SSSP Dissertation Grant Awards

The purpose of the Society of School Psychology Dissertation Grant Awards is to promote excellence in research training in school psychology, thereby enhancing the capability of students to pursue a productive research career that advances the science of school psychology. Although not all quality proposals submitted can be funded, each student will receive feedback intended to contribute to the student’s enthusiasm for and competence in research. Please note that it is SSSP’s policy that no indirect costs (IDC) will be allocated for Dissertation Grant Awards.

RFF for Fall 2023 SSSP Dissertation Research Grants. Applications are due on October 16th, 2023

Previous Recipients


  • Antonelli, Robert A., Northeastern University (Mentor: Jessica Hoffman) “Effects of a Teacher Training to Promote Inclusive Physically Active Play on Peer Social Interactions of Preschoolers on the Autism Spectrum.”

Fall 2023

  • Madeline Spiess, University of California-Santa Barbara (Mentor: Erin Dowdy). “An Exploratory and Stakeholder Driven Approach to Support Teacher Well-Being in Schools.”
  • Emily Hill, Northeastern University (Mentor: Robert Volpe). “An Evaluation of Check-In/Check-Out for Students with Social Withdrawal.”
  • Mary Elizabeth Moody, University of Florida (Mentor: Tina Smith Bonahue). “Examining School Psychologists’ Decision-Making and Subsequent Recommendations for Students with Prior Early Childhood Diagnosis of Malignant Brain Tumors.” 

Spring 2023

  • David Chuang, University of Missouri (Mentor: Keith Herman). “Social Influence and the Role of Teachers in School Mental Health.”
  • Marisa DeCollibus, Pennsylvania State University (Mentor: David McIntosh). “Cultivating Early
    Adults’ Flourishing with Technology Assisted Skill Transfer: A Pilot Comparative Effectiveness Trial.”
  • Hannah Kassab, Ohio University (Mentor: Julie Owens). “Understanding How to Promote Adoption of School-Based Mental Health Interventions: An Examination of Decision-Making Among School Administrators.”

Fall 2022

  • Sonja Saqui, University of British Columbia (Mentor: Sterett Mercer). “Preliminary Evaluation of Tier 1 Anxiety Coping Skills Lessons for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disability.”
  • Madison Weist, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Mentor: Stephen Kilgus).”Training Peer Mentors: Including Critical Dialogic Training in Peer-Mediated Check-In/Check-Out to Promote School Belonging.”
  • Miriam Crinion, University of Nebraska (Mentor:  Sussan Swearer). “Understanding the Experience of Bullying among Students with Disabilities: A Phenomenological Study.”
  • Ocean Gittens, Louisiana State Univ. (Mentor: Anna Long). “BE Mindful: Examining a Brief Mindfulness Intervention on Educator Well-being.”

Spring 2022

  • Sean C. Austin, University of Oregon, (Mentor: Kent McIntosh). “National Patterns of Vulnerable Decision Points in School Discipline.”
  • Elizabeth R. Capps, Ohio University, (Mentor: Steve Evans). “Evaluation of a Peer-Supported School-Based Intervention to Enhance School Engagement among Youth with Attention and Behavior Problems.”
  • Andrew Orapallo, Tulane University, (Mentor: Courtney Baker). “Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Early Childhood Coping Inventory.”
  • Olivia A. Walsh, St. John’s University, (Mentor: Mark Terjesen). “Deliberate Practice to Improve Behavioral Parent Training Skills among Clinical Trainees.”

Fall 2021

  • Annisha Susilo, University of Massachusetts-Boston, (Mentor: Melissa Collier-Meek). “An Actionable Step: Evaluating the Impact of a Text-Based Vocabulary Intervention to Support Middle School English Learners (ELs) Vocabulary Growth.”
  • Alexandra Barber, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Katie Eklund). “Using Community Collaboration to Evaluate the Cultural Relevance of the Resilience Education.”
  • Monica Romero, University of Missouri, (Mentor: Matt Burns). “Examining the Effects of a Peer-Mediated Academic Intervention on the Language and Literacy Performance of Emergent Bilingual Students.” 
  • Noora Abdulkerim, Northeastern University, (Mentor: Amy Briesch). “Exploring the Moderating Role of Racial Socialization Messages in Buffering Racial Stress: Investigating Differences between Subgroups of Black Adolescents.”
  • Sierra Trudel, University of Connecticut, (Mentor: Melissa Bray). “Shifting from ‘What’s wrong?’ to ‘What’s strong?’ in Assessment at School: Development and Preliminary Validation Study of the Character Strength Usage Profile for Students.”

