Mike Barbaro

Programmer Analyst

Mike has worked at CARES for 20 years. His favorite projects are those that have a direct impact on community members. For example, Mike enjoys working on the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) project which started by filling a need in the Missouri Education System and has since spread to partner with and serve communities in other states. When he isn’t working, Mike enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, fishing, and spending time with his family and cat.   

Chris Barnett

Co-Director & Senior Research Associate

Chris has worked at CARES since it began in 1992. Chris most enjoys working on the Missouri Source Water Protection and Assessment project which provides information on public drinking water systems and potential chemical contaminants. When he isn’t working, Chris enjoys going on vacations, hiking, spearheading efforts to map his family genealogy, and coin collecting.  

Yan Barnett

Senior Research Associate

Yan has worked at CARES for 26 years. She enjoys creating spatial data visualization components of tools, like dashboards and maps, that help illustrate data to provide visual context. Some of the projects she’s enjoyed working on most include SparkMap, All Things Missouri, PHATE, Salud America, and the Missouri Food Finder. When she isn’t working, Yan likes to read, travel, and sample good food.    

Elisa Cardenas

Research Specialist

Elisa has worked at CARES for a little over one year. She enjoys working with vulnerable populations on social issues through projects like TIME’S UP. Elisa is also part of the SparkMap team where she focuses on user research and updates. When she isn’t at work, Elisa likes cooking and spending time outdoors enjoying the weather.  

David Cavins


David has worked at CARES for over 5 years. He is our resident WordPress expert. David enjoys working on projects that directly support those in the field (e.g., researchers, organizations, and field staff and faculty) because he likes knowing his work impacts someone. When he isn’t at work, David spends time playing, building, and repairing stringed instruments, with a particular specialty in playing guitar for square dance music.   

Dave Connett

GIS Technician

Dave is a retired GIS Specialist, now working as a GIS Technician, who has worked at CARES for 25 years. He enjoys mapping, specifically creating temporal maps and using spatial analysis on projects like understanding where food deserts are based on community access to grocery stores. When he isn’t at work, Dave enjoys volunteering at the State Historical Society where he transcribes historical documents like letters from soldiers in World War II and military correspondence from the 19th Century.

Melissa De Bartolomeo


Melissa has worked at CARES for almost 7 years. She is the leader of the SparkMap project and enjoys putting together the various pieces of the tool. In addition, she enjoys making connections with people and helping to meet their needs through the tools developed at CARES. When she isn’t at work, Melissa enjoys running, yoga, spending time outdoors, and eating great food. 

Chris Fulcher

Co-Director & Assistant Extension Professor

Chris has worked at CARES since its inception in 1992. He most enjoys building relationships with external partners and working with potential funders to acquire funding for CARES. When he isn’t at work, Chris likes taking long walks in the mountains and exploring new places.  

Michael Hardy

Senior Research Project Manager

Michael has worked at CARES for 20 years. He most enjoys working on the Impact Data Sheet project because it allows him to build and sustain community relationships as well as create a tool used in district and county legislature. When he isn’t at work, Michael enjoys spending time outdoors on his porch relaxing, being with his family, and taking vacations.  

Zhengting He

Program Research Analyst

Zhengting has worked at CARES for 3 years. She enjoys working on Stata development projects like TIME’S UP. When she isn’t at work, Zhengting is in the process of adopting a cat and enjoys playing her keyboard. 

Angela Johnson

Senior Research Analyst

Angela has worked at CARES for 10 years. She most enjoys meeting with organizations to think through what data will best help them accomplish their goals, conducting data search and analysis, and then creating various visuals to help deliver tools and products to customers in a new and creative way. When she isn’t at work, Angela enjoys spending time outdoors biking and hiking with her family and puppy, as well as mushroom foraging when the weather allows.   

Amy Keith


Amy has worked at CARES since January 2021. She enjoys working on data processing scripts and applications that process big data sets and create maps. When she isn’t at work, Amy likes to read, knit, sew, ride her bike, and spend time with friends and family. 

Jamie Kleinsorge

Senior Project Coordinator

Jamie has worked at CARES for 3 years and with the organization more broadly for 9 years. She enjoys working on community economic development projects and providing training to Hubs on the CARES Network. When she isn’t at work, Jamie loves to bike and roller skate. 

Justin Krohn

Research Project Analyst

Justin has worked at CARES for almost 2 years. He enjoys working with data acquisition, the COVID dashboards, and partnering with health departments throughout the state. When he isn’t at work, Justin enjoys playing disc golf, board games, card games, and reading. 

Shaye Morrison

Visiting Scholar- Communication Specialist

Shaye is our newest employee, having worked at CARES since June 2021. She most enjoys working on the SparkMap project, where she helps to make extremely useful yet complex tool easier to interpret and use for our clients. When she isn’t at work, Shaye likes to travel, spend time outside on the trails with her dog, and in her kitchen trying out new recipes.

Chris Stephens

GIS Technician

Chris has worked at CARES for almost 4 years. Most of his job involves working with the maps, and he especially enjoys creating the stylistic elements of maps including picking out the colors, visual elements, and cartography that makes them visually appealing. When he isn’t at work, Chris enjoys playing music, hiking, and trying new food. 

Angie Stewart

Business Operations Associate

Angie has worked at CARES for 7 years. She is behind the scenes on anything fiscal, budget projection/allocation, and interorganizational communication at CARES. She enjoys helping the CARES teams operations run smoothly to make days more efficient and successful. When she isn’t at work, Angie likes to spend time with her family and pets, enjoy the outdoors, go to classic car shows, read, watch TV, and anything Gilmore Girls or the 1990’s. 

Sam Tennant

Project Support Coordinator

Sam has worked at CARES for 2 years. There are several specific projects he enjoys working on including the Missouri Broadband Resource Rail, SNAP Ed Reporting Tool, SparkMap, All Things Missouri, Community Connect, CATE, and ShowMeFood.org. Overall, Sam’s favorite part of his work at CARES is helping organizations think strategically and analytically about how they can make the most impact in the shortest amount of time. When he isn’t at work, Sam is a foodie who likes grilling and trying new restaurants, playing and seeing music, and spending time outdoors hiking and playing disc golf.