Our Team

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Director | Email

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in decision making, relationships, mental health, and both academic and workplace performance, as well as the impact of emotional intelligence training. He has published over 100 scholarly articles and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning. He is the co-creator of RULER, an evidence-based approach to teaching social and emotional learning that has been adopted by more than 1000 public and private schools reaching nearly one million students, including their educators and families. Dr. Brackett serves on a wide-range of Advisory Boards, including CASEL and Born This Way Foundation. For the last three years, he has collaborated with Facebook on three projects: (1) tools to help adolescents manage online bulling, (2) The Bullying Prevention Hub that provides resources for children, families, and educators; and (3) inspirED, a resource center to help high schools build more positive learning environments. He regularly consults with school systems and corporations around the world and his research has been featured in the New York Times and Time Magazine; he also is a frequent guest on National Public Radio. He also holds a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art. Please contact Kate Rozen at kate.rozen@yale.edu if you would like to schedule an appointment with Marc Brackett. Follow on Twitter   read more

Robin Stern, Ph.D.

Robin Stern, Ph.D.

Associate Director | Email

Robin Stern, Ph.D., is the associate director for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is a licensed psychoanalyst, educator, and author, with over twenty-five years of experience treating individuals, couples, and groups. Robin holds a doctorate in applied psychology from New York University and a postdoctoral certificate in psychoanalytic group psychotherapy from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. She is on the faculty of Teacher’s College, Columbia University, where she co-teaches a class on emotional intelligence.  Robin is a co-developer of RULER, as well as a co-creator and a lead facilitator for Yale’s Institutes. At the Center, Robin is a principal investigator for the RULER for Parents project, which aims to increase parent involvement in children’s emotional intelligence education. She also works on High School RULER, adapting the curriculum for older students, and on a project to explore the intersection of self-awareness, emotion, and the arts. In collaboration with Facebook, she created a reporting process for cyberbullying incidents and a help center for bullied children. She is currently analyzing the data from that project to gain a deeper understanding of cyberbullying. Robin serves on the advisory board of Crisis Text Line, I”ll Go First, and Project Rebirth, is a member of the Emotionally Intelligence Consortium, and has authored three books. She is a founding member of the Woodhull Institute, where she spent 15 years creating and facilitating development programs for women leaders. She has been a guest on many local and national radio shows and has traveled widely to lecture on emotional intelligence. In 2014-15 Dr. Stern was a fellow in the Public Voices Fellowship, which led to publications in Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Time.com, etc.  Robin resides in New York where she is very happy to live close to her son and   read more

Jim Hagen, Ph.D.

Jim Hagen, Ph.D.

Director for Advancement | Email

Jim Hagen, Ph.D., is the director for advancement for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He develops the strategic partnerships needed to expand the scope and scale of Center research, evaluation, and programming. Jim holds a B.A. from Whitman College, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University and the University of Cincinnati, where he also taught, and he was a lecturer at John Carroll University and a visiting professor at Mount Holyoke College. He is the author of “Community in the Balance,” a book on morality, sorcery, and social change based on two years of fieldwork in eastern Indonesia. He has published several articles on kinship, gift exchange, and the origins of Indonesian nationalism. He is currently writing about compassion in modern history. He lives in Glastonbury, CT with his wife and two   read more

Danica Kelly, M.S.M.

Danica Kelly, M.S.M.

Director of Operations | Email

Danica Kelly, M.S.M., is director of financial operations at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In this role, she monitors and maintains the Center’s fiscal health, overseeing budgets, business operations, and human resources. For ten years, prior to joining the Center, Danica held a variety of finance and business operations positions at Yale, starting at the Yale School of Management. She began her career working for housing authorities in southwestern Connecticut. Danica holds a B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College. She holds a Master’s of Science in Management from Albertus Magnus College, where she was awarded honors in the Tagliatela School of Business and Leadership   read more

Lori Nathanson, Ph.D.

Lori Nathanson, Ph.D.

