Bookshelf with books on it



Assistant Professor of School Psychology

Director of the School Mental Health for Minority Youth & Families (SMILE) Lab 

Topics of Interest:
  • Ethnic Minority and Immigrant-Origin Youth and Families
  • Culturally-Informed Evidenced Based Practices
  • School Based Mental Health
  • Mental Health Care Access
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Integrated Behavioral Health in Pediatric Primary Care


Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Arora’s research focuses on issues of access and quality of care for underserved youth and adolescents. In particular, Dr. Arora’s research focuses on identifying risk and protective factors in the development of depressive disorders among ethnic minority immigrant youth; barriers to help-seeking among ethnic minority immigrant youth and families; and developing and implementing culturally-informed school and community-based prevention and intervention programming for youth internalizing disorders. Dr. Arora’s work is grounded in a participatory action research approach and incorporates the use of mixed methodology. She also has additional lines of research in international school-based research efforts and behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care.


Current Students: 
  • OliviaKitChooi Khoo


Representative Publications:

Arora, P. G., Collins, T. A., Dart, E. H., Hernández, S., Fetterman, H., & Doll, B. (online). Multi-tiered systems of support for school-based mental health: A Systematic Review of depression interventions. School Mental Health.

Arora, P. G. & Persaud, S. (online). ​Suicide among Guyanese youth: Barriers to mental health help-seeking and recommendations for suicide prevention. International Journal of School & Educational Psychology.

Arora, P. G., & *Algios, A. (online). School based mental health for Asian American immigrant youth: Perceptions and recommendations. Asian American Journal of Psychology.

Arora, P. G., Baker, C. N., Krumholz, L. K., & Stark, K. D. (2019). Components analysis of a school-based cognitive-behavioral treatment for youth depression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Arora, P. G., Wheeler, L. A., Fisher, S, & Barnes, J. V. (2017). A prospective examination of anxiety as a predictor of depressive symptoms among Asian American early adolescent youth: The role of parent, peer, and teacher support and school engagement. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23(4), 541-550.

Arora, P. G., Nastasi, B., & Leff, S. S. (2017). Rationale for the cultural construction of school mental health programming. International Journal of School & Educational Psychology, 5(3),141-151.



School Mental Health for Minority Youth & Families (SMILE) Lab


Professor of Psychology & Education


Topics of Interest:
  • Psychological maltreatment of children and youth: Definitions, policy, risk and protective factors, harmful effects
  • Improving parenting and enhancing parental well-being in parents of young children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Enhancing well-being in maltreated youth


Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Brassard’s research focuses child psychological maltreatment and her studies have focused on research definitions, instrument development, risk and protective factors, harmful effects, and increasingly, on policy. She conducts observational studies of parenting in high stress contexts such as family maltreatment and raising a young child with disabilities, particularly Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). She is interested in protective factors, especially those in schools, that promote wellbeing and support the development of children who have been maltreated or who have disabilities. The research methods she uses include observational coding of parent-child interaction, multi-informant rating scales, performance measures, school records, focus groups, and interviews in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.


Current Students:
  • Michal Johnson
  • Amarelle Hamo
  • Eliana Ajodan
  • Emily O’Shaughnessy


Representative Publications:

Fiorvanti, C. M., & Brassard, M. R. (in press). Child protection. In S. N. Hart & B. Nastasi (Eds.), International Handbook on School Psychology and Child Rights.

Brassard, M. R., Hart, S. N., Baker, A. J. L., & Chiel, Z. A. (2019).  Psychological maltreatment of children. APSAC Monograph 1,

Brassard, M. R. & Melmed, L. (2017).  Psychological maltreatment.  In R. Alexander (Ed.), Research and practices in child maltreatment: Definitions of abuse and prevention (Volume 1 of 2, pp. 335-360). Florissant, MO: STM Learning.

Hart, S. N. & Brassard, M. R., Baker, A. J., & Chiel, Z. A. (2017).  American Professional Society on Child Abuse Guidelines for the Psychosocial Evaluation of Suspected Psychological Maltreatment of Children and Youth. Chicago, IL: APSAC.

Hart, S. N., Brassard, M. R., Baker, A. J. L., & Chiel, Z. A. (2017).  Psychological maltreatment of children. In J. Conte & B. Klika (Eds.), The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment: 4th Edition. London: Sage Publications.

