Our dedicated team has a wide range of experience working with schools, families, communities, children, and adolescents.
Get to know the people who make MAPS a success!
Dana Heisel, M.Ed, is the Program Manager of Maximizing All Potentials. She has been with the MAPS program since 2018 and is excited about the growth of the program and ongoing potential for new opportunities to reach and impact not only youth but communities as a whole. Dana is responsible for oversight of the staff, alcohol and other drug programming and mental health intervention services in participating schools and communities. After having completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University, Dana began her career in the mental health field. Always having a passion for education and wanting to work with a younger population, Dana pursued her Masters of School Counseling through Indiana University of Pennsylvania. This allowed her to combine her work in the mental health and education field, which she has done for nearly 20 years now. She has an extensive background in providing direct services to students, staff, and families in diverse K-12 settings, along with community crisis and prevention work. Dana is passionate about prevention and helping schools and community entities to be proactive in promoting the health, safety, and overall wellness of those they serve. She enjoys teaching, training, and empowering her team to take control of their mental health and wellness and know how to best support themselves and others. When she is not working, Dana enjoys spending time with her two awesome children, her wonderful husband, and energetic lab. They enjoy spending time together outdoors, boating in the summers, cheering on our favorite sports teams, cooking, traveling, and just relaxing.
Lori Altrudo, MSCP, LPC, is a Behavioral Health Liaison at the University of Pittsburgh MAPS program. She has worked at MAPS since 2015. She has over 20+ years in the mental health and education field. She works in a local school district, helping elementary 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 needed. In addition, she provides support to students, families, and school staff to help their students become successful at school. Lori provides classrooms with social-emotional learning lessons and has groups about friendship, communication, feelings, and anger, along with other social-emotional groups. Lori is also working with ESL students to help them be comfortable expressing their feelings. 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 worked in the behavioral health field. She 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 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 11, 9, and 9). She is proud to have boy/girl twins. She loves spending time with her kiddos and watching them play soccer, basketball, lacrosse, swim, sing, and dance. Her family enjoys bike rides, sports, nature, and hiking. Her kids also love to experiment, explore, and create new things.
Georgette Ayres, MA, is a Behavioral Health Liaison at the University of Pittsburgh MAPS program. She has over 25 years of experience providing community, school, and home-based services. She worked as a domestic violence shelter volunteer and paraprofessional counselor in college while working toward her undergraduate degree in criminology and psychology. Following graduation, she served as a child welfare case worker before moving on to supervise teen independent living and foster care programs. Wanting to do more to address the needs of youth and families, she returned to school and completed her graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling. Since that time, she has worked closely with programs and initiatives that support individuals and families with diverse backgrounds and needs. This includes serving as a community-based mental health therapist, RTF therapist, mental health consultant, school site coordinator, and student assistance program liaison. Georgette has provided services in schools in Allegheny and Westmoreland County for the past 10 years to connect students and families with services that target barriers to achievement. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, volunteering, and trying to teach her new 10-year-old dog how to be a dog.
Celina Cantini, M.S., is a Prevention Specialist who joined the MAPS team in 2023. Celina graduated from Ringgold High School where she was a 4-year letterman and two-year captain on the varsity softball team. She went on to play collegiate softball and study Athletic Training at Marietta College in Ohio. There she was a pitcher, first baseman, and designated hitter for the Pioneers for two years. After suffering an injury, she transferred to the University of Pittsburgh Main Campus to pursue her degree in Exercise Science. Pitt gave Celina endless opportunities in the Exercise Science field, her favorite being her clinical internship experience she completed her senior year with UPMC Sports Medicine at the Art Rooney Sports Complex, also known as the Steelers Facility. After graduating, she began working for a company out of Pittsburgh called JumpBunch. There she was a Fitness Coach where she taught kids from JumpBunch, a program that offered fitness and sports for ages 18 months through 12 years old. There were over 70 different sports and fitness activities she taught to different children in schools, childcare facilities, and local community centers. While working, Celina began earning her Master’s Degree at California University of Pennsylvania. At Cal U, she was in the Graduate School of Research Studies in the Exercise Science and Health Promotion Program. Celina specifically decided to study the sports psychology concentration. Over the last year and a half, Celina has gained valuable experience and grown a passion for working with students in schools while she served as a Behavioral Health School Educator. As a BHSE, she worked with K-12 grade students at different schools in Allegheny County teaching them about evidenced based coping skills, mindfulness, how to handle emotions and more. Celina helped to create the curriculum and other various activities that were utilized with students across the county. Celina is very excited to be a part of the MAPS team at the University of Pittsburgh. Her goals to provide prevention services to students and community members include adding new and exciting programming and being able to partner her passion for sports with drug and alcohol prevention and mental health wellness and awareness.