Director of Partnerships | Email

Lori Nathanson, Ph.D., is director of partnerships for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and an associate research scientist in the Department of Psychology. Lori develops and nurtures partnerships with youth-serving organizations, which advances the Center’s strategy to teach emotional intelligence beyond RULER’s reach in PreK-12 schools. By partnering with organizations like Year Up and Boys and Girls Clubs of America, together we engage adults and youth in emotional intelligence skill-building and creating supportive, learning-rich environments with novel applications of the RULER Anchor Tools. Prior to leading partnerships, Lori served as the director of research from 2013-2015 and was responsible for shaping the Center’s research agenda, expanding the research portfolio, and supporting the Center’s team of researchers. Lori’s research focuses on social and emotional learning (SEL) with an emphasis on school-based intervention development, implementation, and evaluation. Lori is a Duke Blue Devil first and University of Virginia Wahoo second. For her undergraduate degree, Lori created a personalized program of study combining psychology, education, and policy at Duke University (BA, 2001). She continued with interdisciplinary studies for her doctorate in Risk and Prevention in Education Sciences as an IES predoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia (PhD, 2009). As a Yale postdoctoral fellow, she implemented and studied RULER at New Line Learning in Maidstone, England. Between her postdoc and returning to the Center, Lori contributed to the Research Alliance for NYC Schools at NYU’s development as a non-partisan research organization and conducted research on high school choice, improving the NYC School Survey, and evaluating college readiness programs in   read more

Miriam Schroers, M.A.T.

Miriam Schroers, M.A.T.

Director of Communications & Product Development | Email

Miriam Schroers is the director of communications and product development for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is responsible for the Center’s identity, communications strategy, and technology initiatives. With over 15 years of experience, Miriam is an accomplished new media specialist with expertise in user experience, project management, and client relations. Miriam began her career as a website producer and program manager in Seattle. She managed website design and development for companies such as Microsoft and Amazon.com, where she launched multiple major e-commerce websites. After a decade in the corporate sector, Miriam became interested in education. She sought to understand how technology can be used to cultivate teaching and learning, and build communities. Miriam has an M.A. in teaching from University of California at Irvine, and a B.A. in studio art from Carleton College. She also earned a multiple-subject teaching certificate. At the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Miriam utilizes the latest digital advances to promote communication, community, and   read more

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Director of Implementation | Email

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is the director of implementation at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She received her B.A. from Middlebury College, her M.S.Ed. from Pace University, and her M.A. and Ed.D. from Columbia University, Teachers College. Dena oversees training and coaching initiatives at the Center. Prior to her work at the Center, she served as an educator, teacher educator, diversity trainer, and curriculum developer. Dena’s primary research interest focuses on assessing teacher preparedness to address bullying in the K-12 school setting. Dena brings with her a wealth of knowledge on teacher education and pedagogy and has published several popular articles on teacher education, social justice pedagogy, education reform, and bullying. She has been invited to speak nationally, including two TEDx talks, and has been profiled in the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists.  Dena is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, and a Phillips Exeter Academy Dissertation Fellowship among others. Dena serves on several boards of directors including Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and the Paul and Daisy Soros Alumni Board. She enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and writing creatively. Follow on Twitter   read more

Valancia Ariyanayagam

Valancia Ariyanayagam

Administrative Assistant | Email

Valancia Ariyanayagam is an administrative assistant for the operations department of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She earned her B.S. with honors in Finance from the University of New Haven, West Haven, CT. In 2012, she also completed her M.B.A. from the same university. Valancia is an accomplished business professional with over 10 years’ experience providing high-level administrative support with project management, work-process optimization and strong leadership skills. She also brings expertise in relationship building, service follow-up, and budget planning and control. She resides in Woodbridge, Connecticut with her husband, son, and   read more

Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey

Research Assistant | Email

Chris Bailey is a research assistant with the Innovations in Skill-Building Project at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University at Buffalo and has spent several years working in the field of psychophysiology, neuropsychology, clinical and social neuroscience. Christopher has coauthored several journal articles and developed a variety of computer-based psychology and neuroscience experiments. Christopher enjoys integrating advanced technology with research on emotion and social cognition. A specialist in electroencephalography and event-related potentials, he also has expertise in computer programming, database management, and statistical analysis. Examples of his work include creating computer-generated facial animations of emotions, merging geographical neighborhood coordinates with data from a GPS-enabled social app, and developing a measure to test acceptable self-reported responses to subtypes of aggressive   read more

Craig Bailey, Ph.D.

