Photo of Student Behavior Blog Staff

Our Student Behavior Research team, within SRI’s Education Division, includes staff with diverse and broad experiences. We partner with students, teachers, and administrators from preschool to post-secondary levels to learn about what works to support positive school climates. We share deep personal and professional relationships with educators and practitioners across many local and distant school districts and a passion to promote healthy and safe learning environments.

Our researchers have been awarded contracts from local communities, foundations, states, and governmental agencies including the federal Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Here are a few of our representative and recent projects:

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.

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.

Tali Klima Photo

Tali Klima, Ph.D., conducts research to prevent and treat children’s emotional and behavioral problems. She is experienced in designing, managing, and analyzing large-scale evaluations of evidence-based programs for substance use, violence and aggression, and internalizing symptoms (depression, anxiety) among youth.  Read more.

Jennifer Nakamura Photo

Jennifer Nakamura is an Education Research Associate in SRI’s Arlington, Virginia office.

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). Read more.

Samantha Peyton Photo

Samantha Peyton is an Education Research Assistant in SRI’s Menlo Park, California office.

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.

Xin Wei Photo

Xin Wei, Ph.D., has extensive experience in education policy research, experimental design, longitudinal data analysis, and psychometrics.  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.