Amanda’s research interests include learning about the long-term impact of childhood illness on caregivers, children, and siblings. Her professional experience motivates her to continue examining the link between utilizing child life interventions to promote positive coping for children, caregivers, and siblings in the healthcare environment. Specifically, she would like to look at how those early experiences in healthcare impact future coping and how healthcare professionals, such as child life specialists, can work to mitigate long-term negative effects. Other areas of interest and relevant to her passion include family stress and coping, parent-child relationships, and promoting resiliency.
Education and Relevant Experience
Amanda graduated with a B.S. from the School of Human Ecology’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2008. Since then, she worked as a Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) at Miami Children’s Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and most recently Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She completed her Master’s in Education at Vanderbilt University in August 2015. In 2017, Amanda began teaching introduction to child life courses for East Tennessee State University. She is an active member of The Association of Child Life Professionals and currently serves on the Child Life Certification Commission working on various tasks and subcommittees.
Awards and Recognitions
2015 Presented a Top 10 Rated presentation at the 33rd Annual International Child Life Council Conference on Professional Issues, titled, “Weathering the Storm: Navigating Transition with Shared Governance”
*has written under Ellefson
Calfas, B., Johnson, C., Krauth, B., Lockett, A., Mitchell, L., & Potter, C. (2017). Shared governance: enhancing team relationships through collaboration. Association of child life professionals bulletin, 35 (3) summer, 40-43.
2012 Crane, C., Ellefson, A., Evans, M., Frangoul, H., Glover, K., McCoy, C., … Wertz, K. Reducing central line associated blood stream infections in pediatric oncology patients: a focused team approach. Poster presented at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN.
*has presented under Ellefson
Lockett, A. and Burns-Nader, S. (2018, May 5). Connecting Clinical and Academic Worlds: Cultivating Future Child Life Specialists. Lecture presented at Child Life Annual Conference. Washington, DC.
Calfas, B., & Ellefson, A. (2015, August). Weathering the storm: navigating change with shared governance. Presentation for the Child Life Council online webinar.
Calfas, B., & Ellefson, A. (2015, May). Weathering the storm: navigating change with shared governance. Presentation for International Child Life Council 33rd Annual Conference on Professional Issues, Cincinnati, OH.
- Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program