Our Current Research Team: Dewey Cornell, Joy Yuane Jia, Kathan Shukla, Anna Heilbrun, Sara Millspaugh, Pooja Datta, Juliette Berg, Elizabeth Xiaoxin Wei, Patrick Meyer, Allie Anderson, Tim Konold, Marisa Malone. Not pictured are Francis Huang and Jen Maeng.
Pooja Datta, M.Ed.,
graduated from The University of Maryland in 2011 with a B.A. in psychology and criminology/criminal justice and a minor in classical mythology. Upon graduation she spent a year as Teaching Assistant for the Psychology department at UMD for Cross Cultural Psychology and Research Methods courses. Concurrently, she became a Research Assistant at Georgetown University working on a juvenile probation study and a Court Watch Project Intern for a domestic violence non-profit group. In 2013, she joined the Programs for Clinical and School Psychology as a graduate student with Dewey Cornell as her research advisor. Email: Pooja Datta
Anna Heilbrun, M.A.,
graduated from Emory University in 2009 with a B.A. in psychology. As an undergraduate she worked as a research assistant in the Emory University Language and Learning lab, studying the cognitive development of infants and toddlers. After graduation, she worked for a year as an assistant teacher at the Community School, a program in Atlanta for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. She earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Northwestern University in 2012 and began graduate work the same year in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology, with Dewey Cornell as her advisor. Her research interests include threat assessment and school disciplinary practices. Email: Anna Heilbrun
Francis Huang, Ph.D.
, is a Senior Scientist at the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) office in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He graduated with a PhD in Research, Statistics, and Evaluation from the University of Virginia and has an M.A. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has taught several quantitative methods courses at the Curry School and his recent publications have appeared in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Psychological Assessment, and the Journal of Educational Psychology. He is a contributing author of the National Center for Education Statistics Handbook of Survey Methods. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Francis worked at the American Institutes for Research and has held senior leadership positions in global consulting firms. He continues to work on projects related to early literacy and school violence.
Yuane Jia, M.A.
, graduated from Guangxi Normal University in China with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and M.A in Educational Psychology. She has worked with a variety of research projects including self-concept discrepancy, mental health, academic emotions, student achievement, self-regulation, and positive youth development. Her research experiences primarily focused on instrument development and validation. She has developed 5 scales by using SEM or IRT Rasch modeling. She gained experience working with a middle school by using SEM to develop a computer-based survey of emotional factors that effectively detected students with potential problems and predicted their achievement. She worked as a research assistant at SUNY Buffalo on a project using IRT (Rasch Modeling) to develop an instrument and its validation (i.e., self-concept in chemistry inventory; SCCI). When she was at SUNY Buffalo, she also joined an online survey project on the psychological adjustment of caregivers of people with autism spectrum disorders, to provide research and statistical support. In 2014, Yuane began graduate work at the University of Virginia in Research, Statistic and Evaluation program with Dr. Tim Konold as her advisor. Her research interests include structural equation models and multivariate statistics.
Anna Lacey, M.Ed.
, graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology. During her undergraduate career she worked at the Walter E. Dennis Learning Center as a learning specialist, counseling undergraduate students with learning and educational problems. Her undergraduate research experiences primarily focused on the effects of interpersonal relationships on self esteem and self doubt. In 2010, Anna began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Peter Sheras as her academic advisor and Dr. Dewey Cornell as her research advisor. In 2014, she completed her doctoral dissertation on “The Relation Between the Prevalence of Teasing and Bullying and Schoolwide Academic Achievement” and began her internship at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Email: Anna Lacey
Marisa Malone, M.A.,
graduated from State University of New York: The College at Brockport in 2012 with a B.S. in psychology. After graduation, she earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Western Carolina University, where she studied gender differences in aggressive and disruptive behavior in maltreated youth. In 2014, Marisa began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dewey Cornell as her research advisor. Marisa’s research interests include juvenile aggression and severe misconduct.
