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Meet the Team

Building Communities

Jessica Beckendorf

Jessica Beckendorf is a Building Communities Co-Principal Investigator for OneOp. She became passionate about communities while growing up as a military kid, moving frequently and living in communities of various sizes. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, she proceeded to work in just about every sector of community development – Geographic Information Systems, urban planning and zoning, and economic development. In 2014, Jessica finished her Master of Arts degree in Communications & Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University, and began her journey as an educator with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension where she seeks to bridge her community systems experience with communications and relationship development to build social capital and local leadership for more resilient communities.
Building Communities

Bob Bertsch

Bob Bertsch is a Building Communities Co-Principal Investigator at OneOp. After more than 20 years in communications, education and web technology, Bob has found a passion for building human networks, especially those focused on collective action. He seeks and shares insights on weaving collaborative networks and on developing a culture of innovation through his work with North Dakota State University Extension Service, OneOp and as the host of the “Working Differently in Extension” podcast.

North Dakota State University

Lifespan Caregiving

Rachel Brauner

Rachel Brauner is a Lifespan Caregiving Co-Principal Investigator for OneOp.
Lifespan Caregiving

Andrew Crocker, MS

Andrew Crocker is a Lifespan Caregiving Co-Principal Investigator for OneOp.
Nutrition and Wellness

Bethany Daugherty, MS, RDN, LD

Bethany Daugherty is the Nutrition and Wellness Program Coordinator for OneOp. Bethany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the Program Coordinator for the Nutrition and Wellness division of OneOp. She collaborates with subject matter experts to provide professional development for Registered Dietitians, Extension Educators and other providers serving military families. Bethany has a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Illinois, and a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science from Purdue University.
Nutrition and Wellness

Kristen DiFilippo, Ph.D., RDN, LDN

Kristen DiFilippo is the Nutrition and Wellness Principal Investigator for OneOp. She is a Teaching Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois. She is the Professional Education Coordinator for the Nutrition and Wellness concentration area of OneOp. Kristen’s research focuses on app based strategies to support nutrition education for behavior change. Kristen earned her bachelor’s and PhD from the University of Illinois and her master’s from Eastern Illinois University.
Military-Connected Children & Youth

Robyn DiPietro-Wells, Ed.M.

Robyn DiPietro-Wells is the Military-Connected Children and Youth Program Coordinator for OneOp. She designs and produces professional development through various forms of online media for the Family Development Early Intervention concentration area of OneOp. She is passionate about empowering individuals to advocate for equity and justice for children and families in all areas of society, but specifically in education. She seeks to broaden professionals’ understanding of the unique needs of diverse families and children and to ensure that families are aware of the resources and opportunities available to them and their children whether they are typical developing or experiencing developmental delays. Ms. DiPietro-Wells received her Master’s degree in diversity and equity in education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Spouse Employment

Kayla Fitzke Ph.D., LMFT

Kayla Fitzke is the Spouse Employment Principal Investigator for OneOp. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Human Development and Family Science Department and Program Director of the Medical Family Therapy PhD Program at East Carolina University. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in North Carolina and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Her work focuses on identifying ways to promote well-being by identifying intersections of risk and resilience, particularly among military service members and families at the start of service. Kayla earned a B.S. from Virginia Tech, M.S. from the University of Kentucky, and Ph.D. from Florida State University.
Military Community Advocacy

Kalin Goble, MS

Kalin Goble (she/her/hers) is a Military Community Advocacy Co-Principal Investigator for OneOp. She collaborates with subject matter experts to produce professional development programming that supports service providers in their work with military families.

Kalin graduated with an M.S. in Sociology and a B.A. in Communications from Valdosta State University.


Molly Herndon, MS

Molly Herndon is the Program Development Specialist for OneOp. She works to develop cross-discipline programming and courses to support service providers. She and her family enjoy spending time outdoors.

Kathleen Hlavaty, Ph.D.

