Our Team

On this page:

Director

Portrait of Amanda Nickerson.

Amanda Nickerson, PhD

Amanda Nickerson is a professor of school psychology and the inaugural director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. Her research focuses broadly on school safety and building social-emotional strengths of youth, with a particular emphasis on bullying and other forms of violence and victimization. She has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, written 5 books, and conducted over 300 professional presentations. She is an author of the PREPaRE School Crisis and Intervention Training Curriculum and is Coordinator of Research for the National Association of School Psychologists School Safety and Crisis Prevention Committee. She has served on multiple editorial boards and committees, including associate editor of the Journal of School Violence. Dr. Nickerson’s work has been funded by federal, state, and private funders, including the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. She is a licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, and fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Associate Director

Portrait of Stephanie Fredrick.

Stephanie Fredrick, PhD

Stephanie Fredrick is the associate director of the Alberti Center and assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology. She is a licensed psychologist and a nationally certified school psychologist. She has previous experience working as a school psychologist and consulting with schools on bullying prevention and social emotional learning. Broadly, her research investigates how schools, families, and communities can prevent peer victimization and increase resiliency and protective factors among children experiencing victimization. She is particularly interested in universal school-based preventative and protective factors, including social support, school climate, and social emotional learning.

Program and Operations Manager

Portrait of Brie Kishel.

Brie Kishel

Brie Kishel is the program and operations manager at the Alberti Center. Brie obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in child and
youth services from Medaille College, and spent over 18 years working for a local non-profit organization. In her previous position
as education coordinator at the Museum of disABILITY History, she developed and presented a bullying prevention program for elementary school students in several Western New York districts.
Some of Brie's responsibilities for the Alberti Center include marketing and communications; financial and operations management;
and event planning, including coordinating the Alberti Center's colloquium series, annual conference, and monthly sessions for the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) workshop requirement for New
York State teacher certification.

Training and Evaluation Specialist

Portrait of Kathleen Allen.

Kathleen P. Allen, PhD

Kathleen P. Allen, PhD (Katy) is a graduate of the Warner Graduate School at the University of Rochester. Prior to completing her graduate degree in education and human development, Katy was involved in promoting the well-being and safety of children both in and out of school through her company, Impact Training, Inc. In addition to introducing school staff to programs on personal safety and social-emotional learning for students, Katy has assisted a number of schools in developing their own materials and procedures for dealing with bullying. A former high school English teacher and trainer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Katy has focused her recent efforts on providing professional development on bullying prevention and intervention to schools throughout the state. As well
as conducting and publishing research on bullying in schools, Katy’s most recent interest is in adolescent social drama and its connections to bullying.

Community Programming Consultant

Portrait of Toni Torchia.

Toni Torchia, PhD

Dr. Toni Torchia graduated in 2017 with her doctoral degree in combined counseling and school psychology from the University at Buffalo. She has an extensive amount of experience working in research at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions in a variety of roles, including project coordinator, on multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health as well as a National Institute of Justice grant. Her responsibilities at the Alberti Center have included program evaluation for the PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training Curriculum developed by the National Association of School Psychologist's (NASP). Dr. Torchia is currently leading the center's efforts to develop and deliver student-centered programming for schools and community agencies related to bullying and peer relationships. Her interests include community outreach, program evaluation, research on peer bullying and victimization, dating violence and substance abuse.

Project Director

Portrait of Gina Bellavia.

Gina Bellavia, PhD

Gina Bellavia holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Rochester and a PhD in social-personality psychology from the University at Buffalo. At the Alberti Center, she is the Project Director
for NAB IT!, a study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences with the aim of using social norms and bystander intervention training to reduce bullying and sexual harassment in high schools. Gina brings
to this role over 10 years of experience coordinating research studies
at UB. She began her career as a teacher and has more recently worked in the field of college access. She is passionate about using research to find solutions to real-world problems, particularly those that affect youth.