Kristin Rispoli’s research primarily focuses on intervention to address social and emotional functioning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as techniques to foster family-school partnerships in treatment and education for children and adolescents with ASD. Her recent work includes developing a parent-mediated emotion regulation intervention for preschool-age children with ASD and examining the parent-educator dynamic on school-based teams for adolescents with this disorder. Other work addresses early education and intervention for developmentally at-risk children and their families. Ongoing projects target increasing community-based screening for developmental risk factors in young children and adaptation of emotion-focused intervention for children with ASD in schools.

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Nicole Mathes is a sixth year PhD student in the MSU school psychology program. Nicole is originally from the suburbs of Chicago and received her BS in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nicole’s research interests include prevention and early intervention for young children who are at-risk for the development of more severe behavioral and social-emotional problems. Her dissertation will examine the adaption of a parent-child intervention to be used as a preventative intervention that is aimed at improving the parent-child relationship and reducing child-externalizing behaviors. Nicole is currently completing her doctoral internship with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, where she will be providing comprehensive psychological services to students in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Emma Nathanson is a fifth year PhD student in the MSU school psychology program. Originally from Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Emma received her BA in Psychology with a minor in German from The College of Wooster in 2016 and her MA in School Psychology in 2017 from MSU. Emma’s dissertation study investigates the initial efficacy and acceptability of a supplemental, online-delivered mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention for parents of young children participating in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Emma’s research apprenticeship project (completed in 2018) focused on school psychologists’ knowledge of symptoms and role in the assessment process of comorbid anxiety and ASD. In both her research and clinical work, Emma is passionate about improving outcomes and experiences for children and their families.

Allura Malcolm is a fifth year PhD student. After completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology, Child Development, English, and Leadership at Central Michigan University, Allura joined Dr. Rispoli’s lab with an interest in studying training and coaching methods used to teach caregivers of children with ASD to implement behavioral and social-emotional interventions. She completed her apprenticeship project in November 2018, in which she studied teacher perceptions of the feasibility and acceptability of being trained via Teaching Interaction Procedure (TIP) to implement a behavioral intervention for a student with ASD in the classroom.

 Sydney Nelson is a third year PhD School Psychology student. In 2015, she graduated from Michigan State University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She spent three years working as a School Social Worker in Flint, MI before joining Dr. Rispoli’s lab. Her research interests include studying universal social-emotional interventions, trauma-informed practices, and parenting strategies to support social-emotional regulation among children with disabilities.

 

Mackenzie Norman is a third year PhD student in the MSU School Psychology program. Mackenzie received her BA from Kalamazoo College in 2017 with a major in psychology and minor in Anthropology/Sociology. In June of 2018, she graduated from University of Chicago with her Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology. Her MA Thesis investigated gesture and pronoun use in parent-child interactions. Currently, Mackenzie is interested in emotion regulation and language development in children with autism spectrum disorder. 

 

Nick Warren is a second-year student in MSU’s School Psychology doctoral program. He graduated from the University of Utah with his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (2016) and his Master’s degree in Human Development and Social Policy (2019). His thesis explored U.S. and Japanese autism professionals’ perceptions and uses of the strengths of the children they worked with. Nick has enjoyed working in autism intervention settings with children, youth, and adults since 2014. His interests include approaches to collaboration across home, school, and clinical systems, and the application of individual children’s strengths within current interventions.

 

Nicholas Ramazon is a first year PhD student in the MSU School Psychology program. Nicholas grew up in the Washington D.C Metropolitan Area and went on to earn his Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at Towson University and Master’s of Professional Studies in Clinical Psychological Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research interests include parent-mediated interventions for supporting emotional regulation in children with developmental and behavioral disorders (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder). Additionally, he interested in enhancing parent-child relationships, with an emphasis on developmental and behavioral-based interventions for improving family functioning, and the multiple systems of care that support school-age children. 

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Eric Locker is a senior at MSU studying Music Education. He has a passion for working with students with special needs, and in his spare time, leads a choir for students with disabilities and gives piano lessons to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. After graduation, Eric plans to teach public school for a few years before going back to grad school for Education Policy, so he can serve marginalized populations on a broader, policy level.

 

Claire Henderson is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Youth and Society and Educational Studies. She is passionate about the mental health of children. Her career goal to become a school psychologist. She is currently working with Dr. Rispoli as a research assistant.