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Lisa Kelly-Vance

Director of School Psychology

Department of Psychology

University of Nebraska Omaha

Arts & Sciences Hall 347 'R'

6001 Dodge Street

Omaha, NE 68182-0274

(402) 554-3563

Current Position

Professor, Psychology

Past Work Experience

School Psychologist, Council Bluffs

Part-Time Instructor, Creighton University

Education and Certification

Ph.D., Indiana University

M.S., Indiana University

B.A., Purdue University

Iowa License, School Psychology

Honors and Awards

Kiewitt Professor (2010-present)

University of Nebraska Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (2004)

UNO Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award (2002)

University Excellence in Teaching Award (2002)


My primary teaching activities are with the school psychology graduate program. I regularly teach courses in early childhood assessment and exceptional children. I also supervise practicum students and interns. When I have the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses, I teach Psychology of Exceptional Children and Educational Psychology. Service learning is an important component of my courses.

Courses Taught


Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 4440/8446)

Education Psychology (PSYC 3510)

Psychology of Exceptional Children (PSYC 4590)

Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYC 2130)


Assessment I: Foundations (PSYC 8520)

Early Childhood Assessment (PSYC 8530)

Family Analysis and Treatment (PSYC 8250)

Research Other Than Thesis (PSYC 9960)

Practicum in School Psychology (PSYC 9970)

Internship in School Psychology (PSYC 9980)

Psychology of Exceptional Children (PSYC 8590)

Advanced Educational and Psychological Consultation (PSYC 9910)


Play Assessment and Intervention

I first became interested in play assessment as an alternative to standardized testing when I was a practitioner. Since that time I have collaborated with Dr. Brigette Ryalls developing procedures for coding play. We have collected data on typically developing and exceptional preschoolers and have investigated the reliability and validity of play assessment. The assessment data lead directly to appropriate intervention strategies

Research interests:
Play assessment and intervention in early childhood; summer reading programs; animal assisted reading interventions; and English Language Learners.


Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryalls, B.O. (2014). Best practices in play assessment and intervention. In P. Harrison & A. Thomas, (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology VI.

Dempsey, J., Riley, J., Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryan, C. (in press). Evaluation of a summer reading program to reduce summer setback. Reading and Writing Quarterly.

Conner, J., Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryalls, B.O. (in press). A play and language intervention for two-year-old children: Implications for improving play skills and language. Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Sempeck, A.N., Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryalls, B.O. (2012). Cross=cultural relationship: Maternal acculturation, knowledge/beliefs on play and children's play level. School Psychology: From Science to Practice, 5, 12-22.

Sualy, A., Ryalls, B., Kelly-Vance, L., & Yount, S. (2011). Using a Play Intervention to Improve the Play Skills of Children with a Language Delay. Tarptautinis psichologijos žurnalas: Biopsichosocialinis požiūris, (9), 105-122.

Mallory, J. M., Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryalls, B. O. (2010). Incorporating divergent thinking into play interventions for preschool children with developmental risk factors. International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving, 20, 57-71.

Ryan, C. S., Casas, J. F., Kelly-Vance, L., Ryalls, B. O. & Nero, C. (2010). Parent involvement and views of school success: The roles of parents' Latino and White American cultural orientations. Psychology in the Schools, 4, 391-405.

Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryalls, B. O. (2008). Best practices in play assessment and intervention. In J. Grimes & A. Thomas, (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V, vol. 2, 549-559.

Kelly-Vance, L., Nero, C., Casas, J. F., Ryan, C. S., Ryalls, B. O., Kurien, S. A., & Ferguson, A. (2006). Parental involvement in education: A comparison of English and Spanish speaking parents. The New Mexico Review, 14, 15-25.

Kelly-Vance, L., & Ryalls, B. O. (2005). A systematic, reliable approach to play assessment in preschoolers. School Psychology International, 26, 398-412.

Riley-Heller, N., Kelly-Vance, L., & Shriver, M. (2005). Curriculum based measurement: Generic vs. curriculum dependent probes, Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21, 141-162.

Kelly-Vance, L., Needelman, H., & Anthis, K. A. (2004) Assisted reproduction versus spontaneous conception: A comparison of the developmental outcomes in twins. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 165, 157-167.

Cherney, I. C., Kelly-Vance, L., Gill, K., Ruane, A., & Ryalls, B. O. (2003). The effects of stereotyped toys and gender on play assessment in 18-47 month old children. Educational Psychology, 22, 95-106.

Kelly-Vance, L., Ryalls, B. O., & Glover, K. G. (2002). The use of play assessment to evaluate the cognitive skills of two- and three-year old children. School Psychology International, 23, 169-185.

Kelly-Vance, L., & Schreck, D. (2002). The impact of a collaborative family/school reading program on student reading rate. Journal of Research in Reading, 25, 43-53.

