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About the Project

About our Staff

"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 programs with a priority on youth leadership development. 

"Headshot of Chamika Hawkins-Taylor, Ph.D."

Chamika Hawkins-Taylor, Ph.D.

Public Health Campaign Coordinator

Assistant Professor | College of Pharmacy | SDSU

Department of Clinical and Administrative Sciences| Xavier University of Louisiana


Dr. Hawkins-Taylor’s research is grounded in the factors influencing chronic disease epidemiology, treatment and outcomes of underserved, minority populations with a focus of social determinants of health. She has experience in research on chronic disease management and is exploring medication adherence, drug misuse and abuse, and social contributors to population health. Current projects focus on efficacy of cancer survivorship care plans, multiple sclerosis in Black American patients, and Substance Abuse training for professional students.

"Headshot of Sue Quamme"

Sue Quamme, M.S.

Programming Coordinator (ND)

Parent Educator | NDSU

Ms. Quamme leads 4-H youth leadership and civic engagement educational programming efforts for NDSU Extension. She is also the lead adviser for the North Dakota 4-H Ambassador program. While working on her master’s degree, she worked in the Center for 4-H Youth Development assisting with programs such as Operation: Military Kids, North Dakota Governor’s School and Parents LEAD (Listen, Educate, Ask, Discuss). She also contributed to the creation of several youth development-related educational resources. After obtaining her counseling degree, she served as a school counselor at Oak Grove Elementary School in Fargo, ND, from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, she was a family and consumer science teacher in Breckenridge, MN, from 2004 to 2009.

"Headshot of Holly M. Arnold"

Holly M. Arnold

Lead Facilitator


Ms. Arnold is an Extension Parent Educator with the Parent and Family Resource Center. She coordinates and delivers educational opportunities, information, and resources to parents, caregivers, and other professionals.

"Headshot of Jane Reisenauer"

Jane Reisenauer

North Dakota Facilitation Team Member


Ms. Reisenauer is a retired educator. She spent 34 years in North Dakota and 6 years in South Dakota as a health and family and consumer sciences instructor, a school counselor, and a high school principal. She has presented the This is (Not) About Drugs program to students and adults in the following North Dakota locations: New England, Solen, Fort Yates, Dickinson, South Heart, Ray, Divide County, Powers Lake, and the North Dakota Counselor’s Conference. In South Dakota, Ms. Reisenauer has reached youth in Bison, McIntosh, Phillip, and Mobridge.

"Headshot of Kelly Huot"

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 cites.

"Headshot of Grace Schmaltz"

Grace Schmaltz

Research Assistant


Ms. Schmaltz is a senior undergraduate student in North Dakota State University's Biological Sciences program. She assists the Strengthening the Heartland project with data entry, mailing program materials, and coordinating with schools and youth organizations to schedule presentations.