Craig Bailey, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Craig S. Bailey, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He works on the Preschool RULER project, which helps early childhood education programs teach young children and the adults involved in their education the social and emotional skills that contribute to social and academic success. Craig’s research specializes in children’s social and emotional learning in early-childhood classrooms, with a particular emphasis on how teachers support and promote the development of emotion regulation. He uses a variety of methods to explore these areas, including direct and computerized assessment and naturalistic observation. A goal of Craig’s research is to bridge the gap between research and practice through professional development. Craig earned his B.S. in psychology from South Dakota State University and his doctorate in applied developmental psychology from George Mason University. Craig’s   read more

Tia Barnes, Ph.D.

Tia Barnes, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Tia Navelene Barnes, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is a member of Yale’s Recognizing Excellence in Learning and Teaching (RELATE) Project, which studies classrooms that serve students with diverse learning needs. Tia’s primary research focuses on prevention of and intervention in emotional and behavioral disorders in school-aged children. In addition, she is interested in creating and modifying culturally appropriate social and emotional interventions for diverse student populations. Tia earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology and family, youth, and community sciences from the University of Florida. She also earned her M.Ed. in special education with an emphasis on reading disabilities and her Ph.D. in special education with an emphasis on emotional and/or behavioral disorders from the University of Florida’s College of   read more

Bonnie Brown, M.S. Ed.

Bonnie Brown, M.S. Ed.

Senior Implementation Coach and Trainer | Email

Bonnie Brown, M.S. Ed., is a senior consultant for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is a career educator who served for over 30 years in the New York City Department of Education and adjoining school districts. She specializes in working with children who have cognitive, sensory, emotional, and learning challenges. Until her retirement in 2010, Bonnie served as superintendent of District 75 in New York City, which serves 23,000 students with various educational challenges. As superintendent, Bonnie developed an online community for her 58 schools where administrators and teachers could participate in podcasts, webinars, meetings, and discussions. This community also served as a platform for her middle and high school students to participate in debates and practice daily living skills in a virtual world. Since Bonnie’s retirement, she has been working as a consultant, coach, and trainer for RULER. She designed and implemented RULER’s online community, where educators from across the globe can meet, attend webinars, read current research, share student work, and discuss their successes and challenges using RULER in all types of   read more

Grace Carroll

Grace Carroll

Training Coordinator | Email

Grace Carroll is training coordinator at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. As a part of the School Initiatives team, she helps plan and coordinate RULER conferences and trainings while engaging with schools, coaches, and consultants. She also supports the implementation and evaluation of RULER. Grace moved to New Haven in 2014 after working in development for a global non-profit located in Lakeside, Montana. Grace earned her B.S. degree at Vanderbilt University with a major in Child Development and minor in Medicine, Health, and   read more

David Caruso, Ph.D.

David Caruso, Ph.D.

Research Affiliate | Email

David Caruso, Ph.D., is a management psychologist who develops and conducts emotional intelligence training around the world. He is the special assistant to the dean of Yale College. David received a Ph.D. in psychology from Case Western Reserve University and was a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development predoctoral fellow. He was then awarded a National Institute of Mental Health fellowship and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in developmental psychology at Yale University. He has co-authored dozens of scientific publications, as well as the Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. He also co-wrote, with Peter Salovey, the practical, how-to book, “The Emotionally Intelligent Manager,” which introduced the Mood Meter and Blueprint. David is the co-author of “Emotionally Literate Teacher” and “Emotionally Literate School Administrator” with Marc Brackett and Robin Stern. David is the co-founder of EI Skills Group which provides certification in the MSCEIT, the ability test of emotional intelligence, and offers hands-on skills training on emotional intelligence. David also consults in the areas of leader development, career assessment, team effectiveness training, and executive   read more

Ruth Castillo Gualda, Ph.D.

Ruth Castillo Gualda, Ph.D.

