- Selected as Keynote Speaker at Iowa City Human Rights Commission Awards Breakfast, 2018.
- Digital Bridges Fellow at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa, Fall 2018.
- Grinnell College Innovation Fund Award: $50,000 grant to create a course called “Digital Stories for Social Justice” and create a digital story archive of audio and video personal stories about children’s mental health and the school-to-prison pipeline. Project lead, 2018-2019.
- Digital Bridges Obermann Fellow at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa, Fall 2018. A one-semester leave from teaching to travel Iowa and record interviews for a story archive of personal experiences surrounding the school-to-prison pipeline.
- The Isabel Turner Award from the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, 2016.
- ID Action (Iowans with Disabilities in Action) 2014 Advocate of the Year.
Member of Iowa Helping Community Policy Group, July 2020-present.
Member of Iowa City School District Disability Sub-committee on Equity Advisory Committee, Spring 2021.
Participant in Roundtables and Facebook Live discussions with presidential candidates as part of the Caucus for Kids Coalition, 2019 caucus season.
Organized Children’s Mental Health Justice Summit for NAMI Johnson County, June 7, 2019.
Spoke at Iowa Senate Health and Human Services Subcommittee on the proposed legislation for a Children’s Mental Health System in Iowa, February 27, 2019.
Mothers on the Frontline, Co-founder and President, 2017-present.
NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Johnson County. Founder of the NAMIJC Children’s Coalition (2018). Chaired the NAMIJC Children’s Mental Health Committee (2014-2016).
Iowa Children’s Mental Health and Well-being Advisory Committee, September 2017-2018.
Iowa Children’s Mental Health and Well-being Workgroup, September-December 2015 and September-December 2016.
Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council. October 2014-2018.
Coalition for a Children’s Mental Health Redesign in Iowa. Co-chair and co-founder of this coalition of over 45 member organizations and 90 mental health professionals, advocates, and stakeholders. October 2014-August 2015. The coalition produced the “Statewide Call for Action: A Strategic Plan for a Children’s Mental Health Redesign in Iowa.”
Regional Autism Assistance Program Advisory Committee, March 2015-2018.
Parents Creating Change in Iowa, March 2014-present.
Ethics Committee, Mayflower Retirement Community, Grinnell, Iowa, 2008-present.
“She foresaw disaster when her young son threw a computer at his teacher. How she helped him and other mentally ill kids,” by Sara Maraniss Vander Schaaff in The Answer Sheet Blog: The Washington Post, January 11, 2017.
Interviewed on River to River by Ben Kieffer, Iowa Public Radio, June 9, 2016.
“The Intersection of Race, Mental Health, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” presentation to teachers at the Iowa City School District, April 26, 2021, (virtual presentation).
“Iowa Helping Community Policy Group Presentation to the Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council,” presented with Charles Bruner, March 17, 2021, (virtual presentation).
“Children’s Mental Health Justice and the School-Prison Nexus,” Presented to the Iowa City School District Equity Advisory Committee, February 10, 2021, (virtual presentation).
“Children’s Mental Health Justice 101:Navigating Fractured Systems and Advocating for Justice,” presented with Angela Riccio and Dionne Bensonsmith at the National Foundation of Families for Children’s Mental Health 2020, , November 12, 2020, (virtual presentation).
“The Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline & the Need for Children’s Mental Health Justice,” #Scholarstrike Virtual Teach-In, September 9. 2020, (virtual presentation).
“Children’s Mental Health Justice” part of panel on Mental Health at South District Neighborhood Association, October 2, 2019, Iowa City.
“The Disproportionate use of School Discipline on Children with Autism,” Family and Autism: An Honest Conversation with Andrew Yang, December 14, 2019.
Keynote, “The Cradle to Prison Pipeline,” IJAN (Iowa Justice Action Network) Annual Conference, Coralville, November 7, 2019.
Guest Lecture (teleconference) Claremont Graduate University in Dionne Bensonsmith’s Feminist Research Methods Graduate Seminar, October 22, 2019.
“Children’s Mental Health Justice: What Would it Look Like?” NAMI Johnson County Children’s Mental Health Justice Summit, June 7, Coralville Public Library, June 7, 2019.
Panel member after film screening of, “The Kids We Lose”, Iowa City Public Library, April 10, 2019.
“Getting a Conversation Started: Advocating for Change When No One Seems to Be Listening,” Webinar Presentation for the Iowa Family Leadership Program, University of Iowa, March 28, 2019.
