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Selected Staff Biographies


Daniel Eckstein's pictureDaniel Eckstein is NOVA's Vice President for Health Communications. Dan applies his health science and communications background to managing and performing the health communications needs of NOVA's clients, guiding them in all aspects of health communications, including creating content, promoting materials, evaluating materials and programs, and establishing effective processes.

Dan has been with NOVA since its founding 15 years ago. In that time, he has been providing support to various institutes of the NIH, most notably as Project Manager and Principal Investigator for several large multitask, multiyear contracts with the National Cancer Institute. These projects require managing and coordinating the skills and talents of a diverse group of individuals including Ph.D.-level science writers, health educators, web designers, computer programmers, conference managers, graphic artists, consultants, subcontractors, and vendors. Dan is currently managing a highly skilled team of health educators, computer programmers, data managers, web designers, and graphic artists in providing assistance to the Patient Education Branch and the Office of Education and Special Initiatives of the National Cancer Institute. In addition, Dan has received funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to create a CD-ROM based on a handbook he co-wrote titled, Prevention Activities Handbook: A Practitioner's Guide to Selecting and Implementing Interactive Drug Prevention Activities for Children and Adolescents. When completed, the CD-ROM will offer drug abuse prevention practitioners a tool that will aid them in creating drug use prevention curricula that are customized to their target populations.

Dan has a B.S. in Journalism with a minor in Zoology from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in Public Communication from The American University.

When not working, Dan finds enjoyment in the company of his wife and two sons. In his "spare" time he likes to golf, play softball, and play basketball.

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Frederick Snyder's picture Frederick Snyder is Vice President for Clinical Research Services. For the past 10 years, he has been Project Director of an intramural research support contract providing recruiting, evaluation, enrollment, and retention of research participants for therapeutic and nontherapeutic drug abuse research protocols being conducted by the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). He previously worked as a research psychologist for DIR on studies of acute effects of drugs and drug withdrawal on cognition, particularly memory; and provided statistical analysis and statistical programming expertise for analysis of data from a multicenter study of risk factors associated with HIV infection in injection drug users. His expertise as a statistical analyst and SAS programmer has been used to full advantage at NOVA Research Company, encompassing such efforts as data coordination and analysis for NIDA's National AIDS Demonstration Research (NADR) Project.

Fred has been a frequent presenter at scientific conferences—both nationally and internationally—including several international conferences on AIDS, and he has authored and co-authored numerous publications on substance use and substance addiction.

Fred earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland and his Masters in Psychology from the University of Dayton. He is also A.B.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Psychometrics from Cornell University.

Fred devotes his non-professional life to his wife, two children, and the game of golf.

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Carolyn Morton's picture Carolyn L. Morton is NOVA's Vice President, Human Resources. She is responsible for providing administrative and technical support to headquarters staff, and serving as liaison between headquarters and off-site projects and satellite offices.

Carolyn also has responsibility for the placement and supervision of NOVA staff working at Government facilities. As Project Monitor for the Division of Intramural Research project, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Carolyn attends monthly and quarterly meetings to review work activities and technical or personnel issues. She is also responsible for tracking upcoming work, resource requirements, and contract developments. As Diversity Manager, she oversees company activities relating to EEO and cultural diversity, including evaluating NOVA's policies and procedures, implementing trainings, and coordinating recruiting and selection procedures. Carolyn is also responsible for the administration of personnel and benefit-related actions, including the administration of insurance plans, COBRA, performance evaluations, tuition reimbursement, orientation and training, and development and implementation of employee morale functions.

Carolyn has earned two Bachelor's degrees from the University of Maryland--one a B.S. in Business Administration/Personnel Administration, the other a B.A. in Psychology. She is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources. When Carolyn is not attending to the morale of the staff, she attends to her own by participating in community service projects and volunteering for her daughter's Girl Scout troop.

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Michelle Murray's picture Michelle Murray is NOVA's Conference Director. Michelle oversees all aspects of meeting planning and management for NOVA’s clients, utilizing excellent organizational, client relations, multitasking, and oral and written communication skills. Her expertise and experience include budget development and management; site research and selection; contract negotiation; coordination of travel and hotel arrangements; audiovisual support; coordination of caterers and vendors; development of meeting materials; and development of summary minutes and reports. Michelle has supported large and small conferences for clients ranging from the National Cancer Institute (meetings of the National Cancer Advisory Board, President’s Cancer Panel, and Board of Scientific Advisors) to the General Services Administration (a FedFleet conference attended by more than 1,200 U.S. government Fleet Managers).

Michelle earned a B.S. in English and Mass Communications at Towson University and is completing Meeting Planning certification.

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Ed Rorie's picture Edward Rorie is Director, Publications Services Support Team. Over his 15-year tenure at NOVA, Ed has played multiple roles on numerous projects in support of Federal agencies. His proficiency encompasses writing, editing, desktop publishing, graphic design, proofreading, and quality control. His projects have ranged from writing press statements for the President's Cancer Panel to designing annual reports for NCI's Division of Extramural Activities. Ed directs a talented team of graphic artists and designers in producing presentations, newsletters, questionnaires, reports, manuals, peer-reviewed publications, conference theme materials, advertisements, press releases, and electronic documents. From 1999 to 2001, he was Director of the Job Corps Career Development Resource Center, a Web site project providing information to staff at more than 120 Job Corps centers nationwide. Ed is NOVA's primary resource for information retrieval and research documentation, and he supports NOVA staff in the development of FileMaker Pro databases for a variety of purposes and projects.

Ed has two degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Library Science—and he always picks UNC to win in the NCAA basketball pool. When not sitting in front of his Mac, he is traveling with his wife Lois; listening to the Beatles, Lester Young, and Gram Parsons; or reading Raymond Chandler, Paul Theroux, and Paul Fussell.

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Susan Scheck has many years experience developing software tools in C and C++. Previously, at NOVA, she developed a Windows-based multi-media software package for qualitative analysis called AFTER™. Currently, she is the lead programmer for the Questionnaire Development System™, extending its existing functionality to run on Pocket PC devices.

Prior to joining NOVA, Ms. Scheck worked on several different software projects for the MS-DOS and UNIX operating systems, including a database management system, data communications software, and a text-retrieval search engine. Ms. Scheck has a B.S degree in Biology from Binghamton University and an M.S. degree in Library Science from Columbia University.

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Carmita Signes has more than 10 years of experience in data management and database development at NOVA. During this time, she has developed many specialized database applications, including systems developed for NCI, CDC, and the General Services Administration's Federal Fleet Manager Conferences. For GSA, Ms. Signes was responsible for the development and maintenance of conference databases that tracked more than 1,000 registrations and financial transactions associated with them, as well as vendors for the exhibitions area and all speakers and speaking assignments. She has also developed several client tracking systems used in longitudinal studies following research clients in HIV treatment, patients in STD clinics, and not-in-treatment research participants. For OESI, she updates and maintains the OESI Tracking System, which she designed in collaboration with OESI staff. This system is used to track publication, review, Web, and distribution status of all OESI publications. She is also designing a database to manage partnerships, reviews, and promotion. For the past year, Ms. Signes has maintained the membership database for the NCI's Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN). She also provides analytical and reporting support, including reviewing, analyzing and preparing draft reports for several surveys conducted by CPEN subcommittees. She has experience in instrument design, piloting, setup of data collection applications, data coding and entry, data analysis, and reporting. Ms. Signes also has extensive experience in developing and maintaining administrative and managerial databases.

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John Paul Young's picture John Paul Young wears several hats at NOVA, among them Webmaster, Multimedia Developer, V.P. of Arts and Technology/CTO, and on bad hair days, one of his collection of cycling caps. When he's not aiming for panache, he's striving to apply technology towards maximizing productivity and minimizing frustration with the perennially-ill-tempered machines we all know and love. On a day-to-day-basis, John bounces between roles as network engineer, telecommunications coordinator, hardware/software troubleshooter, and overall systems administrator and strategist. Despite (or perhaps because of) his youth, he has over 15 years of experience providing microcomputer support, resulting in an intimate familiarity with an extensive range of applications, operating systems, and hardware—virtually all things Mac or PC, a growing familiarity with the Unix family, and an intuitive grasp of the transforming effects of the Internet.

A few years ago, John became reacquainted with his artistic muse by earning a Multimedia Producer Certificate from The George Washington University Center for Career Education, including courses on Digital Video and Sound, Macromedia Director, and Web Publishing. Inspired by this training, he began and recently completed a Masters Degree in Computer Music Research at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. The projects he developed during his graduate studies have complemented much of the work he does at NOVA, exploring the cutting edge of integrating computers and networks to deliver compelling experiences to all participants. This builds on his undergraduate years at the University of California, Berkeley, where he acquired a rich multidisciplinary background in bioengineering, photography, and computer science, finally graduating with a degree in music. He continues to hold out hope that one day he can integrate all of his interests and find a way to get paid while doing so.

When he's not staying up all night resuscitating a crashed computer or composing film scores for NASA, you can find John hiking, biking, blading, kayaking, snowboarding, scuba-diving, driving cross-country with the top down, or otherwise exploring and reveling in this glorious planet we know as home.


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