Centre for School Mental Health

Research Advisory Committee

Debra Pepler

Debra Pepler

Biography: Dr. Pepler presently holds the many distinguished positions of Scientific Co-Director with PREVNet, Full Professor of Psychology at York University, Senior Executive Member of the LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution, and Senior Associate Scientist with the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Pepler's main area of research is on children at risk with her major research program examining the antisocial behavior of children and adolescents, particularly in the school and peer contexts. Her current research in this area examines aggression and victimization among adolescents with a focus on the processes related to these problems over the lifespan. Dr. Pepler's clinical work is in the areas of family break-up and children with emotional and behavioral problems. She consults to the SNAP Girls Connection, a program for aggressive girls and their parents at the Child Development Institute, and to Breaking the Cycle, a program for substance using mothers and their young children. Up to the present, Dr. Pepler has served on several advisory committees related to parenting, antisocial behavior, and safe school policies within Canada and internationally.


Robert McMahon

Robert McMahon

Biography: Dr. Robert McMahon is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, where he is the LEEF BC Leadership Chair in Proactive Approaches to Reducing Risk for Violence Among Children and Youth. He is also a Scientist Level 3 at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) at BC Children’s Hospital. In his role as Chair, Dr. McMahon will direct a new institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence, which will serve as a clinical resource for understanding the development of youth violence and other serious conduct problems and for developing, implementing, and evaluating an array of evidence-based preventive and treatment interventions for these children and youth. Dr. McMahon’s primary research and clinical interests concern the assessment, treatment, and prevention of conduct problems and other problem behavior in youth, especially in the context of the family. He is a principal investigator on the Fast Track project, which is a large, multisite collaborative study on the prevention of antisocial behavior in school-aged children that began in 1990 and continues today. It is the largest prevention trial of its type ever funded by the US Federal Government.


Kim Schonert Reichl

Kim Schonert Reichl

Biography: Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and she is the Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), an interdisciplinary research unit in the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. Prior to her graduate work, she was a middle school teacher and a teacher at an alternative high school for at-risk adolescents. Dr. Schonert-Reichl is the recipient of the 2015 Joseph E. Zins Distinguished Scholar Award for outstanding research on social and emotional learning (SEL) and the 2009 Confederation of University Faculty Associations BC's Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award in recognition of her sustained outstanding contributions to the community beyond the academy through research over the major portion of her career. Dr. Schonert-Reichl is also the recipient of the 2007 UBC Killam Teaching Prize in recognition of excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching and the 2004 Vancouver School Board Recognition Award for her work promoting social responsibility in students.


Kathy Short

Kathy Short

Biography: Dr. Short is a Clinical Child Psychologist with research and practice interests that focus primarily on school mental health promotion, knowledge mobilization, and implementation science. She is currently the Director for School Mental Health ASSIST, a provincial team that is designed to help Ontario school boards to support student mental health and well-being. This post follows 12 years of service as the Manager for the Evidence-Based Education and Services Team (E-BEST) within the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. During her tenure with E-BEST, she was appointed to the Ontario Education Research Panel and chaired the School-University Research Exchange. Dr. Short is also a member of the national School-Based Mental Health and Substance Abuse Consortium, and led the Knowledge Translation and Exchange Team for this association of Canadian researchers and school mental health practitioners on a national project for the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Dr. Short chairs the newly formed School Mental Health International Leadership Exchange (SMHILE), a network of global leaders focused on key themes in student mental health promotion. She was recently appointed to the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council for the province, and is the Chair for the Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention Work Group for the Council.


Sharon Hoover

Sharon Hoover

Biography: As Co-Director for the Centre for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland, Dr. Hoover leads research in areas related to school-based mental health, quality assessment and improvement in children's mental health, interventions for Trauma-Exposed youth, and integrated and collaborative Primary Care-Mental Health. Dr. Hoover's expertise is in the area of implementing empirically-supported interventions in school-based settings. She specializes in research and training on evidence-based practices for mental health and primary health care staff in schools. Dr. Hoover is involved in a number of ongoing research projects examining quality assessment and improvement in school mental health, and has a special interest in interventions for trauma-exposed youth. She has led and collaborated on multiple federally- and state-funded grants, with a commitment to the study and implementation of quality children's mental health services and school mental health (SMH). Clinically, Dr. Hoover has trained extensively in cognitive behavioral therapy for both adults and children. She also serves as a national trainer for the empirically-supported treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Trauma in Schools (CBITS).