policy Analyst at the NC Budget and Tax Center—a project of the NC Justice Center—where her work focuses on analysis of the state budget, poverty, and communities of opportunity with an eye toward low-income people. Prior to joining the Budget and Tax Center, she served as a Research Assistant in the non-partisan Fiscal Research Division of the NC General Assembly where she worked directly with budget writers to develop the state General Fund budget and analyzed legislative proposals to determine the fiscal impact on state government resources. She is also the Second Vice President of NC Women United, a coalition of progressive organizations working to achieve the full political, social, and economic equality of all women across North Carolina.

    Tazra holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Sanford School at Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from NC State University.


  • Nicole Gardner-Neblett, Ph.D.

    FPG Child Development Institute, UNC Chapel Hill

    Nicole Gardner-Neblett, Ph.D., is an Investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Gardner-Neblett’s work focuses on investigating factors that promote children’s language and literacy development. This focus includes examining the design and implementation of professional development programs for teachers on promoting young children’s language and communication development. She, along with Dr. Kathleen Gallagher, created More Than Baby Talk, a guide for early childhood professionals on key practices to promote language and communication skills among infants and toddlers. In addition, Dr. Gardner-Neblett studies the language and literacy development of African American children, with an emphasis on identifying the linguistic strengths of African American children and the implications for educational practices. Dr. Gardner-Neblett’s work has been published in refereed outlets, including Developmental Psychology, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Child Development Perspectives, and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Before joining UNC, Gardner-Neblett worked as a Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, where she designed and monitored national research and evaluation projects aimed at promoting child well-being. Dr. Gardner-Neblett holds a Ph.D. and MA in Developmental Psychology from The University of Michigan and a Sc.B. in Psychology from Brown University.


  • Amy Hawn Nelson, Ph.D.

    UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

    Amy Hawn Nelson is the Director of Social Research for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Director of the Institute for Social Capital, Inc., an integrated data system charged with supporting university research and enhancing data-based decision-making in the Charlotte region. She is a co-editor of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: School Desegregation and Resegregation in Charlotte (Feb. 2015, Harvard Education Press). She is a Charlotte native and proud graduate of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Prior to joining the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in 2012, Hawn Nelson served as a teacher and school leader for 11 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and Masters’ degrees in Teaching and in School Administration. Her research interests include long-term schooling outcomes, data-informed decision making, and integrated data systems. She is an active member of the community, serving several civic-based organizations in Charlotte.


  • Kristin O'Connor

    NC Division of Social Services

    Ms. O’Connor currently serves as the Assistant Chief for Child Welfare Services at the NC Division of Social Services. She provides leadership to development, implementation, and interpretation of local, state, and federal laws, policies, and practices related the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families. Ms. O’Connor is directly responsible for the administration of community-based child maltreatment prevention services within and across the State’s child welfare continuum. Prior to her time at DSS, she served as the Community Based Programs Manager at the NC Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

    Ms. O’Connor holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and a Master of Education with a specialization in Risk and Prevention for School-Age Children and Adolescents from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. She is married to her husband Mike and together they have three children – Matthew (age 5), Erin (age 3) and Jack (age 1).


  • Chris Payne, Ph.D.

    Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships, UNC Greensboro

    Chris Payne is Director of the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships at UNC Greensboro where she is a Research Professor and adjunct graduate faculty in the department of Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Payne holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Relations with certifications in Educational Administration and Supervision. Her work focuses on both intervention and prevention-based programs for vulnerable families which stress parenting, community partnerships, and school success. She is President of the North Carolina Infant/Young Child Mental Health Association (NCIMHA) and on the leadership team for Ready for School, Ready of Life, a 0-8 collective impact initiative in Guilford County. Dr. Payne is committed to work which bridges research, policy, and practice and has over 25 years of experience in educational administration, research and academe. She has developed and directed model school-based programs for children, served on state and national task forces, provided professional consultation, training, protocol development, and evaluation services for various community and state agencies and for university colleagues both nationally as well as internationally. Dr. Payne’s work has been funded by the NICHD, SAMHSA, ACF, DOE, the NCDPH and numerous foundations and state agencies. She is one of the investigators of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a 20 year, 10 site national study of more than 1,200 children and families, resulting in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and professional presentations.

  • Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, Ph.D.

