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Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence joins the Yale Child Study Center

September 15, 2016
by Rachel Horsting

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI) joined the Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) beginning on July 1st, 2016. This merger comes after YCEI received numerous grants to expand RULER, its evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that serves over a million students in over 1000 K-12 schools.

The partnership is part of the YCSC’s expansion of education-based prevention of behavioral and mental health challenges. Its legacy of reaching kids through early education and school-based programs reaches back to the co-founder of Head Start, Dr. Edward Zigler, and continues through the School Development Program founded by Dr. James Comer, Dr. William Gilliam’s research on preschool suspensions, and Partners in Education, YCSC’s professional development services for K-12 teachers.

Dr. Brackett, now a professor in the YCSC, came to Yale over 13 years ago as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Dr. Peter Salovey, now president of the university, but also worked closely with Edward Zigler. He climbed through the research track and was Deputy Director of Peter Salovey’s Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory.

After 15 years of developing RULER, Brackett wrapped it into the lab and opened the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in 2013 with his colleagues, including Associate Director Dr. Robin Stern. Together they built an organization where research and practice in emotional intelligence inform each other.

Brackett said joining the Child Study Center is strategic. “Moving to the Child Study Center will allow us to work with like-minded professors with interest in both applied and basic science.”.

Dr. Dena Simmons, Director of Education at YCEI, is especially excited to work with scholars in the School Development Program, the Childhood Violent Trauma Program, and the Zigler Center. “I foresee opportunities for collaboration in an effort to engage with and support youth who are most in need. I also think there are potential research opportunities as we look to expand RULER to serve all students more effectively, particularly those with autism and other developmental disorders,” she said.

Although RULER continues to expanding nationally, many of the schools it serves are in Connecticut. Simmons, for example, co-directs an evaluation and implementation project in Bridgeport Public Schools, and schools in Hamden, Stamford, New Haven, and West Harford were among the first to adopt the method.

“The Child Study Center is very pleased to welcome the team from the YCEI as new colleagues in the YCSC,” said Dr. Linda Mayes, Director of the Yale Child Study Center. “We are delighted to have Dr. Brackett and his team join us with the many collaborative opportunities their coming offers.”

Submitted by Rachel Horsting on September 15, 2016