For Immediate Release

Innovation Research & Training (iRT) Announces New Hires

Staff and business growth result in office expansion and relocation


(Durham, NC, July 1, 2015)—innovation Research & Training (iRT), a leading behavior science research company, today announced the addition of Jared Cooper, Maaike van Rest, and Ashley Webb to its growing team of professionals.

Cooper, with nearly 10 years’ experience in the IT industry, joins the company as a web applications developer. In that role, he will work with the IT team on the development of website, portal, and desktop applications. Cooper earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Appalachian State University.

van Rest joins the company’s research team as a visiting scholar.  She received her Master’s degree from Leiden University and is currently completing her doctoral degree.  At iRT, van Rest will collaborate with Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, iRT senior research scientist, to compare and analyze the results from studies of several Social Information Processing (SIP) instruments conducted with typically developing and intellectually disabled youth.  This research collaboration is sponsored by the Talent-fund of the Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam.

Webb, an iRT instructional designer, is responsible for the design and development of instructional and educational materials.  A former elementary school teacher, Webb received her Masters of Instructional Technology degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

“iRT’s continued strong strategic growth requires us to expand and enhance our team to positively and effectively respond to that growth,” said Kupersmidt. “We are pleased to welcome Jared, Maaike, and Ashley to provide added expertise in their respective areas. I am confident that they will each play a key role in helping our company reach new heights.”

In addition to announcing the new hires, iRT also recently announced a relocation of its Durham operations to larger premises.  The new office, located at 5316 Highgate Drive in Durham, will allow the company to adjust for recent new staff hires and prepare for anticipated business growth.

“Our new office space will provide us with a long-term base to continue to expand our team and our business,” said Kupersmidt.  This additional space allows us to increase the number of employees on the team, host training workshops and meetings with partner organizations, accommodate significant growth across our sectors, and gives us the flexibility to introduce new specializations to our portfolio.”

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About innovation Research & Training

innovation Research & Training (iRT) is a behavioral sciences research company committed to identifying and solving significant real-world problems facing children, families, communities, and organizations. By using evidence-based and culturally sensitive methods, iRT researchers investigate, develop, and evaluate behavioral, educational, psychological, social, and community assessment, prevention and treatment programs and services. iRT’s staff includes experts in basic and applied research in a variety of areas, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, youth mentoring, social and emotional development, mindfulness education, media literacy education, pregnancy prevention and sexual health, child and adolescent mental health, adult and juvenile justice programs, drug courts, drugged driving, tobacco use and underage drinking.  For more information about iRT, visit

Media Contact: 

Yvette Ruffin, APR

Director, Marketing and Communications

Innovative Research & Training