2020–2021 MPSI Team


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. Exper­tise: Pre­ven­tion and Treat­ment of Child­hood Emo­tion­al and Behav­ioral Dis­or­ders, Pos­i­tive Behav­ioral Inter­ven­tion, School Based Con­sul­ta­tion, Fam­i­ly-Based Inter­ven­tions, Men­tal Health and Schools, Devel­op­men­tal Psy­chopathol­o­gy, Class­room Mangement. 

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. Exper­tise: Devel­op­men­tal Psy­chopathol­o­gy and School Men­tal Health; Pre­ven­tion and Treat­ment of Child Depres­sion; Par­ent, Fam­i­ly, and School Inter­ven­tions; Teacher Stress; Cul­tur­al­ly Respon­sive Interventions.

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 a 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. Exper­tise: School and Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice Agency Col­lab­o­ra­tions; School-Based Inter­ven­tions for Chil­dren with Social, Emo­tion­al, and Behav­ioral Health Con­cerns; Build­ing Self-Deter­mi­na­tion for Stu­dents with Edu­ca­tion­al Dis­abil­i­ties’ Site-Based Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem to Inform Tiered Response Models.

Fran­cis Huang, Ph.D., Co-Direc­tor, Method­ol­o­gy Branch (Edu­ca­tion­al Research Meth­ods)

Fran­cis Huang is an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor in the Sta­tis­tics, Mea­sure­ment, and Eval­u­a­tion in Edu­ca­tion pro­gram in the Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri and the Method­ol­o­gy Co-Direc­tor of the Mis­souri Pre­ven­tion Cen­ter. His research focus­es on both method­olog­i­cal (e.g., analy­sis of clus­tered data) and sub­stan­tive (e.g., school cli­mate, bul­ly­ing, dis­par­i­ties in dis­ci­pli­nary sanc­tions) areas of inter­est. Dr. Huang received his Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia in Research, Sta­tis­tics, and Eval­u­a­tion. Exper­tise: Mul­ti­level Modeling/Analysis of Clus­tered Data, Eval­u­a­tion, School Cli­mate, School Vio­lence, Exclu­sion­ary Dis­ci­pline Prac­tices.

Wolf­gang Wie­der­mann, Ph.D., Co-Direc­tor, Method­ol­o­gy Branch (Edu­ca­tion­al Research Meth­ods)

Wolf­gang Wie­der­mann received his Ph.D. in Quan­ti­ta­tive Psy­chol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kla­gen­furt, Aus­tria. Dr. Wie­der­man­n’s research inter­ests include the devel­op­ment of meth­ods for causal infer­ence, meth­ods to eval­u­ate the direc­tion of depen­dence in sta­tis­ti­cal mod­els, and meth­ods for per­son-ori­ent­ed research. Cur­rent­ly, he serves as a lead method­ol­o­gist for three IES fund­ed MPSI projects (R305A200297, PI: Reinke; R305C190014, PI: Reinke, and R305A150517, PI: Thomp­son). He has served as the PI on a grant that focused on the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of Direc­tion Depen­dence Analy­sis (DDA) in the edu­ca­tion­al sci­ences, and has served as the method­ol­o­gist in var­i­ous fund­ed projects in the edu­ca­tion­al, health, and psy­cho­log­i­cal sci­ences. Dr. Wie­der­mann has (co-)edited 3 vol­umes on advances in 1) sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods for causal infer­ence, 2) sta­tis­ti­cal mod­el­ing of direc­tion of depen­dence (both pub­lished by Wiley in 2016 and 2020), and 3) sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods for depen­dent data analy­sis in the social and behav­ioral sci­ences (pub­lished by Springer, 2015). He has edit­ed 4 spe­cial issues on meth­ods for causal infer­ence, meth­ods for cat­e­gor­i­cal data, and meth­ods for per­son-ori­ent­ed research (pub­lished in Pre­ven­tion Sci­ence and the Jour­nal for Per­son-Ori­ent­ed Research). In addi­tion, Dr. Wie­der­mann has authored/­co-authored 49 peer-reviewed papers/book chap­ters that focus on the the­o­ry of sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods and 30 peer-reviewed papers/book chap­ters that focus on the appli­ca­tion of sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods in exper­i­men­tal and non-exper­i­men­tal data set­tings. Togeth­er with grad­u­ate stu­dents, he has pub­lished 5 soft­ware pack­ages in R and SPSS. Exper­tise: Quan­ti­ta­tive Meth­ods