Kathleen is the Research and Evaluation Specialist for OneOp. She leads research and evaluation for the network’s programming. When she’s not exploring data, you’ll find Kathleen in the kitchen experimenting with baking recipes.
Personal Finance

Nichole Huff Ph.D.

Nichole Huff is the Personal Finance Principal Investigator for OneOp. Dr. Huff is an Assistant Extension Professor of Family Finance and Resource Management in the School of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Her work focuses on improving the financial and mental wellbeing of individuals and families, particularly around building financial resiliency. Dr. Huff is a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations. She has devoted much of her career to crisis intervention and community-based education. Nichole earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.S. from East Carolina University, and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.
Personal Finance

Kristen Jowers

Kristen Jowers is the Personal Finance Program Coordinator for OneOp. As a program coordinator for OneOp, Kristen collaborates with subject matter experts to strengthen and build the financial management capability and education of Personal Financial Managers, Extension educators and other providers serving military families. Kristen has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida State University with a minor in Child Development and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Valdosta State University.

Jason Jowers, MS, MFT

Jason Jowers is a Military Community Advocacy Co-Principal Investigator and the Program Coordination Specialist for OneOp. In his role within OneOp, Jason collaborates with professionals on programming topics that support work with military families. Jason earned a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy from Valdosta State University. A/P Faculty, Virginia Tech | CALS Extension

Kyle L. Kostelecky, Ph.D., CFLE

Kyle is the Project Director and Principal Investigator for OneOp. He is also an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science at Auburn University. Kyle has been with the project since its inception and has been instrumental in the long-term success of OneOp. Spending time with his family (especially his grandchildren), international travel with his lovely bride, and hanging out with his students are some of his favorite things to do.

Maggie Lucas

Maggie is the Communications Officer for OneOp. She focuses her time on social media outreach, email marketing, and various marketing needs for OneOp. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn today!

Terry Meisenbach, MA

Terry Meisenbach works in Marketing and Communications for OneOp. Terry develops and assists in monitoring overall OneOp marketing and communication efforts. He works with program coordinators to develop marketing and communication goals, objectives, strategies, tactics, and messaging for all components of OneOp. He works closely with the OneOp communications manager, providing input on training for concentration area program coordinators on audience, messaging, and related topics.
Military-Connected Children & Youth

Michaelene Ostrosky, Ph.D.

Michaelene Ostrosky is a Military-Connected Children & Youth Co-Principal Investigator for OneOp. She is the Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professor of Education in the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with research interests in the areas of: a) young children’s social emotional competence and challenging behavior, b) attitudes and acceptance of typically developing children toward individuals with disabilities, and c) peer relationships and inclusion.

Coral Owen

Coral Owens is the Professional Development Coordinator for OneOp. If you attend a webinar, you’ll likely hear Coral in the role of webinar host, inviting you to participate or providing technical support. Behind the scenes, Coral coordinates many facets of professional development programming, including planning of webinar logistics. When offline, Coral can be found adventuring outdoors or preparing for her next triathlon.
Lifespan Caregiving

Christopher Plein, Ph.D.

Christopher Plein, Ph.D. works with the Lifespan Caregiving and Leadership Team for OneOp. He is a Professor of Public Administration and Eberly Professor of Outstanding Public Service at West Virginia University. He served as chair of the Department of Public Administration from 2004 until 2011 and also served as an Assistant and Associate Dean for West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts & Sciences from 2005 to 2013. He also holds an appointment as adjunct specialist in community and family development with the West Virginia University Extension Service.

Christopher Plein’s area of research specialty is public policy formation and implementation. His research concentrates on social and health policy; rural development and community transition; and higher education outreach and engagement. He has recently published in such journals as the Journal of Extension, Social Science Quarterly, and the Journal of Applied Social Science. Dr. Plein also studies public administration and policy in West Virginia. He is co-author of Welfare Reform in West Virginia (West Virginia University Press 2004) and West Virginia Politics and Government (University of Nebraska Press, 2008).

