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Nathaniel von der Embse

Professor of School Psychology, University of South Florida

Dr. Nathaniel von der Embse is a Professor of school psychology at the University of South Florida and co-director of the School Mental Health Collaborative, a national research and technical assistance center that informs policy and practice related to the promotion of mental health, social-emotional, and behavioral success of all students.

Dr. von der Embse's research has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications, professional articles, and book chapters. He is an author of the recent book, Conducting Behavioral and Social-Emotional Assessments in MTSS: Screen to Intervene (2022). Additionally, Dr. von der Embse’s research has been featured in the New York Times, Tampa Bay Times, PBS News Hour, WUSF, TIME magazine, cited in government policy briefs, and presented nationally and internationally (China, France, Germany, England). Dr. von der Embse has a funded research program of over $11,000,000 from the Institute for Education Sciences, National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation, National Institute for Justice, and the Scattergood Foundation. His research program is focused in three primary domains including:

(1) An examination of external policies such as high-stakes test-based accountability on student and teacher emotional wellbeing as well as instructional practices;
(2) The development of effective and efficient decision-making tools including universal screening assessments and progress monitoring measures;
(3) The creation of evidence-based decision-making models including teacher training in assessment use and data interpretation, multi-informant decision-making algorithms, and discrete event simulations.

Dr. von der Embse completed his master’s and educational specialist degrees in school psychology from Miami (OH) University and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University with a specialization in educational policy analysis. Dr. von der Embse completed an APA/APPIC pre-doctoral internship at Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health in Omaha, NE. At Boys Town, Dr. von der Embse received training in numerous evidence-based therapies (CBT, MI, ACT, DBT) while providing individual and group counseling for inpatient and outpatient clients.

Dr. von der Embse is a nationally certified school psychologist and has been a licensed or certified school psychologist and mental health practitioner in five states.Dr. von der Embse has presented to numerous state school psychological associations, conducted advocacy trainings, and collaborated with state and federal elected officials on legislation. He is on the editorial boards of School Psychology International, and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of School Psychology. Dr. von der Embse was the recipient of the 2018 Lightner Witmer Award for Early Career Scholarship from the American Psychological Association, and 2019 Faculty Outstanding Research Achievement from USF. Dr. von der Embse, in collaboration with Dr. Steve Kilgus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a co-creator of the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) assessment suite . SAEBRS has been used in 46 states and with over five million students.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of School Psychology, University of South Florida