The Ambit Team
Abigail Gewirtz, Ph.D., L.P., Project Director of Ambit Network
Dr. Abigail Gewirtz is a professor in the Department of Family Social Science and the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the development, effectiveness testing, and implementation of targeted prevention programs that promote child resilience among highly stressed families including those affected by military deployment, war, domestic violence, and homelessness.
Over more than a decade, Dr. Gewirtz’s research has been federally and state funded continuously by agencies including SAMHSA and NIH. She is PI on a randomized effectiveness trial to develop and test a web-enhanced parenting program for military families with parents returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. She is co-PI and member of the leadership team of the Center for Personalized Prevention Research, and a newly funded Prevention Research Training Grant, both at the University of Minnesota. She has published on parenting, trauma, and child adjustment, extending the Parent Management Training-Oregon model for populations affected by traumatic stress, and the role of community sectors of care as portals for family-based prevention.
A native of London, England, Dr. Gewirtz received each of her three degrees on a different continent: her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, her M.A. at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and her B.Sc. from University College London.
Chris Bray, Ph.D., L.P., Co-Director
Chris Bray is the co-director of Ambit Network and the Center for Resilient Families, at the University of Minnesota and a consultant to the University of Oklahoma National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth. Her interest areas include child trauma, resilience, and justice-involved youth. She retired from public service as the Acting Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections after a career in criminal justice and juvenile justice at the state and local level. Chris is a licensed psychologist and received a PhD from the University of Minnesota with expertise in program evaluation. She currently serves on several nonprofit boards, is a Bush Fellow, and is a recipient of awards for her work with juvenile justice and mental health.
Katelyn Donisch is working with the Ambit Network to create culturally sensitive trauma-informed service systems in the state of Minnesota. She is also collaborating with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to examine the developmental trajectories of children who have been exposed to multiple forms of trauma and/or violence, particularly those with complex trauma histories. She is a second-year graduate student in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science Program at the Institute of Child Development and Department of Psychology.
Katelyn is interested in the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based programs targeting children and families exposed to trauma and trauma-related stressors.
Sophia Frank is a Ph.D. student in educational psychology with a focus in special education. After obtaining a B.A. from Reed College in 2009, Sophia relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana. There, she became interested in education through her work in school choice with the Urban League of New Orleans’ Parent Information Center. She went on to receive her teaching licensure in special education and teaching English through the teachNOLA fellows program and worked as a special education teacher for several years. Sophia is particularly interested in school-based mental health models and social-emotional intervention.
Katy Lund is a Programming Assistant with Ambit Network. In this position, she organizes learning collaborative trainings for new clinicians learning TF-CBT, gathers data for research purposes, and communicates with clinicians to support and answer questions. She is interested in the human animal bond and hopes to study how animals can aid in trauma therapies. Katy currently also works at an equine assisted therapy center for individuals with mental and physical disabilities as a teaching instructor. Katy recently received her Bachelors of Science in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and intends to pursue a Master’s in Social Work this upcoming year.
Tanner Zimmerman is a Learning Collaborative Coordinator with Ambit Network. In this role, he schedules and coordinates Learning Collaborative functions, assists with data management, and supports clinicians in current and past cohorts. He is interested in evidence-based practices that foster heathier parent-child and couple relationships. Tanner received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.