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Project Overview | Press Room | BrainLine's Advisors | BrainLine's Partners | WETA | Staff

Project Overview

Every 19 seconds someone in the United States sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI). That adds up to 1.7 million people each year. Brain injuries range from mild to moderate to severe. Every injury is different, but when your brain is injured, it can affect everything: your ability to speak, focus, remember, and relate to other people.

BrainLine is a national multimedia project offering information and resources about preventing, treating, and living with TBI. BrainLine includes a series of webcasts, an electronic newsletter, and an extensive outreach campaign in partnership with national organizations concerned about traumatic brain injury.

BrainLine serves anyone whose life has been affected by TBI. That includes people with brain injury, their families, professionals in the field, and anyone else in a position to help prevent or ameliorate the toll of TBI.

Through BrainLine, we seek to provide a sense of community, a place where people who care about TBI can go 24 hours a day for information, support, and ideas.

BrainLine's Subject Matter Experts

BrainLine's experts review the site and make sure we're up to date on the latest and greatest information and resources. Click here to learn more about our Subject Matter Experts.

BrainLine's Partners

BrainLine works closely with many outstanding organizations to promote education and awareness about brain injury. Here is a list of our current partners.


BrainLine is a service of WETA, the public TV and radio station in Washington, DC. WETA is the third-largest producing station for PBS. WETA's productions and co-productions include The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal, and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including, most recently, The War.

Over the last decade, WETA has created and sustained four award-winning national educational services: LD OnLine, Reading Rockets, Colorin Colorado, and AdLit.org. With funding from the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, WETA also produced the public TV series Exploring Your Brain and co-produced three documentaries for the public radio series Gray Matters. In recognition of that work, we received the James and Sarah Brady Recognition Award for Public Service from the Brain Injury Association of America.

LD OnLine

LD OnLine is the most comprehensive and widely used information service ever offered in the field of learning disabilities — a meeting place for all interested in helping children and adults learn and adapt in school, at home, and at work.

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets looks at how young children learn to read, why so many struggle, and what we can do to help them. The website includes an archive of articles, interviews with children's authors, a daily headline service, webcasts, blogs, and much more. The Reading Rockets project also encompasses television programs produced for PBS, including A Tale of Two Schools, narrated by Morgan Freeman, and the 10-part series Launching Young Readers.

Colorin Colorado

Colorin Colorado is a bilingual website for the parents and educators of English language learners. The website gives Spanish-speaking parents a wealth of information in their native language and gives teachers the information they need to be more effective in working with children for whom English is a second language.


AdLit.org (all about adolescent literacy) serves the parents and educators of struggling readers and writers in grades 4-12. The site includes research-based articles, instructional material for classroom teachers, an Ask the Experts feature, tips for parents, book recommendations, exclusive interviews with top authors, and a free monthly e-newsletter.

Staff, WETA Learning Media

Noel Gunther, Executive Director
Christian Lindstrom, Director, Learning Media
Sharon Ladin, Director, BrainLine
Victoria Tilney McDonough, Editor, BrainLine
Elaine Phillips, MSP, CCC/SLP, Research Consultant, BrainLine
Brian King, Senior Multimedia Producer, BrainLine
Ian Collins, Senior Web Developer, BrainLine
Justin Rhodes, Associate Project Manager, BrainLine
Brooke Gushen, Project Coordinator, BrainLine
Kelly Deckert, Associate Manager of Online Media, BrainLine
Theresa Rankin, Outreach Consultant
Rachael Walker, Outreach Consultant
Shalini Anand, Technical Web Manager
Lydia Breiseth, Manager, Colorin Colorado
Tina Chovanec, Manager, Reading Rockets
Laurie Fry, Publicist
Ashley Gilleland, Associate Producer
Susannah Harris, Manager, AdLit.org
Joanne Meier, Ph.D., Research Consultant
Maria Salvadore, Children's Literature Editor
Laura Schreiber, Web Producer

Noel Gunther, Executive Director

Noel Gunther has broad experience in radio, television, print, and the Internet. He has co-written and co-produced award-winning documentaries for NPR and Public Radio International, including: Good Morning Vietnam with Adrian Cronauer (Gold Award, International Radio Festival of New York); American Voices: Norman Corwin with Charles Kuralt (Grand Award, Best Documentary, International Radio Festival of New York); Gray Matters: Depression with Mike Wallace (Gold Award, International Radio Festival of New York); and Drugs, Alcohol and the Brain with Pat Summerall (Gold Cindy Award, best documentary).

For television, Gunther's work includes the PBS documentary A Tale of Two Schools, narrated by Morgan Freeman (Cine Special Jury Prize), and the five-part public TV series Exploring Your Brain (Gold Cindy Award). For the Internet, Gunther developed and now oversees four national sites: ReadingRockets.org, ColorinColorado.org, AdLit.org, and LD OnLine.org, which since 1996 has been the world's leading website in the field of learning disabilities. Gunther is co-author of Beyond Boardwalk and Park Place (Bantam Books), which was named by the New York Public Library as one of the best young adult books of the year. He has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Washingtonian, American Journalism Review, and many other publications. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Christian Lindstrom, Director, Learning Media

