2015 Workshops and Presenters
2015 Workshop Offerings and Presenter Bios
Keynote: Erin Merryn:
A Voice for the Voiceless
The audience will hear how Erin Merryn survived childhood sexual abuse for 6 ½ years and how she broke her silence and found her voice after going down a very destructive path. After finding her voice Erin made it her mission to be a voice for the voiceless and went after passing legislation across America to educate children to speak up and tell if they are abused known as Erin’s Law.
Plenary: Matthew Harding:
Don’t Let Your Mind Stop You From Having a Good Time!
A look at why people let their minds stop them from having the best possible time they could have. This will be a light hearted and comical presentation with music movement and laughing.
Morning Workshops - 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Workshop A: Angela Quinn, LCSW-C
Helping Kids Grow From the Inside Out: Understanding Trauma and It’s Reverberating Effects
This workshop outlines the impact of early childhood trauma on attachment and future social/emotional development and health. It identifies the specific tasks of care providers and service providers in bridging the developmental gaps created by histories of chronic trauma. This workshop also offers a context for understanding and reinterpreting challenging behavior. It offers strategies for responding in a trauma-informed way that promotes healing and preserves relationship.
Workshop B: Shreya Patel Hessler, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist
Anxiety and Children: What Every Parent Should Know
Pediatric anxiety occurs in 1 in 4 children. The impact of anxiety on children can have profound effects on everyday functioning. This presentation will help parents and providers gain information on the symptoms and latest treatment of anxiety. Strategies will also be provided for addressing anxiety symptoms at home and help families cope with worry.
Workshop C: Nettie Owens, CPO-CD
Organizing Your Environment to Support Your Mind
When facing mental health challenges, we can affect a change in three ways: medication, therapy and the environment. Often we want to use all three. How can you change the environment for yourself and others to support your mind, especially when facing challenges such as ADHD. This workshop will cover why your space is critical to mental health and learning, organizing systems that are brain friendly and supports to creating that environment.
Workshop D: Dawn Volkart, LCSW-C
It’s a Zoo Around Here
A light hearted presentation on better communication. Using four animals to represent different personality types, participants will learn how to become more effective communicators by recognizing the variety of communication styles used by the animals in their “zoo.” Come increase your ability to relate to the personalities at work and in your life, learn strategies for better communication, and glean information to help improve alignment, teamwork, productivity and leadership.
Afternoon Workshops - 12:45- 2:15 p.m.
Workshop E: Kristan and Nickole Kanyuch
Seizing Psych: Embracing Empathy and Education in a World of Growing Entropy
Children who have experienced trauma, abuse, mental illness, or physical disability may face extreme psychological and emotional challenges. This workshop investigates mental crisis through a family perspective that focuses on empathy, advocacy, and education within the family unit and greater community in order to create a safe and supportive environment. Additionally, information regarding local mental health resources will be available.
Workshop F: Shelly Allred & Jennifer Barnett, LGPC
You’re Next Client has an Intellectual/Developmental Disability…Are You Prepared?
You've been called to interview a child who appears to be verbally unresponsive but has critical information you need. Could he have autism? Through interactive activities and shared personal stories, speakers from Pathfinders for Autism will define autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual/developmental disabilities and offer insight into the commonly affected areas (e.g., communication and sensory). Understanding autism and possible accommodations may help to improve the interaction involving someone on the spectrum.
Workshop G: The Honorable Susan H. Hazlett
My Child is a Victim! What Now?
Navigating the justice system can be daunting for anyone, much less a victim of abuse. What can you expect? What do you need to know? Learn how to navigate the system from a current judge, who as a prosecutor for the state's attorney's office, was responsible for the
prosecution of more than 600 sex offense and child abuse cases.
Workshop H : Lt. Veto Mentzell, Program Director – Harford County Child Advocacy Center (CAC); Dpl. Mike Schleper, Investigative Supervisor – Harford County CAC; & Det. Joseph Dugan, ICAC Investigator, Harford County CAC
Digital Safety Seminar
Through facilitated discussion, video, and practical demonstrations, participants will learn about online safety and how to protect children from technology facilitated crimes. Topics of discussion will be: sexting, child pornography, online predators, social networks, apps, sharing photos, peer to peer downloads, cyberbullying, the dark web, other dangers and additional resources.
Workshop I: Doreen Horan, LCPC, NCC, FAMI
Mindfulness: Gentle Efforts Towards Presence & Peace
2).Everyday exercises to practice mindfulness.
3).Replacing stress & tension with peace, gratitude, & compassion through presence and awareness.
