Assistant Professor, Child Study Center; Director of Research, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; Director of Research, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
The Education Collaboratory at Yale
We believe that the future of equitable and inclusive education can be realized through collaborative research partnerships and innovative research practices that advance the science and practice of social and emotional learning.
The mission of the Education Collaboratory at Yale is to advance the science and practice of social and emotional learning (SEL). Through intentional collaboration with students, educators, leaders, and organizations, we investigate, inspire, and address open questions in the Who, What, and How of inclusive and equitable SEL.
Our approach emphasizes community partnerships and collaborative engagements with schools and communities, designed to balance rigor, relevance, and reality in SEL design, implementation, and evaluations to support all students, schools, and communities, to benefit. Under the direction of Dr. Christina Cipriano, the Education Collaboratory at Yale is leading the national discourse to evolve the definition of SEL alongside the burgeoning field; identifying promising practices for inclusive and equitable implementation and evaluation of SEL in school settings, undertaking critical evidence synthesis, and supporting the next generation of data practices through novel SEL assessments and community-based approaches to intervention science.
- Christina Cipriano, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and the Director of Research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. As of July 1st 2023, Chris will transition to serve as the Director of a new lab, the Education Collaboratory at Yale. Dr. Cipriano is an Applied Developmental and Educational Psychologist, and her research focuses on social and emotional learning intervention and assessment in the service of marginalized student and teacher populations through systematic examination of the interactions within their homes, schools, and communities to promote pathways to optimal developmental outcomes. Chris is a national expert in SEL and has extensive experience working in classrooms with marginalized populations, providing training to teachers and support staff, and direct instruction to students. Dr. Cipriano is the Principle Investigator of several funded research to practice projects and regularly disseminate her science in both academic journals and professional development workshops for pre-service and in-service educators and school personnel. Dr. Cipriano currently manages a research portfolio of over $12 million dollars in SEL research, including federal and foundation grant funding. She has published 75+ papers, commentaries, and reports, spanning top tier peer-reviewed journals, and media outlets such as The Washington Post, Education Week, PBS, The Greater Good Science Center, and Edsurge. Dr. Cipriano’s leadership in the field has been recognized by the US Department of Education, earning her an appointment on the Social and Behavioral Panel of the Institute of Education Sciences in addition to other federal work groups that are informing the future of SEL research, practice, and policy. A Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, Dr. Cipriano received her Ph.D. and a Certificate in Human Rights and International Justice from the Boston College Lynch School of Education, her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and B.A. from Hofstra University Honors College. Dr. Cipriano currently serves on the Professional Advisory Board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Teachston. Dr. Cipriano is the mother of four beautiful children who inspire her daily to take the moon and make it shine for everyone. You can learn more about Chris at drchriscip.com
Program Manager 1; Associate Director of Research Administration, Yale Center for Emotional IntelligenceLinda Torv (she/her), MPH, identifies as a cis-gendered, heterosexual, Mexican-American woman. Linda holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Master of Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University. Linda joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in February of 2019 as the Program Manager for Research. In September of 2022, Linda transitioned to Associate Director of Research Administration at the Center. Effective July 1, 2023, Linda will transition to Program/Lab Manager for the Education Collaboratory within the Yale Child Study Center. In her role, Linda supports researchers at all career levels with the management of these research projects, including hiring and staffing, creating and maintaining partnerships, and university and grant reporting. Prior to her work at the Yale, Linda managed a statewide nutrition, fitness and gardening program through the University of Connecticut, Department of Extension, funded through the National Institute Food and Agriculture. In her free time, Linda enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, son, and dog.
Senior Administrative Assistant; Operations Coordinator for Research, Yale Center for Emotional IntelligenceZoë Soeters joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as a Senior Administrative Assistant for the Executive Director in July of 2019. In July of 2021, she became the Operations Coordinator for Research at the YCEI. Effective July 2023, Zoë will transition to the Lab/Program Coordinator for the Education Collaboratory within the Child Study Center. In her current position at the YCEI, Zoë works closely with Linda Torv and Dr. Chris Cipriano to provide administrative support for the research team. She has been at Yale for over 15 years in various departments and most recently at Yale Law School in the Career Development Office. She graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English Literature, minor in Psychology, and also holds a Certificate in Accounting from Post University. Outside of the office, Zoë enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, reading, baking all the things, and horseback riding.
Associate Research Scientist in the Child Study CenterZi Jia (ZJ) Ng joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI) in January of 2020 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. In December of 2021, ZJ transitioned to Associate Research Scientist at the Center. Effective July 1, 2023, ZJ will transition to Associate Research Scientist at the Education Col(lab)oratory within the Yale Child Study Center. In her current position at the YCEI, ZJ works on Project Flourish, which examines how social and emotional learning assessments work practically in schools and support students of color and their educators to thrive. Her research focuses on emotion regulation in children and adolescents. ZJ was born and raised in Singapore. She received her B.Soc.Sci in Psychology from the National University of Singapore and her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina. She completed her APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at Sarah Reed Children’s Center and her clinical postdoctoral fellowship at Centerstone Kentucky. ZJ is also a licensed child and adolescent psychologist as well as a nationally certified school psychologist. In her free time, ZJ enjoys paper crafting and playing Pokémon Go.
