Search Google Appliance


Research Fellows

 

Institute Director

Thomas Keller, Ph.D.

The Duncan and Cindy Campbell Professor for Children, Youth, and Families with an Emphasis on Mentoring in the School of Social Work at Portland State University, and director of the PSU Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research. Professor Keller studies the development and influence of mentoring relationships in school and community settings and the role of parent involvement in mentoring interventions. Prior to his Ph.D., he worked for several years with a Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in Seattle as a caseworker, supervisor, and program director. Email: siym@pdx.edu

2013 Research Fellows

Timothy Cavell, Ph.D.

Dr. Cavell is a professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at University of Arkansas. Professor Cavell’s research focuses on the mentoring of aggressive children at risk for later delinquency and substance abuse. He and colleagues have conducted two NIDA-funded studies on the PrimeTime prevention-focused mentoring intervention. In addition to numerous academic articles and chapters on mentoring, Professor Cavell is the author of Working with the parents of aggressive children: A practitioner’s guide, published by the American Psychological Association.

 

Carla Herrera, Ph.D.

Carla Herrera is an independent consultant who was formerly a Senior Research Fellow with Public/Private Ventures. Dr. Herrera was the Principal Investigator on a major randomized trial of Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring programs. She also directed the recently completed multi-site study evaluating how match experiences and the effects of mentoring vary by the risk status of participating youth. The study was conducted in collaboration with Washington State Mentors.

 

Noelle Hurd, Ph.D. MPH

Dr. Hurd is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the ways in which natural mentoring relationships promote resilience during adolescent development. She gives particular attention to the role of contextual factors in promoting or deterring the formation of intergenerational relationships and shaping the nature of interactions between marginalized youth and the adults in their communities.

 

 

Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Dr. Karcher is a Professor in the College of Education & Human Development at University of Texas at San Antonio. He is an expert on cross-age peer mentoring in schools. Currently he is co-Principal Investigator of an OJJDP study to better understand the role of advocacy in effectively mentoring delinquent youth. He conducted one of the first large-scale school-based mentoring studies, the Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE) funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and is co-editor of the landmark Handbook of Youth Mentoring. 

 

Sarah Schwartz, Ph.D.

Sarah Schwartz, Ph.D., has a degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Her research focuses on school- and community-based prevention programs for vulnerable youth. Her publications include studies investigating factors that influence the impact of school-based mentoring, including students' prior relationship histories, the duration of mentoring relationships and re-matching, and the timing of match meetings. 

 

2012 Research Fellows


Sandra Christenson, Ph.D.

Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Christenson’s research focuses on interventions that promote student engagement with school and learning. She and her colleagues developed the Check & Connect program, in which mentors systematically monitor performance indicators for students at risk of disengaging from school and provide individualized support in problem solving, skill building, and fostering positive family-school relationships. Check & Connect has been extensively evaluated, with over 15 years of research and a designation as an evidence-based intervention for school retention by the U.S. Department of Education.


Mark Eddy, Ph.D.

Director of Research for Partners for Our Children, School of Social Work at the University of Washington. Previously, Dr. Eddy was a Senior Scientist with the Oregon Social Learning Center, where he conducted numerous studies of interventions for parents and children in conjunction with school systems, the juvenile justice system, and adult corrections. Dr. Eddy is the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded randomized trial of the Friends of the Children program, which provides paid professional mentors for youth at risk for problems from kindergarten through high school.


Gabriel Kuperminc, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Community Psychology at Georgia State University. Professor Kuperminc studies the processes of resilience and positive youth development, and he has expertise on group mentoring as well as the role of mentoring within multi-component programs. Since 1999, he has evaluated the effectiveness of Cool Girls, Inc., a comprehensive youth development program that provides mentoring, tutoring, and life skills training to high risk, urban, preadolescent and early adolescent girls.


George Noblit, Ph.D.

Dr. Noblit is the Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professor of Sociology of Education in the School of Education at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Professor Noblit has studied A+arts-enhanced schools, charter schools, and prison education for young offenders. He currently is investigating how the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program builds the social networks of students and enhances their social mobility through mentoring, advocacy, enrichment, and leadership training.


Sarah Schwartz

Sarah Schwartz did her doctoral work in Clinical Psychology at University of Massachusetts-Boston and has published studies investigating factors that influence the impact of school-based mentoring, including the relationship histories of students and the duration of mentoring relationships. Her dissertation is on the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, in which youth select an adult they know to serve as a mentor during and after participation in a residential training program.

2012 Featured Speakers


Sarah Geenen, Ph.D

Research Professor in the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University. Professor Geenen conducts research on programs designed to enhance the self-determination of youth in foster care and youth with disabilities. She currently is conducting two major federally-funded randomized controlled trials on the effects of the My Life intervention for youth exiting the child welfare system and for youth in both foster care and special education. In the My Life program, youth have individual relationships with adult coaches and peer mentors (former foster youth) who support the development of self-determination.

