Ruler Announcements

Wellbeing RULER 2.0

Project Contentment: Cultivating Sustainable Wellbeing in RULER Schools For over a decade, RULER has been a leader in Emotional Intelligence approaches and curricula in schools. The aim of the RULER approach is to radically transform the educational system in order to cultivate safer, healthier, more productive learning environments for kids across all walks of life. RULER has been tested using peer-reviewed scientific methods at Yale University and beyond to show that the program reduces bullying, classroom conflict, testing anxiety, drug use, dropout rates, and many other factors related to school stressors. The leap to create Wellbeing RULER comes with a recent wave of research in the field of positive psychology over the last decade on contentment, mindfulness, self-awareness, and optimal human flourishing. Schoolwide approaches in these four areas have separately demonstrated positive shifts in student wellbeing, but they have yet to be bridged with the field of emotional intelligence. Our team believes that building this bridge for the first time ever creates a massive opportunity to implement new wellbeing-inspired curricula into the already powerful RULER approach. The goal of Wellbeing RULER is to create a leading approach to social and emotional learning that directly bridges emotional intelligence and wellbeing in schools nationwide. The Contentment team believes in cultivating a world where success in school is measured by our students’ ability cultivate wellness internally, not by their standardized test scores or levels of busyness. Rationale The Wellbeing RULER approach is guided by four principles: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in the classroom improves school performance, classroom climate, and academic success in schools. Cultivating Mindfulness, Emotional Balance, and Psychological Wellbeing in the classroom reduces stress levels, increases student capacity to introspect and reflect, and reduces the rates of physical and psychological disease. Emotional Intelligence depends on self-awareness and the capacity to reflect. Wellbeing and Emotional Intelligence are the most powerful combination available to us for cultivating flourishing, self-aware, and socially-responsible children. Four Pillars of Wellbeing After deeply researching the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific literature, four key areas have surfaced that are directly related to human wellness. We will unify these approaches into a single set of activities that offer the tools needed to generate wellbeing internally. Mindfulness – Over 3,000 studies have been published over the past few decades on the physical, mental, and social benefits of mindfulness techniques. So far, scientists have documented hundreds of observable, reliable health outcomes that mindfulness offers even for a practice as short as 20 minutes a day. Some examples include immune system boosts, increased physical energy, reductions in addiction and trauma impact, and boosts in prosocial behaviors. Enquiry – We want to empower kids to internally cultivate positivity, self-awareness, love, and self-understanding. Enquiry is a form of radical curiosity where kids are trained to treat all emotional sensations as interesting and worthy of investigation. Using the enquiry approach, kids are empowered to understand what triggers them emotionally, why, and what they can do to change the stories to the triggers. We ask a series of simple questions to cultivate radical curiosity toward emotional experiences: What am I feeling right now? (It’s such an interesting feeling!) Where am I feeling it in my body and my mind? (I’m curious about how my body is responding.) When do I tend to feel this way? (I’m interested in finding patterns for this sensation.) Why did I create this story for this situation? (I wonder why I have this kind of response.) How can I change my relationship to this story? (I’m curious if there’s another way to perceive this situation.) Who am I? (Who is the ‘I’ when we talk 

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Martin Luther King: An Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Martin Luther King: An Emotionally Intelligent Leader

