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.

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.

Affil­i­at­ed Fac­ul­ty: 


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. 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