A Sandy Hook Initiative for Safer Schools

Amanda Nickerson, Ph.D., NCSP

Amanda Nickerson is a professor and director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. Dr. Nickerson’s research focuses on school violence and bullying, and how educators, parents, and peers can build social-emotional strengths of youth. She has published more than 65 journal articles and book chapters, written four books, and conducted over 250 professional presentations. Dr. Nickerson is a licensed psychologist, a nationally certified school psychologist, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. She is Coordinator of Research for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) School Safety and Crisis Prevention Committee and an author of the PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention training curriculum. Dr. Nickerson has served as associate editor of the Journal of School Violence and is a member of the executive board of the New York Association of School Psychologists.


Strategies for Preventing School Violence and Bullying Abuse In Schools Understanding and Preventing Bullying Abuse 
Dr. Nickerson presents the myriad issues and presentations of bullying in today’s schools and explores their impact upon students’ learning and sense of safety in school today.  She shares practical solutions, interventions, and strategies, and resources for identifying and combating these challenges to promote a safe school climate.

Promoting Social-Emotional Strengths Through Assessment and Intervention
As part of a balanced, comprehensive understanding of children’s mental health, it is important to not only examine the problems that interfere with functioning, but also to assess and build upon social-emotional strengths. Social-emotional skills create a sense of accomplishment, contribute to satisfying relationships, enhance the ability to cope with stress, and promote social and academic development. Dr. Nickerson presents advantages of focusing on social-emotional strengths, an overview of strength-based assessment measures, and approaches to developing these strengths at the individual, small group, and school-wide levels.

PREPaRE Workshop #1: Prevention and Preparedness: Comprehensive School Safety Planning (2nd Edition)
In this newly updated workshop, participants will learn how to establish and sustain comprehensive school safety and crisis prevention and preparedness efforts. With updated research and strategies, this workshop makes a clearer connection between ongoing school safety and crisis preparedness. It also emphasizes the unique needs and functions of school teams and the steps involved in developing these teams, including a model that integrates school personnel and community provider roles. The PREPaRE model builds on existing personnel, resources and programs, and can be adapted to individual school needs and size. Finally, the workshop explores how to prepare for school crises by developing, exercising, and evaluating safety and crisis plans. This workshop is an excellent course for mental health and educational professionals working at all grade levels in your district that help establish a safe school climate and respond to crises.

PREPaRE Workshop #2: Crisis Intervention and Recovery: The Roles of School-Based Mental Health Professionals (2nd Edition) This two-day workshop provides school-based mental health professionals and other school crisis intervention team members with the knowledge necessary to meet the mental health needs of students and staff following a school-associated crisis event. With updated research and crisis intervention strategies, this workshop teaches participants how to prevent and prepare for psychological trauma, reaffirm both the physical health of members of the school community and students’ perceptions that they are safe and secure, evaluate the degree of psychological trauma, respond to the psychological needs of members of the school community, and examine the effectiveness of school crisis intervention and recovery efforts. This workshop is an excellent course for all mental health professionals in your district who provide mental health crisis intervention services.

Panel Discussions and Q and A Sessions
Dr. Nickerson offers Q and A sessions following her keynotes or as a separate session. She is also available for panel discussions. As these formats are more organic and highly individualized, Dr. Nickerson is available to discuss and plan for these types of sessions directly with clients.


The keynote presentation was truly outstanding! Dr. Nickerson delivered an inspiring message which drew the attention of everyone in the audience. It was motivational, extremely well organized, and an exemplar from an educational-teaching perspective.

Dr. Melissa Reeves

For more information about Dr. Amanda Nickerson’s presentations contact Susan Parziale sparziale@safeandsoundschools.org