A major strength of the program lies in its faculty. The program has been extremely fortunate in attracting the expertise and teaching of exceptional scholars and professionals. The School Psychology Program is housed in the Counseling and School Psychology Department along with Counselor Training Programs. All faculty members have substantive experience as practicing psychologists. Faculty members have published articles on topics related to school psychology and regularly present papers at state and national conferences, professional workshops, and symposia. They have also been honored with state and national research and educator awards. Further, the faculty are active members and leaders of state and national professional organizations and serve on state and national boards.

School Psychology Core Program Faculty are full-time faculty with primary assignment and advising responsibilities in the school psychology program.  They are:

Terry Bontrager, PhD, Texas A&M University, School Psychology

MS, Texas A&M University, Counseling and Human Services

MA, The University of Kansas, Teaching English as a Second Language

Research interests: Multicultural issues, assessment of English learners, Curriculum-Based Measurement

Robin Codding, PhD, Syracuse University, School Psychology

Research interests: Progress monitoring, data-based decision making, school-based academic and behavioral interventions, treatment integrity

Virginia Smith Harvey, PhD, Indiana University, Educational/School Psychology

MS, Indiana University, Counseling and Guidance

Research interests: Professional development and supervision, resiliency development

Scott A. Methe, PhD, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

MEd / CAGS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Research interests: Curriculum-Based Measurement, psychometrics, test development, early mathematics assessment and intervention, data-based decision making, meta-analysis.

Melissa Pearrow, PhD, Northeastern University, Counseling and School Psychology

MEd, University of Arkansas, School Psychology

Research interests: Mental health services, violence prevention, student empowerment

Additional full-time faculty members from the Department of Counseling and School Psychology who contribute to the functioning of the School Psychology Program are listed below, along with their degrees and areas of research:

Kiran Shahreen Kaur Arora, PhD, Syracuse University, Family Therapy

Research interests: Multicultural family therapy, intergenerational trauma transmission, and therapy with Asian American families.

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Counseling Psychology

         MA, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Psychology

Research interests: Family health, eHealth, technology’s impact on families, and immigration

Amy Cook, EdD, University of Connecticut, Counselor Education

            CAGS University of Massachusetts Boston, Mental Health Counseling

            MEd, University of Massachusetts Boston, School Counseling

            Research interests: Closing the achievement and health gaps; working with Latino youth

Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, Duquesne University, Clinical Psychology

MA, Duquesne University, Clinical Psychology

Research interests: Informed consent, conflict of interest, and women's health

Laura Hayden, PhD Counseling Psychology, Boston University

MA Educational and Developmental Psychology, Boston College

Research interests: Counselors’ use of technology and student-athlete functioning; underserved adolescents socio-emotional development, strength based programs and interventions

Sharon Horne, PhD, University of Georgia, Counseling Psychology

Research interests: Gender issues; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues; social justice and international psychology

Sharon Lamb, EdD, Harvard University, Human Development

Research interests: Child and adolescent sexual development, sex education and ethics, media representations, feminist theory, sexualization

Boaz Levy, PhD, University of Southern California, Clinical Psychology

Research interests: Dual diagnosis, addiction, and bipolar disorder

Esmaeil Mahdavi, EdD, Indiana University, Counseling Psychology

Research interests: Life skills, emotion, and personality

Felicia Wilczenski, EdD, University of Massachusetts Amherst, School Psychology

MS, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Educational Psychology

CAES, Boston College, School Psychology

MEd, Boston University, School Counseling

Research interests: ethics, service learning, assessment for effective intervention

Part-time faculty members who have been contributing on a long-standing basis to the functioning of the School Psychology Program are listed below, along with their degrees and areas of research:

Joan Struzziero, PhD, Northeastern University, School Psychology

              Research interests: Supervision, bipolar disorder

Deborah Curtiss, CAGS, NCSP, Boston College, School Psychology

              Research interests: Autism spectrum disorders

Jayne Boulos, CAS, NCSP 

University of Southern Maine Doctoral Student

Research Interests: Reading interventions, RTI, and ADHD

Melissa Loureiro, CAGS, University of Massachusetts Boston

M.A. Bridgewater State University

Research Interests: Applied Behavior Analysis

Barbara Miller, PhD, McGill University, Clinical Psychology

           Research Interests: Evidence based mental health interventions

Student Organizations

School Psychology Club. The UMass Boston School Psychology Club is an organization that provides peer support for students. Its purpose is primarily social, facilitating contact among students on a commuter campus. In addition, it is the connection between UMass Boston and other organizations including other student organizations within the department as well as to MSPA and NASP. The club is affiliated with the Graduate Student Assembly, the student governing body to which all graduate students are eligible members.

Student Affiliate of School Psychology (SASP).

Professional Organizations

The School Psychology Program requires students to join at least one professional organization such as the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) or the American Psychological Association (APA). Students are also encouraged to join a state association such as the Massachusetts School Psychology Association (MSPA). Student membership rates for these professional organizations are significantly reduced.

Every year a student serves as the student liaison to NASP. The MSPA Board of Directors includes a student representative chosen on a rotating basis among the state training programs. Students frequently attend state and national professional meetings, and every year some of them present at conferences in conjunction with faculty. The UMass Boston Graduate Student Assembly provides financial support for attending conferences. Students can also qualify for financial advantage by serving as volunteers for the sponsoring groups.

University Facilities and Resources

The University's Library holdings are entered in an on-line public access catalog, available via telecommunication outside the library. The services provide access to databases, library catalogs, and academic resources throughout the world. In addition, UMass Boston students may obtain borrowing privileges at more than 46 local college and universities.

Public computer labs, open seven days a week, provide access to a large number of word processing, spread-sheet, database, statistical, and desktop publishing software packages.

Academic Support and Accommodations

The University supplies academic support to graduate students in study skills, writing, and English as a second language (ESL).

Disability Resources.

  • The Ross Center for Disability Services provides related support services for students with identified disabilities. Recommended support services can include sign language interpretation, note taking, testing accommodation, advocacy, and counseling. Eligible students must contact the Ross Center directly to arrange for modifications and accommodations in the classroom and with their professors.
  • The Adaptive Computing Lab contains adapted computer equipment for student use.

School Psychology Assessment Library

The School Psychology Program at UMass Boston has a number of test instruments for use by students enrolled in the assessment and intervention courses (SPY 602, SPY 603, SPY 604, and SPY 607). Because of the limited number of test kits, it is vital that students recognize and respect their classmates' needs. To maximize utilization, the following guidelines apply:

  • Students enrolled in assessment courses have first priority at checking out materials being covered in their courses. Others may check out materials for a period of one week.
  • Materials in the Assessment Library are available through the course instructors and their graduate assistants.
  • Only one instrument can be borrowed at a time unless the instructor directs otherwise.
  • Borrowers are responsible for returning instruments in the condition in which they were checked out. They must reimburse the University for the replacement cost of lost assessment kits or missing parts of kits.

Computer Scoring Facility

The Smart Classroom (W/2/209) is a computer lab that contains software for scoring assessment tools. It is reserved for school psychology students from 3-4 PM on days that their assessment courses meet.

Health Service Programs

All students who have paid their health service fees are eligible to participate in the UMass Boston Health Service Programs. Services include general medicine, gynecology, dental, health promotion, drug and alcohol prevention, and mental health services.

Caution: Students from the Department of Counseling and School Psychology seeking mental health services should specifically request an appointment with a UMass Boston Health Service staff clinician.  They should not agree to working with a clinical psychology practicum student for the intake evaluation. A therapeutic relationship with a clinical psychology practicum student now may lead to an ethical conflict later on because of dual relationships. That is, the DCSP student and the clinical psychology practicum student may at a future time become fellow students in a class or colleagues in community work.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are available and awarded upon the recommendation of faculty. Graduate Assistants typically assist faculty with research 4.5 hours per week in return for a stipend, tuition remission, and 25% reduction in the curriculum support fee. Interested students should complete the Graduate Assistantship Application form and submit it to the department Administrative Assistant <>  In addition, students are encouraged to apply for assistantships in other programs, centers, and institutes. The Institute for Community Inclusion and the Center for Social Development and Education often hire our students as graduate assistants as well. Information about assistantships can be found at Assistantship openings are posted online at the Employment Opportunities website

Honors and Awards

Students graduating with the Ed.S. in School Psychology are eligible to be nominated by faculty to receive one of three awards.

  • The Book Award for Academic Excellence in School Psychology recognizes the graduating school psychology student who has demonstrated the highest academic achievement in the program. The Office of Graduate Studies supports the award.
  • The Vincent Cristiani Awards. These awards are named in recognition of Dr. Vincent Cristiani who came to the University of Massachusetts Boston from Boston State College in 1982 and founded the School Psychology Program at that time. Under his leadership the program was one of the first in the nation to attain approval by the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Cristiani was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts School Psychology Association in 1996. Both of the Cristiani awards are supported by the Vincent Cristiani Foundation, which was funded by grateful friends, colleagues, and alumni upon his retirement in 1995.

The Vincent Cristiani Award for Leadership in School Psychology recognizes the graduating school psychology student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership while in the program. 

The Vincent Cristiani Award for Applied Scholarship in School Psychology is awarded to the graduating school psychology student who has demonstrated the highest level of applied research scholarship while in the program. It is given in recognition of Dr. Cristiani's nurturing applied research in his roles as Program Director, Department Chair, and Associate Dean during his years at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Program Changes

The program consistently strives to maintain high educational and professional standards as promulgated by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Advances in the field call for changes in training prospective professionals. The School Psychology Program at UMass Boston uses a variety of sources of information to achieve this goal.

Advisory Council. The UMass Boston School Psychology Program Advisory Council is composed of current and former students, faculty, and practitioners from the greater Boston area who meet to discuss the program needs. The council’s advice helps to better serve the diverse student population as well as to structure the curriculum to meet the needs of children and adolescents in multicultural urban settings. It also ensures that graduates are competent in areas essential for the thoughtful and responsive practice of school psychology.

Feedback. The program uses feedback from its students and alumni to inform program decisions. The program solicits student input regularly and often, particularly through course evaluations. The Intern Evaluation Form asks internship field supervisors for opinions and suggestions regarding programmatic changes. Upon graduation from the program, new alumni complete a Program Evaluation Form, which indicates programmatic strengths and weaknesses.

Current Policies and Standards. The Program Director and faculty stay in close contact with professional organizations to ensure compliance with current policies and standards. Periodic accreditation reviews ensure self-assessment through data collection and analysis.

Program Director: Terry Bontrager, PhD at