2015 Presenter Bios
Keynote Speaker: Erin Merryn:
Erin Merryn is author of Stolen Innocence, Living for Today, and An Unimaginable Act all memoirs. Erin earned her Master’s degree in social work from Aurora University in May 2009. After suffering years of sexual abuse and rape as a child she broke her silence and found her mission in life. Erin began a crusade her senior year of high school in 2004 to end the silence and shame around sexual abuse by publishing her childhood diary into a book. She has overcome many obstacles from child abuse, a learning disability, and living daily with epilepsy. In 2010 she became the force behind Erin’s Law. A law that requires public schools to teach children on age appropriate sexual abuse prevention curriculum. She is traveling to each state capital testifying to lawmakers to pass the law. She has made it her mission to pass the law in all 50 states. More than half the country has passed or is voting on Erin’s Law. In November 2012 Glamour Magazine named her Woman of the Year and she was honored in Carnegie Hall before 3,000 people. People Magazine named her a HEROES Among Us in April 2013 and one of fifteen women changing the world in their June 2014 issue. She has made numerous media appearances including, Oprah, Oprah Winfrey’s Network, Katie Couric, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fox, Windy City Live, Jane Velez Mitchell, Montel, Al Jazeera and many more. She has appeared in People Magazine, Time Magazine, USA Today, London Times, Glamour Magazine, Huffington Post, Cosmo Girl Magazine, among others. Erin lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and infant daughter.
Plenary Speaker: Matthew Harding
Matthew Harding has worked with children for 15 years… From camps to Crossfit training. He reports growing up loving being the center of attention. Matthew has been acting for about 5 years appearing on HBO’s House of Cards, the History Channel’s Men that Built America and The Wars, and the Investigation Discovery channel’s Nightmare Next Door, as well as numerous television and internet commercials. Despite his love for attention, Matthew also suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Since November 2008, Shelly (McLaughlin) Allred, Director of Communications, Pathfinders for Autism, is responsible for the research and management of information on multiple aspects of autism across the lifespan, including the creation of An Autism by Age navigation tool. Shelly uses her collaborations with experts, research, or simply personal experiences with her son who has autism to pen a monthly Parent Tips article that offers practical solutions to everyday autism challenges. Her articles have appeared in other publications, such as Chicago Special Parent Magazine and Autism Parenting Magazine. Shelly has conducted Autism Trainings for various organizations including the Maryland State Police, Maryland Capitol Police, multiple County Police Departments, EMS staff, colleges, Exceptional Family Programs, State's Attorneys, adult medical day programs, restaurants, schools, hotels, libraries, foster care programs, and other professional organizations. Shelly also serves as an appointed member on the Governor's Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities.
Det. Joseph Dugan, ICAC Investigator – Harford County Child Advocacy Center
Detective Dugan has been a member of the Harford County Sheriff's Office since 2008 and was assigned to Northern Precinct Patrol during that time. Prior to service with HCSO, Detective Dugan was with the Baltimore City Police Department from 1982 till 2006. During Detective Dugan's time with the Baltimore City Police Department he worked uniform patrol, plainclothes narcotics and as a Homicide Investigator. As a member of the Baltimore City Police Department, Detective Dugan was also assigned to the HIDTA Task Force Group 54 "REDRUM" unit. The REDRUM unit was tasked with dismantling violent drug organizations and prosecution in the Federal Court system. After retiring from the Baltimore City Police Department in 2006, Detective Dugan worked for the MDTA Police and was assigned to the BWI Airport.
The Honorable Susan H. Hazlett
The Honorable Susan Hazlett has extensive experience working with victims of child abuse and their families. In addition to being the current Administrative Judge for the District Court of Maryland for Harford County, she is the presiding judge for the Harford County DUI Court and Teen Court programs. She has taught forensic interviewing, trial advocacy, and evidence training to police, social workers, and prosecutors from around the state. She is responsible for the prosecution of more than 600 sexual offense and child abuse cases as a prosecutor with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Dr. Shreya Patel Hessler, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Hessler is a licensed psychologist in Maryland. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at Loyola University and completed her training at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has an active practice in Bel Air, Maryland working with children, adults and families. She specializes in anxiety disorders, depression, learning differences, and ADHD. Dr. Hessler also works with competitive youth athletes to help improve mind, body and spirit on and off the field. She speaks frequently to parents, educators, and clinicians about anxiety.
