The Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of Hope


Dr. Richard Fabes is the John O. Whiteman Dean's Distinguished Professor of Child Development, Founding Director of the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. His research interests include emotional development, peer relationships, and gender, and social and academic competence. His teaching and service activities emphasize the translation of research for positive children's outcomes. Dr. Fabes serves as Co-Executive Director of the Hope Center.

Dr. Teryl ann Rosch serves as Co-Executive Director of the Hope Center and as a Professor of Practice within the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. She is a visionary leader whose values, experiences, fundraising accomplishments and commitment to student success make her the ideal person to co-direct the Center. Prior to joining ASU, she spent the bulk of her career working in various leadership positions (and as a tenured faculty member) within several postsecondary institutions in Chicago, Illinois. Her broad administrative repertoire includes strategic planning, institutional advancement, research, securing grants, and fund-raising. She also currently leads the national not-for-profit youth organization as President of Kids at Hope.

Mr. Rick Miller serves as Clinical Director of the Center to oversee training outreach efforts to local and national communities. He has been associated with ASU since 1984 as adjunct faculty, consultant to the College of Human Services, Senior Advisor to the Vice Provost for Public Affairs, and as a faculty associate. In 2007, ASU's College of Human Services named him its Visionary. He is a Professor of Practice within the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and founder of Kids at Hope, the partner international child and youth development organization with the Hope Center that studies family, school, and community cultures to understand better the dynamics of student success and failure. Rick has spent 48 years in the field of child and youth development as a practitioner, researcher, teacher, public policy expert, and author.

Dr. Tashia Abry serves as Associate Director of Research for the Hope Center. She is an Assistant Research Professor in the Sanford School whose goal is to inform innovation in educational practice through research centering on the identification and promotion of learning environments that enhance teaching and the social, emotional, and academic learning (SEAL) of children and youth. Through complementary lines of applied and basic research, Dr. Abry (a) evaluates and unpacks implications of school-based SEAL programming—with attention to implementation and program core components, and (b) examines the influence of classroom and school contextual features on teachers and students—including student composition, alignment in early education, and teacher mental health.

Hope Center Staff

Kim Heredia serves as the Program Manager for the Hope Center. Kim has worked in the Metropolitan Phoenix child and family services non-profit community for over 20 years. She is an alumnus of ASU, with a degree in Family Studies and Human Development. Kim was instrumental during the formative years of Kids at Hope and grew with the organization since it was founded in the year 2000. Kim will continue to serve as Director of Administration for Kids at Hope along with overseeing the administrative duties of the Hope Center.

Kenna Hough serves as Executive Director of Training and Programs for Kids at Hope. Her career as an educator has spanned over 31 years and included teaching experience at various levels-- building level, administration, and district level administration. As Parent/Community Involvement Manager for her district, she was responsible for implementing several new programs that brought families, schools, businesses, and the community together to benefit children/youth. Ms. Hough's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.

Hope Research Team Members

Dr. Crystal Bryce is an Assistant Clinical Professor and undergraduate internship coordinator in the Sanford School. She has two primary lines of research. First, she examines the role of contextual factors in children's academic success during early childhood. Second, she works to apply advanced statistical modeling techniques (e.g., latent state-trait models, confirmatory factor analysis) to salivary biomarker data among various samples. Within the Hope Center, Dr. Bryce investigates associations between hope and health, and facilitates student internships with our Center partner, Kids at Hope.

Dr. Casey Sechler is a Lecturer in the Sanford School. She has been teaching Family and Human Development and Sociology courses at Arizona State University since 2014. She completed her bachelor's in sociology, and master's and doctoral degrees in family and human development at ASU. Within the Hope Center, Dr. Sechler supports research, academic, and community outreach endeavors.

Brittany Alexander is a third-year graduate student in the Sanford School, Family and Human Development doctoral program. Brittany's research interests focus on social and emotional learning and educational equity. Within the Hope Center, Brittany is currently working on research projects related to the conceptualization and measurement of hope and compassion.

Ashley Fraser is a first year PhD student in the Sanford School, Family and Human Development program. Ashley's research interests focus on the positive development, resilience, and healing of children, women, and families. More specifically, she focuses on the development of positive psychological constructs such as hope, prosocial identity, and self-regulation as protective factors against adverse circumstances and development. She also investigates these positive constructs as catalysts to healthy functioning for individuals and families. Ashley is also interested in how adult and child temperament reciprocally influence these relations. Within the Hope Center, Ashley is currently working on the conceptualization of hope, its development, and its positive influence within the K-12 and college-age populations.