Our Leadership

The Joining Forces–UB team is made up of dynamic faculty, staff, and students who are committed to excellence in veteran and military family care.

Portrait of Lisa Butler .

Lisa Butler, PhD

Joining Forces–UB Co-Director; Instructor, Introduction to Issues in VMF Care and the VMF IPE Seminar; Associate Professor, School of Social Work

“Developing a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of both military culture and individual experience — what veterans have faced, their reactions and responses, and the challenges that they and their families may have in reintegration — is part of being trauma-informed when it comes to serving this population."

Veteran-related research interests: Identifying the care needs of veterans and their families; anticipatory trauma symptoms in military family members; teaching students about working with veterans and military families.

Picture of Bonnie Vest.

Bonnie Vest, PhD

Joining Forces–UB Co-Director; Research Assistant Professor, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo

Bonnie Vest is a medical anthropologist specializing in qualitative methods and program evaluation. 

“My research focuses on the many complex and intersecting factors that impact the well-being of military service members, veterans, and their families.  Only through understanding, and then addressing these factors through research and education, can we help make a difference in individuals’ lives.”

Veteran-related research interests: Post-deployment transitions and reintegration, the role of civilian primary care in caring for military populations, healthcare utilization and help-seeking, mental health, substance use, military identity

Steering Committee Members

Picture of David Gerber.

David Gerber, PhD

University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus; Senior Fellow, Department of History; Senior Fellow, UB Center for Disability Studies

“History provides a significant framework for examining the assumptions behind the continuities  from war to war in the making of public policy for assisting military veterans; what we learn or fail to learn from past practices has an important bearing on our successes and failures in the present.”

Veteran-related research interests: Prisoners of War in the Pacific Theater of Operations and the Consequences of Long-term Captivity, 1942- 

Picture of Leah Ingraham.

Leah Ingraham, MSW candidate, JF-UB intern

Veterans and military families deal with unique issues; however, at times these needs aren’t adequately addressed by either military or civilian care organizations. As a Veteran and student intern, I recognize the importance of the Joining Forces–UB mission to improve care for this population through educating and training providers in both military and civilian sectors.

Portrait of Carla Jungquist.

Carla Jungquist, PhD, ANP-BC, FAAN, Associate Professor and AGNP Program Coordinator, School of Nursing

"Carla Jungquist is a nurse practitioner with 5 years experience working with veterans living with chronic pain. Her research interests are the relationship between pain, sleep, and opioid medications. She dedicated to integrating the needs of veterans into the curriculum at the School of Nursing."

Portrait of Brad Linn.

Braden Linn, PhD, MCMP, MSW

"Research and education have the potential to vastly change the way services are delivered to veterans and military families. Working together, we can improve a variety of health and mental health outcomes for those who have sacrificed for our country."

Veteran-related research interests: Co-occurring alcohol use and PTSD, Consequences of exposure to traumatic stressors, Psychosocial consequences of Alcohol Use Disorder in veterans

Picture of Katie McCLain-Meeder.

Katie McClain-Meeder, LMSW

Veterans and military families deserve to have care providers that understand and appreciate the complex set of challenges associated with military service. It is our hope to illuminate some of these challenges and to subsequently positively impact care for veterans and military family members.

Picture of Thomas Nochajski.

Thomas H. Nochajski, PhD

Instructor, Introduction to VMF Issues class; Research Professor, School of Social Work

Picture of Chanel Power.

Chanel Power, Student Member, SVA Advisor

As a student veteran, Chanel’s hope is to use her experience transitioning to help others. “There are many struggles you have the potential to face as a non-traditional student, and together this group has the ability to start to bridge that gap.”

We are fortunate to have had a talented team of faculty and students that contributed to the project.

Any reference to branches of the United States armed forces—either in copy or through the use of still or motion visuals—does not constitute an endorsement of the university by the United States Department of Defense or any unit thereof.