Affiliate Staff

Amy Kryzsan

Flordia Director of Social Services

As the Director of Social Services for the Florida office, Amy is responsible for the day to day operations of our Florida office. The Florida team is responsible for assisting families through the adoption process by conducting all visits and assessments relating to the home study and post-adoption process.

Amy has been serving families with America World for over 10 years. She brings many years of experience in social services (including foster care, adoption, case management, counseling, and administration) as well as human resources.

Amy holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and has always had a passion for serving others. As an adoptive parent of 3 herself, Amy views her position with America World as her ministry and wants to help others feel the “joy” she and her husband felt when their children were placed with them.

DIANE HOOD, MS

GEORGIA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Hello from the Peach State! My name is Diane Hood and I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eckerd College and a Master’s degree from Florida State University. My husband and I became parents in 1993 when a beautiful woman named Mary chose us as the parents of her unborn son. We went on to have three children by birth: two more sons and a daughter.

Since 1995, I have been performing domestic and international home studies, working with women in crisis pregnancies, and advocating for orphans around the world. Adoption is a calling and a passion, and I seek to honor God in this ministry. He has adopted us as His children and I feel blessed that He gives me the opportunity to help children and parents come together in forever families.

Cristina Schaff, MA

ILLINOIS DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

As the Director of Social Services for the America World Illinois office, Cristina coordinates home study and post-adoption services throughout the state. She enjoys using the gifts God has instilled in her to assist those she serves.

Cristina has over fifteen years of experience working with children and families through child welfare and adoption in the state of Illinois. She enjoys navigating the process with her families while providing patience, encouragement, education, resources, and promptness.

Cristina has earned her BA in Psychology and an MA in Clinical Psychology with Children and Adolescent focus. She is a country girl at heart and enjoys being outside spending time with her husband, daughter, dogs, and chickens.

LAURA CARPENTER, MSSW, CSW, LSW

INDIANA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Hello from the State of Indiana. My name is Laura Carpenter and I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Louisville. I have been blessed in my life with twin boys and became a parent to them in 2010.

I have 20+ years of experience in the field of social work, working in the child welfare system, managing foster care and adoption programs, working with individuals with disabilities and individuals facing adversity. I’ve always had a heart for children who are in need of loving families. Since God blessed me with the opportunity to be the parent of two wonderful little boys it is my desire to help children and families come together and experience that same blessing. I’m blessed to be a part of America World and being able to be a part of providing that gift to all. I look forward to helping others on that journey.

Angie Reed

IOWA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

As the Director of Social Services – Iowa, Angie ensures America World families are provided with quality, Christ-centered services throughout their adoption. She and her Home Study Coordinators work closely with families to ensure smooth transitions for families.

Angie has a B.S. in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa and is a Certified Adoption Investigator in the State of Iowa. Angie also leads missions teams with America World’s One Orphan, serving orphans and valuable children in Ethiopia. She is also a youth leader with her church and enjoys spending time with the high schoolers.

She enjoys reading, spending time with her family. Angie is married and has two sons.

Megan Stutsman

Minnesota Director of Social Services

As the Minnesota Director of Social Services, Megan oversees the social services components in the state of Minnesota. She also completes home studies, post-placement reports and supervises Minnesota’s home study coordinators.

Megan received a B.S. in Social Work from Minnesota State University, Mankato and an M.S. in Child & Family Studies from St. Cloud State University. Megan has experience working in child protection, children’s mental health, early childhood family education, and adoption. She has enjoyed serving families in every capacity though seeing how God orchestrates families adoption stories is her favorite.  Megan enjoys spending time with family, friends, reading, and time on the lake. Megan and her husband Ian are blessed to have 2 children through international adoption from Liberia.

STACY BROWN

Minnesota Case Worker

Hello from Minnesota!  I received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa and have worked in the social work field for over 18 years.  I have experience in the areas of child protection, school social work, mental health, and adoption and have enjoyed serving families in each capacity.  I love getting to know all of the families I work with and feel very blessed to be part of America World!

Nichole Deal, MSW

MISSOURI DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Nichole Deal is the Director of Social Services for Missouri. She oversees all adoption-related services for adoptive families in Missouri, such as interviewing, counseling, assessing and completing home studies and post-adoption supervision; she communicates with families regarding social services issues and refers to local resources as needed; she maintains the agency license in the State in accordance with required state standards and regulations; and manages all affiliate office administration, including budget and billing. She supervises one home study coordinator.

Nichole has worked in the adoption field for over 20 years, in both international and domestic agencies. She has had the privilege to travel to Russia, Colombia, and Honduras to meet with adoption officials to discuss how best to help their precious orphans find their forever homes. She has counseling experience in working with women and children who have been abused and neglected.

Nichole has direct experience in case management, administration, supervision, policy writing, grant writing, fundraising, and special events, as she worked with several non-profits who benefit women and children. Nichole’s professional and personal experiences intertwine as she is also an adoptee.

She was adopted domestically at the age of 2 months. Her parents were open and honest with her about her adoption from the very beginning. Nichole believes that it’s a testament to her parents and her Christian upbringing that she went on to achieve her Master’s Degree in Social Work, with the ultimate goal of working in the adoption field. She loves the fact that she is able to help connect orphan children with waiting families, just like her own.

When not working, Nichole enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is married and has two children.

