Susan Swearer, Ph.D.: Professor of School Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Susan M. Swearer is the Willa Cather Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology and Professor of School Psychology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She is a licensed psychologist, co-director of the Bullying Research Network ( and director of the Nebraska Bullying Prevention and Intervention Initiative (

For the past two decades, Dr. Swearer has developed and implemented a data-based decision-making model for responding to bullying among school-aged youth and has conducted staff trainings in elementary, middle, and high schools, and higher education settings with the goal of helping to establish cost-effective and data-based strategies to reduce bullying behaviors.

Dr. Swearer is the co-author of Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Realistic Strategies for Schools and the author of over 100 book chapters and articles on the topics of bullying, depression, and anxiety in school-aged youth. Her Target Bullying Intervention Program was featured on CBS Sunday Morning; she was an invited presenter at the White House Bullying Prevention Conference; and she was a panelist at the launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation at Harvard University.

In March 2012, Dr. Swearer was a featured bullying expert on Anderson Cooper’s daytime show, “Anderson.” From January 2013 to March 2013, she toured with Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation on the Born Brave Bus, a youth empowerment experience that impacted over 150,000 participants. Currently, she is working on an anti-bullying initiative with the National Guard, Helping Everyone Achieve Respect, which has reached over 600,000 high school students in the U.S. She serves on the Advisory Council for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southern Connecticut, the Lincoln/Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and chairs UNL’s Chancellor’s Commission on the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct.

Dr. Swearer is a supervising psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at UNL and for seven years was the Director of the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology, an APA-approved internship program that trains 30-plus interns annually. Her career has been devoted to the intersection of research and practice and training the next generation of child and adolescent psychologists.

Interviewed by Winn Claybaugh, Dr. Swearer provides solid facts and statistics on bullying, along with initiatives we can all implement to become part of the solution.