Spring 2021

  • Faith Reynolds, University of South Florida, (Mentor: Evan Dart). “Equitable Implementation of the Good Behavior Game.”
  • Christa Newman, University of Cincinnati, (Mentor: Renee Hawkins). “Using Elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Conjunction with Check In Check Out for Students At Risk for Internalizing Disorders.”
  • Logan Riffle, Northern Illinois University, (Mentor: Michelle Demaray). “Depression and Cybervictimization Among Middle School Students: An Analysis of the Roles of Social Anxiety, Social Media Rumination, and Gender.” 
  • Margarida Veiga, University of Massachusetts-Boston, (Mentor: Lindsay Fallon). “Ask About Culture: Training School Psychologists to Deliver a Cultural Formulation Interview During Functional Behavior Assessments.”

Fall 2020

  • Hannah Kerby, University of Nebraska, (Mentor: Susan M. Sheridan). “At the Intersection of Neighborhoods and Schools: Relationships as Moderators between Neighborhood and Children’s Social-Emotional Development.”
  • Virginia Hatch, Tulane University, (Mentor: Stacy Gray). “Mother’s Insightfulness and Children’s School Readiness in the Context of Intergenerational Adversity.”
  • Emma Nathanson, Michigan State University, (Mentor: Kristin Rispoli). “An Investigation of the Initial Efficacy and Acceptability of a Supplemental, Online-Delivered Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Parents Participating in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.” 
  • Anacary Ramirez, University of California-Riverside, (Mentor: Wesley Sims). “Avanzando Juntos: The Effects of Teleconsultation with Spanish-Speaking Families.”

Spring 2020

  • Alura Malcom, Michigan State University, (Mentor: Kristin Rispoli). “Systematic Parent Training Procedure to Promote Emotion Regulation in Preschoolers with ASD.”
  • Lea Petrovic, Tulane University, (Mentor: Stacy Overstreet). “The role of school climate in mitigating the effects of neighborhood violence on aggressive behaviors.”
  • Ashley Pfenning, University of California-Riverside, (Mentor: Wesley Sims). “Evaluating a DBR Self-Monitoring Intervention for Middle Schoolers with ADHD.”

Fall 2019

  • Hao-Jan Luh, University of Connecticut, (Mentor: Lisa Sanetti). “Effects of Emailed Prompts on Teachers’ Verbal Prompt Delivery.”
  • Nicole McKevett, University of Minnesota, (Mentor: Robin Codding). “From Screening to Intervention: A Skill-by-Treatment Interaction in Computational Fluency.”
  • Stefanie Schrieber, University of Southern Mississippi, (Mentor: Evan Dart). “Test-Driving Interventions for Teachers: Incorporating Treatment Acceptability to Improve Treatment Integrity.”
  • Miranda Zahn, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Steve Kilgus). “Effective Classroom Management in the Middle School Classroom: Interactions between Teacher Knowledge and Self-Efficacy on Use of Evidence-Based Practices.”

Spring 2019

  • Agustina Bertone, University of California-Santa Barbara, (Mentor: Erin Dowdy). “Educando a Nuestros Hijos: Parental Engagement in Preschool Development and Acculturative Stress.”
  • Rachel Schumacher, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (Mentor: Susan Sheridan). “Starting School Socially and Behaviorally Ready: The Impacts of Malleable Home-Based Relationships and Community Setting.”
  • Morgan Eldridge, Northern Illinois University, (Mentor: Michelle Demaray). “Adolescents’ Student Engagement as a Moderator of the Association Between Bullying Role Behaviors and Internalizing Problems.”
  • Kelsie Reed, Loyola University of Chicago, (Mentor: Pamela Fenning). “Investigating Exclusionary Discipline: Teachers, Deficit Thinking, and Racial Disproportionality.”

Fall 2018

  • Henry Bass, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Mentor: Susan Sheridan). “The Effectiveness of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation on Student Outcomes in Rural Communities: A Follow-Up Study.”
  • Ellen Schmidt, Northeastern University, (Mentor: Jessica Hoffman). “Supporting Preschool Teachers to Promote Physically Active Play Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.”
  • Elizabeth Moore, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Craig Albers). “Oral Reading Fluency Intervention Across English Language Proficiency Levels.”
  • Caroline Hodgson, University of Missouri, (Mentor: Wendy Reinke). “Refining School Mental Health Screening Using Mixture IRT Models: Evaluation and Translation to Applied Settings.”

