The Board of the Center is comprised of seven members who each bring their own special talents and expertise to the organization.
Jessie Breyer-Peterson, PsyD, LP
Secretary and Director
Jessie has worked in the field of psychology and mental health for over 15 years. She earned her doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology and brings several years of clinical experience to the board. Much of this clinical work has focused on the diagnosis and treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Jessie also has a background conducting research on substance use disorders and is currently a professor of psychology at Century College, where she teaches a variety of psychology and mental health-related courses.
Jessie has a lifelong passion for helping others and bringing awareness to mental health-related issues. Throughout her professional roles and personal life, she has seen the impact of mental health disorders and suicide, and strives to use her voice to advocate for those who are struggling.
Chris Caulkins, EdD, MPH, MA
President and Executive Director
Having experienced the suicide deaths of his wife, brother, and over ten work colleagues, Chris has studied suicide and related phenomenon extensively and is passionate about saving lives.
Chris' 20+ years of experience as a paramedic and faculty in a college emergency medical services program give him a unique perspective on mental illness and suicidal behavior.
Chris presents on suicide frequently on a state, national, and international level. Chris is certified by the American Association of Suicidology both as a psychological autopsy investigator and as a college and university suicide prevention specialist.
Chris' academic credentials include a master of public health, a master of arts in liberal studies (interdisciplinary research), a graduate certificate in career and technical education, and a doctorate in education at St. Cloud State University; his dissertation was on suicide among emergency responders and educational implications.
Edi Hasan, MBA
Treasurer and Director
Edi has more than a dozen years of professional accounting experience. For more than five of the most recent years, Edi has managed the day-to-day accounting activities, reconciliations, and financial reporting for Meet Minneapolis, the non-profit, destination marketing organization for the City of Minneapolis. His work with Meet Minneapolis brings much needed financial accounting and reporting experience as well as compliance experience.
Jeralyn Jargo, MS
Chair and Director
Having experienced the loss of a close family member and friends to suicide, Jeralyn is also vitally concerned with the important public health issues leading to suicide.
Jeralyn currently serves as the State Director Career Technical Education in Minnesota with responsibilities for the leadership of career and technical education in collaboration of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the Minnesota Department of Education. Her recent experiences include serving as the Vice-President of Advancement and Innovation at Century College with responsibilities for leadership and oversight of departments: non-credit and workforce Century Foundation, Marketing, and resource development. She also served as an academic dean in the college setting for many years and a teacher, where she frequently assisted students in mental health crises--including suicidal ideation.
With a background in education, healthcare and administration, Jeralyn has worked extensively with local and regional boards, local and regional industries, and served as a liaison among state and national initiatives, legislative efforts, and policy development and implementation. She has a very diverse knowledge and experience with resource acquisition, system thinking, fiduciary duties, strategic planning, and servant leadership.
With experience as the lead and the staff of boards and committees, Jeralyn understands her responsibilities as a member of a non-profit to have both a fiduciary obligations and a supportive role. Her advisory functions with students, staff, and faculty; her training in crisis intervention and personal professional development will facilitate the work of SCCSR in achieving its mission.
Mary Vukelich, MA
Treasurer and Director
Mary has over 20 years of public safety experience as a law enforcement officer, professor of criminal justice, and advocate for mental health issues. She has been in law enforcement since 1992, working in multiple police departments on a variety of specialized assignments. Mary's passion for sitting on the board comes from losing many partners, students and several friends to suicide. Mary currently teaches at Century College in the Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and Public Safety programs.
Mary has been an active advocate in issues of mental health and its implications for family. She provided statewide training for first responders prior to the existence of Critical Intervention Teams and has volunteered with the National Alliance on Mental Health, the Community Resource Center of St. Andrews, and a variety of other non-profits. Mary also has experience in grant writing in the various fields and disciplines that have touched her personally and professionally.
Brittany Miskowiec, PhD, MSW, LICSW
Brittany has worked as a licensed independent clinical social worker in the fields of social work and suicidology for nearly ten years. Her education includes a doctorate in human resource education with a concentration in adult education, master of social work, bachelor of science in psychology, and a certification in interdisciplinary trauma studies.
Brittany currently teaches in the social work program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. In her career, she has focused her research on suicide and her clinical practice working with the military population, individuals who have experienced trauma, and those bereaved by suicide.
We would like to recognize the work and dedication of past directors, who made significant contributions to our organization.
Tim Heap, BA
Tim was instrumental in the founding of the SCCSR, with the idea for a non-profit being his original proposal pitched to his then business partner, Chris Caulkins. Tim developed our original policy and procedure manual, completed the volumes of paperwork necessary for 501(c)(3) designation, and built the organization's website from scratch. Tim retired to pursue career and personal opportunities in Bangkok, Thailand. Tim has truly earned the director emeritus title. Sadly, Tim died of natural causes at the young age of 52.