Colloquium Series

Education as a Social Vaccine in the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence: The Role of Educational Leaders

Photo of Paul Miller.

Paul Miller, PhD
Professor of Educational Leadership and Management

University of Huddersfield, UK

  • Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Location: 120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which can take several forms, is a significatnt problem for societies globally. GBV primarily affects women and girls, and females from all social, religious, cultural, ethnic and other ascriptions are at risk. Although the direct effect of GBV are more severe for women, successfully tackling GBV requires an approach that includes all segments of a national society. This “common enemy” approach pools resources and energy towards a “collective endeavour” (tackling GBV), through the use of multiple strategies. This presentation will consider education/curriculum as a strategy in tackling GBV. As a social vaccine, education has the potential to change attitudes, values, beliefs and practices related to GBV, and also has the potential to curtail the level of abuse experienced by women and girls.


This is a free event. Please register by April 8.

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These are free events, but registration is required three days before the colloquium session date.

Past Colloquia

Youths’ Resilience to Bullying Victimization: The Role of School Climate from a Multilevel Perspective

Photo of Chunyan Yang.

Chunyan Yang, PhD
Assistant Professor

University of California
Santa Barbara

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019
  • Time: 11:30 to 12:45 p.m.
  • Location: 120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

As one of the most common forms of school violence, the negative impacts of bullying victimization on students' social-emotional and psychological outcomes have been well documented. However, research has been inconclusive regarding the association between bullying victimization and educational outcomes. To understand their complex association, this talk will present studies using multilevel approach to examine the role of school climate in promoting and prohibiting youths' school engagement and their resilience towards traditional and cyberbullying victimization across individual and school contexts. It will also discuss other malleable factors that could potentially be targeted in school violence prevention and intervention practices to alleviate the negative impact of bullying victimization and other forms of school violence among youths and other school members, such as teachers and parents. 

Timing is Everything: Developmental Intergroup Research and Implications for Bullying Prevention

Photo of Chunyan Yang.

Christine E. Merrilees, PhD
Associate Professor

SUNY Geneseo

  • Date: Monday, Feb. 4, 2019
  • Time: 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.
  • Location: 120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

In this talk, Merrilees will discuss her research that bridges developmental models (e.g., social ecologies of violence) with social psychological theories (e.g., social identity theory) to understand the impacts of political violence on youth. She will present multiple advanced models incorporating time and contextual effects using a large dataset of families living in post-accord Belfast. Merrilees will also present more recent work on intergroup bystander behaviors on a primarily white campus. The talk will highlight how these complementary lines of research may inform bullying and violence prevention, with a focus on bystander behaviors.

Peer Victimization, Cyberbullying and Suicidal Ideation: What is the Link?

Photo of Chunyan Yang.

Stephanie Secord Fredrick, PhD
Assistant Professor

Central Michigan University

  • Date: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2019
  • Time: 10:15 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: 280 Park Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Research has demonstrated that adolescents who experience peer victimization are at an elevated risk for internalizing problems, including depression and suicidal behaviors. This is especially problematic given the high prevalence of bullying, both traditional and cyber, among adolescents. Suicidal behaviors are recognized as a significant health concern for adolescents, with approximately 22% of females and 12% of males having reported considering suicide attempts in the previous 12 months (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Given the recent focus, particularly in the media, on the relation between peer victimization and suicide, it is essential for scholars and clinicians to understand this complex relation among school-aged youth. This session will present research that has examined the link between peer victimization, depression and suicidal ideation. School-based strategies for screening and prevention will also be discussed.

Bully Prevention: Understanding Risks and Implementing Skill-Based Interventions Within the Changing Landscape of the American Educational System

Photo of Chunyan Yang.

