Sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education
A project under the School of Social Welfare's Center for Children & Families

Featured People

Keynote Speakers

Patricia H. Hawley, Ph.D.

Articulating Theory underlying Bullying Interventions: Contributions from Social Psychology

Patricia H. Hawley, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Educational Psychology and Leadership at Texas Tech University. Dr. Hawley received her Ph.D. in psychology in 1994 from the University of California at Riverside, with emphases in animal behavior and quantitative methods. Upon completion, she held a post-doctoral research position at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. She returned to the United States to a research position at Yale University, and took a faculty position at the University of Kansas in 2002, and Texas Tech University in 2013. In 1999 she wrote her own theoretical perspective on power in human social groups (resource control theory) and has published several papers using this framework to explain and explore children’s aggression, peer relationships, moral functioning, and interpersonal relationships. Based on this work, she spearheaded two volumes: Aggression and adaptation: The bright side of bad behavior (Erlbaum), and The evolution of personality and individual differences (Oxford). Her theoretical work asks that we consider the adaptive benefits of aggression in addition to the interpersonal costs. This work will soon be featured in a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, co-edited with Dr. Anne Williford – the summit’s organizer – on advancing bullying prevention and intervention strategies via theoretical articulation.


Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D.

Translating Current Empirical Evidence into School-Based Prevention and Intervention Practices and Policies

Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., is an Edward William Gutgsell & Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor and Hardie Scholar of Education, in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has conducted research on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, and dating violence for the last 20 years. As a result, she presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences and is author on over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and 25 chapters. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Immediate Past Vice-President of Division E (Counseling/Human Development) of the American Educational Research Association, and co-Director of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence. Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming and she has secured five million dollars of external funding. She just completed a CDC-funded study that included a randomized clinical trial of a social emotional learning prevention program in 36 middle schools to reduce aggression. National Institute of Justice is funding her to track these kids to examine whether these effects remain as kids navigate challenges of high school. CDC is funding another RCT of this program in comparison to a gender-enhanced social-emotional program in 32 Illinois middle schools. She is also funded by National Science Foundation to develop better methods to assess bullying among adolescents and NIJ is funding a longitudinal study of predictors of bullying and dating violence among adolescents. She joins as co-PI with RAND colleagues on a 4-year NIH grant to improve methods to examine adolescent social network influences on risky alcohol and drug use. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson (Live), Anderson 360° and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms -- visit Dr. Dorothy Espelage's website for more information.


Morning Breakout Session Leaders

Shelley Hymel, Ph.D.

Examining Group Processes underlying Bullying: Implications for Intervention

Shelley Hymel, Ph.D., currently holds the Edith Lando Professorship in Social and Emotional Learning in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, her work focusing on social and emotional education and development. She part of UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership, aimed at optimizing development through research, a team leader for PREVNet, a national organization of researchers and community partners addressing bullying, a regional hub director for the Canadian Prevention Science Cluster, and serves on the Board of Directors for the BC Crisis Centre. With Dr. S. Swearer (UNL), she’s established the Bullying Research Network of over 150 researchers internationally, and co-edited a unique knowledge translation effort on school bullying for the online magazine, Education.com. She publishes extensively on social development and peer relations, both nationally and internationally, and works with schools and school districts that want to address the social side of education.


Jamie M. Ostrov, Ph.D.

Aggression and Bullying Behaviors among Young Children: Implications for Early Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Jamie M. Ostrov, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology program at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Dr. Ostrov is also the Director of the UB Social Development Laboratory and a faculty affiliate of the UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention. As a developmental psychologist, Dr. Ostrov’s research focuses on understanding the development of subtypes of aggression in young children. He has also developed and tested a developmentally appropriate intervention for decreasing aggression and peer victimization subtypes in preschool classrooms. Dr. Ostrov has published his research in a variety of top peer-reviewed journals including: Child Development, Development & Psychopathology, and Psychological Review. Dr. Ostrov is an associate editor at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Early Childhood Research Quarterly.


Karin Frey, Ph.D.

