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Leadership Cohort

Prior to offering Endorsement to infant and early childhood development professionals statewide, SCIMHA was required to have a leadership cohort complete the Endorsement process. 

The Infant Mental Health Endorsement® leadership cohort completed its Endorsement in 2018, with the Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® following in 2019. The professionals that participated in these leadership cohorts became the first endorsed professionals in the state of South Carolina and received guided support from Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health throughout the entire process. 

SCIMHA is thankful for the time and effort our leadership cohort invested to build the foundation for Endorsement in South Carolina. 

Beth DeHart, MAIMH-E® Infant Family Associate

Director of Long Term Care, SC Thrive

Beth completed her Bachelors of Arts from Presbyterian College in 1992 with a degree in religion and a minor in psychology and her Master's of Arts from Columbia College in 200 with a degree in conflict resolution. Beth's entire professional career has been in the human services field, working primarily on issues related adolescent risk reduction, most recently through the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Beth is passionate about living her life to make the world a better place and as such, human service is one of her primary passions. Beth DeHart participated is SCIMHA's Infant Mental Health Endorsement® leadership cohort and was endorsed as an Infant Family Associate in March 2019. 

Sherrie Dueno, M.Ed., ECMH-E® Early Childhood Family Associate

Outreach Coordinator, ABC Quality Rating & Improvement System

Sherrie Dueno, M.Ed., joined the Division of Early Care and Education’s nationally recognized ABC Quality rating and improvement system. Her mission is to spread the awareness that quality early childhood experiences for children and families supports the child’s overall well-being and strengthens the family for future success and economic stability. 

As a South Carolina Certified Trainer and Technical Assistance Provider, she has conducted interactive and experimental presentations at local, state and national conferences including instructor for college level coursework.  Her expertise areas are core components of a high-quality early childhood education, creative strategies that supports child inquiry, early childhood business management, and social cultural context of child development.

Sherrie serves as a board member for the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children, South Carolina Infant Mental Health Association Outreach Committee Chair, Charter Member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; and membership in the National Black Child Development Institute and the University of South Carolina Alumni Association.

As a member of the SCIMHA leadership cohort, Sherrie’s passion is to increase the number of individuals in South Carolina participating in endorsement process to support young children’s mental health and wellness of caregivers.

Alesia Lowe-Jenkins, MA, IECMH-E® Infant Family Associate, Early Childhood Family Specialist

Director of Counseling Services, Spartanburg Methodist College

Alesia is the Director of Counseling Services at Spartanburg Methodist College where she provides therapy services to college students. Prior to this for five years she was Clinical Director at A Child’s Haven, a non-profit therapeutic child care facility that serving children and their families. She is the owner of Lowe Counseling and Supervision, LLC where she provides supervision for individuals seeking independent licensure. She has a BS in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from Lander University and a MA in Counseling from Webster University.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor with 19 years of mental health counseling experience working with adults, adolescents, young adults, juvenile offenders, children and families. She is a graduate of Leadership Greenville 43. Over a 10-year period Alesia served six years as a therapeutic foster parent and cared for eight foster children. Alesia participated in South Carolina’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement Leadership Cohorts. She became endorsed as an Infant Family Associate in March 2019 and an Early Childhood Family Specialist in January 2020.

Sara Beth Martin, BSN, MPH, IMH-E® Infant Family Associate

Manager, SC Operations, Nurse Family Partnership

Sara Beth Martin is the Manager, South Carolina Operations and has been with Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office since 2014. Sara Beth’s experience with Nurse-Family Partnership spans over ten years, including her early work as Nurse Home Visitor, State Nurse Consultant and Nurse Consultant. Her background in maternal child health, public health nursing, as well as in home visitation combined with her passion for serving moms and babies have guided her career path. She holds a BS in Nursing from Binghamton University and a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University. Sara Beth participated in South Carolina’s Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement Leadership Cohort, and was Endorsed® as an Infant Family Associate in March 2019.

