Critical Thinking Programs for Teens Critical Thinking Programs for Teens




Patricia Gorman Barry, Ph.D., R.N.

Critical Thinking Programs for TeensDr. Barry founded BrainWise in 1994. The developer of the BrainWise Program, she is a former adolescent, school, and migrant health nurse. She also has taught college research courses and served as lead instructor for the pilot test of the BrainWise curriculum with inner-city students. Dr. Barry has more than 25 years of experience working with at-risk youth and has spearheaded more than 30 research studies on topics ranging from domestic violence to general consumer issues. Her extensive research has played an instrumental role in the development and testing of the BrainWise lesson plans and student workbooks. Since she first started the organization, more than 3000 individuals have been trained to teach, co-facilitate, or administer the program in schools, youth agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout North America and China.

Board Members

Tom Ballance

Tom has more than 40 years of sales, marketing, and general management experience spanning the information technology and telecommunications spectrum at such organizations as MCI, IBM, AccessData Corporation, and Vound, LLC. He has broad experience at both large corporations and early-stage startups in all aspects of sales and sales management, new product launches, sales channel development, organizational turnarounds. Tom�s technology disciplines include IT hardware and software, telecommunications, managed services, cellular MVNO, wireless ISP, digital forensics, and eDiscovery and compliance. Tom graduated from the University of Illinois majoring in physics and mathematics and is a U.S. Army veteran. Tom is a member of the Poudre Wilderness Volunteer organization associated with the U.S. Forestry Service. He first became involved with the BrainWise Program in 2001.

Donald C. Eberle, J.D.

A Telecommunications Attorney and former State Legislator, Eberle is active in the community, having served as Chair of the State Board of Equalization, Head of Colorado's Task Force on Homeless Youth, and as a member of the Colorado Council on the Arts. Eberle also served on the Civic Ventures Board of the Downtown Denver Partnership and is currently Vice Chair of the Denver County Cultural Committee. Mr. Eberle is a Founding Director of the BrainWise Program and has served on the Board since 1995.

Patricia Fiske

Patricia Fiske brings her experience as President and Chief Executive Officer of Worldwide Partners Inc., global network of entrepreneurial marketing communications firms, to the BrainWise board. She is a past President of Denver Mile High Rotary and her Rotary activities include serving as the past Assistant Governor of District 5450, the Coordinator of Zone 25 Literary Resource Group, the head of a GSE team to China, a Board member of Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), and the Chairman of Young RYLA. She was named District 5450�s Rotarian of the Year. She also organized and staffed a health fair in China. In her involvement with BrainWise she has worked as a course instructor with elementary school students, teen mothers, other at-risk teens, and low-income parents and has been a BrainWise mentor and supporter of numerous BrainWise projects. She has been a Board member since 2010.

Dan Himelspach

Dan is a co-founder and has been a principal of Dispute Management, Inc. since 1990. He received a J.D. from the University of Denver College Of Law in 1976. Dan has practiced law in Colorado since 1976 with an emphasis on litigation and business matters. He received training in negotiation, mediation and arbitration from Harvard Law School in 1990 and advanced negotiation training from Harvard Law School in 2004. Dan is on the arbitration panel and mediation panel of the National Association of Securities Dealers and has served on the mediation and arbitration panels of the AAA. He is past chair of the Colorado Bar Association ADR Committee and has served as the co-chair of the Denver Bar Association ADR Committee. He has also served on the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors. Dan has an undergraduate degree in chemistry. He served with the U.S. Army Special Forces and was an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers.

Doug Kinney

Doug is a Senior Enterprise Account Manager at Blackboard, which provides education, mobile, communication, and commerce software and related services to clients including education providers, corporations and government organizations. His area of focus is with Higher Education Institutions in the West and Mountain States region. Previously he was a Senior Account Executive for eCollege, where he was responsible for managing the educational partners for K12- including product development, marketing, sales, service and future development. He has more than 15 years of sales and sales management with companies such as Raindance Communications, OraLabs Inc. and his own international distribution company Bridgeway® International LLC. Mr. Kinney is also an advisor to and has been a volunteer for Junior Achievement, Big Brother, Whiz Kids, Denver Sports Commission and Mile High Ministries.

Rebecca Persing, D.N.P., M.S.N., R.N.

Rebecca Persing, former Supervisor at the Jefferson County Public Health Nursing and Human Services Collaboration, under the Jefferson County Department of Public Health and Environment, was looking for an evidence-based program nurses could use to help TANF and child welfare families make good health decisions, and found BrainWise addressed all her desired criteria. Public Health nurses are using the curriculum as the foundation for their family interventions, including home visits and community workshops. Persing was a Lecturer at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where she had received her MSN and DNP. She has served as the Clinical Educator, Women and Infant Services at Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and was a Nursing Project Manager for Denver Health. Persing is a Member of Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Sigma, the National Biological Honorary Society.

Patricia L. Peterson, B.S.N., J.D.

Patricia Peterson currently is the President and CEO of the Colorado Cancer Research Program in Denver and has over 20 years of experience as a nurse, attorney, and foundation executive with a strong background in foundation management and fundraising. Peterson formerly served as President and CEO of the Kempe Foundation for the Treatment and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in Denver, as Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children�s Health Foundation in Denver, and as President and CEO of the Memorial Health System Foundation in Colorado Springs. She received her nursing degree from Stanford University Medical Center in California, and her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in Maryland. She is a member of the Maryland, Delaware and Colorado Bar Associations, and has practiced law in all three states.

Matt Sena, M.S.

Matt Sena is a master BrainWise Instructor in Fairbanks, Alaska, using the program in his work with at-risk families and adolescents. Sena was the Fatherhood Program manager for Chugachmiut Inc. in Anchorage, Alaska and for the last several years he has trained and supported Alaska Native leaders in rural tribal villages in the use of the 10 Wise Ways. Sena is involved with the Fatherhood and Families coalition and is a doctoral candidate in clinical community psychology at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, where he is completing his thesis on the use of educational technology in the delivery of the BrainWise Program.



Advisory Board

Andy Austin, M.S.

A hydro-geologist and engineer who serves on the Cherry Creek School District’s Special Education Advisory Committee as a parent advisor.

Terrance Carroll, J.D.

An attornery and former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives.

Virginia Castro, MSW

Former Director of Social Workers, Denver Public Schools.

Ricardo Esparza, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Michelle J. Falivene

Former Senior Vice President, First American State Bank, having specialized in Commercial Business Development and Private Banking.

Barbara Maes, J.D.

Partner Maes & Maes, Board Member Mi Casa Resource Center

Bob McKenzie

Board Member of Crown Castle Communications and former President of OneComm Inc.

Irv Moskowitz

Director, University of Northern Colorado Center for Urban Education.

Steve Silvers

A principal in GBSM Inc. and active in several community organizations Including the American Red Cross, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Critical Thinking Programs for Teens


Critical Thinking Programs for Teens

Home | Research Team | BrainWise Order Center

web site code -