Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation

The Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation has the charge to "advise and support the research function of the Association as it serves to develop and enhance knowledge generation and dissemination within ACA." 

Chairperson, Linda Erceg, PHN, will be working with Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Dr. Laurie Browne, Dr. Ann Gillard, Dr. Lance Ozier, and Dr. Karen Carlson to design studies, write scholarly articles, advise on grants, distribute results, and otherwise advance ACA's systematic program of research.

And now, we'd like you to meet your CARE members:

Dr. Deb Bialeschki
After twenty years as a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, lifelong camper Deb Bialeschki, Ph.D., is now on the ACA national staff as Director of Research. She has been an active member of ACA for over thirty years and served on the National Board of Directors, chaired the Standards Commission, and served in various research roles.

Laurie Browne, Ph.D.
Volunteer (through Spring 2016, first term)
Laurie is proud to wear many camp hats.  As a faculty member at California State University, Chico, Laurie studies how engaging staff in the program improvement process impacts camper outcomes and camp quality.  She is a past recipient of the Marge Scanlin Award for Student Research and facilitates sessions on outcomes assessment at the ACA National Conference each year.  Prior to moving into academia, Laurie directed the only ACA-Accredited day camp in Salt Lake City. This summer Laurie will don her "camp parent" hat for the first time as she sends her 9 year old son to resident camp for the first time.

Linda Ebner Erceg, RN, MS, PHN
Volunteer (through spring 2014, second term)
Linda first headed off to camp in 1969 and hasn’t stop since. She currently works as a year-round camp professional with two organizations; she’s the Associate Director of Health & Risk Management for Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, MN, and the Executive Director of the Association of Camp Nurses. Linda’s research interests include studying trends in camp injuries and illnesses, developing programs that address camp risk areas, and promoting camp as an environment that builds wellness resiliency in both campers and staff.


Dr. Ann Gillard
Volunteer (through spring 2014; first term)
Ann Gillard, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Youth Development at Springfield College in Massachusetts. Her teaching and research includes program evaluation, mindfulness in summer camp staff, youth with HIV/AIDS, gender issues, and social justice. Ann was a camp director for the Girl Scouts, and has worked and volunteered with youth programs for over 13 years.

Dr. Karen Carlson

Dr. Karen Carlson
Volunteer (through spring 2015, first term)

Karen Carlson, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist with a concentration in pediatric psychology and diagnostic assessment.  She served for 15 years as consulting psychologist to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford Connecticut.  Dr. Carlson co-edited a volume dedicated to summer camps of The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America in 2007 and also authored an article addressing mental health issues in Camp Magazine in 2008.  Dr. Carlson presents often on mental health issues in community settings and adventure based counseling with special populations. She is currently Assistant Director of Camp Good News in Forestdale Massachusetts, and is a lecturer at Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts.

Lance OzierDr. Lance Ozier
Volunteer (through spring 2016, second term)
For 15 summers, Lance Ozier, Ed.D., spent each summer at Morry's Camp in the Catskill Mountains of New York. During the year Lance is the Director of Literacy at the Institute for Student Achievement, which works with over 60 schools in various states around the country. Lance received his doctorate in English and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at The City College of New York.