USC University of Southern California

Building Capacity and Welcoming Practices In Military-Connected Schools

International Advisory Board

Anita Chandra

chandra_anita.jpgAnita Chandra is a behavioral scientist and manager of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Group at the RAND Corporation. Her background is in public health, child and adolescent health, and community-based participatory research and evaluation. She currently leads or co-leads studies on deployment and military families; community resilience and long-term disaster recovery; and child health and well-being. Throughout her career, Chandra has engaged community partners to consider cross-sector solutions for improving child well-being and to build evaluation capacity among community-based organizations. In this capacity, she led a community wide pediatric needs assessment in Washington, DC and a school health program study in DC focused on the integration of health and education. In the areas of military families, her studies have principally focused on the impact of deployment on the social, emotional, and academic well-being of youth. She has been involved in the national evaluation of the Safe Start program for children exposed to violence, projects with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to examine community capacity in public health preparedness, and an intervention study on teen depression in primary care settings. Chandra has engaged community members, particularly young people, in program evaluation and in the translation and dissemination of research findings into community action. She develops projects in adolescent mental health to explore stigma as a barrier to mental health care-seeking and to understand issues of emotional wellness. She also conducted projects in sexual and reproductive health, such as monitoring and evaluation at reproductive health clinics and designing a provider toolkit on barriers to appropriate reproductive health services for teens. Chandra received her Dr.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Catherine Bradshaw

catherine p.bradshaw.jpgCatherine Bradshaw is Associate Professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from Cornell University and a master’s in counseling and guidance from the University of Georgia. She has a joint appointment in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University as Associate Director. Her primary research interests focus on the development of aggressive behavior and school-based prevention. She collaborates on research projects examining bullying and school climate; the development of aggressive and problem behaviors; effects of exposure to violence, peer victimization, and environmental stress on children; and the design, evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based prevention programs in schools. She is a co-investigator with the Johns Hopkins Military Child Initiative, through which she conducts research on military impacted children and families. Dr. Bradshaw also works with the Maryland State Department of Education and several school districts to support the development and implementation of programs and policies to prevent bullying and school violence, and to foster safe and supportive learning environments. She received a career development award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for her research on the use of evidence-based violence prevention programs in schools and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Charles Boyer

No-Photo-Available.jpgCharles Boyer is the special advisor for military families at the office of Innovation and Improvement and joined the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC, in January 2009 as Special Advisor for Military Affairs in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. His primary role is to promote and enhance policies that will improve the education and overall well being of military-connected students. Boyer works closely with DoD and ED to realize the promise of the DoD-ED Memorandum of Agreement that addresses the academic challenges and social and emotional struggles faced by children of the military. Before ED, Boyer was at the Army Installation Management Command where he served as School Transition Specialist in the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division. Prior to his work as an Army civilian, Boyer was a Research and Evaluation Specialist for the DoD Education Activity Headquarters in Arlington, VA. His service includes being a school administrator, teacher, classical musician, and soldier. Boyer holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Colette L. Ingraham

ingraham.jpgDr. Colette Ingraham is a faculty member at the San Diego State University’s School of Psychology Program. She is also on the faculty for the Doctoral Program in Education and School Counseling Program. Dr. Ingraham teaches graduate courses in school consultation, systems assessment and intervention, advanced seminar in school psychology, program development and evaluation, and supervision of trainees in school practica and internships. She identifies professionally as an educator and as a psychologist, thus her work emphasizes the psychological aspects of education, such as empowerment, motivation, and the multifaceted nature of human development. Research interests include: consultation in culturally diverse schools, systems change and comprehensive service delivery, and developing professional leaders. She is active within professional organizations, having served as Vice President of Membership for the Division of School Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and member of various task forces. She has served as member of the Editorial Advisory Boards for several school psychology journals, consultant to schools, and holds national certification in both school psychology and counseling.

