Dr. Joel Meyers Recognized by CEHD and School Psychology Quarterly

Dr. Joel Meyers is ranked the 13th most prolific school psychology researchers by the School Psychology Quarterly, which reviews school psychology publications from 1907-2014 and ranks all programs and faculty over the last 107 years.

Meyers, a Regents’ professor in our department and co-director of the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate, and Classroom Management, is also ranked 20th in school psychology citations. As there are 60 APA approved school psychology programs with a total of 200 faculty members, Meyers’ accomplishment is outstanding.

In other rankings by the Quarterly, GSU faculty and students came in 20 out of all school psychology programs for the number of items published.

Not to stop there, Meyers was also awarded the College of Education & Human Development’s Outstanding Faculty Research Mentoring Award.

With all of these awards and accolades for Meyers, join us in this sit down with him and in which he discussed his accomplishments.

Tell us more about the CEHD Outstanding Faculty Research Mentoring Award that you recently received?

As I understand it, the award is for a faculty member who provides mentoring about research to faculty, doctoral students and other graduate students.

This is a new award for the College of Education and Human Services.  How does it feel to be the first person to earn it?

I am very pleased to be the first person to receive this award for the College since both mentoring and research are important parts of what I love doing as a faculty member in the CEHD at GSU. Those responsibilities are a big part of why I do not feel like I go to work each day.  Instead, I feel like I am having fun.

You were recently rated the 13th most prolific school psychology researcher over the last 107 years by the School Psychology Quarterly.  What does that honor mean to you?

I am pleased to have received that designation because it suggests that I have had some impact on the field of school psychology. However, I never set out to be a “most prolific researcher” since I don’t believe that numbers alone matter. Instead, my goal has always been to contribute to the field and to try and push it in directions that I believe are better than where it has been. I hope that I have and will continue to accomplish that goal.

What has the reaction to both of these honors been like from your peers, mentors, friends and family?

People seem to be happy about both.

You’re the executive director of the Center for School Safety, School Climate and Classroom Management. Could you tell me more about the work that you do?

The Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate and Classroom Management is focused on research related to these areas. Kris Varjas serves as director and I serve as executive director. The Center has had funding from a range of sources (e.g., CDC, SAMHSA, Georgia Department of Education, AIG Insurance Company and a number of local school districts). Currently, there are several ongoing lines of research including school-based bullying, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, school climate, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and school-based mental health.

Tell me about the other research that you are doing here at GSU.

I am involved in each of the research efforts including school-based bullying, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, school climate, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, and school-based mental health.

What brought you to GSU?

GSU was in the process of shifting toward an enhanced focus on research and I was hired to help facilitate that goal. That seemed like an exciting opportunity and it has been a pleasure to be a part of this shift in focus. Another reason that I chose to come to GSU was the fact that my wife Barbara (current chair of the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education) was also offered a position here and that has allowed us both to work on the same campus.

As an honored mentor, do you have any advice for students?

Students (and any other people who receive mentoring) should find ways to contribute ideas to their research rather than being passive recipients of ideas from those serving as their mentors. Research is often best when it is based on the collaborative work of research teams.

Do you have a favorite quote or words to live by?

I have a several quotes from songs that I think about… not sure these are words to live by; just ideas that I think about. One is from the Bob Seger’s song, “Against the Wind.”  The line from the song I particularly like, and that has implications for the research that I do is, “What to leave in and what to leave out”.