    FPG Child Development Institute, UNC Chapel Hill

    Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, PhD, is a Senior Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has over 25 years of research experience in early childhood education and program evaluation, and has conducted numerous statewide and national studies focused on the quality of early education programs and initiatives; the effects on children, especially dual language learners and children at risk; and quality improvement strategies. She is Director of the National Pre-K and Early Learning Evaluation Center and has conducted several statewide evaluations of pre-kindergarten programs, currently including studies of the North Carolina Prekindergarten Program since its inception and  Georgia"s Pre-k Program. She also currently co-directs a program of research on Recognition & Response (R&R), an early education model based on principles of Response to Intervention (RTI). Dr. Peisner-Feinberg has been involved in several national research efforts as well, including a national center examining research issues for young dual language learners; a national research consortium that studied quality issues in Head Start and served as a technical advisory panel for key national studies (FACES and Head Start Impact Study); and the Cost, Quality, and Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers Project (CQO), one of the most well-known large-scale studies of center-based child care and children’s development and school success from the preschool years through the end of elementary school. She has disseminated this work to a variety of audiences and authored numerous publications, including co-editing a recent handbook on RTI in early childhood.

  • Olivia Rice

    RTI International

    Olivia Rice serves as a project manager and education research analyst for RTI International. Her recent areas of focus include career and technical education, STEM education, workforce development training, and business-education partnerships. Ms. Rice is currently managing RTI’s partnership with BEST NC (Business for Educational Success and Transformation in NC).

  • Katie Rosanbalm, Ph.D.

    Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

    Katie Rosanbalm, Ph.D., is a Research Scholar with the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. Trained as a child clinical psychologist, Rosanbalm’s work focuses on program implementation and evaluation in the areas of child maltreatment prevention, early childhood systems, and self-regulation development. She has conducted longitudinal evaluations of child welfare reform, early childhood Systems of Care, and manualized mental health and educational interventions. She has also served on multiple state-level boards and task forces to strengthen the evidence-based implementation of programs for children and families.

    Rosanbalm is currently involved in a number of projects to enhance long-term outcomes for children with trauma histories. Rosanbalm is leading two large evaluations, one on a self-regulation classroom intervention for low-income preschoolers and the second on a systems-level intervention for child-welfare involved youth. She has co-authored a series of white papers on Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress covering the following topics: (1) creation of an applied developmental model of self-regulation; (2) review of neurobiological effects of toxic stress on self-regulation; (3) review of self-regulation interventions across the developmental spectrum; and (4) relevant implications for policies and programs.

  • Meghan Shanahan, Ph.D.

    UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

  • Terry Stoops, Ph.D.

    John Locke Foundation

    Terry Stoops is the Director of Research and Education Policies Studies at the John Locke Foundation.

    Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the program assistant for the Child Welfare Education Programs at the University of Pittsburgh. He taught Language Arts at Spotsylvania High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia and served as an adjunct instructor in professional communication at the University of Mary Washington. He was a research assistant in the Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia.

    Stoops earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Clarion University and a master’s degree in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education. He received a Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, Curry School of Education.

  • Kim McCombs-Thornton, Ph.D.

    North Carolina Partnership for Children

    Kimberly L. McCombs-Thornton, PhD has over 20 years of experience working with nonprofits and universities to evaluate programs for children and families. Through the years, she has evaluated systems change efforts related to child welfare, pediatric HIV/AIDS, neonatal case management, Success By 6, and homeless families among others.   Kim is currently the Quality Assurance and Evaluation Director at Smart Start - The North Carolina Partnership for Children.

  • Kathleen Jones Vessey

    NC State Center for Health Statistics

  • Marvel Andrea Welch

    Marvel is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee’s and a Commissioner on the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, which advocates for the rights of the eight recognized tribes that are represented in the state. Marvel co-chairs the Indian Child Welfare, and member of the Environmental Justice, Recognition, and several other committees’ for the Commission. In collaboration with NC Department of Health and Human Services Marvel has helped in bringing awareness and education to the need of culturally competent best practice within Indian communities across the state. Marvel represents the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on the NC Indian Health Board, NC State Advisory Council for Cooperative Extension and the Community Child Protection Team Advisory Board.

    Marvel is a Certified Clinical Supervisor and Substance Abuse Counselor.

    Currently Marvel is finishing out her PhD. dissertation in Public Health from Walden University.

    Marvel’s education includes:

    Master’s, Clinical Social Work - University of Tennessee

    Bachelor of Science, Social Work - Western Carolina University

    Bachelor of Applied Science, Criminal Justice - Western Carolina University

    Associate’s Degree, Human Services - Southwestern Community College

    Associate’s Degree, Substance Abuse Counseling - Southwestern Community College