Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
Board of Directors

Julie Cerel, PhD 

Board Chair

Julie is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. Her research has focused on suicide bereavement and suicide prevention. She is the author of over 25 academic publications and co-author of Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved. She is currently the Principle Investigator (PI) of the Military Suicide Bereavement Study funded by the Military Suicide Research Consortium from the U.S. Department of Defense. She is a Board member and former chair, Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group; and Editorial Board Member, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.


William "Bill" Schmitz Jr., PsyD

Bill is a clinical psychologist with the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, working out of Baton Rouge Community-based Outpatient Clinic. Bill is also a consultant for Campbell and Associates, providing consultation services regarding forensic suicidology and related issues. Whether in these roles or that of educator (adjunct faculty), public speaker, social media innovator, or supervisor, Bill remains dedicated to suicide prevention and ensuring that those in crisis know that they are never alone.


David Miller, PhD

David Miller is Associate Professor of School Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.  He is a certified school psychologist with extensive experience working with suicidal youth in both public and alternative school settings, and coordinated the suicide prevention program at a school for students with severe behavior disorders.  David is a senior author of the book Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Self-Injury at School (2010) and author of Child and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior: School-Based Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention (2011), and the author of 40 refereed journal articles and book chapters, many of them related to youth suicidal behavior.  He serves on the editorial advisory boards of several professional journals, provide ad hoc reviews for Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, and guest-edited a special issue of the School Psychology Review devoted to school-based suicide prevention.


Amy Boland, CPA

Amy Boland is an audit partner at Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman, CPAs.  She has more than 12 years' experience in auditing and public accounting, having concentrated her skills in the specialized field of audits of nonprofit organizations, including associations, private voluntary organizations and other charitable institutions. She has performed audits on behalf of most federal agencies, most frequently for USAID grantees and with our international PVO team to assist clients with global activity in strengthening field office controls and establishing policies and procedures to ensure grant compliance.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at the Pennsylvania State University.  Ms. Boland is a member of the AICPA and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is active in the nonprofit community.

BryanCraig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP 

Craig J. Bryan is a board-certified clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology, and is currently the Associate Directory of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.  Dr. Bryan received his PsyD in clinical psychology in 2006 from Baylor University, and completed his clinical psychology residency at the Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, TX.  He was retained as faculty in the Department of Psychology at Wilford Hall MedicalCenter, where he was Chief of the Primary Care Psychology Service, as well as the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for Lackland AFB.  Dr. Bryan deployed to Belad, Iraq, in 2009, where he served as the Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at the Air Force Theater Hospital.  He separated from active duty service shortly after his deployment, and currently researches suicidal behaviors and suicide prevention strategies, and psychological health and resiliency.  He currently oversee two treatment studies totaling approximately $3 million testing cognitive behavioral treatments for suicidal service members, and is the lead risk management consultant for the $25 million STRONG STAR Research Consortium investigating treatments for combat-related PTSD among military personnel.  He is a consultant to the Department of Defense for psychological health promotion initiatives and suicidal prevention, and has briefed Congressional leaders on these topics.  He has authored dozens of scientific publications and book chapters, including the book Managing Suicide Risk in Primary Care.  Dr. Bryan was recognized by the Society for Military Psychology with the Arthur W. Melton Award for Early Career Achievement. 


Irving Gutin

Irving Gutin was head of Mergers and Aquisitions at Tyco International, Ltd, from 1979 to 2003.  During his tenure Tyco grew from $200 million in annual sales, to a multinational, Fortune 100 Company, with sales of over $40 billion, employing over 250,000 people worldwide.  Irving was Chairman of the Board of the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation, and a member of the board of a number of publicly traded and private companies.  In 1995, after the loss of his son, by suicide, the Gutin family established the Jeffrey Gutin Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.  He and his wife Barbara also established the Irving and Barbara C. Gutin Charitable Foundation.  The two funds have joined together as the Suicide Prevention Partnership, (SPP) which works to reduce suicide and suicidal behavior.  The SPP designs and runs programs that address systemic issues in suicide prevention and funds a limited number of suicide prevention projects, including a current grant to AAS.

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Beryl Jones-Wooden, JD

Beryl Jones-Wooden specializes in copyright law, art law, and professional responsibility. In addition to teaching courses in those areas, she serves as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  She is on the board of directors of the Westchester Children's Museum.  She is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Copyright Society, a member of the American Law Institute, and the Federal Bar Council, She has also chaired the Association of the American Law Schools Art Law Section and its Intellectual Property Section.  She has long been active in New York City Bar on its committees for art law, communications and media law, and copyright law.  Professor Jones-Wooden joined the faculty in 1984 after serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the Eastern District of New York, and law clerk to Judge A. Leon Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

WarrinerAmanda Warriner

Amanda Carroll Warriner is an attorney in the litigation practice group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Washington, DC. She has years of government relations and policy advocacy experience at the state, federal and international levels. A survivor of her brother's suicide, Amanda is dedicated to changing US and state policy to implement guidelines which will prevent suicide and recognize suicidal behavior. Her family has established the William Blake Carroll Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Alabama in her brother's honor, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from the university in 2013. Amanda holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, a J.D. from Pepperdine University, and is licensed to practice law in California, Alabama, and the District of Columbia (pending).

CovingtonDavid W. Covington, LPC, MBA
Clinical Division Director

David is the CEO and President of Crisis Access, LLC. Between 2009 and 2013, he was Vice-President of Clinical & Program Outcomes for Magellan Health Services. He was instrumental in developing the Clinical Care & Intervention Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, which has become the basis for an imitative to transform healthcare systems in their active support of suicide prevention. He has served as special editor of a special National Council Magazine that included more than 50 articles on suicide prevention.

MorrisPatricia Morris 
Crisis Centers Division Director

Pat has been the Program Director of a 24-hour Regional Crisis and Triage line at Volunteers of America Western Washington since 2006, accredited by AAS and CONTACT USA. The Crisis Line is a Lifeline affiliate, and Ms. Morris has been a member of the Lifeline Steering Committee since 2009. In addition to her duties as the AAS Crisis Centers Division Chair, she is a Board member of NASCOD, National Association of Crisis Line Directors. She is a certified ASIST and safeTALK training through Livingworks. Ms. Morris is a licensed professional counselor, a nationally certified mental health and Master Addiction counselor with a Masters of Education Degree from the University of Idaho. During her thirty year career in the Mental Health and Chemical Dependency field, she has experience providing mental health case management, involuntary treatment evaluations, psychosocial and Clubhouse rehabilitation and outpatient therapy.

DeQuincy Lezine

DeQuincy Lezine
Lived Experiences and Attempt Survivor Division Director

DeQuincy Lezine, PhD, is a suicide attempt survivor who has been active in suicide prevention since 1996, including roles in the development of national and state suicide prevention plans. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester focused on public health approaches to suicide prevention. Dr. Lezine is the Co-Chair of the Consumer Survivor Subcommittee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and a member of the Steering Committee for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. He is also a a member of the Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force, of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and principal author on the Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery, and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience which is in press. He has also worked with organizations including Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) USA, Organization for Attempters and Survivors in Interfaith Services (OASSIS), National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), and the Oklahoma Suicide Prevention Council. Dr. Lezine is the author of Eight Stories Up: An Adolescent Chooses Hope Over Suicide (Oxford University Press, 2008) and President & CEO of Prevention Communities, focusing on suicide prevention and mental health promotion.


Pilar Vargas, PsyD
Prevention Division Director

Pilar has over 10 years' experience providing behavioral health services in Arizona.  She is currently Clinical Director at People of Color Network and provides clinical oversight for children's behavioral health services.  She is a core faculty member at the University of Phoenix in the Masters in Counseling program.


Lisa Brenner, PhD
Research Division Director

As the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and clinical Center (MIRECC), Lisa has worked to create a culture that values collaboration with professionals across disciplines to conduct meaningful research aimed at reducing suicide and increasing quality of life among those who have served. She is also Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neurology at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine. In addition, Lisa is a researcher, investigating suicide prevention among military personnel and Veterans, with a focus on promising clinical interventions.


Sally Spencer-Thomas, PsyD
Survivor Division Director

As a clinical psychologist, mental health advocate, faculty member, and survivor of her brother's suicide, Sally see the issues of suicide prevention and mental health promotion from many perspectives. Currently, she is the CEO of the Carson J Spencer Foundation and the Workplace Task Force Co-Lead for the National Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Sally is a professional speaker and trainer, presenting nationally and internationally on the topic of suicide prevention and has published four books on mental health.

Michelle Cornette

Michelle Cornette, PhD 
Ex-Officio, Executive Director

Dr. Cornette's longtime professional focus has been the study and prevention of suicide. Her professional history in suicide prevention includes roles as administrator, researcher, clinician, educator, and survivor of suicide loss.Dr. Cornette comes to AAS from the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where she served as Military Suicide Subject Matter Expert. In her work for the CDP, she developed a 2-day workshop for military mental health providers on empirically-supported approaches to suicide prevention. The workshop, which was designated among APA's 2013 Presidential Initiatives, has been disseminated to military mental health providers across the country. She co-developed the CDP's online suicide prevention course, and oversaw the 1-week civilian training program. She has also been active in teaching within the Medical and Clinical Psychology doctoral program.

Prior posts held by Dr. Cornette include her 10-year in the VA system, where she was VISN 12 Suicide Prevention Director, Suicide Prevention Team Leader, and Mental Health Division Research Lead. In the former capacity, she was responsible for overseeing suicide prevention activities at the 7 VA facilities in VISN 12. Dr. Cornette has also maintained an active research program on suicide risk, funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, the DoD, and VA HSR&D. She has published a number of articles and book chapters, and has presented extensively on the topics of military and civilian suicide risk, risk assessment, and intervention.

Dr. Cornette is a member of the MOMRP Suicide Research Consortium, and the Defense Suicide Prevention Office working group addressing suicide prevention training. She sits on the Medical Advisory Board of the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, and has previously served on the VISN 12 Mental Health Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors, Mental Health American of Wisconsin. She has been honored for her contributions by both VHA and DoD.

Dr. Cornette holds a research faculty appointment in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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