MVP STAT Team

Meet the newly organized MVP Statewide Technical Assistance Team (STAT)!

The Center for Violence Prevention is pleased to announce the members of the MVP STAT team of experts and professionals who specialize in MVP Strategies training, implementation and evaluation. Members of the MVP STAT team will help support and assist educational leaders as they work to promote and sustain MVP Strategies efforts in their respective secondary schools. To learn more about MVP Strategies, or to seek support with your training and sustaining needs, please contact Alan Heisterkamp, Ed.D. at alan.heisterkamp@uni.edu or call 319-273-3545, or reach out to an MVP STAT team member near you. 
 

Eric AlanizEric Alaniz

Polk County Crisis & Advocacy Service

Eric is a victim advocate for Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services. Originally from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, Eric is the oldest of four siblings and the proud uncle to ten nieces and nephews. He and his wife Whitney have a beautiful son named Mateo who will turn one in February. Eric received his BA in Sociology from Graceland University in Lamoni, IA. He is a certified MVP facilitator and Master Trainer. He has worked as an in-home family counselor, fraud prevention specialist, and for Polk County Government as a youth service worker and intake specialist.

Also involved with:
Hoover High School

Favorite quote or book:
"The Gift of Fear," by Gavin de Becker

Hobbies:
Basketball 

Special skills:
Guiding through tough and unusual circumstances.

Areas of study:
Social-emotional learning

Advice for student mentors:
Be authentic in your role, trust your supports and mentors.

Favorite part of MVP:
Witnessing positive change, so to speak, as a facilitator. 

 

Emilee BirchardEmilee Birchard

Catholic Charities Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program

Emilee has been with Catholic Charities for seven years and modeling MVP in Southwest Iowa since 2014. She uses MVP in middle and high schools and has found it to be an amazing platform to help create a safe environment for kids to have conversations that they don't normally get to have. Emilee is a single mother of two autistic kiddos and nothing is more dear to her than making EVERY kid feel safe and wanted in every environment they are in.

Also involved with:
Partnership 4 Progress Board of Directors, Missouri Valley Coalition for Change Vice President

Favorite quote or book:
"Be who you needed when you were younger"

Hobbies:
Hanging out with my kids

Special skills:
Recruiting student mentors; Recruiting at-risk student mentors; Classroom management skills; Training mentors; Introduction of MVP program to boards and new schools; Mentoring facilitators; Guiding through tough and unusual circumstances; Growing program.

Areas of study:
Secondary schooling

Advice for student mentors:
If you think you can...you can!

Favorite part of MVP:
It really can change lives, it can be used for so many different things. Not just black and white, tailor it for each school (or organizations) needs.

 

Raechel BreyerRaechel Breyer

Riverview Center

Raechel is a University of Northern Iowa graduate who has been part of the sexual assault prevention and advocacy field since 2015. She has spent the past four years assisting with MVP and Coaching Boys Into Men with the Center for Violence Prevention and local organizations.

Favorite quote or book:
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional." --Tony Robbins

Hobbies:
Reading and dismantling societal norms that contribute to gender-based violence.

Special skills:
Training mentors; Panel facilitation; Connecting with local organizations.

Areas of study:
Secondary schooling

Favorite part of MVP:
Facilitating conversations about topics that lead or contribute to gender-based violence and watching students learn and grow from the conversations.

 

Alex D

Family Resources 

Alex is a current sexual abuse advocate at Family Resources with experience in prevention work and working in a shelter setting. Has helped proved technical support and introduce the MVP program in local Davenport high schools. 

Favorite quote or book:
"A society grows great when people plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit." --Greek Proverb

Hobbies:
Basketball, Volleyball, Going to School 

Special skills:
Connecting with local organizations

Areas of study:
Community outreach

Advice for student mentors:
All it takes is one person listening and participating to start a lager conversation. Stick with it! 

Favorite part of MVP:
Seeing the mentors lead conversations

 

Bobby DennisBobby Dennis

ACCESS

Bobby Dennis is a graduate student at Lamar University earning a M.Ed. degree in clinical mental health counseling and works as a para-professional in the Ames Community School District. Formerly, Bobby served as a sexual abuse advocate, violence prevention coordinator, and male-engagement specialist at ACCESS in Ames, Iowa. Bobby worked at ACCESS for 5 years, with 8+ year’s total experience in male-engagement work and aspires to serve individuals who are experiencing vicarious trauma and burnout. Bobby first got involved in advocacy and prevention as a sophomore at Simpson College with SARA (a campus-based sexual assault response and awareness program). Bobby’s past work includes; serving as the interim chair at the Iowa Men’s Action Network, working with Futures Without Violence in adapting their program CBIM to a fraternity-specific violence prevention program called Building Up Brothers, and hosting a weekly podcast on healthy masculinity called Men in Progress.

Favorite quote or book:
A Christmas Carol

Hobbies:
Crocheting, writing music, cycling! 

Special skills:
I can wiggle my ears, patience. 

Areas of study:
B.A. in History, Pursuing M.Ed. in clinical mental health counseling. Studied Masculinity and the impacts of masculinity on mental health and violence against women. 

Favorite part of MVP:
My favorite part of MVP is the way that it invites people in to crucial conversations. 

 

Chad ElsberryChad Elsberry

Iowa High School Athletic Association

Chad, Iowa High School Athletic Association assistant director, has worked in the communications field for more than 25 years. Prior to his work with the IHSAA, he was an editor, writer, and photographer for newspapers in Minnesota and Mid-Iowa. He has also worked with students as an instructor with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), teaching in the areas of business, marketing, and visual communications. For the past 10 years, he has been involved with IHSAA educational outreach efforts, including student leadership workshops in high schools across the state. He has presented at the NFHS National Conference on the issues of sportsmanship and leadership. He is also a member of the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD).  

Also involved with:
Iowa Association of Student Councils

Hobbies:
Photography, reading, travel and spending time with family.

Special skills:
Training mentors; Mentoring facilitators.
I have also completed the MVP train the trainer program. 
My position also offers statewide contacts for activity directors, coaches and student councils. 

Areas of study:
Community outreach

Advice for student mentors:
There's no better time to start than today...

Favorite part of MVP:
The bystander approach is transferable to any and all at-risk behaviors. At its core, it offers leadership skills for students.

 

Michael FlemingW. Michael Fleming, Ph.D.

UNI Center for Violence Prevention

Michael is an associate professor in the School of Applied Human Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa, and currently serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Violence Prevention. His scholarship, teaching and community engagement focuses on the dynamics associated with interpersonal violence and high conflict relationships; systemic models of prevention and early intervention in gender violence; workforce development and education for victim service providers and educators and secondary trauma and vicarious victimization among such providers. He serves on the Iowa Department of Public Health Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisory Board, Iowa Commission on the Status of Women; has served on state and regional level task forces on sexual violence prevention and on the Board of Directors for community sexual and domestic violence service agencies.  

Also involved with:
Riverview Center

Favorite quote or book:
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." --Johann Wolfgang von Gothe​

Special skills:
Data collection; Parent communications; Introduction of MVP program to boards and new schools.

Areas of study:
Secondary schooling

Favorite part of MVP:
Students becoming the leaders in violence prevention.

 

Jocelyn FrohweinJocelyn Frohwein

Educator

Jocelyn has been teaching for several years and continued to develop her craft with an AA (Marshalltown Community College), BS (Buena Vista University), MAEd (Buena Vista University) with multiple endorsements in 5-12 English Language Arts, 5-12 Reading, 5-12 Psychology, 5-12 Instructional Strategist I (Mild/Moderate), K-12 English as Second Language, 5-12 English Language Arts ALL. If that were not enough, she also serves on committees at MHS such as IPI, Tech Integration, MTSS, MVP, 8th hour credit recovery, Saturday Academy, Wellness, Teacher Quality, Equity. She excels at reaching at-risk students, providing interventions and extensions by differentiating her instruction and assessments, integrating technology into her lessons, and collaborating with her peer course-alike teachers. In her spare time, she loves to crochet, tat, spend time with her family, do things at church, travel, and go to the movies.

Also involved with:
Jocelyn is director, sponsor, and coach for IHSAA Large Group and Individual Speech and International director of MHS Thespian Society. Additionally, she is a founding member of LULAC in Marshalltown, has served on the board of the MCC Advisory Board to Broadcast Media. She has also joined ADK and DKG, women educator societies, and AAUW. To promote diversity and multiculturalism in light of Marshalltown's population, Jo has been a part of Al Exito, a group to support Latinx students in their education and secondary school experiences, joined Immigrant Allies, and presented at the Latinx Conference at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. For the community connection with media and the arts, she also is involved on the FOOT (Friends of the Orpheum Theater). 