Wes Boni­fay, Ph.D., Direc­tor of Mea­sure­ment (Edu­ca­tion­al Research Meth­ods)

Wes Boni­fay is an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor in the Sta­tis­tics, Mea­sure­ment, and Eval­u­a­tion in Edu­ca­tion pro­gram with­in the Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri. He is also the Direc­tor of Mea­sure­ment at the Mis­souri Pre­ven­tion Sci­ence Insti­tute. His pri­ma­ry areas of exper­tise are mul­ti­di­men­sion­al item response the­o­ry (MIRT), diag­nos­tic clas­si­fi­ca­tion mod­el­ing, and relat­ed psy­cho­me­t­ric and sta­tis­ti­cal method­olo­gies. He has pub­lished a num­ber of the­o­ret­i­cal and applied papers on these and oth­er top­ics relat­ed to edu­ca­tion­al mea­sure­ment more broad­ly, as well as a text­book on MIRT. He also teach­es grad­u­ate-lev­el cours­es in intro­duc­to­ry mea­sure­ment, advanced psy­cho­met­rics, item response the­o­ry, and the phi­los­o­phy of social sci­ence research meth­ods. Dr. Boni­fay received his Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les. Exper­tise: Psy­cho­log­i­cal and Edu­ca­tion­al Mea­sure­ment, Item Response The­o­ry, Fac­tor Analy­sis, Clas­si­cal Test Theory. 

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 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 and staff attor­ney 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 on issues of juve­nile jus­tice, fos­ter care, and child wel­fare in the US and abroad. His cur­rent research work focus­es on youths in fos­ter care, 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. He is a co-PI on a Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Research Lead­ers grant focused on vio­lence pre­ven­tion. Exper­tise: Social Pol­i­cy, Child Wel­fare, Human Ser­vices & Courts, Crim­i­nal & Juve­nile Justice. 

Sarah Owens, Ph.D., (School Psychology)

Sarah Owens is an Assis­tant Teach­ing Pro­fes­sor in School Psy­chol­o­gy and a MPSI fac­ul­ty affil­i­ate. Her research inter­ests encom­pass effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion and trans­la­tion of evi­dence based prac­tices into schools to sup­port at-risk stu­dents. Cur­rent­ly, her research focus­es include pro­gram eval­u­a­tion of applied projects with the Boone Coun­ty Schools Men­tal Health Coali­tion (Co-Direc­tor), devel­op­ment of the Uni­ver­sal Fideli­ty Imple­men­ta­tion Tool (UFIT) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dr. Shan­non Holmes, and under­stand­ing the most appro­pri­ate and effec­tive ways to adapt inter­ven­tions in a cul­tur­al­ly sen­si­tive man­ner. Exper­tise: Imple­men­ta­tion Sci­ence, Fideli­ty of Imple­men­ta­tion, Sup­port­ing Men­tal Health of at Risk Stu­dents, Cul­tur­al­ly Sen­si­tive Imple­men­ta­tion Practices. 

