I am a Professor and Health Service Psychologist with specialized training in school psychology. I am a Licensed Psychologist in Michigan and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist in the APA-accredited and NASP-approved School Psychology Doctoral Program at Michigan State University. The primary focus of my research, teaching, and service is on scientific mental health practices within school-aged populations. This data-based approach to research and practice emphasizes equitable and effective educational and mental health services for children experiencing challenges at school, within the home, and/or in the community. For the past 15+ years, I have owned a consulting practice called Child and Adolescent Psychological Services, PLC (CAPS, PLC) that focuses on mental health assessment, consultation, and intervention.
My research interests are focused on the utility of medical and psychological interventions for school-aged children’s behavior in educational and other learning contexts. My recent lines of research include the assessment/treatment of social anxiety/selective mutism, caregiver-facilitated mental health interventions that reduce barriers to treatment access/utilization (e.g., online, self-administered, disruptive innovations), the psychological impact of target hardening (schools), and school psychopharmacology.
Since 2007, I have worked closely with state-level partners to assist in data-based decision making (evaluation/research) around a number of evidence-based mental health practice initiatives (e.g., mental health first aid training, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral treatment, child-parent psychotherapy, parent support partner services, wraparound services, interventions for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, infant and infant/early childhood mental health consultation) being carried out within community-based mental health service agencies across the state.
I am especially committed to helping the field of school psychology address its current shortage of practitioners and trainers/faculty. If you are currently looking for a vibrant and well-supported university to complete your graduate studies in school psychology, I hope you will consider MSU. MSU is tied for 8th in producing the highest number of current faculty (N=9) within the 70 APA-accredited school psychology/combined programs in the U.S. (Carlson, Thomson, Siroky, Yohannan, Darr, & Haggerty, 2016). About half of my doctoral advisee graduates go on to be trainers/faculty/researchers (e.g., UMass-Boston, Northern Illinois University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Hartford), while the other half go on to become leaders in the field (e.g., DeVos Children’s Hospital, Okemos, MI Public School District, Thriving Minds, Sheldon, TX Intermediate School District, University of Michigan Hospital and Clinics). Readiness for a range of opportunities at the point of graduation reflects the value our program places on high quality scientist-practitioner training in health service psychology, with a specialization in school psychology.
My educational background and training includes the following: My undergraduate degree (B.S. in Child Psychology) was completed at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 1991. I completed a doctoral degree in School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in School Psychology in 1997. My 2000-hour predoctoral internship was completed at the APA-accredited Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT. Prior to coming to MSU, I was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK from 1997-2000.
You can learn more about me and the work that I do by clicking on the menu at the top of this page and scrolling to pages of interest. In addition, you can find a number of my journal publications and other professional writing within my Research Gate profile.