On March 15, 2019, Mark McGowan, Courtney McLaughlin, and Timothy Runge from the Educational and School Psychology Department at Indiana University
of Pennsylvania, presented at a safety and security symposium hosted by the Indiana Area School District, IUP, Pennsylvania Representative Jim Struzzi, and the Indiana County Tourist Bureau.
Runge also helped to plan and organize this event with Indiana Area School District Superintendent Michael Vuckovich.
The safety and security symposium, held at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, was designed to improve the safety, security, climate, and culture of all organizations.
McLaughlin touched on the importance of social media and school culture. She explained how social networking sites are used and how professionals can navigate the influence these mediums have on the culture in schools. She discussed the status of the
literature on adolescent social media use, including motivating factors. In addition, she focused on the role and influence of parents and how schools can support them.
Runge has worked with over 1,100 schools in Pennsylvania associated with the Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network, with high-fidelity implementation occurring in 317 schools during the 2017–18 academic year. In his presentation, he discussed
outcomes related to reductions in disruptive behavior, out-of-school suspensions, out-of-school placements, and reviewed other key indicators to provide evidentiary support for expansion of implementation to other schools.
McGowan discussed the current understandings of violence, delinquency, and aggression in youth to provide listeners with the necessary foundation for developing competencies for effecting change in schools. Participants were offered the opportunity to
integrate and apply understandings within case studies and vignettes. The use of a formalized assessment process was evaluated in terms of the opportunities to identify specific areas of need that may be used to guide school-based intervention efforts.
Hear from some of the presenters and persons offering
welcome remarks, including IUP President Michael Driscoll; Gerald Zahorchak, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and IUP M’88; Rep. Struzzi; Superintendent Vuckovich; and Runge and McLaughlin.