Shan­non Holmes, Ph.D., (School Psychology)

Shan­non Holmes earned her Ph.D. in school psy­chol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka-Lin­coln. She com­plet­ed a post­doc­tor­al fel­low­ship through the Insti­tute of Edu­ca­tion Sci­ences Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Research and Train­ing Pro­gram in the depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion­al, School & Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy. Her areas of inter­est include the appli­ca­tion of imple­men­ta­tion sci­ence to school psy­chol­o­gy, the mea­sure­ment and pro­mo­tion of fideli­ty of imple­men­ta­tion, and fam­i­ly-school part­ner­ships. Exper­tise: Behav­ioral Inter­ven­tions, Imple­men­ta­tion Sci­ence in Edu­ca­tion Set­tings, Fam­i­ly-School Partnerships.

Kel­li Cana­da, Ph.D, MSW (Social Work)

Kel­li E. Cana­da, PhD, LCSW, is an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Missouri—Columbia, School of Social Work. She received her Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go. Dr. Canada’s research focus­es on inter­ven­tions for peo­ple with men­tal ill­ness­es in the crim­i­nal-legal sys­tem includ­ing the poli­cies and prac­tices impact­ing recidi­vism, qual­i­ty of life, and ser­vice uti­liza­tion. She is the prin­ci­ple inves­ti­ga­tor of a Robert Wood John­son fund­ed project study­ing youth vio­lence pre­ven­tion and an Urban Insti­tute fund­ed project exam­in­ing prison cli­mate and cul­ture. Exper­tise: Crim­i­nal-Legal and Behav­ioral Health Inter­ven­tion, Imple­men­ta­tion, and Eval­u­a­tion for Adults and Vul­ner­a­ble Populations.

James Sebas­t­ian, Ph.D.(Educational Lead­er­ship & Pol­i­cy Analysis)

James Sebas­t­ian is an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion­al Lead­er­ship & Pol­i­cy Analy­sis at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri-Colum­bia. He received his Ph.D. in Edu­ca­tion­al Lead­er­ship & Pol­i­cy Analy­sis from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son. Before join­ing the fac­ul­ty at Mis­souri-Colum­bia, he was Senior Researcher at the Con­sor­tium on Chica­go School Research. His research inter­ests include the study of school lead­er­ship, orga­ni­za­tion­al the­o­ry and behav­ior, orga­ni­za­tion­al learn­ing, and urban school reform. Focus­ing pri­mar­i­ly in quan­ti­ta­tive meth­ods, includ­ing the appli­ca­tion of mul­ti­level and latent vari­able mod­els, he is also inter­est­ed in the appli­ca­tion of mixed-meth­ods in exam­in­ing lead­er­ship and school orga­ni­za­tion. His work has appeared in the High School Jour­nal, Edu­ca­tion Admin­is­tra­tion Quar­ter­ly, and the Jour­nal of Edu­ca­tion Admin­is­tra­tion. Exper­tise: School Lead­er­ship, Orga­ni­za­tion­al Behavior

Melis­sa Stor­mont, Ph.D. (Spe­cial Education)

Dr. Melis­sa Stor­mont is a Pro­fes­sor in Spe­cial Edu­ca­tion at MU. Dr. Stor­mont has pub­lished exten­sive research (over 80 peer-reviewed arti­cles and 5 books and 10 book chap­ters) on the edu­ca­tion­al and social needs of chil­dren at risk for fail­ure in school.  Dr. Stor­mont teach­es under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dents in spe­cial edu­ca­tion.  She has had exten­sive grant expe­ri­ence includ­ing serv­ing as a Co-PI on per­son­nel prepa­ra­tion and research grants and has worked with with Drs. Thomp­son, Reinke, and Her­man on an effi­ca­cy tri­al of the STARS inter­ven­tion fund­ed by IES (Thomp­son, PI).  Cur­rent­ly she is an asso­ciate edi­tor for the Jour­nal of Pos­i­tive Behav­ior Inter­ven­tions and Reme­di­al and Spe­cial Edu­ca­tion.  She serves on the Nation­al Cen­ter for Inten­sive Inter­ven­tions and has done grant reviews for the Insti­tute for Edu­ca­tion Sci­ences. Exper­tise: Char­ac­ter­is­tics Asso­ci­at­ed with Risk and Suc­cess in School, Instruc­tion­al Prac­tices for Chil­dren at Risk, Chil­dren with ADHD, Ear­ly Child­hood Education.