Kerrie Murphy, Ph.D.ECMH-E® Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Charleston, SC

Kerrie Murphy, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. Murphy received her Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology from the University of South Carolina and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis) where she focused on trauma-informed care in youth as well as the assessment and treatment of young children with developmental disabilities. Dr. Murphy’s clinical work and research interests include young children with disruptive behavior problems.  She is a certified trainer and therapist in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment for young children with disruptive behavior problems. She is also a trainer in Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE), a  trauma-informed modification of specific PCIT skills for general usage by non-clinical adults who interact with children. She currently provides outpatient therapy, including PCIT, to children and families and supervises pre-doctoral interns in the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic at MUSC.

Jennifer Schildmeier, M.Ed., ECMH-E® Early Childhood Family Associate

Owner/Director, Foothills Early Learning Center, West Union, SC

Jennifer comes with twenty years of experiences working with children and families in various ways.  She began her career in early childhood education in 1998 and moved on to work in social services advocating for children in foster care in. From there, she jumped to teaching kindergarten just to come full circle back to early childhood education in 2017. Jennifer has had the privilege to serve children and family all over the country and even abroad. She is highly committed to serving and helping develop quality education for young children. She is a certified teacher in the State of South Carolina.   Jennifer earned a Master of Arts Degree in Education: Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University in 2016.  In 2017, she became the owner of a large childcare center in Upstate, SC that cares for children 6 weeks- 12 years of age. In January 2020, she earned Endorsement as an Early Childhood Family Associate through the South Carolina Association for Infant Mental Health

Kerrie Schnake, MA, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor (Policy)

Director SC Program for Infant/Toddler Care, MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness

Kerrie is the director of South Carolina’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network hosted at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness. She established the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care (SCPITC) in 2006 for the SC Department of Social Services. Prior to moving to South Carolina, Kerrie worked in California at WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care and as a Research Assistant at the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies. Kerrie serves on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Child Care Facilities, Citizens Review Committee, and SCale Down Child Care Committee. She also coordinates the state’s efforts to build infant-early childhood mental health workforce competencies. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Cal State, East Bay and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.

Rebecca “Becky” Sharp, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor (Policy)

Senior Program Manager, SC Department of Social Services


Becky has worked with children, adolescents and families for nearly 30 years in a variety of public and private agency settings in both South Carolina and her native home state of West Virginia.   Seventeen of those years have been spent within SCDSS, where she has served as Director for Intensive Foster Care and Clinical Services and Adoption Services Divisions; coordinated implementation of Trauma Informed systems of care and other statewide agency and inter-agency initiatives as called for in the 2015-1019 federal Child and Family Services state plan; revamped initial foster home licensing business processes; and most recently has shepherded the National Training Initiative 8 state pilot of web-based child welfare and adoption training through to successful adoption by the agency as a child welfare core competency. She has also worked in residential treatment, in private practice as an in-home therapist, and as an educator, trainer and consultant covering a variety of human service areas at local, state and national levels. Becky received dual Masters Degrees in Social Work and in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina, and is a Licensed Master level Social Worker in the state of South Carolina.   

Mary Ellen Warren, Ph.D., IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor (Research/Faculty)

Associate Professor, USC School of Medicine, Clinical Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science

Mary Ellen Warren, PhD, joined the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science in 2006 following a twelve-year appointment as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at USC Developmental Pediatric Clinic. Dr. Warren holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario as well as a Master of Arts and Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Warren is a licensed psychologist with special interests in infant and early childhood mental health. She is a ZERO TO THREE Leaders for the 21st Century fellow (2007-2009) with certification in two evidence-based parenting interventions: PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) and Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). As an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at USC-SOM, Dr. Warren provides direct treatment to young children that supports the primary care-giving relationship and their overall mental health. Research interests include parenting interventions, early childhood mental health, workforce development, and interdisciplinary training.

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1 Carriage Lane, Suite J
Charleston, SC 29407

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