Staff & Contributors

Click any staff member for more information.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Reece Peterson

Secondary Investigators: Dr. Beth Doll

Current Graduate Assistant Student Engagement Project Researchers: Previous Student Engagement Staff and Other Contributing Authors:
Reece Peterson

Dr. Reece Peterson

Reece is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln specializing in the education of students with emotional or behavioral disorders. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, and has taken courses in legal studies at the University of Nebraska. His interests include intervention for students with behavioral needs, student discipline in school, school violence prevention, as well as special education policy. He has published research in these areas, and is co-author of two books. He has served as President of the International Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders, and the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders. He currently directs the Student Engagement Project, assisting educators to identify strategies for improving student behavior and graduation rates.

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Beth Doll

Dr. Beth Doll

Dr. Doll has served on the editorial board of all three major school psychology journals, and has served as an officer or president of three state school psychology associations as well as president and council representative from Division 16 (School Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. Her research addresses models of school mental health that foster resilience and enhance the well-being of students in naturally-occurring communities, and program evaluation strategies that demonstrate impact and accountability of educational and school mental health services. Three recent publications include Resilient classrooms: Creating healthy environments for learning (2nd Edition); Handbook of Youth Prevention Science; and Resilient Playgrounds.!

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LissyKane

Lissy Kane

Lissy is a third year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. When Lissy isn’t working on the Student Engagement Project, she works with Dr. Ed Daly, researching academic interventions and early literacy. Lissy is also interested restraint and seclusion, crisis de-escalation, and behavioral health in schools. Lissy has worked on the Student Engagement Project since August 2014. Currently, her main tasks are a review of crisis intervention training programs and attending conferences and meetings to present about the Student Engagement Project and alternatives to exclusionary discipline.

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Natalie Hoff

Natalie Hoff

Natalie Hoff is a fourth year doctoral student in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School Psychology Program. Outside of working on the Student Engagement Project, Natalie is a member of Dr. Ed Daly’s research lab and is interested in academic and behavioral interventions for students who demonstrate a need for additional supports. Specifically, how student needs can be met within the classroom environment. Natalie has been a part of the Student Engagement Project since August of 2013. Her work on the project has included the research and drafting of several screening documents, as well as drafting and editing various strategy briefs. She also assists with maintaining the website, creating document briefs in InDesign, putting together a joint newsletter between the project and the Nebraska PBiS initiative, and attending meetings and conferences to present on the project materials. This year, Natalie will be at the Autism Center for Toddlers (ACT) Clinic in Omaha serving toddlers diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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Shir

Shir Palmon

Shir, an Omaha native, is a third year doctoral student in the school psychology program at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. She works with Dr. Susan Swearer and her research efforts focus on bullying. Specifically, Shir is interested in the relational form of bullying, and gender differences in the ways in which youth bully. Shir has been working on the Student Engagement Project since August 2014. Currently, she is updating all of our social media pages, writing the Service Learning and Suicide Prevention Strategy Briefs, and examining the results from our latest evaluation of our Briefs. Shir is also drafting a document aimed at practitioners to provide dropout prevention alternatives.

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Nathan

Nathan Speer

Nathan is a second year Ed.S. student in the School Psychology graduate program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. When Nathan isn’t working on the Student Engagement Project, he works with Dr. Ed Daly researching academic interventions. Before coming to UNL Nathan taught English, speech, and drama to high school students in rural Nebraska for three years. This is Nathan’s first year working on the Student Engagement project, and he is interested in restraint and seclusion, innovative disciplinary alternatives, and dropout prevention.

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Ana Damme

Ana Damme

Ana Damme is a third year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. When Ana isn’t working on the Student Engagement Project, she works with Dr. Susan Swearer in the Empowerment Initiative Lab, researching and combating bullying behaviors. Ana is also interested in the behavioral and mental health of children as well as program and intervention evaluation. Ana has worked on the Student Engagement Project since August 2014. Currently, her main tasks are writing a strategy brief on classroom management, examining and reporting website analytics, maintaining the website, and attending conferences and meetings to present about the project.

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Jeaneen Erickson

Jeaneen Erickson

Jeaneen is currently a 6th grade language arts teacher with Lincoln Public Schools. She has lived in Lincoln since 2004, earning her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, and her master's in Special Education. She worked with Dr. Peterson as a graduate assistant in 2010-2011, specifically in the areas of high school dropout prevention and restraint and seclusion. She enjoys the challenges and rewards that accompany teaching as well as her personal life with a toddler and infant at home.

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Scott Fluke

Scott Fluke

Scott, a Kansas native, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with his Ph.D. in School Psychology this past August. Scott is completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Florida State University Multidisciplinary Center in Tallahassee, Florida. During his time at UNL, Scott worked with Dr. Susan Swearer on research related to bullying prevention and intervention, particularly on how social factors influence bystander intervention. Scott has been working on the Student Engagement Project since August 2012. Currently, he is serving as a consultant for the team at UNL, assisting with web development and maintenance. Previously, Scott contributing to the team by authoring strategy briefs and creating and maintaining the project website.