Kris­ten Haw­ley, Ph.D. (Clin­i­cal Psychology)

Kris­ten Haw­ley earned her bachelor’s degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les. Her grad­u­ate work at UCLA focused on prac­tice-based inter­ven­tions research and she com­plet­ed post­doc­tor­al train­ing in youth men­tal health ser­vices research at San Diego State Uni­ver­si­ty, San Diego Children’s Hos­pi­tal and the NIMH-fund­ed Child and Ado­les­cent Ser­vices Research Cen­ter. Her cur­rent research focus is on improv­ing youth men­tal health ser­vices in com­mu­ni­ty-based set­tings by col­lab­o­rat­ing with ser­vice providers and fam­i­lies in order to (a) iden­ti­fy con­di­tions that enhance ther­a­py reten­tion, engage­ment and out­comes; (b) dis­cov­er key com­po­nents of effec­tive inter­ven­tions, © refine promis­ing research-sup­port­ed ther­a­pies to increase their prac­ti­cal use­ful­ness; and (d) under­stand and improve provider train­ing and adop­tion of research-sup­port­ed ther­a­py prac­tices. She con­tin­ues to pro­vide clin­i­cal train­ing and super­vi­sion to grad­u­ate clin­i­cians with­in MU’s Psy­cho­log­i­cal Ser­vices Clin­ic. Exper­tise: Youth Men­tal Health Ser­vices and Inter­ven­tions, Dis­sem­i­na­tion and Imple­men­ta­tion of Evi­dence-Based Practices.

Lou Ann Tan­ner-Jones, Ph.D., NCSP (School Psychology)

Lou Ann Tan­ner-Jones has worked in men­tal health since 1980. She began her career in a pri­vate school and has worked in a res­i­den­tial facil­i­ty, a hos­pi­tal, a pri­vate clin­ic, in near­ly all Colum­bia pub­lic schools, and has taught at the uni­ver­si­ty lev­el. She has worked with infants to elders, and with indi­vid­u­als with the most pro­found dis­abil­i­ties to those who are high­ly gift­ed. She has been a direct care work­er, a behav­ior spe­cial­ist, a
psy­cho­log­i­cal exam­in­er, a school psy­chol­o­gist, and has held sev­er­al admin­is­tra­tive posi­tions in dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions. She has a Ph.D. in School Psy­chol­o­gy from Miz­zou and is a Nation­al­ly Cer­ti­fied School Psy­chol­o­gist. With 35 years of work behind me, I retired from the Colum­bia MO Pub­lic Schools where I was the Direc­tor of Spe­cial Ser­vices and Sec­tion 504 Coor­di­na­tor. She is cur­rent­ly the Co-Direc­tor of the Boone Coun­ty Schools Men­tal Health Coali­tion and an Assis­tant Clin­i­cal Professor. 

Christo­pher Slat­en, Ph.D., (Coun­sel­ing Psychology)

Chris Slat­en serves as Depart­ment Chair and Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion­al, School, and Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri-Colum­bia. Dr. Slat­en research­es the issue of aca­d­e­m­ic belong­ing and how it impacts career and aca­d­e­m­ic out­comes for mar­gin­al­ized youth and col­lege stu­dents. This has led to work pre­dom­i­nate­ly in alter­na­tive high schools, schools with large pop­u­la­tion of stu­dents liv­ing in pover­ty, and research on first gen­er­a­tion col­lege stu­dents. Dr. Slaten’s pas­sion for this line of research has pro­duced 21 peer-reviewed pub­li­ca­tions,  nation­al pre­sen­ta­tions, nation­al press recog­ni­tion (Wall Street Jour­nal), and sev­er­al invit­ed lec­tures. Fur­ther, Dr. Slaten’s schol­ar­ly work has led to addi­tion­al pub­li­ca­tions focus­ing large­ly on advo­cat­ing for school coun­selors to con­duct more men­tal health ser­vices in K‑12 set­tings, specif­i­cal­ly relat­ed to coun­sel­ing inter­ven­tions that have a strong empha­sis on mar­gin­al­ized youth and social jus­tice ini­tia­tives. Exper­tise: Aca­d­e­m­ic Belong­ing (K‑12; High­er Ed), Edu­ca­tion­al Equi­ty and Inclu­sion for Mar­gin­al­ized Youth, Men­tal Health Ser­vices Advo­ca­cy in K‑12 Schools, School Coun­sel­ing Training.