Associate Research Scientist in the Child Study CenterAlmut Zieher, Ph.D. has worked as an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence since July 2021. Effective July 1, 2023, Almut will transition to the Education Collaboratory at Yale within the Yale Child Study Center. She started researching at Yale in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Consultation Center at Yale. Dr. Zieher received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, their M.A. in Special Education, and her B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Zieher’s experiences as a general and special education teacher lead them to study how teachers learn and engage in social and emotional behaviors to increase their well-being and pedagogical effectiveness. She uses social, emotional, and mindfulness theories and approaches to inform training and measure development. Previously they deployed a mindfulness training using the skills from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with pre-service teachers. Currently, their work focuses on teacher measures, including developing the Social and Emotional Learning Observational Checklist (SELOC, IES R305A210262) measuring elementary school teacher’s social and emotional teaching, a teacher self-report measure of emotion-focused SEL implementation, and the Objective Awareness and Mindfulness Measure (OAMM) an objective teacher self-report measure funded by a Mind and Life PEACE grant. She is creating these measures to better understand and improve social and emotional (including mindfulness) school programming by better understanding how and which program components are beneficial to whom.
Postdoctoral Associate in the Child Study CenterMelissa Lucas, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Effective July 1, 2023, Melissa will transition to the Education Collaboratory at Yale within the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Lucas' current work explores how the "sum total" of schooling (e.g., deficit-oriented policies, student-teacher relationships characterized by conflict, low expectations), as well as family processes that support or hinder Latinx and multilingual students’ early development. More specifically, Dr. Lucas' research focuses on supporting the socioemotional and academic development of Latinx and multilingual populations and considers the role of context, especially teacher-child relationships, to foster nurturing classroom and school environments. Dr. Lucas uses person-centered analyses and a strengths-based approach to centering equity in education research. Her work hopes to expand our understanding of supportive strategies used by children, families, and educators that encourage culturally resilient academic identities among students from culturally and linguistically minoritized backgrounds. Dr. Lucas earned her doctorate in educational psychology-applied developmental science from the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development, where she was an Institute of Education Sciences, pre-doctoral fellow. Melissa obtained a B.S. in psychology and sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 and an A.S. in social sciences from Northern Virginia Community College in 2015.
Postdoctoral Associate in the Child Study CenterCheyeon Ha, Ph.D., joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in 2022 as the Postdoctoral Associate. Effective July 1, 2023, Cheyeon will transition to the Postdoctoral Associate for the Education Collaboratory at Yale within the Child Study Center. Her research broadly focuses on children's social and emotional development and learning support for educational equity. Cheyeon is particularly interested in school-based social-emotional learning (SEL) research for children with different needs for appropriate learning opportunities considering their diverse social contexts (e.g., in low-income, with cultural diversity, and special education needs). Also, Cheyeon has investigated various methodological approaches to explain the mechanisms of child development. Research Keywords: Social-emotional Learning (SEL), Child Development, Social Psychology, Inclusive Learning, School-based Intervention, Educational Equity, and Mixed-methods
Project CoordinatorFamatta Gibson (she/her/hers) MSW, LMSW Famatta Gibson joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI) in September 2021 as Project Coordinator for the Social Emotional Learning Observation Checklist for Elementary Schools (SELOC) Project. Effective July 1, 2023, Famatta will transition as Project Coordinator at the Education Col(lab)oratory within the Yale Child Study Center. In her current role at the YCEI, Famatta works as member of the SELOC Project team, that is developing the Social and Emotional Learning Observation Checklist for Elementary Schools (SELOC-E). The SELOC-E will be an easy-to-use checklist measure for use by school practitioners to support SEL teaching. She serves as the point of contact for day-to-day communication with research partners and potential partners. She also supports various areas of the research including school recruitment, participant payments, financial reconciliations, and project management. Before joining the YCEI, Famatta worked in various research and regulatory-related roles at Yale University. Famatta also serves the New Haven community as a licensed mental health clinician with Elm City COMPASS and the Continuum Integrative Behavioral Health (CIBH). Famatta was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia where she received her AA in Computer Science from the AME Zion College in Monrovia, Liberia. She received her BS in Psychology from Liberty University in Virginia, and MS in Social Work from Alliance (formerly Nyack College) School of Social Work in New York. Before coming to the US, Famatta was trained by the United Nations as a War Trauma Field Worker. She is humble and fortunate to have served child soldiers and girls who were sex trafficked. Famatta volunteers in New Haven, the neighboring town of Woodbridge, a host of other areas and with some international non-profits. She also enjoys mentoring youth and social work students and serving her country (Liberia) by providing access through psychoeducation around mental health symptoms and grief and loss. She is passionate about storytelling as a form of healing. When not working or volunteering, she can be found cycling in and around CT, training for the Smilow Center Closer To Free Cancer Ride and spending time with friends and family.