Wendy Reinke, Ph.D., Co-Director (School Psychology)
Dr. Wendy Reinke completed her doctoral training in school psychology at the University of Oregon and is currently a Professor in School Psychology at the University of Missouri. She teaches classes on prevention of emotional and behavior disturbances in children, public health perspectives, research design, and evidence-based practices for children with emotional disturbances. Prior to coming to MU, she was a Prevention Science Fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Her research focuses on preventing disruptive behavior problems in children. Dr. Reinke is also an expert in teacher consultation models in classroom management and is the developer of the Classroom Check-Up. She is the co-author of two books on the topic of teacher consultation, including one with Randy Sprick and Jim Knight entitled Coaching Classroom Management and another with Keith Herman and Randy Sprick entitled Motivational Interviewing for Effective Classroom Management: The Classroom Check-up.
Keith Herman, Ph.D., Co-Director (Counseling Psychology)
Dr. Herman is a Professor in the Department of Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri. Dr. Herman primarily teaches doctoral coursework in the areas of parent behavior management, developmental psychopathology, and research design. Originally trained as a counseling psychologist at the University of Florida, Dr. Herman retrained in school psychology at the University of Oregon and also completed postdoctoral fellowships at Brown University and Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the department at Mizzou, he was a faculty member in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. His research takes a prevention science approach to understanding, preventing, and treating child depression. He has developed a conceptual model describing social developmental pathways to child depression with emphasis on modifiable aspects of schooling and parenting that contribute to children’s risk. This model has informed the development of school and family interventions for children who are depressed.
Aaron Thompson, Ph.D., Associate Director (Social Work)
Dr. Aaron M. Thompson completed his PhD in Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to this, Aaron worked as a counselor and special educator in a juvenile detention facility, as an educational disability evaluation specialist, and as a public school social worker and principal. Currently, Aaron is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri and the Associate Director of the Missouri Prevention Science Institute. Aaron’s research interests include the origins of mental and behavioral health issues among youth, training for school-based mental health service providers, and the development and evaluation of early prevention and intervention efforts to improve school readiness and reduce disruptive and aggressive behaviors for high risk children. Aaron is the developer of The Self-Management Training and Regulation Strategy (STARS), and the Principal Investigator on a $3.5M US Department of Education award to test the effects of STARS using a randomized control trial with 5th grade students who present challenging classroom behaviors. Aaron is also the Principal investigator on a $4.1M contract with Boone County, Missouri to develop the Family Access Center of Excellence of Boone County and the Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Wendy Reinke on the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition.
Francis Huang, Ph.D., Methodology Branch (Educational Research Methods)
Dr. Huang is an experienced management consultant and quantitative researcher. He currently teaches subjects related to linear/nonlinear regression, multivariate statistics (e.g., factor analysis, discriminant analysis, cluster analysis), and data management. Research interests focus on the use of applied quantitative methods for policy analysis (e.g., bullying, school violence, literacy growth), large scale data analysis, birthdate effects/season of birth research, and the development and validation of empirically supported measures and scales.
Clark Peters, Ph.D., Prevention Policy Branch (Social Work)
Clark Peters, PhD, MSW, JD, is an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Social Work and Truman School of Public Affairs, focusing his work primarily on child welfare, adolescents in state care, and juvenile justice. He is also is a Policy Fellow at the Institute of Public Policy, holds a courtesy appointment at the University of Missouri School of Law, and is a Faculty Director of Youth Development at the Center for Social Development at Washington University is St. Louis. As a Skadden Fellow at the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, he represented youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in civil rights actions. He has presented, taught, and written widely on issues of juvenile justice, foster care, and child welfare. His current research work focuses on youths in foster care, financial capability, asset building, and youth engagement, and appears in Social Work, the Missouri Law Review, Journal of Public Child Welfare, and the Children and Youth Services Review.
Chris Riley-Tillman, Ph.D., Measurement Branch (School Psychology)
In his current position, Dr. Riley-Tillman provides training in assessment, intervention and consultation. He brings qualifications in the areas of applied behavior analysis, behavioral assessment, academic assessment and intervention, and the development and validation of assessment and intervention methodologies which are both empirically supported and feasible. His research interests involve social behavioral assessment, academic assessment/intervention, and consultation. He has authored over 60 articles, book chapters and books. Dr. Riley-Tillman serves as Co-Principal Investigator on Project VIABLE an IES-funded grant with goals to develop and evaluate procedures for direct behavior rating scales to effectively and efficiently measure student behavior. Dr. Riley-Tillman is currently serving as an Associate Editor for School Psychology Forum and board member of School Psychology Review.