On January 18th, we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was an iconic leader who used his passion to strategize an end to racial and economic inequality. And, whether he was aware of doing so or not, he used emotionally intelligent techniques to persuade and inspire people of all colors to join him. As psychologists and educators affiliated with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we analyzed his “I Have A Dream” speech to see just how Dr. King used the tools of emotional intelligence to lay out the grievances of social injustice and rouse the nation to action. We noticed that he used the language of strong emotions, including phrases like “We will not be satisfied until…” He chose high-energy, unpleasant feeling words likefierce, desolate, vicious, unspeakable, battered, despair, withering, and crippled. These kinds of feeling words activate and put the listener on notice. It is a basic human need to be seen and understood, and Dr. King’s empathy let his listeners “feel felt.” He acknowledged their suffering by saying, for example, “Some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation.” And he named their experiences, acknowledging that they’d been jailed, discriminated against, blocked from the pursuit of happiness. He connected with his audience by naming the values they shared and their vision of the future. He felt, and transmitted, compassion. Halfway through this most famous speech, the “I Have A Dream” address during the 1963 March On Washington, he abandoned his prepared remarks when Mahalia Jackson, off to the side, said, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” What he said next combined emotional intelligence and soaring rhetoric — his talk gathered into a crescendo and went down in history. And the words we most remember were off the cuff. That is how skilled he was at working with his own, and the audience’s, emotions. Dr. King took care to guide his audience through the strong negative emotions that injustice brings. He laid out emotional regulation strategies for his followers, saying, “Let us not wallow in the valley of self-despair” nor “degenerate into physical violence.” Instead, he said, “…[let us] conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline” and meet “physical force with soul force.” He helped his followers to reframe their perceptions, telling them that suffering is redemptive. And he led them away from vindictiveness, pointing out that the destinies of blacks and whites are linked. And ultimately he didn’t leave his listeners mired in anger fueled by the stories he told them of injustice and inequality. He moved them to a positive emotional state by sharing his vision of equality, using high-energy, positive words that empower the listener: hope, justice, joyous, honor, exalted, righteous, pride, free, happiness. Such words help motivate people to act. In that impassioned spirit, his audience right by his side, Dr. King could then begin effectively to lay out specific goals of the civil rights movement. He called for desegregation and an end to police brutality. He called for voting rights and economic equality. “I have a dream,” Dr. King told the nation in 1963. Thanks in part to his masterful emotional intelligence, we listened. Decades later, we still hear it and heed. Originally published by The Huffington Post – January 17th, 2014  Robin Stern  Diana Divecha 

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Be Your Own Best Mentor in 2016

Be Your Own Best Mentor in 2016

In the world of education, January is self-mentoring month. We don’t know when this was created, but it sure gives us an opportunity to combat those winter doldrums and post-holiday blues by refocusing us inward. Whatever your holiday season was like: family-filled, active and away, a vacation, a ‘nowhere to go’ staycation, or reflective, solitary time spent counting the minutes until 2015 was over, it is now all behind you. Welcome to 2016 and a clean slate! Many of us wonder why we have a sense of let down or feel adrift after so much time away from our typical routines. It is natural to fall into a kind of blue period after all the excitement, stress, and whirlwind of time with friends and family has ceased. Perhaps, visitors have returned home or you have gone home and are feeling the tug of separation anew. Or, it might be the sadness that your days of relaxation and self-indulgence are over. For some, it is merely the realization that another year has come and gone and that there are still many miles to go before you reach that much-coveted goal. As the New Year begins, take time to self-mentor by gifting yourself with an opportunity to pause and reset. Here are a few things we suggest: Start with gratitude – after all, you made it to another season, which is no small matter! So, appreciate yourself: all you’ve accomplished in the last 365 days, and everything and everyone around you. Clean your psychological “attic” – reflect on which habits, activities, intentions you want to bring with you into the New Year and which ones to leave behind. Ask yourself, “Can I live without this?” or “What benefit does this offer?” Allow questions such as these to be your guides to what you keep, discard, or perhaps leave aside for consideration at another time. Consider adding something new and restorative to your daily routine. Maybe it is journaling for a few minutes: each morning about your vision for the day ahead or each evening about what went well and what you would like to work on. Perhaps, you simply allow yourself several minutes of silent “thinking time” each day by closing your door. Think of a goal you would like to achieve just for yourself in the new year. Make sure it’s specific, realistic, and attainable. Think about the strategies you will use to get there as well as possible barriers and how you may overcome them. Infuse new energy or inspiration into your relationships – be spontaneous, step outside of the routine of sameness, surprise your friends, call colleagues you would like to know better, suggest a creative activity with a family member. Be mindful of your physical self: eat healthfully, sleep well, and remain active. Plan time with loved ones or a special event for yourself. Gift yourself with something in the future to look forward to that will bring you joy. Add physical reminders of this gift to the days leading up to it. Cherish your “Aha!” moments. Celebrate when you have a sudden realization about a problem and can see the situation through a new and clearer lens. Take a “brain break” when you are feeling overwhelmed and give yourself an opportunity to recharge by turning off your cell, watching a movie, having a massage, or simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Keep the gratitude going and your appreciation flowing. Be thankful that you have the energy and insight to be a positive self-mentor. Most importantly, how will you be a supportive mentor to 

