School Psychology, University of Minnesota
Cohort Eight Fellow

Sophia Frank.jpg

Academic Mentor
Clayton R. Cook, PhD
Professor of Education Psychology, University of Minnesota

Policy Mentor
Todd Herrenkohl, PhD
Professor, University of Washington and University of Michigan Schools of Social Work

Areas of Expertise

K-12 Education and School Systems, Implementation Science, Mental Health and Well-Being,


Sophia Frank is doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Minnesota. Her primary research interest is in the area of school mental health, with a specific emphasis on system-based processes for proactively detecting students experiencing mental health problems in order to connect them to appropriate, effective, evidence-based interventions. She is also interested in how a range of child-serving systems (e.g., schools, juvenile justice, and child welfare) can improve access to high quality services to prevent, manage, and mitigate the impact of trauma and promote resilience among children and families. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Ms. Frank worked as a special education teacher. This real world experience informs her interests in conducting applied research that has translational value and immediate benefit to children, families, and service settings.


An Exploratory Study of Trauma Screening Procedures and Instruments in Schools

Detection is the essential first step in connecting maltreated and traumatized children to high quality mental health care. This dissertation seeks to contribute to the research promoting child well-being through proactive identification of children at-risk for developing social, emotional, and academic problems due to exposure to trauma such as neglect and maltreatment. This dissertation aims to evaluate the utility and psychometric properties of an existing trauma-screening tool, the University of Minnesota’s Traumatic Stress Screen for Children and Adolescents (TSSCA), when used in schools to support the identification of students in need of trauma-informed intervention. This usability and validation study will be embedded in a pilot study evaluating the use of a multiple-gating approach for identifying, assessing, and selecting more appropriate and precise interventions for students experiencing trauma symptomology and other social, emotional, and behavioral problems in school.