- Wes Bonifay (Assistant Professor, Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation)
- Brad Curs (Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis)
- Kristin Hawley (Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology)
- Erika Lembke (Professor, Special Education)
- Matt Martens (Professor, Counseling Psychology)
- Lori Newcomer (Associate Research Professor, ESCP)
- Sarah Owens (Assistant Teaching Professor, School Psychology)
- James Sebastian (Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis)
- Melissa Stormont (Professor, Special Education)
- Lou Ann Tanner-Jones (Assistant Clinical Professor, ESCP)
- Wolfgang Wiedermann (Assistant Professor, Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation)
Crystal Lewis, Director of Data Strategy
Crystal currently oversees all things data at the MPSI and focuses her time on building capacity around data management, documentation, and data sharing. She also provides support for data analysis, visualization, and building feedback reports for schools. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota and has been with the MPSI team since 2013.
Marcus Petree, Senior Research Manager
Marcus is the Senior Research Manager with the MPSI. In this role, he assists with overall project coordination for all research projects at the MPSI with the supervision of the respective project directors. Additionally, he currently works as the project coordinator and oversees all research aspects for the START and SCSL principal training projects under Dr. Herman. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Mizzou and has been a member of the MPSI team since August of 2013.
Ellen Wilson, Research Associate
Ellen is a Research Associate and coordinator of the STARS Project. Her role includes intervention planning, data management, data tracking and overseeing all logistical aspects of the project. She received a Master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri in 2001 and has taught students from the preschool to the university level.
Kali Falnes, Research Assistant
Kali is a Research Assistant with the MPSI. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and camping. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Millsaps College. In the past she has worked as a mental health technician for adolescents with mental health disorders as well as a research coordinator for laboratories studying a variety of topics such as substance use, working memory, and anxiety. Her research interests include studying substance use disorders, specifically alcohol misuse as well as studying empirically supported treatments for mental health disorders. She is the project coordinator for the DiSCO project. She is excited to focus her research on early assessment and prevention of mental health disorders in young adults.
Carolyn Conway, Research Assistant
Carolyn is a research assistant at the MPSI as a cross-project support. She recently graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Missouri and plans on going to graduate school for School Psychology. She is excited to be a part of the MPSI team and is looking forward to learning more about prevention science, with a specific interest in the prevention of depression and anxiety.
David Aguayo, Postdoctoral Research Assistant
I’m an educator by heart and training! I operate under a model of potentiality: always looking on how to help improve myself and others. Specifically, I’m interested in helping individuals transform their educational system so that it works for them! Call me an activist scholar… or “here comes trouble!”
Chynna McCall, Postdoctoral Fellow
Chynna McCall earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. She has been a School Psychologist in Colorado working with preschool-12th grade students. During her time in Colorado she worked on improving school climates to help promote student identity development through school level consultation, consultation with teachers, and individual and small groups with students. Her research focuses on the creation of a school environment that facilitates prosocial student identity development. Her work investigates the influence the school environment has on a student’s identity development, identify expression (e.g., racial identity, gender identity, sexuality, and intersectionality), and internal and external behaviors. Her examination of this area also emphasizes the affect implicit bias and the resulting stereotyping behavior (by school staff and faculty as well as other students) has on a student’s identity development and resulting internal and external behaviors. Her work concerning implicit bias focuses on how stereotyped identifying characteristics (e.g., vocal prosody, body shape, skin color, etc.) of a category (e.g., race, gender, sexuality, and disability) impact student identity development and their resulting behaviors and academic achievement.
Carole Kelley, START Principal Training Coach
Carole Kelley has more than 30 years of educational experience in a variety of roles: classroom teacher, college adviser, Advanced Placement coordinator and school administrator supervising a staff of 35 people. She has experience working with governance boards, community foundations, grant writing and interacting with policymakers on issues related to state regulations and accreditation. Carole is the Oklahoma clinical instructor and school leadership coach for the Prevention Science Institute. In schools across Oklahoma she coaches administrators and teachers on improving their leadership skills. She also has consulted for urban turnaround schools to increase rigor to the classroom, provided professional development to both faculty and administrative teams, and worked one-on-one to help teachers align lesson plans with Oklahoma State Standards. She serves on the boards of directors of the Oklahoma City Teach for America and THRIVE, a Teen Pregnancy Prevention nonprofit organization. She is an active member of the Oklahoma City Downtown Rotary Club.
Sherry Labyer, Ed.D., START Principal Training Coach
Dr. Sherry Labyer has more than 30 years of experience in education in a variety of roles. She was as an elementary classroom teacher, school career and guidance counselor, assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. She was Executive Director for the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability for the state of Oklahoma. Sherry teaches educational leadership courses for the University of Central Oklahoma. Her doctoral studies are in Educational Leadership. She is the Oklahoma clinical instructor and school leadership coach for the Prevention Science Institute, coaching administrators and teachers across Oklahoma on improving their leadership skills. Dr. Labyer is a Certified Learning Environment Architect which enables her to develop online and blended learning courses for UCO. She conducts workshops on test taking skills and provides professional development for educators across Oklahoma. She was appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma to serve on the Education Oversight Board and the Oklahoma Works career task force. She worked extensively with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to develop a federal required equity plan, served on the teacher shortage task force, and career pathways task force for Oklahoma students. She is past vice president of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, past president of the United Suburban Schools Association, and is an active member of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administrators.