Sara Millspaugh, B.S.,
graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She is a Research Assistant with Dr. Cornell, doing research on student willingness to report threats of violence and aggressive attitudes. She is also a Research Assistant at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.
Erin Nekvasil, M.Ed.
, graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. During her college tenure, she served as a camp counselor for her school’s summer leadership camps and as a peer mentor for underclassmen with academic difficulties. After graduation, she was contracted as a Research Analyst at the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). There she conducted research on targeted violence at colleges and universities, terroristic violence by isolated individuals, and interfamilial violence. In 2010, Erin began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology, with Dewey Cornell as her advisor. In 2014, Erin completed her doctoral dissertation on “School Safety and the Perceived Risk of Violence in Schools” and began her internship at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Email: Erin Nekvasil
Kathan Shukla, M.Ed. and M.Sc.
graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and pursued a M.Sc. in Solid State Physics from the Sardar Patel University, India. After graduation, Kathan taught Physics to high school students for about two years in India. In 2009, he joined the University of Houston to pursue a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology. During his M.Ed., Kathan worked on a research project involving a health-risk behavior survey of ethnic/ racial minorities in inner-city schools. His master’s thesis explored the relations between direct and indirect violence exposure and delinquency and depression in early adolescents. Kathan began graduate work at the University of Virginia in the Research, Statistics and Evaluation program with Prof. Konold as his advisor in 2011. He has published an article in Crime & Delinquency and book entitled: Education in India: A Globian Perspective. He conducts research on applications of latent modeling, measurement invariance, and effects of violence exposure. Email: Kathan Shukla
Elizabeth Xiaoxin Wei, M.S., graduated from Wuhan University, China with a M.S. in Graphic Communication Engineering and joined the program of Educational Research, Statistics, and Evaluation at the University of Virginia as a Ph.D. student in 2010. With research focus on educational assessment and psychometrics, she work as a research assistant to Dr. J. Patrick Meyer on multiple projects, including growth norms and vertical scaling for Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), item parameter drift detection methods comparison, and Curry School student experience survey project. She has also worked as a research intern for the American Institute of CPAs in summer 2013.
Julie Amato, Ph.D.
, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia's Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology in 2005. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Brown University in 1999, and her Master's degree from the University of Virginia in 2001. After graduating from Brown, Julie spent one year as a caseworker for children and adolescents from disturbed families in the Philadelphia area. While at UVA, Julie spent one year working in the mental health department at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, conducting individual therapy, group therapy, and intake evaluations. She completed a psychology practicum at the Forensic Psychiatry Clinic of the UVA Institute for Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy and then went on internship at University of North Carolina and the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner. Julie's pre-dissertation research on youth gangs was published in the Journal of Gang Research. Her dissertation examined the factor structure of the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version in juvenile correctional and psychiatric samples, and was published in Criminal Justice and Behavior. After graduation she accepted a postdoctoral position in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Michael Baly, Ph.D.
, graduated from Harvard in 2002 with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Anthropology and African American Studies. After graduation, Michael joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and worked in The Brooklyn Transition Center, a self-contained high school in Brooklyn, New York, serving adolescents with a wide range of special needs. There, in the role of Crisis Intervention Teacher, he worked to prevent and deescalate potentially violent situations and counseled students following crises. In 2006, through the Teaching Fellows program, he received a Masters in Special Education from the College of Staten Island. In 2008, Michael began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dewey Cornell as his advisor. His predissertation research project was a randomized controlled trial of the effects of an educational video on student reports of bullying. He made research presentations at APA and AERA, and in August 2012 he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, Improvement of the Measurement of Bullying in Schools. His dissertation received the Gansneder Award as the outstanding quantitative dissertation of the year in the Curry School. In 2013, he completed his internship at Hartford Hospital and The Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, and then accepted a postdoctoral fellow position at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
Sharmila Bandyopadhyay Mehta, Ph.D.