Chad A. Rose, PhD
Associate Professor

University of Missouri

  • Date: Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
  • Time: 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.
  • Location: 479 Baldy Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Recent meta-analyses have revealed that many of the bully prevention interventions implemented in American schools have resulted in moderate to null effects on the rates of bullying among youth. To compound this issue, some subgroups of youth are at escalated risk for bullying involvement due to identity-related factors (e.g., disability status, race, ethnicity, gender) and/or skill deficits (e.g., social skills, communication skills). This presentation will outline a decade of research that has primarily focused on subgroups of youth who are traditionally marginalized, with particular emphasis on youth with disabilities. Specifically, this session will highlight predictive and protective factors associated with bullying involvement among traditionally marginalized youth, skill-based interventions that can be situated within a multi-tiered system of support, legal implications, and future directions in bully prevention research. Session participants will leave this presentation with a greater understanding of school-based bullying, as well as a foundational knowledge of skill-based interventions for addressing bullying among K–12 youth.

BREAKAWAY: An Entertainment-Education Digital Game for Bullying Prevention?

Speaker Photo.

Helen Wang, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Communication
University at Buffalo

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Location: Room TBD, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Entertainment-education is a communication strategy that aims at seamlessly incorporating health and social issues in the entertainment programming to raise audience’s awareness, increase their knowledge, create favorable attitudes, shift social norms, and change overt behaviors. In this talk, Wang will share an initiative called BREAKAWAY that uses an entertainment-education digital game and a youth camp model to prevent gender-based violence in the form of bullying among youth. In addition to program design, she will present her team’s research in Sonsonate, El Salvador as well as here in Buffalo and discuss the lessons they have learned about combining interactive storytelling, digital gaming, and facilitated group activities as an educational approach to bullying prevention.

Understanding Bystander Behavior in Bullying and Peer Victimization: A Case for Encouraging Multiple Forms of Bystander Actions

Todd A. Savage.

Lyndsay Jenkins, PhD
Assistant Professor
Florida State University

  • Date: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Location: 120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Bullying is a serious and pervasive problem in schools. Research has shown that approximately 20-30% of students are directly involved as a bully or victim, but 70-80% of youth serve some other role (Salmivalli et al., 1996). Youth in these other roles are often called bystanders and include assistants (i.e., support the bully), defenders (i.e., support the victim), and outsiders (i.e., ignore bullying). The goal of this session is to increase participants’ understanding of bystander behavior in bullying with a focus on different types of actions youth can take to defend and support victims of bullying. A case will be made that not all youth should be encouraged to directly step into a bullying situation to defend a victim. A more nuanced description of bystander behavior actions will be explored, along with future directions for this area of research. 

Understanding and Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Students in Schools

(Speaker begins at 3:55)

Todd A. Savage.

Todd A. Savage, PhD, NCSP
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Professor, School Psychology
University of Wisconsin–River Falls

  • Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Location: 120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

The purpose of this session is to provide the participant with increased awareness and knowledge about gender diversity and schools; specific strategies participants can employ to support transgender and gender diverse students will be highlighted. Learning will be supported through direct instruction, large- and small-group conversations, and resources that can be employed to facilitate these processes.


  1. To enhance participants’ awareness of gender identity and gender diversity matters in schools from multiple perspectives;
  2. To introduce tools participants can use not only to assess a system’s readiness to accommodate transgender and gender diverse students but to determine the support and transition needs of individual gender diverse youth;
  3. To highlight strategies participants can employ to support transgender and gender diverse students and to improve school climates as they pertain to gender diversity.

#NotMe: A Panel Discussion on Preventing Sexual Harassment and Assault in Adolescence

In the past few months, the #MeToo movement has raised awareness about the widespread prevalence and magnitude of problems of sexual assault and sexual harassment, particularly among adults in the workplace. We at the Alberti Center, in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Livingston, have also been involved in several research projects in trying to better understand both bullying and sexual harassment in adolescence, as well as prevention and intervention research investigating how parents and schools can work with younger children (preschool and elementary-age) to prevent childhood sexual abuse. February is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. All of these factors sparked the idea to host a panel discussion to highlight what we know about sexual violence (including harassment, assault, teen dating violence) in adolescence, and most importantly, what is being done and can be done to prevent this violence and promote healthy relationships.