Doreen Horan, LCPC, NCC, FAMI
Doreen Horan is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, a specialist in Grief, Loss & Bereavement, has faith-based training in Trauma, and is a Fellow in Guided Imagery to Music. Ms. Horan received her Master’s at Loyola College in Maryland and her Fellowship with Atlantis Music Institute. Ms. Horan currently manages The Counseling Center at Stella Maris, supervises counselors and graduate students, and is frequently retained for presentations and workshops. Ms. Horan created and directs Camp Me Too, an overnight bereavement camp for children, and recently launched the Live Well Project in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County. Ms. Horan has created a video, Stars for Heroes, for teens in crisis & grief and was a majority contributor to writing, Courage Stones, a child’s book on loss & grief. Doreen is a resident of Baltimore County and has two adult children.
Nickole and Kristan Kanyuch
Nickole and Kristan Kanyuch have been presenting their Seizing Psych program for six years to audiences including the Sheriff's Office Crisis Intervention Teams, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Harford County Public Schools. Currently, Nickole's undergraduate studies focus on the Biological Basis of Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania, though she has also studied psychology at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, and engaged in research at Harvard University's Medical School's training hospital, Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. Kristan Kanyuch was elected the Vice President to the Board of Directors for CORE Service's Office on Mental Health after spending the past three years engaged as the community advocate to the Board. Chairman of the Planning Committee for the board, Kristan has also been certified as a NAMI Family to Family Instructor
Lt.Veto Mentzell, Program Director- Harford County Child Advocacy Center
Lieutenant Mentzell has been with the Harford County Sheriff's Office since 1997. His assignments have included: uniformed patrol in both the Northern and Southern Precincts and investigations with the Criminal Investigation Division, first as a Detective in the Property Crimes Unit, then later as a Corporal in the Major Case Unit, before returning to Patrol Operations as a Sergeant. Lt. Mentzell's auxiliary duties have included: the Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT), Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) instructor, Sheriff's SCUBA Team, and the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), among others. Lt. Mentzell is a MPCTC certified instructor and assists with teaching entrance level, in-service and specialized trainings. He was promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the CAC in February of 2012.
Nettie Owens, CPO-CD
Nettie Owens, CPO-CD is a certified professional organizer and owner of Sappari Solutions, founded in February 2004. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three curious kids. Prior to starting her own company she worked in variety of positions for companies large and small and honed her skills in management, project management, customer service, instruction and office administration. Nettie graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Computer Science and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management. She has always had a knack for working with people, coordinating projects and getting things done. She loves to see your success.In 2011 Nettie appeared in national tv on TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive and in national magazines such as Parents. She is active in her community supporting non-profit groups including The Havre de Grace Green Team, SARC, Habitat for Humanity among many others.
Angela Quinn, LCSW-C
Ms. Quinn began her career in treatment foster care with the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She received a Post-Graduate Certificate in Adoption Therapy from Hunter College School of Social Work in 2007. In 2009, Ms. Quinn co-founded Families Connected, LLC in order to provide highly specialized, community-based support, education and therapeutic service to the foster and adoptive families of Maryland. In addition to direct clinical services to families and children, Ms. Quinn provides parent and staff training and support to numerous local agencies around the state on topics such as trauma, permanency practices, and effective client engagement.
Cpl. Mike Schleper, Investigative Supervisor- Harford County Child Advocacy Center
Corporal Michael Schleper has been a deputy with the Harford County Sheriff's Office since 2007. During that time, he has been assigned as a patrol Deputy and the Domestic Violence Unit where he completed over 200 investigations of abuse. Cpl. Schleper previously served with the Baltimore City Police Department as a patrol officer and investigated illegal drug sales, DUI interdiction, and various criminal acts. Cpl. Schleper has attended multiple trainings in all levels of criminal investigations to include Homicide, Strangulation, Elder Abuse, drug interdiction, traffic safety, and search warrants. Cpl. Schleper has been a certified instructor through the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission since 2011, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Criminology.
Dawn Volkart, LCSW-C
Dawn Volkart is a clinical social worker, former therapist, and adjunct instructor. She works at Harford Community College in Disability Support and Student Intervention Services, where she assists students with disabilities and provides crisis intervention, assessment and referral to students in crisis. While in New York City, she provided individual psychotherapy in both private practice and at several clinics, worked mobile crisis with the Visiting Nurse Service of NY, was a rape crisis counselor at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Crime Victim Assessment project, and worked with survivors of the World Trade Center disaster through Bellevue Hospital Center. She is also currently an adjunct instructor at Harford Community College teaching Sociology and Social Work and provides presentations on numerous subjects both on campus and in the community. She is delighted to be a part of Cherish the Child Symposium.