Favorite quote or book:
"Let there by light" --God

Hobbies:
Cinema, swimming, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, reading, dancing, singing, car karaoke, acting, makeup, cooking, shopping, technology

Special skills:
Recruiting a diverse group of student mentors

Areas of study:
Underserved populations

Advice for student mentors:
Persist!

Favorite part of MVP:
Students get to lead students

 

Jane GrieselJane Griesel

Council on Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

Jane Griesel has been a domestic abuse advocate, sexual assault advocate and violence prevention educator at the Council on Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence in Sioux City for the past eleven years. Jane has a passion for educating people of all ages on violence prevention and bystander intervention and a desire to engage men and women in changing the climate and culture surrounding violence. Her current position at CSADV is as an outreach advocate working with women in in-patient and out-patient settings who have co-occurring intimate partner violence and substance abuse. She also currently serves on the board of the Siouxland Coalition against Human Trafficking, is a member of the Siouxland Bullying Prevention Community Coalition, and has been a frequent facilitator for the Sioux City Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Community Coalition. Jane attained her degree from Briar Cliff University with an emphasis on elementary education. Prior to her present position with CSADV, her background includes twenty-five years working with young people as an elementary educator and gifted and
talented summer program teacher and coordinator.

Favorite quote or book: “Leaders must wake people out of inertia. They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.” -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Hobbies: Writing, reading, singing, scrapbooking, theatre, spending time with family

Special skills: Public speaking, researching, writing, coordinating information, advocacy

Areas of study: domestic abuse and sexual assault, human trafficking, trauma-informed response

Advice for student mentors: When working with and leading others, remember that the message you give today DOES have an impact. You may not immediately see that impact but the words you speak, your passion for your message, and your modeling of that message is being heard, absorbed and processed. You are making a difference!

Favorite part of MVP: The opportunity to work with youth leaders who are energetic, dedicated and passionate about addressing issues, raising awareness, and beginning dialogues that are necessary to prevent violence and engage bystanders.

 

Thomas Heiar

Thomas Heiar

Crisis Intervention Service 

My journey to dismantle gender-based violence began in grad school after extensive research regarding masculinity & hyper-masculinity. I also began to realize the epic that college campuses across the country have regarding sexual assault and how men are not usually a part of the conversation or included in a way to combat the issue. Knowing all this, my passion grew to help begin the conversation regarding gender-based violence and how men need to be accountable to be a part of the solution without helping reinforce rape culture. It's simply not enough to "not sexually assault" men need to challenge other men. I have worked with high and college students of both genders helping educate the idea behind consent and why bystander intervention is so important in a culture that dismisses sexual violence.  

Favorite quote or book:
Quote - "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." --Martin Luther King Jr.
Author - Jackson Katz

Hobbies:
Reading, walking my dog, spending time with my wife and new little baby son. Downhill skiing. Watching movies. 

Special skills:
Classroom management skills; Training mentors; Public relations; Introduction of MVP program to boards and new schools; Student panel facilitation; Panel facilitation; Mentoring facilitators; Guiding through tough and unusual circumstances; Connecting with local organizations; Challenging young men to be a part of the conversation, finding ways to help them understand why this topic is important and stressing accountability. 

Areas of study:
Post-secondary school

Advice for student mentors:
Don't be afraid to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and disrupt normalized behavior. We live in a world where leaders need to stand up for those too scared to speak. 

Favorite part of MVP:
The educational component behind it. There is no blaming or shaming, but an idea that we can all help make this world better by working together to end sexual violence. It stems from a simple idea to dismantle power and control while working to create gender equality and respect for women. 

 

Alan HeisterkampAlan Heisterkamp, Ed.D.

UNI Center for Violence Prevention

Alan is the director of the Center for Violence Prevention and the MVP Leadership Institute at UNI. Prior to assisting the launch of CVP, Alan served as a consultant with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention from 2007-2011 and as the principal investigator on a four-year case study, The Sioux City Project. He was the education consultant on the award-winning film documentary, BULLY. He also co-facilitated research on the Coaching Boys Into Men program in 2007 and continues to instruct school and community leaders in gender violence prevention and the bystander approach using the Mentors in Violence Prevention Model (MVP). Alan served as a public school administrator, school counselor, teacher and athletic coach for 23 years. 

