School Psychology Program: Primary Faculty

Bruce P. Mortenson, Ph.D., Program Director

Dr. Mortenson earned his doctorate in school psychology from Louisiana State University in 1999. Dr. Mortenson obtained the degree of Psychology Specialist from Gallaudet University's school psychology program in Washington DC and has held certification as a school psychologist since 1992. Following a four-year tenure in the capacity of assessment psychologist and behavior specialist at the Louisiana School for the Deaf in Baton Rouge, Dr. Mortenson worked for the LSU School of Allied Health as a consultant and trainer for public school personnel working with the deaf and hard of hearing. Concurrent with these experiences, Dr. Mortenson completed his doctoral training and subsequent pre-doctoral internship in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Mortenson has authored and co-authored several journal articles related to individual and system interventions in schools. He has presented at both the national and local levels and continues to conduct research within his present capacity as associate professor in the school psychology program. He teaches courses in the areas of assessment, ethics, and exceptionalities. He is a member of NASP.

Craig Rush, Ph.D., NCSP, Assistant Professor

Dr. Rush graduated from the University of Alabama with a Ph.D. in school psychology and an Ed.S. in educational psychology-school psychology. He also earned M.S. degrees in rehabilitation counseling, substance abuse counseling, and vocational evaluation from East Carolina University. Before his faculty appointment in the Department of Psychology at Towson University, Dr. Rush was a member of the faculty in the Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling at the University of Alabama and the Department of Psychology at Barry University. His research interests are primarily focused on technological applications and alternative methods related to consultation, professional training, school-based disaster preparation and response, and various forms of intervention and assessment. Before working in academe, Dr. Rush worked in public rehabilitation agencies in North Carolina and Nevada. He holds the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential and is a Licensed Applied Psychologist in Virginia.

Candice N. Aston, Ph.D, NCSP, Assistant Professor

Dr. Aston earned her doctorate in School Psychology in 2017 from Duquesne University. She also earned a M.S. degree in Child Psychology and a M.A. in Elementary Education. Dr. Aston has years of experience working with urban populations in school and clinical settings. She recently completed her doctoral internship at Sarah Reed Children’s Center, which provides intensive psychiatric services for children with significant trauma and mental health concerns. The focal point of her research has centered around culturally relevant social-emotional interventions for racially diverse populations. In addition, Dr. Aston is interested in Black female identity development and disproportionality.  Dr. Aston has extensive intervention experience and has published several journal articles on school-based interventions. In addition, she has presented at several national conferences and is currently a member of NASP and APA. Dr. Aston will be responsible for the coordination of practicum placements and will be teaching the Practicum Seminar.

Susan M. Bartels, Ph.D., NCSP, Professor, Program Director

Dr. Bartels received her doctorate in School/Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1982. She is a Licensed Psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and is certified by the Maryland State Department of Education as a school psychologist. Dr. Bartels was employed as a full-time school psychologist in a public school system for 18 years prior to becoming director of the Graduate program in School Psychology at Towson. She teaches in the areas of intervention, functional behavioral assessment, and foundations of school psychology. She also coordinates Practicum placements and teaches the Practicum seminar. Her research activities are in the area of fostering home-school collaboration and she has made presentations at NASP and many other national conferences on this topic. Dr. Bartels has served on several Maryland Department of Education task forces addressing the needs of children and adolescents in Maryland and is a Board member of the National Association of School Psychologists Program Approval Board.