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GreatKids – Emotional Smarts

GreatKids – Emotional Smarts

“Children who develop the skills Emotional Intelligence are kinder, happier, healthier and more successful in life.” Belief in this statement lies at the heart of the recent collaboration between the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and GreatSchools, a nonprofit organization that provides parents with online ratings of over 200,000 schools and districts across the United States; reaching more than 50 million unique visitors in 2015 and accounting for over half of all U.S. Households with children, and nearly half of all U.S. based Kindergarten-12th grade teachers. Featured on GreatSchool’s GreatKid’s website, Emotional Smarts is a collection of tools designed to provide new parents and families with the resources necessary to help children develop emotional intelligence, and hone such vital life skills such as “resilience, confidence, gratitude, courage, empathy, and grit.” Through a series of video resources and other training materials, the “Emotional Smarts” initiative capitalizes on GreatSchool’s wide-reach, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligences’ pioneering research on Emotional Intelligence to encourage families to understand both how and why Emotions Matter. For example, the Emotional Toolbox provides parents with recommendations for scientifically-based strategies and activities that can help them maneuver various parenting challenges that routinely erupt in households—related to discipline, friendships, sibling rivalry, and bullying. The Do You Feel Me section allows for families to explore universal human emotions together through the power of storytelling. In Caught Being Kind, hidden cameras reveal how students exposed to SEL techniques will interact with one another in spontaneous situations at school, without knowing they are being observed. Already, Emotional Smarts content has been pushed to 2 million GreatSchools.org visitors and newsletter subscribers, and has been promoted more than 18 million times through web, email, and social media outlets. In total, more than 350,000 unique visitors have engaged with the Emotional Smarts content on the GreatSchools.org website, 175,000 of which self-identify as parents. Most of the resources promoted on Emotional Smarts are based on a whole-school approach to changing school climate and cultivating emotional intelligence, known as RULER,  a program that has been adopted by hundreds of U.S. public and private schools. (RULER is an acronym that stands for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions.) To learn more, be sure to check out www.greatschools.org/gk/ or the Yale Center’s recently launched RULER Community website to view and download more Emotionally Intelligent Resources. Words by: Ian 

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Talking to Students about the Paris Attacks

Talking to Students about the Paris Attacks

This past weekend, a series of terrorist attacks rocked Paris. As educators, we are all thinking about how to best to approach the subject of the Paris tragedy as our students start the school week, today.  Do we avoid the subject and shield them, especially those under five, from the discussion? Do we give them the basic facts to make sure they have accurate information on what occurred?  How do we allay their anxiety? How do we answer questions that we may not have the answers to and plague us as well. Questions like “Why did this happen.?” “Will this happen here now?” “Are we safe?” “Are our loved ones safe?”  Each of these questions brings up a lot of emotion  — for our students as well as for all of us. RULER classrooms have a ready tool for this conversation. We can use the Mood Meter to frame this difficult discussion and create a safe place to share for students to share their feelings and then harness the strength of the classroom community to identify coping skills and self-regulation strategies. First, use the Mood Meter to check-in with yourself.  How are YOU feeling about this tragic event? Where are you on the Mood Meter and what thoughts are going through your own head? Are you concerned that you use mass transportation getting to and from work and that frightens you? Are you anxious about your students asking question that you may not be able to answer? How will you help them deal with their anxiety when you can’t promise them they will be safe? This is an opportunity to check-in with yourself and get your own emotions under control before you begin a conversation with your students. We recommend identifying the strategies you use to regulate your ‘red’ emotions  –using these strategies will best prepare you for the conversation and serve as examples for your students. Some of us use gratitude to shift our mood, some of us use self talk “I will do everything I can to be as safe as I can,” many of us rely on our ‘best self’ to help bring us from our own anxiety to a compassionate place with our students. Next, lead a brief class discussion about the events that occurred in Paris on Friday. Use this time as an opportunity to gather information about how much your students may know or not know. Clarify any erroneous information and be careful not to embellish with unwarranted detail. Then, segue into a Mood Meter check-in where you plot yourself first and go through the R-U-L-E-R questions.  It is important to be authentic and clear about your own feelings. You can share with the class how difficult a weekend it was for you and how you kept thinking of the people in Paris and what feelings that raised.  Identify and label your own feelings of sadness and anxiety. When you share your plot on the Mood Meter stay calm and try to moderate your own emotions as best you can. Do not feel you have to avoid telling your students that you are in the BLUE because you are so sad about this tragedy or in the RED because it makes you angry that people can behave this way or this event made you feel frightened. Do tell your students that you are ok, even though you have these sad or scared feelings. The most important thing is to be real and then share how you are regulating your own feelings – thought strategies, like the ones above, and action strategies.  For many 

