Meet the Team

Our researchers bring advanced academic training and extensive industry experience to the table to guide every phase of your project.

Kelly Terry, MS

Managing Partner

Specialties

Kelly has more than twenty-five years of technology assessment, business development, and technology commercialization experience.

Experience

Kelly is founder and Managing Partner of Sentier Strategic Resources, LLC. She has also founded 3 other companies in the intellectual property development and licensing space. Kelly serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of The Refuge, a charitable organization supporting the recovery efforts of human trafficking victims, as well as serving on the Board of the SA Christian Hope Resource Center, Inc., a charitable organization serving the San Antonio community. She has also been a member of several economic development committees for the city of San Antonio.

Education

Kelly holds an MS in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business and IC2, University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University.

Tom Thornton

Thomas Thornton, PhD

Partner, Senior Researcher

Specialties

Research design, user experience testing and moderation, large-scale product trials, statistical analysis, information visualization, and wire-framing.

Experience

Tom left academia, where he did basic research, to pursue a career in consulting in 2005. Since that time, Tom has designed and conducted UX research studies for a variety of Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications, finance, retail, software and computing hardware industries. In 2009, Kelly Terry and Tom formed Sentier.

Education

Tom holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. His academic training includes specialization in the study of attention, perception, memory, and the computational modeling of cognition.

Jessica White-Sustaita, PhD

Researcher

Specialties

Research design, customer experience research, surveys, depth interviews, focus groups, data visualization, writing, and quantitative and qualitative reporting.

Experience

Since starting with Sentier in early 2015, Jessica has focused on various aspects of customer experience research, including designing and conducting qualitative studies (e.g. depth interviews and focus groups) and surveys, with an emphasis on user experience and IT market research. Before joining Sentier, Jessica spent 8 years as a graduate researcher designing and conducting research studies, both independently and in collaboration, as well as presenting and publishing her research.

Education

Jessica holds an MA and PhD in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on social, cognitive, and quantitative factors in language use.

Matt Newman, PhD

Researcher

Specialties

Research and survey design, project management, basic and advanced statistical analysis, data visualization, writing, and reporting.

Experience

Matt spent over a decade in academic positions, teaching, publishing, and conducting primary research, using a wide range of methodologies, from large-scale surveys to physiological measurement. In his transition to the private sector, Matt has applied his research expertise to provide both internal and external consulting for client projects, translating business questions into actionable insights from quality research. Prior to joining Sentier, Matt served as an independent research consultant, as well as a Research Products Manager at Research Now.

Education

Matt holds an MS and a PhD in Social Psychology and Statistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Matt also completed two years of postdoctoral training in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin.

Phaidra Harper, MA

Researcher

Specialties

User experience, customer and patient experience, and design research as well as project management and reporting.

Experience

After over 15 years of experience in high tech in roles from human resources and training to finance, Phaidra redefined her career by returning to her behavioral sciences background to focus on the intersection of technology and human experience in healthcare. When she joined Sentier Strategic Resources in 2015, she brought a broad private industry experience as well as training in human factors and public health behavioral science.

Education

Phaidra has degrees in Spanish & International Studies, Creative Writing, and Psychology and is currently completing her MA in Public Health at the University of Texas with a focus on mental health, trauma, and adolescent health.

Paula Smith

Paula Smith

Researcher and Senior Project Manager

Specialties

Project coordination, logistical support, management of staff, communications, customer service, and secondary research.

Experience

As Senior Project Support and Operations Manager, she oversees the internal support and operations team, tracks strategic initiatives, and coordinates logistics for all phases of research. Since starting with Sentier as a Research Assistant in 2013 and then working as a Project Manager, Paula has worked extensively with product trials, assisted with qualitative and quantitative analysis of data and secondary research, and provided project management services for a wide variety of projects.

From 2005-2010 Paula worked at Dun & Bradstreet as a Researcher and Web Content Coordinator, and from 2011-2013 she was an Administrative Coordinator for Meals on Wheels and More of Central Texas.

Education

Paula holds a BA in English and Media Studies from Texas State University.

Jami Nordquist

Director of Operations

Specialties

Management, process improvement, project management, customer service, team building and strong organizational skills. Jami also has a passion for fitness, food, traveling, sailing, and diving.

Experience

Jami developed and is managing a new customized CRM system for Sentier. She has created and implemented procedures to collect data for a consistent pricing strategy along with other processes to track company-wide initiatives and operations. Jami is responsible for supporting both project and administrative functions within Sentier.

Before joining Sentier, Jami was the Office Manager for a machining company. Jami also spent almost a decade teaching and working as an assistant director of education, before becoming a certified personal trainer, where she helped individuals meet fitness and nutrition goals.

Education

Jami holds a BS in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mike Todd

Design and Technology Manager

Specialties

Information Technology, Graphic Design, Video Production, Systems Management

Experience

As Design and Technology Manager, Mike influences and oversees the visual language of Sentier products and researches, tests, implements and assists staff in the use of hardware and software used internally at Sentier and in client-facing projects.

From 2007 to 2013 Mike worked as a Systems Analyst at Capitol Credit Union, and from 2014 to 2015 he interned and worked as a Videographer for Sage ATC Environmental Consulting.

Education

Mike holds a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin.