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.
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