Craig Albers

Craig Albers is a native of rural northern Wisconsin and serves as Co-Director of the RERIC. He is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at UW-Madison, Director of the APA-accredited school psychology PhD program, Chair of UW’s Prevention and Intervention Sciences training program, and Editor-Elect of the Journal of School Psychology. His research examines universal screening, prevention and early intervention models, as well as the provision of services to underrepresented students, including those in rural settings. Dr. Albers received his PhD in Educational Psychology at Arizona State University.

Andy Garbacz

Andy Garbacz serves as Co-Director of the RERIC and is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at UW–Madison. He is also Director of the Educational Psychology Department’s Prevention, Intervention, and Enhancement Graduate Training Program. Andy’s work focuses on prevention and early intervention within a home-school-community interconnected framework. He emphasizes promoting mental health for families and youth. Andy is a licensed psychologist and licensed/certified school psychologist. He received a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Jack JorgensenJack Jorgensen is the Associate Director of Outreach and Engagement at the Rural Education Research and Implementation Center. In this role, Jack connects members and researchers associated with RERIC with other UW or state education community entities to explore possible collaborations and research opportunities. From 2013-2018, Jack C. Jorgensen served as the Co-Director of the Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network (the Network).  His inspiration and leadership resulted in the creation of the Network and he co-lead their work to connect and collaboratively engage researchers, educators, community members and leaders to address mutually identified problems and needed change. Previously, Jack served for five years as Associate Dean for Education Outreach and Partnerships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education (SoE). He also was employed for twenty-two years with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), the last 11 of those years serving as the Executive Director for the Department of Educational Services. During this period of time he led major district reform and improvement efforts in special education that received national recognition.  Jack received his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has presented at numerous national and state conferences on topics related to inclusive education, creating collaborative and culturally responsive schools, and addressing the disproportionate representation of students of color in special education.

Jackie Roessler

Jackie Roessler is the project manager for RERIC. She is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of research activities and budgets. She brings 25 years of UW-Madison project management experience to the Center, including 13 years in WCER. She has managed research projects studying infant vision development, the development of emotions through twin research, the Authentic Intellectual Work framework, and an after school family engagement program called FAST. Jackie was born and raised in South Dakota, and has a BA degree in Psychology from California State University – Bakersfield and an MS degree in Psychology (concentration in Developmental Psychology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her free time she loves to read, attend Badger football and basketball games, and spend time with her family.

Jenny Seelig

Jennifer Seelig serves as Assistant Director of RERIC. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She employs qualitative methods to explore the importance of context and place in educational policy and practice. Her current research interests include: school-community relations, civic capacity, and community development; teacher recruitment and retention; and research-practice partnerships. In 2016, Jennifer conducted a year-long ethnographic study of a small rural school district and community in Northern Wisconsin that won two dissertation awards from the American Education Research Association.  Most recently, Jennifer held a postdoctoral research position at Northwestern University. Jennifer has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in qualitative research methods and educational policy, and was a high school Spanish for six years prior to entering the PhD program. She received her M.Ed. in Cultural Studies from Ohio University as well as her undergraduate degree in Education with a K-12 license in Spanish.


Soobin Im is a graduate student studying School Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology and a project assistant at RERIC. Before her graduate training, she was involved in a research project on a childhood anxiety disorder at the HealthEmotions Research Institute where she assisted the collection of clinical, behavioral, and physiological data. Her current research interests include understanding multiple layers of contextual issues in supporting social-emotional development of students from immigrant families and advocating for the students and their families who may face added stressors as a minoritized group. At RERIC, she is working on a review of academic and behavioral intervention studies implemented in rural settings and assists in various projects to promote school mental health services adapted for students, families, and educators in rural settings.

Katerina Suchor is a graduate student in the Educational Policy Studies department and a University of Wisconsin- Madison Interdisciplinary Training Program fellow. Her interests include the intersections of rural education, educational inequity, and out-of-school learning. She is working with RERIC to examine the characteristics and language-learning trajectories of rural English language learners in Wisconsin. Her educational and professional background prior to working with RERIC includes historical research on alternative educational spaces associated with the civil rights movement, as well as contemporary quantitative projects related to teacher evaluation, class size reduction, course-taking behavior, early warning systems, and achievement disparities

Katie Lawlor is a doctoral student in the School Psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a project assistant with the center. Katie is interested in exploring how schools can better promote the emotional well-being of kids and their families. More specifically, she is interested in building school-family partnerships, how family involvement in education relates to school success, educational resilience in families, and how schools can best support students and families. Through her work with the center, Katie is looking forward to the opportunity to work with and empower families in rural communities.

Katie McCabe

Katie McCabe is a doctoral candidate in special education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joins RERIC as the program assistant for Teacher Speakout! As a former rural special educator, Katie’s work puts emphasis on supporting teachers to implement inclusive practices in rural areas. She is particularly interested in promoting equitable education for students with the most significant support needs in rural schools. At UW-Madison, Katie has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in special education and has also served as a supervisor for students in practicum placements. Outside of the University, Katie has been actively involved with schools in rural Wisconsin including work with the Wisconsin Rural School Alliance and as the facilitator for a new teacher mentoring program for a small district in Green County. Katie received a Master’s degree in Inclusive Education from Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood and Special Education from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY.

Kaitlyn YoungKaitlyn Young is a School Psychology graduate student and a project assistant at RERIC. Kaitlyn is broadly interested in understanding how schools can best meet the mental and behavioral health needs of rural students and is specifically interested in how cultural and linguistic diversity plays into meeting those needs. Kaitlyn is involved in many projects within RERIC. She is especially looking forward to working with educators to identify the needs unique to their schools, as well as working with them to find viable solutions. Before joining RERIC, Kaitlyn participated in qualitative work in a classroom that was implementing many trauma-informed practices to benefit students experiencing homelessness. She also worked in the Child Emotion Research Lab at the Waisman Center, helping coordinate and facilitate lab visits. Kaitlyn enjoys engaging with the Wisconsin community whether it through academics or Badger game days.