MEET OUR STAFF
Click on each staff member to view their bio.
Founder & Executive Director
Dr. Patricia NewmanFounder & Executive Director
Dr. Patricia Newman is a Clinical Child Psychologist and the Founder and Executive Director of RESPECT. She also holds graduate degrees in Educational Psychology and Special Education. Dr. Newman is in private practice with Family Enrichment, Inc. and works as a Medical Consultant for the Nebraska Department of Disability Determinations. She is the recipient of several professional and community awards including the Y/WCA Tribute to Women Award for her work in the areas of Human Service and Community Advocacy; the Nebraska School Psychologists Association “Psychologist of the Year” award; the Cultural Adult Program Award from the United Way of the Midlands; the Leadership Award for Prevention of Domestic Violence Programming from the Y/WCA; and the Community Service Award from the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Dr. Newman was awarded the 2022 School Mental Health Champion Award at the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference. She is the playwright of two of RESPECT’s plays.
Associate Executive Director
Paige BrennemanAssociate Executive Director
In 2016, Paige graduated with a Bachelors degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha through the College of Public Affairs and Community Service with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration and a Minor in Women and Gender Studies. During Paige’s college career she spent her service learning project with the Women’s Center for Advancement as a group leader for the Girls Leadership Academy. Since starting her work with RESPECT in 2017, Paige has expanded her knowledge in nonprofit development and management. She looks forward to her growth within the organization and continuing to build relationships with community partners.
Program & Development Manager
Cara NeufeldProgram & Development Manager
Cara joined RESPECT in 2017, initially contributing her expertise to data entry and analysis. Over the years, her commitment to RESPECT as well as her communication and organizational skills, led her to take on more significant responsibilities. Now, as the Program and Development Manager, she is excited to take her place as an integral part of our team. Cara thrives on building connections, offering support, and providing encouragement to both her colleagues and the community we serve.
Michele PhillipsCo-Artistic Director
Michele was born in New Jersey, raised in Omaha and is a graduate of UNO with a Bachelor of Arts/Dramatic Arts degree. She has acted and/or directed in nearly every theatrical venue in the metro. Michele teaches TV Screenwriting at UNO and is a teaching artist for the Nebraska Arts Council. In addition to workshops for WHY ARTS with special needs students, Michele teaches at two area middle schools in the OPS After-School Program for Brigit St Brigit Theatre Company. She is the resident playwright for RESPECT.
Aiden PolingCo-Artistic Director
Aiden is a professional actor, visual artist, singer-songwriter, coach, and creator from Shreveport, Louisiana and is a recent transplant to the Omaha area. Aiden graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with BFAs in both Theatre and Studio Art, and both areas
of study have allowed him opportunities to succeed not only on stage but behind the scenes, as well. Aiden believes in bringing diverse, inclusive, and truthful story-telling to life and making the arts accessible to all communities. He is excited to have joined the team at RESPECT and looks forward to planting some roots in the Omaha arts community.
Education and Training Director
Kathleen McGeeEducation and Training Director
For more than 35 years, Kathleen Sorensen McGee has worked with, and on behalf of children and teens – as a classroom teacher, a trainer, an author and a public speaker. She has written more than 20 books and articles including Unmasking Sexual Con Games: Helping Teens Avoid Emotional Grooming and Dating Violence, Who’s Raising Your Child: Battling the Marketers for Your Child’s Heart and Soul and There are NO Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter, all published by the Boys Town Press. Kathie has presented workshops nationwide on bullying, teen dating violence, the influence of media, as well as sexual harassment and abuse. She earned both her BA and MA from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
Christina is an Omaha transplant originally from Sarasota, Florida. In 2021, Christina graduated from Buena Vista University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Media Performance as well as two minors in English and Gender Studies. Since living in Omaha, she has taught multiple classes, camps, and workshops for Omaha Community Playhouse and the Rose. One of Christina’s goals for the next year is to go back to school for a Master’s degree in Creative Writing, specifically for theatre.
Jared DominguezActor-EducatorJared is a local Theatre and Film artist in Omaha, Nebraska. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Jared attended the University of South Dakota in 2017 for Musical Theatre. Having been active in the Omaha theatre community since 2018, Jared has worked with companies such as Omaha Community Playhouse, Apollon Art Space, Circle Theatre, SNAP! Productions, Bellevue Little Theatre, The Rose, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. Jared also participates in the local Film community in Omaha. Jared is also a Swing Dance teacher, teaching with the Omaha Jitterbugs and Open Book Studios in Fremont. Jared is absolutely thankful to be involved with this program, and wishes to thank the team, his friends, and The Lord for helping him in his journey and for continuing his passion in a new direction!
Quinn Dowling is an actor and performance artist in the Omaha area. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Quinn graduated Susquehanna University in 2020 with a degree in theater performance. In their time at Susquehanna, Quinn was involved with every department from backstage to the front of house. Quinn is incredibly thankful for these experiences and opportunities that have gotten them to where they are today. When they are not an actor-educator with RESPECT, Quinn is one of the newest board members of Omaha’s Shelterbelt theater, specializing in alternative programming and community outreach. Quinn is a staunch advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and volunteers with OutNebraska and The Trevor Project.