(801) 923-3351
1733 W. 12600 S., #230, Riverton, UT 84065
Foundation for Family Life

About Foundation for Family Life

Meet the Members of Our Staff

Joseph White, Ph.D.

Dr. Joseph White has worked in the prevention sciences field for nearly two decades. His work has focused on substance abuse prevention, responsible fatherhood, psychosocial development, and risk prevention programs and strategies for adolescents and adults. He is president of the Foundation for Family Life. He previously served as vice president of the Institute for Research and Evaluation. Prior to IRE, he was a professor in Human Development and Family Studies for 10 years at South Dakota State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University in 1997. He co-founded the Dakota Fatherhood Initiative, co-authored the book Why Fathers Count, and has designed, developed, and implemented fatherhood programs in a variety of settings. He also worked with Dakota and Lakota tribes throughout Indian country to develop a culturally-specific, family-oriented alcohol, drug, and suicide prevention program called Takoja Niwiciyape: Giving Life to the Grandchildren that can be adapted to serve ex-offenders and their families. Dr. White has significant experience in obtaining funding at federal, state, and local levels and from both the public and private sectors.


Scott Fisher, Ed.D.

Dr. Fisher has been a consulting psychologist to multi-national corporations, government agencies, and large and small businesses for 25 years. He was the psychologist for Michigan’s largest insurance company for 13 years. He helped clients institute teams, conducted psychological assessment for selection and personal development, and designed training programs. Team development resulted in dramatic gains in productivity, safety, retention, quality, service, and increased loyalty. He was an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University in the Graduate School of Business and managed a start-up company that introduced two products into the medical market. He earned a Masters degree in Counseling and Psychology from BYU and a doctorate degree in higher education (with a minor in psychology) from UCLA. .


Jayne Patience, M.S.

Ms. Patience has been the director of a transitional housing facility called Chelsea St. for 13 years, a facility that provides beds for 40+ inmates and individuals with substance abuse problems. As the Program Director of the non-profit adult life skills program, Jayne has worked directly with the exact client population that FFL will work with in the UMW program, assisting them with transitional services, employment, and life skills guidance. She has recently completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and is currently completing her internship hours toward licensure.


Sheridyn Cannon

As the ex wife of an addict and felon, the mother of an addict and now felon, Sheridyn has an extreme passion for this work and in making a difference in the lives of these gentlemen and their families. Having gone through many years of these experiences, has made her a very strong, compassionate, driven and well experienced person in this field. She will take this knowledge and give back to the people in our communities that are in such desperate need of housing, mentoring and the many invaluable services that The Foundation for Family Life has to offer. Sheridyn is the mother of 4 (and 1 step-daughter) wonderful children and the wife of an incredible man. She has worked in the administrative field for approximately 5 years, and sold real estate for 11 years. Her experience will contribute greatly to UMW's Transitional Housing Program, and in providing additional administrative support (including collaboration with state, county, and local organization efforts). .


Ralph Hansen

Ralph has over 25 years experience in the development and management of human capital and building programs and support systems that enhance the effectiveness of individuals and organizations. He has owned his own consulting firm which focused on youth talent development, providing opportunities for youth to identify, develop, and utilize their abilities in the arts or athletics and to further their education and professional careers. In addition, his consulting firm worked with many local businesses in developing programs to enhance their human capital, drafting business and investment plans. Ralph had the opportunity to coordinate the educational process at an adult high school in a prison setting, customizing the curriculum to specific student needs and graduating 200% of the normal enrolled number of students. Ralph has worked for LDS Employment Services developing recruiting plans for large companies in Salt Lake, Utah, Weber, and Davis Counties, interviewing and presenting qualified candidates to employers from their worldwide employment database..


Dave Duerden, M.S.

Dave has taught for 20 years in Family Science and Early Childhood at all the BYU campuses, in Provo, Hawaii, and most recently and longest in Rexburg, Idaho. It was 2-year Ricks College, and then became 4-year BYU-Idaho. In Hawaii and Idaho he directed the Child Lab programs, and taught many child development and family courses. While in Hawaii, he also served as an Army Reserve Chaplain. He has BS and MS degrees in Family Science from BYU- Provo, and is “A.B.D.” from Purdue University, where he also taught as a graduate assistant and did editorial work for the National Council of Family Relations and the Journal of Psychotherapy and the Family. He currently is teaching part-time for the University of Phoenix in Human Services Management. Dave has done much volunteer work in the public and private sectors, including being a charter member of the Idaho Governor’s Coordinating Council for Families and Children, and a founding board member of Partners for Prosperity. In both of these capacities and in his university settings, he sought out and served with Native American groups like student clubs and American Indian (Scholarship) Services.


Paul Birch, Ph.D.

Paul has been engaged in social program design, grants writing, program provision, and applied research for 14 years. His professional interests center on community-based initiatives to promote social and behavioral health that draw on an applied prevention science approach to program development. He has worked for the last 10 years as both a Research Analyst and Executive Director of a research institute, which developed and evaluated relationship skills programs. Paul is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in marital and parent coaching/therapy and approaches to overcoming sexual addictions. Paul is completing a Ph.D. in Psychology—Research and Evaluation Methodology in spring of 2011.


Sue Phelps

Sue has extensive business experience in litigation management, insurance claims adjustment, and claims investigation, negotiation and resolution having worked for several reputable commercial business insurance companies and a school board association. For almost the last 16 years until 2009 Sue was the co-owner and manager of a residential real estate brokerage firm and responsible for consultation, acquisition, and sales involving residential real estate as well as managed all aspects of real estate transactions, marketing, personnel supervision and accounting. Most recently Sue has used her experience and gained new insights in the social sciences through grant writing, research, and development. Most of her work falls under the arena of strengthening families, an area that she is passionate about and one that will be continued with her work for the Foundation for Family Life.


Amy McMullen

Amy is an Executive Assistant with the Foundation for Family Life. She attended Utah State University and has 11 years of business experience. She has spent the last 7 years working with an international audit firm developing audits in the airline industry. She has been lucky to travel abroad with her husband to set up new airline audits worldwide. Amy is very excited about the work she is involved in at FFL and is eager to see the mentoring program succeed. She is the proud mother of three and lives in Draper, Utah.

"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."

— Erma Bombeck

1733 W. 12600 S., #230, Riverton, UT 84065    |    ph: (801) 923-3351
FOUNDATION FOR FAMILY LIFE