 

Davielle Lakind

Davielle Lakind is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois-Chicago working with the Research Group on Mental Health Services for Urban Children and Families in the Institute for Juvenile Research. Previously she worked as a professional mentor with Friends of the Children in New York City, and she has conducted research on the nature of the role of professional mentors. 

 


2011 Research Fellows

Timothy Cavell, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at University of Arkansas. Professor Cavell’s research focuses on the mentoring of aggressive children at risk for later delinquency and substance abuse. He and colleagues have conducted two major NIDA-funded studies on the PrimeTime prevention-focused mentoring intervention. In addition to numerous academic articles and chapters, Professor Cavell is the author of Working with the parents of aggressive children: A practitioner’s guide, published by the American Psychological Association.

 


Sarah Geenen, Ph.D

Research Professor in the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University. Professor Geenen conducts research on programs designed to enhance the self-determination of youth in foster care and youth with disabilities. She currently is conducting two major federally-funded randomized controlled trials on the effects of the My Life intervention for youth exiting the child welfare system and for youth in both foster care and special education. In the My Life program, youth have individual relationships with adult coaches and peer mentors (former foster youth) who support the development of self-determination.

 

Roger Jarjoura, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Professor Jarjoura, a criminologist, is the founder and executive director of the Aftercare for the Incarcerated through Mentoring (AIM) program for youth making the transition from corrections back to the community. AIM includes a skills training component prior to release and mentoring by a college student and community volunteer after release. Professor Jarjoura is a noted speaker and consultant for programs sponsored by OJJDP.

 

Michelle Munson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. Professor Munson has expertise on youth aging out of the child welfare system and has published numerous articles from a major study of youth leaving care. Her NIH-funded research has investigated the characteristics of natural mentoring relationships of foster youth as well as how these mentoring experiences are associated with youth well-being. Professor Munson previously managed a mentoring program for vulnerable youth in low income neighborhoods.



Julia Pryce, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Professor Pryce’s research has examined the relationship experiences of youth aging out of foster care, the nature of relationships in school-based mentoring programs, and the implementation of health-focused mentoring for early adolescent females in a Big Brothers Big Sisters program and high risk adolescents in low income urban neighborhoods. She also has participated in the development and evaluation of the OJJDP-funded Economic Mentoring Program in Chicago that promotes education, skill development, and economic opportunity for system-involved youth.

 

Heather Taussig, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Professor Taussig is Director of the NIMH-funded Fostering Healthy Futures program, a multi-county efficacy trial of a novel intervention for preadolescent youth who have been maltreated and placed in out-of-home care. The intervention consists of weekly therapeutic skills groups and one-on-one mentoring provided over a 9-month period. Dr. Taussig has worked clinically with maltreated children in foster care for over 15 years and has conducted research on risk and protective factors, child welfare outcomes, and policy issues for this population.

 

2011 Guest Speakers


Kym Ahrens, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Ahrens’ research evaluates the influence of adult mentors on the adult outcomes of youth in foster care and youth with learning disabilities. She has published both qualitative and quantitative studies focusing on the role of natural mentoring relationships for these populations.    


Jeffrey Butts, Ph.D.

Director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He conducts research and evaluation projects designed to improve policies and programs for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. His work has addressed a range of topics, including teen drug courts, gang control, violence prevention, disproportional sentencing, justice reform, and mentoring. Dr. Butts was previously a Research Fellow at Chapin Hall Center for Children and Director of the Program on Youth Justice for the Urban Institute.  


Leslie Leve, PhD

Senior Scientist and Science Director for the Oregon Social Learning Center. She also is a Senior Scientist with the Center for Research to Practice in Eugene, OR. Dr. Leve has conducted numerous research projects aimed at understanding and preventing behavioral adjustment difficulties among youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. She has extensive experience with comprehensive preventive intervention approaches and has published several articles on the effectiveness of Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care.



Laurie Powers, Ph.D 

Associate Dean for Research in the School of Social Work and Director of the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University. Professor Powers conducts research on programs designed to enhance the self-determination of youth in foster care and youth with disabilities, including two major federally-funded randomized trials on the effects of the My Life intervention for youth exiting the child welfare system and for youth in both foster care and special education. In the My Life program, youth have individual relationships with adult coaches and peer mentors (former foster youth) who support the development of self-determination.


 


Renee Spencer, Ed.D.

Associate Professor in the Boston University School of Social Work. Professor Spencer has published highly influential qualitative studies on the nature and course of successful and unsuccessful mentoring relationships. She also has examined how the mentoring experience differs for male and female youth. As a recipient of a prestigious W.T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, she has undertaken a major longitudinal investigation designed to understand the mentoring process. Professor Spencer recently has co-authored several articles on mentoring youth with experience in foster care.

