Faculty and Staff - MAPS

Program Director

Jennifer Ely, E.dD., is the Program Director of MAPS and is an instructor in the School of Education's Department of Health and Human Development. Dr. Ely is responsible for the oversight of alcohol and other drug prevention programming and mental health intervention services in participating schools and the community throughout Allegheny County. Dr. Ely supports program development with a team of professionals, while consulting with school districts on identifying needs and strengths to ensure at-risk students receive the support to succeed academically and emotionally. Dr. Ely's role as Program Director provides an opportunity to represent MAPS at the local, county, and state level. Dr. Ely has expertise in community collaboration, conducting school and community-based needs assessments, and implementing evidence-based programming. She has been invited to present at several local and national conferences on the topics of child and adolescent development, evidence-based interventions, and addressing needs of at-risk youth.

Program Staff

Lori Altrudo, MSCP, LPC, is a Behavioral Health Liaison at the University of Pittsburgh MAPS program. She has worked at MAPS since 2015. She works at Hampton School District and North Allegheny School District, helping elementary and middle school students to overcome their barriers to learning. She helps them to become more understanding of their feelings and learning. She connects students and their families to community services when need.  In addition, she provides support to students, families and school staff to help their students to become successful at school. Lori provides classrooms with social-emotional learning lessons and also has groups about friendship, communication, feelings, and anger, along with other social-emotional groups. Lori loves to watch students transform into individuals who understand their feelings better by the end of the year.  Lori received a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S. from Clarion University and started working as a case manager and also worked in the behavioral health field.  She also worked as a Student Assistant Liaison (SAP) in several school districts around Allegheny County. She has also worked as a mental health therapist. Lori then went back to school and received her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Chatham University and also went on to get her LPC (License Professional Counselor). She has a passion to help all the students she meets. They all know how important a SMILE can be! Lori is a mother of three children- (ages 8, 6, and 6). She is proud to have boy/girl twins. She loves spending time with her kiddos and watching them play soccer, basketball, taekwondo, sing, and dance. Her family enjoys boating, bike rides, and hiking. Her kids also love to experiment, explore and create new things.

Jenea Edwards, master's in human services, serves as a Prevention Specialist for the University of Pittsburgh MAPS Program. As a Prevention Specialist, Jenea has the opportunity to work with students around the city. The focus of her position is to educate our youth about substance abuse and other high- risk activities. Jenea encourages youth to live a drug and alcohol- free life. She also assists and educate younger students on proper social and coping skills. Jenea has always had a passion to work with children and youth. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Edinboro University in 2007. In 2015, she received her master's degree in human services from Argosy University. Prior to coming to Pitt, Jenea was an early childhood educator. She believes giving children a great educational foundation will put them on the right path towards a great future. Jenea is a mom to one son and one angel baby (2013). In her spare time, she enjoys watching her son play sports and participating in his drum recitals. She is also very active in her church. She serves as the leader of the youth group and the dance and mime ministry.

Ann Flaherty, M.Ed., NCC, CCTP, LPC, serves as Social Services Liaison in the Fox Chapel Area School District, and as a part-time instructor for the MAPS program. She has extensive experience in providing prevention, mental health education, and consultation services, including individual and group psycho-education, crisis intervention training, and program development for school systems, school staff, families, and Student Assistance Programs. Ann designs and conducts psychoeducational groups for elementary and middle school-aged children on the topics of social and emotional skill building, self-esteem, social thinking, anxiety, and anger management. She has over 30 years of experience in conducting Leadership Training for Pittsburgh's area youth through the University and developed a Leadership in Service-Learning Program for middle school youth. Ann has frequently been a guest lecturer at local universities and colleges on the topics of general psychology, adolescent development, crisis intervention skills, family management, and interagency collaboration, and has presented at three national conferences: Pennsylvania School Counselor Association, Pennsylvania Counselors Association and the American Counseling Association. She also provided consultation for the School of Education summer program Physical Activity Camp for Kids (PACK) and in the Bridges the Gap program as a preceptor. She  also established Fireside Therapy Services, LLC, for private practice interests in treating individuals, couples and families, group work, writing ,and Equine Assisted Therapy. Ann has a passion for cooking, empowerment of girls and women, the protection of animals, and social justice.

David Frazier, M.S., is the Social Services Liaison for Fox Chapel Area High School and O'Hara Elementary School. Working with the students and families of the Fox Chapel School District to help connect them with community resources, David focuses on resources that will benefit each individual. He engages with students one-on-one as well as conducting groups to address issues such as anger management, social skills, and conflict resolution. David monitors the treatment and recovery of students who have violated the D/A policy of Fox Chapel School District, assisting with compliance to the school district’s policy in relation to state guidelines. He is an integral part of the Student Support Team, monitoring mental health services and supporting students to achieve their academic goals. David has been a guest speaker on subjects ranging from mental health resources to suicide prevention and awareness.  David holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Lock Haven University and a master’s degree in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his position with the University of Pittsburgh MAPS program, David had a comprehensive career in the mental health field working with patients in both inpatient and out-patient settings, most recently in crisis intervention. Initially working in an in-patient setting and then an outpatient setting in rural Pennsylvania, David moved to Pittsburgh, which opened up a wealth of new experiences. While working in mental health crisis intervention David decided that he wanted to pursue a career helping at-risk youth. The MAPS program has given David a warm welcome, and fostered growth and change while allowing him to pursue his goals to help at-risk youth in the community. David enjoys spending time with his wife and son watching baseball, playing basketball, baking, and engaging in other outdoor activities.  

