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About the Project

About our Staff

Meagan Scott Hoffman, Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, and Amber Letcher with award
Team members Drs. Meagan Scott Hoffman, Kristine Ramsay-Seaner and Amber Letcher accept award for winning the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals’ (NAE4-HYDP) National Communicator Educational Package Team award. 
"Headshot of Amber Letcher"

Amber Letcher, Ph.D.

Project Director

Associate Professor/4H Youth Development Specialist | SDSU


Dr. Letcher’s work focuses on youth development and wellness in the context of rural communities. She has experience implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of mentoring programs for school-age youth, exploring formal sexual education programs in rural communities, and assessing suicide risk among college students. Current projects involve assessing the feasibility of social and emotional learning programs among youth in Head Start and middle school . Since 2006, Dr. Letcher has worked with at-risk populations including substance-abusing youth, runaway and homeless youth, homeless mothers and their young children, and substance-abusing mothers with children.

"Headshot of Kristine Ramsay-Seaner"

Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, Ph.D., NCC

Implementation Director

Assistant Professor | SDSU


Dr. Ramsay-Seaner’s research and advocacy focuses on diversity, inclusivity, and empathy development to support the mental health needs of underserved populations. She has served as the Chair of Council of Directors for the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Training Grant at South Dakota State University and is the Clinical Experiences Coordinator for the Counseling and Human Development department. Since 2012, Dr. Ramsay-Seaner has provided counseling services to individuals across the lifespan with a variety of mental health needs including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and psychosis.

"Headshot of Meagan Scott"

Meagan Scott Hoffman, Ph.D.

Project Evaluation and ND Project Lead

Assistant Professor/4-H Youth Development Specialist | NDSU


Dr. Hoffman is the lead specialist for the 4-H educational programming efforts for NDSU Extension. She conducts applied research in the field of youth development to create environments that help youth reach their full potential. She is also responsible for coordinating all evaluation efforts in the state utilizing the 4-H Common Measures instruments, and integrating evaluation into all curriculum design. Additionally, she leads professional development opportunities for 4-H staff across the state of ND. Dr. Hoffman has more than eight years of experience as an Extension 4-H youth agent in Pearl River County, Mississippi, where she developed and led a comprehensive 4-H youth development program with a priority on youth leadership development. 

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Carrie Johnson, Ph.D., AFC®

Programming Coordinator (ND)

Interim Assistant Director and Family & Community Wellness Program Leader | NDSU Extension

Dr. Carrie Johnson is currently serving as an Assistant Director and Family & Community Wellness Program Leader at NDSU Extension. She is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at North Dakota State University, where she has worked since 2016. Carrie joined the Cooperative Extension System in 2009 as a county educator, field specialist, then state specialist in South Dakota; prior to that she was a financial aid counselor. Carrie received her B.S. in English for Information Systems from Dakota State University in Madison, SD, her M.S. in Family and Consumer Science with a specialization in family financial planning from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, and her Ph.D. in FCS Education from Iowa State University in Ames, IA. She has provided educational outreach on personal and family finance topics to thousands of individuals across the country and conducts research on consumer decision-making and behavioral economics. Carrie is also an Accredited Financial Counselor.

Headshot Jacey Wanner

Jacey Wanner

Programming Coordinator (ND)

Parent Family Educator | NDSU Extension

Jacey Wanner is a parent family educator located in Mandan, North Dakota. She is a registered occupational therapist and has experience working in the mental health unit at a hospital in Bismarck. Occupational therapists help people in the mental health unit of the hospital learn coping skills, goal setting, positive relationship building and mindfulness techniques.

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Kim Bushaw, M.S., Licensed Parent Educator

Programming Coordinator (ND)

Extension Family Science Specialist | NDSU



Kim Bushaw supports the eight (8) Regional Parent and Family Education Coordinators across North Dakota. She writes Extension publications, news releases, newsletters and parenting curriculum. She oversees several state programs in the area of child development, parenting, and divorce education. Kim coordinates trainings for Family and Community Wellness topics including mental health and has over 38 years of work experience in the field of parenting and human development.

Caitlin Pisha

Caitlin Pisha

Technology and Brand Specialist


Ms. Pisha is an interdisciplinary visual strategist, serving a dual role of technology and brand specialist. With background in brand design, communication strategy, and web design, she provides creative and technical expertise for the project.  She serves as the brand designer for STH, maintaining an active web presence for the project, facilitating webinars, designing educational materials and collateral, and assisting with promoting events. You can learn more about her work at

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Anie Wheeler

Research Assistant


Headshot Ben Heckmann

Ben Heckmann

Research Assistant


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Charlotte Heckmann

Research Assistant


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Emma Qurashi

Research Assistant


Kelly Huot Headshot

Kelly Huot

Research Assistant


Ms. Huot is a master’s student in the CHRD program at South Dakota State University. She assists the Strengthening the Heartland project with data entry, mailing curriculum materials as well as communicating with potential presentation sites.

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Maggie Oberg

Research Assistant