School-Based Mass Violence Incidents: Addressing Student, Caregiver, and School Personnel Impact

May 25, 2023

3:00 - 4:30 P.M. EDT

Recording and resources coming soon.

Join the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVRC) for a timely discussion on School-Based Mass Violence Incidents: Addressing Student, Caregiver, and School Personnel Impact.

At the conclusion of the National Town Hall, participants will be able to:

  • Identify preparedness strategies for schools to address mental health response for students and staff in the aftermath of a mass violence incident.
  • Describe the vital role of victim services professionals in preparing and responding to school shootings.
  • Describe the age-related trauma reactions for children and adolescents and ways to talk to children about school mass violence incidents.
  • Identify long-term strategies, interventions, and resources that promote resilience following a school shooting.
  • Describe important lessons learned in readiness, response, recovery, and resilience from previous responses to school shootings.
  • Describe the most important skills and strategies needed for professionals who respond to school shootings.



Eugenia Pedley is the Senior Program Manager for Mass Violence and Terrorism at the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) within the U.S. Department of Justice. Since joining OVC in June 2012, Ms. Pedley has worked with communities and organizations across the country that request Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) funding to support victims of these incidents. She provides guidance on grant development, technical assistance on victim support programs, and grant monitoring; and led the development of the Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit. She also manages several mass violence awards and programs that work to prepare for and respond to these incidents. Ms. Pedley has a background in law enforcement intelligence working for the FBI and other federal agencies prior to joining OVC.

Dr. Alyssa Rheingold is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the NCVC. She is the Director of the Preparedness, Response & Recovery Division of the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center. Dr. Rheingold has been funded for both service and research projects by CDC, NIMH, OVW, VAWA, VOCA, SAMHSA, and OVC. Her expertise includes EBT of trauma related mental health issues, grief & loss, and traumatic loss by homicide. She was instrumental in the immediate response & evidence-based mental health services and resiliency and recovery efforts to those impacted by the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, SC. She has published over 70 peer reviewed articles & book chapters in trauma, bereavement, & victimization and has served on the board of the Int’l Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She has provided several trainings including Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Loss by Homicide, GRIEF Approach, Traumatic Grief, Impact of Witnessing Domestic Violence, Stress Management, Impact of Mass Violence, Early Interventions for Trauma Exposure, and Prolonged Exposure for PTSD.

Dr. Rochelle Hanson is a Licensed Psychologist and Professor at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVRTC) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is Associate Director of Research and Director of the Family and Child Program at the NCVRTC. She is also serving as Director of the Training and Technical Assistance Division of the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC), funded by the Office for Victims of Crime and Department of Justice. Throughout her career, Dr. Hanson has focused on understanding and responding to victims of traumatic events, as well as training professionals to provide effective treatments for children and families. Her research has been funded by federal agencies, such as National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as private foundations.

Melissa Brymer, Ph.D, Psy.D. is Director of the Terrorism and Disaster Program of the UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and its National Child Traumatic Stress Network. In this capacity, Dr. Brymer been involved with the development of acute interventions, assessment, and educational materials in the area of terrorism, disasters, mass violence, public health emergencies, and school crises. She is one of the primary authors of NCTSN/NCPTSD Psychological First Aid and Skills for Psychological Recovery and has served as a consultant for many Federal, state, and local agencies across the country and internationally after disasters, terrorism, school shootings, and other mass emergencies. Dr. Brymer was the lead advisor to the Newtown Public Schools Recovery Program and was the PI for an NIJ Project examining the short and long-term impact of mass violence on communities. Dr. Brymer is a Researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Dr. Debra Howard-Burton retired from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after 38 years of service. She spent 34 of those years as the Lead Victim Advocate, where she provided direct services to victims and implemented policies and procedures on Victim Advocacy. Dr. Howard-Burton graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology. She is certified by the United States Department of Justice as a faculty trainer in their National Hate Crimes Curricula. She is also certified in Human Diversity Training and Teaching Techniques from Broward College. Debra has facilitated workshops and training on crime victimization, hate crimes, leadership, diversity, and cultural competency for local, civic, state, and national organizations across the United States. Debra is a Certified National Organization of Victim Assistance (N.O.V.A.) Crisis Responder and a Group Crisis Intervention Facilitator. She is a member of the Florida Crisis Respond Team and has responded to Mass Violence Incidents and Disasters such as 9/11 World Trade Center Attack, Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglass School Shooting, Surfside Condominium Collapse and Hurricane Ian. Dr. Howard-Burton is the founder and visionary of S.O.A.R. (Serving Others Achieving Results) Professional Services.

Jason Dewar has served students and families in a variety of capacities during his 30+ career in Education. He has worked at all school levels K-12, at the State and the District, in public, private and alternative schools. He has been an Executive Director of a Therapeutic Wilderness School, A Dean of Students in a K-12 Charter, a District-Level Administrator, a Senior Consultant (for PBIS) with the Colorado Department of Education, and a Professional School Counselor in middle and high school. He is currently a District Counselor in Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado where he is a Coordinator for the Outdoor Education Program, a PREPaRE Workshop II Trainer (Mental Health Crisis Interventions: Responding to an Acute Traumatic Stressor in Schools) and a member of the District Mental Health Crisis Response and Recovery Team. Additionally, Jason is a Consultant on a National level with the Department of Justice and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), providing support and technical assistance to communities that have experienced mass violence, in addition to assisting communities in their preparedness for mass violence. He is a volunteer Victim Advocate on overnights and weekends with Victim Outreach Inc. serving 8 municipalities in Jefferson County, and a member of the community crisis response team. Jason earned his Bachelor's in Criminal Justice from Guilford College and a Master’s in School Counseling at the University of Phoenix.