Michael Lyons

Associate Professor

  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2014
  • M.A., University of South Carolina, 2011
  • B.A., University of Michigan

I am interested in the social-emotional development of middle and high school students in a positive psychological and traditional mental health framework. Specifically, my research reflects an interest in understanding the mechanisms and practices in a school setting that promote student well-being and school-relevant outcomes (e.g., grades and behavior) through an ecological model.

I am especially interested in school-based mentoring programs as one approach for promoting student well-being and enhancing academic outcomes. My research on school-based mentoring has been published in journals such as School Psychology, American Journal of Community Psychology, and Applied Developmental Science. I am also a member of the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) research board and am on the editorial board for the journals Psychology in the Schools and School Psychology

With Dr. Julia Taylor, I co-direct the Virginia Partnership for School Mental Health. The partnership focuses on addressing statewide shortages of school mental health providers by connecting graduate student trainees to area school divisions. The partnership works with local school divisions and university researchers on supporting evidence-based provision of mental health services to all students in Virginia. 

I am committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms through research, teaching, and service. In my work, I am interested in building on student strengths and competencies rather than simply remediating deficits. In doing so, I aim to emphasize how aspects of a person’s identity can be an asset for positive development. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to describe their own commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their application statement.

Dr. Lyons anticipates accepting a student to start Fall 2023 in the Clinical and School Psychology program.

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