Presented on our work on the Digital Story Archive and Data Archive for the Innovation Grant on the School-to-Prison Pipeline at the Obermann Center “Archievs & Social Justice” Working Group, University of Iowa, March 28. 2019.
“NAMI Johnson County Children’s Coalition,” Obermann Conversation on Local Disability Initiatives, Iowa City Public Library, March 27, 2019.
“Talking About Mental Health Justice,” co-presented with Dionne Bensonsmith at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy conference, Hampshire College, March 13, 2019.
“The School-to-Prison-Pipeline,” University of Iowa, Iowa City, “American Dream: A Theme Semester”, February 26, 2019.
Keynote, “Sharing Perspectives on: Anger, Aggression, and Violence! Can we create civility in schools?” Annual Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders, Kansas City, February 22, 2019.
Co-facilitated the Digital Stories for Social Justice Workshop: The School-to-Prison Pipeline Archive, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, October 26-27, 2018.
“The School-to-Prison Pipeline,” Keynote address at the Iowa City Human Rights Commission Award Breakfast, Iowa City, October 24, 2018.
Panel Participant, “Careers Connection Science and the Social Good,” Grinnell Prize Week, Grinnell College, October 4, 2018.
Panel Participant, “Engaging in the Election Process,” Make Your Mark Conference, Rathbun Lake, Iowa, September 27-28, 2018.
Panel Participant, “Digital Projects Panel,” Grinnell College, August 16, 2018.
Panel Participant, “Using Digital Stories in our Teaching,” Digital Bridges Summer Institute, University of Iowa, May 29-June 2, 2018.
“Storytelling for Healing,” Together We Can Conference, Ask Resources, Des Moines, Iowa, May 5, 2018.
“Children’s Mental Health Care Legislation in the State of Iowa,” Mental Health Forum sponsored by the The League of Women Voters, Grinnell Iowa, April 5, 2018.
“What is Happening with Advocacy for Kids? or Why we can no longer wait?” NAMI Iowa Day on the Hill, Des Moines, February 21, 2018.
“The Status of Children’s Mental Health in Iowa,” Speaker at Community Connections, NAMI Greater Des Moines, January 16, 2018.
“The State of Children’s Mental Health in Iowa,” NAMI Iowa Annual Conference, Des Moines, November 17, 2017.
Co-Presented with Dionne Bensonsmith: “Mothers on the Frontline: Story Telling as Advocacy,” Federation of Familes for Children’s Mental Health National Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 10, 2017.
“Mental Health and Special Education: A Parent’s Perspective,” Guest Speaker at Grinnell College Education class, October 25, 2017.
“The Power of Our Stories: Achieving Mental Health and Criminal Justice Transformation Through Women’s Stories,” Grinnell Prize Week Panel with Mothers on the Frontline and the Essie Foundation, October 3, 2017.
“Making our Stories Count: Advocating for Children’s Mental Health in Iowa,” The 2017 Iowa Parents of Children with Behavioral Health Conference by Please Pass the Love, September 9, 2017.
“Advocacy: Mothers’ Stories,” Guest Speaker at meeting of University of Iowa Children’s Specialty Clinics Family Advisory Council, June 15, 2017.
“Never Underestimate the Power of Your Voice,””Go There, Lean In — How to lobby your legislators” University of Iowa Teach-In, Sociology Dept. March 22, 2017.
“We Are All in this Together: Positive Systems Change for Iowa’s Children,” 3rd Annual Iowa School-Based Mental Health Conference, Des Moines, October 16, 2015.
“What Works: School Programs for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbance,” Member of Parent Panel. 3rd Annual Iowa School-Based Mental Health Conference, Des Moines, October 16, 2015.
“Ways to Advocate for Children’s Mental Health,” Guest Lecture for Bengu Erguner-Tekinalp’s Graduate-level Practicum for Clinical Mental Health, Clinical Rehabilitation, and School Counseling Students, Drake University, September 30, 2015.
Webinar Speaker, Prevention of Disability Webinar, January 30, 2015.
“The State of Children’s Mental Health in Iowa,” presented at Iowa Health and Disability Advisory Board Meeting, January 27, 2015.
Keynote speaker at NAMI Iowa Walk, October 4, 2014.
Designing Powerful Solutions, online course at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) at Eastern Mennonite University, February 16 – March 18, 2021.
Youth Mental Health First Aid, June 2015.
ID Action Capital Day Advocacy Training, March 2014.
NAMI Smarts Advocacy Training, September 2014.
NAMI Basics Teacher Training: A NAMI peer education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness, October 2014.