Administration

Vanessa Vogel-Farley: Executive Director ([email protected])

Vanessa grew up on a family dairy farm in rural Wisconsin; she then went on to college at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she studied Chemistry, Biology, and French.  While there she joined a research lab at the Center for Neurobehavioral Development. This experience got her interested in the processes associated with brain development during the neonatal period into adolescence and that factors that can affect normal development.   She was the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Division of Developmental Medicine Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital, working on collaborations with scientists from MIT and Harvard examining several clinical populations, including autism.   She also served as Director of Operations of ACEing Autism from 2008 through 2015.  She is married and the mother of 3 young boys (Oliver, Thatcher, and Carter) who keep her very busy in her "spare" time.  

 

 

Marlene Schwan: Dup15q Alliance Office Administrator ([email protected])

Marlene lives in Highland Park, Illinois with her husband Mike.  She is the mother of three young adults, Nathan (27) married an engineer for General Motors in Michigan, Sara (25) 2nd-grade teacher in Chicago, and Louis (24) on the autism spectrum and lives in a group home setting.   As a life long advocate for Louis to help him be all that he can be, Marlene is now bringing all of her experience, knowledge, and passion to Dup15Q Alliance. Her recent position as patient care specialist in a medical cannabis dispensary has enhanced her experience in advocating for alternate options in treating a host of medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, and more.  She is passionate about her community and is also involved with Sing to Live Community Chorus, an organization that fosters hope and celebrates survival to people whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. Marlene is glad to have found this meaningful position and is excited to apply herself in the Dup15q Alliance Office Administrator role. 

Naka King: Dup15q Alliance Administrator ([email protected])

Naka King lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband Nick, daughter Rylan and son Bryer.
With 12 years of experience in administrative management, she is excited to join the Dup15q Alliance as an administrator. 
After 3 years of searching for medical answers related to their daughter symptoms, they were given a diagnosis of Dup15q Syndrome in March 2015. Naka believes in the importance of raising awareness in our communities so another family doesn't have to fight for a proper diagnosis. She looks forward to contributing to the Dup15q Alliance Mission as our community of families continues to grow.

 

 

 

Krissa Harris: Awareness and Outreach Coordinator ([email protected]

Krissa lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband Shane, daughter Hattie (idic 15) and dog Lily. She and Shane are both from the DFW area and both went to Texas Tech University. Wreck ‘em! Krissa taught 3rd grade for 9 years before becoming a stay at home mom when Hattie was born in April of 2013. After attending her first conference in California in 2017, she dedicated herself to fundraising, awareness, and volunteering for the Alliance. She looks forward to making a difference in the lives of our dupers and their families. 

 

 

 

Stephanie Holz: Bookkeeper ([email protected]

 

Interns

 

Emily Soludczyk: Genetics Intern ([email protected])

Emily grew up on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!) in 2018 with a degree in Biology. Her undergraduate research in Genetics is what inspired her to help individuals learn about their own genetics and bridge the communication gap between science professionals and their communities. Emily loves to be able to contribute to the supportive community that the Alliance has built. She is currently a Master's student in the Baylor College of Medicine Genetic Counseling Program where she looks forward to volunteering in healthcare, becoming a Genetic Counselor, and the Houston rodeo.

 

 

Zoe Dannenberg Advocacy Intern (advocacy@dup15q.org)

Zoe is from Villa Park, Illinois. She is entering her senior year at Elmhurst College, where she is majoring in Biology. She is an active member around campus and is also currently working as a Pharmacy Technician. During her free time, Zoe enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.