Skip Navigation

Mother Emanuel Community Resiliency Project



National Crime Victim Center (NCVC) Staff

Dean Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

Dean G. Kilpatrick, Ph.D. is the project Lead Co-Director and serves as the primary administrative director for all aspects of the project. Dr. Kilpatrick is a Distinguished University Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

Alyssa Rheingold, Ph.D.

Alyssa Rheingold, Ph.D. is the project Co-Director and the Director of Clinical Services. Dr. Rheingold is a licensed clinical psychologist, Professor, and Director of Clinical Operations of the NCVC in the department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Her expertise includes evidence-based treatment of trauma related mental health issues, grief and loss, and traumatic loss by homicide. She has directing Specialized Services for Survivors of Homicide in conjunction with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for the past 16 years.  Dr. Rheingold is the PI of several federally funded service grants to improve resources for survivors of homicide and underserved victims of crime populations. Dr. Rheingold has published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in the area of trauma, bereavement, and victimization.

Connie Best, Ph.D.

Connie L. Best, Ph.D. is the project Director of Education and Training. Dr. Best is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC where she serves as the Director of Adult Services at the NCVC. Dr. Best has been an active educator, clinician, and researcher in the crime victims field for over 30 years. A nationally recognized expert in the field of trauma, Dr. Best has served as a consultant to numerous federal agencies, an invited speaker at national conferences, and has provided invited testimony to the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Based on her work, in 1996 Dr. Best received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service on Behalf of Victims of Crime presented by President Clinton and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in Washington, DC during Crime Victims Rights Week.

Sabra Slaughter, Ph.D.

Sabra Slaughter, Ph.D. (Community Liaison) is Senior Advisor to the MUSC President, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, and the Principal Investigator for Southeastern Virtual Institute for Health Equity and Wellness (SE VIEW) at MUSC. Dr. Slaughter facilitates the operation of the Community Advisory Board and promotes ongoing engagement with the African American community to ensure services are culturally competent and well received.

Tatiana Davidson, Ph.D.

Tatiana Davidson, Ph.D. is the Technology Coordinator. Dr. Davidson is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC.

Amanda Gilmore, Ph.D. is a Technology Coordinator. Dr. Gilmore is a Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor at the NCVC in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. 

Vickey Cornelison-Grant

Vickey Cornelison-Grant is the Project Coordinator. Mrs. Cornelison-Grant has been involved in the crime victim field for 30 years. She also served as the Conference Organizer for three National Victim Assistance Academy training conferences held in Charleston as well as for three South Carolina Victim Assistance Academy training conferences that were held in Charleston and Columbia. She has served for six years on the Board of Directors for People Against Rape.


Amy Oliver Simmons, is the Administrative Coordinator at the NCVC in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Recipient of the 2015-2016 Robert Magwood, Jr. Outstanding Service to Crime Victims Award. Mrs. Simmons has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and over 5 years' experience working with victims of crime.



Tonya R. Hazelton is a Program Coordinator II. Ms. Hazelton is a member of the Technology Team. She has a Master's Degree in Human Services and has worked at MUSC for over 10 years in community outreach, research and administration. She is also a member of the MUSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

The Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center (MEEC)

Tenelle O. Jones, LMFT, CACI is the outreach therapist who is dedicated to helping and healing for all victims, their families, and the congregation members of Mother Emanuel AME.

Niaget B. Jackson is the Human Services Specialist II at the NCVC at MUSC. Ms. Jackson provides case management services at Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Park University with several years of experience in human service. 


Charleston-Dorchester Mental Health Center (CDMHC) Staff 

Deborah Shogry Blalock

Deborah Shogry Blalock is the Executive Director of the Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and a Certified Public Manager. Mrs. Blalock has had the distinct privilege of being involved with the families of Emanuel AME on their journey of healing and recovery. 

Image coming soon

Amanda Custer is the supervisor of the team through the Charleston Mental Health Center that is part of the Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center. She supervises Sharron and serve on the Victim Services Team which supports the survivors and family members of the victims during the federal and state trials.

Sharron Morant-Garland

Sharron Morant-Garland  is a graduate of South Carolina State University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Masters of Art degree from Webster University in Counseling with a specialization Mental Health. She is a therapist on the support team for the families and friends of the resilient Mother Emanuel AME church. 

Berkeley Community Mental Health Center (BCMHC) Staff 

Image coming soon

Shamiquia N. McPherson M.A. LPC is the outreach Therapist providing trauma focused therapeutic services for all victims, their families, and congregation member of Mother Emanuel AME. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from Ashford University, and a Masters of Arts from Webster University in Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health.


Federal Bureau of Investigaton (FBI) Staff  

Image coming soon

Pamela P. Gregory, FBI Victim Specialist. As a partner in this project, the FBI Vitim Specialist’s role is to provide crisis response and support at the onset of the criminal event during the investigative phase and continue to provide assistance to the victims and families during the prosecution phase as a member of the Victim Services Team and as a coordinator of the Spiritual Support Team.