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AllieHeifner

Allie Heifner

Allie is a third year Ed.S. student in the School Psychology graduate program at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. When Allie isn’t working on the Student Engagement Project, she works with Dr. Ed Daly where her research efforts focus on academic interventions with a specific interest in improving oral reading fluency. This August, Allie is excited to embark on her school psychology internship with Heartland Area Education Agency. Allie started with the Student Engagement Project in the fall of 2015. Currently, her main tasks include disseminating strategy briefs to the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) newsletter, writing a brief on the Pyramid Model of Early Education, and attending conferences to present about the Student Engagement Project.

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Katherine Kidwell

Information coming soon!

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Paige Lembeck

Paige Lembeck

After growing up in New Jersey and completing college at Miami University of Ohio, Paige attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) for graduate school to pursue a specialization in school psychology. At UNL, she was a member of the Empowerment Initiative research lab and was advised by Dr. Susan Swearer. Furthermore, she worked as a research assistant on the Student Engagement Project from August 2011 to May 2012, during which time she helped to create Strategy Briefs on topics such as bullying prevention and intervention and dropout recovery. She obtained her MA in 2011 and her doctorate in August 2015. Her dissertation focused on the relationship among bullying/victimization, body mass index, and body size dissatisfaction. Paige completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) - St. Jude Pediatric Program. At the present time, Paige is a Pediatric Psychology Fellow at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Paige is working with Dr. Jerlym Porter to conduct research on health promotion and transition to adult care for patients with sickle cell disease, and spends much of her time providing clinical services to both oncology and hematology populations.

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EmilyMoss

Emily Moss

Emily, a Nebraska native, is currently a special education teacher in Seattle, Washington. She will graduate with her master’s degree in special education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) this summer. Prior to moving to Seattle three years ago, she attended undergraduate and graduate school at UNL. While there, she worked with Dr. Peterson on the Student Engagement Project as a graduate assistant from 2010-2012. Her areas of focus included project organization and writing strategy briefs on the topics of suspension, restitution, Saturday school, teen courts, and alternative schooling.

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AnnO'Conner

Ann O'Connor

Ann, a Nebraska native, graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Administration in May of 2016. She has lived in Lincoln since 1996 and completed her Bachelor’s degrees in Secondary History Education and Middle Level Education as well as her Jurist Doctor degree at UNL. She is currently an instructional designer with 4-H through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is working with research on teaching STEM at the elementary level through bridging formal and informal educational environments. She worked on the Student Engagement Project from August 2012 to June 2014 writing strategy briefs and policy documents on a variety of topics.

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ReginaOliver

Regina Oliver

Regina M. Oliver received her doctoral degree from Vanderbilt University, and is the School Climate Transformation Grant Coordinator for Lincoln Public Schools and Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Dr. Oliver has extensive experience working with school systems to implement school-wide and individualized positive behavioral support and intervention systems. Dr. Oliver’s research interests are in the prevention of emotional and behavioral disorders, evaluation of effective classroom organization and behavior management, and improving teacher use of evidence-based classroom management practices.

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AmberOlson

Amber Olson

Amber, an Elkhorn native, is completed her Ed.S in school psychology this past August. This past year she has been working in Lincoln for her internship as a school psychologist in a local elementary school. This August, she will begin working full time with Lincoln Public Schools. During her time at UNL, Amber worked with Dr. Susan Swearer and her research efforts focused on bullying. Amber worked on the Student Engagement Project from August 2013 to August 2015. When she worked on the Project in the past, Amber's work focused on authoring Strategy Briefs and maintaining the website.

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KenParnell

Ken Parnell

Ken is a faculty member in Counseling Psychology at the University of Kentucky. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. Ken’s research focuses on couples and families. He is interested in relationship help-seeking, specifically how couples navigate opportunities and obstacles to improve their relationship. He worked with Dr. Peterson as a graduate assistant in 2012-2013, specifically in the area of high school dropout prevention.

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JennaStrawhun

Jenna Strawhun

Jenna, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with her Ph.D. in School Psychology this past August. Jenna completed her pre-doctoral internship at Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. She worked at the center’s Partial Hospitalization Program specializing in providing therapy with children who have emotional and behavioral disorders. In August 2016, she will begin her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe Meyer Institute. During her time at UNL, Jenna worked with Dr. Susan Swearer on research relating to bullying prevention and intervention, particularly on how bullying and hazing intersect and are both influenced by moral disengagement. Jenna worked on the Student Engagement Project from August 2012 through May 2014, primarily working on briefs related to mentoring and parent engagement, among others.

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