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Dena Simmons of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Presents TED Talk in New York City

Dena Simmons of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Presents TED Talk in New York City

On November 1st and 2nd, Dr. Dena Simmons presented at the inaugural TED Talks Live at the Town Hall Theater in New York City’s Theater district under the umbrella topic of “The Education Revolution.” Dena’s talk drew from her life experiences as a student, teacher, researcher, and activist, in an attempt to engage the audience in a discourse about race, power, and privilege in our nation’s education system. Dena put forth the belief that if educational initiatives for students are to be successful, these initiatives must address the history of racism and inequality that perpetuates an unsustainable cycle that disadvantages some students–mainly students of color. Further, she pushed the audience to consider the emotional danger students experience when they are forced to erase who they are in order to experience success at school. Dena currently works as the Director of Implementation at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where she oversees education, training, and coaching initiatives at the Center as well as the scaling up of the RULER program, the Center’s approach to social and emotional learning. Photo Credit – Ryan Lash 

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Seedlings Institute for School Leaders

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, in partnership with the Seedlings Foundation, is excited to offer an opportunity for districts seeking to join the movement to build emotionally intelligent school communities.   The Seedlings Foundation supports programs that nourish the physical and mental health of children and families, and foster an educated and engaged citizenship. Since 2005, the Seedlings Educators Collaborative has provided professional development, ongoing support, and resources to educators from diverse school environments. In a supportive and actively engaging setting, educators forge ongoing relationships and community connections and leave with tools to support them throughout their careers. Paramount to this effort is providing a stimulating and nurturing environment, away from the day-to-day demands of the classroom. Seedlings educators spend time in an immersive and engaging professional development program that introduces them to educational resources they might not otherwise encounter and provides a network for sustaining the work. At the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we know that for leaders, emotions drive the effectiveness of all daily interactions – with colleagues, parents, and students – and impact school climate and culture. For educators, emotions drive their effectiveness in creating positive classroom environments and fostering student learning. For students, emotions drive their ability to learn, make effective decisions, build relationships, and perform their best academically. Ultimately, transformational leadership at the district level greatly impacts the work of reaching students. By fusing the missions of Seedlings and the Center, we endeavor to enhance both transformational leadership and emotional intelligence skills and strategies through the Seedlings Institute for School Leaders. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence offers this multi-day master class as a way to provide a foundation for understanding and implementing emotional intelligence as well as a space to reflect and recharge with like-minded leaders. The Seedlings Institute gives district-level team members the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to build emotional intelligence – the skills of recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion – in all stakeholders at schools. It also explores leadership development topics, such as visioning, conflict management, and systems thinking. We are excited to convene district and school leaders for this immersive and rejuvenating experience, which occurs each summer at Yale. Through a generous grant from the Seedlings Foundation, districts can access this professional development opportunity at a fraction of the actual cost. School leaders who attend the Seedlings Institute will also attend an Anchors of Emotional Intelligence Institute with a leadership team from their school. The Anchors Institute, through the research-based and CASEL SELect approach for social and emotional learning called RULER, will prepare pilot school teams to implement the skills and tools of emotional intelligence both among staff and in the classroom. With district-level support and development opportunities provided for school leaders, this partnership aims to see large-scale positive shifts in the culture of the district, schools, and broader community. To contact us for more information about the Seedlings Institute for School Leaders, click here.   