Brassard, M. R., & Fiorvanti, C. M. (2015). School based Child Abuse Prevention Programs. Psychology in the Schools, 52(1), 40-60DOI:10.1002/pits.21811



Parenting & Child Wellbeing Lab


Instructor in the School Psychology Program, Teachers College Columbia University 

Senior Research Scientist at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing


Topics of Interest:
  • Behavioral Health Interventions
  • Highly vulnerable youth and families
  • HIV/AIDS, substance use
  • Mindfulness-based interventions
  • Technology based interventions


Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Leonard is a Senior Research Scientist at the New York University Silver School of Social Work and an Associate Director of the Transdisciplinary Research Methods Core of the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) at the NYU School of Global Public Health.  Dr. Leonard’s expertise is in developing, evaluating, and disseminating behavioral interventions for the primary and secondary prevention of health and behavioral problems including substance use, HIV, and other related issues involving adolescents, emerging adults, and families. She has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on numerous NIH and foundation funded studies using a variety of intervention strategies including mobile health, ambulatory assessment of physiological states, and mindfulness meditation. These studies have involved incarcerated youth, young men who have sex with men (YMSM), runaway/homeless youth, at-risk adolescent mothers, bereaved adolescents, and adults infected with or at risk for HIV.

Current Students:
  • Jennifer Im
  • Anna Kotsatos
  • Michelle Silverman


Representative Publications:

Umbach, R.*, Leonard, N.R., Laitner, C.* & Luciano, M. (in press). The Iowa Gambling Task in Violent and Nonviolent Incarcerated Male Adolescents: A Comparative Analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Leonard, N.R., Casarjian, B., Fletcher, R.R., Prata, C., Sherpa, D., Keleman, A.*, Rajan, S., Salaam, R., Cleland, C., Gwadz, M.V. (2018). Theoretically-based emotion regulation strategies using a mobile app and wearable sensor among homeless adolescent mothers: Acceptability and feasibility study. Journal of Medical Internet Research Pediatrics and Parenting; 1(1):e1.doi 10.2196/pediatrics.9037.

Umbach, R.,* Raine, A., & Leonard, N.R. (2017). Cognitive decline as a result of incarceration and the effects of a CBT/Mindfulness Training intervention: a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 45, 31-55.

Leonard, N.R., Freeman, R., Ritchie, A. S., Gwadz, M.V., Tabac, L., Dickson, V., . . . Hirsch, M. (2017). “Coming from the place of walking with the youth - that feeds everything”: A mixed methods case study of a runaway and homeless youth organization. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 34(5), 443-459. doi:10.1007/s10560-016-0483-zb

Leonard, N.R., Silverman, M.*, Sherpa, D., Naegle, M.A., Kim, H., Coffman, D.L., Ferdschneider, M. (2017). Acceptability and feasibility of a mobile health technology using a wearable sensorband for female college students with problem drinking. Journal of Medical Internet Research Mhealth Uhealth, 5(7): e90. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.7399

Leonard, N.R., Gwadz, M.V., Ritchie, A.S., Linick, J.,* Cleland, C.M., Elliott, L. & Grethel, M. (2015). A multi-method exploratory study of stress, coping and substance use among high school youth in private schools. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:1028. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01028. PMCID: PMC4511824

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University


Topics of Interest:
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Assessment of Students with Disabilities
  • Educational Assessment
  • Forensic Assessment of Disability
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
  • Test Anxiety
  • Test Taking Skills


Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Lovett studies the ways in which students are diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, and related disorders. He has a special interest in studying students who are adolescents and young adults, or who have these diagnoses along with a high IQ and/or high academic achievement. Additionally, he examines the effects of testing accommodations (such as extra time on tests) on test scores of students with and without disabilities, and he works on guidelines used to make decisions about when accommodations are appropriate. He has published over 80 papers, as well as a book on testing accommodations.


Current Students:
Representative Publications:

Lovett, B. J., & Jordan, A. H. (in press). Are ADHD screeners safe to use? Journal of Attention Disorders.

Lovett, B. J., Lewandowski, L. J., & Carter, L. (in press). Separate room testing accommodations for students with and without ADHD. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment.

Wood, W. L. M., Lewandowski, L. J., & Lovett, B. J. (in press). Profiles of diagnosed and undiagnosed college students meeting ADHD symptom criteria. Journal of Attention Disorders.

Lovett, B. J., & Bizub, A. L. (2019). Pinpointing disability accommodation needs: Which evidence is most relevant? Psychological Injury and Law, 12, 42-51.