, received her B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Legal Studies, from Brandeis University in 2004. During her undergraduate career she worked as a counselor for two years at an after school program for young children with aggressive behavior problems and completed a yearlong clinical practicum at the Arlington High School at McLean Hospital. She worked as a research assistant in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital for two years before coming to the Clinical and School Psychology Program in the Curry School at the University of Virginia in 2006. She completed clinical practicum training at the Center for Clinical Psychology Services, the Commonwealth Center for Children and Families, and the Fluvanna Women’s Correctional Institution. In 2009, her study of the validity of three school climate scales used in bullying assessment was published as the featured article in School Psychology Review. She successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in 2010 and began an internship at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2011 Sharmila will continue as a post-doc at the Institute of Living.
Juliette Berg, Ph.D.
, is a postdoctoral fellow at Youth-Nex working with Dr. Catherine Bradshaw and Dr. Dewey Cornell. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of school-based and community-based prevention programs aimed at improving children’s contexts of development, particularly in low-income neighborhoods; contextual influences on children’s social-emotional and academic adjustment; and school climate. She is interested in the intersection of child development and social policy both in the United States and internationally. She received her PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from New York University. Her dissertation examined associations between children’s and teachers’ perceptions of school interpersonal climate and children’s school adjustment in the context of a whole-school social-emotional and literacy intervention in elementary school, addressing conceptual and empirical challenges surrounding the study of school climate. While at NYU and as an intern at MDRC, Juliette worked on the evaluation of several school-based randomized control trials in the United States, France, and South Africa, and a conditional cash transfer program in New York City. Juliette was an IES Pre-doctoral Fellow and an AERA Grants Program Dissertation Grantee.
Christopher Branson, Ph.D.
, graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2001. His research experience includes work on the Wake County (NC) 3-C Program, a school based intervention designed to identify and treat children who are socially rejected. As an undergraduate, Chris worked for the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Juvenile Justice, where he supervised and counseled incarcerated adolescent males. Upon graduation, Chris served as the Assistant Teen Director for the Raleigh Boys' Club, where he led educational and intervention programs with inner-city youth. In addition, he worked for Family & Youth Inc, where he served as a behavioral intervention worker for children and adolescents suffering from psychological, familial and legal problems. Chris' research interests include juvenile delinquency and intervention programs for at-risk youth. He published his predissertation project on the correspondence of the MACI and PIY in juvenile offenders in Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice. He completed his doctoral dissertation on the validity of peer and self-reports of bullying in middle school, resulting in an article published in the Journal of Applied School Psychology. In 2006-07 he completed his internship at the Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, and in 2007-08 he completed a postdoctoral position at St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. Dr. Branson then accepted a position as a Supervising Psychologist and Program Evaluator in The Child & Family Institute, also at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
Karen Brockenbrough, Ph. D.
, received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1991. While in Charlottesville, she served as a program director for the Big Sibling Program. After graduation, she worked as a chemist and also spent three years volunteering at a temporary shelter for teenage girls in Denver, facilitating a discussion group on youth violence, sexuality, and drugs. She has conducted research on high risk behaviors of high school students. As a graduate student in the Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Virginia, she had a special interest in violence occurring in schools and victims of school violence. Her dissertation examined the relationship between peer victimization and school adjustment among middle school students. Karen completed her internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children at the Medical College of Virginia, and graduated in 2001. She accepted a postdoctoral position at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children
Joanna Cole, Ph.D.
, finished her undergraduate studies at Tufts University and went on to receive her MS in School Counseling from the University of Rochester. As an undergraduate, she interned at the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston, where she offered her classroom team behavioral management and crisis support services. She worked as a Teacher's Assistant and a 1:1 aide serving Spanish speaking students and their families, at Crestwood Children's Center, a residential treatment facility for children with behavioral and emotional disturbances. Prior to returning to school, Joanna worked as an At-Risk High School Counselor, assisting individuals and families with academic and emotional crises. Joanna also served as an Adolescent Chemical Dependency Specialist for Westfall Associates where she managed the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program. In 2006-07 she completed her internship at The Children's Hospital associated with Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Cole completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital in 2007-08 and is currently Director of Child Psychology Training in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center in the Boston University School of Medicine.
Justin Collmann, M.Ed.