Spring 2018

  • Christa Copeland, University of Missouri, (Mentor: Chris Riley-Tillman). “Effects of Personalized Feedback and Brief Motivational Interviewing Components on Teacher Beliefs, Perceptions and Knowledge of Classroom Behavior Interventions.”
  • Stephanie Daniels, University of Tennessee, (Mentor: Merilee McCurdy). “Understanding Students’ Typing Skills: Evaluating the Effects and Efficiency of a Typing Intervention for Elementary School Students.”
  • Matthew Lee, University of British Columbia, (Mentor: Shelley Hymel). “Do Teacher Perceptions and Responses to Peer Victimization Differ Based on Victim’s Behavioral Problems?”
  • Katie Moffa, University of California-Santa Barbara, (Mentor: Erin Dowdy). “Exploration of Alternative Approaches to Dual-Continua Mental Health Classification among High School Students.”
  • Brittany Lewno, University of South Dakota, (Mentor: Daniel Hajovsky). “Does Gender Bias Exist in Different Cognitive Predictors of Math, Reading, and Writing? Evidence from a Large, Nationally Representative Sample.“

Fall 2017

  • Ruth Chaffee, Northeastern University, (Mentor: Amy Briesch). “Effects of a Class-wide Positive Peer Reporting Intervention on Middle School Student Behavior.”
  • Nicole Dorio, Northern Illinois University, (Mentor: Michelle Demaray). “Rumination, Social Support, Victimization, and Depression.”
  • Kelly Clark, Northern Illinois University, (Mentor: Christine Malecki). “Grit and Growth Mindset Predict Academic Achievement and Mental Health: A Longitudinal Analysis Using the Dual-Factor Model.”
  • Leah Hunter, Pennsylvania State University, (Mentor: Cristin Hall). “Factors Affecting Implementation of an Evidence-Based Intervention for Child Care Centers: A Mixed Methods Study.”
  • Kathryn Simon, Tulane University, (Mentor: Stacey Overstreet). “The Implications of Teacher Secondary Traumatic Stress for Student Socio-emotional Wellbeing.”
  • Crystal N. Taylor, University of Missouri-Columbia, (Mentor: Stephen Kilgus). “Examining the Mediating Role of Teacher-Related Variables on the Relationship between Classroom Management and Student Social-Emotional and Behavioral Risk.”
  • Rebecca Thomson, Michigan State University, (Mentor: John Carlson). “A Self-Administered Parent Training Intervention for Building Social-Emotional Competence among Low-Income Preschoolers: A Nonconcurrent Multiple Baseline Design across Five Cases.”

Spring 2017

  • Andrew S. White, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (Mentors: Susan Sheridan and Kathleen Rudasil). “Using self-regulation to predict preschoolers’ disruptive behavior disorders.”
  • Sarah Johnson, Northeastern University, (Mentor: Jessica Hoffman). “Teen digital dating abuse: Development and validation of a self-report measure.”
  • Molly S. Kaufman, Pennsylvania State University, (Mentor: James DiPerna). “Effectiveness of the Teens Together Grief Support Group Curriculum.”

Fall 2016

  • Allyson J. Kiss, University of Minnesota, (Mentor: Ted Christ). “Investigating young children’s attitudes toward mathematics: Improved measurement and the relation to achievement.”
  • Jaclyn Tennant, Northern Illinois University, (Mentor: Michelle Demaray). “Emotion regulation, student engagement, and bullying roles.”
  • Venus Wong, University of Kentucky, (Mentor: Lisa Ruble).

Spring 2016

  • Nicole Marie Shea, (Mentor: Natalie Russ). “Motivational orientation in autism spectrum disorder: An electrophysiological investigation.”
  • Amanda Moen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (Mentor: Susan Sheridan). “Evaluation of the Psychometric Properties of the Teacher Efficacy for Promoting Partnership Measure.”
  • Nicole Hendrix, University of Washington, (Mentor: Kristen Missall). “Embedded Instructional Gesture and Early Shape Learning: Comparing Seeing and Doing.”
  • Rachel DeRoos, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Thomas Kratochwill). “The Effectiveness of Behavioral Consultation on Homeschooled Students with Externalizing Behaviors.”
  • Trenesha Hill, Tulane University, (Mentor: Courtney Baker). “Empirically Derived Profiles of Preschooler Functioning: Effects on Kindergarten Readiness.”