Christopher Plein has taught courses across the MPA curriculum, and currently teaches classes relating to healthcare administration, administrative justice and ethics, and the student capstone experience. He has also taught courses in WVU’s social work and leadership studies programs. He is active in the public administration teaching community and regularly serves as a site visitor in accreditation reviews and as a presenter at professional conferences.

Military-Connected Children & Youth

Amy Santos, Ph.D.

Amy Santos is a Military-Connected Children & Youth Co-Principal Investigator. As a professor in the Department of Special Education and currently in her role as Associate Provost for Faculty Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Santos engages in professional development every day. For over two decades, she has worked in various settings as a special educator, teacher educator, and researcher. Her research activities focus on understanding the unique needs and strengths of families of young children with disabilities and how best to train providers to work with families from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Her passion and commitment to strengthening the capacity of professionals and family members to support their young children has helped in her role as one of the Principal Investigators of the OneOp FDEI Concentration Area, along with Dr. Ostrosky. Dr. Santos assists in planning and implementing the yearlong professional development activities offered by OneOp FDEI, along with providing fiscal and management oversight of the project.

Especially during her busy days, she tries to carve out time to go on long walks for both her mental and physical health. She enjoys the challenge of Soduko. She especially loves to spend time with her family. Her child’s school and after-school activities keep her on her toes after work hours and on weekends!


Brigitte Scott, Ph.D.

Brigitte is the National Project Leader and Co-Principal Investigator for OneOp. She joined OneOp in 2013 as the evaluation and research lead, became Director of Program Development and Evaluation in 2015, and moved into her current role in March 2021. Brigitte’s passion for education and community change informs OneOp’s focus on learning impacts, workplace behavior changes, relationship building, and organizational strategy. Outside of work Brigitte loves spending time with family and friends in the rivers, lakes, and mountains of West Virginia.
Spouse Employment

Kim Smith, MS

Kim Smith is the Spouse Employment Program Coordinator for OneOp. In this position, she collaborates with subject matter experts to produce professional development programming that supports service providers in their work with military families. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Technologies at East Carolina University, she continued her work as a staff member at the University where she advised military students on how to obtain tuition assistance as implemented by the Department of Defense. While still at the University, Kim finished her Master of Science degree in Technology Management. Upon receiving her MS degree, she transitioned into a faculty role at East Carolina University conducting research for the OneOp program. When research is done, you can find her traveling with her family from the mountains to the beaches.
Family Transitions

Keith Tidball, Ph.D.

Keith Tidball is the Family Transitions Principal Investigator for OneOp. Dr. Keith G. Tidball is an environmental anthropologist and naturalist who serves as the Assistant Director of Environment and Natural Resources for Cornell Cooperative Extension, while also serving on the faculty of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University. Keith served in uniform with the Army National Guard as both an enlisted person and as an officer. He served in the the Army Reserves, and the New York Guard as an officer. Since 2001 he has been working in the domain of community capacity building, conservation, and resilience among the military community. Keith has many years of experience and expertise in the area of therapeutic aspects of outdoor recreation and green spaces, and has written extensively on the topic. He is particularly interested in connecting this body of work to military family readiness and military community capacity and resilience among transitioning service members and their families.
Joyce Vaughn headshot

Joyce Vaughn

Joyce Vaughn works as the Communications Director for OneOp. Joyce brings over a decade of experience in marketing, communications, and leadership roles to the OneOp team. Most recently, Joyce served as the Director at MGMWERX, where she guided the administration, program management, and strategic plans of the organization. Prior to that, she held roles as the Innovation & Events Principal and Marketing and Events Manager at MGMWERX, overseeing marketing campaigns, event planning, and client relations.

Throughout her career, Joyce has demonstrated a talent for developing and executing communication strategies that drive measurable results. She is skilled in managing teams, fostering partnerships, leading projects, and delivering high-impact campaigns across digital and traditional platforms. In her role at OneOp, Joyce is responsible for amplifying the organization's mission and amplifying OneOp’s voice.