David Splitek

splitek.pngDr. David Splitek, Project Director for Higher Education Initiatives for the Military Child Education Coalition, is the former Vice President for Programs and Services. He was superintendent of schools for the Lackland Independent School District (Lackland Air Force Base) for nine years prior to joining the MCEC. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Dave began teaching mathematics following military service in the U.S. Army. He taught at Ross Middle School in El Paso, Texas and served as a middle school principal, Research and Evaluation Director, Associate and Deputy Superintendent, and interim superintendent in San Antonio Independent School District prior to his move to Lackland, one of seven school districts in the United States with school district boundaries the same as those of a military installation. He and wife, Janet, have three sons. Dave served as a board member with the Military Child Education Coalition and the chairman of the MCEC’s Technology Initiatives. He retired from Lackland ISD on July 1, 2009 and currently serves as a Project Director for the Military Child Education Coalition.

Gary Bowen

gary bowen.gifDr. Bowen is a Kenan Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Dr. Bowen co-directed the development of the Ph.D. Program in Social Work at UNC-CH, and served as co-director of the program in its first three years of operation. He directed the program of study for the first doctoral graduate of the School of Social Work. Dr. Bowen has extensive experience working with all branches of the military services, and he has visited installations worldwide during the past 30 years in the context of consulting with military policymakers, researchers, and practitioners across a range of mental health and social service issues. He has published extensively on the nature of the work and family interface in the U.S. Military, including the now classic volume, The Organization Family: Work and Family Linkages in the U.S. Military (Praeger Press), which he co-edited in 1989 with Dr. Dennis Orthner. His military-related publications have appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Youth and Society, Armed Forces & Society, Evaluation and Program Planning, Journal of Community Practice, and the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, and he has been a featured guest on National Public Radio (The Tavis Smiley Show) discussing the Iraq War, One year later: The view from soldiers’ families. Dr. Bowen is a member of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Veteran’s Affairs Joint Task Force. Dr. Bowen serves as amember of the distinguished Research Council for America’s Promise, and he is President-Elect of the National Council on Family Relations.

Hana Shadmi

Screen Shot 2012-02-08 at 1.00.29 PM.pngMs. Shadmi is the Director of the Psychological and Counseling Services in the Israel Ministry of Education. One of the responsibilities of this service is the development and implementation of programs, such as, Life Skills, Violence Prevention, Drug, Alcohol and Smoking Prevention, Child Abuse and Sexual Harassment, as well as advising the Ministry of Education on Policy Directives and guidelines on these topics. The Life Skills Program is a comprehensive program for emotional, social development learning and coping with high-risk behaviors, from kindergarten through high school grades. Ms. Shadmi also coordinated an inter-ministerial committee which developed the Standards for School Climate, upon which the Ministry of Education has based its policy on violence prevention. This model, based on research and continuous monitoring, has been implemented throughout the Israeli public educational system and has proven to be effective in reducing the level of violence on and off school property.

Lisa Jaycox

jaycox_lisa.jpgLisa Jaycox is a senior behavioral scientist and clinical psychologist at the RAND Corporation; she is also a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Jaycox has combined clinical and research expertise in the areas of child and adolescent mental health problems, including depression and reactions to violence exposure such as post-traumatic stress disorder. She developed and evaluated a school-based prevention of depression program that proved to be effective in preventing the onset of severe depressive symptoms among fifth and sixth graders. She also evaluated psychosocial treatment and prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder among adult female assault survivors. Jaycox joined RAND in 1997 and has worked on projects related to the treatment of adolescent depression in primary care settings, mental health consequences of community violence and violent injury, evaluation of adolescent substance-abuse treatment programs, use of trauma-focused therapy to improve school-based mental health services for children, impact of terrorism and natural disaster on children, and evaluation of an intimate partner violence prevention program for Latino youth. Her recent work has included a focus on the mental health impact of deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and the systems available to support recovery, as well as evaluation of the Safe Start initiative, programs designed to improve outcomes for children exposed to violence. Jaycox received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lynne Michael Blum

dr_blum2-150x150.jpgLynne Michael Blum, PhD is a consultant on the Military Child Initiative and is leading the Best Practices Component. This work currently includes the development of the Military Child Initiative web course and in the future will include the development of an online Best Practices library. Dr. Blum is a child/adolescent clinical psychologist in clinical practice as well as an adjunct assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Mental Health. She is co-director of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Military Child Initiative, where she is leading the Best Practices Component. Her work currently includes the development of the Military Child Initiative web course and in the future will include the development of an online Best Practices library.