Nelson, J. M., & Lovett, B. J. (2019). Assessing ADHD in college students: Integrating multiple evidence sources with symptom and performance validity data. Psychological Assessment, 31, 793-804.

Lovett, B. J., & Lewandowski, L. J. (2015). Testing accommodations for students with disabilities: Research-based practice. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.


Director of the Program in School Psychology

Professor of Psychology & Education


Topics of Interest:
  • Reading
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Studying
  • Note-taking
  • Memory
  • Disabilities


Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Peverly's research focuses on the cognitive, affective and motivational processes that underlie reading comprehension and studying, especially lecture and text note-taking, and the testing effect.


Current Students:
  • Angela Dewey
  • Elyse Frank 
  • Joseph Tarantino
  • Elena Tyson


Representative Publications:

Oefinger, L. M., & Peverly, S. T. (in press). The lecture note-taking skills of adolescents with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities (Title of Special Issue: The interaction of reading, spelling and handwriting difficulties with writing development).

Peverly, S. T., & Wolf, A. D. (2019). Note-taking. In J. Dunlosky & K. A. Rawson (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of cognition and education (pp. 320–355). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Reddington, L. A., Peverly, S. T., & Block, C. J. (2015).  An examination of some of the cognitive and motivation variables related to gender differences in lecture note-taking. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28, 1155-1185. doi:10.1007/s11145-015-9566-z

Richards, T., Peverly, S. T., Wolf, A., Abbott, R., Tanimoto, S., Thompson, R.,…& Berninger, V. (2016). Idea units in notes and summaries for read texts by keyboard and pencil in middle childhood students with specific learning disabilities: Cognitive and brain findings. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 5, 146-155.  

Thompson, R., Tanimoto, S., Abbott, R., Nielsen, K., Lyman, R. D., … Berninger, V. (2017). Comparing transcription modes for students with and without specific learning disabilities: Stylus versus groovy pencils and hunt/peck versus touch typing. Assistive Technology, 29, 131-139. doi: 10.1080/10400435.2016.1199066

Vekaria, P. C., & Peverly, S. T. (2018). Lecture note-taking in post-secondary students with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 31, 1551-1573. doi: 10.1007/s11145-018-9849-2



Applied Cognition Lab


Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Associate Professor of Neurology and of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Clinical Neuropsychologist, Corinne G. Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis


Topics of Interest:
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Memory
  • Multiple Sclerosis


Scholarly Interests:

Dr. Sumowski investigates cognitive disability and memory rehabilitation in children and adults with neurologic conditions, with a specific focus on persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Sumowski's primary line of research examines heritable and environmental factors associated with reserve against cognitive impairment in the context of neurologic disease. For instance, Dr. Sumowski has shown that modifiable lifestyle factors such as intellectual enrichment protect against cognitive decline in persons with MS. The next step is to translate these findings into interventions to build reserve and preserve cognitive function in the face of disease.


Current Students:
  • Laura Johanson
  • Rosemarie Kurtz
  • Emily Muha


Representative Publications:

Sumowski J.F., Rocca M.A., Leavitt V.M., Riccitelli, G., Sandry, J.,…Fillippi, M. (2016). Searching for the neural basis of reserve against memory decline: Intellectual enrichment linked to larger hippocampal volume in multiple sclerosis. European Journal of Neurology, 23(1). 

Sumowski J.F., Rocca, M.A., Leavitt, V.M., Dackovich, J., Mesaros, S.,…Filippi, M. (2014). Brain reserve and cognitive reserve protect against cognitive decline over 4.5 years in MS. Neurology, 82(20), 1776-1783.

Sumowski J.F., & Leavitt V.M. (2014). Body temperature is elevated and linked to fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, even without heat exposure. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95(7), 1298-1302. 

Sumowski, J.F., Coyne, J., Cohen, A., Deluca, J. (2014). Retrieval practice improves memory in survivors of severe traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95(2), 397-400.  

Sumowski J.F. & Leavitt V.M. (2013). Cognitive reserve in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 19(9), 1122-1127.

Sumowski J.F., Rocca M.A., Leavitt V.M., Riccitelli, G., Comi, G., Deluca, J. & Filippi, M. (2013). Brain reserve and cognitive reserve in multiple sclerosis: What you've got and how you use it. Neurology, 80(24), 2186-2193. 



The Sumowski Laboratory





Back to skip to quick links