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College of Arts & Sciences
School Behavioral Health Team


Staff

Courtnie Smith, Psy.D. (Hamilton 355), became a part of the School Behavioral Health team in October 2017 to assist with the coordination of the Pee Dee Resiliency Project (PDRP). In addition to her role on PDRP, Courtnie also manages the SBHT. Courtnie completed her Doctorate of Psychology at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology in September 2016 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of South Carolina in 2010. She completed an APA accredited internship in health psychology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at Greenville Health System. Courtnie’s training thus far has been aimed at conducting psychological assessments and providing therapeutic interventions and resources primarily for pediatric populations. Courtnie looks forward to broadening her experiences to include improving access to mental health services and resources for underserved populations.


Patricia Stone Motes, PhD, (Barnwell 436C), leads implementation support for the Behavioral Alliance of South Carolina (BASC) project.  Dr. Motes earned her doctorate degree in clinical-community psychology from the University of South Carolina. Her research and practice background includes program development, program evaluation, and community-based action research She has been a leader in the state of South Carolina in facilitating partnerships among mental health, juvenile justice, schools, and community organizations for the translation of research evidence into the development of comprehensive programs and services that support youth and their families. With a focus on contextual influences on the promotion of positive youth development, Dr. Motes has led a range of research projects including efforts focusing on systems of care to promote positive mental health outcomes for children, youth, and their families, statewide policy studies on the overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system, a volunteer community-based program of support to families in crisis or with acute needs, and a mentoring initiative for children and families affected by incarceration. Dr. Motes has served as a national consultant to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a Blueprints for Violence Prevention Program. She joined the School Behavioral Health Team in August 2018. Prior to joining the SBHT, Dr. Motes was research professor in the Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina.


Victoria Rizzardi, M.Ed. (Hamilton 357), received a B.S. in Natural Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and went on to earn a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology and Research from the University of South Carolina in 2017.  Currently, Victoria is the data manager for the Project About School Safety (PASS) and is involved with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Grant.  In the future, she hopes to pursue a second master’s degree in applied statistics with a focus in education.


Tristan Collier, B.S. (Hamilton 360), received a B.S. with honors in Experimental Psychology and a minor in Sociology from the University of South Carolina in Fall 2017. Currently, Tristan is involved with planning the annual Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference, managing PSYC 498/PSYC 598 students, the Project About School Safety (PASS), the Pee Dee Resiliency Project (PDRP), and assisting with other SBHT lab-related tasks. In the future, Tristan plans to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in School or Clinical Psychology. His research interests include dissemination and training in evidence based-practices for child, adolescent, and school-based clinicians, evidence-based treatment for disruptive behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, and effective family engagement in treatment of child/adolescent behavioral health concerns. 


Danielle Morey, LMSW (Barnwell 436B), received a B.S.W from Limestone college in 2015 and, later, earned her M.S.W with a concentration in mental health from the University of South Carolina in 2017. She joined the School Behavioral Health Team in August of 2018 to provide consultation and implementation support services on behalf of the Behavioral Alliance of South Carolina (BASC). Danielle’s clinical experience has been in the areas of child welfare and trauma-informed care. She has worked for the state of South Carolina for over 7 years, including as a school mental health counselor for Lexington school districts. She is currently certified in Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) Primary Care.


Katherine Widener (Hamilton 357), joined the SBH team in January 2018 as Program Coordinator for the Behavioral Alliance of South Carolina (BASC).  She has many years of experience working with International and Graduate students within the university. BASC is a new collaboration between the SC Dept of Education – OSEC and the USC School Behavioral Health team.  She is leading the planning and management of the Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference (SSBHC) held annually in Myrtle Beach. The BASC is a 3 tiered approach to creating wrap-around services and training in school mental health. Using her 20 years’ marketing and promotion experience from her own event planning company, she plans to continue growing the conference attendance to its maximum capacity.  In addition to ground level conference management, she heads the committees for speaker recruitment, marketing, event logistics, financial management, teaching webinars and a monthly mental health community newsletter.  


Cheryl Fitts MAT (Hamilton 241-E), earned a Master of Arts in Teaching (Elementary Education) at Columbia International University and completing a doctorate program in Special Education at the University of South Carolina.  Cheryl serves as an Implementation Support Specialist for the Behavioral Alliance of South Carolina initiative funded by the SCDE Office of Special Education Services.


Katie Franke, Ph.D., BCBA (Hamilton 359-A), is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School Behavioral Health Team, where she assists with projects related to the statewide alignment of behavioral health initiatives for children and adolescents. Katie obtained her Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of South Carolina in 2018, and she completed her doctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. At Kennedy Krieger, she completed rotations in the Pediatric Developmental Disorders and Pediatric Feeding Disorders programs. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Autism Academy of South Carolina, where she conducts psychological evaluations for developmental disabilities and provides individual, family, and group interventions for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. Katie's research interests include behavioral health promotion and intervention for children with development disabilities, as well as for preschool-aged children.


Sommer Blair, B.A. (Hamilton 357) is an Advanced Year M.S.W. student at the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina with a concentration in Children, Youth, Families. She received a Graduate Certificate in Drug and Addiction Studies from U of SC in the summer of 2018. Sommer earned a B.A. with honors in History and minors in Psychology and Spanish from North Greenville University in 2017. After graduation her plan is to continue to work within the field of child welfare as she has done with her MSW internships at Pendleton Place Assessment Center in Greenville, SC, and with the Anti-Human Trafficking Division of Richland County (S.C.) CASA. She assists the SBHT with various research projects and aids in planning and preparation for the annual Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference. Sommer currently holds membership with the National Association of Social Workers and presented at the NASW SC Chapter Conference in the Spring of 2017. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Social Work.