Experts and Fellows

 The Montana Institute boasts a deep bench of psychologists, survey experts, statisticians, and Positive Community Norms practitioners who help us develop programs and deliver trainings. We are honored to have them join us in our work. 




Dr. Jason Kilmer is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, and serves as an investigator on several studies evaluating prevention and intervention efforts for alcohol and other drug use by college students. He is the Assistant Director of Health and Wellness for Alcohol and Other Drug Education in the Division of Student Life, working with different areas across campus (including health, counseling, Greek life, residence life, and athletics) to increase student access to evidence-based approaches.

Dr. Kilmer also serves as the chairperson of Washington's College Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention. He was project faculty for both Dartmouth’s National College Health Improvement Program (NCHIP) and NYU’s National College Depression Partnership (NCDP), and was the 2014 recipient of the National Prevention Network’s Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions to the field of prevention.

Dr. Kilmer received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington in 1997.




Dr. Darren Lubbers has 20 years of experience in the field of Community Mental Health (CMH) and substance use prevention. He has extensive experience working on large scale Managed Care Organization (MCO) needs and gaps analysis projects specializing in assessment, utilization management, outcomes, and co-occurring substance use and mental health systems change. He also works on a multitude of Federal Drug Free Community (DFC) substance use prevention projects.

He has trained several CMH systems on SAMHSA Evidence Based Practices, and is currently lending his expertise on survey design, methodology, and data analysis to The Montana Institute on several Positive Community Norms projects, including a statewide project on underage drinking in Minnesota, a PCN messaging campaign at Arizona Dine College, and national surveys on child abuse and maltreatment prevention for Prevent Child Abuse America. 

Dr. Lubbers is an adjunct professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and teaches graduate and undergraduate psychology courses. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, and his Masters and Ph.D. at Wayne State University.


Sara Thompson

PCN Communications EXPERT

Sara Thompson is a marketing consultant who has worked with large and small companies, non-profit organizations, cooperatives, festivals, and community events.

She was first introduced to the Science of the Positive and Positive Community Norms ten years ago; these new approaches challenged her perceptions, reignited her passion for prevention, and renewed her energy for her work. She began working with coalitions in her home state of Minnesota that were tackling the tough task of preventing underage drinking and other drug use, and has since been privileged to work alongside some of the most experienced prevention specialists in the country.

Through The Montana Institute, she offers consultation and technical support to communities who are applying the Science of the Positive process and Positive Community Norms approach to prevention. 


Heather Schjenken

postive community norms guide

Heather Schjenken has been serving the youth of her community for 20 years as a teacher, coach, and ministry leader.  As the prevention coordinator in Deer River, Minnesota, she helped usher in a remarkable community transformation.

Using Positive Community Norms, Deer River measured a 50% reduction in rates of underage drinking in just five years. As a PCN guide for The Montana Institute, Ms. Schjenken now coaches other leaders on how to apply the framework with rigor and fidelity.

Her passion is to help foster healthy communities so all young people have the opportunity to thrive.


Barbara Burbridge


Barbara J. Burbridge has been engaged in the field of survey research field for thirty years.

Her areas of expertise include project and budget management, field coordination, logistics, and the development of questionnaires, screening instruments, and training materials. She has managed thousands of projects during her career -- including research for political candidates, trade associations, corporations and non-profit organizations – and brings he knowledge of implementation, sample design, quantitative data collection, recruitment techniques, logistics and problem solving to every single one.

She has worked with The Montana Institute on everything from paper surveys of single schools to nationwide telephone polls.