Stephen Kilgus, Ph.D.
Dr. Kilgus is an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His primary research line relates to social-emotional and behavioral assessment. His work has resulted in the development of evidence-based assessment procedures, as well as the validation of tools for universal screening, problem analysis, and progress monitoring. Dr. Kilgus has authored and contributed to the development of a number of assessments, including Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) and Direct Behavior Ratings (DBRs). He currently serves as a principal investigator on a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) regarding the validation of the Intervention Selection Profile (ISP): a suite of tools intended to inform the selection and modification of Tier 2 targeted interventions. Dr. Kilgus’ second research line pertains to the development and evaluation of Tier 2 targeted interventions. Multiple studies have examined Check In/Check Out (CICO), an intervention for students with social behavioral concerns. Dr. Kilgus is also a co-author of the Resilience Education Program (REP), a brief intervention for students at-risk for internalizing concerns.
Katie Eklund, Ph.D.
Dr. Eklund is an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her doctorate in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Eklund worked in public education for 10 years as a school administrator, school psychologist, and school social worker. Dr. Eklund’s research focuses on school mental health, including early identification and intervention for children who have behavioral and/or social-emotional concerns, social emotional learning, school climate, and school safety. Her current research projects include implementation of universal screening and Tier 2 social emotional interventions in K-12 schools, addressing the social-emotional and behavioral needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and investigating the impact of School Resource Officers on school climate and safety. She is also co-author of the Resilience Education Program, a brief intervention for students at-risk for internalizing behavior concerns. Dr. Eklund currently served as Co-Director of the Madison Education Partnership, a research-practice partnership between Madison Metropolitan School District and the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research.
Andy Garbacz, Ph.D.
Dr. Garbacz is an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research emphasizes building, testing, and scaling programs that interconnect school, home, and community systems to promote mental health and reduce the risk of later mental health concerns. Dr. Garbacz focuses on universal, school- and community-wide programs to support all children and youth as well as programs and practices for children and youth who need additional support. Dr. Garbacz is actively engaged in research examining the Teachers and Parents as Partners intervention, the Family Check-Up model, as well as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Dr. Garbacz embeds culturally and linguistically responsive practices to create equitable systems that support all children and youth. Dr. Garbacz’s work has been funded by federal agencies, such as the Institute for Education Sciences, as well as foundations and statewide organizations. Dr. Garbacz is engaged in community partnerships that put into practice evidence-based interventions to promote mental health.
Nathaniel von der Embse, Ph.D., NCSP
Dr. von der Embse is an Associate Professor of School Psychology at the University of South Florida and is an Associate Editor at the Journal of School Psychology. Dr. von der Embse utilizes a social justice framework to examine the intersection of education policy and school mental health. His research has resulted in over 75 peer-reviewed journal articles, professional articles, or book chapters. Dr. von der Embse completed his master’s and educational specialist degrees in school psychology from Miami (OH) University, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University with a specialization in educational policy analysis. Dr. von der Embse has procured nearly $6,000,000 in grant supports from funding agencies including the Institute for Education Sciences, National Institute for Justice, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Agency, Spencer Foundation, and Scattergood Foundation. He was a recipient of the 2018 Lightner Witmer Award for Early Career Scholarship from Division 16 of the American Psychological Association.
Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.
Dr. Suldo is a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the School Psychology Program at the University of South Florida. She is a Licensed Psychologist (PY #7704, Florida) and completed her graduate training in the School Psychology Program at the University of South Carolina in 2004. She has extensive research and clinical experiences in school-based mental health services, including: establishing empirical links between student mental health and academic success; conceptualizing and measuring student mental health in a dual-factor model that considers psychopathology and subjective well-being; evidence-based positive psychology interventions for promoting positive indicators of student and educator well-being; and schoolwide strategies to identify youth with mental health problems. She also studies the stress, coping strategies, and mental health of high school students in accelerated courses, and is Principal Investigator of studies funded by the Institute of Education Sciences to identify and facilitate student-level and environmental factors that predict academic and emotional success among students in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. She is an Associate Editor of School Mental Health. In recognition of her research accomplishments, she received the 2009 Lightner Witmer Award for Early Career Scholarship and the 2019 Thomas Oakland Award for Mid-Career Scholarship from Division 16 of the American Psychological Association.
Evan Dart, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Dart is an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of South Florida. He is a licensed psychologist and board certified behavior analyst and completed his graduate training in the school psychology program at Louisiana State University. His research interests are best summarized as school-based behavioral interventions implemented within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). His work in school mental health focuses on the development and evaluation of progress monitoring tools to assess students’ social-emotional functioning and the adaptation of existing behavior interventions (e.g., Check-in/Check-out) to address mental health concerns. Dr. Dart co-edited a special issue of School Mental Health devoted to addressing students’ internalizing behavior through multi-tiered systems of support. His research has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and he was named the recipient of the 2019 Lightner Witmer Award for Early Career Scholarship from Division 16 of the American Psychological Association.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Project Manager
Post-Doctoral Research Associates
Jess Willenbrink, Ph.D.
University of South Florida
Join the Collaborative
Undergraduate and graduate students are the foundation of all work at the School Mental Health Collaborative (SMHC). Students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the research process, including data collection, consultation, intervention implementation, data analysis, and the dissemination of findings via publications and presentations.
Whether you are a current student or interested in attending one of the SMHC universities, please contact one of the co-directors to let us know of your interest in joining the lab.
Katie Eklund, Ph.D. – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Kilgus, Ph.D. – email@example.com
Nathaniel von der Embse, Ph.D., NCSP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Garbacz, Ph.D. – email@example.com
Shannon Suldo, Ph.D. – firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan Dart, Ph.D., BCBA-D – email@example.com