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Nelson Christensen, Amy

Title/s:  Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Innovation; Clinical Associate Professor

Office #:  Lewis Towers 1134, WTC

Phone: 312-915-6854

Email: anelsonchristensen@luc.edu


Before joining the School Psychology program at Loyola, Dr. Nelson Christensen practiced as a licensed school psychologist and educational researcher for Milwaukee Public Schools (Milwaukee, WI).  She also served on the district Violence Prevention team where she implemented programming and professional development related to social emotional learning (SEL) and trauma sensitive schools.  Dr. Nelson Christensen earned her BS in the Honors Psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA and then went on to complete her MS in Educational Psychology and PhD in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr. Nelson Christensen’s passion is to create welcoming environments for all students and families, and she is driven to inspire others to do the same.  Her research interests center on systemic change and implementation of research-based programs that establish classrooms and schools as emotionally safe, welcoming, and culturally affirming spaces for learning and development.  Dr. Nelson Christensen is also interested in research on transformative leadership and the skills required to disrupt unwelcoming and disenfranchising educational practices that perpetuate oppressive school experiences for children of color.


  • PhD in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
  • MS in Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
  • BS in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Program Areas

  • School Psychology

Research Interests

  • Racial Identity and School Connectedness
  • Abolitionist and Anti-racist Practices for School Psychologists
  • Affective, Cognitive, and Behavioral School Engagement
  • Trauma Sensitive Schools as School-wide Systems Change
  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Supports for Educators and Students
  • Systems Change for School Improvement and School Transformation
  • Systems for Continuous Improvement and Strategic Change Based on Data

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • American Psychological Association (APA), Division 16
  • Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement, Milwaukee, WI

Courses Taught

  • CIEP 466: Evidence-Based Interventions
  • CIEP 480: Assessment of School-Aged Children and Adults
  • CIEP 484: Biological Basis of Behavior
  • CIEP 485: Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention: Social Emotional
  • CIEP 527: Ethics and Law for School Psychologists
  • CIEP 545: Systems Change and Consultation for School Psychologists


  • School Psychologist of the Year, Wisconsin School Psychologist Association (2015)
  • Excellence in Education Award, Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors (2015)
  • Graduate Student Scholarship Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2007)
  • Undergraduate Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh (2002)

Selected Publications

  • Cleary, T. J., Platten, P. M., & Nelson, A. C. (2008). Effectiveness of the Self-Regulation Empowerment Program (SREP) with urban high school students.  Journal of Advanced Academics, 20(1), 70-107.
  • Nelson, A. C. (2008). The Impact of Zero Tolerance School Discipline Policies: Issues of Exclusionary Discipline.  Communique, 37(4).