Meet the Team

Pathways to Resilience

Dr. Anne Stewart is a Professor in the Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology at James Madison University. She has worked to promote the resilience of children and families in projects throughout the world, including Sri Lanka and India following the massive tsunami. Dr. Stewart has designed and implemented grant-funded projects to address the psychosocial problems of landmines in Bosnia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Mozambique.  In the United States, she has served as a consultant and service provider after Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 attacks, the Virginia Tech University shootings, and other catastrophic events. Her scholarship interests include crisis and disaster preparedness, caregiver-child interactions, particularly in families dealing with relational disruptions due to violence, interprofessional practice and military families. Her books include “Becoming a Community Counselor” and “Thriving! A Manual for Students in the Helping Professions.”  She is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in play therapy, systems and family therapy and the application of attachment constructs to clinical work, supervision and consultation. She is the president of the Virginia Play Therapy Association and the recipient of the James Madison University “All Together One” Award, the international Association for Play Therapy Distinguished Service Award and the College of Integrated Science and Technology Award for Distinguished Service.


Photo courtesy of the Paul Jeffrey.

Dr. Lennis Echterling is Professor of Counseling Psychology at James Madison University. He has more than 30 years of experience in promoting resilience, particularly during crises and disasters. He has provided disaster intervention services across the country, including Mississippi and Texas after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Following the 9/11 attacks, he worked as a Red Cross volunteer with survivors at the Pentagon. More recently, he was a crisis counselor after the shootings at Virginia Tech University. Since 2003, Dr. Echterling and Dr. Anne Stewart have collaborated with students to provide play-based therapeutic services to the children of National Guard members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. They also helped implement grant-funded projects addressing psychosocial problems of landmines and unexploded ordnance in such countries as Cambodia, Jordan and Vietnam.  His books include “Crisis Intervention: Promoting Resilience and Resolution in Troubled Times” “Thriving! A Manual for Students in the Helping Professions,” “Beyond Brief Counseling,” and “Becoming a Community Counselor” Dr.Echterling has received the College Award for Distinguished Service, James Madison University’s Distinguished Faculty Award, Virginia Counselors Association’s Humanitarian and Caring Person Award,  Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and the national Counseling Vision and Innovation Award from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

Dr. Hasan Hamdan Graduated from Birzeit University in Palestine with Bsc. in mathematics in 1993. He came as an exchange graduate student to American University in 1994 and graduated with a master’s degree in mathematical statistics in 1996 and then with a Ph.D. in statistics in 2000 under the supervision of Dr. John Nolan. Right after graduation, Hasan joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at James Madison University. In 2003, Hasan became a national NExT Fellow, a national career preparation program for new faculty in the mathematical sciences. He served in the MAA, Mathematical Association of America, MD-DC-VA Section as an officer for the 2007/2008 academic year and became and ISI, International Statistical Institute, elected member in 2007 and the recipient of the 2010 JMU Emeriti Association Annual Award. Currently, he is an associate professor at the Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics at JMU and very involved in undergraduate teaching and research. His research interests are computing, mixture models and distribution theory. He was a team member of the "We Love Life" CISR Jordan team. Hasan is fluent in both Arabic and English. 

The impact of the program will be measured by program evaluations, needs assessments and follow-up surveys. Future P2R workshops will incorporate lessons learned and best practices revealed during this pilot effort.

Dr. Ken Rutherford has been a Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery/Mine Action Information Center at JMU since February 2010. He was a Professor of Public Affairs and an Associate Professor in Political Science at Missouri State University prior to joining the JMU faculty. He is co-founder of Survivor Corps, formerly the Landmine Survivors Network, and is a renowned leader in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition that spearheaded the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the global movement that led to the 2008 Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty. He has worked for the Peace Corps (Mauritania), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Senegal), International Rescue Committee (Kenya and Somalia) and as a Fulbright Professor (Jordan). He lost both legs to a landmine in Somalia, where he was conducting social and economic development work. Dr. Rutherford is the author of Humanitarianism Under Fire: The US and UN Intervention in Somalia (Kumarian Press), and co-editor of Reframing the Agenda: The Impact of NGO and Middle Power Cooperation in International Security Policy (Greenwood Press) and Landmines and Human Security: The International Movement to Ban Landmines (SUNY Press).  He has testified before Congress and published articles in numerous academic and policy journals. Dr. Rutherford holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Colorado (1985, 1992 respectively), and Ph.D. from Georgetown University (2000).

