Researchers and Research Assistants
Jacqueline N. Gustafson, EdD (California Baptist University)
Jacqueline Gustafson is the Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology, at California Baptist University. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, as well as a post masters in international development, from Northwest University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seattle University. Dr. Gustafson has served, at two institutions, as the lead officer in developing seven graduate programs and she has been responsible for the development and oversight of both local and international training and practicum sites. Globally, she has conducted field work in South America, led study tours throughout Europe, and developed micro-enterprise partnerships with artisans in East Africa. She has published and given numerous presentations on the development of culturally contextualized curriculum. Dr. Gustafson currently resides in Riverside California with her husband and her two sons, both joining their family through adoption from Ethiopia.
Amanda Howard, PhD (Samford University)
Mandy Hiles Howard is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Samford University. She came to Samford after serving as the Assistant Director of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. She worked closely with Drs. Karyn Pruvis and David Cross in the development of Trust-Based Relational Interventions, which is a trauma-informed evidence-based approach to working with children who have a history of trauma. Mandy’s professional interest broadly falls under the category of applied developmental psychology. Her work integrates theory, research and practice in a concentrated effort to increase understanding of the interpersonal processes underlying mental health and quality of life for children and youth in non-traditional care. Her research has generated a great deal of political and public policy interest both nationally and internationally.
Nicole Wilke, MS (Christian Alliance for Orphans)
Nicole Wilke serves as Director of Applied Research and Best Practice Initiative at the Christian Alliance for Orphans, a coalition of nearly 200 faith-based nonprofits serving vulnerable children in 130+ countries around the world. In this role, she seeks to connect the best available research to frontline practice in OVC care. Previous to her current position, she has served as a clinical therapist, missionary, respite care provider, juvenile detention counselor and PCA for children with special needs. She holds her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Family Studies, a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a post masters in Permanency and Adoption Competency. Along with her husband and two children, Ms. Wilke lives in Peru, where they work with children’s homes, churches, government and other nonprofits to see a day when all Peruvian children are raised in loving families.
Meredith Morgan is a Research Project Manager at the Christian Alliance for Orphans. Before this position, she served as a behavior therapist for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Meredith received her undergraduate degree at Bridgewater College in psychology and neuroscience. During this time, she conducted behavioral neuroscience research by studying the effects of adolescent exposure to OxyContin, Alcohol, and Cocaine. Her research interests lie in behavioral and developmental neuroscience, psychopharmacology, family studies, and neurodiversity.
Megan Sands is an undergraduate student at California Baptist University, studying Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. Megan has served on various teams in short-term missions in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mexico. During her time at California Baptist University, she worked in the International Center on campus, providing support for international students in transition, and had the opportunity to study for one summer in Barcelona, Spain. Megan is driven by her passion for cross cultural service and advocacy for cultural understanding in the United States. Megan is planning to continue her education with a master’s program studying industrial-organization psychology.