Board of Directors
Dr. Sue Bryant, PhD has been in education for over 40 years having taught college – Florida State and St. Mary’s at Notre Dame, middle school, grammar school and educational laboratory schools. She was a school principal for 17 years.
Betty Hoeffner is the author of STOP BULLYING HANDBOOK-A GUIDE FOR STUDENTS & THEIR FRIENDS, DEAL FEEL HEAL-KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING AND HEALING EMOTIONAL PAIN, and HUE-MAN KIND-A BOOK TO END RACISM. She has been a keynote speaker at anti-bullying conferences and facilitates Hey U.G.L.Y.’s Stop Bullying Boot Camps and the DEAL FEEL HEAL Program for youth. She developed and wrote the highly-effective Stop Bullying Task Force Program™ in use at schools across the country and in Canada. The Stop Bullying Task Force Program and Hoeffner’s 10-month self-esteem & empathy-building sustainability curriculum enables schools to set up a student-run stop bullying committee to deal with bullying situations and maintain an environment of respect, acceptance and inclusion throughout the school year. She created Bullying Bystanders Unite, Project Apologize, Cyberbullied Unite, Laughtercising(tm), SEEIT and the Stop Self-Bullying & Love Yourself Enough Campaign. She created and hosts a weekly radio show on WRHC-FM called CHOOSE TO CHANGE™. Together with teen DJ’s, the world-wide streamng show features songs and singer/songwriters whose lyrics inspire positive self-esteem, diversity, a healthy planet, peace and/or never giving up. Hoeffner was bullied and was a bully when she was in school and as a young adult. She knows both sides of the bullying equation and understands what it takes to stand up for yourself and others. She has helped many youth across the world through her HeyUGLY.org website which has content relatable to youth. The website has been a beacon to students and has saved the lives of students contemplating suicide. This former public relations expert, whose advice is featured in the book 303 Marketing Tips, developed a teen grooming program for Supercuts; a teen safe driving program for Precision Tune Auto Care; and a social studies project to educate students about our electoral process for Willy Wonka Brands. While serving as partner at FTF, she helped develop a program teaching students the importance of exercise to counter the obesity epidemic. She is also executive producer of the award-winning film, “Things You Should Know Before Entering the Hospital.”
Jennifer Jimenez, MSN RN FNP-BC received her Master’s in Science of Nursing from Indiana University South Bend and is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She is passionate about suicide prevention and empowering youth to make good choices by learning positive coping skills. A registered nurse since 2000, Jimenez has worked in a variety of settings, including pediatrics; primary care; community health; and behavioral medicine. She has always enjoyed working with youth and families having been a youth worker in juvenile detention, a charge nurse in adolescent residential psychiatric services, and a travel nurse on a variety of pediatric units in Los Angeles, California. She has been a leader in the healthcare community for speaking out against the stigma of mental illness and raising awareness to prevent suicide; including mental health awareness fairs, community panel discussions, and working with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and hosting an Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk. She continues to work with inpatient and outpatient psychiatric clients. She is also a part-time clinical instructor for the department of nursing at Purdue University North Central. She is working toward board certification as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She aspires to work with the medical community by integrating family practice and mental health and promoting awareness and depression screening in primary care and school settings.
Lauren Nicole Malott, a behavioral sciences student was helped by Hey U.G.L.Y. when she was in high school during a time she was being bullied and struggling with depression and self-harm which resulted in hospitalization. Hey U.G.L.Y gave her hope that she was not alone, and, in March of 2018 Lauren will celebrate her 6 year marker of ending the cycle of self-harm. Lauren is currently receiving treatment for cancer, as she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in April, 2017. But that does not stop her from wanting to change the stigma surrounding mental health, and reaching out to try and make a change in any way that she can.
Victor Vargas, whose rap performance name is Lil Sylnc. experienced how Hey U.G.L.Y. works when he was in high school. His artwork made it into Hey U.G.L.Y.’s Hue-Man Kind A Book To End Racism and was featured on Nick News Tonight. Vargus deeply understands the difference and similarities between his peers. His rap music is lyrically created to help and educate youth to know they are not alone. He brings relate-able and positive lyrics from his life experiences of of being bullied, and seeing drug abuse, family problems, love life disappointments. His powerful anti-bullying anthem, No Fist Up, is a song about not retaliating with fists, instead be the bigger and better person.
Dalia Vitkus, MSM in Criminal Justice, is a case manager at the Berrien County Juvenile Center, adjunct professor at Colorado Technical University Online and founder/Instructor of New Wave Kicks, a Taekwondo Studio under the umbrella of Superfoot Schools, the nation’s leading academy for this Martial Art. As a 3rd Degree Black Belt and certified Instructor, she teaches children and adults essential life skills not only in physical self-defense, but those of mind, body and spirit. Students learn to avoid dangerous situations; to defend themselves and others from physical and mental harm, and to make better life choices. Vitkus was bullied as a child and as an adult. As a result, she passionately strives to find ways to prevent bullying and has experienced the positive results of Hey U.G.L.Y.’s Stop Bullying program. As a counselor with the Lithuanian Sea Scout organization, she led her troop through the program and saw them prevent bullying situations within hours of completion. Dalia is no stranger to teen suicide, often provoked by bullying, and strives to help assuage the changes needed to prevent needless, indeed senseless loss of precious life. As a mother of three wonderful children, she understands the need to educate parents, as well as educators of the evidence- and solutions-based tools which Hey U.G.L.Y. successfully provides for bullying and suicide prevention.