Vir­ginia Ram­sey­er Win­ter (Social Work)

Gin­ny Ram­sey­er Winter’s pri­ma­ry research agen­da, ground­ed in the­o­ry and the strengths per­spec­tive, exam­ines body image in rela­tion to phys­i­cal, men­tal, and sex­u­al health. With her schol­ar­ship, she is most inter­est­ed in improv­ing body image to ulti­mate­ly lead to improve­ments in health out­comes. Exist­ing lit­er­a­ture sug­gests that poor body image may be relat­ed to riski­er sex­u­al behav­iors, eat­ing dis­or­ders, anx­i­ety, depres­sion, and poor phys­i­cal health out­comes, to name a few. Dr. Ram­sey­er Win­ter is the Found­ing Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Body Image Research & Pol­i­cy, which aims to improve body image, health, and well­ness for indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties. Exper­tise: Body Image as it Relates to Phys­i­cal, Men­tal, Sex­u­al, Rela­tion­ship, and Repro­duc­tive Health Across the Lifes­pan; Inter­ven­tion Research; Social Work Edu­ca­tion.


Crys­tal Lewis, Direc­tor of Data Strategy 

Crys­tal cur­rent­ly over­sees data man­age­ment and data strat­e­gy at the MPSI and with a focus 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. She has been a part of the MPSI team since 2013. Exper­tise: Data Man­age­ment and Data Strat­e­gy

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. Exper­tise: Research Man­age­ment

Tyler Smith, Senior Research Associate

Tyler is a Senior Research Asso­ciate with the Mis­souri Pre­ven­tion Sci­ence Insti­tute and the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, School, & Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri. His pri­ma­ry research inter­ests are fam­i­ly-school part­ner­ships, par­ent involve­ment, and teacher train­ing in effec­tive fam­i­ly engage­ment. He recent­ly com­plet­ed an IES post­doc­tor­al train­ing fel­low­ship under the men­tor­ship of Drs. Wendy Reinke and Kei­th Her­man. He received his doc­tor­al degree in School Psy­chol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka under the super­vi­sion of Susan Sheri­dan, PhD. Tyler has a breadth of expe­ri­ences in the area of fam­i­ly engage­ment, includ­ing serv­ing as a project coor­di­na­tor for an IES-fund­ed meta-analy­sis project inves­ti­gat­ing the ben­e­fits of fam­i­ly-school inter­ven­tions on children’s aca­d­e­m­ic, behav­ioral, and social-emo­tion­al devel­op­ment. He also com­plet­ed an exten­sive meta-analy­sis project focused on the effects of teacher train­ing in fam­i­ly engage­ment on teacher fam­i­ly engage­ment out­comes, which received the Out­stand­ing Dis­ser­ta­tion Award from the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion – Divi­sion 16 and direct­ly informs his cur­rent line of research. Cur­rent­ly, Tyler is in the process of iter­a­tive­ly devel­op­ing a teacher train­ing cur­ricu­lum and coach­ing mod­el called Sup­port­ing Teach­ers in Engag­ing Par­ents (STEP), which is fund­ed by an Ear­ly Career Research Award from the Soci­ety for the Study of School Psy­chol­o­gy (SSSP) and an MU Research Coun­cil grant. Exper­tise: Fam­i­ly Engage­ment, Fam­i­ly-School Part­ner­ship, Par­ent Involve­ment, School-Based Con­sul­ta­tion, Self-Man­age­ment Inter­ven­tions, Meta-Analy­sis/Sys­tem­at­ic Reviews.

