Meet the Researchers and Graduate StudentsThe Nebraska Bullying Prevention and Intervention Initiative: Ending Bullying through Developmental, Neuroscience, & Translational Research



Susan M. Swearer, Ph.D. FOUNDER, Nebraska Bullying Prevention and Intervention Initiative & EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE

DIRECTOR of SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY FOCUS, Nebraska Bullying Prevention and Intervention Initiative

BORN BRAVE EXPERIENCES STUDY
PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH STUDY
TARGET BULLYING INTERVENTION PROGRAM STUDY

Dr. Susan M. Swearer serves as professor of school psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and co-director of the Bullying Research Network. As principal investigator of the Target Bullying: Best Practices in Bullying Prevention and Intervention project, Swearer has a long-standing track record of working with schools and districts nationwide to reduce bullying behaviors. She received a bachelor's in psychology from Swarthmore College, a master's in special education from the Pennsylvania State University, and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

For more than a decade, Swearer has developed and implemented a data-based decision-making model for responding to bullying among school-aged youth. She has conducted staff trainings in elementary, middle and high schools, with the goal of helping school personnel establish cost-effective and data-based strategies to reduce bullying behaviors. Swearer has authored more than 100 book chapters and articles on the topics of bullying, depression and anxiety in school-aged youth, co-authoring "Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Realistic Strategies for Schools" and co-editing "Bullying in North American Schools (2nd Edition)" and "Handbook of Bullying in Schools: An International Perspective."

Swearer's Target Bullying Intervention Program was featured on "CBS Sunday Morning" in February 2011, and she presented at the White House Bullying Prevention Conference in March 2011. In February 2012, she served as a panelist at Harvard University for the launch of Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, appearing alongside Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelieus. Swearer also appeared as a featured bullying expert on Anderson Cooper's daytime show, "Anderson," in March 2012. Her work has been featured in numerous other print, radio and television outlets. Most recently, she has partnered with the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard University and Career Training Concepts to develop the H.E.A.R. presentation for the National Guard.

A licensed psychologist, Swearer serves as a supervising psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at UNL. She has devoted her career to the intersection of research and practice, serving as co-editor of the e-publication "Bullying @ School and Online" through Education.com. She chairs the research advisory board for the Born This Way Foundation and can be followed on Twitter (@DrSusanSwearer@Bully_Research) and Facebook via the Empowerment Initiative and Bullying Research Network pages.

Raul Palacios, Ed.S., PLMHPT-BIP SPECIALIST

Raul is an eighth-year doctoral candidate in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned his Ed.S. in School Psychology from Seattle University. His research interests include bullying intervention and prevention, social justice, and the implementation of restorative practices in schools. His dissertation study seeks to investigate the association between machismo, caballerismo, ethnic identity identification, and bullying status (i.e., bully perpetrator, victim, bully-victim, not involved) among Chicano male youth.

Guadalupe Gutierrez, M.A.T-BIP SPECIALIST

Guadalupe is a seventh-year doctoral candidate in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the development of prevention and intervention programs for underrepresented youths and children from a strength-based perspective, with a particular focus on protective factors and resilience. She also wants to explore the underlying relationships between early school experiences like bullying and the detrimental impact on children's psychological well-being.

Cesar Torres, M.A., PLMHPT-BIP SPECIALIST

Cesar is a fifth-year Ed.S. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests are in the areas of school environment, coping, and resilience with a focus on mental health. He is also interested in researching how to measure a school's online environment, as he believes it is now a critical component of overall schools' environment. Additionally, he is interested in researching coping and resilience strategies for students and educators through an online platform, in hopes of mitigating future acts of violence/aggression and to improve mental health. Cesar is also a research intern at the Nebraska Department of Education working with the School Safety Team. He looks for and identifies evidenced-based interventions for bullying and cyberbullying. He provides these resources on the state's websites for schools, parents, and students. He also works on taking calls related to bullying concerns, policy, and reporting. Cesar also provides training to educators in the areas of resilience, bullying prevention for teachers, and bullying policy for school attorneys.

Linnea Swanson, M.A., PLMHPT-BIP SPECIALIST

Linnea is a fifth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a trained Target Bullying Involvement Program Specialist and serves as a project director for the @SocialThatSupports project. Her research interests include the influence of interpersonal relationships on outcomes associated with adverse experiences, including bullying, for youth and young adults.

Miriam Crinion, M.A., PLMHPT-BIP SPECIALIST

Miriam is a fifth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the presence of bullying behaviors among students with disabilities and identifying and implementing system-wide bullying prevention programs.

 

Sam Kesselring, M.A., PLMHP
T-BIP SPECIALIST

Sam is a fourth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her interests include bullying prevention and intervention in historically underrepresented populations in research, particularly LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and refugee/immigrant students. She is also interested in the development and implementation of culturally-humble and inclusive programs targeting social-emotional learning, youth empowerment, and promotion of positive school climate. 

Catie Carney, M.A., PLMHPT-BIP SPECIALIST

Catie is a fourth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She serves as project director for the T-BIP, where she helps school staff and families collaborate with interventionists to approach bullying behaviors with a problem-solving, assessment-driven approach. She also serves as the coordinator for the Bullying Research Network (BRNET). Her research interests include bullying among students with disabilities, the role of group norms and social processes in bullying behaviors, and the relationship between school climate and bullying involvement.

Kelley Wick, M.A.T-BIP SPECIALIST

Kelley is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Developmental & Learning Sciences Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. More information coming soon.

Emilea Rejman, M.Sc.T-BIP SPECIALIST

Emilea is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include bullying prevention and intervention, emotion regulation, as well as chronic peer victimization.

Jared Noetzel, B.A.T-BIP SPECIALIST

Jared is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He serves as the project director for the BRNET International Study: Teacher's Perceptions of Bullying Behaviors investigating teacher's perceptions of bullying among school-aged students in 18 different countries. His research interests include cross-cultural differences in bullying behaviors, responses, prevention, and how to accommodate for cultural differences in diverse populations.

Melanie Willis, M.S.T-BIP SPECIALIST

Melanie is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include bullying/cyberbullying as an adverse childhood experience, trauma preceding bullying behaviors, and peer rejection.

Amanda Barrett, B.S., B.A.T-BIP SPECIALIST

Amanda is a first-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include strengths-based interventions, differences in bullying behaviors in populations with disabilities, and the adaptation of interventions across modalities and for diverse populations.