Claire CrooksDirector, Centre for School Mental Health
Biography: Dr. Crooks is the Director of the Centre for School Mental Health and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her main research interests include the development and evaluation of mental health promotion and violence prevention programming, with a particular emphasis on extending evidence-based practice to meet the unique needs of marginalized groups of youth in diverse settings. She and her team are currently working on adaptations and evaluations of the Healthy Relationships Plus program for LGBTQ+ youth in school and community settings, as well as looking at fit and feasibility in the youth justice system. Another major focus of her work is on developing and evaluating culturally-relevant, strengths-based approaches with Indigenous youth. More recently, she was awarded a grant to evaluate MindUP with kindergarten students, within a trauma-informed framework. MindUP is an evidence-based social and emotional learning program that incorporates positive psychology, neuroscience, and mindful awareness. Dr. Crooks’ other main focus is on family violence. She is a co-founder of the Caring Dads program, which is a parenting intervention for men who have maltreated (or are at-risk to maltreat) their children. She also trains judges, lawyers, and other court professionals as a faculty member for the U.S. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and for the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. In 2005, Dr. Crooks testified before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on the extent to which Canada is meeting its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2016 Dr. Crooks was appointed to the Scientific Committee for the Status of Women Canada, to advise the federal government on the state of research evidence pertaining to the prevention of gender-based violence. Dr. Crooks received her B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University.
Shannon StewartAssociate Professor
Biography: Dr. Stewart is a Registered Psychologist and joined the Faculty of Education at Western University in the area of Applied Psychology in July of 2014. In addition to being an Associate Professor within the Faculty of Education, she is also the Clinical Training Director in the School and Applied Child Psychology. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Division at Schulich School of Medicine at Western University. She is also an Associate Scientist at the Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI) as well as an interRAI Research Fellow. As an interRAI Research Fellow, she is leading the international development efforts of the interRAI Child and Youth mental health suite of instruments. She holds several grants at the national and international levels concentrating on improving services for vulnerable children and youth exhibiting mental health issues as well as developmental struggles.
Vicki SchweanFaculty of Education Dean, Professor
Biography: Dr. Vicki Schwean is Dean of Western's Faculty of Education. Vicki came to Western in 2011 from the University of Calgary, where she most recently held the position of Vice-Dean (Finance and Academic Administration) as well as Interim Associate Dean in the Office of Graduate Programs and Associate Dean, Division of Applied Psychology. Vicki is a Registered Psychologist, who holds a PhD from the University of Saskatchewan. For over 25 years, Vicki has actively practiced as a psychologist and held academic positions at the University of Saskatchewan, University of Calgary, and most recently, Western University. Vicki has produced a number of books, book chapters, and articles focusing on child assessment and mental health and throughout her academic career she has been a strong advocate for systemic reform in service delivery for vulnerable and at-risk children.
Karen BaxAdjunct Professor
Biography: Karen Bax is an Assistant Professor within the Faculty of Education at Western University. Registered as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Bax engages in training future scholars and practitioners through teaching and as the practicum supervisor for students in the Ph.D. in School and Applied Child Psychology program. Dr. Bax is also the Managing Director of Western’s Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount, a unique university-community collaboration that emphasizes early child development research in real-world settings and knowledge sharing across systems. Dr. Bax is involved in applied research related to social-emotional learning and self-regulation of children who have experienced adversity.
Peter JaffeDirector - Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children
Biography: Peter Jaffe is the Academic Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children and a Professor in the Faulty of Education at Western University. He is the Director Emeritus and founding Director of the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System (London Family Court Clinic). Since 1997, Dr. Jaffe has also been a Faculty member for the U.S. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ program on “enhancing judicial skills in domestic violence cases.” For over 40 years, most of his research and clinical work has involved women and children who have been victims of abuse and involved with the criminal, family, and civil court systems. His research efforts focus on several areas, including enhancing safety planning and risk reduction to prevent domestic homicides, improving the response of the family court system to abuse victims in the context of custody and access disputes, violence prevention programs for teens entering secondary school, and the process of maintaining sustainable changes for safe schools initiatives. Dr. Jaffe has been a trustee for the Thames Valley District School Board (formerly the London Board of Education) since 1980, and he has served two terms as Chairperson (1987-88, 1999-2000). He has also served as an expert witness in three Ontario inquests into domestic violence and is a founding member of the Chief Coroner Domestic Violence Death Review Committee. Dr. Jaffe has been honoured by receiving several awards for his work including the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada for his dedication and contributions to the community . He has also received the Award of Merit from the Ontario Psychological Foundation for his contribution to research and clinical practice in the prevention of family violence. Dr. Jaffe was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in June 2010.