, graduated from Pomona College in 2002 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. After graduation, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and worked with refugees and at-risk youth in New Orleans. After completing his year of service, he taught elementary and middle school Science for three years at the Sacred Heart School in Northwest Washington, D.C. His research interests include adolescent suicide prevention and the effects of teacher-student relationships and school-wide disciplinary policies on the internalization of discipline. He worked with the Youth Violence Project for two years and graduated in 2012.
Julea Posey Douglass, Ph.D.
, finished her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1994. She finished a masters program specializing in human development and psychology at Harvard University and a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in 2000. Prior to returning to school, Julea worked at the U.S. Department of Education as the assistant to the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education and then as a research associate at the Character Education Partnership (CEP) in Washington, D.C. Most of Julea's research has focused on the effectiveness of school-based positive youth development programs such as social and emotional learning, violence prevention initiatives, and character education. Additionally, she has been a volunteer assistant teacher and a mentor program coordinator. During her doctoral studies, Julia co-authored a positive youth development curriculum for high school students and field-tested it in four D.C. public schools. She completed her dissertation on an accompanying outcome measure, the Social Emotional and Academic Learning Survey (SEALS) and graduated with a Ph.D. in Education in 2006. Since graduation, Julea has continued work to establish her School-Connect curriculum as a model positive youth development program for high school students. School-Connect has been implemented in high schools in Los Angeles Unified School District, Washington DC, and other districts across the country.
Megan Eliot, Ph.D.
, graduated from Columbia University in 2000 with a B.A. in English Literature. She worked for three years in the New York City foster care system as a Case Manager and Intake Social Worker. Megan has also served as a Research Assistant on parenting intervention projects at the Yale Child Study Center, and attachment studies at the Developmental Psychopathology Lab at Hunter College. In 2004, she began her doctoral studies in the Clinical and School Psychology program at the Curry School of Education. She completed clinical practicum training at the Center for Clinical Psychology Services, Albemarle County Public Schools, and the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents. In 2009 she completed her internship at Lincoln Medical Center in New York City and then took a post-doctoral fellowship at the Stamford Child Guidance Center in Connecticut. In 2010 she accepted a position as Staff Psychologist/Associate Clinical Professor at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Her doctoral dissertation on the relationship between school climate and student willingness to seek help for bullying and threats of violence won an award as the best dissertation of the year for Division E of the American Educational Research Association and an article reporting her findings was published in Journal of School Psychology.
Andrea Levy Elkon, Ph.D.
, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia's Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology in 2005. Andrea graduated from Haverford College in 1997. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on the gender identity formation and peer group relations of early adolescent girls. She also volunteered for a needle-exchange program in North Philadelphia, where she concurrently conducted research on pathways to drug abuse among teenagers in high-risk situations. Andrea spent two summers as an administrator for the Fresh Air Fund, a summer camp for inner city youth. Upon graduation, Andrea served as the project coordinator for the Penn Resiliency Project at the University of Pennsylvania. This research examined the effectiveness of school-based depression prevention programs for adolescents. Her dissertation examined developmental pathways to violence among incarcerated women. She completed her internship at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute in Columbia, South Carolina.
Stanley Hannah, Ph.D.
, is a graduate of the clinical psychology doctoral program in the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Michigan State University in 1998. As an undergraduate he also worked as a research assistant for the David Walker Research Institute in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. There he was involved in conducting focus groups throughout several urban areas in Michigan with parents, teachers, and clinicians to develop a culturally sensitive instrument that measures behaviors in African American youth. Stan also received a research training grant to travel to Kingston, Jamaica and worked on a research team that examined behavior and emotional problems in Jamaican youth. His current research interest is self-esteem and delinquency in ethnic minority youth and his clinical interests include the assessment of violent youth and counseling minority youth and their families. Stan completed his internship at the University of Miami Counseling Center in Coral Gables, Florida.
Mark Hiatt, Ph. D.
