On this page you can see information about current and past members of my research team. 

Current Members:

Sally Askar              askar

Sally’s research interests focus on finding the most effective way to implement mental health interventions for school-aged children. She is particularly interested in childhood externalizing disorders and parental role in these disorders. Her other research interests are in pediatric psychology, specifically how to implement childhood injury prevention programs in school systems. Her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from University of Dayton has shaped her interests. She is currently working for the Wraparound Evaluation Program, which is funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Adrianna Crossing         image2

Adrianna’s clinical and research interests include evidence-based interventions for school-aged children’s mental and behavioral health conditions. She is especially interested in recent initiatives related to trauma-informed schools. Other interests include the validity and proper application of psychological assessment, coordination of mental health care for school-aged populations, and cultural competence and social justice. She will incorporate her broad interests into  a number of our research team activities  with specific attention to the MDHHS-funded Parent Support Partner Evaluation Project in the coming year.

Danielle Haggerty           haggerty

Danielle’s research interests include exploring dissemination and fidelity of evidence-based interventions, specifically interventions supporting children’s mental and behavioral health.  School climate and the complex relationships between school officials, teachers, parents, and students drive Danielle’s clinical interests.  Currently, she is working on the Evaluation Team with Project AWARE (aimed at improving behavioral health awareness among school-age youth and their communities), funded by the Michigan Department of Education (SAMHSA).

Rachel Korest         DSC_0458 (1)

Rachel’s research interests include examining evidence-based interventions and dissemination of knowledge on the treatment of mental and behavioral health, specifically in low-income populations.   Rachel is particularly interested in understanding the multi-layered systems impacting treatment in the school system. Currently, she is working for the MDHHS-funded Wraparound Evaluation Program.  Community-based wraparound services aim to create individualized plans and provide support for children and their families with severe mental health needs by utilizing strengths.


Allison Siroky          Allie

Allie’s main research interests include the early prevention and identification of childhood anxiety disorders and depression. More specifically, she is interested in highlighting the collaborative role both parents and teachers have in promoting children’s mental health and emotional well-being. Allie is currently investigating the effectiveness of an integrative behavioral therapy for children with selective mutism, which encourages parent and teacher participation.  Allie is a program assistant within the school psychology program.

Becky Thomson          IMG_00454

Becky’s research interests focus on the construct of resilience and, more specifically, the ways in which protective factors can be enhanced for at-risk youth (e.g., Head Start students) and families.  Furthermore, Becky is interested in strategies for increasing access to mental health treatment.  Currently, she is investigating the effectiveness, integrity, and acceptability of a self-administered parent intervention for building social-emotional competence among preschoolers.


Justina Yohannan          Justina

Justina’s research interests focus on evidence-based interventions, and more specifically interventions that reflect multiculturally competent research and practice. Furthermore, Justina is interested in interventions for at-risk populations (i.e., foster care, youth exposed to traumatic events). Justina is currently examining school-based trauma interventions, cognitive behavioral interventions for youth exposed to trauma, the impact of community-based wraparound services on foster care youth outcomes, and the school psychologists’ role in advocating for racial justice.

Recent Graduates:

Justin Barterian, PhD (2015)

Dr. Barterian’s dissertation was titled Fluoxetine for the treatment of selective mutism with elevated social anxiety symptoms: A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across five cases. Justin completed his postdoctoral work at the Research Unit on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) at the Ohio State University – Wexner Medical Center (OSU-WMC). Dr. Barterian is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the Ohio State University-Wexner Medical Center.

Stacy Bender, PhD (2012)

Dr. Bender’s dissertation was titled Investigating parenting stress as a mediator between early childhood mental health consultation and children’s behavioral outcomes. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  Currently, she is a Licensed Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of School Psychology in the APA-Accredited programs at U-Mass Boston.

Hannah Ham, PhD (2016)

Dr. Ham’s dissertation was titled Treatment of autism spectrum disorder within a medicaid-enrolled pediatric sample: Prevalence and predictors of psychopharmacological treatment. She is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship through the University of Michigan Health System, where she  engages in clinical practice and research within the area of Integrated Behavioral Health.

Taylor Hicks-Hoste, PhD (2016)

Dr. Hicks-Hoste’s dissertation was titled An initial examination of teachers’ beliefs and beahaviors in response to the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program. She is a Limited Licensed Psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Dr. Hicks-Hoste is currently completing her postdoctoral work at Thriving Minds Behavioral Health Center in Chelsea, MI.

Erin Rappuhn, PhD (2014)

Dr. Rappuhn’s dissertation was titled The effects of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Group Training on teacher strategy use, classroom environment, relationships, and student internalizing behaviors. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and  currently working as a School Psychologist for the Okemos Public School District.

Marla Pfenninger Saint Gilles, PhD (2016)

Dr. Saint Gilles’ dissertation was titled A pilot study of the effects of a trauma supplement intervention on agency attitudes, classroom climate, Head Start teacher practices, and student trauma-related symptomology. She is currently completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, MA .

Erin Seif, PhD (2014)

Dr. Seif’s dissertation was titled Exploring the influence of developmental kindergarten attendance on later literacy and social-emotional outcomes: A records review investigation in one Michigan school district. She is currently a Licensed Psychologist working in Pediatric Psychology/Behavioral Pediatrics at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.

Jeff Shahidullah, PhD (2015)

Dr. Shahidullah’s dissertation was titled Integrated behavioral health treatment for externalizing problems in pediatric primary care ADHD referrals: Clinical effectiveness, acceptability, adherence, and cost of care. He completed his postdoctoral work as a Clinical Child Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA. Dr. Shahidullah is currently an Assistant Professor of School Psychology (with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pediatrics) at Rutgers University.

Dylan Voris, PhD (2016)

Dr. Voris’ dissertation was titled An exploration of psychotropic treatment of youth diagnosed with serious emotional disturbance within wraparound service delivery. He completed his predoctoral internship in integrated behavioral health through the University of Michigan and CS Mott Children’s Hospital. Dylan is currently a School Psychologist/Limited Licensed Psychologist  in Jackson Intermediate School District.

Gabe Watson, PhD (2015)

Dr. Watson’s dissertation was titled Examining predictors of initial treatment recommendations for youth with conduct problems: A retrospective analysis of psychiatric outpatient medical records from a university-based clinic. He is currently a licensed psychologist in New Brighton, MN where he specializes in providing comprehensive neuropsychological assessments to children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental, medical, or psychiatric conditions that hinder their daily functioning at home, school, or in their community.