Kristen Mallory, LMSW

NEW YORK DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

As the Director of Social Services for America World Adoption’s New York office, Kristen coordinates home study and post-placement services to families throughout the state

Kristen is a social worker who has focused her career on services to families and children and feels fortunate to have worked with many families as they explore the unique challenges and joys of building their family through adoption. She joins America World with over 15 years of adoption experience, working with families through the home study process, directly overseeing intercountry adoption programs and supporting prospective adoptive families during referral and travel, as well as in the post-adoption period.

Kristen has worked with families adopting internationally and domestically and expectant mothers, as well as working with adoption and other human service agencies through their accreditation process in support of best practices and positive outcomes for families and children.

She holds a BA in International Relations and an MS in Social Work and lives in New York City with her husband and young daughter.

MICHELE KUXHAUSEN

NORTH CAROLINA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Hello from North Carolina! I attended graduate school at the West Virginia Graduate College and earned my MA degree in Counseling. I have been serving children and families as a social worker for over 16 years. I started working at America World in 2005 as a Home Study Coordinator, and in December of 2009, started serving as the North Carolina DSS. I have a passion working with families and have been very grateful for this amazing opportunity to help orphans unite with Christian families. I feel extremely blessed to be part of such an amazing ministry. I love my job and I am committed to America World and the families that we serve.

Janet Woods

OHIO DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

As the Ohio Director of Social Services, Janet Woods assists Ohio families with the home study and post-adoption process of international adoption. She coordinates the efforts of the Ohio social work staff to assess prospective adoptive parents and provide them support for the adoption journey.

Janet obtained her BA from the University of Toledo and has been a licensed social worker for over 25 years. Janet and her husband are parents to four children, by birth and adoption. She enjoys spending time with her family, travel, and reading.

AMBER LEWIS, LPC

CLINICAL & POST-ADOPTION SUPERVISOR

“Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” -Genesis 18:14

God reminded me of this affirmation and promise of his love and perfect timing while I waited in the hospital for my son to be born at 27 weeks gestation. Indeed nothing is too hard for the Lord, and he did give me a son in His perfect timing. I thank God for that experience because it helped grow my faith and it brought us to the point of being ready to adopt a child. We found AWAA in the next year and began our journey toward bringing home our beautiful daughter from China. I once again relied on God’s promise of perfect timing during our seemingly long wait for her. We now have 3 sons and 1 daughter, all wonderful and unique gifts from the Lord. Prior to that, I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Texas, and earned my bachelors at Texas A&M (whoop!). I met my wonderful husband in graduate school in Mississippi, and we moved to Oklahoma in 1995. While I have spent most of my time since 1997 at home with my growing “brood” of children, I have also enjoyed my work as a part-time Licensed Professional Counselor. I am delighted now to have the opportunity to help others find their place in the beautiful process of adoption, and I believe God’s calling me to work with AWAA is one of the most thrilling things He has ever place in my path.

LESLIE KNIGHT

OREGON & WASHINGTON DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Hi! I’m Leslie Knight. I have a Master of Social Work degree and currently serve as the Director of Social Services for America World’s Washington and Oregon offices. I have several years of experience working with state adoption and foster care services as well as serving as the director of a domestic adoption agency. I am passionate about supporting families throughout the entire adoption process and have experience as a foster parent, which provides me with a unique and in-depth perspective to helping children and families.

Lisa Baronner

PENNSYLVANIA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Lisa has been with America World since 2005. As the Director of Social Services for Pennsylvania, she oversees home studies and post-adoption services for all of the America World families residing in the state.

Lisa and her husband Tim have three sons through adoption. She especially enjoys talking with families about parenting and adoption issues. Lisa has a B.S. in Special Education and a Masters in Social Work. She has worked in the area of adoption for the past 26 years. Lisa has also worked as a medical social worker on a maternity and pediatrics hospital unit, and as a behavioral specialist working with adults in a residential setting.

Lisa’s interests include sports, watercolor painting, playing and singing with her church worship team, running, hiking, and playing any type of competitive game.

EMILY HEAD, MSW

SOUTH CAROLINA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Hello! It’s a great day in South Carolina! I have always had a passion for adoption, and am very blessed to be a part of AWAA. I received my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work from Florida State University. I have had the privilege of working with domestic adoptions and also child protective services in my professional career. I am excited about venturing to International Adoption, particularly placing orphans across the world in Godly families who will raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I have four beautiful children (Mackenzie, Parker, Ashton, and Boaz). My husband is adopted and we hope to one day adopt a child as well, Lord willing. I am looking forward to serving adoptive families in South Carolina!

Jennifer Smith, MSW

TENNESSEE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL SERVICES

As the Social Services Director, Jennifer Smith, oversees all Social Services in the state of Tennessee. In addition, she completes home studies, post placement reports, and supervises Tennessee’s home study coordinators. She also works as a hospice social worker and loves serving patients and families at the end of life.

Jennifer received a B.S. in Social Work from the University of Tennessee and an M.S. in Social Work from the University of Louisville.

She enjoys walking, attending her children’s sporting events, and relaxing at home with a movie and popcorn. She loves her church family and volunteering in her church’s preschool class on Sunday mornings. Jennifer is married to her high school sweetheart and they are blessed with 2 birth children and 2 children through adoption.