, received his B. A. degree from St. Michael's College in Vermont in 1991. He spent several years working at McLean Hospital's Arlington School, an alternative school for adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems in Belmont, MA. Mark began his doctoral studies in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology in 1995. While in graduate school, Mark published research on the assessment of adolescent depression. He completed training in family therapy at the Family Stress Clinic and training in forensic clinical psychology at the the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. Mark's dissertation was a study of personality and attitudinal factors affecting the mentoring relationships between college student mentors and high-risk youth. In 2000, Mark received the Curry School Scholarship for his many contributions to the Curry School of Education and the community. After completing his internship at Dartmouth University Medical Center, Mark graduated in 2001. Dr. Hiatt continued as a postdoctoral fellow and then staff psychologist at Dartmouth.
Carli Hague Reis, Ph.D.
, Carli graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2005 with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology. Her senior research project was a study of college suicide prevention in which she developed a suicide educational program for use by the university. Her clinical experiences include interning at the Eagle's Nest Clubhouse in Buena Vista, VA, assisting individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as working with preschoolers diagnosed with autism in the Cherry Creek School District. She also served as a Research Assistant on trauma assessment projects in the Traumatic Stress Studies Lab at the University of Denver. Carli completed her predissertation research on suicide gatekeeper training for school counselors and teachers, resulting in an article published in Professional School Counseling. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2010.
Sebastian Kaplan, Ph.D.
, received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia's Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology in 2005. Sebastian received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1994 and an M.S.Ed. in Special Education from Simmons College in Boston in 1998. Prior to coming to Virginia, Sebastian worked as a special education teacher in both private and public school settings in the greater Boston area. At UVA, he completed practicum training at the Family Stress Clinic at the UVA Medical Center and at the Buckingham outpatient clinic. Sebastian's pre-dissertation research on psychopathy and ADHD in adolescents was published in Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice: An Interdisciplinary Journal. He completed his dissertation on threats of violence by students in special education. An article from his dissertation will be published in Behavioral Disorders. Sebastian completed his internship at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, followed by a postdoc in 2005-06. In 2006 he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University.
Jennifer Klein, Ph.D.
graduated from Princeton University in 2001 with a B.A. in Art History. Prior to her graduate studies, she wrote and edited for Allure Magazine in New York City and spent five years teaching middle school. During her graduate studies, Jennie published three research articles on school climate, student risk behavior, and bullying. Her article on school size and bullying won an Outstanding Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (Counseling Division). She completed clinical internships at the UVA Family Stress Clinic and Behavioral Medicine Center, as well as the Center for Addiction Research and Education. She completed her internship at Bellevue Hospital, and graduated in 2012, and then started a staff position with the Freedom Institute in New York City.
Talisha Lee, Ph.D.
, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 with a B.A. in psychology and sociology. During her undergraduate career her research mainly concentrated on the effects of parental behavioral control on adolescent adjustment. She also worked for Maxim Healthcare and Family and Youth Inc. as a Community-Based Services Para-Professional for two years. Post graduation, she worked at Duke University Medical Center, where she collected data for a Therapeutic Foster Care Study. In 2005, she began her doctoral studies in the Clinical and School Psychology program at the Curry School of Education. She completed clinical practicum training at the Center for Clinical Psychology Services, Fluvanna County Public Schools, and the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents. She published her predissertation project on the concurrent validity of the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire in the Journal of School Violence in 2010. Her doctoral dissertation examined school climate characteristics associated with high school dropout rates for Black and White students. An article from her dissertation was accepted for publication in Education and Treatment of Children. She completed her internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children at the Medical College of Virginia and graduated in 2010, and accepted a postdoctoral position at the same institution for the following year.
Peter J. Lovegrove, Ph.D.
, is a sociologist who completed postdoctoral research training at Youth-Nex, The Center to Promote Effective Youth Development located in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. While a post-doc, Dr. Lovegrove worked on a series of studies of bullying and school safety with Dr. Cornell and the Youth Violence Project. His work on bullying focused on using person-centered approaches to understand patterns of bullying and victimization amongst middle and high school students. He has examined the distinctiveness of cyberbullying from other forms of bullying, covariates of relational aggression in middle school girls, as well as the effect of school bullying climate on longitudinal patterns of school-level academic and behavioral outcomes. In 2013 he accepted a position as a research scientist with JBS International.
