Dr. Paul Smokowski

Dr. Paul R. Smokowski is the Director of the Center and a professor at the University of Kansas’ School of Social Work. Dr. Smokowski has a strong interdisciplinary background in social welfare, child development, and public health. He has conducted youth violence prevention research for the past fourteen years with several million dollars’ worth of federal funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health. With prior experience serving as the Principal Investigator on large longitudinal studies examining youth violence risk and protective factors in minority youth and conducting randomized clinical trials of community-based prevention programs, Dr. Smokowski is in an excellent position to provide leadership for the Center.

Jim Barbee

Interim Executive Director

James M. Barbee, MPA is the Assistant Director of the Center who coordinates all activities within the NC-YVPC framework. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Robeson County Teen Court & Youth Services organization and if the Director of Implementation for Richmond County Teen Court model, Parenting Wisely model and is Co-Director of Implementation with the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. Jim comes to the Center with a wealth of experience and knowledge in working with at risk youth and the field of juvenile justice. Jim spent over 14 years with the NC Department of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.  As an Area Consultant for NCDJJDP, he created several initiatives including the North Central Alliance for Youth, Pal-to-Pal program, was instrumental in the development of Alamance County Youth Services, Warren County Youth Services and most recently Robeson County Teen Court & Youth Services. He was charged with chairing subcommittees that led to state policy and procedures and wrote minimum standards for teen court models across the state.  After attending the MPA program at UNC-Charlotte he graduated from the Non-Profit Management program at Duke University and the Thomas K. Hearn Center for Creative Leadership.  Jim was the first Executive Director of the Durham At Risk Youth Collaborative later known as Durham Achieving Results for Youth & Children (DARYC).  This initiative was funded by the NC Governor’s Crime Commission, AJ Fletcher Foundation, Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and many others. His leadership and innovation lead to the city’s first attempt at bringing local nonprofits together to work for the common goal of addressing the needs of disconnected youth in Durham.  Mr. Barbee will continue to serve in his current role for the duration of the project and will serve as the Interim Executive Director of the Robeson County Teen Court and Youth Services agency overseeing the transitioning of interventions, including personnel and operations, from NC-ACE to RCTCYS.

Dr. Martica Bacallao

Dr. Martica Bacallao is the Director of Program Implementation for the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative in Columbus County and is a Professor at the University of Kansas’ School of Social Work. Dr. Bacallao serves on the Leadership Team of the Center. Her expertise lies in Her expertise lies in mental health service delivery for minority families living in rural and urban areas. From past positions in schools, mental health agencies and coordinating prevention program implementation, Dr. Bacallao has a strong working knowledge of both clinical issues and research priorities for doing community-based participatory research. She has provided clinical supervision for clinicians implementing the Making Choices youth violence program in elementary schools. Dr. Bacallao designed the Entre Dos Mundos/Between Two Worlds (EDM) youth violence prevention program for immigrant families. During the CDC-funded EDM project, Dr. Bacallao helped to coordinate a randomized clinical trial to evaluate program effects. Dr. Bacallao will continue to serve as Director of Positive Action and Parenting Wisely for the remainder of Year 4 and will work closely with Dr. Smokowski on the final comprehensive evaluation of NC-ACE for Year 5.

Dr. Caroline Evans

Dr. Caroline Evans, MSW graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT before getting her Masters in Social Work from the Smith School for Social Work in Northampton, MA. Caroline has had clinical experience doing long term, outpatient therapy with Spanish speaking patients at Brookside Community Health Center in Jamaica Plain, MA as well as working with inpatient and outpatient Spanish speaking patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Caroline’s work with children and adolescents includes an internship at the Boston Juvenile Court Clinic interviewing juvenile delinquents and writing court ordered evaluations and working with children with Axis I diagnosis and an IQ below 75 at Devereux, located in Viera, FL. Her research interests include youth violence, juvenile delinquency, and bullying. Caroline is currently a second year doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and works as research assistant on the NC-ACE project. She specifically works on the Teen Court portion of the project and oversees the data collection, management, and analysis of the Teen Court data. Caroline works closely with Teen Court Coordinator Shaun Barefoot and also collaborates with NC-ACE Center Coordinator, Jim Barbee. Caroline spends time in Robeson County collecting Teen Court assessment packages and assisting on other portions of the NC-ACE project, such as collecting data in the schools. 

Meredith Bower

Special Projects Director

Meredith Bower, MSW serves as the Director of Implementation for the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative in Robeson County and continues her role as Special Projects Director for Robeson County Teen Court & Youth Services. Meredith has over 20 years of experience in both direct service and supervisory roles in program design, implementation and management of programs serving at risk youth and families. Through her work with Methodist Homes for Children and Cumberland County DSS, she brings valuable insight and experience to the team.

Alejandra Reyes

Alejandra Reyes, BA serves as the Teen Court Coordinator for Robeson County. Alejandra is a graduate from UNC-Pembroke. In 2013, Alejandra began her career with the Center as a student intern and was hired in 2014 as a part time Volunteer Services Coordinator and took over as the full time Teen Court Coordinator in July 2015 serving both Richmond and Robeson counties. In 2016, she returned to UNC Pembroke to attend the MSW program and is serving as the Robeson County Teen Court Coordinator.

Alexis Dawson

Administrative Assistant through our Volunteer Work Experience

Alexis Dawson, BA serves as our Program Assistant for both the Robeson and Richmond County Teen Court models. Alexis began her career with the Center in 2013 in the Experiential Learning Class through the Criminal Justice and Sociology Department at UNC Pembroke. After her junior year was completed Alexis serve as a Summer Work Placement Intern. In 2016 Alexis was hired as the new Volunteer Services Coordinator for the Robeson County Teen Court model. She is a founding member of the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, which was just recently established on UNCP’s campus in the spring of 2014 and holds a Vice President position on the Panhellenic Council.  After receiving her BA, she will apply to the Master of Social Work program at UNCP and pursue her licensure as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

April Cline

April Cline, MS, LCSW recently joined the Center serving as the part time Teen Court Coordinator in Richmond County. April comes to the Center with a wealth of experience in the mental health field serving various positions for the past 20 years.

Charlotte Boone

Charlotte Boone, MSW serves as the Field Coordinator for Robeson County’s Comprehensive School Safety Initiative funded by the National Institute of Justice. Charlotte has been with the Center since 2013, beginning as a MSW field placement student and serving as a program assistant to our teen court model.

Dr. Caroline Evans

Dr. Caroline Evans received her Ph.D. in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. Dr. Evans began working on the NC-YVPC project as a doctoral student in 2011 and continues to serve as a research associate on the project by helping manage data, run statistical analysis, write manuscripts, disseminate research findings at conferences, and help with project implementation. Dr. Evans’ research focuses on youth violence prevention, with a specific focus on bullying perpetration and victimization. Dr. Evans received her masters in clinical social work from the Smith School for Social Work in 2009. She has worked extensively with the Hispanic/Latino population as a hospital social worker at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and as social worker at a community mental health center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.