meet the captains. ahem, admins.
jessica & lauren
Jessica Simmons, M.A.
Ph.D. student, Clinical Psychology
Jessica is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Syracuse University. She received her Master’s degree in school psychology from The University of Arizona and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. Her research interests include the effects of stress and anxiety, specifically interpersonally, on the psychopathology of children and their families.
Aside from academics, Jessica has been very active in advocating for the safety and rights of children with individual differences for many years. As someone with a strong passion for inclusive environments where all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential, Jessica has has often traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with legislative staff and leaders to advocate for special education, safer schools, and LGBTQ inclusivity.
A lover of both academics and travel, Jessica has found herself living and learning in vastly different cities over the past several years. A Connecticut native, she moved to Tucson, AZ for graduate school and then to Nashville, TN to work clinically with children and adolescents diagnosed with OCD and eating disorders, and their families. Most recently, she has settled down in Syracuse, New York to finish her Ph.D in clinical psychology. A longtime dog- and people-person, Jessica’s free time is usually spent enjoying food and wine with friends, or attempting (hopelessly) to leash-train her two 1 year-old cats, Grayson and Luna.
Lauren N. Meyer, M.A.
Ph.D. student, School Psychology
University of Arizona
Lauren is a fifth year doctoral student studying School Psychology at the University of Arizona, and a pre-doctoral intern at the Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Justice Studies from Arizona State, and her Master's degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After graduating from John Jay, Lauren moved back to Phoenix where she began teaching undergraduate psychology at Mesa Community College. She has been teaching there ever since.
Lauren's research interests include positive psychology and social-emotional learning in K-12 settings, the high school to college transition, crisis intervention and prevention, grief and loss, and advocating for mental health initiatives. Her dissertation entitled, "A Change in Forecast: A Preliminary Analysis of the Effects of a Brief Mindfulness Intervention on Elementary School Class Climate," was the product of a collaboration with multiple administrators, teachers, and mental health clinicians in two southern Tucson elementary schools. Lauren regularly engages in grassroots advocacy efforts at the state and national levels, with fervor for parity in mental health and disability rights.
Lauren has a passion for serving students at all levels. Her approach to this survival guide is shaped by her enthusiasm for life-long learning, and her dedication to supporting others who share her passion for education. When not writing or working with students, you can find Lauren planning her next travel adventure or running around with her miniature schnauzer pupper named Harley. You can connect with Lauren via email (LaurenNMeyer@email.arizona.edu), or by visiting her website: LaurenNMeyer.com.