IUSSWAA 17th Annual Alumni Conference Speaker Bios

Meet the Speakers

  • Emily Caudill, MT-BC
    Emily is a board-certified music therapist at IU Health Simon Cancer Center and University Hospital, where she provides music therapy services for patients admitted to hematology/oncology, bone marrow transplant, surgical intensive care, cystic fibrosis, and other units. A Kentucky native, Emily graduated from the University of Louisville and achieved board certification in 2015. Before joining the team at IU Health, Emily worked for the Vanderbilt University Susan Gray School, part of the Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Emily is a survivor-advocate for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance and is also a member of the American Music Therapy Association, the Association for Indiana Music Therapy, and the Certification Board for Music Therapists.
  • Sandra Chauhan, LCSW, AAMFT
    Sandra is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator, VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System. Originally, from Fort Wayne, IN, she received a BA from Butler University in Psychology and Sociology, MSW degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and post-graduate training at the Penn Council for Relationships, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Family Studies Division, in couples, family and sex therapy. She has been a Clinical Social Worker for over 22 years in Philadelphia, PA, Portland, OR, and Fort Wayne, IN, areas. Sandra started working at the VA Northern IN Hospital in 2009, in the Suicide Prevention Program, as the Suicide Prevention Case Manager and is now the Suicide Prevention Coordinator. She is a certified trainer in the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (CASE Approach) with Dr. Shawn C. Shea from Dartmouth University Medical School in Hanover, NH. The Suicide Prevention team uses the CASE Approach in their daily practice when assessing Veterans for suicide. She said it is an honor and pleasure to serve Veterans that sacrificed so much for our country.
  • Gary Haire, BA
    Gary is a retired Federal law enforcement and security professional with a career spanning more than 46 years. He has provided protection for U.S. Presidents and high-level dignitaries as well as conducted threat assessments and criminal investigations while in the United States Secret Service. Gary developed and implemented programs to recognize, address, and prevent workplace violence while serving as Director of Corporate Security at two major companies conducting business in the U.S and internationally. Mr. Haire is a Hoosier by birth, graduated with a BA in Psychology from Wright State University, has been married for 43 years to the same wonderful woman, has two highly successful children, and two wild and crazy grandsons. Gary founded Bulwark Professional Services, LLC to provide specialized, relevant, and effective training designed for professionals in all vocations. The training stresses the intelligent use of each person’s intuition and natural ability to detect danger in order to avoid violence, but when in danger, he provides practical discrete methods to manage the situation.
  • Sam Harrell, MSW
    Sam is the Prevention Programs Coordinator at Middle Way House in Bloomington, Indiana. In this role, Sam provides sexual and partner violence prevention programming to junior and senior high schools, youth-serving programs, and community members. Sam has both a BSW and MSW from Indiana University. Sam is a frequent speaker in IUSSW undergraduate courses on diversity, social work, and community organization. She has experience working in disability support services, homeless casework and shelter services, child welfare, LGBTQIA+ youth support, and prison and jail re-entry. In her free time, Sam works with Bloomington PRIDE to support LGBTQIA+ youth, explores trails with a hyper Australian Shepherd, and supports friends and family members behind bars.
  • Carol Metzger, LCSW, LMFT
    Carol has been an advocate and clinician in Indiana for decades after doing agency work with youth in the juvenile court system and the Marion County Child Guidance Clinic. Carol helped launch an employee assistance program in Indiana. After 7 years, she sold her business to her partner and started her own private practice. She has been an adjunct faculty and a field instructor at IU School of Social Work. She has led our professional organization of NASW. She has been a tireless advocate for youth services, child abuse, and domestic violence policies and programs. She has been a LGBTQ ally. Areas of interest are: Understanding shame and empathy, relationship counseling, clinical supervision for helpers, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and organizational change. She has a desire to nurture social workers, to assure a competent and skilled base of social workers for our future.