Ruth Castillo Gualda, Ph.D. is a Psychologist with a specialization in SEL. Ruth has collaborated with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence since 2010, when she worked as a post-graduate research fellow. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the effectiveness of SEL intervention in academic contexts for both students and teachers, and was supervised by Prof. Pablo F. Berrocal (University of Málaga) and Prof. Marc A. Brackett (Yale University). Dr. Castillo is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Biological and Health Psychology Department, Faculty of Psychology, Autonoma University of Madrid, where she teaches in the Degree of Psychology and Master programs. She is the co-author of several scholarly articles and communications that address the significance of Emotional Intelligence on psychological functioning and well-being, and has collaborated on research projects focused on the promotion of positive youth development. Ruth is a certified RULER trainer in Spain, where she is implementing the program in both academic and professional contexts.   read more

Daniel Cordaro, Ph.D.

Daniel Cordaro, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Daniel Cordaro, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Daniel’s research focuses on developing a new test of emotional intelligence to assess five skills:  recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions. This work aims to develop a new way to test people’s emotional skills and measure how emotional intelligence plays a role in human well-being. Another aspect of Daniel’s work focuses more broadly on human emotion and, in particular, one that is  related closely to human wellness and satisfaction with life – contentment. He aims to create a new line of research on contentment, differentiating it from related emotions like happiness and learning about how it can be cultivated in schools and at work. Daniel received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley where he directed the Universal Expression Project – a program that aimed to decode the universal language of human expression across eleven cultures. After working with ten industrial nations and one remote, isolated village in Bhutan, Daniel found evidence for over 30 expressions in the face and voice that were recognized despite profound cultural boundaries. He also collected over 5500 expressions of emotion from five of these cultures and coded them all, muscle by muscle. The Universal Expression Project found evidence for not only universal patterns in emotional expression, but also some fascinating cultural variations and individual differences.   read more

Diana Divecha, Ph.D.

Diana Divecha, Ph.D.

Research Affiliate | Email

Diana Divecha, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and research affiliate with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  She collaborates with Center researchers on RULER’s approach to bullying prevention, as well as on thought leadership and informing public opinion on the relevance of emotional intelligence. Diana served on the psychology faculty of Sonoma State University in northern California where she co-founded and chaired the Department of Human Development.  She taught courses on development from birth through the period of emerging adulthood, with a special emphasis on cognitive development, culture, and the development of the self. Diana has worked with children with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and severe behavior problems. She has guided parent education in several schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently writes about research on children’s development and advises organizations, like the Greater Good Science Center and Futures Without Violence, on matters pertaining to children and families. Her website is   read more

Nicole Elbertson

Nicole Elbertson

RULER Training Manager | Email

Nicole (Nikki) Elbertson is the RULER training manager for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In various research and project management roles at the Center for over 12 years, she has managed and coordinated several projects focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of RULER. Nicole has contributed to the design and publication of the Center’s research studies, and she is the co-author of several scholarly articles, papers, and book chapters. Currently, she oversees the development of RULER trainers and coaches and serves as a RULER trainer herself. Outside of her work at the Center, she is a certified group fitness instructor, teaching dance, strength training, and aerobics   read more

Lisa Flynn

Lisa Flynn

Research Assistant | Email

Lisa Flynn, is a research assistant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In this role, she works closely with the Deputy Director and Director, conducting research, preparing manuscripts, and studying the emotion contentment.  Lisa also supports Yale’s Recognizing Excellence in Learning and Teaching (RELATE) Project, which studies classrooms that serve students with diverse learning needs. Lisa comes to the Center having worked as a research fellow for the Universal Expression Project at UC Berkeley, where she supervised a cross-cultural emotion recognition study with isolated peoples in remote Bhutan. She is also a coauthor of a paper on the universality of vocal expressions of emotion across eleven cultures. Prior to her cross-cultural research, Lisa served for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Uganda, where she supported women with HIV/AIDS with health promotion and economic sustainability. Lisa earned her BA in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and had the opportunity to study abroad at both Thammasat University in Thailand and Delhi University in India. When she is not at the Center, you can find Lisa meditating early in the morning, blending green smoothies, and practicing and teaching hatha   read more

Tom Forget, Ph.D.