  


2010 Research Fellows

Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at University of Texas-San Antonio. He is an expert on cross-age peer mentoring in schools and has created online trainings for high school mentors. He recently completed “Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE),” a randomized control design evaluation of school-based mentoring in conjunction with Communities in Schools. Professor Karcher is the author of numerous articles on mentoring in school settings, and he is co-editor of the landmark Handbook of Youth Mentoring.

 

Susan Murphy, Ph.D

Professor and Director of Strategic Leadership Studies at James Madison University in Virginia. The School of Strategic Studies focuses on leadership theory and applications for educational and nonprofit administrators. Professor Murphy has examined the role of mentoring in career development, leadership in youth organizations, e-mentoring in the workplace, and the effect of culture and of mentor and mentee characteristics on relationship quality. With colleague Ellen Ensher, she published a book in 2005 entitled Power mentoring: How successful mentors and protégés get the most out of their relationships.

 

Kevin O’Neill, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in Canada, where he directs the Online Learning Relationships Lab. His research focuses on uses of the internet to enhance K-12 education. He has numerous publications on knowledge-building communities and curriculum-based telementoring programs, in which adult volunteers work with small teams of students for extended periods on ambitious classroom investigations. Professor O’Neill is also the creator of the Telementoring Orchestrator software program designed to support online mentoring.

 

Jean Rhodes, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology at University of Massachusetts—Boston. Professor Rhodes is a pioneering scholar in the field of youth mentoring. She has published dozens of articles and chapters on youth mentoring relationships, use of research in mentoring programs, and ethics in mentoring. She is author of the seminal book entitled Stand by me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth. Professor Rhodes chairs the Research and Policy Council and writes the popular Research Corner for MENTOR:National Mentoring Partnership. Professor Rhodes has been named a WT Grant Scholar, WT Grant Distinguished Fellow, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and Fellow of the Society for Research and Community Action.

 

Carmit-Noa Shpigelman, Ph.D.

Lecturer in the Department of Education at Western Galilee College in Isreal. Her research focuses on e-mentoring, particularly for youth with disabilities. She is interested in how computer-mediated communication can serve as a tool for development of interpersonal communication skills as well as online support and online employment opportunities. Her research has been published in journals such as CyberPsychology & Behavior, International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, and Computers in Human Behavior.

 

Peg Boyle Single, Ph.D.

Formerly Research Associate Professor in the Department of Education at University of Vermont, is now an independent consultant. At the University of Vermont, she was Director of the Faculty Mentoring Program. Dr. Single is an expert on e-mentoring, e-training, and electronic communities and has numerous publications on how these approaches can be used to promote academic success. She conducted evaluation research on MentorNet, a novel mentoring network supporting diversity in science and engineering. Dr. Single is also a writing coach and author of the recent book entitled Demystifying dissertation writing: A streamlined approach from choice of topic to final text.

 


2009 Research Fellows

David L. DuBois, Ph.D.

Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois—Chicago. He has authored many studies on youth mentoring, including a meta-analytic review on the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs. He is co-editor of the landmark Handbook of Youth Mentoring. Professor DuBois co-chaired the National Research Summit on Mentoring and co-authored the National Research Agenda for Youth Mentoring. Currently, he is conducting NIH-funded research on the GirlPOWER! program and is a WT Grant Distinguished Fellow in residence at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He has mentored a child as a Big Brother.

 

Janis Kupersmidt, Ph.D.

President and CEO of innovation Research and Training (iRT), which conducts research and creates products and services to enhance the well-being of youth, families, communities, and organizations. Formerly a professor of psychology at UNC—Chapel Hill, she is an expert in the social and emotional development of children and focuses on program development and translational research addressing substance abuse, delinquency, and dropout prevention. She is the Principal Investigator on an NICHD-funded project to develop Mentoring Central, a web-based mentor training program. She also has contracted with MENTOR to develop the Third Edition of the Elements of Effective Practice. 

 

Michael Nakkula, Ed.D.

Practice Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania . His research focuses on integrating counseling, mentoring, and educational processes in urban schools to create contexts that allow students to thrive. His projects include Project IF (Inventing the Future), a strength-based youth development initiative, and a longitudinal study of Early College High Schools funded by the Gates Foundation. Dr. Nakkula works with many national organizations to create applied research strategies to study developmental and educational initiatives. He has created measures to assess mentor and protégé perspectives on the quality of youth mentoring relationships.

 

Andrea Taylor, Ph.D.

Director of Training in the Center for Intergenerational Learning, Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Health Professions--Division of Public Health, and Senior Research Associate in the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University . She has authored several publications on intergenerational mentoring as an approach to promoting positive youth development and preventing substance abuse and school failure. Dr. Taylor is the developer of Across Ages, an intergenerational mentoring program that has been designated as an evidence-based model in the National Registry of Effective Program Practices and has been widely replicated.

