Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention Annual Conference

Fostering Kindness: Using Technology to Combat Online Bullying

Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Classics V Banquet Facility, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, NY

NYSED LMSW, LCSW and LMHC Contact Hours: Three live in-person contact hours are available for attendance at full morning keynote presentation offered by Dr. Susan Swearer.

Breakout Session Topics

  • Disability Law
  • Education
  • LGBTQ/Social Support
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Parent Perspective
  • Mental Health

Dr. Susan Swearer's Keynote Presentation Slides

View photo album from 2017 Annual Conference

Keynote Presentation

Susan SwearerSusan Swearer, PhD
Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology
Professor of School Psychology | University of Nebraska
Co-Director | Bullying Research Network
Director | Empowerment Initiative

Bullying and harassment are ubiquitous problems that affect individuals across the lifespan. Despite this widespread problem, solutions to bullying and harassment are fraught with many barriers. Barriers include societal norms that support bullying behaviors, lack of resources, time constraints, and focus on academic versus psychosocial outcomes.

Hackathons, which are organized events designed to use technology to create solutions to societal problems, might be a powerful tool to combatting bullying and online harassment.

In the spring of 2017, Major League Hacking, Hack Harassment, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln co-hosted a hackathon with the specific goal of creating applications to curb online bullying and harassment.

This keynote address will review the products created through #HackUNL and will advocate for the creative use of technology to curb online bullying and harassment.

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize that bullying is a problem that affects individuals across the lifespan
  • Identify the complexity of bullying behaviors and the fact that interventions must be multi-faceted and developmentally sensitive
  • Consider unique solutions to combatting bullying and harassment

Afternoon Sessions

Discussion topics:

  • Bullying in the current political climate
  • Creating a culture of kindness
  • Fostering inclusiveness
  • Unique challenges of cyberbulling

2017 Sponsors


8:00 a.m. Check-In | Continental Breakfast | Exhibit Tables
8:30 a.m. Welcome & Opening Remarks
8:45 a.m. Fostering Kindness: Using Technology to Combat Online Bullying (Part 1)
Susan Swearer, PhD
10:15 a.m. — Break —
10:30 a.m. Fostering Kindness: Using Technology to Combat Online Bullying (Part 2)
Susan Swearer, PhD
12:00 p.m. — Break —
12:15 p.m. Lunch and Networking
1:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions
2:15 p.m. Q & A with Dr. Swearer
2:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

Note: Professional Development certificates will be provided at the conclusion of the program.


Your registration fee includes a continental breakfast and a buffet-style lunch.

  • Professionals: $75 per person  |  $550 per table of eight
  • Students: $35 per person

2017 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor
New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors
Buffalo Teachers Federation
National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, Inc.
Parent Network of WNY
People Inc.
UB Graduate School of Education
UB Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


8:00 a.m. Check-In | Continental Breakfast | Exhibit Tables
8:20 a.m. Opening Remarks
8:30 a.m.

Bullying and Students with Disabilities: Predictive and Protective Factors, Current Intervention Efforts, and Future Directions

Chad A. Rose, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education University of Missouri

10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions by Topic

Disability Law

Bruce A. Goldstein | Special Counsel
Kenney, Shelton, Liptak, Nowak, LLP

Mr. Goldstein, whose legal practice focuses on special education and disabilities law, will conduct an interactive session about the intersection of laws concerning special education, disability discrimination and bullying/harassment.

Bruce Goldstein's Presentation


Michelle Washington & Cathy Miller | School Counselors
Ken-Ton School District

The perspective of the School Counselor in a bullying situation will be discussed, with particular focus on how to best assist students with disabilities. There will be an overview of the curriculum that Michelle and Cathy use in the elementary classroom setting. They will discuss the importance of prevention and promoting an environment that encourages Upstander behavior. They will also share what type of responses to bullying are most effective in getting the bullying to stop.

Embrace Diversity (LGBTQ and Social Supports)
Presented by embraceWNY

Rick Banner | Advocacy Coordinator,
People Inc. | Chairperson, Developmental Disabilities Day | Advisor, Forbidden Fruits Advocacy Group

Aimée Levesque | Lecturer, Buffalo State College | Ph.D. candidate, University at Buffalo | Member, New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Join us as we have a conversation on bullying and bullying prevention. In this session, we will explore the challenges and celebrate the successes of accessing the community that you identify with.

11:05 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions by Topic


Panel of Western New York community members

Panel members will answer questions and share personal stories of bullying involving themselves, a friend, or a loved one. The discussion will include past experiences, physical or emotional consequences, and how we can promote bullying prevention in the future.

Parent Perspective

Kristi Moscato | Outreach Manager
Parent Network of WNY

Hear one parents personal experience with the bullying her daughter with developmental disabilities faced while attending preschool at the age of 4. Also learn about Parent Network of WNY, a community resource for parents of children with disabilities.

Kristi Moscato's Presentation

Mental Health

Caitlin Neumann | Youth Peer Mentor, Mental Health Association | President, Youth Power's Board of Directors

An interactive discussion surrounding youth culture, bullying and how it correlates with mental illness. This presentation delves into the topic of what helps and what harms (using the first hand perspective of a young person being subjected to bullying at a young age) in order to develop a greater understanding of statistics, preventative measures, and community supports that can be provided in a proactive manner.

Caitlin Neumann's Presentation

12:05 p.m. Break
12:15 p.m. Lunch and Networking
1:15 p.m.

Bullying and Students with Disabilities

Julie M. Hertzog, MA | Director, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center

2:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

Note: Professional Development certificates will be provided at the conclusion of the program.

Online registration is now closed. If you are interested in attending, we will accept registrations up until the morning of the conference.


Contact us at or call us at 716-645-1532 with any questions or concerns.


1:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Aggression and Bullying Subtypes among Young Children: Risk Factors,
Assessment, and Treatment
(View Description)

Jamie Ostrov, Ph.D. | Associate Professor of Psychology
University at Buffalo
Ostrov Presentation

Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Youth (View Description)
sponsored by embraceWNY
Creating Safe Spaces Presentation

Amy Reynolds, Ph.D. | Associate Professor
University at Buffalo

Anne Nowak, MS, LMHC | Director
Family Support Center at Sweet Home High School

Marvin L. Henchbarger, MAT, MSEd | Executive Director
Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York

UB Alberti Center Annual Conference