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 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 serves as Co-Director of the RERIC and is an Associate 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.
Gina Bednarek is a doctoral student in the School Psychology program. She earned her BS in Psychology from UW-Madison and after graduation worked as a Research Specialist at the Center for Healthy Minds and the HealthEmotions Research Institute. She is trained to conduct the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia clinical interview and through this training developed an interest in studying children and adolescents with anxiety and depression and learning about ways to better support their parents and teachers. Gina is currently a project assistant with RERIC on the FOCUS project that addresses the mental health needs of rural communities and schools.
Molly Duffy is a graduate student studying school psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology and a RERIC project assistant contributing to the Rural Summer Science Camp alumni study. She previously worked as a journalist covering education for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she developed broad research interests in schools’ efforts to meet students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs, children’s experiences in foster care systems, and trauma-informed interventions. She attended the University of Missouri for undergrad, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism degree and minors in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies.
Eliza Godfrey is a doctoral student studying School Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology. She grew up in a rural Wisconsin community and attended UW–Madison for her undergraduate degree. During her studies, she engaged in research at the Center for Healthy Minds and in the Educational Neuroscience Lab. After graduating with a BS in Psychology and a certificate in Education and Educational Services, she worked in a local middle school assisting with special education. Eliza is excited to join RERIC and study rural schools and communities. Her research interests are broadly focused on ways to strengthen family, school, and community partnerships to support students’ well-being; trauma sensitive schools; and effective systems-level change to promote educational equity.
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.
Alex Latham is a doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at UW–Madison. He graduated from UW-Madison in 2020, where as part of the Harackiewicz Motivation Lab, Alex researched social-psychological interventions to promote academic performance and persistence. His bachelor’s thesis examined the effect of a novel intervention on prosocial motivation among college STEM students. Alex is interested in continuing research on academic interventions and data-based decision making in graduate school. Within RERIC, Alex assists with the meta-analysis and SWIP projects, and is excited to continue studying ways to support Wisconsin’s incredible rural areas and students.
Julia Porter is a doctoral student in School Psychology at UW–Madison and her advisor is Dr. Stephen Kilgus. She attended Michigan State University for her undergrad where she received a BS in Neuroscience and minors in Health Promotion and Peace and Justice Studies. Her research interests fall under the umbrella of social, emotional, and behavioral assessments and interventions. She is currently involved in the School Mental Health Collaborative and the Rural Education Research & Implementation Center.
Teagan Twombly is a doctoral student in the School Psychology program and is advised by Dr. Katie Eklund. She earned her BA in Psychology and Spanish from UW–Madison, where she participated in research that explored children’s understanding of different social categories such as race, gender, and language. Teagan’s current interests broadly include identification and implementation of culturally and linguistically appropriate socioemotional services for English Language Learners and Immigrant students. As a part of RERIC, Teagan is excited to engage in research that helps to identify, and better support support the mental health needs of Latinx youth and their families within rural communities.