Skip to Main Content

Education Collaboratory Team Member Spotlight: Victoria Mack

February 09, 2024
by Ezinwa Osuoha

The Education Collaboratory at Yale launched in July 2023. To share more about our work, we are spotlighting all the dedicated team members of our lab, highlighting their work and what brings them to our team's mission to advance the science and practice of SEL.

What is your role at the Education Collaboratory?

I am a postgraduate associate training with Dr. Christina Cipriano. Primarily, I support Project Flourish, a research practice partnership between Yale, Trajectory of Hope, and Urban Assembly aimed at investigating how our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) assessments identify and dismantle student outcome disparities by supporting practices and programming across partner schools.

What brought you to the field of SEL?

My interests formed during my time at Baylor University. As a supplemental instructor, I collaborated with professors to host student review sessions that integrated course content and study skills. This experience ignited my passion for mentoring students. I gained insight into the challenges that students face as they navigate academic stressors, manage stress, and transition to college. Additionally, my roles supporting young children with their emotion regulation, as a volunteer at a therapeutic nurture center and as a behavior technician for children with autism, influenced my decision to pursue further clinical and research opportunities within the field of psychology.

What line of research do you find the most interesting/intriguing in the field right now?

Broadly, I am interested in understanding how adolescents navigate their emotional experiences amid uncertainty, post-traumatic events, and pivotal life transitions. During my time at the lab, I've had the opportunity to support the administration and debriefing process of our sustainable SEL assessments, refine school-facing materials to increase accessibility among students, and engage in qualitative coding to identify facilitators and challenges to SEL assessment implementation. One of my most novel experiences has been leading student focus groups. These experiences provide invaluable insight into how SEL assessments may support youth – and particularly, Black and Hispanic youth – in their self-awareness and emotion management while in school. As school is a critical period of development and transition among youth, these experiences have reaffirmed my interest in exploring the emotional responses, strengths, and distinctive experiences of individuals as they encounter stress, bias, and discrimination

I am currently interviewing for Ph.D. positions at Clinical Psychology programs. With a program committed to integrating research with practical clinical application, I hope to provide services to adolescents and emerging adults while also contributing to the literature about their emotional well-being, resilience, and development.

What energizes you outside of work?

I enjoy meeting new people, especially connecting with other post-graduates and learning about their backgrounds and interests. As a member of the Yale Post Graduate Associate committee, I enjoy providing opportunities for post-graduates to not only network but also get to know each other and make connections. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and exploring New Haven and neighboring cities and states.

Submitted by Ezinwa Osuoha on February 08, 2024