Christian Lindstrom's work for WETA Learning Media includes producing award-winning television programs, websites, and print materials about reading, learning disabilities, mental health, and brain science. She worked to launch Learning Media's first website, LD OnLine, in 1996; it has since become the world's leading site in the field of learning disabilities. She has been a key player in the production and launch of ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org, both Webby Award Honorees. She contributed to the Dana Foundation-funded television series Exploring Your Brain with Garrick Utley, which won an International Gold CINDY Award and a Time Inc Health FREDDIE Award. She co-produced, wrote, and directed the PBS show A Tale of Two Schools, narrated by Morgan Freeman, which won the Unity Award in Media, a CINE Golden Eagle Award, and a CINE Special Jury Prize. She also wrote and produced several episodes of the PBS series Launching Young Readers, including Reading Rocks!, a special for children with reading difficulties (Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award); Reading and the Brain, with Henry Winkler (Time Inc Health FREDDIE Award, Silver World Medal at the International Film and Video Competition of New York); Empowering Parents, with Al Roker (CINE Golden Eagle Award, International Reading Association Broadcast Media Award for Television, Telly Awards Bronze Medal Winner); and Becoming Bilingual, with Rita Moreno (CINE Golden Eagle Award, Telly Awards Bronze Medal Winner)

Sharon Ladin, Director, BrainLine

Sharon Ladin has more than 25 years of experience working on health and children’s issues. Prior to coming to BrainLine, she was Director of the Antibiotics and Innovation Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she brought medical, military, academic and industry leaders together to successfully advocate for policies to stimulate the development of new drugs to treat life-threatening infections. She worked for more than a decade with the National Association of Children’s Hospitals on a broad range of issues including child abuse, injury prevention, health coverage and medical education. She worked at the Children’s Defense Fund as the Director of the Child Watch Visitation Program, training more than 100 community coalitions to implement a unique strategy to raise the profile of issues impacting children locally.

Victoria Tilney McDonough, Editor, BrainLine

Victoria Tilney McDonough writes about what makes people tick — and why — in whatever work or life situation they are in. She has worked as a writer and editor at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and for various publications, websites, and other health care and educational organizations. She also produced various sections for RehabManager.com, a website devoted to physical therapists and their patients. She has been published in The New York Times Book Review, Elle, Scholastic, Harvard, TimeOut, and FilmMaker; in many university alumni magazines; and on Salon.com and the AP News Wire, among others.

Elaine Phillips, MSP, CCC/SLP, Research Consultant

Elaine Phillips provides research guidance for BrainLine. She has 16 years of experience in the field of traumatic brain injury, both as a speech-language pathologist as well as managing an outpatient rehabilitation program in Greenville, S.C. In addition, she is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist-Trainer and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Brain Injury Alliance of South Carolina.

Brian King, Senior Multimedia Producer, BrainLine

Brian King comes to WETA from L-3 Communications. As Multimedia Product Development Manager there, he worked on the Army Posture Statement, the L-3 corporate websites, and multimedia for proposal development efforts. Brian earned his B.S. from the James Madison University's School of Media Arts and Design program in Interactive Media. He has more than five years experience focused on multimedia, web development, and social media and networking.

Ian Collins, Senior Web Developer, BrainLine

Ian Collins has been a Senior Web Developer for Army.mil for the last three years. He began his career after graduating from James Madison University with a B.S. in Computer Science. Ian has more than five years experience developing web applications and specializing in content management systems.

Justin Rhodes, Associate Project Manager, BrainLine

Justin Rhodes has been at WETA since 2011 and has served the organization in a variety of different roles. He began his career at WETA as an intern in the Learning Media Department. He was then hired as a Web Producer for Washington Week where he worked before returning to the Learning Media team first as a Project Coordinator and now as the Associate Project Manager for BrainLine. He has a B.A. in Media Arts from Wesley College and more than six years of multimedia experience.

Brooke Gushen, Project Coordinator, BrainLine

Brooke Gushen graduated from Penn State in 2012 with a degree in Biology, specializing in Neuroscience and Vertebrate Physiology. At BrainLine, she manages our social media networks and supports a number of projects for both BrainLine and BrainLine Military.

Kelly Deckert, Associate Manager of Online Media, BrainLine

Kelly holds a degree in Web Content, Design, & Marketing and began her career with WETA Learning Media in 2004 as a Web Producer for LDOnline.org -- a position she was passionate about after a sister's struggle with dyslexia. Now, as the Associate Manager of Online Media, she contributes her creative ideas and new media savviness to BrainLine through social networking, online video, widgets, mobile, and other emerging web trends.

Theresa Rankin, Outreach Consultant

Theresa Rankin is a national community educator for Brain Injury Services, a multi-site, non-profit, Virginia-based organization, which serves as a national model of community-based TBI services and support coordination for adults and children with disability due to traumatic/acquired brain injury. Theresa survived a severe brain injury in 1977 as a passenger in a Porsche that crashed off the cliffs of northern California Pacific Coast Highway 1. As a 21-year-old military dependent, she and her Marine Corps family experienced first hand the lack of comprehensive care. The long search for rehabilitation, advocacy, and resources finally brought her to Washington, D.C., in 1986, and her recovery is ongoing. During the 1990s, The Decade of the Brain, Theresa was commissioned by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to present a special report at the October 1998 NIH TBI Consensus Conference: The Consumer Perspective on TBI Rehabilitation. During her career, Theresa received awards for her outreach projects: 1995 Washington, D.C., Tribute to Working Women; 1997 ICON Partnerships for the 21st Century; 1999 Brain Injury Association of America Founders Award for National Service; and 2001 Virginia Rehabilitation Association VRA Distinguished Achievement Award.

Rachael Walker, Outreach Consultant

Rachael Walker began her career in literacy outreach at Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). She has also served as a consultant to the National Education Association's Read Across America campaign, the U.S. Department of Education's America Reads program, and was most recently the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read of Metro DC. She currently consults for HarperCollins Children's Books and WETA Learning Media.

Contact Us

E-mail: info@BrainLine.org
Phone: 703.998.2020
Address: 2775 S Quincy Street. Arlington, VA 22206

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