Our Research Team


​​​​ Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., LIMHP, LPC, Director, Child and Family Translational Research Center

Patrick TylerPatrick Tyler, Ph.D., LIMHP, LPC is an independent licensed mental health practitioner and licensed professional counselor. Dr. Tyler earned his doctorate from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in education with an emphasis in emotional and behavioral disorders. He has over twenty years of experience working with youth and families in a variety of treatment settings. He has worked at Boys Town since 2001 as a clinical director and researcher in the residential and aftercare programs. His experience includes successful completion of two randomized controlled trials on an aftercare intervention called On the Way Home, which is on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse. He has also been involved in conducting fMRI research in the Center for Neurobehavioral Research since 2013 to understand brain function in youth with emotional and behavioral problems.

Beth Chmelka, Director of Data Support

Beth ChmelkaBeth is the Director of Data Support in the Child and Family Translational Research Center. The function of Clinical Data Support is to serve Boys Town by contributing to routine data collection and reporting activities. Beth holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her research experience includes measurement, survey development, database systems, program evaluation, and statistical analyses.

Chanelle Gordon, Research Scientist

Chanelle GordonChanelle Gordon is a Research Scientist for the Child and Family Translational Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California Berkeley and completed her post-doctoral training at SUNY Buffalo. Her research focuses on behavioral interventions targeting youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and their families, parent-training, and the transition to adulthood.

Dustin Hillman, M.S., Research Analyst

Dustin HillmanDustin graduated from Creighton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He proceeded to attain Master degrees from the University of Kansas and Purdue in Quantum Chemistry and Chemical Education respectively. Dustin co-created an outreach program for youth to better understand chemistry and break down preconceptions of chemistry while at KU. He proceeded to examine learning methods while creating and applying an original chemistry video game with college students at Purdue University. Dustin has received multiple teaching awards and actively researches means to improve learning methods with modern techniques and technology.

Jonathan Huefner, Ph.D., Research Scientist

Jonathan HuefnerJon has a Ph.D. in Organizational Social Psychology and more than 34 years of experience conducting research in a wide range of contexts. He has spent the last seventeen years conducting research at Boys Town. His current research has focused on negative peer contagion in residential care settings, residential care advocacy, psychotropic medication use with at-risk children, family involvement and youth outcomes, residential quality standards, and return on investment related to residential outcomes.

Ashlee Mitchell, B.S., Research Analyst

Ashlee MitchellAshlee graduated from the Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Communication Studies. During her three years on this campus she completed research with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, was inducted into Psi Chi and Lambda Pi Eta Honor societies, and graduated with Highest Honors.

Irina Patwardhan, Ph.D., Research Scientist

Irina PatwardhanIrina Patwardhan is a Research Scientist for the Child and Family Translational Research Center. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and previously held research positions at the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools, and the Early Development and Learning Research Lab at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Dr. Patwardhan has received multiple professional honors and awards, including a Fulbright research scholarship, Max Plank research scholarship, and a scholarship from the American Psychological Association, Division 15 (Educational Psychology).

Rob Oats, M.A., Senior Research Analyst

Rob OatsRob Oats is a Senior Research Analyst for the Child and Family Translational Research Center. Rob has a M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has experience with the application and evaluation of behavioral-based interventions in educational and clinical settings. Rob has been involved with projects evaluating Boys Town Well-Managed Schools, In-Home Family Services, and Common Sense Parenting®. He is the editor of the Translational Research Center Newsletter, Data News You Can Use, and the annual Translational Research Center Applied Research Bibliography.

Jay Ringle, M.A., Research Supervisor

Jay RingleJay Ringle is a Senior Research Analyst for the Child and Family Research Center. Jay has a M.A. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Jay has experience as a behavior interventionist in schools, research design, database development, and multivariate statistical analysis.

Jaime Stephenson, Research Analyst

Jaime StephensonJaime graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. While in her undergraduate program, she was a Regent’s Scholar, took part in the Honor’s Program, and graduated with High Distinctions and Honors.

Connie Spath, Administrative Assistant

Connie SpathConnie Spath is an Administrative Assistant for the Child and Family Translational Research Center. In addition to her administrative duties, Connie is responsible for coordinating the Child and Family Translational Research Center Speaker Series and the Scientific Advisory Panel. She also assists with the Applied Research Bibliography, promotional materials, grants, contracts, and other product dissemination efforts.