  • Mandi Metzger, MSW, LSW
    Mandi is a clinician at Midtown Mental Health Community Center, Besides being a direct practitioner, she does a variety of wellness and therapy groups in her agency.
  • Jason Melchi, MSW
    Jason is the Founder and Chief Data Dude at Empact Solutions. He has consulted locally and nationally in justice reform initiatives since 2008. He has taken on the challenge of addressing the gap that often exists between social services and data. He believes that data efforts often miss the critical component of meeting organizations where they are while developing capacity from the ground up. Most recently, he has developed an approach to institutionalize the use of data through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in the State of Indiana. Jason has a unique professional background with 10+years designing and developing information systems before graduating with honors from Indiana University with a Master’s in Social Work. Jason leverages his unusual combination of knowledge, skills, experience, and passion to bridge the gap between the technical and human elements of using data, bringing both a deep understanding of data and a compassionate approach to serving others.
  • Lisa Marquette Porat, MSW
    Lisa has twenty-six years of experience in the health care industry as a health communication/marketing executive, licensed therapist, clinical director, graduate school professor, organizational leadership consultant, health educator and strategic planning consultant in both private and public settings. Responsibilities and experience include: high-level strategic counsel to directors, physicians and CEOs; client relations; tactical implementation of client deliverables; ad board facilitations and leading new business development initiatives. Particular expertise in the field of critical care medicine and oncology. Background includes new program development, leadership development, health education, clinical trial recruitment, ad board and working group facilitation, public speaking, public relations and strategic planning, as well as direct patient care, group facilitation, focus group leadership, ethics, and education/training. She is an active member on numerous boards and committees, as well as speaker at numerous state and national conferences. Lisa is the recipient of the 2016 Leadership in Oncology Social Work Award from AOSW/Sponsored by the American Cancer Society
  • Captain Steven W. Prater, U.S. Army (Retired), LCSW
    Steven joined the U.S. Army in 1989 and retired in 2010. Steve moved through the ranks going from Private to Sergeant First Class, then becoming a Commissioned Officer, and retiring as a Captain. Throughout his career, Steve served in a variety of overseas and stateside assignments. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Army in 2010, Steve was selected to address the Secretary of the Army, Mr. Pete Garrin, on Wounded Warrior Health and Family issues. Steve helped to establish a Wounded Warrior Art Program at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and has presented as a guest lecturer on Military/Veteran Trauma Issues at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. While serving in the Army, Steve obtained undergraduate education (AS & BS) in Criminal Justice and Psychology. After leaving the Military, Steve went to Graduate School at the University of Southern California to obtain his Master’s degree in Social Work and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. Steve has completed advanced post-graduate work in healthcare administration and ethics. His research interests include: Integrative Practices in Treating Trauma, TBI, and PTSD, Veterans Homelessness, Integrative Social Work Education, and The Ethics of Self-Care. Steve has been working with Veterans since his Military retirement in 2010 and started working at the VA in 2013. He is currently the HCHV Outreach Coordinator for the VA-Northern Indiana Health Care System and has recently completed the year-long Clinical and Executive Leadership Fellowship which trains future VA Health Care Leaders. Steve is also a speaker and subject matter expert for the VHA National Center on Homelessness, Speakers Bureau to provide National Training to VA staff.
  • Amanda Pryor, MSW, LCSW, CSAYC
    Amanda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over twelve years of experience. She is a graduate of Indiana University School of Social Work and obtained an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University Social Work Program. Her experiences include psychosexual risk assessments, outpatient, and residential treatment. Her specialty is working with adolescent sexually maladaptive behavior. She is the Director and is credentialed with IN-AJSOP, Indianas Initiative to Advance the Treatment of Sexually Maladaptive Youth. She provides training for clinicians in the process of obtaining credentialing through IN-AJSOP. Currently, as the director of IN-AJSOP she facilities credentialing services for professionals in the field of sexual maladaptive behaviors.
