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EXPERTS AVAILABLE: Tips, Advice as Students Head Back to School From MU Researchers

August 10th, 2017

Story Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212,

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As the days grow shorter, families are preparing for another year of school while enjoying the last few days of summer. For many parents, the return to school can be stressful with concerns about how to ensure their children’s academic and personal success. Children may also have concerns about fitting in with a new group of people and whether they “fell behind” in their academic progress from the year before.

The University of Missouri offers the following scholars with various expertise to help parents and children successfully prepare for another school year:

  • Problem behaviors: Chris Riley-Tillman specializes in social behavior assessment and the application of evidence-based strategies to improve problem behaviors among students. He leads the Evidence Based Intervention Network, a nonprofit website that provides research-based interventions and resources for educational professionals and parents.
  • Bullying: Chad Rose is a bully prevention expert and an associate professor of special education in the College of Education. He currently serves as the director of the Mizzou Ed Bully Prevention Lab, which is designed to review bullying-prevention policies, conduct teacher and school staff trainings, and implement skill-based interventions. He can address the impacts of bullying on children and how some students, including those with disabilities, are disproportionately affected.
  • Body image: Virginia Ramseyer Winter is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and a body image expert. She can provide tips for parents and teachers to curb body-shaming language and can speak to the long-lasting effects of negative body image.
  • Academic help: Matthew Burns is an expert in interventions for children and youth with learning disabilities and other significant reading and math needs. He can give strategies for parents, teachers and other professionals to help children who have lost ground over the summer and struggle academically. He is a professor of educational, school and counseling psychology in the College of Education.
  • Traditionally underserved students: Brian Kisida is an assistant research professor in economics and the Truman School of Public Affairs. An education policy expert, Kisida’s research focuses on identifying effective educational options and experiences for traditionally underserved students that can close achievement and opportunity gaps. His research has examined the educational benefits of school-community partnerships, art and music education, teacher diversity, and urban charter schools.

For interviews with these or other Mizzou experts, please contact Liz McCune, (573) 882-6212 or