In the School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences, our nationally recognized faculty engage in rigorous research that meaningfully and positively impacts members of the Kansas City community, Missouri and beyond.

Connect With Faculty

Faculty Member Department Email Research Interests
Carolyn Barber Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email School support for positive development in adolescents and young adults with variance across social and cultural contexts; development of civic attitudes and behaviors
Kym Bennett Psychology and Counseling Email Impact of social cognition on health; the affect of causal attributions on recovery following chronic disease diagnosis
LaVerne Berkel Psychology and Counseling Email Integrated health; role of counseling psychologists in integrated healthcare; effects of the built environment on health outcomes; diversity issues with a particular interest in religion and spirituality; counseling and health
Rosalyn Bertram Social Work Email Evidence-based practices; children; families; and their communities; workforce development
Eric Camburn Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email School improvement; school leadership; professional learning; survey measurement of education practice
Loyce Caruthers Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email School desegregation; social context of schools; urban schools; education administration; social justice; narrative inquiry
Donna Davis Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email History and philosophy of education; urban education; social justice and arts education; gender and education; race and schooling in the United States
Hyeyoung Ghim Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Early childhood teacher education; multilingual and multicultural education; teacher identity; diversity and equity
Oh-Ryeong Ha Psychology and Counseling Email Infant and child development focused on eating decisions and self-control in children with and without obesity; interventions for reducing advertising effects in unhealthy eating; identifying risk factors for the development of obesity in infants and young children; prosocial decision-making in parent-child dyads; language acquisition in children with and without Williams Syndrome; stress and rejection impacts on prosocial and eating decisions in adults
Sara Helfrich Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Pre-service and in-service teacher self-efficacy related to teaching literacy; teacher preparation programming; the role of partnerships in teacher education
Jenee Johnson Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Autism spectrum disorders; applied behavior analysis; single case design; early intervention
Cassandra Kinder Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Social foundations of mathematics education; foregrounding race; class; and context to understand how school mathematics contributes to the creating and reinscribing of social inequity; exploration of the mechanisms through which school mathematics creates; reinforces; and adopts social inequalities in a rural context; ethnography
Jeoung Min Lee Social Work Email Bullying and cyberbullying victimization; mental and behavior health; minorities
Michelle Maher Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email Graduate student research; teaching; and disciplinary writing skill development; higher education access and equity issues
Jacon Marszalek Psychology and Counseling Email Translational methodology; motivational theories in psychology and education like flow; anxiety; reactance; educational and psychological measurement; social justice advocacy; evaluation of institutional/educational programs for minority outreach and support
S. Marie McCarther Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email Narrative studies; ethnography; documentary; and historiography; giving a voice to those silenced across race; class; and gender boundaries; social justice and leadership; arts; and urban education
Johanna Nilsson Psychology and Counseling Email International issues and populations like international students; refugees; and immigrants; supervision; social justice advocacy
Louis Odom Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email
Steven Onken Social Work Email Recovery regarding severe and persistent mental illness; marginalization; identity formation; violence; navigation into adulthood and across minority into majority cultures for the young hearing adults of Deaf parents and young heterosexual adults of Gay/Lesbian parents; LGBTQ plus mental health experiences; points of resilience; and behavioral health care needs; supported employment and concept mapping exploring recovery supporting community and supporting gay male resilience
Nora Peterman Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Children and young adult literature; digital literacies; cultural; political; and intergenerational dimensions of youth literacy and language learning
Tiffani Riggers-Piehl Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email College student development; campus climate; spirituality and religion in college; student-faculty interaction; pedagogy; and student success; interfaith experiences in college; gendered aspects of spiritual development in college; conditional effects of gender
Candace Schlein Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Experiential curriculum; diversity; narrative inquiry
Ekaterina Strekalova-Hughes Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Intersections of family storytelling; children's literature; legal and policy texts; dominant discourses that influence well-being of children and families who experience displacement
Michael Ternes Psychology and Counseling Email Individual decision to pursue the goals they have defined for themselves; as well as characteristics that might help to facilitate the pursuit of those goals and well-being; across the domains of education; career; and health behaviors; positive psychological constructs; such as hope and the utility it could offer in supporting and individual's commitment to their goals and the navigation of challenges encountered in the process
Omiunota Ukpokodu Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Quality teacher education; critical multicultural education; transformative learning and pedagogy; culturally responsive pedagogy; urban education; Ubuntu pedagogy; equity and social justice education; social studies/citizenship education; global education; African immigrant education
Jennifer Waddell Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Email Urban teacher preparation; social justice education; diversity and educational equity
Laurel Watson Psychology and Counseling Email Intersection of gender; race; and sexuality; experiences of discrimination and how these experiences affect mental health and well-being among individuals with marginalized identities; factors that protect against adverse outcomes in the face of adversity; including collective action; identity salience; and resilience
Michael Wei Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email Second language acquisition; phonetics; reading and writing English as a second language; learning environments
Huang Wu Educational Leadership; Policy and Foundations Email Application of data science methods; from traditional quantitative approaches to machine learning; to address critical educational issues; particularly those related to school leadership; educational equity; and program evaluation; how effective school leadership practices can enhance student learning outcomes and foster social justice within educational systems
Westley Youngren Psychology and Counseling Email Intersection of sleep and trauma; with an emphasis on trauma-related nightmares; integrating sleep and dreaming science within trauma informed care; examining the relationship between nightmares and suicide; longitudinal research methods; ecological momentary assessment; polysomnography; treatment outcome studies

Expanding Our Research

This Child Psychologist is Breaking Through Adversity Walls

Erin Hambrick is changing the way we understand childhood trauma

Undergraduate Student Research Highlighted at Missouri State Capitol

UMKC students who presented are from the Conservatory, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Science and Engineering

UMKC Research Confirms Project Lead The Way Impact

STEM curriculum offered in 163 Missouri school districts