Susan RodgerAssociate Professor
Biography: Susan Rodger is a Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology at the Faculty of Education at Western University. She sits on the Board of the Clifford Beers Foundation and is a member of the Mental Health Education Integration Consortium (MHEDIC). She works within the education and child welfare systems to enhance awareness and capacity with respect to both adult and child mental health. Her research interests include barriers to mental health treatment, mental health literacy for teachers, teacher candidates and foster care providers, the influence of exposure to violence on learning, inclusive education, and outcome measurement. She is currently working on two national projects developing resources aimed at supporting teacher wellness and child and youth mental health in schools.
Biography: Dr. Alan Leschied, a registered psychologist and professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University has authored six books, over 120 peer reviewed publications, and 40 book chapters in areas primarily related to youth justice, child welfare, and children's mental health. Alan has served on numerous children's services Boards of Directors. He currently serves on the advisory committee to the Centre of Excellence in Children's Mental Health at CHEO, the Research Advisory Committee of the Child Welfare Secretariat for the Ministry of Children and Youth, and Correctional Services Canada's Non-natural Deaths in Custody Review Committee. He is an associate scientist with the Lawson Research Foundation, the Consortium for Applied Research and Evaluation in Mental Health, and the Children's Health Research Institute. Alan has appeared as an expert witness in youth courts and coroner's inquests on matters related to youth justice and child welfare.
Shannon SibbaldAssistant Professor
Biography: Shannon L. Sibbald is an Assistant Professor with appointments in Family Medicine, School of Health Studies (Faculty of Health Sciences) and the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health. As a health systems researcher, her interests span the health care continuum. Her current research focuses on process, outcomes, and evaluation of care teams. Dr Sibbald's program of research includes implementation science: the study of knowledge processes (capturing, sharing, using, storing) in health systems. She is also involved in research around ethics, health promotion, and resource allocation. Dr Sibbald uses primarily qualitative research methods including multiple-case comparison, narrative approach, grounded theory, and content and discourse analysis. Dr Sibbald teaches across the university at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Wendy EllisAssociate Professor
Biography: Wendy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at King's University College. Wendy completed an undergraduate degree from Memorial University in Newfoundland, a Master's Degree from Brock University, and a PhD from Western University. After graduating in 2005, Wendy worked for two years as a post-doctorate fellow at the CAMH Center for Prevention Sciences in London, Ontario. Wendy's research interests span a range of topics related to social development in childhood and adolescence. Wendy's main research focus has been on peer group influence and documenting the processes through which groups influence their members in both positive and negative domains. Wendy also has a keen interest in studying peer status, aggression, bullying, and adolescent dating violence. Most recently, Wendy has been working with her students to design studies on cyberdating abuse.
Don SaklofskeChair - Personality and Measurement
Biography: Before joining the Psychology Department at the UWO, Don was a Full Professor in Applied Psychology and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. He is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary as well as the Department of Educational Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, a Visiting Professor in the Psychology Department at Beijing Normal University and also at BNU in Zhuhai, China, and a Research Associate in the Laboratory for Research and Intervention in Positive Psychology and Prevention, Department of Education and Psychology, University of Florence, Italy. Editorships include the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment and the Canadian Journal of School Psychology; Associate Editor for Personality and Individual Differences and Editor for the Human Exceptionality book series published by Springer.
Lynda HutchinsonAssistant Professor
Biography: Dr. Lynda Hutchinson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at King's University College at Western University. She is also the Project Manager for the MindUp project with the Centre for School Mental Health. MindUp is a research-based program that teaches elementary school children social and emotional learning skills. Dr. Hutchinson completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. Her major area of specialization was in Human Development, Learning, and Culture (HDLC) and she earned a minor in Measurement Evaluation and Research Methods (MERM). Dr. Hutchinson employs mixed method research designs to understanding aspects of young children's self-regulation for learning and how features of classroom contexts provide opportunites and support for them. Dr. Hutchinson is publishing studies examining links between features of contexts and self-regulation in the elementary years. A current thread of Dr. Hutchinson's work involves understanding how adaptive and effective patterns of self-regulation for learning contribute to children's mental health and well-being over the long-term.