Dana Heisel, M.Ed, serves as a Behavioral Health Liaison for Chartiers Valley School District. Dana is an integral part of the SAP (Student Assistance Program) within each building K-12 in the district. She works to identify students' strengths and needs and helps to connect them to appropriate supports both in school and within the community. Dana also runs several student groups within the district focusing on social-emotional wellness and prevention needs. In addition to her work with students, Dana also provides support to staff and offers up-to-date information, trainings, and resources relevant to supporting the well-being of all students. Dana is excited to be a part of the University of Pittsburgh and the MAPS team. Prior to joining with Pitt, Dana had an extensive background in crisis work, mental health services and education.  After receiving her bachelor of science in Child and Family Studies from Ohio University, she returned to Pittsburgh and began a career in the mental health field. During this time, she worked with various populations throughout Allegheny County to provide mental health and eventually crisis services. She went onto receive her M.Ed in School Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which allowed her to follow her passion to work with students in need. In this capacity she served as a school social worker and later an outpatient school-based therapist to support, advocate for, and guide the most vulnerable students while helping them to break down barriers to learning and, in turn, increase their overall wellness and positive mental health. When she’s not working, Dana enjoys spending time with her two children, her husband, and dog.They enjoy spending time together outdoors, boating in the warm months, cheering on Pittsburgh sports team, cooking, and just relaxing with friends and family.

Cara Kelly, M.Ed,  is a Behavioral Health Liaison/Mental Health Professional.  She serves as a Student Assistance Liaison supporting school districts SAP (student assistance program) teams in Allegheny County.  The main focus of her current position is to screen students K-12 using the CANS (Children and adolescent needs and strengths) assessment tool to identify student’s strength’s and needs within the school environment and community.  Connecting individuals and families with resources and support is another aspect of her position. She runs several groups each year, including grief groups, social skill groups, and drug and alcohol educational groups. She is  heavily involved in helping school districts and the community by providing them prevention information, evidenced-based prevention programs, and trainings that have a positive impact on well-being and mental health. Cara has 19 years of experience in the mental health field working and supporting school districts and the community. She obtained a BA in English/Communications from Gannon University and a M.Ed. in school counseling from Slippery Rock University. Her passion is for helping others improve their well-being and mental health. She takes pride in advocating for students and families and doing whatever she can to help make a positive difference in someone else’s life. Cara is married and has three children. When not working, she is very busy watching her children’s sporting events, boating, volunteering, cooking, and making time for the occasional binge on Netflix!

“The greatest happiness in the world is in helping the people you don't know and seeing them happy.”
― Abhijit Naskar

Bevin Kovalik, MSW, LSW, is a Behavioral Health Liaison in multiple school districts in Allegheny County as part of the Student Assistance Program (K-12). Her current role in school settings is screening students to identify barriers to learning, identify indicators of anxiety/depression and other mental health issues, and to discuss the risks of drug/alcohol use. Bevin primarily uses the CANS screening assessment to identify a student’s strengths and needs within their family, school, and community. Bevin works with school staff and SAP team members to help provide students with social emotional support and interventions during the school day. As a SAP Liaison, she makes recommendations and helps students and their families connect with mental health resources and other community resources in Allegheny County. Bevin has a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in Interpersonal Practice with Children, Youth, & Families, and a BA degree from the University of Notre Dame. Bevin has 20 years of experience as a clinical school social worker and mental health professional working with children and families from the preschool to high school level in southwestern Alaska, Ohio, Michigan, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Bevin has been a part of the MAPS department at the University of Pittsburgh since September 2019. Outside of work, Bevin loves hiking, camping, baking and spending time with her family.

Julie Rapino, BA in psychology, serves as Prevention Specialist of MAPS and supports school districts Allegheny County. She has 20 years of broad experience in various disciplines, including extensive training in crisis, drug and alcohol counseling, and educational support. She has served in these capacities supporting all age groups from children and adults with special needs, children and adults in crisis, and seniors facing care questions and end-of-life decisions. Additionally, she has served in case management roles with adult offenders in the state penitentiary system and adolescents in the juvenile court system in Allegheny county.

Meghan May Roman, B.A., serves as the Social Service Liaison, SAP Liaison (Student Assistance Program), and Coordinator at Kerr Elementary in the Fox Chapel School District. As part of the student assistance team, Meghan concentrates on the "whole child" in terms of providing support and addressing challenges the student may be facing. She performs CANS (Child Adolescent Needs and Strengths) screenings in order to identify any barriers to learning or areas of need and helps to activate their strengths. Meghan works with families to help connect them with community resources as well as school staff in order to set up a support system during the child’s school day. Meghan conducts various small groups with students to address current trends such as social skills, healthy friendship/relationships, self-regulation, and relational aggression. Meghan is also part of the school crisis team in which she helps to intervene to deescalate a child and situation. Meghan received her Bachelor of Arts from Saint Vincent College and worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania after graduation for several years. In 2012, Meghan took the position as Education and Community Outreach Coordinator at MAPS. In 2017, she accepted her current role as Social Service Liaison. Outside of work, Meghan loves to spend time with her family and friends, especially watching her adorable nieces and nephew grow,and enjoys trying out new hobbies and talents. She has a passion for hot yoga and running. She participates in various races in order to raise money for different charities that are near and dear to her heart. She feels extremely grateful and blessed that her life’s work is to help and support students to realize their full potential, that their presence makes a positive impact in this world, and that her students can find hope in any situation.