Refer A Family
Laura Crandall, MA
Co-Founder, President and Executive Director
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Laura Gould Crandall, MA is currently a research scientist in the Department of Neurology at the NYU School of Medicine, joined NYULMC as the director of the SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative, and President and Executive Director of the SUDC Foundation. Laura is also a licensed Physical Therapist in New Jersey and New York. She earned her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from New York University in 1990 and 1996.
In 1997, her first child, Maria, succumbed to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) at the age of 15 months. Through the death investigation of Maria, Laura was convinced that changes in the system could and should be achieved. So, she advocated for new child death investigation legislation in New Jersey, which became law in 2000. A subsequent New Jersey law regarding research passed in 2006, and in 2014, “The Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act” was signed into law by President Obama. At the SUDC Foundation, Laura strives to support families by upholding the mission of being the centralized resource for SUDC information, support, advocacy and crucial research. Laura’s work has been important for epilepsy, because a third of SUDC cases have a history of febrile seizure.
In 2007, Laura was honored as Glamour magazine’s “Woman of Your Year”, and in 2015, she was the recipient of the “Portrait of Courage” award from the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD). Laura is a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners, an advisory member of the National Sudden Death In the Young (SDY) registry, an executive board member of the North American SUDEP Registry (NASR), executive officer of the (Federal) Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), subcommittee for medicolegal death investigation, and board member of the National Forensic Science Commission’s subcommittee on medicolegal death investigation.
Family Services Coordinator
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Amanda is a passionate Programs Coordinator with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in the City of New York and currently pursuing her License in Social Work from the State of New Jersey.
She has a diverse background in many areas of human services, including her most recent experience working in partnership with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network on their trauma-informed care initiative. She lives in Roseland, NJ with her family.
Family Services Assistant
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Michelle has excellent organizational and people skills. She is an essential part of the Support Services team as a behind-the-scenes coordinator. Prior to being a full-time mother to three children, she worked as an account executive for a large telecommunications company. Michelle and Chelsea Hilbert (cofounder of The SUDC Program in 2001) were neighbors in Charlotte, NC when Chelsea’s son died. Michelle and her husband, Etienne, were a great source of support and information. In fact, Michelle researched information about metabolic disorders and assisted Chelsea’s family with finding metabolic testing when their second child was born. Michelle and her family live in Southern California.
Director of Development
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Elizabeth is a vibrant business professional with twelve years of experience in strategic operations and non-profit development. She brings a successful track record of achieving earned and contributed revenue growth by fostering relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporations through the coordination and execution of a comprehensive fundraising plan. Elizabeth also has extensive experience in providing complete special event planning and marketing support through various media platforms.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences. She recently completed the Executive Philanthropy and Resource Development Certificate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, is a Level III Certified Grant Writer and has taken coursework in Corporate Sponsorship and Sustainability Analysis Planning. She has participated in several National Points of Light Foundation Conferences.
Elizabeth lives in New Jersey with her husband, children and yellow Labrador; she enjoys the arts and spending time outdoors with family and friends.
Ambassador Program and Public Relations Manager
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Stephanie lost her first and only daughter, Scarlett, in January 2017 when she was just 16 months old. Being Scarlett’s Mama, as well as Mama to Scarlett’s little sister, Eliana, is Stephanie’s favorite and most important job. Stephanie has spent over a decade of her career working in communications, public policy and nonprofit advocacy. Stephanie is the Ambassador Program and Public Relations Manager for the SUDC Foundation, where she created and oversees the Foundation’s formal volunteer program and supports the Foundation’s communication efforts. Stephanie began her career working for U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s press office and at Spitfire Strategies, a communications firm that works with nonprofits and foundations in Washington, DC where she provided direct support to her clients to develop and implement their communication strategy and training to help them do it themselves. Before losing Scarlett, Stephanie served as the Volunteer Coordinator at Animal Friends, an animal rescue organization in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to her work with the SUDC Foundation, Stephanie is the Assistant Executive Director and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Scarlett Lillian Pauley Foundation, a foundation she and her husband, Ryan, founded in Scarlett’s memory to raise money and awareness of SUDC and support bereaved families in their community. Stephanie also volunteers with the Still Remembered Project, a nonprofit located in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which provides bereaved parents and families Christian-based support and encouragement for a loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death. Stephanie received her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science from Syracuse University. She is a grammar nerd, animal lover, hockey fan, theatre enthusiast, unapologetic reality TV viewer and amateur fiber artist. Stephanie lives outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Ryan, Eliana and their two dogs and three cats.
Heather Maher, MSFS
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Heather earned her undergraduate degree from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. At Quinnipiac, Heather’s concentration was in Biomedical Sciences with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. She continued her education and earned a Master of Science in Forensic Science from Pace University in New York City. Her thesis was presented at the 35th Annual North Eastern Association of Forensic Scientists Meeting in 2009. Heather also attended the Lorenzo Di Medici University in Florence, Italy.
Prior to joining SUDC, Heather worked for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory as a Forensic Scientist for six years. At AFDIL, she participated in many missions. One of which, was to identify the remains of soldiers from past wars. While there, Heather gained vast knowledge and experience in working with DNA and genetic analysis. Heather is a resident of New Jersey and is married with a son.