Sara Dodd, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor
Dr. Sara Dodd became the Director of the Center for Adolescent Resiliency as of July 1, 2011. She is an assistant professor in the College of Human Sciences and is jointly appointed to Texas AgriLife Extension of the Texas A&M University as a state specialist in 4-H and Youth Development. Prior to her faculty appointment, she worked at Texas Tech as a research associate and project director for an NIH grant studying the effects of frequent work travel upon families (Dr. Anisa Zvonkovic, principal investigator). Prior to graduate studies, Dr. Dodd worked as an analyst in the IT industry and as a legislative staff member for a Texas state senator. She earned her bachelor's degree (government) from Abilene Christian University and her MBA (management) and PhD (family/consumer Sciences) from Texas Tech. Dr. Dodd's research interests include leadership theory and development, adolescent health and wellness, and consumer/behavioral economics.
Linn Walker RN, CWPC
Linn is a registered nurse with experience in critical care nursing as well as public health nursing, specifically school nursing, having spent thirteen years with the public school system. She is also a Certified Wellness Program Coordinator. Presently, she is Director of The Covenant BodyMind Initiative, collaboration with the Texas Tech University Center for Adolescent Resiliency and the Covenant Health System, to address the issues of weight related disorders. Linn helped write the Texas Education Agency innovative course, Comprehensive Wellness, and is a regular presenter at school staff development programs and professional conferences.
Greg Johnston, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, CBMI
Dr. Gregory D. Johnston is the associate director of the Covenant BodyMind Initiative. His responsibilities include curriculum development, program delivery and grant and conference submissions. Dr. Johnston writes and presents extensively on comprehensive wellness issues, specifically in an adolescent student population. He proudly helped write the first Texas Education Agency approved wellness course in Texas education history. His research interests include wellness development in adolescents and emerging adults, as well as a holistic approach to reducing childhood obesity. Prior to working at Texas Tech University, Dr. Johnston served as a legislative assistant for a Member of Congress in Washington, D.C. His legislative responsibilities included health and education issues.
Gloria Gonzales, M.Ed.
Gloria Gonzales is the Director of the United Future Leaders (UFL) program at the Center for Adolescent Resiliency. Since 1990, she has worked with children and adolescents as a teacher, counselor and administrator. While serving as a school counselor in Lubbock ISD, she developed an elementary to middle school transition program which was adopted district-wide. In addition to overseeing the continued growth and development of UFL, Gloria serves as a presenter and speaker for staff development, conferences and professional organizations and writes curriculum in the areas of leadership and wellness. In 2006, Gloria received the Texas Tech University's Excellence in the Field of Education Tribute to Teachers Award; in 2010 and 2012 the UFL program was recognized by the National Middle School Association as a Team That Makes a Difference and in 2011, the program was honored as the recipient of the Lubbock Volunteer Center's Get Involved Award. Gloria earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Lubbock Christian University, her Master of Education in Counseling from Sul Ross State University and Mid-Management Certification in Administration from Lubbock Christian University.
Assistant Director, UFL
Kayla Thomas became a staff member with the Center for Adolescent Resiliency in February 2012 and currently serves as the Assistant Director of the United Future Leaders program. Her fascination with the multiple facets of media and communication studies, as well as a passion for working with youth greatly influenced her education and career goals. Kayla is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a dual degree Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and Public Relations. She is also a certified educator for secondary speech education. Kayla enjoys helping students discover and develop leadership skills, while encouraging them to make healthy choices to achieve their goals.
Holly Follmer Reece
Holly joined the CAR team in August 2011. She is responsible for designing and maintaining the research platform of United Future Leaders, Transforming through Transition, and other special projects. Holly is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction here at TTU. She earned a Master of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from TTU and a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Child/Family Studies and French from Baylor University. Though her academic research interests focus on early childhood education and child care systems, Holly loves the research process and enjoys getting to employ those skills for the Center for Adolescent Resiliency.
Kortney came to TTU in November 2012 after receiving her undergraduate degree in public health/health promotion and gerontology from Brigham Young University. Kortney pursued a career in public health because of her passion for healthy aging and preventing chronic disease through research, social marketing, and program implementation. She believes the Center for Adolescent Resiliency will allow her to accomplish these goals. Kortney is currently pursuing her MPA in healthcare administration.
Dr. Erin Kostina-Ritchey
Post Doctoral Research Assistant
Dr. Erin Kostina-Ritchey joined the Center for Adolescent Resiliency team in Fall 2013 as a graduate researcher, she is currently with the center as a post-doc. Prior to her experience with CAR Erin worked as a researcher on a NIH grant, for the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, and for the Department of Bilingual Education & Diversity Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development & Family Studies, M.Ed. in Bilingual Education & Diversity Studies and a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (International Development and Public Policy) in addition to being certified in Family Life Education. Prior to her studies at Texas Tech Erin was a social services and education consultant for a non-profit organization in Central Asia. Her research interests include adolescent/emerging adult development, theory development/application, policy, and community development.