Tricia Marsh, Ph.D.
, graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in clinical psychology. She has worked in a residential treatment center with adolescent girls and in a social service center with incarcerated mothers and their children. While working with imprisoned mothers she began a program for inner city youth that focused on strengthening their vocational and academic skills. She has also consulted with community based organizations on cultural awareness and developed a statewide survey to assess attitudes of early intervention personnel in order to better serve their clientele. Additionally, she has presented research on the cultural understanding of students' school behavior and worked on a research project to assess how incarcerated women cope with incarceration. Her interests include school- and community-based prevention/intervention strategies with juvenile delinquents and their families. Dr. Marsh completed her internship at Packard Children's Hospital of Stanford University and completed her doctoral dissertation, Prediction of Institutional Misbehavior of Juvenile Offenders with the Personality Inventory for Youth. Dr. Marsh graduated in 2002 and then took a staff psychology position with the Connecticut Dept. of Children and Families.
David McConville, Ph.D.
, is a graduate of the University of Virginia's Curry Programs in School and Clinical Psychology. David received a BA in history from Providence College in 1991 and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University in 1996. Prior to attending UVA, David worked in the community mental health setting as a child and family therapist serving elementary school-aged children, as well as on a crisis response team and an adolescent unit at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Prior research experience included work on a longitudinal project exploring the prevention of antisocial and maladaptive behavior among youth identified as at-risk. David contributed to research on the student threat assessment and other projects while with the Youth Violence Project and completed his dissertation entitled "The Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory in the Assessment of Juvenile Offenders." He completed his internship at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and then continued at Dartmouth as a post-doctoral fellow.
Lela Renee McKnight, Ph.D.
, received her B.S. degree from George C. Peabody College,Vanderbilt University in child development and musical arts. While at Vanderbilt she received two summer research grants to examine family and child readjustment in older-child adoptions. As an undergraduate, she volunteered at the Charles Davis Foundation, a community-based program that benefits underserved children with academic assistance and mentoring. Lela worked with the Youth Violence Project for four years during which she contributed to research on student threat assessment, bullying, and other areas. She completed her internship at Miami Children's Hospital and then completed a pediatric psychology post-doctoral fellowship at the Emory University School of Medicine, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - Egleston Campus.
Daniel Murrie, Ph.D.
, graduated from Harding University in 1996 with degrees in psychology and social work. Dan entered the Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology in 1997. During his clinical training, he has co-led a therapy group for male batterers, served as the lead therapist for a family therapy team, and worked as an assessment supervisor in the Center for Clinical Psychology Services. He conducted forensic evaluations of criminal defendants at the Forensic Psychiatry Clinic . In 2001-2002 he completed an internship at the Florida Mental Health Institute of the University of South Florida. Dan has published several articles in forensic psychology and completed his dissertation on psychopathy in incarcerated adolescents. Dr. Murrie graduated in 2002 and completed a year of postdoctoral training at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. Dr. Murrie served on the faculty of Sam Houston State University until 2008, when he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia. He is currently Director of Psychology in the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Victoria Phillips, M.A., M.Ed.
, graduated from Yale in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Teachers College, Columbia University in 2009 with a M.A. in Psychology in Education. After college graduation, Victoria joined Camp Starfish, based in Boston, MA as a youth counselor, teaching and counseling children with emotional, behavioral and learning problems and continued to work there for four subsequent summers as the Director of the Girl’s Village. During her graduate studies at Columbia, Victoria performed research on adolescent substance use at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital’s Discovery Center. Additionally, she worked as an intern at the Brooklyn Supreme Court where she was involved with forensic evaluations of defendants. In 2009, Victoria began her doctoral work in Clinical and School Psychology and worked on the Virginia Youth Violence Project for two years, completing a predissertation research project entitled, “Identifying victims of bullying: Use of counselor interviews to confirm peer nominations.”
