Like many school psychologists I stumbled upon this field through a series of happy accidents. When I was in high school my mother pursued degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. We spent many hours talking about what she was learning, and my interest was piqued. Therefore, when I entered college it was no surprise that I studied psychology. Like many undergraduate degrees in psychology, the focus was very broad. However, during my senior year of college we had a visiting professor, whose specialization was school psychology. I took a few of her classes and realized that I wanted to study school psychology. However, it was too late in the year to apply to graduate programs, and I had already been admitted to a masters program in Child Development. While pursuing my master’s degree in Child Development at the University of California Santa Barbara I found a mentor in the school psychology program and began to work on some research projects. During my final year of my master’s degree I applied for the doctoral program in School Psychology.
My graduate school research focused on social emotional wellbeing, with a particular focus on bullying prevention. As I delved further into my studies I began to wonder why we were intervening as late as middle school, when so many challenges began much earlier. Ultimately this helped lead me to complete a fellowship in Infant Mental Health. As a school psychologist I believe in helping all children work towards social and emotional thriving, beginning with early childhood and preventative efforts. In addition to completing this work in schools I have had the opportunity to work across systems and believe in the important role that school psychologists can play in other systems that children encounter (e.g., Early Intervention, primary care).
My belief in the importance of school psychology has led me to embrace the training of future school psychologists. I love teaching and mentoring students and helping share my love of this important work.
Classes I teach:
- SPSY 6400: School-Based Interventions: Groups, Classrooms & Systems
- SPSY 7500: Affective Bases of Behavior and Psychopathology
- SPSY 7500: Biological and Neuropsychological Bases of Behavior
- SPSY 6550: Academic Interventions in School Psychology
- SPSY 6170: Applied Developmental Science and Assessment
My research interests:
- Social-emotional wellbeing
- Prevention and early intervention
- Early Childhood
- Bullying and social aggression
Two of my favorite activities are running and cooking, and on weekends I can often be found doing one or both of them, preferably in the company of family and friends. When I have the chance I also love to travel, both within the United States and internationally.
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