Mary Keller

mary keller.jpgDr. Mary Keller serves as the President & CEO of the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC). She has been the organization’s executive leader since 1998. The MCEC was recognized by First Lady Laura Bush in 2004 as the Congressional Club Charity of the Year and in 2008, was certified America's Best Charity by Independent Charities of America. Dr. Keller was one of the founders of the Military Child Education Coalition, the nation’s only non-profit organization that serves around the world as an advocate for military children as they strive to meet the challenges of frequent transitions, parental deployments, loss and trauma.Mary has served as a teacher and school administrator in several Texas school districts for over 21 years. She served for eight years as assistant superintendent and area superintendent for education services for the Killeen Independent School District, which today serves over 20,000 military connected children and the nation’s largest military installation, Fort Hood. Mary was born on the High Plains of Texas (Plainview) and graduated from Wayland Baptist University in 1979 with a degree in Elementary Education. She received a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from Wayland in 1984. She earned her doctorate, in Educational Administration with a special emphasis in supervision in 1990 at Texas Tech University. She holds professional certification in teaching elementary, as well as history, supervision, mid-management, and superintendency. She also holds a mediation certification from the Texas Bar Association.

Michael Furlong

michaelfurlong.jpgMichael Furlong is affiliated with the Department of Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology. His students pursue PhD or MEd degrees, while also completing the requirements for the California school psychologist credential. Dr. Furlong’s research focuses on pressing needs of children and adolescents, particularly as they inhibit the schooling process. These research projects examine factors associated with the occurrence of violence on school campuses, patterns and influences of substance use by youths (with a special emphasis on tobacco use), implementation of interagency coordinated, family-focused programs to help children with emotional and behavioral disorders, delinquency prevention, truancy prevention, and developmental and health impacts of chronic hostility in youth. These projects are carried out in collaboration with local community agencies: schools, county mental health, county juvenile probation, child protective services, among others. To provide research and service opportunities to his students. Dr. Furlong has been quite active with state and national school psychology organizations, having served as the president of the California Association of School Psychologists. He is also an advisory panel member for the California Healthy KIDS Survey project. Currently, Dr. Furlong serves as an Associate Editor of Psychology in the Schools and the California School Psychologist. I am on the editorial boards of the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and the Journal of School Violence.

Michal Beller

Prof.-Michal-Beller.jpgMichal Beller is the founding director of the Israeli National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education (RAMA), in charge of K-12 assessments, school climate surveys, teacher appraisal and program evaluation. RAMA is an independent body reporting directly to the Minister of Education. Her research interests include assessment and measurement in K-12, admissions to higher education, validity research, test translation and adaptation to different languages, test bias issues, program evaluation, and e-Learning. Michal Beller assumed this position in 2005 upon her return to Israel from ETS in Princeton, where she was a Senior Research Director. From 1995 until joining ETS in 2001, she was associate professor, at the Department of Education and Psychology, in the Open University of Israel. During this period she also founded and directed a new center for learning technologies in distance learning. From 1987 to 1995, Beller was the director-general of the Israeli National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE), which designs and administers university admissions tests, K-12 assessments, and conducts psychometric research. Beller received her doctorate ("summa cum laude") in psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has been constantly active in educational testing, having served on various national and international committees, amongst them are the International Advisory Board for the SweSAT, IEA general assembly, the PISA Governing Board (PGB) and the PISA Strategic and Development Group (SDG).

