Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center for Effective Schools

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Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Devereux Center for Effective Schools offers a postdoctoral fellowship position each academic year.


The Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES) is an applied research and technical assistance center specializing in bringing evidence-based practices to schools and districts through training, consultation, and model program development. Although the Devereux CES operates primarily in urban public school settings, consulting opportunities are also available in alternative education settings. The Devereux CES adopts an integrated three-tiered (universal, secondary, tertiary) approach to prevention and intervention. 

At the universal level, targeting all students in the school, programs are designed to assist school-based teams in developing strategies to prevent or minimize the occurrence of problem behavior while improving academic performance. Training and technical assistance activities focus on developing school-wide interventions (e.g., schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports [SWPBIS], response-to-intervention [RtI], school-based parent training), class-wide interventions (e.g., behavior and instructional management strategies) and strategies for non-classroom settings within the school (e.g., The Lunchroom Behavior Game).

At the secondary level, targeting students at risk for behavioral and academic difficulties, training and technical assistance activities include assisting teams in the implementation of efficient, function-based strategies to prevent worsening problem behavior and academic performance (e.g., check-in/check-out, academic interventions).

At the tertiary level, the focus is on building capacity to effectively impact students with severe and chronic behavior and/or learning difficulties through in-class consultation and technical assistance.

All programs emphasize evidence-based practice. Formative evaluation and high fidelity implementation are cornerstones of service delivery. 

Training Opportunities:

Postdoctoral fellows at the Devereux CES take leadership roles across several projects designed to implement school-wide positive behavioral interventions and support (SWPBIS) in urban schools.  Common experiences acquired by fellows include consulting with school districts and/or school leadership teams to improve school climate and student behavior, developing and implementing training programs to promote evidence-based practices and interventions, and management of day-to-day grant activities and personnel.  In addition to systems-level work, fellows are supervised in individual casework, including functional behavioral assessment and direct academic assessment and intervention.  Finally, fellows are expected to contribute to the research conducted by the Devereux CES by participating in the design and implementation of applied research.  Fellows will gain experience with writing research/demonstration grant proposals, contributing to the writing of journal articles and book chapters, and disseminating research findings at national conferences.

Specific Skills Sought in Postdoctoral Fellows:

The Devereux CES seeks postdoctoral fellows who have earned a Ph.D. in school psychology or clinical psychology and who have received training in applied behavior analysis.  Experience in school settings is required, as a fellow with well-developed skills in behavioral assessment, intervention, and consultation is desired.   Strong communication and time management skills are necessary for overseeing research/demonstration projects.  Because research productivity is an emphasis of the postdoctoral fellowship, excellent writing skills and a record of publication and/or local or national presentations is desired.

Current Training Faculty:

Lisa Thomas, Ph.D., NCSP
Education: Ph.D., School Psychology, Lehigh University
Primary Areas of Interest: Disruptive behavior disorders, systems-level consultation and interventions (SWPBIS & RTI), school-based academic and behavioral assessment and interventions, and parent education training

Laura Rutherford, Ph.D.,NCSP
Education: Ph.D., School Psychology, Lehigh University
Primary Areas of Interest: Systems-level consultation and interventions, school and home based supports for children with externalizing behavior disorders, assessment and intervention of social skills, and parent education training. 

Brittany Zakszeski, Ph.D., NCSP, BCBA-D
Education: Ph.D., School Psychology, Lehigh University
Primary Areas of Interest: Systems-level prevention and intervention, multi-tiered systems of support (for academics, behavior, behavioral health), Emotional and behavioral disorders, School-based behavioral health services, Trauma and trauma-sensitive schools