- 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.
Mothers on the Frontline, Co-founder and President, 2017-present.
Iowa Children’s Mental Health and Well-being Advisory Committee, September 2017-present.
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-present.
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-present.
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 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.
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.
Youth Mental Health First Aid, June 2015.