Also involved with:
North American MenEngage Network; Iowa Department of Education Bullying Task Team; Iowa Department of Public Health Domestic/Sexual Assault Prevention Advisory Committee; Cedar Falls Board of Directors; ThreeHouse Board Member; Hail Mary Project - Youth Empowerment Project Advisory Board

Favorite quote or book:
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know, Malcolm Gladwell

Hobbies:
Live music; golf; travel and jogging

Special skills:
Recruiting student mentors - especially those who identify as male; teaching and facilitation skills; presenting on MVP model to school and community leaders; mentoring adult sponsors and facilitators; program evaluation and sustainability measures.

Areas of study:
Secondary Education and Higher Education

Advice for student mentors:
Be the best version of yourself.

Favorite part of MVP:
MVP has a unique way of bringing out some of the best leadership qualities and characteristics in school staff, as well as in student mentors. Thus,  impacting overall learning environments, school culture and climate in a positive way.  

 

Margaret Jensen ConnetMargaret Jensen Connet

Connet Consulting

Margaret has worked in the human service field for over 45 years. Her work in the non-profit and public sectors includes substance abuse and violence prevention, teen pregnancy prevention and services to teen parents, program and agency development and direction, and equity consulting. Since 2016 Margaret has served as an independent private consultant serving nonprofits and state agencies with a focus on evaluating methods for promoting safe and supportive conditions for learning environments and after school programs. From 2010 - 2016 she served as the Equity and Title IX Consultant and for the Iowa Department of Education where she conducted educational equity reviews in public schools and community colleges around the state of Iowa. From 1997-2010 she served as the SUCCESS Program Manager in the Des Moines Public Schools where she directed a case management program aimed at removing barriers to success in school for students from birth to age 21. In 1994 she received the Ms. Foundation "Women of Vision Award" from Gloria Steinem in New York City.

Also involved with:
CE Consulting, Serve Iowa, Iowa Department of Education, Young Women's Resource Center. Chrysalis Foundation, Polk County Conservation Board

Favorite quote or book:
"We now have words for victims like battered women. It used to be just called 'life.'" --Gloria Steinem

Hobbies:
Hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, traveling, reading and needlecrafts.

Special skills:
Recruiting student mentors; Recruiting at-risk student mentors; Training mentors; Parent communications; Development of curriculum; Panel facilitation; Guiding through tough and unusual circumstances; Connecting with local organizations

Areas of study:
Social-emotional learning

Advice for student mentors:
You have wisdom and knowledge to share and are capable of providing profound leadership to your peers, your school and your community. Your voice is important!

Favorite part of MVP:
Empowering youth to take up the mantle of leadership and providing them with the skills and the opportunity to create safe and supportive school and community climates.

 

Glen KeithGlen Keith

East High School Army JROTC

Glen currently serves as a teacher for the Army JROTC program at East High School in Waterloo. He served a total of 25 years in the military and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the active Army in 2017.  Glen became involved with MVP in 2013 when he implemented MVP within the ROTC program at the University of Northern Iowa.  

Also involved with:
East High MVP Mentors, Waterloo Youth City Council, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, and the American Veterans (AMVETS)

Favorite quote or book:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the (person) who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the (person) who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends (theirself) in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if (they) fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that (their) place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt

Hobbies:
Hiking, Camping, Hunting, and Travel

Special skills:
Recruiting male student mentors; Training mentors; Growing program

Areas of study:
Secondary schooling

Favorite part of MVP:
Facilitating an open dialog and witnessing the light bulb come on for a student after a peer challenges them

 

Alysa MozakAlysa Mozak 

Blossoming Pathways, LLC 

Alysa has spent her professional career in the victim services field working as an advocate and prevention educator and has certification as a sexual health educator. She has an extensive background in program development, facilitating workshops, and conducting research and policy audits on gender equity and anti-violence issues. She has been using the MVP model for over seven years and is a master trainer. Alysa has an educational consulting business called Blossoming Pathways and is an adjunct instructor in sociology and psychology.

Also involved with:
Iowa Dept of Public Health-Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention Advisory Committee 

Favorite quote or book:
"Never compromise yourself, you're all you've got!" --Janis Joplin 

Hobbies:
Biking, concert-goer, singing, yoga 

Special skills:
Development of curriculum

Areas of study:
Social-emotional learning

Advice for student mentors:
Never underestimate the power of one person!

Favorite part of MVP:
Changing the way a community helps one another and creates a community of care through empathy, engagement and accountability!

