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Celeste Malone, PhD, MS (she/her)

Associate Professor of School Psychology

  • Human Development & Psychoeducational Studies
  • School of Education


Celeste M. Malone, PhD, MS, is an associate professor and coordinator of the school psychology program at Howard University. She received her PhD in school psychology from Temple University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in child clinical and pediatric psychology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to obtaining her doctorate, Celeste received her master’s degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brown University.

Celeste’s upbringing in Harlem, NY, has made her passionate about addressing issues of educational equity and preparing school psychologists to serve diverse populations. Her primary research interest relates to multicultural issues embedded in the training and practice of school psychology. Specifically, Celeste focuses on multicultural competence, the ability to work effectively with diverse populations through the application of cultural knowledge and to demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to cultural issues. The overarching themes of her research are (a) the development of multicultural competence through education and training, (b) the diversification of the profession of school psychology, and (c) the relationship between culturally responsive practice and pre-K–12 student outcomes. Through her consultative and professional development work, Celeste bridges the research–practice gap and disseminates her research to state departments of education, university academic departments, school districts, and local schools.

Leadership has always been part of Celeste’s school psychology career and has helped her develop the skills to be an effective change agent. Since graduate school, she has continuously held leadership positions in national psychology professional associations, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), as well as state-level professional associations. Celeste previously served as an elected member of the APA Board of Educational Affairs, the governance group which develops policies for education and training in psychology. Within NASP, she was a student leader for her graduate program, a member of the 2012 Convention Committee, the cochair of the Leadership Development Committee, and a strategic liaison on the Board of Directors. These experiences have culminated to Celeste’s current role as 2022–2023 NASP President where, notably, she will be the second person of color to ever serve in this role.

Celeste has been recognized for her ongoing leadership and commitment to social justice in psychology by presidential recognitions from NASP, the Maryland School Psychologists’ Association, and APA Division 16 School Psychology. Outside of her professional role, Celeste is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and a regional cochair of one of the sorority’s leadership development programs.

Education & Expertise


School Psychology

Temple University


Johns Hopkins University


Brown University


Podcast Interview - Healing Centered Conversations Podcast (2022, February)

Healing Centered Conversations Podcast. (2022, February 15). Episode 19: Madame President Dr. Celeste Malone. Retrieved from



HUDE 333 - Practicum in School Psychology

HUDE 222 - Introduction to School Psychology

HUDE 517 - RtI and the Prevention of Academic Problems




Multicultural and diversity issues embedded in the training and practice of school psychology; Multicultural competence in school psychology; Diversification of the school psychology profession; Microaggressions and PK-12 student outcomes

Group Information

The Multicultural School Psychology Research Group (MSPRG), led by Dr. Celeste Malone, addresses multicultural and diversity issues embedded in the training and practice of school psychology. Specifically, the group’s research focuses on multicultural competence, the ability to work effectively with diverse populations through the application of cultural knowledge and to demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to cultural issues. Our overarching research questions are:

  • What are the multicultural competencies needed for school psychologists to effectively serve diverse populations (i.e., students, teachers, families)?
  • How do school psychologists develop multicultural competence through graduate training and professional development?
  • What is the relationship between school psychologists’ multicultural competence, their clinical practices, and K-12 student outcomes?

The group also conducts research to refine and further develop the School Psychology Multicultural Competence Scale (SPMCS; Malone, 2012; Malone et al., 2016), the only published measure to date that assesses multicultural competence in all domains of school psychology practice. Additionally, Dr. Malone is interested in school mental health and school climate. Current and future projects include the following:

  • Factors in faculty recruitment/retention of racial and ethnic minority individuals
  • Multicultural supervision in school psychology
  • Survey of multicultural and diversity training in school psychology graduate programs
  • Relationship between microaggressions and perceptions of school climate
  • Satisfaction with multicultural training and self-reported multicultural competence
  • Preservice teachers’ knowledge of children’s mental health concerns



Presidential Citation for Outstanding Contributions to School Psychology, APA Division 16 School Psychology (2020)

Presidential Award for Exemplary Service to Children and School Psychology, National Association of School Psychologists (2019)

Early Career Achievement Award, American Psychological Association (2018)

President's Award for Outstanding Contributions, Maryland School Psychologist's Association (2018)

Related Articles

Applying a MTSS Framework to Address Racism and Promote Mental Health for Racial/Ethnic Minoritized Youth (2021)

