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PPAB Scholar Bios

PPAB Scholar Elyse Doll

Elyse Doll, class of 2019

Naperville, IL | Illinois Institute of Technology

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology in somewhat of a circuitous way; I knew I wanted to work with children and likely in a school setting, but my original plan was to become a school counselor. After going to school in Chicago and seeing the disparities in education, I became more intrigued in the idea of working in the education system itself, to provide resources and support to students. School psychology was the best mix of psychology foundation, education settings, and the opportunity to become an expert in many different but related areas (interventions, data collection and analysis, research, mental health, etc.).

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I am hoping to learn many things from this grant, the first of which would be foundational empirical information on bullying. The first way to help prevent bullying is to be informed; that way you can help prevent the misinformation of others. The second is how to help particular populations prevent and address bullying. The focus of this grant is bullying in exceptional populations, and I don't have much experience in that area but know that it will be a huge part of my job. 


PPAB Scholar Katelynn Gohr

Katelynn Gohr, class of 2018

Pulaski, WI | University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose to go into school psychology because I've always been interested in working with children and started in the education field. I liked working with kids in small groups and individually and worked with children with autism in an in-home treatment program. I first learned about school psychology during this job and thought it would be a good fit for me to blend my interests working with children, families, and teachers.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

Through this grant, I'm hoping to learn more about effective ways to prevent bullying from occurring and how to minimize bullying as much as possible. I would like to learn best practices in addressing and preventing bullying so that I can bring my expertise into the school where I will work in the future.


PPAB Scholar Kyle Grundy

Kyle Grundy, class of 2019

Northbrook, IL | Miami University

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose to study school psychology because I believe that education is the foundation of the next generation, and I want to help provide all of our children with the best education possible regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability status, etc.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I am hoping that this grant helps me to become an expert on bullying in schools so that I can help educate and implement prevention and interventions in schools in order to reduce the prevalence of bullying in our country.


PPAB Scholar Molly Hirsch

Molly Hirsch, class of 2018

Algonquin, IL | Loyola University Chicago

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology because I believe that the best way to make a change is to start with our schools. I chose to enter the field because I want to help students make the most of their educational experience. I particularly like that the field is centered around identifying and utilizing student strengths in order to promote success across both academic and social domains of functioning.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I am hoping to learn preventative strategies that I can take to my internship site and future school districts as I begin my career in the coming years. I'm excited to see what we can do to reduce current instances of bullying and to prevent bullying in the future!


PPAB Scholar Casey Molloy 

Casey Molloy, class of 2019

Manhattan, IL | Bradley University

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology because I am passionate about working with children and helping them get the tools necessary for them to succeed. I am also very interested in the collaboration between teachers, staff, and parents to better students' education.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I am hoping to become an expert on bullying so that when I get out in the field I can effectively address it. I am specifically interested in learning about preventing bullying for students who are racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, and religious minorities.


PPAB Scholar Kate Pasel 

Kaitlyn Pasel, class of 2018

Kankakee, IL | Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Why did you choose school psychology?

I always knew I wanted to find a profession that I could work with children. After considering various fields during my undergraduate studies, I decided the field of school psychology incorporates a perfect mix of education and psychology.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I am hoping to learn about assessment and intervention that I can use in my professional practice to help students experiencing bullying as well as enhancing overall positive school climate.


PPAB Scholar Laura Seimetz 

Laura Seimetz, class of 2019

Bolingbrook, IL | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose to study school psychology because I think the educational environments we experience can have such an impact on our lives, and I am interested in the opportunity school psychologists have to influence students' academic and social advancements on the individual and school-wide levels. I also think there are many student and family needs school psychologists, along with other staff, can work to address, and that really excites me.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I hope we can learn about the dynamics and school climate at our partner school through careful assessment. This grant will also help us learn a lot about prevention and intervention strategies to address the many forms of bullying one encounters in schools, particularly at the middle school level.


PPAB Scholar Jazmyn Styles

Jazmyn Styles, class of 2019

Indianapolis, IN | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology because it combines the two things that I love: schooling and helping. My parents were always the push for me to do better, even when I thought I had hit my capacity. Throughout my matriculation in school, I realized that they were the reason that I was able to succeed. I would like to be that push for other people. It is important to help others realize that a variety of things happen in school outside of learning what is in the textbook and ALL of them affect the way that our students learn. When making decisions about education, the process should be holistic. Building a relationship with the students and their families, teachers/faculty, finding the students' strong points/growing edges and ways to help them reach their goals is a passion that I will never lose. I chose school psychology because it helps us do all of those things from qualitative and quantitative viewpoints.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

From this grant, I hoping to truly understand bullying and its crossing with disability status. This is such a special opportunity for our program, and I would like to learn the most efficient ways of decreasing the bullying instances that take place. In the age of social media and the internet, bullying behaviors have transformed; therefore, I would also hope to learn to adapt along with it.


Amy Carroll, class of 2020

Elk Grove Village, ILUniversity of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology because it combines my interests in mental health and education in a unique way. School psychologists are able to work with children with a variety of needs and a range of abilities, and they develop the skills to support students on an individual and school-wide level. I knew that this would lead to a career that would always challenge me. I also appreciate that school psychologists have the opportunity to provide services for children who otherwise might not have the interest or resources for it.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I am hoping to learn the best strategies to prevent bullying and properly address instances that do occur so that school can be a safe place for all students.


Anne Phelan, class of 2020

River Forest, IL | Elon University

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose to pursue school psychology because the field combines my three main interests: the scientist-practitioner model of psychology, working with children, and school environments. I believe that a profound amount of development occurs in school settings throughout the critical stages of childhood, and quality school psychologists are needed to encourage healthy development and offer interventions when necessary.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

I hope to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of bullying, the different forms bullying can take (specifically in the age of increased technology use and social media), and effective intervention and prevention techniques.


Michael Ryva, class of 2020

LaGrange, ILLoyola University Chicago

Why did you choose school psychology?

I chose school psychology because I believe school should be about more than learning subjects and taking tests. I believe school should be place where students can realize their full potential and thrive in all areas of life. I also believe schools can serve as a means to help those who might otherwise have limited access to services. I want to be there to support students in any way so they can thrive and feel confident inside and outside the classroom.

What are you hoping to learn from this grant?

There are many things I am hoping to learn from this grant. I am specifically interested in how schools can be more supportive to victims of bullying and their families. I am also interested in what drives an individual to bully their peers and what untreated needs they might have. Lastly, I am interested in the effects of various disciplinary actions related to bullying behaviors and potential alternatives.


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.