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Who We Are

For over 25 years, faculty from The Center for Safe and Resilient Schools have supported communities across the United States and around the world before, during, and after crises.

Launched by leading experts in the field of trauma-informed schools, The Center has pioneered national practices for threat assessment, crisis response, and trauma-responsive strategies.

Dr. Marleen Wong, one of our founders, was among the first scientists to research childhood trauma and PTSD in schools. She has been identified by the White House as one of the “pre-eminent experts in school crisis and disaster recovery” and was named the “architect of school-safety programs” by The Wall Street Journal.

The Center provides multi-tier prevention, response, and recovery trainings and consultations, with a proven track record of strengthening and restoring communities. Our work involves close collaborations with schools to develop and deliver customizable interventions. Through these partnerships, we continually adapt and expand our offerings to meet current needs.

We continue to research and develop new interventions and resources to address issues confronting schools today. Along with our trainings, we provide in-depth consultations to administrators, educators, and mental health providers seeking to create secure and health schools, identify at-risk students, and support all those exposed to trauma.

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Our History

The Center for Safe and Resilient Schools, previously known as The Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools, was launched in 1997. It began as a multiyear collaboration between the University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the RAND Corporation, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and 3C Institute. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided support for our network through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).


One of our core values has always been a commitment to test interventions under real-world conditions. With the support of federal and local funds, we continue to conduct rigorous research studies that include input from parents, students, and educators.

Our Experts

Our team includes research and intervention experts and a talented group of certified trainers. In addition to our current staff, we recognize the invaluable contributions of our earlier team members and advisors, including Pia Escudero, Arlene Dink, Sheryl Katakoa, Joshua Kaufman, Diana Solis, Jennifer Zelaya, Jeanne Miranda, and Ken Wells.

With over 85 years of combined experience, our team members are nationally recognized experts in:

Crisis and Disaster Response

Organizational Wellness

Program Development

Mental Health



Prof. Villaverde is a clinical associate professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and an EdD candidate at Rossier School of Social Work. She is an approved national trainer for TISE, Psychological First Aid, SSET, and Bounce Back.

Ms. Vona’s work focuses on how web-based platforms can support training in and the implementation of evidence-based practices in schools. Ms. Vona is currently the program manager the Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools. She also serves as a liaison to the NCTSN School Committee.

Dr. Wong has provided education and consultation to thousands of school districts and educational institutions as well as community, state, province, national, and international agencies and ministries. She is one of the original developers of the evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Psychological First Aid in Schools.


Ms. Hutchins graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) with a BS in psychology. During her time at UGA, she was a Southeastern Conference-awarded student-athlete who worked alongside the university’s Behavioral Health Department to coordinate and promote Mental Health Awareness Week for the UGA Athletic Association. After graduating, she pursued an MA in psychology at Pepperdine University. Ms. Hutchins is passionate about creating a mental health-focused and trauma-informed environment for all student-athletes. Since joining the Center for Safe and Resilient Schools and Workplaces, she has supported the implementation of trauma-informed trainings in over 50 school districts across the United States.

Mrs. Krauss is a prevention specialist, chemical dependency counseling assistant, health educator, and national Trauma-informed Skills for Educators (TISE) trainer. She is passionate about improving individual and community health, resilience, and wellness standards through prevention, education, and public awareness. Mrs. Krauss has implemented universal trauma-informed strategies, as well as prevention strategies, to increase mental health awareness and wellness in over 20 school districts across Ohio.

Historical Partners and Collaborators

Dr. Hydon is a clinical professor of field education and serves as director of the Social Work in Schools Program. He led the codevelopment of STAT, an online curriculum focused on secondary traumatic stress funded by SAMHSA, and he has provided trainings on Psychological First Aid.

Dr. Jaycox specializes in child, adolescent, and adult mental health problems, with a special emphasis on reactions to trauma exposure. Since developing CBITS, she has been actively engaged in creating and evaluating additional interventions and strategies and findings ways to extend the reach of the Center’s entire set of interventions.

Dr. Langley is Director of the UCLA TIES for Families Program, Co-Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families and Director of Training for the Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools. She has authored five evidence-based interventions, notably Bounce Back, SSET, ADAPT, and the recently released second version of CBITS.

Dr. Stein served as the dissemination director for the Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools. Dr. Stein is one of the developers of the CBITS program and was a coprincipal investigator in evaluating the effectiveness of CBITS in LAUSD.

Current Center Associates

Lisa Wobbe-Veit is a an associate professor of practicum education at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, managing Master’s candidates as the South Regional Practicum Director. A USC faculty member since 2011, Wobbe-Veit played a vital role in the establishment of course materials and practicum procedures including co-developing a 12- week trauma responsive School Social Work Training Program. In addition to her administrative duties as USC, Wobbe-Veit has taught courses across the practicum curriculum including the Virtual Practicum, Integrative Learning for Social Work Practice I/ II and served as a practicum liaison. Wobbe-Veit’s more than two decades of experience covers a wide range of practice environments with a focus on building wellness and resiliency with trauma exposed youth and their families. As a Parkland resident, she serves as the Broward County Public Schools recovery consultant following the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Dr. Kerry Doyle is an Associate Professor of Practicum Education at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.  A USC faculty member since 2011, Doyle co-developed a 12-week trauma responsive School Social Work Training Program and is a lead instructor for multiple practicum courses. Her doctoral research, A Qualitative Study of School Social Workers’ Experiences Providing Crisis Intervention and Support After Targeted Gun Violence, examined how MSW education can better prepare school social workers to provide crisis response and trauma interventions after mass gun violence. Dr. Doyle is a TISE trainer and co-developed the Mental Health Threat Assessment training.

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