Sami Conley, M.S.Ed., serves as a Social Services Liaison at Kerr Elementary in a local school district. She works closely with the School Counselor, Principal, and Behavioral Specialist to provide proactive interventions to at-risk students. She is able to meet individually with students, run small groups on various topics, such as friendship and emotional regulation, and provide behavioral health screenings to identify barriers to learning. After determining a student’s needs, Sami helps connect families to various services and resources within the community. She is a member of the Problem Solving Team, Student Assistance Program (SAP), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Team, and the Diversity and Equity Team. Sami just began her journey with MAPS in November 2023, but has been working with children in the education field since 2016. She previously held a position as a School Counselor. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, an Addictions Specialist Certificate, and a Master’s in School Counseling from Saint Vincent College. When she is not working, Sami enjoys spending time with her husband and cat, building Legos, and watching movies!
David Frazier, M.S., is the Social Services Liaison for a local high school and elementary school. Working with the students and families within his 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 district drug and alcohol policy in 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.
Vincent Holden, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, is a Prevention Specialist with the University of Pittsburgh within the MAPS Program. He works with several districts spanning across Allegheny County, providing classroom lessons, small group sessions, school-wide presentations, mental health awareness, and crisis management. Vincent graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, and immediately began as a social worker in acute care facilities, including UPMC’s Behavioral Health Hospital in Oakland. He also worked as a Social Worker to teenagers and adults receiving treatment for depression and bipolar disorder, and also as a Prevention Specialist with the Student Assistance Program in local charter schools. In his spare time, Vincent likes to participate in theater and digest a good movie with friends. In all his time working with Youth and Adolescents, Vincent has learned a valuable, life-long lesson: “That an ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of Cure.”
Cara Kelly, M.Ed, Social Services Liaison, enters her 6th year working with the University of Pittsburgh School of Education MAPS program. The focus of my current position is to collaborate with administrators, school counselors, teachers and staff to provide drug and alcohol prevention, facilitate social and emotional groups, provide wellness activities, support students 1:1 or who are in crisis or experiencing a traumatic event. I am also heavily involved in helping school districts and the community by providing prevention information, evidenced-based prevention programs, and training that have a positive impact on well-being and mental health. I also enjoy teaching a Sports and Drugs class at Pitt. I have 20+ years of experience in the mental health field working and supporting school districts and the community. I have a BA in English/Communications from Gannon University and a M.Ed. in school counseling from Slippery Rock University. I am also a certified Life Coach. My passion is helping others improve their well-being and mental health. I take pride in advocating for students and families and doing whatever I can to help make a positive impact in someone else’s life. I was a college athlete playing women’s basketball at the Division II level and still try to be as active as I can, or that my body will let me! I am married and have three children. When not working, I am busy attending my children’s sporting events, Pitt football games, boating, volunteering, cooking, and working on my side business Wieners on the Water. Yes, I sell hot dogs on a pontoon boat!
Bevin Kovalik, MSW, LSW, is a Social Service Liaison providing MAPS support in a local school district. She works very closely with the school counselors, principals, teachers and staff in order to build rapport with students and provide them with various layers of social emotional support and interventions throughout the school day. Her goal is to promote student success by helping students identify strengths and risk factors so they can develop strategies to maximize their school experience. Bevin often meets weekly with students individually and for small group support to teach skills related to emotion management, positive coping methods, self-care, healthy relationships, self-esteem and confidence, and problem solving skills. In the school setting, Bevin is also able to provide crisis screenings, suicide prevention, education about mental health awareness, and education about the risks of drug and alcohol use. She also helps families connect with mental health referrals and other community resources in Allegheny County. Bevin provides an opportunity for consultation with staff and families from the social service perspective at the middle school level (grades 6-8) and elementary school level (grades K-5). At the middle school, Bevin is also very proud to head up and facilitate the Leadership Program. Leadership empowers middle school youth to be leaders, problem solvers, compassionate human beings, entrepreneurs and impactful members of their communities. 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, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Bevin has been a part of the MAPS department at the University of Pittsburgh since September 2019. Outside of work, Bevin loves paddleboarding, hiking, camping, reading, and spending time with her family.