Tom Forget, Ph.D.

Implementation Coach and Trainer

Tom Forget, Ph.D., is a life-long educator. He began his professional career teaching in a high school in the Bronx, moved to the principalship of a PK-8 elementary school in Yonkers, and later served as principal of another PK-8 elementary school in the Bronx. During his service as teacher and principal, Tom was certified by the State of NY as a building supervisor and district superintendent. He obtained a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Fordham University. Following his PK-12 service, Tom moved to higher education, teaching as an adjunct assistant professor at Fordham, and joining senior administration of Sacred Heart University. He served as the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University for 11 years. As a VP, he continued teaching educators in the University’s College of Education and upon completing service as Provost joined the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership full-time. Tom’s research interests are in the areas of school leadership, teacher morale, virtue in educator preparation programs, and holistic education. Recently, he has served as a coach for urban school principals and their leadership teams on emotional intelligence in schools for the RULER Approach of the Yale Center for Emotional   read more

Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D.

Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is currently contributing to the Center’s Emotion, Creativity and the Arts project, supported by the Botin Foundation. Jessica’s research interests focus on how engagement in the creative arts can enhance people’s emotional intelligence and subsequent creativity. Jessica has experience working within school settings to develop interventions aimed at enhancing children’s imagination and creative abilities. Her research has focused on how fantasy play skills impact other areas of adaptive functioning, such as school adjustment, emotion regulation, and creativity. 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 completed her predoctoral internship at The Village for Families and Children, where she provided trauma-informed therapy and assessment services to inner-city children and their   read more

Ian Knisely

Ian Knisely

Communications Coordinator | Email

Ian Knisely is the communications coordinator at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. After spending five years living in Toronto where he received his Bachelors from the University of Toronto in June 2012 with dual degrees in Asia Pacific Studies and Environmental Geography, he has returned to his hometown of New Haven to begin his career. As the Communications Coordinator, Ian is responsible for managing all of the Center’s internal and external communications, including social media updates, website content, and video production. Outside of work, Ian is a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and hopes they win the Stanley Cup   read more

Kathryn Lee, M.A.

Kathryn Lee, M.A.

Project Director of RULER for Families | Email

Kathryn Lee, M.A., is the project director of RULER for families, which explores emotional skill building in the home as well as innovative pathways for developing partnerships between families and schools. Among the projects in development are an emotionally intelligent workshop series, dynamic online resources for families, and an online guide for schools to direct their family engagement efforts. Kathryn is longtime advocate for “real world education,” relevant to a rapidly changing world. She has taught preschool–middle school, served as a senior administrator of an independent school in the Bay Area of California, curated at TEDx event on Compassion and Education, designed nationally recognized service learning and environmental stewardship programs, and Ashoka selected her as a Change Leader for catalyzing empathy into action. Kathryn holds a B.A. in human development from the University of the Pacific, and an M.A. in early childhood education from Mills College. Most importantly, she is a   read more

Andrea Livolsi, M.A.T.

Andrea Livolsi, M.A.T.

Implementation Coach

Andrea Livolsi is a second grade teacher for Hamden Public Schools, as well as a consultant for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She received her B.A. and M.A.T. at Quinnipiac University. Andrea has worked as an elementary educator for 13 years, teaching kindergarten, second and third grade. During her tenure, she has served on professional development committees, presented professional development, and written curriculum.  Andrea was trained as a teacher trainer for RULER in 2011. She has since trained teachers in her district, utilized it daily in her classroom and acted as a table facilitator for RULER during the summer Anchors of Emotional Intelligence Institute. Andrea serves on the Connecticut Science Teachers Association Award Banquet committee.  She enjoys traveling, cooking and   read more

Monika Lohani, Ph.D.