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Yale and Lady Gaga Host Teens to Talk About Emotions

Yale and Lady Gaga Host Teens to Talk About Emotions

Yale News ~ October 25th, 2015 | The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the Born This Way Foundation, created by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, hosted teens from across the country to discuss the importance of emotions in school and life at the Emotion Revolution daylong summit at the Yale School of Management on Oct. 24. Lady Gaga joined 200 high school students, top policy makers, and academic officials, including Yale President Peter Salovey, a pioneer in the study of emotional intelligence, to discuss ways to recognize and channel emotions for positive outcomes. Full Article 

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Blumenthal, Sandy Hook Parent to Push Social/Emotional Learning

CTPost.com ~ August 10th, 2015 | This could be the year of reading, writing and social/emotional health. For more than a year now, the Bridgeport Public School system has been working toward the roll out of a new Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence program that promises to change the culture of the city school system by tapping into the social and emotional well-being of students and staff. They call it RULER, as in “Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating” emotions. Full Article 

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Real Schools – Lyceé Français New York

Real Schools – Lyceé Français New York

Lyceé Français – Innovation With Parent Engagement By Rose Nisker BACKGROUND The Lyceé Français de New York (LFNY) is an independent bilingual school for students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. Founded in 1935 by Comte Charles de Ferry de Fontnouvelle, then French Consul General in New York, the school follows the academic curriculum established by the French National Ministry of Education, while incorporating aspects of the American educational system. LFNY’s single building campus is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, occupying a full city block in one of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods. With 1,367 students representing 45 nationalities, LFNY has a distinctly international feel. Its bilingual environment is bolstered by a student body comprised of one-third French citizens and another third made up of French-American dual-citizens. A central part of the school’s stated purpose is to provide teaching methods that “reflect both the French standards of intellectual rigor and the American traditions of pragmatism, positive reinforcement, initiative, and creativity.” Lyceé Français DE NEW YORK AND RULER In 2013, Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and RULER co-creator Dr. Marc Brackett visited Anne Harlam’s pre-k classroom at LFNY. The students were eager to share the many RULER-based projects they had been developing all year, including their classroom Mood Meter. When Brackett asked the students to report on their emotional state, a little girl raised her hand enthusiastically. “I’m in the yellow!” she declared. When asked why, she responded, “Because the Mood Meter man is here!!” The little girl in Harlam’s class isn’t the only RULER enthusiast at LFNY– the Head of Primary School, Vannina Boussouf, is also a fan. Boussouf was first introduced to RULER 3 years ago through a webinar program with Dr. Brackett. She was looking for a social and emotional learning program that would fit her school’s unique bilingual, international environment. “We are not only bilingual, we are bicultural,” Boussouf explains emphatically. “We needed a program that our teachers could translate and adapt for the cultural backgrounds at our school.” She knew that anything with a rigid format and highly circumscribed materials wasn’t going to fly, especially with the French team of teachers and administrators at LFNY. “Many social and emotional learning programs have a very American spirit,” she says with a chuckle. “It can come across as too positive or artificial for those coming from a French background.” Boussouf felt that the flexibility of the RULER program was ideal for both her French and American teaching and administrative teams. “RULER presented a framework with very versatile tools which we could take and alter to fit our school.” Excited by the webinar, Boussouf encouraged 3 LFNY teachers to attend the RULER training, each one representing a different Primary School grade-level and language specialty– Pre-K English teacher Anne Harlam; Veronica McGivney Park, a bilingual 1st grade teacher who heads the English program in the Primary School, and Daphnee Marchini, a bilingual 5th grade teacher with a French emphasis. “We wanted them to be able to come back and train all of our teachers, administrators and parents,” says Boussouf. Boussouf also encouraged the PTA to bring Dr. Brackett to speak to LFNY parents. The packed event was a compelling introduction to the program, and parents were eager to participate in follow-up RULER trainings led by Harlam, Marchini and McGivney Park. For LFNY’s bilingual community, the RULER-trained teachers report that even just the act of translating the RULER materials into French has been beneficial in inspiring social and emotional awareness. When 5th grade teacher Marchini was translating some of the words for the Mood Meter, it became clear that there were cultural differences as 