  • Date: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Location:  120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo, North Campus

Moderated by: Amanda B. Nickerson, PhD 
Professor, University at Buffalo
Director, Alberti Center


  • Robert Dauria
    Member of Students Against Abusive Dating (SAAD) Club
  • Sandra Lahrache
    Founder, The Teal Project: Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Through Education
  • Jennifer Livingston, PhD
    Research Scientist | UB Research Institute on Addictions
  • Caitlin Powalski
    Director of Advocate Program, Crisis Services
  • Amelia Schaeffer
    Member of Students Against Abusive Dating (SAAD) Club
  • Daniela Wolfe
    Social Worker, Amherst High School

Exploring Aggression and Hostility in Early Childhood

Stephanie Godleski, PhD.

Stephanie Godleski, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Early childhood is an incredibly important time for the development of many key cognitive and social developmental tasks. Even in early childhood, engaging in aggressive behavior is associated with poor social and emotional outcomes. Hostility and aggressive thoughts, in particular, play a critical role in the development and maintenance of aggression. Understanding pathways to aggression and hostility (e.g., parents and family influences) and how they develop may be informative for determining how to intervene. These issues will be presented using findings from both past and ongoing research on social development during early childhood. Novel methods for assessing aggression and hostility in this period will be discussed. The implications of these findings for preventative interventions with children and parents will also be highlighted.

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
330 Student Union, UB North Campus

Antecedents and Consequences of Workplace Bullying

Alan K. Goodboy, PhD Associate Professor West Virginia University.

Alan K. Goodboy, PhD
Associate Professor
West Virginia University

Matthew M. Martin, PhD Professor West Virginia University.

Matthew M. Martin, PhD
West Virginia University

In this presentation, we will discuss our research on workplace bullying in a variety of contexts. First, we will discuss how organizations place considerable job strain on employees and promote a culture of workplace bullying. We will then transition into some recent research conducted on workplace bullying, discussing effects on employees who work in education including public school bus drivers, K-12 teachers, graduate teaching assistants and professors. Ultimately, we will give advice on how workplace bullying can be discouraged at an organizational level and an individual level.

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017
2:00 to 3:15 p.m.
280 Park Hall, UB North Campus
Buffalo, NY

Weight Teasing and Bullying in Children: Assessment, Prevalence and Comorbidities

Portrait of Myles Faith.

Myles Faith, PhD
Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology

University at Buffalo

This presentation addresses the emerging science of weight teasing and bullying (WTB) towards obese youth. WTB appears to be very common among obese children when looking to community- and clinic-based studies examining prevalence. Interestingly, WTB is much more common among obese youth than is high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. This talk also examines the challenges of assessing WTB among children, as well as gold-standard measurement tools in the field. A concern of WTB is its comorbidities: poorer body image, depression, suicidality, disordered eating and poorer academic performance. The issue of coping with WTB is also discussed, and how certain coping styles may help protect children against the detrimental effects of WTB. Finally, opportunities for new research are discussed. In sum, WTB may be dismissed by some parents, teachers or child health care providers (“sticks and stones may break your bones…”); however, the emerging data suggest the issue can be quite problematic for overweight youth.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
479 Baldy Hall, UB North Campus
Buffalo, NY

Dignity Act Coordinator Panel: Best Practices, Challenges and Recommendations


  • Patricia Balthasar
    School Counselor
    , Cleveland Hill Middle School
  • William Bohen
    Assistant Principal
    , Transit Middle School
  • Amy Borowiak
    Guidance Counselor
    , Waterfront Elementary
  • David Hills
    , Waterfront Elementary
  • John Starkey
    , Lafayette High School

Following a brief introductory overview of the Dignity for All Students Act, panelists from area school districts will discuss their experiences and recommendations regarding this role of the Dignity Act Coordinator. Topics will include working with parents, responding to allegations and conducting investigations, successful interventions for harassment and bullying, and responding to cyberbullying. The respective roles of administrators and mental health professionals will be addressed, and advice for new Dignity Act Coordinators will be provided.

Moderated by: Kathleen Allen, PhD
Training and Evaluation Specialist
Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention
University at Buffalo

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
200G Baldy Hall, UB North Campus
Buffalo, NY