Location Study Director
Pearl McElfish is the Study Location Director. Pearl oversees and manages all daily National Children's Study activities including all aspects of office development, human resources, participant screening and enrollment, data collection, adherence to protocol and quality control activities. Previously, Pearl worked for Northwest Arkansas Community Foundation and Care Foundation. Pearl has also served as the Chief Development Officer for Ozark Health Medical Center where she led new business development and community health efforts. She has earned the Project Management Professional certification and Certified Community Developer designation, and she holds a Master in Community and Economic Development and a Master of Business Administration.
Institutional Review Board Manager
Melissa Casteel is the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Manager. She oversees all IRB submissions and implementation of IRB approved materials for the Study. Melissa received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Family and Consumer Science from the University of Central Arkansas. She is currently finishing a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where she expects to defend her dissertation in early fall of 2011. She has held various research positions at the University of Arkansas, and she brings skill in research design and methodology, statistical analysis, research compliance, and scientific and technical writing. Most recently, Melissa was a project specialist for the Office of Institutional Research at the University of Arkansas.
Marketing & Communications Department
Sherry Lloyd is the Marketing & Communications Manager. Sherry previously worked for PE4life as the Community Outreach/Project Manager for Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Sherry has previous experience in creative writing, business writing, and customer service training skills, including backgrounds with Baptist Health and Washington Regional Medical Center. Serving on many healthcare coalitions throughout the state, Sherry also serves as a volunteer health educator in the Springdale Public School District regarding prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.
Field Staff and Data Collectors
Angie Hunton, R.N.C., is a Data Collector Research Nurse. Angie graduated from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she obtained an Associate Degree in Nursing. As a part of the field staff team, she will be responsible for screening, enrolling and consenting research participants and collecting data. She has worked for 20 years at Washington Regional Medical Center in labor/delivery. She also recently obtained her R.N.C. in inpatient obstetrics. Angie has volunteered her time as a member of CASA of Northwest Arkansas, which help children in foster care have a voice in the court system.
Irasema Roldan is a Data Collector Research Assistant. As part of the field staff team, she will assist with screening, enrolling and consenting research participants and collecting data. Irasema has a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, as well as a Master of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Previously, she practiced as a clinical dietitian for several years at local and regional hospitals, and most recently, conducted nutrition interviews for the The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A native of Mexico, Irasema is fluent in English and Spanish, and volunteer to provide interpretation assistance for Parent-Teacher conferences and fundraiser events.
Budget and Operations
Dale Cox is the Budget and Operations Manager. Dale is responsible for budget management and oversight of study-related administrative and operational duties. Dale previously worked as an accountant for Samaritan Community Center, and prior to that was the co-owner, accountant, and operations manager of Sound Investments, Inc., in Russellville, Ark. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Arkansas Tech University.
Linda Smith is the Administrative Specialist for the National Children’s Study ACHRI Study Center in Benton County. Linda will be responsible for providing administrative support for all aspects of the study and assisting the Community Liaison with community outreach and engagement activities for the local study site in Benton County. Linda has been an employee of Department of Pediatrics since May of 1988 — most recently as HR Specialist for that department.