Judy Healy-Mendez, M.A., Research Funding Manager
Judy oversees the pre-award grant process for MPSI. Her role includes finding funding for MPSI team members/projects, budgeting, helping to craft proposal components, submitting final proposal documents, and helping to establish grant awards. Judy holds a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Missouri. She has extensive experience in grants management, grant prospecting, project management, business communication, and corporate training. She has worked in academia, state government, nonprofits, and the healthcare industry.
Michelle Johnson, Business Manager
Michelle oversees the business operations occurring within the MPSI. Her role provides financial oversight and compliance for post award activities on all sponsored projects. She serves as the primary contact for business issues pertaining to the sponsored awards which includes human resources, finance, procurement, accounts payable and receivable, and financial reporting.
Kirsten Baker (School Psychology)
Kirsten is a third-year doctoral student in school psychology. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. Kirsten has three years of experience with classroom interventions as well as inpatient service. She is very excited to join the MPSI team and learn more about prevention science!
David Chuang (School Psychology)
David is a second-year doctoral student in School Psychology at MU. He received his undergraduate degree from Cedarville University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. Prior to coming to MU, David worked as a conference coordinator and an assistant for an assessment clinic, primarily engaged with clinical and forensic evaluations. His research interests include culturally responsive school practices and racial/ethnic differences in school climate. He looks forward to continue learning evidence-based interventions and large-scale statistical analysis with the MPSI team!
Megan Cloud (School Psychology)
Megan is a Missouri native and 1st-year school psychology Ph.D. student under the mentorship of Dr. Wendy Reinke. In 2016, she received her bachelor of science in psychology (summa cum laude) from University of Missouri-St. Louis. Megan then worked in translational neuroscience for 2 years at Washington University School of Medicine. Her greatest fear is not having access to good coffee, and her greatest achievement is a precocious toddler named Sagan. Megan enjoys nature, music, video games, and sitting on the patio before sunrise, sipping coffee, playing with her wide-awake son while the rest of the world continues to sleep. Her current research interests include families’ roles in student mental health, the effects of social/cultural beliefs on behavior/mental health, and strategies to increase learning and adaptation of prosocial beliefs/behaviors in schools. Megan is honored to be part of the MPSI team, and she looks forward to growing as a researcher and practitioner during her time with the institute.
Colleen Eddy (Counseling Psychology)
Colleen is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. She attended the University of Pittsburgh for undergraduate studies and then Boston College for a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Most recently she worked for the VA healthcare system in North Little Rock, Arkansas. She is excited to learn more about prevention science during her time at Mizzou.
Amanda Hood (Social Work)
Amanda is a is a first year MSW/PhD student at the University of Missouri. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wichita State University. Currently she is finishing up her Master’s degree in psychological science with a developmental emphasis from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has previously worked as a mental health technician with adolescents, and as a Graduate Assistant collecting data from middle schools in the Colorado Springs area. Her research interests include body image and its relation to sexual behaviors including protective sexual behaviors and sexual functioning. She is excited to work with the MPSI and learn about research on interventions in schools.
Anna Kim (Social Work)
Anna is a first-year doctoral student in the combined MSW/PHD program at MU. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Purdue University and her master’s degree in Public Management from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Anna has two years of experience working at the non-profit organization called, Beautiful Store, which is located in Seoul, S. Korea. Her research interests are children’s health, well-being, and education. She looks forward to working with the MPSI team and gain valuable research knowledge!
Toby Mills (Social Work)
Toby is a third-year doctoral student and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her BA from University of Missouri, Columbia and her MSW from New Mexico Highlands State University. Toby has several years of experience providing mental health services to children and their families in a variety of clinical settings. Her research interests include: creating trauma-informed educational policy and yoga and mindfulness-based, cognitive-behavioral group interventions to help students cope with stress and trauma. Toby is excited to join the MPSI team and gain valuable experience conducting intervention research in the school setting.
Madison Schoen (School Psychology)
Madison is a second-year doctoral student in School Psychology at MU. She received her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, double majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She continued her education at SIUE and received a Masters degree in Clinical Child Psychology. During her Masters program, she gained experience in implementing individual and group interventions within multiple Madison County Head Starts. She looks forward to continuing her education on evidence-based interventions while working with the MPSI team!
Wenxi Yang (School Psychology)
Wenxi is a first-year doctoral student in School Psychology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Missouri State University with a minor in Psychology, and her Master of Science degree in Psychology from Arizona State University (ASU). During her master’s program, she worked at the Statistics and Methods Lab of ASU for two years. In addition, she has developed a strong interest in (a) social-emotional development in children, and how stress and resilience influence those processes; (b) how personality traits and interpersonal beliefs (e.g., culture, attitudes) interact with external environments (e.g., school, family) in affecting adjustment outcomes; and © how to apply these previous research interests to establish effective interventions and preventions. She looks forward to learning more about prevention science and fun statistics!
Updated February 2020