William "Bill" Schmitz Jr., Psy.D. (President)
William "Bill" Schmitz, Jr. is a licensed clinical psychologist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, working primarily with our nation's veterans. He has been very active in AAS, serving in several roles including: Chair of the Clinical Division; Chair of the AAS Task Force on Improving Clinical Competency in Suicide; AAS Publications Review Committee Chair; and the 2004 AAS Annual Conference Program Chair. Bill has served, and is serving, as an adjunct instructor for college courses teaching psychology. Bill is also moving forward with expanding suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention messaging and care into the social media communities.
David Miller, Ph.D. (President-Elect)
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 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 journal School Psychology Review devoted to school-based suicide prevention.
Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D. (Past President)
Michelle Linn-Gust has spent the past twenty years educating people worldwide about coping with loss and change following the suicide of her younger sister. Her eighth book, Conversations with the Water: A Memoir of Cultivating Hope, chronicles her grief journey as she moves forward beyond the suicide and loss field. Her first book, based on Denise's suicide, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Sibling, inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one's suicide. She is the former AAS Survivor Division Chair and former editor of AAS's Surviving Suicide. She earned her doctorate in family studies from the University of New Mexico. She currently works as a motivational speaker, writer, and life coach.
Craig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP (Secretary)
Craig J. Bryan is a board-certified clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology, and is currently the Associate Director 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 Medical Center, 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 Balad, 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 oversees 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 suicide prevention, and has briefed Congressional leader 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.
Amy Boland, CPA (Treasurer)
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.
Irving Gutin was head of Mergers and Acquisitions 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, a member of the investment committee of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and a member and Chairman of the Board of the Portsmouth Regional Hospital. He has served as 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, J.D.
Beryl Jones-Woodin 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 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-Woodin 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.
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Stephen Seldin earned a J.D. from the Yale Law School and a BBA from the Baruch School of CCNY, He is admitted to the NY State Bar and the Federal Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is a real estate and corporate lawyer, and was formerly a partner in Dreyer & Traub, which represented major real estate figures such as Donald Trump and Peter Kalikow. He has been the principal lawyer on many complex transactions, including the swap of the land under Carlton House for 77 Park Avenue, for Harry B. Helmsley, the purchase of its headquarters building at 347 Madison Avenue, for Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the construction for 101 Park Avenue for Peter Kalikow, Negotiation of a software joint venture with Narita Electric. He was Co-Chairman of the Real Property Section of New York County Lawyers Association, a member of Real Property Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Legislation Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York.
Julie Cerel, Ph.D. (Board Chair, Research Division Director)
Julie is Associate Professor, College of Social Work, at the University of Kentucky. She has been a Licensed Psychologist since 2002 and an AAS member since 2003. She served as AAS Program Chair in 2011, and is the author of more than 20 academic publications on suicide and survivors and co-edited a book, Seeking Hope: Stories for the Suicide Bereaved. She is a Board member and former chair, Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group; and Editorial Board Member, Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.
Don Belau, Ph.D. (Clinical Division Director)
Dr. Belau specializes in the assessment and treatment of youth who experience self-injurious behaviors and suicidal tendencies, and provides workshops on the state, regional, and national level in the areas of suicide postvention, AMSR, self-injurious behaviors, and bullying behaviors. Dr. Belau was awarded the award of being the 2011 Counselor of the Year by the Nebraska Counseling Association. In addition, he has been and active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, and is currently serving as a Co-hair. He was instrumental in the development of the Lincoln/Lancaster LOSS team, and is serving as Clinical Director.
Patricia Morris (Crisis Centers Division Director)
Patricia Morris is a license 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. She has worked in Mental Health emergency services and crisis lines in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. She has developed and administered inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency programs specializing in co-occurring disorders. She has also served as an Adjunct professor in Northwest Universities teaching graduate level coursework, and is currently an instructor at Western Washington University.
Pilar Vargas Psy.D. (Prevention Division Director)
Pilar Vargas 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 University of Phoenix in the Masters in Counseling program.
Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy. D. (Survivors Division Director)
The survivor of her brother's suicide in 2004, Sally is a clinical psychologist and the Executive Director of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation. She's also served as project director for Regis University's Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, board member of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado, on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center's steering committee, and as Chair of "Bridging the Divide: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Summit" in 2008 and 2009. She is a professional speaker with Campuspeak, and certified as a QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainer.
Alan (Lanny) Berman, Ph.D. (Executive Director)
Lanny Berman has served as Executive Director of AAS since 1995. Prior to that, he was Director of the National Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the Washington School of Psychiatry (1991-1995) and a tenured full-professor of Psychology at American University (1969-1991). Lanny has published 7 books, the latest being the 2nd edition of Adolescent Suicide: Assessment and Intervention, Medical Conditions Associated with Suicide Risk, and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in Suicidology and suicide prevention. He is the recipient of both AAS's Shneidman and Dublin Awards for outstanding contributions to Suicidology and a past-president of AAS. Board certified as an ABPP diplomat in clinical psychology, he is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the International Academy of Suicide Research. He holds a BA degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America.