TIP SHEET: U.Va. Experts on School Violence, Grief and Trauma, Mental Health and Criminal Procedure

April 17, 2007 -- University of Virginia experts are available to provide background information or discuss various issues arising from the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech. Faculty areas of expertise and contact information are included below.

Dewey Cornell is a clinical psychologist, professor in the Curry School of Education and director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. Cornell has worked with juvenile and adult violent offenders since 1984. He has testified as both a defense and prosecution expert in numerous criminal proceedings, including the 1997 school shooting in Paducah, Kentucky and the 2002 DC sniper shootings. He has lectured on juvenile violence for the FBI National Academy since 1989 and assisted the FBI in its 1999 study of school shootings. He is available at (434) 924-0793 or dgc2f@virginia.edu.

Peter Sheras is a professor of education and associate director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. His work with adolescents, couples and families includes service as a co-coordinator of the Charlottesville/Albemarle School Crisis Network and as a member of the Phi Delta Kappa National Task Force on Adolescent Suicide. He has conducted a number of congressional briefings related to youth violence and has been a member of the Virginia State Department of Education Task Force on Crime and Violence in School Settings. He is available at (434) 924-0795, or (434) 531-1281; pls@virginia.edu.

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Russ Federman, director of the U.Va. student counseling center, and Leonard Carter, assistant director, are well versed on campus tragedies, grief counseling, and what parents and friends should look for as signs of needing help. Federman is at (434) 243-5150 or rf5u@virginia.edu. Carter is at (434) 243-5150 or ljc7b@virginia.edu.

Bethany Teachman, an assistant professor of psychology, is available to talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, healthy reactions to trauma and how not to be immobilized by fear. She is available at (434) 806-1167 or bteachman@virginia.edu.

Richard Bonnie, professor of law and psychiatric medicine and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, is an expert in the fields of criminal law and procedure, mental health and drug law, public health law, and bioethics. He is currently participating in the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment and on an ABA Task Force on Mental Illness and the Death Penalty. He has served as an advisor to the American Psychiatric Association's Council on Psychiatry and Law since 1979. He is available at (434) 924-3209 or rjb6f@virginia.edu.

John Monahan, professor of law and professor of psychology and psychiatric medicine, is the founding president of the American Psychological Association's Division of Psychology and Law. A former psychology professor at the University of California and a former fellow in law and psychology at both Harvard and Stanford law schools, he teaches courses on social science in law. He has served as director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment since 2000. He is available at (434) 924-3632 or jmonahan@virginia.edu.

Anne Coughlin, professor of law, specializes in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, and feminist jurisprudence. She is frequently quoted in the media on questions about criminal investigations, court procedures and gender issues. She is available at (434) 924-3520 or amc6z@virginia.edu.

Janet Warren is a professor of clinical psychiatric medicine and associate director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Among a range of forensic activities, Warren has conducted risk assessment training on mental health issues for the University of Virginia and other groups statewide and nationally, including at a national conference, held at U.Va., on assessment of potential violence on college campuses. She also is the U.Va. liaison to the Behavioral Sciences Unit of the FBI. While not wishing to comment on the Virginia Tech case specifically, Warren can describe the basic legal, clinical and evidence-based training in the principles and practices of forensic evaluation, appropriate for juveniles and adults. She is available at (434) 924-8305 and jiw@virginia.edu.