Meet Our Team

Amy Saunders headshot
Amy Saunders, M.A.
Managing Director
Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC
Applied Engineering Complex, Rm 4223

Amy Saunders, M.A., is the managing director of the MU Center of Excellence for Recovery at Marshall University, where she oversees multiple behavioral health initiatives on campus and in the community. She received a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marshall University and has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of behavioral health and public health. Saunders served as the director of Marshall’s Wellness Center for over fifteen years where she implemented multiple health and wellness initiatives on campus. She has served as the director of a school-based mental health program overseeing services to students in five middle schools. She has authored and received over 25 public and mental health-related grants where she has served as a Principal Investigator (PI) or as an Evaluator. Saunders has assisted with strategic planning and coalition development on campus and within the local community and state. She is a founding member of the Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership and the West Virginia Collegiate Initiative to Address High-Risk Drinking and Substance Use, coalitions working to provide substance use education and prevention in West Virginia. She serves as an advisory member on the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.

Tammy Collins Headshot
Tammy L. Collins, PhD, OCPC
Lead Evaluator & Family Scientist
Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC
Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex, Rm 4240

Tammy L. Collins, PhD and Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant, has more than 25 years of experience in translating research into practice and policy in the fields of substance use disorders, mental health, justice, and education. She currently conducts applied research as Lead Evaluator for Marshall University Center of Excellence for Recovery and is an evaluation consultant for projects in Union, Montgomery and Greene Counties in Ohio. Her doctorate of philosophy in human development and family science with a cognate area of adolescent behavioral health risk and protective factors was earned from The Ohio State University. She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism/public relations from Marshall University. Dr. Collins has led administrative and applied research teams at Ohio and WV state agencies including being Deputy Director at the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Senior Research Analyst at the WV Supreme Court of Appeals, and Policy and Planning Coordinator at WV Division of Criminal Justice Services; as well as leading research and evaluation teams at The Ohio State University and Marshall University. Dr. Collins has served as a subject matter expert for national, state, and local prevention, youth and community development, and applied research projects.

Tammy Pearson headshot
Tammy Pearson, M.A.
Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) Director
Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC
Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex, Rm 4232

Tammy Pearson, M.A., is the TCOM Director of the Marshall University Center of Excellence for Recovery, where she oversees multiple behavioral health initiatives related to Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) and Wraparound in WV. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and worked with WV’s System of Care for over 18 years, serving both as an Evaluator and later Program Director. Through this project, she worked statewide with mental health providers, juvenile justice, and the Department of Health and Human Resources. She has served on many statewide committees that serve children in the state of WV. She continues to work with the state on data collection and reporting and other projects.  She also is the principal investigator of the Southwestern Regional Day Report Center Fresh Start Program-Bureau of Justice-Comprehensive Opioid Misuse Program, Principle investigator. This is a diversion program to keep individuals with substance use disorders from entering prison by providing therapy, education, and job training.

Heather Stalnaker, M.A., LPC
Collegiate Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership Director
Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC
Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex

Heather Stalnaker, M.A., LPC,is the project director of the Collegiate Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success program.  The C-SPF-PFS seeks to enhance prevention infrastructure and build capacity among higher education institutes to prevent the onset and reduce the progression of alcohol, tobacco & vaping, marijuana & prescription drug misuse and its related problems among higher education students.  She has worked in the behavioral health field since 2005.  She holds a Masters of Arts in Counseling from WVU and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Fairmont State University.  Heather is a Licensed Professional Counselor through the WV Board of Examining Counselors, Certified in Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning through EAGALA and a Certified Trauma Provider- Educational (CTP-E) through Starr Commonwealth.  She has worked in a variety of settings such as, corrections, in-patient and out-patient behavioral health, public education and private practice over the last 15 years.  In addition to her work as a counselor, Heather has also provided trainings and professional development to a variety of groups such as Healthy Grandfamilies, WV School Counseling Association Conference, Harrison County School Counselors and Nurses and school faculty. Training topics include: trauma awareness, stress management, self-care for professionals, Women’s Wellness Workshops, EAP/EAL Work, Modifying Mindsets and educating students with anxiety & stress.

Ana Ramirez Garcia, MPH

Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC
Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex

Ana Ramirez Garcia, MPH, oversees evaluation of the Treatment, Recovery, and Workforce Support Grant through SAMHSA. Ana received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Marshall University, and then her Master of Public Health degree in International Health and Development from Tulane University in New Orleans. She has worked in community-based participatory research efforts to benefit low-income, underserved and marginalized communities in the US and Peru. Her work in evaluation and program development has focused on creating tools and processes to ensure sustainability and continuity in community health programs. She is excited to be back in Huntington to support the ongoing efforts to strengthen our communities.

Katelyn Fowler, MSW
Lead Epidemiologist – Collegiate Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success
Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC

Katelyn Fowler, MSW, is the Lead Epidemiologist for the Collegiate Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success and was the previous coordinator for the Marshall University Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant. She began her career at the bachelor’s level with a focus on the justice system. She gained experience as a student working with Family Court in Northeastern Kentucky before working in community-based corrections for several years after graduation. As a reentry specialist, she worked with individuals, groups, and community agencies, such as probation and parole, reentry coalitions, and drug prevention task force in Southeastern Ohio. Katelyn then received her master’s degree in clinical social work from Marshall University and went on to work in outpatient mental health. During this time, she worked with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. She also has experience working with adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Through her career, Katelyn has developed a passion for prevention and education. She has conducted numerous trainings on suicide prevention, assessments and screening tools, addressing student’s mental health needs, ACES and the impact of trauma, sexism and gender roles, Mental Health and LGBTQIA+ populations, and more. She is also currently a field faculty liaison for Marshall University’s MSW program, as well as the secretary for the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group.

Amy Knicely, MA, CTRT
Project Aware Coordinator
Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC

Amy Knicely, MA., is the State Educational Agency (SEA) Coordinator for Project AWARE, a grant-funded initiative from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS).   She coordinates the efforts of local education agencies, community project managers, mental health professionals, and community organizations, to support the success of the AWARE Project.  Amy holds a School Principalship certification from Marshall University; an MA., in Curriculum & Instruction from Ohio Valley University; a BA., in Elementary Education from Kean University; and an AA., as an Education Practitioner from Middlesex County College.  Amy is also certified in Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and a Library Media Specialist.

Behavioral Health Training Center Director

Marshall Center of Excellence for Recovery, MURC

Kari Mika-Lude oversees the Behavioral Health Training Center at Marshall University.  Kari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and then her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Adler University in Chicago.  She is now near-completion of a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Northern Illinois University.  She has more than 10 years of experience as a professional counselor, most of which has been spent in community mental health.  She is independently licensed in both West Virginia (LPC) and Illinois (LCPC) and holds addiction counseling credentials in both states.  Her primary clinical specialization is trauma, with a focus on first responders, and she is trained in EMDR.  In 2018, she founded and now oversees a private group practice, where she provides clinical supervision and consultation services.  She has provided consultation on trauma-informed screening procedures for the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration.  She and her husband, who is a firefighter/EMT, have provided trainings on first responder wellness, PTSD recovery, suicide prevention, and trauma-informed workplaces for police, fire, EMS, and 911/dispatch.  Kari has also developed and delivered trainings on a variety of topics for both professionals and community members, including psychological disaster preparedness, sexual violence and addiction, intimate partner violence, gatekeeping in counselor education, and more.  Kari serves on the Cabell County Critical Incident Stress Management team and on the Executive Board of the West Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors Association.