Conference Info

Virtual Conference

May 24, 2023

Welcome to the 13th Annual School Climate & Anti-Bullying Virtual Conference

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Conference Speakers

Kate Okeson

Kate Okeson is co-founder and program director of Make It Better for Youth, the Monmouth County Consortium for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Questioning Youth, where she organizes people and resources to affirm and accept our young LGBTQ+ community through education, outreach, and social opportunities. Over the last several years, MIB4Y has focused intently […]

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Damien Alan Lopez

Damien Alan Lopez was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. A published Queer author, he is a proud transgender man with hopes to shift the conversation of trans identities represented in children’s books and other mediums. His story has been recognized by First Lady Tammy Murphy of New Jersey, the 2021 dotCOMM Platinum Awards, […]

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Kani Ilangovan, M.D.

Dr. Kani Ilangovan is the founder and a board member of Make Us Visible NJ. She is also a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and mother. As a psychiatrist, she sees the lifelong impact of racial trauma and the physical and mental toll on children and our communities. She is so grateful to the NJ legislature and […]

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Christina Huang

Christina Huang is a first-generation college student and passionate activist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing a Political Science degree. Christina has dedicated much of her career to advocating for social justice issues and promoting the rights of underrepresented communities. Huang’s involvement with Make Us Visible NJ and her passion for […]

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Lorraine Gehrig Mullins, LCSW

Lorraine Gehrig Mullins, LCSW is the Vice President for Care Plus NJ’s School Based Services. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University.  Her experience includes facilitation of direct clinical services for youth and families in variety of outpatient and community-based settings. For the past 18 years, her focus has been fostering […]

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Erin Bruno, MA,

Erin Bruno, MA, has been working in the field of social-emotional learning for over 27 years, first as a trainer for the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program and currently as the Director of the Rutgers University’s Behavioral Research and Training Institute’s, Social Decision-Making Program (SDM). Erin delivers training and consultation to teachers, mental health professionals, youth, […]

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Jackie Collard, MSW, LSW

Jackie Collard is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified School Social Worker in the State of New Jersey. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Seton Hall University. It was there that she fell in love with her field placement in a public high school. She was hired after graduation and has […]

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Jeffrey Gale

Jeffrey Gale is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on school threat assessment. Gale is a former long-time New Jersey State Police officer and is the Director of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning. He provides direct support to New Jersey’s schools to establish safe and secure school […]

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Susan Tellone

Susan Tellone is a Certified School Nurse and health educator with a Master’s degree in nursing and a Bachelor’s degree in mental health and rehabilitation. She has been working as a psychiatric nurse for the past 38 years with an emphasis on suicide prevention. She worked in the Emergency rooms of Monmouth Medical as one […]

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Kalisha Smith, LCSW

Kalisha is a New Jersey licensed clinical social worker, a NJ certified social work clinical supervisor, and a licensed minister. She is committed to helping people be empowered to live in their place of spiritual, physical, and emotional purpose. Kalisha has been privileged to work in the social service profession for the past 19 years. Throughout […]

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Anne Gregory, Ph.D.

Anne Gregory, Ph.D. is a professor in School Psychology at Rutgers University. She advances research in the area of racial and gender disparities in school discipline and is currently examining school-wide restorative practices and equity-oriented social and emotional learning. Through program development and evaluation, she aims to improve educational settings and reduce differential access to […]

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Emily Sommerman, Psy.D.

Dr Emily Sommerman is a licensed clinical psychologist currently in private practice in Northern California. Her emphasis is on supporting adults, teens and couples to understand and harness their highest potential using current neurological and trauma research, connection in relationships and mindfulness. Previously, Dr. Sommerman was Director of Cal Poly Humboldt University’s Counseling Masters Program […]

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