Revenge is seductive, if not sweet: Why friends matter for prevention effort

Karin Frey, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Washington, is an internationally known expert on youth bullying, retaliation, and bystander behavior. As a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University, she studied how children compare themselves to others, and learn how to balance goals of social harmony with projecting a positive self-image. Dr. Frey’s work in program development and evaluation lead to early Federal recognition of several programs aimed at reducing aggression and promoting social emotional skills. Her research utilizing multi-level analyses and second-by-second observations of behavior on school grounds has documented a 34% drop in bullying, a 72% drop in destructive bystander behavior, and a 36% drop in retaliation in intervention, but not control schools. Other work documented a 61% drop in the need for adult intervention in potential conflict situations. Thanks to her work with educators, Dr. Frey is well-aware of the importance of, and the practical barriers to successful program implementation. She has developed innovative ways to assess and identify the teaching behaviors that make the greatest difference in promoting respectful classrooms. Her current theoretical and research interest lies in improving program effectiveness at the secondary level. To this end, she is examining the ways in which friends, cultural norms, and identity development contribute to bullying, retaliation, and positive coping strategies.


Afternoon Presentation Session Leaders

Sheri Bauman, Ph.D.

Cyberbullying Prevention and Intervention: Recommendations for Educators, Community Professionals, and Parents

Sheri Bauman, Ph.D., is a professor and director of the Counseling graduate degree program at the University of Arizona. Prior to earning her doctorate in 1999, Dr. Bauman worked in public schools for 30 years, 18 of those as a school counselor. She is also a licensed psychologist although she is not in practice at this time. Dr. Bauman conducts research on bullying, cyberbullying, and peer victimization. She also studies teacher responses to bullying. She is the recipient of two grants from the National Science Foundation. She has given presentations on topics related to bullying/cyberbullying at local, state, national, and international conferences. She has published two books: Special Topics for Helping Professionals (2007, Pearson), Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know (2011, American Counseling Association), and is lead editor of Principles of Cyberbullying Research: Definition, Measures, and Methods (with Donna Cross & Jenny Walker, 2013, Routledge). Her vita includes over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, many book chapters, three training DVDs for counselors, and numerous other publications. She is currently analyzing data from her National Science Foundation longitudinal study, and working on two co-authored books: Mental Health in the Digital Age (with Dr. Ian Rivers, Brunel University, London) and Group Counseling with Persons with Disabilities (with Linda Shaw and Paul Bourgeois, University of Arizona).


Eric M. Vernberg, Ph.D.

Development and Dissemination of Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents involved in Bullying Behavior

Eric M. Vernberg, Ph.D., is a Professor in Clinical Child Psychology Program and the Director of the Child and Family Services Clinic at the University of Kansas. His research program involves applying and advancing psychological science to solve real world problems faced by children, adolescents, and their families. He is committed to generating knowledge that can be used to guide treatment and preventive interventions, and has become increasingly involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating research-guided interventions delivered in community settings. His research activities focus on three areas: 1) Psychological impact of terrorism, disasters, and violence on children and adolescents; 2) Peer relationships, including friendship development and bully-victim-bystander problems; and 3) Development and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for children and adolescents.


Anne Williford, Ph.D.

The Important Role of Adults in Bullying Intervention: Recommendations for Developing Effective Training Protocols

Anne Williford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas, received her doctorate in Social Work from the University of Denver in 2009. Her research interests include understanding characteristics associated with bullying and peer victimization among children and adolescents, and identifying strategies to prevent such behaviors in school settings. Dr. Williford has published in leading social work, psychology, and criminology journals on a range of topics, including school social work practice, aggressive behavior and peer victimization among low-income and ethnic minority students, gender differences in these behaviors, and school-based prevention program effects on rates of bullying and peer victimization. Her recent scholarly work focuses on identifying strategies to enhance adult intervention to address bullying and peer victimization among youth. Dr. Williford received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000 and worked as a clinical and community level social worker with diverse populations, including children and adults with developmental disabilities, adults with mental illness and chemical dependency, and as a school social worker coordinating primary prevention programs for children and youth. Her teaching interests include community and organizational practice, advanced advocacy practice, social work practice with aggressive and anti-social youth, and research methods.



Anne Williford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Welfare, The University of Kansas

Paula Fite, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, The University of Kansas

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