Toby Mills, Senior Research Assistant

Toby is a doc­tor­al can­di­date in Social Work and a Licensed Clin­i­cal Social Work­er. She received her BA from Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri and her MSW from New Mex­i­co High­lands State Uni­ver­si­ty. She has over 12 years of expe­ri­ence pro­vid­ing men­tal health ser­vices to youth and fam­i­lies. Toby entered the MU SSW PhD pro­gram because she want­ed to focus research efforts in youth men­tal health pre­ven­tion pro­grams, specif­i­cal­ly those that pro­mote mind­ful­ness as a way to pro­mote healthy cop­ing and stress resilience. Exper­tise: Inter­ven­tion Research, Youth Mind­ful­ness, Dis­as­ter Men­tal Health, Pro­gram Eval­u­a­tion, Clin­i­cal Social Work.

Car­olyn Con­way, Project Coordinator

Car­olyn is a Project Coor­di­na­tor for the Dis­ci­pline in the Sec­ondary Class­room (DiS­CO) project. She grad­u­at­ed with a Bach­e­lor’s in Psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri and plans on going to grad­u­ate school for School Psy­chol­o­gy in the future. She is inter­est­ed in teacher stress and class­room man­age­ment. Exper­tise: Project Man­age­ment

David Aguayo, Ph.D. Post­doc­tor­al Research Assistant

David is an edu­ca­tor by heart and by train­ing! He is always look­ing for ways to help improve him­self and oth­ers. Specif­i­cal­ly, he is inter­est­ed in help­ing indi­vid­u­als trans­form their edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem so that it works for them! David is an immi­grant from Mex­i­co and earned his Ph.D. at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri. As a schol­ar-prac­ti­tion­er, his inquiry focus­es on schools and their col­lab­o­ra­tive prac­tices with fam­i­lies, espe­cial­ly fam­i­lies of col­or. Exper­tise: Cul­tur­al­ly Respon­sive Inter­ven­tion, School-Fam­i­lies Col­lab­o­ra­tive Prac­tices, Soci­ol­o­gy and Pol­i­tics of Edu­ca­tion, Qual­i­ta­tive Inquiry.

Chyn­na McCall, Ph.D., Insti­tute of Edu­ca­tion Sci­ences Post­doc­tor­al Fellow

Chyn­na 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. The focus of Chyn­na’s work dur­ing her IES Post­doc­tor­al Fel­low­ship with Miz­zou has been focused on under­stand­ing the how the rela­tion­ship between the stu­dent, teacher and the school envi­ron­ment impacts the observed aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment gap and the per­cep­tions stu­dents have of them­selves as stu­dents. She was recent­ly fund­ed to devel­op and pilot test an Equi­ty-Focused Social Emo­tion­al Learn­ing cur­ricu­lum for 3–5th grade stu­dents. Exper­tise: Implic­it Bias, Prej­u­dice and Dis­crim­i­na­tion, Cre­at­ing Equi­table School Environments/Climates, Equi­ty-Focused Social Emo­tion­al Learning.

