CFC Center Staff
Ellen is a graduate of the University of Kansas and has led the Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, & Children since its inception. Under her leadership, the Center has successfully completed implementation of Save the Children's Journey of Hope program following Hurricane Michael, as well as created a revolutionary new disaster mental health intervention aimed at VPK students.
In addition, the Center has also received a grant from SAMHSA to update substance use curriculums across disciplines in Florida.
Ellen works tirelessly with the Advisory Council to ensure that the goals of the CFC Center are exceeded by creating lasting and impactful partnerships with organizations such as Citrus Health Inc., the ASWB, and the NASW-FL Chapter.
Lisa joins the CFC Center bringing experience with grants after working at two colleges/universities and a private healthcare foundation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida, and her master’s degree in Political Science from Temple University.
Savannah Smith-Collier received her master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University. As a student, she worked closely with the CFC Center in implementing the Save the Children initiatives. She was hired in August 2019 to continue to assist with the implementation of mental health services for children and families impacted by Hurricane Michael in the Panhandle. She is a certified facilitator in a number of evidence-based mental health interventions, as well as a certified trainer in the evidence-based Bounce Back program. Implementing, facilitating, securing funding, and overseeing programs and various CFC projects have been her primary task. She now provides field supervision over BSW and MSW students completing their internships at the CFC Center. Utilizing these modalities has enabled her to help children and youth process traumatic experiences, enhance positive coping skills, build social-emotional skills, and strengthen resiliency. She also spearheads community outreach and works on various projects and grants, including the Nourish to Flourish initiative, and creates visually appealing flyers and infographics for services and research projects.
Tai Zimmerman Cole joined the Center for the Study and Promotions of Communities, Families and Children in 2019 as a Research Assistant working on various projects and grants. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University in the spring of 2020 and became the Curriculum Developer for the CFC Center. Her primary task at the CFC Center is working on the Substance Use Disorder Curriculum for the Florida Higher Education Consortium. While at the CFC Center she worked with 4-year-olds on social emotional development and reduction of trauma symptoms using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, art therapy, and play therapy while developing the intervention curriculum for Rebound and Recovery.
Hannah Kinnon received her master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University. As a student, she became familiar with the Center working as a facilitator for Save the Children groups. She has advocacy experience in the dependency court system and in outpatient mental health, as well as an extensive background working with children and adolescents. Hannah also brings skills from her research experience in the areas of childhood reading development and preschool social-emotional development. She joined the Center in 2021 as a clinician facilitating groups using the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) curriculum.
Jennifer D. Luther is an author and master trainer of best practices in behavior change. Serving in the field for many years has afforded her the opportunity to explore the components of implementation throughout the continuum of care. With this broad perspective, she has extensive experience translating research into practice. She has focused her career on effective integration of cognitive-behavioral interventions and client-centered, strength-based approaches. She has applied these practices on an individual and systems-level and authored several publications. She is the lead author of integrated curricula being used nationally.
Most recently, she was awarded the 2021 Department of Justice- Special Courage Award, which honors individuals who have shown exceptional personal perseverance and acted bravely to aid others. She embraces teamwork, strategic thinking, innovation and personal development. She believes that people deserve multiple chances to reach their highest potential, and that compassion, empowerment, and hope are keys to change. Ms. Luther is passionate about our individual and collective ability to facilitate pro-social change.