Nicole Neitzey is the Technical Editor for The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, and acts as Grants Officer. She has been working for the CISR since 2001. She graduated from James Madison University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Technical and Scientific Communication and an Online Publications Specialization. In her work at the CISR/MAIC, she has served as Project Manager for the Study on U.S-Origin Landmines, Consortium for Complex Operations Portal Review project, and State Department CD-ROM project, as well as assistance with the Big Bang Project, the Landmine Action Smartbook, and UNDP Senior Managers Courses.

Cameron Macauley has a teaching career spanning 25 years. After obtaining degrees in Anthropology and Psychology, he became a Physician Assistant in 1984. He worked in a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border then volunteered at a district hospital in Sumatra where he taught surgical techniques to the nursing staff. In 1988 he joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Guinea-Bissau, after which he went to Mozambique where he taught courses on trauma surgery for landmine injuries. He went on to train vaccinators in Angola, and from 1996 until 2001 he ran a malaria control program for the Yanomami Indians of northern Brazil. He received his MPH from Boston University in 2003, and then returned to Angola in 2004 to train Angolan health professionals on HIV/AIDS. In 2005 he revised the CDC’s Home Based Care Manual for Mozambique. He then became Health Education Specialist for Survivor Corps, teaching mental health courses in El Salvador, Bosnia, Jordan, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Vietnam. Since January 2008, he has developed educational materials on psychological trauma. He has participated in BUSPH’s Complex Humanitarian Emergencies course as an instructor since 2003 and has taught sessions on communicable diseases, disaster preparedness, landmines and natural disasters. He joined the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery in August 2010 to lead efforts in Peer Support.

Diar Kaussler joined the CISR staff in March 2010 as a research associate and assistant project manager. She has worked on the ERW/Mine Action Senior Managers’ Course held at JMU as well as on the CISR’s Mine Risk Education and victim assistance projects in Jordan and Lebanon. Prior to her work at CISR, Diar had worked for the local government in Scotland for three years as a Community Development Officer. In this role, she was in charge of assessing needs of minority groups and helping to empower respective communities and monitor government agencies regarding equal rights and service provision. She also served as the Black and Minority Ethnic liaison officer for the local domestic abuse forum. Diar holds a BA (Hons) in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Sussex, an M.Litt in Middle East Studies from the University of St Andrews and an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Glasgow. Honing her commitment to humanitarianism at a young age, Diar was Sweden’s first Youth Goodwill Ambassador to the UN.

Lina A. Khalifeh el Rawass recently joined the “Pathways to Resilience” team as the Project Coordinator. She has an educational background as Training & Kids’ Entertainment for early childhood Teaching, Physical Education and creative arts. She was a facilitator for the UNICEF Peace Education Program “After the Civil war rehabilitation” (July – Aug 1992/1993). In 1995 Lina joined the Lebanese Association for Rehabilitation & Development “Taahil” as the Administrative and Financial Officer and assisted in organizing, preparing and coordinating the activities of the semi-annually Handcrafts Exhibitions days (Mar & Sep 1996/1997) aiming to raise fund to support the charity organizations. Lina speaks French, English and Spanish.

Kamel GH K. Sa’adi, “We Love Life’s” Director, is the founder of the Jordanian NGO Life Line for Consultancy and Rehabilitation. Al-Sa’adi lost his left leg while on a trip in northern Jordan on 16 March 1979, when he was 14 years of age. Al-Sa’adi received an associate degree in prosthetics from Harmarville Rehabilitation Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1988 and is a graduate of the United Nations Development Programme’s Senior Managers’ Course managed by and delivered at James Madison University in 2006.