Kelly-Vance, L., Caster, A., & Ruane, A., (2000). A comparison of the effects of nongraded grouping in elementary schools. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 46, 372-390.

Thompson, L., & Kelly-Vance, L. (2000). The impact of mentoring on the academic achievement of at-risk youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 22, 31-55.

Kelly-Vance, L., Needelman, H., Troia, K., & Ryalls, B. O. (1999). Early childhood assessment: A comparison of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and play-based assessment in two-year old at-risk children. Developmental Disabilities Bulletin, 27, 1-15.

Rabak-Wagener, J., Eickhoff-Shemek, J., & Kelly-Vance, L. (1998). The effect of media analysis on attitudes and behaviors regarding body image. Journal of American College Health, 47, 29-36.

Kelly-Vance, L. & Ulman, J. (1993). The changing role of school psychologists in Iowa. Communique, 22,no. 2.

Scott, M. M., Wilson, G. H., & Kelly-Vance, L. (1989). A naturalistic study of teaching: Final report. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University.

Kelly-Vance, L. K., Bahr, C. M., Huberty, T. J., & Ewer-Jones, B. (1988). An analysis of variables that affect special education placement decisions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 21, 444-447.

Professional Affiliations and Activities

National Association of School Psychologists (1985-present):

-Professional Growth Workgroup Chair (2010-present)

-Convention Program Co-Chair (2005-2008; 2010-present)

-Communications Workgroup (2008-2010)

-Co-Chair (2009-2010)

Iowa School Psychologists’ Association (1990-1998)

-President (1993-1994)

-Program Chair (1992-1993; 1994-1995)

-AEA 13 Representative (1991-1992)

Nebraska School Psychologists Association (1995-present)

-AdHoc Restructuring Committee Chair (2007)

-Past President (2006-2007)

-President (2005-2006)

-Convention Planner (2004-2007)

-President-Elect (2004)

-University Relations Committee Chair (1996-1999; 2002-2004)

Metro Area School Psychology group (2002-2006)


-Faculty Facilitator (2002-2004)

Professional, University, and Community Service

Within the psychology department I have served as the director of the UNO School Psychology program since 2002, have been on several committees, and am an advisor for both graduate and undergraduate students.

I am involved in state and national level professional organizations. I am a past President of the Nebraska and Iowa School Psychology Association, and hold Co-Chair positions in NASP (Program, Communications) and am currently the Professional Growth Workshop Chair.


School Psychology Program Committee member (1995-present) (Chair, 2002-present)

Applied Behavior Analysis Program Director (2006-present)

Search Committee, Chair, School Psychology (2005-2006)

Graduate Program Committee (1996-1997; 2002-present)

Search Committee, School Psychology (2012-2013)

Undergraduate Program Committee (1995-1996; 2001-2002)

Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee (1997-2001)

Search Committee: Developmental Psychology Faculty member (1998-2001)

Merit Committee (1998, 2007)

Ad Hoc Merit Discussion committee (1998)

Psychology Department Advisory committee (1999-2001)

Interim program chair: School Psychology (1996-1997)

School Psychology Curriculum Committee (1998- 2003)

Psi Chi Faculty sponsor (1999-2000)


Arts and Sciences Educational Program Committee (2008-2011)

Graduate Mentor Award Selection Committee (2008-2010); Chair (2010)

Presenter for Center for Faculty Development

Great Teaching Tips (2008)

Getting Involved (2007)

Community Engagement Committee (2007)

UNO Leadership Training Forum (2006-2007)

System-wide Gender Equity Committee (2006-2008)

Dual Enrollment Project (2003-present)

University Committee for the Advancement of Teaching (1999-2002); Chair: 2001-2002

ECO4 Stakeholder Advisory Board: Effective Collaboration in Omaha for Early Childhood

Opportunities from an Ecological, Culturally-sensitive Orientation, Empowered by Community-based Organization. (grant by the College of Education) (1999-2001)

Search Committee: Center for Faculty Development Staff Assistant (2001)

Featured Speaker: New Faculty Workshop (Fall, 2001)

Team Member: The National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Attending Institute workshop: November 2001 (Annapolis, MD)


Monroe-Meyer Institute Operating Board (2000-present)

President (2011-2013)

President Elect (2009-2011)

Corresponding Secretary (2006-2009)

Transitions Advisory Board

Nebraska Department of Education Response to Intervention Committee (revising Rule 51)

Nebraska Department of Education EC-Kindergarten Leadership Team

Nebraska University Trainers’ Group

Editorial Board member: Journal of Evidence Based Practices for Schools

Guest reviewer:

Behavior Disorders

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Journal of Research in Childhood Education

Journal of Research in Reading

Psychology in the Schools

School Psychology Review

Autism Workshops and Consulting

Annual speaker in Creighton University Introduction to School Psychology course

Consultant to schools, early childhood centers, legal teams, families