Patricia Lester

Patricia Lester At the UCLA Semel Institute, Dr. Lester is the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry, Director of FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) Project, Director of the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center, and the Medical Director of the Child and Family Trauma Service. A board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Lester’s work have been dedicated to the development, evaluation, and implementation of family centered prevention and treatment for families facing the impact of military deployments, traumatic events, and parental illness. She co-developed the family-centered preventive intervention FOCUS which was designed to promote resilience and mitigate stress in families facing adversities such as natural disasters, medical illness, and military wartime deployments. Over the last 4 years, she has led the successful large scale implementation of FOCUS for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, as well as piloting at Army and Air Force sites. Dr. Lester oversees the on-line FOCUS learning center and evaluation programming, which utilizes web-based technologies to support program implementation at scale. She is well-versed in the scientific and programmatic issues facing military families, and serves as an advisor on the needs of military children and families across military, university and non-profit agencies. She co-directs the Welcome Back Veteran’s UCLA Family Resilience Center dedicated to promoting training, research and community capacity for Veterans in the Los Angeles region in partnership with the Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration. She is also the co-principle investigator on a Department of Defense study to evaluate the impact of wartime deployment reintegration on young military children and their families. Her work has been supported by the Department of Defense, the US Department of Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the McCormick Foundation, National Institute for Mental Health, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Phillip T. Slee

Thumbnail image for slee_phillip.jpgPhillip T. Slee is a Professor in Human Development in the School of Education at Flinders University, Adelaide. He is a qualified teacher and registered psychologist. He co-ordinates major under-graduate programs in the Bachelor of Education. Phillip’s chief areas of research interests include child & adolescent mental health, childhood bullying/aggression, stress and teacher education. Phillip has presented his work nationally and internationally in workshops and lectures. Presently, he is undertaking a number of international research projects on the topic of school violence with researchers from Japan, Korea, China, Canada, England and the USA as part of a Pacific Rim network. He has recently completed, with a research team, an evaluation of the KidsMatter Primary Mental Health Initiative and has commenced an evaluation of the KidsMatter Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative.

Robert Monson

monson160.jpgRobert L. Monson, a 16-year veteran principal, was the 2011-2012 elected president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), which represents pre-K-8 educators in the United States, Canada, and overseas. This award-winning leader has presented on the topics of distance learning and curriculum-based measurement at state and national conferences. Most recently, Monson worked as principal of Parkston Elementary School in South Dakota. As instructional leader, he wrote grants and received funding from multiple sources to design and deliver curriculum to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Additionally, Monson volunteered to coach after-school athletic programs that provided a safe, engaging environment for children.After serving in Desert Storm as a combat medic with the South Dakota National Guard, Monson began his education career in 1991 as a high school business/computer teacher at Marty Indian School. Later, he accepted a high school principalship and then moved to the elementary level where he provided leadership for the Parkston School District as well as two Hutterite Colony Schools. Monson believes that today’s educational leaders must be forward thinking with their vision and assume advocacy at a variety of levels in order to assure all children receive a quality education. Monson earned a B.S. in business education with a minor in computers from Dakota State University and a M.Ed. in education administration from the University of South Dakota.

Shelley Macdermid Wadsworth

SMcDW_biopg.jpgShelley MacDermind Wadsworth, M.B.A., M.S., Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, where she also directs the Military Family Research Institute and the Center for Families. Her research focuses on relationships between job conditions and family life. Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth served as the civilian co-chair of the DoD Task Force on Mental Health, and on the Psychological Health External Advisory Committee of the Defense Health Board. She currently serves on the Returning Veterans Committee of the Institute of Medicine.

Thom Reilly

thom-reilly-formal-web.jpgDr. Reilly joined the San Diego State University, School of Social Work as Professor and Director in August 2008. He is responsible for oversight and administration of the School’s budget, day-to-day operations, securing extramural funding and guiding the educational, professional and research mission of the School. Reilly also serves as Executive Director of the Caesars Foundation, a private charity operating internationally and strategically focused on programs serving the elderly. Reilly served as County Manager/CEO for Clark County, Nevada (the Las Vegas Valley) where he was responsible for the executive oversight of a government that provides both regional and municipal-type services to over 1.8 million residents (44 million tourists per year). Dr. Reilly has held senior administrative position in the Nevada System of Higher Education serving as Vice-Chancellor of the Health Sciences System and has held faculty positions with the College of Urban Affairs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Reilly holds both a Doctorate and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California (USC), a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University, and a B.A. from Memphis State University. He serves on the editorial boards for the journals, Public Administration Review (PAR) and Administration in Social Work.