Meet The NICRP Staff

Tara Phebus
Executive Director

Tara has worked for the Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy conducting applied research and program evaluation since 2004. Her research and evaluation projects cover a variety of children's issues including; health and safety, injury prevention, child welfare, juvenile justice, early childhood education, and social marketing evaluation. Currently, Tara is serving as the Executive Director at the Institute and is specifically interested in continuing NICRP's mission to use community based research and program evaluation to help improve the lives of children and families in Nevada. Tara received her Bachelor of Arts Degrees in both Sociology and Business Administration from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska in 2002, and then in 2007 completed her Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.


Amanda Haboush-Deloye

Associate Director

Amanda Haboush-Deloye earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Amanda's research background is on mental health in adolescent, adult, and older adult populations. She also has a particular interest in improving research methods to be more culturally competent. As a researcher at NICRP, she has designed and implemented many research projects regarding children's physical health, mental health, and education, as well as children's advocacy initiatives such as Every Child Matters in Nevada and Prevent Child Abuse Nevada. Being a Las Vegas native, Amanda aims to remain in this city and work with NICRP to create a healthy community where families and children are a priority.


Dawn L. Davidson
Senior Research Associate

Dawn earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, with a concentration in Social Psychology, from The University of Memphis. Before moving to Las Vegas, she worked as the Research Director for a substance abuse treatment center in Memphis, Tennessee where she evaluated the effectiveness of different treatment programs for those with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. She has also worked with the Director of Psychological Services for the Memphis Police Department to improve the police recruit selection process. As the newest employee at NICRP, Dawn looks forward to applying her research and program evaluation skills to improve the lives of Nevada's children and families.


Erika Marquez
Research Associate

Erika Marquez is the Research Analyst at the Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from San Francisco State University and completed her Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and her Ph.D. in Public Health with a focus in Social Behavioral Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has devoted the last decade of her career to working on local issues focused on housing quality, housing-related health concerns, and housing equity. In September 2016, Dr. Marquez was appointed to the U.S. Office of Minority Health's Pacific and Southwest Regional Health Equity Council. In May 2016, Governor Brian Sandoval appointed Dr. Marquez to the Board of Registered Environmental Health Specialists. She also sits on the Clark County Department of Social Services Citizens Advisory Committee and is an active member of the Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition. She also serves as Adjunct Faculty for the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences. Dr. Marquez is passionate and committed to improving the lives and health of the residents of Nevada.


M. Amaris Fuller
Assistant Research Analyst

Amaris is thrilled to be working for the Nevada Institute for Children's Research & Policy. She has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Fordham University in New York City and her Master of Education degree in Health Promotion from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Amaris's research background is on prevention and educational programs for mental health among adolescents and continues her own research on psychological wellbeing and suicide prevention for adolescents and young adults from both public health and medical anthropological perspectives. She has worked in an educational capacity with children as young as 18 months old through adolescence for the past 16 years. At NICRP, she looks forward to working to improve the health and safety of children through research projects and community alliances.


Mirzah K. Trejo
Research Assistant

Mirzah Trejo earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, with a minor in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She joined the Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy in 2014 as a Research Assistant, where she has worked on different projects, entering and cleaning data, conducting over the phone surveys, both in English and in Spanish, and has assisted in translating and event planning. Mirzah looks forward to continuing her work with the Institute as a Research Assistant and Advocacy Trainer, providing tools and skills for parents, educators and community members to speak up for Nevada's children. She is passionate about engaging with community members to increase knowledge and support of Early Childhood Education and continue working to improve the lives of children and families in Nevada.


Valeria Gurr
Program Coordinator

Valeria Gurr earned her Master's degree in Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV in 2013 and a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing at Duoc UC of The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Valeria's research focused on social discrepancies in Chile and how the media was used to influence public opinion and to praise the government. She has always been interested in the field of communications, studies related to education barriers, and child abuse prevention. After graduating from the program in 2013, Valeria went to work for the Clark County Education Association. While there, she had an incredible opportunity to work in support of Nevada educators and to help improve the current system. She worked as a communications professional and social media liaison. Valeria is a passionate advocate for public education and children's safety. She has recently joined the NICRP team as Program Coordinator, where she is looking forward to help empower the community to protect children's lives.