Erica Shirley, Ph.D.
, graduated from the University of Virginia in 2000 with a B.A. in Psychology and Teachers College, Columbia University in 2004 with a M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked at the Village for Families and Children in Hartford, CT, where she was a Child Development Specialist for children in the foster care system labeled as emotionally challenged. After completing her Master’s program, Erica served as a Research Assistant for two years on the Yale Mother-Child Study at the APT Foundation in New Haven, CT. In 2006, she began her doctoral studies in the Clinical and School Psychology program at the Curry School of Education. She completed clinical practicum training at the Center for Clinical Psychology Services, Albemarle County Public Schools, and Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia. Her doctoral dissertation concerns the relationship between student socioeconomic status and high school climate and safety conditions. In 2010 she began her internship at the Howard University Counseling Center. Dr. Shirley now works as a clinician at Georgetown University.
Peter Thunfors, Ph.D.
, graduated from Wake Forest University in 2001 with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in Spanish. His undergraduate honors research project explored the relationship between the personality trait of extraversion and positive affect. In 2000, Peter worked for the Home for Little Wanderers at the Knight Children's Center in Boston where he provided a variety of services to young people in a residential school and treatment center. After completing his undergraduate degree, Peter took a position in the Newton, MA public school system as an inclusion facilitator for a group of middle school students who had a variety of mental health needs. Peter completed his dissertation on the peer popularity of middle school bullies. In 2006-07 he completed his internship at Temple University Health Sciences Center in Philadelphia. In 2007-08, Peter completed a postdoctoral position in the Child Psychiatry Department at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield MA. He is currently Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Jared D. Von Arx, Ph.D.
, received his B. A. in psychology from Trinity College in 1995 and his M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in 1998. Previously, Jared worked on an acute in-patient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents in the Boston area. While there, he also worked in a group home for emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children. In both settings, he provided a wide range of clinical care to young people, including crisis management, therapeutic groups to reduce high-risk behavior, and family reunification. Jared completed his internship at the Devereux Foundation in Philadelphia, PA and then continued in a staff position.
Farah Williams, Ph.D.
, graduated from the University of Virginia in 2001. As an undergraduate, she interned at the Region Ten Blue Ridge House, a psychosocial rehabilitation center for individuals with severe disabling mental illness and also served as a Program Director for a crisis-intervention hotline in Charlottesville, VA. After graduation, Farah worked as the project coordinator for the Virginia Adolescent Research Group for two years. Farah began her graduate studies in 2003. As a staff member of the Virginia Youth Violence Project, she published a paper on student help-seeking to prevent violence, co-authored a book chapter on student threat assessment, completed her dissertation on parent attitudes toward bullying in middle school, and made substantial contributions to two statewide studies: one on suicide prevention training and another on high school safety conditions. Her four years of clinical practicum training included placements at Crozet Elementary school, the Center for Clinical Psychology Services, the Forensic Psychiatry Clinic of the UVA Institute for Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, and the forensic ward of Western State Hospital. In her fifth year, she went on internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children in the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. After completing her doctoral training in 2008, Dr. Williams continued as a postdoctoral fellow at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. After completing her postdoctoral training, Dr. Williams accepted a position as Director of Child and Adolescent Services at Scott County Behavioral Health Services in Scott County, Virginia
Wai Wong, Ph. D.
, received his B.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1989. He worked for two years with the Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens (CARC). He also worked for a community-based rehabilitation program for mentally retarded, chronically mentally ill, and HIV positive individuals in New York City. Dr. Wong enrolled in the Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology in 1994, where he worked on the staff of Youth Violence Project and assisted local communities in planning and implementing violence prevention projects. He also helped organize and implement a statewide assessment of gang involvement of juveniles incarcerated in Virginia detention centers. His dissertation examined the influence of ethnic identity on self-esteem and involvement in delinquent activities. He completed his internship and graduated from the University of Virginia with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1999. Dr. Wong joined the psychology staff of the Counseling Center at Cornell University.