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 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.
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. Expertise: Classroom Management, Teacher Stress, and Parenting.
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 Schoen, 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 (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 prevention.
Updated September 2020