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Our Team and Collaborators

The Education Collaboratory at Yale

  • Associate Professor in the Child Study Center; Director, The Education Collaboratory at Yale

    Christina Cipriano, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and the Director of 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 90+ 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 Teachstone. 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; Lab Manager, Education Collaboratory at Yale

    Linda 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 is the Lab Manager for the Education Collaboratory within the Yale Child Study Center. In her role, Linda manages the administrative functions for the lab, including hiring and staffing, partnership development, and sponsored project administration. Linda also supports in the training of our postgraduate and postdoctoral trainees as well as our lab's DEI work. Prior to her work at the Education Collaboratory, Linda managed administrative operations of the research portfolio at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Prior to her work at 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; Lab Coordinator, Education Collaboratory at Yale

    Zoë Soeters joined Yale as a full-time employee in 2016 at the Yale Law School Career Development Office. In 2019, Zoe joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as a Senior Administrative Assistant for the Executive Director. In July of 2021, she became the Operations Coordinator for Research at the YCEI. Effective July 2023, Zoë has transitioned to the Lab/Program Coordinator for the Education Collaboratory at Yale. In her current position at the Education Collaboratory at Yale, Zoë works closely with Linda Torv and Dr. Chris Cipriano to provide administrative support. She has been at Yale for over 15 years in various departments across the Yale School of Medicine, Yale Law School, and even the Yale Center for British Art. She graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English Literature, minor in Psychology, and 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 Center

    Zi Jia (ZJ) Ng joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI) in January of 2020 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. In December of 2021, she transitioned to Associate Research Scientist at the Center. In July of 2023, ZJ transitioned to Associate Research Scientist at the Education Collaboratory at Yale. 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 and well-being 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.
  • Associate Research Scientist in the Child Study Center

    Almut Zieher, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Education Collaboratory at Yale within the Yale Child Study Center. She started researching at Yale in 2019 first as a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Consultation Center at Yale and then at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Zieher received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, her 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 her to study how teachers learn and engage in social and emotional behaviors to increase teacher well-being and pedagogical effectiveness. She uses social, emotional, and mindfulness theories and approaches to inform training and measure development. Previously she deployed a mindfulness training using the skills from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with pre-service teachers. Currently, her work focuses on teacher measures, including developing the Social and Emotional Learning Observational Checklist (SELOC, IES R305A210262) to support 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 school programming, including programming for teachers, by better understanding how and which program components are beneficial to whom.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in the Child Study Center

    Cheyeon Ha, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Associate of 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
  • Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study Center

    Victoria Mack is a postgraduate associate at the Education Collaboratory at Yale and works under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Cipriano on Project Flourish. 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.
  • Research Assistant

    Eliya Ahmad (she/her) is a research assistant at the Education Collaboratory, having worked as an undergraduate research assistant since 2022. She works under Dr. Christina Cipriano on the SEL for All team, and is particularly interested in the experiences of SEL for students with disabilities. Eliya received her B.A. in Psychology with a certificate in Education Studies from Yale University in December 2023. Prior to joining the Education Collaboratory as an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant for the Sukhodolsky lab and the Clinical Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab at Yale. Outside of Yale, Eliya has worked as a policy intern for Disability Rights New York, as an autism education intern at the New England Center for Children, and as a coworker at at Camphill Village in Copake, a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities. Eliya plans to pursue a career working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the intersections of policy, research, and clinical care. In her free time, Eliya enjoys crocheting, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and doing the New York Times crossword.
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Hiroko Kawase is an undergraduate at Yale University majoring in Cognitive Science and Global Affairs with an intensive certificate in Education Studies. Originally from Japan, but raised in Hong Kong, New York, and London, she is intrigued by the borderless potential of education and social-emotional learning. She currently works under Dr. Almut Zieher on the SELOC-E (Social Emotional Learning Observation Checklist for Elementary) project, researching how SEL is taught with the goal of improving the quality of SEL delivery to support students. Prior to joining the Education Collaboratory, Hiroko worked as a student teacher at Summerbridge Hong Kong and Branches of Hope Hong Kong, crafting curriculums on soft skills, public speaking, and ESL-focused reading. At Yale, she continues to do similar work with Big Brother Big Sister New Haven and is currently working to conduct research on their mentorship models through her role as Education Policy Center Head at the Yale Policy Institute.
  • Postdoctoral Associate in the Child Study Center

    Melissa Lucas, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral associate at 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.
  • Consultant

    Michael joined the Education Collaboratory at Yale as a consultant. His research interests focus on the social and emotional development that occurs within families of children with intellectual disabilities, with attention on the emotional intelligence and functioning among neurotypical siblings. Other research interests include exploring inclusive higher education experiences of students with intellectual disabilities as well as international early childhood development and peacebuilding. Prior to joining the Education Collaboratory, Michael worked for the Early Childhood Peace Consortium; the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; the Motivation, Emotion, Disability, and Inclusion (MEDIL) Lab at the University of Rochester; and the Center for Disability and Education at the University of Rochester, as well as at the Yale Child Study Center. His research interests have brought him to South America, East Africa, and the Middle East. He also spent several summers at the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club developing and teaching an interactive summer learning experience to elementary and middle school students. Michael McCarthy is a Ph.D. candidate and a Scandling Scholar in teaching and curriculum at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in history with a minor in human rights in 2010. He also graduated from the University of Bridgeport’s master’s program in global development and peace in 2013.
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Stephanie Owusu is an undergraduate research assistant working with Dr. Christina Cipriano. Stephanie has dedicated her undergraduate/graduate studies to Psychology with an Education Studies Certificate. In studying Psychology as well as taking a range of Child Education classes, teaching experiences and lab research, she has been able to develop interdisciplinary thinking skills and focus on the intersection of her interests - autism and education. Courses and work experiences outside her major have allowed her to explore other interests in community service, global health, and African American studies. She is currently pursuing grad school for a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis to eventually become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
  • Lab Communications Assistant

    Ezinwa (Ezi) Osuoha is a recent MPH graduate from the Yale School of Public Health where she majored in Social and Behavioral Sciences, with a concentration in Global Health. She is focused on the relationship between destabilization and health, addressing various topics within this field such as conflict, climate change, and humanitarian assistance. While at Yale, Ezinwa also worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a COVID-19 Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Advisor. In this role she led assessments of USAID’s COVID-19 programming, focusing on their unintended outcomes, critical enablers and constraints, and impacts on marginalized groups, among other Agency targets. With her degree, Ezinwa plans to pursue a career in international development and communications, working to improve the experiences of marginalized groups in the face of social and biological disruptions such as war and epidemics. Ezinwa is originally from Philadelphia, Pa, and holds a bachelor's degree in Biology and Society from Cornell University, with minors in Law and Society and Inequality Studies. Outside of work and school, she enjoys various hobbies, including thrift shopping, reading (fiction only!), and long walks.
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Ava Van Straten is a published children's book author and curricula developer who has always been interested in social and emotional learning, personal leadership, and character development opportunities for youth. She currently attends Yale University, studying Psychology and Education Studies as well as assisting in research being conducted at The Education Collaboratory at Yale, Child Study Center. Van Straten is a member of the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts and has her Girl Scout Gold Award.
  • Student Intern

    Maya Steiger (she/her) is an undergraduate at Otterbein University studying psychology. She is a Child Study Center Developmental Science Summer Intern in the Education Collaboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Cipriano. Maya's research interests include social-emotional learning, emotion regulation, attention, and learning. She plans on getting a PhD and pursuing a career in research. Outside of work, Maya loves baking, drawing, and taking care of her plants.
  • Student Intern

    Jordyn Barkley is an undergraduate student at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA majoring in Psychology. Jordyn is currently participating in the Child Study Center Developmental Science Summer Internship under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Cipriano in The Education Collaboratory. Her research interests include cognitive development, social and emotional learning (SEL), and applied behavior analysis (ABA) interventions. She currently works as a Behavior Technician at Ascend Behavior Consultants where she works with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and implements ABA interventions. For her postgraduate plans, she plans to get a PhD and continue a career in research with a concentration in child psychology. Down the road, she strives to open her mental health care center for marginalized communities.
  • Student Intern

    Adriana Rivera is an undergraduate student at San Diego State University studying psychology with a double minor in counseling and social change, & child and family development. She is a Child Study Center Developmental Science Summer Intern in the Education Collaboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Cipriano. Adriana’s research interests include interventions for vulnerable communities, social emotional learning, psychosocial factors that influence and further impact academic, emotional, and behavioral development in children. Outside of work, Adriana loves being with her three cats, family, and going to church.

Collaborators

  • Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center; Director of Early Childhood, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Child Study Center

    Craig S. Bailey, Ph.D., is Director of Early Childhood at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Assistant Professor at the Child Study Center in the Yale School of Medicine. As a co-developer of RULER, Dr. Bailey and his team facilitate professional development workshops and develop content for practicing and teaching emotional intelligence. As a researcher, Dr. Bailey conducts psychological, educational, and intervention research, and in general, his research explores children’s social and emotional learning in early childhood classrooms with an emphasis on how educators support and promote the development of empathy and emotion regulation.With experience as an early childhood educator, Dr. Bailey is passionate about bridging the gap between research and practice, and in Connecticut, he is the PI on several community-based researcher-to-practitioner partnerships funded by local community and family foundations. The Bridgeport Early Childhood SEL Initiative, funded by the Tauck Family Foundation, and the Hartford Early Childhood SEL Initiative, funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, are tasked with ensuring coordinated, high-quality SEL programming and supports for the early childhood educators, young children, and families in and around. With federal funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Bailey is also the PI of an efficacy trial of RULER in preschool settings (#R305A180293) and Co-PI of a grant developing and validating the Social and Emotional Learning Observation Checklist for Elementary School (SELOC-ES; #R305A210262). Dr. Bailey serves as a consultant for numerous initiatives and organizations, most notably for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. At home, Dr. Bailey is a proud father of three young children.
  • Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center

    Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence where she currently serves as the director of implementation science. Jessica received her B.A. in psychology and sociology from Brandeis University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University. Jessica specializes in working within school settings to develop approaches and programming (RULER and inspirED) aimed at enhancing children’s creativity, promoting positive school climates, and enhancing mental health. Her current research focuses on the efficacy of RULER and inspirED for secondary schools, including the impact of emotion skills instruction on school climate, creative problem-solving, and emotion regulation ability.
  • Assistant Director of Child Wellbeing and Education Research

    Joanna Meyer joined The Consultation Center in 2014 and currently serves as Assistant Director of Child Wellbeing and Education Research and Co-Director of the Partnership for Early Education Research (PEER). Meyer partners with education stakeholders to conduct research and evaluation studies that can inform the improvement of education systems and practices. Research interests include educational equity, early childhood education, the transition to K-12 education, social-emotional learning, family engagement, multilingual learners, STEM education, improvement science, and evaluation. Meyer is also committed to the dissemination of research findings to broad audiences, including educators, parents, education leaders, and policymakers, as well as researchers. Along with ten years in research-practice partnerships, Meyer brings ten years of experience as an educator to her work, a foundation that helps her to develop mutually-beneficial relationships among organizations and advocate for diverse stakeholder interests.Meyer’s teaching experience spans three school districts, a Job Corps center, and two experiential learning settings. As a high school STEM teacher, Meyer led her school’s decennial accreditation process with New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and coordinated the design and pilot of six school-wide rubrics focused on interdepartmental learning expectations. Meyer also served as a fellow of the Maine Writing Project, a mentor teacher for the teacher preparation program at the University of Maine's College of Education and Human Development, and a coordinating teacher for the NSF GK-12 program at the University of Maine's College of Engineering. In 2011, Meyer transitioned from the classroom to the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (MainePSP), a NSF-funded collaboration between the University of Maine and 12 local school districts that focused on improving the science teaching and learning in secondary and post-secondary classrooms. At the MainePSP, Meyer provided professional development and leadership to teachers who were implementing one or more year-long MainePSP curricula in their grade 6-9 classrooms and engaged in STEM education research, roles that required balancing the needs and perspectives of researchers and practitioners. These experiences informed Meyer’s interest in school improvement, teacher leadership, and education research.
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Child Wellbeing and Education Research

    I direct Child Wellbeing and Education Research at The Consultation Center at Yale, where I also serve as a Senior Evaluation Consultant for YaleEval. My work encompasses three main themes. The first theme focuses on early childhood care and learning, examining factors and practices in childcare, educational, and home settings that impact young children’s development, learning, and pre-academic outcomes. The second theme centers on psychosocial wellbeing, particularly social and emotional learning (SEL), which involves acquiring intrapersonal and interpersonal life skills such as self-control and managing interpersonal conflict. The third theme addresses the sociopolitics of health and education, aiming to understand how sociopolitical factors shape the delivery of healthcare and education, and how these dynamics can both benefit and hinder positive outcomes for patients and students. Much of my work occurs in the context of partnerships between researchers and practitioners. One such project I direct is the Partnership for Early Education Research (PEER; http://peer.yale.edu), a research-practice partnership between three Connecticut communities. I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of California at Berkeley and conducted my predoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Upon completing this fellowship, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rush Neurobehavioral Center with funding from the William T. Grant Foundation. I completed my postdoctoral training at The Consultation Center at Yale within the Division of Prevention and Community Research at Yale School of Medicine with support from the Ford Foundation.

Our District/School Partners

Schools:

  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Washington
  • Bryn Mawr School, Minnesota
  • B.J. Ward Elementary School, Illinois
  • Cedars International Next Generation High School, Texas
  • Champlain Elementary School, Vermont
  • Collegewood Elementary School, California
  • Cuba Elementary School, New Mexico
  • Donovan Elementary School, Massachusetts
  • Ella Baker Global Studies & Humanities Magnet School, Minnesota
  • Elmont Elementary School, Virginia
  • Elmwood Elementary School, Massachusetts
  • Farwell Elementary School, Maine
  • F.D. Roosevelt Elementary School, California
  • Foothill Knolls STEAM Academy of Innovation, California
  • Franklin Elementary School, New Jersey
  • Green Elementary School, California
  • Henry C. Sanborn Elementary School, Massachusetts
  • High Plain Elementary School, Massachusetts
  • Howe Ave Elementary School, California
  • Jefferson Elementary School, Oregon
  • Lake Middle School, Colorado
  • Leonard G. Westhoff Elementary School, California
  • Peñasco Elementary School, New Mexico
  • Rahway High School, New Jersey
  • Raymond A. Geiger Elementary School, Maine
  • Rogers Middle School, California
  • Sullivan STEAM Magnet School, Minnesota
  • Susie Fuentes Elementary School, Texas
  • Urban Assembly School for Collaborative Healthcare, New York
  • Urban Assembly School for Design and Construction, New York
  • Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce, New York
  • Urban Assembly School for Law, Government, and Justice, New York
  • Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts, New York
  • Vermont Elementary School, California
  • Willamina Elementary School, Oregon
  • Will Rogers Elementary School, California
  • Woodridge Elementary School, California

Districts:

  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • LA United School District
  • Highline Public Schools