Fall 2015

  • Sarah Ochs, University of Houston, (Mentor: Milena Keller-Margulis). “Examining the growth of a computer adaptive measure of reading.”
  • Leslie Blevins, University of Georgia, (Mentors: Cynthia Vail and A. Michele Lease). “Facilitating teachers’ choice of evidence-based practices by providing internet-based video-modeling.”

Spring 2015

  • Andrea Zawoyski, University of Georgia, (Mentor: Scott Ardoin). “Examining eye movements of elementary students during reading comprehension assessment: A closer look at the impact of test-taking strategies and question format.”
  • Erin Knight, University of Houston, (Mentor: Jan Bacher). “Gaining an understanding: Growth in literacy as related to deficits associated with ASD.”

Fall 2014

  • Leah Dembitzer, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, (Mentor: Ryan J. Kettler). “Universal design and accommodations: Accessibility, reliability, and validity.”
  • Sara Marie Hinojosa, University of South Florida, (Mentor: Julia Ogg). “Teacher child interaction therapy: An ecological approach to intervening with young children.”

Spring 2014

  • Ashley Dubin, University of Georgia, (Mentor: Rebecca Leiberman-Betz). “Effects of classroom-implemented prelinguistic milieu teaching on social-communication skills in preschoolers with or at-risk for ASD.”
  • Tori E. Foster, University of Georgia, (Mentor: Scott Ardoin). “Monitoring eye movements to measure reading behavior and instructional effect.”
  • Shannon R. Holmes, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (Mentor: Susan Sheridan). “Determining the operative elements to improve parent-teacher relationships during conjoint behavioral consultation.”
  • Jeffrey D. Shahidullah, Michigan State University, (Mentor: John Carlson). “An integrated behavioral health treatment for ADHD referrals in pediatric primary care: Empirical evaluation of clinical improvement, acceptability, adherence, and cost of care.”

Fall 2013

  • Kirra Guard; Lehigh University, (Mentor: Ed Shapiro). “Highly decodable reading passages as a first-grade screening measure:  A validation study.”
  • Page Mission, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Craig Albers). “Social-emotional and behavioral assessment in culturally and linguistically diverse learner populations: An examination of the validity and reliability of the Social Skills Improvement System in school-aged Spanish speaking English language learners.”
  • Stephanie Secord, Northern Illinois University, (Mentor: Michelle Demaray). “The Protective role of social support and the relations among cyber and traditional victimization, depression, and suicidal ideation.”

Spring 2013

  • Maggie Altschaefl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Thomas Kratochwill). “Promoting treatment integrity of parent- and teacher-delivered math fluency interventions: An adult behavior change intervention.”
  • Brittany Bice-Urbach, University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Mentor: Thomas Kratochwill). “Teleconsultation: The use of technology to improve evidence-based practices in rural communities.”
  • Michael Coutts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, (Mentor: Susan Sheridan). “Conjoint behavioral consultation via distance delivery (CBC-D): An evaluation of efficacy and acceptability.”

Fall 2012

  • Julia Englund, University of South Carolina, (Mentor: Scott Decker). “Developing the first theoretically guided online working memory measure.”
  • Gregory Callan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, (Mentor: Timothy Cleary). “Measuring self-regulated learning during mathematical problem solving.”

Spring 2012

  • Laura Morena, University of Georgia, (Mentor: Scott Ardoin). “Investigating the behaviors underlying reading fluency using eye-tracking technology.”
  • Sarah Fefer, University of South Florida, (Mentor: Julia Ogg). “A Novel measurement approach for a complex phenomenon: Positive illusions among adolescents with ADHD and depressive symptoms.”

Fall 2011

  • Carolyn Hayter, Michigan State University, (Mentor: Evelynn Oka). “Effectiveness of an online video modeling intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.”
  • Sarah Rowe, Michigan State University, (Mentor: Sara Bolt). “Teacher and student acceptability of reading curriculum-based measurement.”

Spring 2011

  • David Parker, University of Minnesota, (Mentor: Matthew Burns). “Mechanisms of change in CBT for depressed youth.”
  • Prerna Arora, University of Texas, (Mentor: Kevin Stark).