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PPAB Faculty Bios

Christine Kerres Malecki, Ph.D.

I am originally from rural Illinois and have lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I received my B.S. from the University of Illinois-Urbana and M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UW-Madison. I did my internship in Iowa. I came to NIU in 1999 and have been enjoying my time training students, teaching, and doing research ever since!

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology as I felt it was the area of psychology practice that best reflected my interests; helping as many children and adolescents as possible in an environment that nearly every child attends—school!

What are you hoping to create with this grant?

One branch of our research program in social support became bullying behaviors several years ago. We realized the importance of the topic and saw the need to ensure that future school psychologists were gaining the knowledge necessary to effectively address bullying in schools. We also want to provide resources to youth, their parents, and their teachers.

What would you like visitors to the PPAB website to know?

Bullying is very complex, and there are no easy answers. However, building awareness and knowledge and taking meaningful, evidence-based steps will help prevent and address bullying. We are hoping to continue to provide resources to build awareness and knowledge and to help educators take those evidence-based steps!


Faculty member Michelle DemarayMichelle Demaray, Ph.D.

I grew up in Iowa and Minnesota. I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I ended up staying at Madison for my doctorate degree as well. I completed my internship at the Munroe-Myer Center at the University of Nebraska medical Center, and my first job was as an Assistant Professor at NIU in 1998.

Why did you choose school psychology?

I was drawn to school psychology because I liked the fact that all children have to go to school, and, as a psychologist, that gives you access to working with all youth. I also liked the idea that, by working with all youth, you could focus on prevention activities. 

What are you hoping to create with this grant?

I am really excited about training school psychologists with expertise in bullying prevention and intervention. Bullying is a significant problem in schools, and we need well-trained professionals to be able to help schools at the administrative and leadership levels and, ultimately, to help the youth that are impacted by bullying on a daily basis.

What would you like visitors to the PPAB website to know? That there is not a “quick fix” or “packaged intervention” you can buy to solve all of the bullying problems among youth in schools. It is a complex problem and requires individualized complex solutions for each school and individual.


 Faculty member Julia OggJulia Ogg, Ph.D.

I grew up in Clare, Michigan, which is in the mid north portion of the lower peninsula. I received my B.A. in Biopsychology/Neuroscience from Albion College (in Michigan) and obtained my Ph.D. from Michigan State University. I completed an internship in Springfield, IL. I was an assistant professor at the University of South Florida from 2008 to 2015 before coming to NIU in the fall of 2015.

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology because of the opportunity to work with kids who have a variety of different needs. I liked the idea that you could work with kids who were having difficulty, but also those that were thriving. I was also drawn to working in a school setting given that is where kids spend most of their day.

What are you hoping to create with this grant?

I love the opportunity to prepare school psychologists who bring a unique skill set to their schools. Bullying is something that touches all youth, so preparing school psychologists who are experts in this area is critical. I hope this grant results in (a.) scholars who have a unique and critical skill set, (b.) more schools with psychologists who have expertise in preventing and addressing bullying using evidence-based practices, and (c.) ultimately an improved school experience for youth.

What would you like visitors to the PPAB website to know?

It is hard to come up with a quick answer to this question, but I would say that it is important to consider prevention and intervention for bullying alongside other school-wide efforts to improve behavior. Also, we are open to feedback and would like to hear from those who visit our page about what additional resources/tools they are looking for to best prevent bullying in their schools.


U.S. Office of Special Education Programs logo: Ideas that WorkDisclaimer: This information was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, #H325K. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Bonnie Jones.