 

2009 Guest Speakers

Harold Briggs, Ph.D.

Professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University . He has published extensively on the use of research evidence in practice, addressing topics such as evidence-based practice, evidence-based management, evidence supported treatments, and practice based evidence in the fields of child welfare, children’s mental health, and juvenile justice.

 

Carla Herrera, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Researcher for Public/Private Ventures, a national non-profit research and policy organization. Dr. Herrera has conducted numerous studies and written influential reports on various types of mentoring programs. She directed a recent national, multi-site, randomized control design evaluation of Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring programs and is currently working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to enhance their school-based mentoring model.  

 

Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at University of Texas-San Antonio. He is an expert on cross-age peer mentoring in schools. He recently reported on his “Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE),” a randomized control design evaluation of school-based mentoring in conjunction with Communities in Schools. Dr. Karcher is the author of numerous articles on mentoring in school settings, and he is co-editor of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring.

 

 


2008 Research Fellows

Jean Grossman, Ph.D.

Lecturer and Research Associate in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and Senior Vice President for Research with Public/Private Ventures, a national non-profit research and policy organization. She is an expert on after-school and youth mentoring programs, as well as evaluation design. She played leading roles in conducting the seminal PPV multi-site, randomized control design studies of Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based programs (in 1995) and school-based programs (in 2007) and has published numerous follow-up analyses based on data from these projects.

 

Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at University of Texas-San Antonio. Professor Karcher is an expert on cross-age peer mentoring in schools, and he currently is conducting a major study funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation entitled “Effective interactions with Hispanic youth in school-based mentoring.” Professor Karcher is the author of numerous articles on mentoring in school settings, and he is co-editor of the landmark Handbook of Youth Mentoring.

 

Laurie Powers, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research in the School of Social Work and Director of the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University. Professor Powers is one of the foremost authorities on promoting self-determination among persons with diverse abilities and fostering successful transition of youth to adulthood. Her research includes the development and experimental evaluation of several interventions involving mentoring and individualized coaching of youth with disabilities.

 

Bernadette Sanchez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at DePaul University. She is an expert on the mentoring relationships of Latino adolescents and the role they play in the educational achievement of Latino youth. She has a special interest in cultural processes in volunteer mentoring relationships, especially when mentors and youth are from different races, ethnicities, or cultures. Her current research investigates these issues in one mentoring program for African American and Latina adolescent females and in another program for the diverse high school population in Chicago Public Schools.

 

2008 Guest Speakers


Belle Liang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Counseling and Developmental Psychology in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Her expertise includes examination of interventions for high-risk and ethnic minority youth from cross-cultural and developmental perspectives, with particular emphasis on the influences of culture and gender in youth mentoring relationships. 

 

Marcelo Diversi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University. His research interests include the identity development in educational contexts of Latino adolescents as well as the experiences of street youth. He has studied the development of empowering adult-youth relationships among Latino(a) students and Caucasian mentors in a rural after-school program.

 


2007 Research Fellows

Timothy Cavell, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at University of Arkansas. Professor Cavell’s research focuses on school-based programs in which adult mentors work with aggressive children at risk for later delinquency and substance abuse. He currently is expanding a school-based mentoring model to serve bullied children. His studies have been funded through the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Hogg Foundation. In addition to numerous academic articles and chapters, Professor Cavell is the author of Working with the parents of aggressive children: A practitioner’s guide, published by the American Psychological Association.

 

Carla Herrera, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher for Public/Private Ventures, a national non-profit research and policy organization. Dr. Herrera has conducted numerous studies and written influential reports on various types of mentoring programs. She currently is the Principal Investigator of the first national, multi-site, randomized control design evaluation of school-based mentoring programs. She also is writing a book on school-based mentoring with Michael Karcher.

 

Michael Karcher, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at University of Texas-San Antonio. Professor Karcher is an expert on cross-age peer mentoring in schools, and he currently is conducting a major study funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation entitled “Effective interactions with Hispanic youth in school-based mentoring.” Professor Karcher is the author of numerous articles on mentoring in school settings, and he is co-editor of the landmark Handbook of Youth Mentoring.

 

Renee Spencer, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor in the Boston University School of Social Work. Professor Spencer has conducted influential studies on the nature and course of successful and unsuccessful mentoring relationships. As the recipient of a prestigious W.T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, she is the Principal Investigator of a major study entitled “Understanding the mentoring process: A longitudinal study of mentoring relationships between adolescents and adults.”

 

2007 Guest Speaker

Julia Pryce, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Professor Pryce has investigated relationships formed in school-based mentoring programs and has participated in the development and evaluation of the GirlPOWER! Mentoring Program promoting healthy behaviors among early adolescent females. She received the 2007 Dissertation Award from the International Mentoring Association.