2017-2018 MPC Team




Wendy Reinke, Ph.D., Co-Director (School Psychology)Wendy

Dr. Wendy Reinke completed her doctoral training in school psychology at the University of Oregon and is currently an Associate 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.

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.

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 an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri and the Associate Director of the Missouri Prevention Center.  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.

Francis-Huang-webFrancis Huang, Ph.D. (Educational Research Methods)

Dr. Huang is an experienced management consultant and quantitative researcher. He currently teaches subjects related to linear/nonlinear regression, multivariate statistics (e.g., factor analysis, discriminant analysis, cluster analysis), and data management. Research interests focus on the use of applied quantitative methods for policy analysis (e.g., bullying, school violence, literacy growth), large scale data analysis, birthdate effects/season of birth research, and the development and validation of empirically supported measures and scales.

nianbo-dong-082014Nianbo Dong, Ph.D. (Educational Research Methods)

Dr. Dong is an Assistant Professor in Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation in Education. He teaches Hierarchical Linear Modeling. His research program centers on both development of quantitative methodology, and applications of rigorous quantitative methods in evaluating the effects of teacher and principal professional development programs and early child education programs. His current interests focus on power analyses of the main, moderation, and mediation effects in multilevel experiments, and causal inference. His work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Science (IES) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Lori Newcomer, Ph.D. (Special Education)

Dr. Lori Newcomer completed her doctoral training at the University of Missouri in special education and is currently an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology. For over 30 years, Dr. Newcomer has been involved in the education of children and youth with challenging behaviors. Her areas of specialization include behavior disorders, functional assessment, and social competence. Dr. Newcomer’s research interests focus on prevention and school-based interventions for behavior disorders, with an emphasis on interventions at the secondary and tertiary levels within a three-tiered model of schoolwide positive behavior support. Dr. Newcomer serves on several editorial boards and provides technical support and training to schools and districts across the United States, Canada and Australia on schoolwide systems of Positive Behavior Support, functional assessment, classroom management, and social skill instruction.

Chris Riley-Tillman, Ph.D. (School Psychology)crt

In his current position, Dr. Riley-Tillman provides training in assessment, intervention and consultation. He brings qualifications in the areas of applied behavior analysis, behavioral assessment, academic assessment and intervention, and the development and validation of assessment and intervention methodologies which are both empirically supported and feasible. His research interests involve social behavioral assessment, academic assessment/intervention, and consultation. He has authored over 60 articles, book chapters and books. Dr. Riley-Tillman serves as Co-Principal Investigator on Project VIABLE an IES-funded grant with goals to develop and evaluate procedures for direct behavior rating scales to effectively and efficiently measure student behavior. Dr. Riley-Tillman is currently serving as an Associate Editor for School Psychology Forum and board member of School Psychology Review.

Melissa Stormont, Ph.D. (Special Education)Melissa

Dr. Stormont is a Professor of Special Education at MU. She is an expert on PBIS in early childhood settings and fostering child resilience and has written books on both topics. Additionally, she has expertise in building systems to support Tier 2 interventions and has written a book in this area as well. At MU, she teaches classes on these topics; conducts applied, school-based research; consults with school districts; participates in professional committees and advisory groups; serves on Doctoral and Master’s committees; and presents at local, state, national, and international conferences. Her work focuses on preventing behavior problems in young children, teaching consultation around effective classroom management strategies, and assisting children and families during critical school transitions.



crystal2Crystal Lewis, Director of Data and Research Implementation

Crystal oversees all research activities occurring within the MPC. Her role includes project coordination, consulting, data management and analysis. She received a Master’s degree in Public Policy in 2011 from the University of Minnesota, and she has a research interest in program evaluation in education.


Marcus Petree, Research Assistant

Marcus is a Research Assistant with the MPC. He currently works as the project coordinator for the CHAMPS, NIJ-START, and IES-SCSL projects under Dr. Herman, helping to coordinate research activities with fellow members of the team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Mizzou and has been a member of the MPC team since August of 2013.


anne2Anne Stinson, Research Associate

Anne is a Research Associate and coordinator of the STARS Project. Her role includes intervention planning, data management, data tracking, and overseeing all logistical aspects of the project. She received a Master’s degree in counseling from Stephens College in 2011, she is a licensed professional counselor, and a first year doctoral student in Social Work. She is interested in studying school-based program evaluation, toxic stress, and children in poverty.

juju-yeJuju Ye, Research Assistant

JuJu is a research assistant at the MPC as a cross-project support. She recently graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Missouri and plans on going to graduate school for School Psychology. She is excited to be a part of the MPC team and is interested in understanding and preventing internalizing problems in youth.


carolekelleyCarole 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 Center. 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.

shelleylabyerSherry 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 Center, 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.