Malone, C. M., Wycoff, K., & Turner, E. A. (2021). Applying a MTSS framework to address racism and promote mental health for racial/ethnic minoritized youth. Psychology in the Schools. Advanced online publication

Ample evidence suggests that PK-12 students experience racism and other forms of discrimination in school and that these experiences have a deleterious impact on their mental health. Several studies have shown a consistent and strong relationship between racism and negative mental health outcomes including increased depression and anxiety, decreased self-worth and self-esteem, as well as psychological maladjustment. School-based mental health services can ensure that racial and ethnic minoritized (REM) students gain access to mental health services. Because schools are one place where REM students experience structural and individual discrimination, it is critical that school-based mental health providers utilize strategies to promote school climates that are safe and affirming for these students. Using a multitiered system of support framework, we describe the tier 1 interventions to promote positive school racial climate and the elements of culturally responsive practices to be integrated into tier 2 and tier 3 interventions to improve mental health outcomes for REM youth.

A Call to Action for School Psychology to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities and Advance Social Justice (2021)

Sullivan, A. L., Harris, B., Miller, F. G., Fallon, L. M., Weeks, M. R., Malone, C. M., Kulkarni, T., Proctor, S. L., Johnson, A. H., Rossen, E., Nguyen, T., & Shaver, E. (2021). A call to action for school psychology to address COVID-19 health disparities and advance social justice. School Psychology, 36(5), 410–421.

The health, economic, and social challenges associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present a range of threats to students’ well-being, psychoeducational experiences, and outcomes, spurring fears for a “lost generation.” In this article, we present COVID-19 as a large-scale multisystemic disaster causing massive disruptions and losses, with adversities moderated by the intersectional nature of systemic inequity. We first synthesize the broad effects of COVID-19 as they relate to equity and social justice, followed by the major implications for students and schools, with a focus on intersectional systemic issues. We then propose foundational considerations and resources intended to usher a paradigm shift in how school psychologists’ roles and activities are conceptualized in the years to come, ending with key imperatives for practice and graduate education in school psychology


A Snapshot of Multicultural Training in School Psychology (2020)

Malone, C. M., & Ishmail, K. Z. (2020). A snapshot of multicultural training in school psychology. Psychology in the Schools, 57(7), 1022-1039.

With the rapidly increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the school‐aged population, school psychologists must be properly trained to engage in culturally competent practice; however, little is known about how school psychology programs prepare their trainees to serve diverse populations. The purpose of this study was to update Rogers et al.'s study on multicultural training by examining the extent to which school psychology programs use multicultural training recommendations noted in the literature. Thirty‐eight school psychology program coordinators completed the Multicultural Environmental Inventory‐Revised (MEI) to assess their perceptions of their program's multicultural environment. Participants were also asked about their training in multicultural and diversity issues and how their program conducts multicultural training. Findings suggest that programs most frequently used the integration and separate course models for multicultural training along with clinical experiences serving diverse students. In addition, multicultural coursework was associated with higher scores on the MEI Curriculum and MEI Research subscales. With regard to program environment, the percentage of racial and ethnic minoritized (REM) students was positively correlated to the percentage of REM faculty and the number of required multicultural courses. However, programs lacked specific strategies to recruit and retain diverse students. Findings and implications for training programs are discussed.

Development and Initial Examination of the School Psychology Multicultural Competence Scale (2016)

Malone, C. M., Briggs, C., Ricks, E., Middleton, K., Fisher, S., & Connell, J. (2016). Development and initial examination of the school psychology multicultural competence scale. Contemporary School Psychology, 20(3), 230-239.

This study reports on the initial development and examination of the School Psychology Multicultural Competence Scale (SPMCS), a 45-item self-report measure for evaluating school psychologists’ multicultural competence in the primary domains of school psychology practice (i.e., assessment, consultation, intervention). A sample of 312 school psychology graduate students was recruited by outreach to school psychology training programs and email listservs to complete the SPMCS and a questionnaire about previous multicultural/diversity coursework and practicum with culturally and linguistically diverse clients. The results from principal axis factoring indicated that 28 of the 45 SPMCS items contributed to a four-factor solution with subscales identified as cultural skills, cultural knowledge, cultural appreciation, and cultural awareness. Internal consistency for each subscale was moderate to high. Overall, completion of multicultural/diversity courses and completion of practicum with culturally and linguistically diverse clients were associated with higher self-reported scores of multicultural competence. The SPMCS can potentially be used as one component to evaluate the extent to which training programs develop the multicultural competence of their trainees. Additionally, these findings provide additional insight into the conceptualization of multicultural competence.