Christa Copeland, Ph.D., Post­doc­tor­al Fel­low

After receiv­ing her Bach­e­lor of Arts in Psy­chol­o­gy at Miz­zou, Christa began her career path in edu­ca­tion, earn­ing Master’s Degrees in Teach­ing, Edu­ca­tion­al Lead­er­ship, and School Psy­chol­o­gy. In 2019, Christa earned her Ph.D. in School Psy­chol­o­gy from Miz­zou. Christa has expe­ri­ence teach­ing at the sec­ondary lev­el in both Alter­na­tive and Spe­cial Edu­ca­tion set­tings, as well as pro­vid­ing out­pa­tient ther­a­peu­tic inter­ven­tions to fam­i­lies and chil­dren. Chris­ta’s clin­i­cal and research inter­ests involve teacher and admin­is­tra­tor devel­op­ment in the areas of effec­tive behav­ior man­age­ment, and inter­ven­tion plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion, in addi­tion to sys­tem-focused inter­ven­tion eval­u­a­tion. Exper­tise: Social Emo­tion­al Learn­ing, Behav­ior Man­age­ment, Inter­ven­tion Imple­men­ta­tion, Inter­ven­tion Eval­u­a­tion.

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 Director

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, MPSI 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.

Den­nis Walker

Biog­ra­phy forthcoming.

Graduate Assistants

Kirsten Bak­er, Senior Grad­u­ate Research Assis­tant (School Psy­chol­o­gy)

Kirsten is a fourth-year doc­tor­al stu­dent in School Psy­chol­o­gy. She received her under­grad­u­ate degree in Psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa and her Mas­ter’s degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri. Kirsten has three years of expe­ri­ence with class­room inter­ven­tions, as well as, inpa­tient ser­vice pri­or to com­ing to Mizzou. 

David Chuang (School Psychology)

David is a 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 prac­tices in school in class­room man­age­ment, sys­tem-lev­els inter­ven­tion, and aca­d­e­m­ic inter­ven­tions. Cur­rent­ly, his research is in equi­table prac­tices for school cli­mate and safe­ty. He hopes to improve his skills in data man­age­ment and sta­tis­tics, as well as, under­stand research-to-prac­tice gap issues.

Aman­da Hood (Social Work) 

Aman­da is a is a sec­ond year MSW/PhD stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psy­chol­o­gy from Wichi­ta State Uni­ver­si­ty and a 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 Research Assis­tant exam­in­ing body image and pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment. Her research inter­ests include sex edu­ca­tion and body image and their rela­tion to sex­u­al behav­iors includ­ing pro­tec­tive sex­u­al behav­iors and sex­u­al functioning. 

Ming­ming Huang (School Psychology)

Ming­ming is a first year doc­tor­al stu­dent in School Psy­chol­o­gy. She received her Bach­e­lor’s degree in For­eign Lan­guage Edu­ca­tion from Mia­mi Uni­ver­si­ty and her Mas­ter’s degree in Edu­ca­tion­al Psy­chol­o­gy-Applied Devel­op­men­tal Sci­ence from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia. As Mimg­ming worked with kids in mid­dle School and high School, she real­ized the stress and the ele­ments which could affect stu­dents’ emo­tion­al and men­tal well-being. Build­ing on the fam­i­ly-vis­it­ing research she worked on at UVA, she is inter­est­ed to explore how the envi­ron­ment con­tributes to stu­dents’ men­tal health and how fam­i­lies, schools and kids would devel­op togeth­er to form pos­i­tive relationships. 

Emi­ly Johns (School Psy­chol­o­gy) 

Emi­ly is a doc­tor­al stu­dent in School Psy­chol­o­gy. She earned her Bach­e­lor’s of Sci­ence in Psy­chol­o­gy with a Minor in Biol­o­gy from Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty. Emi­ly’s research inter­est lies in the effects of social-emo­tion­al learn­ing on long-term aca­d­e­mics in young school age chil­dren. While in Indi­ana, Emi­ly worked as a research assis­tant and a project man­ag­er on a lon­gi­tu­di­nal study at the Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment Lab. 

Anna Kim (Social Work)

Anna is a third-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. Anna’s research inter­ests are children’s social, emo­tion­al, and health con­cerns in school settings. 