 

Shelly NashShelly Nash

West High School

Shelly is a science teacher at West High School in Sioux City, co-leading mentors alongside Kent Martin.   

Special skills:
Recruiting student mentors; Training mentors; Development of curriculum; Panel facilitation; Growing program

Areas of study:
Secondary schooling

Advice for student mentors:
Each step toward a safer world is a step worth taking. Small everyday actions connect students with new ideas about how to treat everyone with respect is an action that promotes a better world.  

Favorite part of MVP:
I love hearing how our mentors go on and share with others after leaving high school. They carry that mantle of being a mentor forward and continue to make a difference.  

 

Jason NoltingJason Nolting

Southeast Polk High School

Josh is currently in his 13th year of education and 5th year as an instructional coach at Southeast Polk High School. Prior to being an instructional coach, he spent 8 years teaching various high school social studies classes. He also serves as high school's head boys' track & field coach, an assistant varsity football coach, speed/agility coordinator, and MVP program coordinator. HE earned my master's degree in educational leadership from Iowa State University (2014) and holds a BA in psychology and secondary social studies education teaching certification from the University of Iowa (2007). My wife Jess is a high school guidance counselor and we have two children, Cooper (4) and Lewis (2).

Special skills:
Recruiting student mentors; Recruiting male student mentors; Training mentors; Development of curriculum; Mentoring facilitators

Areas of study:
Secondary schooling

Favorite part of MVP:
The program provides a platform and gives students the opportunity to talk about real world violence based issues that affect our society. MVP provides a structured attempt to educate and empower students with tools to combat life altering situations. It serves as a way to open dialogue on topics that seemed taboo to discuss when I was in high school. 

 

Melissa VineMelissa Vine

Vine Chromatic, LLC / Integrative Counseling

Melissa Vine, MA, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor with 12 years of experience in business ownership and startups, passionately empowers people to act with courage in the face of emotional threats.  She received a Bachelors in Communication Studies in 2002 and graduated summa cum laude with a master's in Professional Counseling in 2016.  Melissa was the 2014 recipient of "Service Business of the Year," 2016 recipient of "20 Under 40," 2018 recipient of "One to Watch" Chamber of Commerce awards, and was a speaker for the Iowa Board of Regents Campus Safety and Security Summit, Banker's Trust, UnityPoint Clinic, the Iowa State University Extension Entrepreneur Program, and the Iowa Small Business Summit.  Melissa lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her four boys and is an active volunteer in her community. 

Also involved with:
Integrative Counseling Solutions, Inc.

Favorite quote or book:
"You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness." --Brene Brown

Hobbies:
Teaching, reading, speaking, traveling, learning, meaningful conversation, theater, volleyball

Special skills:
Classroom management skills; Training mentors; Public relations; Parent communications; Development of curriculum; Student panel facilitation; Panel facilitation; Mentoring facilitators; Guiding through tough and unusual circumstances; Growing program; Working with victims

Areas of study:
Social-emotional learning

Advice for student mentors:
Discomfort does not typically mean you are doing something wrong; it just means you are doing some difficult.

Favorite part of MVP:
This program makes room for a journey, rather than trying to get everyone to the exact same destination.

 

Jenny WagnerJenny Wagner

Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School

After graduating from Mount Mercy, Jenny began working at Kennedy in 2004 as a special education teacher. In 2012, she transitioned to her role as the at-risk interventionist working to support freshmen through our Check and Connect student engagement program. Her leadership with MVP began in 2016, and the school celebrates three years of implementation. To help infuse MVP in other areas within the school culture, she contributes to her building leadership team (High-Reliability Schools), learning supports team, district wellness council, and as the staff sponsor of the Gay-Straight Alliance student club. 

Favorite quote or book:
"I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else." --Winston Churchill

Hobbies:
Exercising, cooking/baking, reading, working at a coffee shop

Areas of study:
At-risk population

Advice for student mentors:
If I were to only give one piece of advice to student mentors it would be to feel safe knowing there is no one right answer or expected outcome you must reach in every conversation with mentees. In MVP, we ask questions, explore our values and needs, discuss options and opportunities, and gain insight and tools for prevention but we are not bound to a One Size Fits All model. Embrace authentic and natural MVP conversations as they develop. 

Favorite part of MVP:
In no other program, course, or club does a school address violence prevention at the secondary level. MVP fills a gap that has potentially dangerous consequences for our children if we don't make it a priority.