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Claudia-Santi Ferrante Fernandes, EdD, LPC

Associate Research Scientist



Claudia-Santi F. Fernandes, Ed.D., LPC, MCHES, NCC is an adolescent (mental) health expert with experience in public schools, clinical settings, and research institutions. After completing her bachelor's, Dr. Fernandes taught and developed a compelling interest in bridging the achievement gap through school support services. This interest led her to become a bilingual school counselor where she supported student development through evidence-based counseling interventions and programs. As a career highlight, she played a leadership role in opening a Bard High School Early College in Newark, New Jersey. She was the Director of Student Activities and organized school-wide initiatives that concentrated on social and emotional learning (SEL) and school climate as students worked toward a high school diploma and an AA degree from Bard College. After 15 years of realizing that most of her students loved playing videogames, she decided to “meet them where they are at” and joined the play2PREVENT Lab.

Currently, Dr. Fernandes is an associate director of the play2PREVENT Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Medicine (General Internal Medicine). As part the Lab, she conducts research involving the design, development, and evaluation of videogame interventions to promote healthy behaviors. Videogame content includes, but is not limited to, adolescent health advocacy in using school-based health centers, youth agency to improve school environments, and opioid misuse. Other research interests include evidence-based school interventions that improve adolescent mental health and wellness, student performance, and graduation rates; the translation of policies into practices; and, successful transitions from high school to postsecondary education/employment. She aims to use evidence-based research to inform federal-, state-, and local-level policies and provide support to schools in implementation. Dr. Fernandes also practices as a licensed professional counselor at Connecticut Psychiatric & Wellness Center and serves on the Board of Directors with the Connecticut Association of School-Based Health Centers. She received her BA from Villanova University, MA from NYU, and doctorate from Columbia University.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Training
    Yale School of Medicine (2018)
  • EdD
    Columbia University Teachers College, Health & Behavior Studies (2017)
  • MA
    New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Applied Psychology (2009)
  • BA
    Villanova University (2003)

Departments & Organizations