Mon­i­ca Romero (School Psychology)

Mon­i­ca is a doc­tor­al stu­dent in School Psy­chol­o­gy. She is from Los Ange­les, CA, and received her under­grad­u­ate degree in psy­chol­o­gy and soci­ol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San­ta Bar­bara. Her research inter­ests include ear­ly iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and intervention/assessments for Emerg­ing Bilin­guals, Lat­inx, and undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grant youths with aca­d­e­m­ic dif­fi­cul­ties, lan­guage devel­op­ment, bilin­gual school psy­chol­o­gy train­ing and prac­tice, and fam­i­ly-school part­ner­ships. Mon­i­ca is cur­rent­ly a vol­un­teer research assis­tant for MPSI.

Madi­son Fritsch, Senior Grad­u­ate Research Assis­tant (School Psy­chol­o­gy)

Madi­son is a third-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 and the Colum­bia Pub­lic Schools. Her research inter­ests focus on evi­dence-based inter­ven­tions and practices.

Hoi Ting (Cheryl) Wan (School Psychology)

Cheryl is a doc­tor­al stu­dent in School Psy­chol­o­gy. She received her Bachelor’s of Sci­ence degree in Psy­chol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois at Urbana-Cham­paign. Giv­en her bi-cul­tur­al back­ground, she is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in (1) explor­ing the mul­ti­cul­tur­al aspect in men­tal health and chil­dren’s devel­op­ment, (2) explor­ing how par­ents and teach­ers can col­lab­o­rate and pos­i­tive­ly con­tribute to the chil­dren’s devel­op­ment, (3) how ear­ly child­hood inter­ven­tion affect lat­er development. 

Tanya Weigand (Social Work)

Tanya is a first-year doc­tor­al stu­dent and a Licensed Clin­i­cal Social Work­er. She received her BSW from Colum­bia Col­lege-Colum­bia and her MSW from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri-St. Louis. She has pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a Ther­a­pist in her own pri­vate prac­tice, Social Worker/Teacher in a local high school, Region­al Direc­tor of Addic­tion Recov­ery, Case Man­age­ment Super­vi­sor in the child wel­fare sys­tem, and at a Child Advo­ca­cy Center/Emergency Shel­ter. Her research inter­ests include chil­dren and fam­i­lies, cre­at­ing trau­ma-informed envi­ron­ments, school-based inter­ven­tions, cri­sis medi­a­tion, emo­tion­al intel­li­gence and resiliency. 

Saman­tha Williams (High­er Edu­ca­tion Administration)

Saman­tha has become vol­un­teer research assis­tant with MPSI after spend­ing one month (Sum­mer 2020) with the MPSI team part time. She is cur­rent­ly work­ing towards her Ed.D. (May 2023) with an empha­sis area in High­er Edu­ca­tion Admin­is­tra­tion. She hopes to delve into the holis­tic devel­op­ment and sup­port of third world inter­na­tion­al stu­dents. Hav­ing been an inter­na­tion­al stu­dent, (Jamaica), she under­stands the chal­lenges that are posed by that expe­ri­ence. Her goal is to research more deeply what this entails and the areas that are lack­ing sup­port, pos­si­bly cre­at­ing pro­gram­ming, or facil­i­tat­ing con­ver­sa­tion and con­nec­tions with exist­ing pro­grams to enhance this expe­ri­ence. She is cur­rent­ly work­ing with stu­dent ath­letes at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mis­souri-Kansas City. 

Wenxi Yang (School Psychology)

Wenxi is a 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. While at ASU she worked at the Sta­tis­tics and Meth­ods Lab for two years. Wenxi has a strong inter­est in (1) social-emo­tion­al devel­op­ment in chil­dren, and how stress and resilience influ­ence those process­es; (2) how per­son­al­i­ty traits and inter­per­son­al beliefs (e.g., cul­ture, atti­tudes) inter­act with exter­nal envi­ron­ments (e.g., school, fam­i­ly) in affect­ing adjust­ment out­comes; and (3) how to apply these pre­vi­ous research inter­ests to estab­lish effec­tive inter­ven­tions and prevention. 

 Updat­ed Sep­tem­ber 2020