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterVictoria Mack is a postgraduate associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and currently works under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Cipriano on Project Flourish. Effective July 1, 2023, Victoria will transition to the Education Collaboratory within the Yale Child Study Center. Victoria received her B.A. in Psychology from Baylor University. As an undergraduate, Victoria served as a supplemental instructor for the university's Introduction to Psychology course. She mentored students and hosted sessions to review course content. After graduation, Victoria worked as a Behavior Technician, providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy to children with Autism. As a technician, she worked one-on-one with clients to help them navigate everyday processes and regulate their emotions. Before joining Yale, Victoria worked in patient care at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Broadly, Victoria's research interests include resiliency in adolescents and emerging adults and the use of emotion regulation strategies after exposure to trauma-inducing events. In her free time, Victoria enjoys traveling, playing volleyball, and watching movies.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterSean McFarland is a postgraduate associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Moravian College in May 2021. As an undergraduate, he completed an Honors thesis focused on the differences between digital and in-person interpersonal emotion regulation in individuals with anxiety, depression, and stress. He also worked with the Moravian Counseling Center to lead a peer therapy group for undergraduate students. These experiences have helped cultivate his interests in emotion regulation, various psychopathologies, and the development of emotional intelligence. Sean is also a former athlete who enjoys all things athletics and fitness. In his free time, he loves going fishing, finding new shows to watch, and playing with his dog, Oliver.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterKaveri Sehgal is a Postgraduate Associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence working under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Cipriano. Prior to joining Yale, Kaveri worked as an educator at Teach for India over a period of one year. Here, she led a class of elementary students belonging to underprivileged economic backgrounds. Her experiences of teaching the students during the pandemic ignited an interest in her towards Social Emotional Learning and the well-being of students as well as educators. During this time, she was also leading the Partnerships and Research verticals at Project Kaleidoscope, an initiative that aims towards building inclusive mindsets in educators. Kaveri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Delhi. While in college, she was an active member of Kahkasha, the theatre society of her college for which she won many accolades. As someone who is fascinated by reading research papers, Kaveri, along with her college batchmates, has been co-authoring and researching for a book. The book is in its final stages of reviewing and will soon be published. In the past, she has also been a part of a Mental Health Advocacy Program coordinated by Fortis Healthcare, where she left a mark by creating mental health awareness through the use of social media. Having worked for children with disabilities as a part of an internship, Kaveri is passionate about working in the area of Social-Emotional Learning.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterMiranda Wood is a postgraduate associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and currently works under the direction of Dr. Christina Cipriano on the SEL for All project. Miranda holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Baylor University. During her time at Baylor University, she served as a Mental Health Peer Leader, Director of the International Dorm Student Council, and SAFE Colligate Academy Fellow. Miranda also taught an ESL class for adults while spending a semester in Spain. While at Baylor, Miranda was an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Science of Virtues Lab. In that role, she developed a background in positive psychology, particularly patience, gratitude, and psychometrics.Her research interests broadly focus on positive psychology, resiliency in adolescents, and the development and mechanisms of gratitude in a cross-cultural context. She is also very interested in specifically using technology to develop and evaluate positive psych interventions. Miranda is passionate about taking an intersectional approach to emotional intelligence development.In her spare time, Miranda enjoys hiking, soccer, cooking, and travel. She can be reached on Twitter at @_MirandaWood
- American Institutes for Research (AIR)
- Character Lab
- The Consultation Center at Yale
- Essex County Learning Community (ECLC)
- National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
- Trajectory of Hope
- The Urban Assembly
- The University of Delaware
- The University of Virginia
- Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI)
Our School Partners
- Abraham Lincoln Elementary School
- B.J. Ward Elementary School
- Champlain Elementary School
- Donovan Elementary School
- Elmont Elementary School
- Elmwood Elementary School
- Farwell Elementary School
- Foothill Knolls STEAM Academy of Innovation
- High Plain Elementary School
- Howe Ave Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary School
- Leonard G. Westhoff Elementary School
- Randolph Public Schools
- Raymond A. Geiger Elementary School
- Susie Fuentes Elementary School
- Vermont Elementary School
- Willamina Elementary School
- Woodridge Elementary School
Dr. Cipriano’s work has been generously supported by:
- May 25, 2023Source: Society of Research in Child Development
Cipriano Appointed as Senior Mentor for SRCD Scholars Program to Advance Equity
- May 15, 2023Source: UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health
Why Social and Emotional Learning Matters - the Work of Chris Cipriano and team
- April 17, 2023Source: New Thinking
Opinion: We Need More Social and Emotional Learning in Schools