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‘Inside Out’ Teaches Lessons for All Ages

‘Inside Out’ Teaches Lessons for All Ages

US News University Directory ~ June 20th, 2015 | Don’t be fooled by the animation, Pixar’s newest film “Inside Out is so much more than a cute summer movie. There is a deeper lesson hidden beneath the film’s premise of a young girl’s emotions (Joy, Disgust, Sadness, Anger and Fear) living inside of her head and going on an epic adventure. The real story is about emotional intelligence… Studies show that children, college students and adults can improve their lives by better understanding their emotions and the emotions of others.  Yale University has an entire department devoted to researching and developing emotional intelligence, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Together with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, the Center is launching a campaign called “Emotion Revolution” to help high school students with social and emotional learning. Full Article 

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Our City, Our Schools: Social and Emotional Learning

Our City, Our Schools: Social and Emotional Learning

SeattleChannel.org ~ June 16th, 2015 | How do students’ emotions impact their academic achievement? Seattle Public Schools is using an approach known as RULER to help students and teachers Recognize, Understand, Label, Express and Regulate emotions. Host Brian Callanan interviews RULER co-creator Marc Brackett and profiles the RULER program at Graham Hill Elementary, South Shore K-8 and Olympic Hills Elementary for a comprehensive look at how teaching emotional smarts can help boost academic success. Full Article and Video 

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Dena Simmons Named Pahara NextGen Leader

Dena Simmons Named Pahara NextGen Leader

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., the Director of School Initiatives at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has been selected as one of twenty-five Fall 2015 Pahara NextGen Fellows to help advance the mission of the Pahara Institute’s NextGen Network. The Pahara Institute is a national nonprofit organization focused on supporting sustainability, diversity, and quality leadership in the educational excellence and equity movement. As a Pahara NextGen leader, Dena will be part of a 12-month leadership development program that will support a diverse group of exceptional emerging senior leaders as they bridge traditional divides, engage more diverse perspectives, and facilitate communication. Participants learn from, support, and challenge each other as they enhance their own leadership skills and continue to strive toward providing high quality education opportunities for every child in our nation. Dena was selected as a Pahara NextGen Fellow for her work as an educator, teacher educator, and director of school initiatives at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and for her dedication to amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities that are currently not well served by our public schools. “I am so honored to be a part of the Pahara NextGen Network. Too often, too many organizations and professionals in the education movement work in a silo, compete for the same funding, replicate efforts unnecessarily, and burn out because of a lack of sustainability and collective work. The Pahara NextGen Network will help organize a convening of minds and efforts so that our education movement is stronger and longer-lasting.” The movement for excellence and equity in our nation’s education system is at a critical juncture. As this work evolves, it is important to cultivate and support leaders who bring diverse voices and perspectives to the movement. By identifying individuals like Dena Simmons, and providing them with high-level leadership development and networking opportunities, this program encourages and supports education leaders to collaborate toward creating a more just education 

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The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Summer Interns

