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Shannon Warfield

Founder/CEO, The DW Victim Advocacy Center Inc. (DWVAC)

Shannon holds undergraduate degrees from Indiana University in Gender Studies, Psychology and General Studies. She continued her education to include a master’s in Criminal Justice and Public Administration where she graduated near the top of her class. Shannon has been trained by the Victim Assistance Program in Akron, Ohio, and received her certification through them from the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). Shannon then went on to become a credentialed advocate through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP). Shannon is also certified as a crisis responder for the state of Indiana through the Indiana Crisis Assistance Response Team (I-Cart). She has numerous certificates from the Indiana Coalition to end Domestic Violence.

She is considered an expert in the field of sexual assault by the
credentials received through the Indiana Coalition to end Sexual Assault. Shannon has 10 years of management experience and has also worked as a victim assistant for the Elkhart County Women’s Shelter. Most recently she was employed as a victim assistant with the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Shannon left her position to create the DWVAC, as she saw the need for early intervention following a victimization. Her goal in creating the DWVAC was to bridge the gap between crisis and conviction for
the victim(s).

Kristen Smole

Chief Operating Officer, The DW Victim Advocacy Center Inc. (DWVAC)

Kristen is an Elkhart native that graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 2016 and  master’s degree in Political Science from Purdue University in 2019. She is a current PhD student in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy, also at Purdue University. In August of 2019, she completed a certificate program with the University of Notre Dame in nonprofit leadership.

Kristen is currently a civic innovation fellow at enFocus, a local nonprofit empowering recent graduate to work and think like an entrepreneur to solve our community’s toughest challenges by partnering with local organizations. She is committed to being an active member in the community by volunteering with various types of organizations. She was appointed to the Elkhart Housing Authority Board in early 2020 and very much enjoys her role.

Kristen has completed the National Organization for Victim Assistance training in 2020 which has taught her the skills necessary to operate as a victim advocate. She is applying to become a credentialed advocate through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP) in the upcoming months. Kristen is looking forward to dedicating her career to benefit the community she loves.

Nicole Dyer

Director of Education, The DW Victim Advocacy Center Inc. (DWVAC)

Nicole has a degree in Organizational Management from Bethel as well as a degree in Accounting from Michiana College. She also holds a certificate in health coaching/nutrition from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a Health NES Bioenergetics Practitioner with education obtained from NES Health. Nicole is an Ordained Minister as well. Nicole was a firefighting/EMT/Investigator on the Elkhart City Fire Dept. from 1997 – 2006. Nicole is still currently certified and has maintained certifications as firefighter/EMT/Investigator/Fire Instructor.

Nicole has been a K9 detection handler/trainer since 2001. She has trained and utilized accelerant, drug, and electronics detection dogs. She has trained dogs in and for service work, assistance, hearing, diabetic and seizure situations. Nicole’s trainings with dogs for service work is essential to our organization as trauma survivors can be calmed by the presence of animals trained to offer supportive reassurance. Nicole also has kennels that are available to house dogs in the event the victim(s) need to house their dog while transitioning to temporary housing.

Nicole is also a current instructor/teacher for Elkhart Community Schools (ECS) and has been since 2010. She has taught firefighting from 2010-2012 then crime scene investigation class from 2012-2019 and is now currently teaching the firefighting class.  In addition to having her license for ECS, she also is a dual credit/adjunct instructor for Ivy Tech. She will be responsible for teaching the NOVA basic advocacy training to our staff, volunteers, interns and the community.

Nicole has more certifications than can be listed however some of the most relevant include human trafficking, victim rights, victim needs and many more. Nicole finished her victim advocacy training through the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) in 2020. Nicole will be applying for accreditation through the National Advocate Credentialing Program in 2021.

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Inspired by the life of Darnelle Warfield
12/02/1995 - 04/25/2017