  • Lisa Rainey, MA
    Lisa is a board certified art therapist (ATR-BC) with 8 years of experience, specializing in art psychotherapy with various inpatient medical populations. She raised $100,000 through grant writing to develop and implement a pediatric art therapy program. She was the first art therapist to be hired within the St. Vincent Health system where she developed the successful art therapy program at Peyton Manning Childrens Hospital at St. Vincent. She also developed art therapy programs on the high-risk OBGYN units at both Indiana University Health, and St. Vincent Women’s Hospital. She researched the benefits of art therapy with the inpatient high-risk OBGYN population, and is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received 2 awards to support her work in art therapy from Karen Pence and Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. Lisa is now working within the CompleteLife & Creative Arts Therapies Program at Indiana University Health, where she treats patients at Simon Cancer Center and University Hospital. She holds a BFA from the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, IN, and an MA in Art Therapy from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Cynthia L. Reynolds, MSW
    Cynthia earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Psychology from Valparaiso University and subsequently moved to Chicago, IL, to attend Loyola University Chicago to achieve her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Cynthia lived in Chicago for 14 years where she worked in mental health and maintained a private practice. She moved back home to Indianapolis in 2010 and has been employed with Wishard/Eskenazi for the last 7 years. Initially she was a clinical supervisor with Midtown and has been with the Eskenazi Healthy Aging Brain Center for the last 3.5 years. She maintains a private practice on the NE side of Indy
  • Micki Rushton, MSW
    Micki received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology from Purdue University in 1993. She earned her MSW from Indiana University in Indianapolis in 2000. In 1998, Ms. Rushton opened a Mitigation Firm, specializing in mitigation investigation, sentencing consulting, and expert witness testimony in Death Penalty and Life Without Parole cases. Since, she has continued working with criminal defense attorneys and public defenders to advance justice for indigent clients. In May 2016, Ms. Rushton was hired through a state grant to work hand-in-hand with public defender agencies to provide services to clients who may suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. Throughout the past 17 years, she has also worked as a therapist, specializing in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment with those who are seriously mentally ill and taught as an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis and Bloomington for almost ten years.
  • Otto Schalk
    No bio at this time.
  • David Shircliff, JD
    David is a native of Indianapolis. He has been a public defender all his professional legal career. He started working for the Indiana State Public Defender in 1993 doing Death Penalty post-conviction relief cases. In 1994 he took a position with the Indiana Public Defender Council as a liaison with the Counties who wanted to start a Public Defender Agency. In 1996, he began this adventure with the Marion County Public Defender Agency in Indianapolis, where he discovered his passions for representing indigent clients, jury trials and training trial lawyers. He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, the Trial Practice Institute in Indiana, and he has been trained by Gerry Spence at the Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. He was an attorney and trainer for the major felony division at the Marion County Public Defender Agency until his appointment as Lawrence County's Chief Public Defender in late 2015. Additionally, he has a master's degree in social work and is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College, Indiana Trial Practice Institute, and an Adjunct Professor at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
  • David Siler, MSW
    David became the President of Families First in Indianapolis in January of 2016. The previous twelve years, David served as the Executive Director of the Secretariat (department) of Catholic Charities and Family Ministries for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Before serving as the Executive Director, he was the agency director of St. Elizabeth Coleman pregnancy and adoption services. David holds a master of social work degree from Indiana University, an undergraduate degree in business and is a licensed clinical social worker. For twenty-five years, he has been in and out of private practice, providing primarily marriage and family counseling.
  • Stephanie Waller, MSW
    Stephanie is a Legal Advocate at Middle Way House in Bloomington, Indiana. She has a BSW from Indiana University and a MSW from the University of Illinois- Chicago. Stephanie focused on advocacy with survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, peer education around consent and healthy sex positivity, and community organizing with people experiencing homelessness in her undergraduate studies. She focused on transformative justice, community accountability, and reproductive justice activism in her graduate studies. Stephanie has experience staffing and directing low-barrier homeless shelters, community organizing, working in the anti-domestic violence movement, and providing mutual aid resources.