Monika Lohani, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Monika Lohani, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She investigates: (1) efficient ways to manage ongoing social and personal crises; (2) intervention programs for emotional health; (3) the effects and mechanisms of contemplative practices on emotional and cognitive functioning in healthy and clinical populations; and (4) individual and group differences in socioemotional cognition. At the Center, Monika studies how people can develop emotional intelligence skills through virtual interactions, as well as how those interactions affect trust and reliance on computer systems (PIs: Drs. Susan Rivers and Charlene Stokes). This research incorporates multimodal assessment (e.g., self-report, facial analysis, EEG, EDA, HRV, and eye-tracking) and a validated emotional skills dialog paradigm (RULER) to explore the risks and benefits associated with virtual interactions. Monika received the Francisco Varela Award for Contemplative Sciences from the Mind and Life Institute to do an intervention study that combines psychophysiological, behavioral, and experience sampling assessments to measure the effect of two specific meditation techniques (Open Monitoring and Focused Attention). The goal of that project is to decipher the underlying mechanisms through which such techniques improve emotion regulation skills in mildly depressed individuals. Monika is now exploring several exciting lines of multidisciplinary research to optimize psychosocial health outcomes across the lifespan. Monika earned her M.A. in cognitive science from the Center for Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, India, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in social developmental psychology from Brandeis   read more

Nadine Maliakkal

Nadine Maliakkal

Research Assistant | Email

Nadine Maliakkal is a research assistant for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She works on several research projects that investigate the role of emotional intelligence in creativity as well as in social and academic functioning. Nadine earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She spent several years working in the field of social psychology with a focus on adolescent development and is interested in the psychological well being outcomes of adolescents. In addition to research, Nadine has been competing nationally in the sport of synchronized figure skating for the past ten   read more

Marissa McCoy, M.A.

Marissa McCoy, M.A.

Project and Lab Manager | Email

Marissa McCoy, M.A., is project and lab manager at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. At the Center, Marissa manages a portfolio of studies within the Cross-Disciplinary Explorations research area, projects which explore how emerging technologies – virtual simulations, social robots, and psychophysiological sensors – can be used to enhance human-machine teaming/human-robot interaction and promote emotional intelligence skills.  Marissa is also responsible for the recruitment, hiring and management of the Center’s research assistants and undergraduate interns. Marissa comes to the Center from New York University where she worked on the development of the Teacher Instructional Practices & Processes System (TIPPS), a classroom observation tool being used to assess classrooms in randomized impact evaluations in Sub-Saharan Africa. While completing her M.A. in international education at NYU,  Marissa spent a summer teaching English at the Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda. Prior to graduate school, she served for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mocho, Jamaica, where she taught remedial reading and peer education at the high school level. Marissa also holds a B.S.W. from Texas Christian   read more

Kara McElvaine

Kara McElvaine

RULER Research Coordinator | Email

Kara McElvaine is the RULER Research Coordinator at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  At the Center, Kara has several roles that all revolve around compiling and managing data about RULER.  First, she is the proud owner of our Client Relations Management system. In this capacity, she manages the Center’s data about clients from the past and present and develops systems that can accommodate massive and high-tech data collection.  Second, Kara serves as a project coordinator for the Center’s partnerships with other organizations, such as Boys and Girls Club of America and Year Up. This work allows her to spend time in the field designing interventions to infuse emotional intelligence skill development in the afterschool space and training staff and volunteers at these organizations. Finally, Kara assists with a variety of research projects on an on-going basis and manages undergraduate interns. Kara earned her B.A. at the College of William and Mary, where she double-majored in Anthropology and Art History, with a special emphasis on Medical Anthropology.  Kara started working at the Center in December 2014 after living in the Washington D.C. area and working at FedBid, Inc., a fully managed online marketplace.  At FedBid, Kara worked as a Marketplace Specialist within the Quality Assurance department.  In her spare time, Kara enjoys volunteering at a local tutoring non-profit called New Haven Reads, practicing yoga, and learning as much as she can about our wonderfully complex   read more

Miriam Miller, B.A., M.A. (candidate)

Miriam Miller, B.A., M.A. (candidate)

Senior Implementation Coach and Trainer

Miriam Miller, B.A., M.A. (candidate), is a consultant and coach for The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  Miriam has been training educators in RULER since 2009 and is based in Vancouver, BC. In addition to her work at the Center Miriam works as an educational consultant in Vancouver, Canada to support professional learning and growth in the area of social and emotional development, school safety, and healthy classroom and school climates. Miriam holds a B.A. from Trinity Western University and is currently completing her graduate studies in Human Development, Learning and Culture, with a specialization in SEL, in the department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education at the University of British   read more

Julia Moeller, Ph.D.

