SRI  logo

The SRI Education Student Behavior Research Team has created this site to provide the latest information about evidence-based approaches to support all students’ positive behavior, mental health, and well-being. Our blog posts focus on district-, school-, classroom-, and student-based interventions and impacts, including informal tips, interviews, and findings from our own research and evaluation projects, as well as perspectives from our partners on the ground. We also discuss various relevant and recent “hot topic” issues in education to bring you fresh information in a direct and digestible way.

We hope that our site provides useful and timely information about how to support and promote positive learning environments, based on the diverse expertise, experiences, and perspectives of practitioners and researchers in the field. As such, our site is intended to reach people and organizations who work in school communities, such as educators, parents and caregivers, counselors, social workers, and the students themselves.

If you are interested in working with us on a research or evaluation project or providing your own thoughts about our blog posts, we look forward to hearing from you!

Our team members

Carl Sumi Photo

W. Carl Sumi, Ph.D., manages the Behavior Research group at SRI International. Sumi is principal investigator of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded efficacy study of Foundations, a program to support schoolwide positive discipline and of the effectiveness study of Tools for Getting Along, a social problem-solving intervention for elementary school children. He is also principal investigator of Project SECURE, funded by the National Institute of Justice to evaluate a multitiered trauma-informed system in a large urban school district. Read more.

Michelle W. Woodbridge Photo

Michelle W. Woodbridge, Ph.D., has more than two decades of experience in research on and evaluation of children’s mental health services, educational practices, health and social services, and other community-based services. Woodbridge directs large-scale national, statewide, and local research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects in preschool through secondary school learning environments. Read more.

Kirby Chow Photo

Kirby Chow, Ph.D., specializes in the academic achievement and social and emotional well-being of children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. She uses qualitative and quantitative methods to research and evaluate education programs and interventions. Read more.

Maddie Cincebeaux Photo

Maddie Cincebeaux is an Education Research Assistant in SRI’s Menlo Park, California office. She supports a variety of projects at SRI and has experience in project coordination, intervention evaluations, and data collection through classroom observations and direct assessments.

Dan Cohen Photo

Dan Cohen, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a senior education researcher at SRI. He has expertise in school mental health and health disparities. Broadly, he is interested in how school systems prevent mental health problems, support positive mental health, and provide services for students with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. He also conducts research on mental health disparities in outcomes and access to services, and other contextual factors such as teacher-student relationships and school climate.

Betsy Davies-Mercier Photo

Betsy Davies-Mercier, Ph.D., supports initiatives that promote children’s early learning and their social-emotional development from preschool through the secondary school years. Her work has addressed policies concerning early literacy and most recently early intervention and early childhood special education. Read more.

Kerry Friedman Photo

Kerry Friedman partners with educators and system leaders to build capacity for using data and evidence to improve teaching and learning. She has expertise in communicating and disseminating research in ways that are accessible and actionable. Read more.

Elisa Garcia Photo

Elisa Garcia, Ph.D., has broad expertise in early childhood education and child development. In particular, her research interests focus on language and literacy development of dual language learners, and the relation between the classroom context and academic and socioemotional outcomes among children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Read more.

Sara Gracely Photo

Sara Gracely supports a variety of projects with project management, data collection, direct assessments, classroom observations, and database management. These projects include the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), Check & Connect, and the WestEd i3 Early Math Project. Read more.

Jennifer Nakamura Photo

Jennifer Nakamura is an Education Research Associate in SRI’s Arlington, Virginia office. She contributes to mixed-methods research and evaluation of educational programs in PreK-12 schools. Her areas of expertise include social-emotional learning, supporting students with disabilities, and tiered systems of support.

Christen Park Photo

Christen Park, PhD, is an education researcher with expertise is in the early childhood care and education workforce, relationship-based practices (I.e., coaching, consultation, mentoring), and social-emotional teaching. Park is a mixed-methods researcher with experience conducting community-engaged evaluations. Read more.

Kristen Rouspil Photo

Kristen Rouspil, M.P.H., is a project manager with more than 10 years of experience managing projects at SRI. Read more.


Patrick Thornton, Ph.D., is a lead programmer and develops and implements various data-related strategies across the project life cycle. Read more.

Adrienne D. Woods Photo

Adrienne D. Woods, PhD, is a senior education researcher in SRI’s Education Division. Woods is an expert at analyzing large-scale longitudinal data with advanced quantitative techniques, including through missing data analysis and quasi-experimental study designs. She uses these techniques to examine the developmental trajectories of children who receive special education services in U.S. schools. Read more.

Jennifer Yu Photo

Jennifer Yu, Sc.D., specializes in the development, implementation, and evaluation of education and health-related supports and services for individuals with disabilities, with a focus on technologies and programs that improve the learning and quality of life for people with autism, learning disabilities, and mental/behavioral health issues. Read more.

Blog Contributors

Melanie Chong Photo

Melanie Chong has research interests in assistive and instructional technologies, inclusive classrooms and teaching practices, and learning disabilities. These interests stem from her previous experience as an educator in special education classrooms. View blog posts.

Yunsoo Park Photo

Yunsoo Park, Ph.D., has broad scientific expertise in neurobiological and psychological risk factors in the etiology of psychopathology. Specifically, her research interests focus genetic markers, impact of early trauma and stress, and various psychosocial influences (e.g., parenting style) that are associated with the development of externalizing behaviors (e.g., aggression). View blog posts.

Samantha Peyton Photo

Samantha Peyton is an Education Research Assistant based in Seattle, WA. She supports data collection, coordination, and dissemination efforts on various early childhood and social emotional learning research projects. She also provides early childhood technical assistance to support states’ mixed delivery systems. View blog posts.

Terry Scott Photo

Terry Scott, Ph.D., conducts research focused on how teachers’ behaviors affect students’ academic and social success. He has developed training materials in the areas of social skills instruction, defusing escalating behavior, managing classrooms, and teaching behavior. View blog posts.

Faith Scheibe Photo

Faith Scheibe has more than 20 years of experience in early childhood care and education, including teaching, managing, coaching, and providing training and technical assistance for Head Start, Early Head Start, and childcare programs. Read more.

About SRI Education

SRI logo

SRI Education, a division of SRI, is helping federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients tackle some of the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. Our mission is to reduce barriers, optimize outcomes, and ensure educational equity for all children, youth, and families. We do this by conducting high-quality research, supporting use of data and evidence, helping to strengthen state and local systems, and developing tools that improve teaching and accelerate and deepen learning. Our work covers a range of topics: early learning and development, disability and inclusion, supporting multilingual learners, student behavior and well-being, teaching quality, digital learning, STEM and computer science, and literacy and language arts, and college and career pathways. We believe diversity in our organization and project teams leads to better and more equitable research and technical assistance, resulting in improved outcomes for all.

SRI is a nonprofit research institute whose innovations have created new industries, extraordinary marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society.