Team Lead and Engaged Research Consultant
Kat Phelps, PhD, serves as the Team Lead and Engaged Research Consultant for WINRS. Kat’s background includes teaching university courses on developmental psychology and grant writing; collaborating with academic and community partners to create innovative art programs for youth in underserved neighborhoods; and working with nonprofit human service organizations to develop a regional information and volunteer center. Together with dynamic co-conspirators ages 8 to 85, she envisioned and implemented national projects on asset-based youth development and elder abuse prevention. She is passionate about community engagement and deeply values the role that WINRS plays in connecting researchers with the wisdom and expertise that exists outside of academic settings. “I love the opportunity to build relationships with people in our community, learn about groundbreaking research projects at UW-Madison and across the nation, and facilitate gatherings to allow the richness of community voices to transform the depth and responsiveness of research.”
Community Engagement Facilitator
Kim Neuschel, BS, RN, serves as the Community Engagement Facilitator for WINRS. Kim comes with a long history as a public health practitioner. She served as a local public health nurse for 17 years, working in various neighborhoods with residents, young and old, to identify, prioritize and organize around health issues. She brings a strong background in community organizing and building academic community partnerships. Kim has worked with community residents on issues related to food security, public transportation, community art, violence prevention, youth employment, and mental health. She finds her energy and passion in working at the intersections of health, equity, and community and for this reason is thrilled to be a part of the UW School of Nursing WINRS team. “I am so impressed with the scope and passion of the health science researchers I am meeting and believe strongly that if we can shrink the distance between research and community voice that we can see meaningful shifts towards a more just world.”
Mariana Garcia, PhD, PMP, serves as the Project Manager for WINRS. She helps to coordinate the activities and finances of WINRS’ projects, leads the team’s data management systems, and manages reporting to WINRS constituents. Mariana finds joy in spreadsheets and in creating processes that will help the team thrive. She strongly believes that scientific research is at its best when it actively engages and listens to the priorities of the community. She is committed to WINRS’ mission of bringing the wisdom of community and patient voice into health sciences research. Before joining the WINRS team, Mariana spent several years in academia and in scientific consulting, always focused on multidisciplinary collaborations. Outside of work, Mariana can be found spending time with her husband and two young daughters, cooking, baking, or reading fantasy novels.