Meet the Presenters
Elaine E. Liberato Jenkins, M.S., is a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. Elaine’s passion lies in advocacy for young children and their families – especially those with special needs. She has a special interest in coaching and development of early childhood educators and community leadership. Elaine is an active member of the early childhood community in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina. She serves on several community advocacy committees that promote the health of families and their children, influencing local agencies and preschool programs to support children’s social and emotional development, as well as increasing awareness of early childhood trauma experiences to create inclusive learning settings, equity, and diversity.
She also has consulted at the national level as a Federal Monitoring Reviewer for federally-funded preschool programs, served as a Professor at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte under the School of Education, is a Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) practitioner, and was a Disability Mental Health Consultant for a Head Start program for 7 years. In 2022 she joined the Board of Directors for Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. Elaine is originally from the Dominican Republic and was raised in New York City. While there, she planned, designed, and implemented an inclusion program for a local Early Head Start/Head Start program that served a total of 625 enrolled children and families. She has over 15 years of field experience working closely with diverse groups – of families, children, educators, administrators, and community agencies – to help them move toward whole-system change.
John Engel is the Associate Director for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. John oversees all aspects of TSI’s training and consultation services, including sales and delivery of the Whole-System Change Model. John supports departmental operations, including strategic planning, organizational development, staffing, and budgeting. Additionally, John has been an advocate for mindfulness in the workplace. He envisioned and implemented Monthly Risking Connection (RC) Mindfulness sessions for our RC community – a natural fit with our RC curriculum – as a method for both helping clients and supporting treaters’ self-care.
In his former roles as Executive Director of MERGE for Equality and author of the column The Fatherhood Journey for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, John worked to promote public and private conversations about fatherhood and gender equality.