Cheryl Leigh Somers Ph.D. (ae8865)

University information

Title: Professor
Unit: Deans Office Education
Department: College of Education

Contact information

345 Education Bldg.
Theor Behav Found.
Detroit, 48202

Academic Senate

Phone: 7-1670

Educational Psychology 

Thru Year: 2025
College/Division: Education
Research Committee Note: Member
Cheryl Leigh Somers Ph.D.

College of Education

Phone: 313-577-1670
Degrees and Certifications:
  • Ph.D. in School Psychology with Specialization in Counseling Psychology (1997; Ball State University)
  • M.A. in School Psychology (1993; Ball State University)
  • B.S. in Social Science/Psychology (1992; Michigan State University)
  • Fully Licensed Psychologist (LP) in Michigan
  • Fully Certified School Psychologist in Michigan



 Faculty Contact/Program Director for Ph.D. in Educational Psychology--Learning and Instruction Science concentration

Fax: 313-577-5235
Title: Professor of Educational Psychology; Center for Health and Community Impact (CHCI)
Office Hours:

Office Hours: Varies by semester--Please email me to make an appointment. 



Dr. Somers is a Professor at Wayne State University. She started at WSU in 1998 and was at Eastern Illinois University for 2 years before that.  Her academic and clinical expertise is in school psychology and counseling psychology and she has trained school and counseling psychologists her whole career, advising extensively at both the master’s and doctoral levels.  Her academic training is in School Psychology and Counseling Psychology.  She holds Michigan credential Licensed Psychologist and a certified School Psychologist

Her research and community outreach work is conducted within the Center for Health and Community Impact (CHCI), also at Wayne State. Her research has long been collaborative and interdisciplinary, focused on contextual (e.g., family, peer, school, media, other) predictors of social and emotional development, academic achievement, and physical and sexual health, including interventions for reducing or avoiding unhealthy risk behaviors and improving health and wellness outcomes, with an emphasis on vulnerable youth, including those of low income and economic marginalization (LIEM) backgrounds.  Health and wellness equity is of central focus, as is understanding social and structural determinants of health and wellness inequities. 

Dr. Somers has a strong emphasis on collaborative and interdisciplinary research with others, through which varying lenses and vantage points contribute to rich perspectives on human developmental research. Her studies primarily involve basic inferential research as well as evaluation of interventions, with some qualitative methodologies employed as well.

Two research directions in the past 10 years have included a) the impact on trauma and trauma interventions for youth, including an emphasis on the role of trauma in school functioning among court-involved female youth and evaluation of the impact of trauma-informed teaching intervention on academic success, and b) the role of physical activity and related health factors in youths' academic achievement and evaluation of the impact of physical activity intervention on academic achievement. 

In recent years, she and her colleagues in the CHCI have been focusing on the integration of physical and mental health and wellness to encourage a host of important life outcomes for youth and adults in the Detroit metro area and beyond. Programming and outreach with youth and adults have been of focus in partnership with the WSU Office of Women's Health, other departments on campus, and a variety of other local agencies. See

Her newest research direction involves training of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as a mechanism for service delivery in the physical, medical, social, and mental health and wellness domains, and examining efficacy of training and practice of CHWs in partnership with a large interdisciplinary team of research scholars and community agencies. This work is focused on understanding and targeting the complex social determinants of health in underserved and marginalized communities.  See

Dr. Somers is also heavily involved in state and national service. At the state level, she is part of the Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP) Board as the Professional Standards Chair, and is also involved in many initiatives taken on by the Board.  At the national level, she is a long time program reviewer for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Program Approval Board.

For more detail on Dr. Somers' current and past research work, please see these websites:

Research lab:                                                                           


Trauma research group:

Further information about her service work and affiliations can be found here as well:

A most recently updated Curriculum Vita can be requested via email--it's always changing, so please don't hesitate to request the most updated copy!  :)   


Office Location:

315 College of Education

Cheryl Leigh Somers Ph.D.

Courses taught by Cheryl Leigh Somers Ph.D.

Winter Term 2024 (current)

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