Every Child Deserves a Happy Heart

20 Colonial Square, Sylva, North Carolina 28779
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Meet our staff

Renee Coward, EdD

Executive Director

Paige Gilliand

Paige currently serves as AWAKE's Case Manager and Forensic Interviewer, conducting interviews with child victims and providing advocacy services to families from the point of referral to resolution in court and beyond.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the Honors College at Western Carolina University in 2011.  Paige has been in the child welfare field for seven years, serving as a Guardian Ad Litem in Haywood County, as well as working at KARE Children's Advocacy Center from 2012 - 2015.  Paige is a certified victim services practitioner, and is trained in three different nationally recognized forensic interview protocols.  She is also employed through UNC-CH, as a faculty moderator on the RADAR forensic interview protocol training team.

Heather Odom

Heather currently serves as AWAKE’s Victim Services Coordinator and Forensic Interviewer, conducting interviews with child victims and providing advocacy services to families from the point of referral to resolution in court and beyond.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Western Carolina University in 2017.  Heather is trained in RADAR, a nationally recognized forensic interview protocol.

Janet James, FNP-C, DNP, CMEP

Child Medical Examiner