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Summer Interns

This summer, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence welcomes six undergraduate interns. With their many backgrounds and interests, the 2015 summer interns will make welcome contributions to a variety of research projects at the Center. Brianna Lear is a rising junior at Vassar College and is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. Originally from Los Angeles, Brianna is interested in gender studies, education, comparative psychology and conservation biology, and plans to pursue a career in mental healthcare. This summer, Brianna will work on the RULER and School Initiatives Team, helping to develop ways of teaching emotional intelligence, as well as analyzing data from an Australian RULER school. Outside of academics, Brianna loves to sing and act. Daniel Albers is a rising senior and psychology major at Connecticut College. He is originally from Portland, Oregon. Daniel believes understanding the mind and behavior can help people better relate to one another, and he plans to become a clinical psychologist. This summer, Daniel will work on the Robotics Innovations project and the Recognizing Excellence in Learning and Teaching (RELATE) Project to develop a tool to evaluate self-contained special education classrooms. Outside of work, Daniel plays piano, clarinet, and water polo. Randy Lee is a rising senior majoring in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Born in Taiwan and raised in California, Randy is interested in researching social rejection, status and power, and emotions in social interactions. This summer, Randy will work on the Innovations in Skill Building project, a collaboration between the Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory, and on the Emotion Revolution, a joint initiative between the Center and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation that aims to help encourage social and emotional learning in school. In his free time, Randy enjoys bowling and attending live concerts. Andrew Nalani, from Kampala, Uganda, is a rising senior and a religious-studies major at Dartmouth College. Andrew is passionate about creating transformative learning experiences for youths, with a particular emphasis on gender justice, personal development and community building. Last summer, he designed and co-directed a youth leadership residential camp in East Africa. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in education. This summer, Andrew will join the RULER for Families team to help design a leadership training program. Outside the office, Andrew loves writing creative nonfiction and singing in the woods! Justin Haas, a Chicago native, is a rising senior at Colorado College who is majoring in Education. Justin firmly believes that culturally responsive academic role models help students develop more positive attitudes towards learning and schooling, and hopes to help revamp school curriculums across the country with this in mind. This summer, Justin will work on both the RELATE project, and the School Initiatives team. Justin spent a year between high school and college living in East Africa, teaching and rebuilding poorly funded schools. Franklyn Zhu is a rising junior at Yale University who is studying computer science and psychology; he worked last year with the Center to develop a new measure of emotional intelligence. Originally from Beijing, Franklyn became interested in psychology in order to better understand himself. He is interested in developing  effective ways to visualize and communicate information. This summer, Franklyn will join the Meditation Study and Assessments Team. A fun fact about Franklyn: He can sing Italian opera. 

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Dena Simmons Named Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellow

Dena Simmons Named Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellow

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.,the Director of School Initiatives at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has been selected as an Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellow for the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF). The Fellows were selected for the inaugural class from a competitive field of national nominees who are emerging leaders with diverse backgrounds and who represent the entrepreneurial spirit, intellectual curiosity, and leadership qualities of Mr. Arthur Vining Davis, the longtime CEO of the Alcoa Corporation. Since 2005, the Aspen Ideas Festival has been the nation’s premier convening for leaders to engage in deep and inquisitive consideration of ideas and issues that shape our lives and challenge our times. Similarly, for nearly 65 years, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have provided philanthropy across America to higher education; medicine and healthcare; theological education and religious pluralism; public educational television for children and historical and scientific documentaries for national distribution through PBS and other producers of film. Through funding provided by the Board of Trustees of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Aspen AVDF Fellows will have the opportunity to network with other Festival attendees, including more than 400 thought leaders in science, health, business, politics, religion, technology, the arts, the environment and academia. The Fellows’ presence will enrich the Ideas Festival and their insight will then inform the philanthropic plans and priorities of the Foundations in the coming years. “I am so grateful to have been nominated and selected for this wonderful fellowship and to be among such inspiring thinkers, doers, and shakers. I look forward to learning and building collaboratively with participants at the Aspen Ideas Festival. I am also excited to share our work at the Center and the urgency to create more emotionally intelligent educational spaces so that all people have access to a safe place to learn and to flourish.” The Festival, which will be held June 25 through July 4 in Aspen, Colorado, is a week-long program of discussions, seminars, panels, and tutorials from journalists, designers, innovators, politicians, diplomats, presidents, judges, musicians, artists, and writers. This year’s theme is Smart Solutions to the World’s Toughest 

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