Graduate Assistants

kirsten2Kirsten Baker (School Psychology)

Kirsten is a first year doctoral student in school psychology. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. Kirsten has three years of experience with classroom interventions as well as inpatient service. She is very excited to join the MPC team and learn more about preventive science!


Emily Camp (Counseling Psychology)

Emily is a research assistant for the MPC and a second-year master’s student in the Counseling Psychology program. She received bachelor degrees from the University of Missouri in English and Philosophy. For the past ten years, she has worked or taught in schools and care facilities, both in the United States and abroad. She is interested in studying the effects of developmental and complex trauma on youth and multicultural groups, with a focus on prevention, intervention and adjunctive forms of treatment.

nicketa2Nicketa Coombs (School Psychology)

Nicketa is a second-year transfer doctoral student at MU. She will be joining the team Fall of 2017. She received her undergraduate degre in Exercise Science at the University of Mary, and another in Health and Wellness at Lincoln University. Nicketa received her Masters of  Education at Central Methodist University and has been working alongside special education teachers for a year. She is very excited about joining the MPC team, especially for the opportunity to further evidence-based practices focusing on prevention.

Colleen Eddy (Counseling Psychology)Eddy, Colleen

Colleen is a third-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. She attended the University of Pittsburgh for undergraduate studies and then Boston College for a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Most recently she worked for the VA healthcare system in North Little Rock, Arkansas. She is excited to learn more about prevention science during her time at Mizzou.

krista2Krista Edwards (School Psychology)

Krista is a first-year doctoral student who graduated with her bachelors in Psychology from Hampton University in 2015. She has experience working on both clinical mood and emotion regulation studies as well as intervention projects like the Good Behavior Game and Path to Pax. She just finished a School-Based Violence Prevention Project with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health this past spring, and she is excited to be a part of the MPC!

Caroline Hodgson 20182Caroline Hodgson (School Psychology)

Caroline is a third-year doctoral student in school psychology. In May 2015, she received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She works primarily with the CHAMPS and START/SCSL projects, and her interests involve promoting evidence-based practices in the prevention and measurement of depression and anxiety.

jonathan2Jonathan Hammons (School Counseling)

Jonathan is a second-year master’s student in school counseling. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Secondary Social Studies Education. He has been a full time teacher for six years, both in the United States and abroad. He has worked with both the CHAMPS and STARS program since December 2015.


ashley2Ashley Hobbs (Social Work)

Ashley is a first year graduate student pursuing a master’s in social work. She received her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Missouri in the Spring of 2017. Ashley has worked with at-risk youth within the community of Columbia, MO and abroad. She is interested in working to provide better resources for at-risk youth in the community and is excited to learn more about how schools can be vital in providing key interventions to students and families.

lauren2Lauren Henry (School Psychology)

Lauren is a fourth-year doctoral student at MU. She joined the team in the Fall of 2014 after receiving her BA in psychology and BAS in Human Services from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She has worked within a school system for 5 years and is enthusiastic to join the MPC in furthering evidenced-based practice, primarily working the CHAMPS project investigation. She founded and continues to supervise the MARS mentorship program at a Columbia alternative school.


Anjana Ramnath (Bioinformatics)

Anjana is a Bioinformatician and is currently a third-year doctoral student in Medical Informatics with the MU Informatics Institute. Her areas of interest include Computational neuroscience, Biomedical Informatics and Genomics.


aly2Aly Savala (Counseling Psychology)

Aly is a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. She attended Texas Tech University for her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and the University of Louisville for her Master’s in Counseling Psychology.  Aly joined the STARS and CHAMPS projects in August 2016. Her research interests involve issues facing adolescents and young adults, with a focus on depression prevention, as well as trauma and sexual assault victims.

Mike Van Wie (School Psychology)

Mike is a second-year doctoral student in school psychology. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland. For the past six years he has worked in clinical psychology research laboratories across the United States. He is involved with the STARS and CHAMPS projects and is interested in prevention of depression and anxiety in children.

 Updated July 2017