Our Trainers


christina barksy

Christina Barsky

Christina Barsky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy in the Alexander Blewett III School of Law where she teaches courses on applied research methods; evaluation; public budgeting; state, local, and tribal government; American government; and public policy. She continues to serve as an advisor for MPH capstone projects and has previously taught courses in the School of Public and Community Health Sciences. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Montana she spent more than a decade leading transformational change work as the Director of the Northern Plains Initiative, a regional social welfare and public policy collaborative, and as the Director of Montana operations for Strategies 360, a western-states public affairs consultancy. In 2015 she launched SkyBar Solutions, a firm specializing in policy, evaluation, and strategy projects, often with partners in the public service. She holds degrees from Skidmore College, the University of Montana, and Northern Arizona University.   


annie belcourt

Annie Belcourt

Dr. Belcourt (Otter Woman) is an American Indian Associate Professor in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montana’s Pharmacy Practice and School of Public and Community Health Sciences Departments (enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, Mandan, Hidatsa, Blackfeet, and Chippewa descent). She completed her clinical training and doctoral studies in clinical psychology with advanced postdoctoral science training completed at the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Belcourt has worked with American Indian and Alaska Native communities in community based participatory research for 18 years. She has worked clinically with a variety of diverse populations diverse populations, including combat veterans, Native Americans, and low-income populations specializing in posttraumatic stress reactions and multiple psychiatric conditions. However, primarily she has worked as an indigenous researcher examining domains of mental, physical, environmental, and public health for indigenous populations.


adam brewer

Adam Brewer

Professor Brewer is an assistant professor for the University of Montana’s Department of Public Administration and Policy. He teaches courses in Ethics, Human Resource Management, Performance Measurement, Policy Analysis, Legislation and in the program’s nonprofit minor. In his ethics course, he utilizes a praxis model of teaching in helping students learn to effectively apply theory to practice by exploring the implications of ethical decision making with the case study approach. His research interests are centered on issues in public human resource management including the role of free speech and social media in the public workplace and the role that ethics codes play in public organizations. He has published various articles on these topics among others in top-public administration journals. He also presents and provides trainings on issues of ethics and public policy at various conferences in Montana and around the U.S.


xanna burg

Xanna Burg

Xanna Burg is the KIDS COUNT Coordinator for Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota where she tracks data on children’s well-being. Xanna has previous experience leading community research projects and as an Epidemiologist for the Colorado WIC program. Xanna has a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.



Jim Caringi

James (Jim) Caringi is a Professor and Chair at the School of Social Work, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences. Jim received his B.A. from The State University of New York at Albany. He earned his M.S.W. from Boston University and his Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the State University of New York at Albany. His interests are in the areas of the primary and secondary traumatic stress (STS), child welfare, work with groups and teams, as well action research, particularly with indigenous populations as partners.


hillary hanson

Hillary Hanson

Hillary Hanson is the Health Officer at the nationally accredited Flathead City-County Health Department located in Kalispell, MT.  Ms. Hanson received her M.S. in applied statistics from the Purdue University and an M.P.H. in public health leadership from the University of North Carolina. Ms. Hanson is a graduate of the National Association for County City Health Officials (NACCHO) Survive and Thrive leadership development program and currently co-chairs the NACCHO Health Transformation Committee.  She is currently the Chair of the Association of Montana Public Health Officials, on the Montana Board of Environmental Review and, serves as a site visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board. 


cindy leary

Cindy Leary

Cindy is a statistician in the School of Public & Community Health Sciences at The University of Montana. She brings a passion for statistical literacy & education, strong experience in public health research, and over ten years of teaching statistics at UM.


trisha miller

Trisha Miller

Dr. Trisha Miller is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Montana in the School of Community and Public Health. Professor Miller teaches online classes covering a variety of Public Health topics such as Research Methods, Evaluation, Public Management, Budgeting, and Ethics. Professor Miller teaches research methods and policy courses to undergraduates at California State University, Fullerton. Professor Miller resides in California.


kimber mckay

Kimber McKay

Kimber brings expertise in health program planning and implementation as well as extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation and twenty years of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels in medical anthropology, global health and public health.


cora neumann

Cora Neumann

Cora Neumann, MPH, PhD, is a public health leader and public lands expert with two decades of experience improving access to health care, expanding economic opportunity, and protecting access to public lands. In 2009, Cora launched the Global First Ladies Alliance in partnership with the offices of First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, over time working with more than 40 first ladies around the world to help bring critical healthcare and social services to their populations. During the Ebola outbreak of 2014, Cora helped First Ladies in Western Africa coordinate local, national and international aid responses. She is applying these lessons to the current COVID outbreak in the U.S., and is collaborating with a team of national experts to support Montana with strategic guidance and support on medical capacity, surveillance architecture, logistics and protecting vulnerable populations.



robin nielson-cerquone

Robin Nielson-Cerquone

Robin Nielson-Cerquone worked for 8 years as the Accreditation Coordinator for the Missoula City-County Health Department before coming to the Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development, where she works on policy and grants. Previous work includes leading cross-sector collaborations to work on community issues, writing many different kinds of reports, developing content for medical websites, and working on grants.


ryan tolleson knee

Ryan Tolleson Knee

Ryan Tolleson Knee is the Executive Director of the Center for Children, Families & Workforce Development and a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Montana. Dr. Tolleson Knee has taught organizational leadership and grant-writing courses for 20 years and has received an estimated $30 million in grant funding to improve resources and services to underserved children, families, and communities across Montana. Examples of these statewide programs include developing brain injury prevention programs, establishing Montana’s university-based AmeriCorps programs, developing child abuse prevention training programs, and overseeing the development of a research and data system to guide prevention programming. He is a fourth generation Montanan and passionate about serving the people of Montana.


ethan walker

Ethan Walker

Ethan Walker is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Montana studying the health effects of air pollution. He received a PhD in Environmental Health with a specialization in Epidemiology from Colorado State University in 2019. His doctoral research focused on the health effects of biomass cookstoves used in lower- and middle-income countries. Previously, Ethan graduated from the University of Kansas School of Nursing (BSN, 2010) and worked as a Registered Nurse before attending the Colorado School of Public Health (MPH, 2017).


heidi wilson

Heidi Wilson

Heidi Wilson specializes in training, facilitation, strategic planning and inter-agency collaboration across several disciplines. She has over ten years of experience in public and environmental health, three years in community-oriented policing, and five in international development. Her resume includes working in the public, private and non-profit sectors at the local, national and international level including the UN. Heidi has collaborated in the writing of two guides for inter-agency collaboration related to hazardous waste sites, a guide for inter-disciplinary collaboration among police, public health and behavioral health practitioners in addressing Meth in tribal communities. Heidi conducted over 30 trainings reaching over 1,500 public health practitioners and community partners in 20 states and forty Tribal nations related to the community health improvement planning process, MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships).