- Ed.S., School Psychology12
Hiral graduated from Lehigh University with an Education Specialist degree in School Psychology. She is currently serving as a school psychologist at two elementary schools in Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. Hiral's responsibilities include providing a wide range of indirect services for students, parents, and staff that include prevention, intervention, consultation, and collaboration, as well as direct student services including assessments for special education, counseling, and crisis intervention.
In addition to her primary responsibilities, Hiral also serves as a member of each school's Response to Intervention and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports teams that make data-based decisions to improve and enhance student outcomes in academics and behavior. Hiral is an active member of the multidisciplinary school teams and serves as a liaison between schools, homes and communities. Hiral is also an active member of the National Association of School Psychologists.
Nathan H. Clemens
- Ph.D., School Psychology09
Nathan Clemens, Ph.D, is an assistant professor of school psychology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Clemens received his Ph.D. in school psychology from Lehigh University in 2009. While at Lehigh, Dr. Ed Shapiro and Dr. Lee Kern were instrumental in Dr. Clemens’ training and growth as a scholar. Dr. Clemens’ areas of research and expertise include reading development and assessment, screening and progress monitoring of early academic skills, and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to promote successful student outcomes. He has published research in journals such as Journal of Special Education, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Learning and Individual Differences, School Psychology Quarterly, and Reading Psychology. Dr. Clemens was a recipient of the 2010 Division 16 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Psychological Association. To date he has secured over $1.6 million in external funding for research, including a recent grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (U.S. Department of Education) and an early career grant from the Society for the Study of School Psychology.
Tanya L. Eckert
- M.Ed., Counseling and Human Services90
- Ph.D., School Psychology13
Currently, Tanya is the Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology at Syracuse University and the Area Director of the School Psychology Program. She is a Co-Investigator of a research grant sponsored by the Institute for Education Science, U.S. Department of Education grant to develop improved reading progress monitoring materials for children and youth. In conjunction with faculty in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Syracuse University, she is the Co-Director of a Personnel Preparation Grant sponsored by the Office of Special Education, U.S. Department of Education to improve the training of speech language pathologists in working with preschool children who come from high-needs, low-income backgrounds. Her research, teaching, and graduate research mentoring focuses on improving the academic skills of elementary-aged children.
- Ph.D., School Psychology15
Kirra Guard comes to Lehigh University from Geneva, New York, where she grew up and attended college at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Working at various preschool centers and summer camps led Kirra to realize she wanted to pursue a career in education. At Hobart and William Smith, Kirra participated in the teacher certification program for childhood and special education, and then stayed at the colleges to complete her Master of Arts in Teaching. As part of her degree program, she completed a thesis that included empirical research on the effects of a therapy dog in the classroom. Teacher training inspired Kirra to want to learn more about effective prevention and intervention programs for students with and at risk for disabilities and social-emotional difficulties.
Upon arriving at Lehigh University’s College of Education to study school psychology in 2009, she began working with Dr. Edward Shapiro in the Center for Promoting Research to Practice. Her work with Dr. Shapiro has included participation in research funded by the Institute for Education Sciences to investigate the effects of professional development for teachers in the use of response to intervention practices for reading. In addition, she has assisted in the supervision of school psychology trainees in the Ed.S. program as part of an Institute for Education Sciences training grant, and has worked with Dr. Shapiro and other graduate students to develop teacher rating scales of academic skills. Kirra has served as the president and vice president of the Lehigh University chapter of the Student Affiliates of School Psychology and as a student representative to the American Psychological Association.
Currently, Kirra is working as a graduate assistant at the Centennial School of Lehigh University while she completes her dissertation. The purpose of her dissertation research is to evaluate a newly developed reading screening measure for first grade students, and is funded by a grant from the Society for the Study of School Psychology. Next year, Kirra will complete her Ph.D. training with an internship at the Syracuse City School District in New York State.
- Ed.S., School Psychology15
Sarah hails from Bethel Pennsylvania and has had a longstanding passion and dedication for working with children. Since her main interests lie within the fields of education and psychology, the school psychology program at Lehigh University has been the perfect fit. During her undergraduate years, she studied psychology (B.A.) and minored in biology. As Sarah's interest in research grew she sought out new opportunities and interned at Children’s National Medical Center in D.C., and the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development in London. After graduation, she worked as a Research Assistant and Study Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Autism Research.
Since coming to Lehigh, she has worked as a graduate assistant for Dr. George DuPaul on Project PEAK as a caregiver for preschool children at-risk for ADHD. All these experiences have given her the knowledge and skills she needs to effectively work alongside families to help children of all ages be successful at school academically, emotionally, and socially. In 2015 Sarah will intern with Derry Township School District in Hershey, PA.
- Ph.D., School Psychology17
- M.Ed., Counseling and Human Services13
Tamique Ridgard is a third year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at Lehigh University. Tamique first became interested in the intersection of education and psychology at Yale University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After teaching high school Algebra for a year, Tamique began her graduate training at Lehigh University. Tamique’s broad interests include establishing integrated systems of care to better serve children from ethnic minority and low socioeconomic backgrounds. Her aim is to facilitate the collaboration of providers from educational, healthcare and community settings to positively impact the academic, mental health and physical health outcomes of young children. She is particularly interested in accomplishing these goals through prevention and early intervention work.
During her time at Lehigh, Tamique has earned a Master of Education in Human Development. At the beginning of her second year she was awarded the Student Affiliates in School Psychology Diversity Award through Division 16 of the American Psychological Association. Tamique also received a Graduate Student Research Grant during her second year to support her research exploring parent behavior during a shared science activity with preschool age children. Currently, Tamique is a trainee on the Pediatric School Psychology Leadership Training Grant, supported by the U.S. Department of Education. As part of this grant, Tamique is completing her practicum in various early childhood settings (ie., a kindergarten center, an Early Head Start program and a pediatric primary care center). She is also working with Dr. Patricia Manz on her “Little Talks” research grant, which is designed to support the language development of infants and toddlers in Early Head Start.
Robert J. Volpe
- Ph.D., School Psychology03
Rob is Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, MA where he trains both specialist- and doctoral-level school psychologists. His research focuses on designing and evaluating behavioral assessment measures and systems to support school-based problem solving for students with emotional and behavior problems, interventions to support the school functioning of students with ADHD, and interventions to support early literacy development. Rob has developed several computer programs to teach young children foundational reading skills and has developed several published behavioral assessment measures. Altogether, Rob has published over 100 scientific articles, books and book chapters and is on the editorial advisory boards of Journal of School Psychology, and School Psychology Review. He is one of the founders of the Early Career Forum and is a former President of the Society for the Study of School Psychology.