Here at PIN, our projects intentionally align with our mission to promote the health and well-being of youth by conducting research offering training, and engaging with youth, families, schools and communities.



Gator Connect aims to address the shortage in school-based mental health professionals by providing financial, personal, and professional support to trainees from marginalized backgrounds. Students from the University of Florida’s School Psychology, School Counseling, and Mental Health Counseling Graduate programs will provide services to help address the unmet mental health needs among marginalized youth in high-needs Alachua County Schools.

Principal Investigator: Joni Splett, Ph.D., (University of Florida)

Co-Investigators: Sara Jean Phillipe, Ph.D., Mercedes Machado, Ph.D., Lee Purvis, Ph.D., Sondra Smith, Ph.D., Melanie Sonsteng-Person, Ph.D., and Katie Trainor, Ph.D.

Project Thrive


Project Thrive assesses whether equity-enhanced universal screening better meets African American/Black elementary school students’ mental health needs compared to standard universal screening procedures. Specifically, Thrive posits that equity-enhanced screening will (1) increase African American/Black youth’s engagement with school-based mental health resources and (2) decrease their involvement in school disciplinary practices. This project takes place in Duval County Public Schools in collaboration with Dr. Colleen Halliday and her team at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Principal Investigator: Joni Splett, Ph.D., (University of Florida)

Co-Investigator: Colleen Halliday, Ph.D. (Medical University of South Carolina)



Project RISE (Reducing Inequities in School Environments) is a randomized controlled trial in middle schools testing the effects of the Interconnected Systems Framework with enhancements to reduce racially disproportionate disciplinary experiences on instances of aggression and violence in the school environment.

Principal Investigator: Colleen Halliday, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina

Florida Connect

Florida Connect

Florida Connect uses the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) to integrate schools’ extant Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) with School Mental Health (SMH) infrastructure. By doing so, the project aims to enhance the social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning of all youth, including those with and at-risk for disabilities and from other marginalized backgrounds.

Principal Investigator: Heather George, Ph.D., (University of South Florida)

Co-Investigator: Joni Williams Splett, Ph.D., (University of Florida)

Purple Pins


CyberSpill assesses how social media and other forms of online engagement facilitate the real-time development of multiple mental health outcomes among adolescents, including depression, substance use, self-harm, and wellbeing. We do so via a combination of active ecological momentary assessment and passive monitoring of adolescents’ naturalistic smartphone use.

Principal Investigators: Joni Williams Splett, Ph.D., Sarah Lynne, Ph.D, and Joy Gabrielli, Ph.D. (University of Florida)

Project BUILD


A Longitudinal Investigation of Predictors and Outcomes of Specific Learning Disabilities Identification (LDID). This project examines potential factors influencing academic outcomes for students with learning disabilities, with a focus on effective instructional and intervention services.