Julia Moeller, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Julia Moeller is a postdoctoral associate in the Emotion Revolution research project at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Julia’s research interests bridge topics of the psychology of motivation, development, and personality. She wrote her Ph.D. thesis about passion, and studied situational aspects of emotions, engagement and task values during her first year as a postdoc. Generally, Julia is interested in trait and state determinants of the motivation to approach, engage and persist in learning activities. Julia’s recent focus lies on state and trait aspects of academic emotions. This has led her to study the ‘dark side’ of high motivation (motivation blended with exhaustion, stress, anxiety), and the ‘bright side’ of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, stress, and frustration blended with positive, beneficial experiences). Julia is particularly interested in the beneficial and potentially harmful aspects of motivation and emotions in learning settings, their situational, personal, and contextual determinants, and the possibilities to identify and support students’ emotional and motivational needs. To examine situational variability and heterogeneity in sample populations, Julia uses intensive longitudinal data (e.g. Experience Sampling Method) and person-oriented approaches. She has recently published two articles about potential problems of using z-scores in the analyses of profiles and longitudinal studies. Julia received her master’s degree (diploma) in Psychology from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, and her doctoral degree from the University of Erfurt, Germany. During her first year as a post-doc she worked with Katariina Salmela-Aro and Jari Lavonen at the University of Helsinki, Finland and received mentoring in the international post-doctoral Program “Pathways to Adulthood” by the Jacobs Foundation. www.juliamoeller.wordpress.com   read more

Emily Nusbaum, Ph.D.

Emily Nusbaum, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate | Email

Emily C. Nusbaum, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is currently working on the Center’s Self-Regulation in Creativity project, funded by the Imagination Institute of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center and the John Templeton Foundation.  Broadly, Emily’s research explores individual differences in personality, creativity, humor, and the experience of aesthetic emotions like chills, awe, or feeling moved. Consequently, Emily has specialized in assessment techniques like experience sampling, daily diary studies, and ambulatory psychophysiology, and has expertise in sophisticated analysis techniques including multi-level modeling, structural equation modeling, item response theory, and meta-analysis. Her current interests lie in exploring how individual differences in humor — i.e., being funny, having a broad sense of humor, and using humor as a regulation strategy — impact physical and emotional well-being.  Emily received her B.A. in psychology, and her M.A. and Ph.D in social psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also has a doctoral minor in education research methodology, which focuses on the use and application of advanced statistical analysis techniques. Emily is a recent recipient of APA Division 10’s Frank X. Barron Award recognizing superior contributions to a psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the   read more

Svea Olsen

Svea Olsen

Research Assistant | Email

Svea Olsen is a research assistant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence working on Preschool RULER, a program that promotes social and emotional development in early childhood. She specializes in working with Spanish-speaking children and adults. Svea earned her B.A. in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College, with a focus on Spanish Language and Hispanic Studies, and is certified as an English as a Second Language teacher (TESOL). Before coming to the Center, her work focused on supporting the cultural transition and education of immigrants and refugees in the United States. She is interested in continuing to work with English Language Learner populations in early childhood education settings.   read more

Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D.

Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist | Email

Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D., is an associate research scientist for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, received her Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire, and did postdoctoral work at the Interpersonal Communication and Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University. Zorana’s research interests involve creativity and emotions, self-concept of ability across cultures, and the nature of interactions on social networking sites. Zorana is currently the principal investigator on three projects: (1) Emotion, Creativity and the Arts, (2) Facebook, and (3) High School Transitions and Emotional Intelligence, a longitudinal study of adolescent social and emotional development. Zorana has published work in numerous academic journals, including Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Creativity Research Journal, and Journal of Creative Behavior. She is on the editorial board of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and is an associate editor of the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving. Zorana received the Mensa Education and Research Foundation’s Award for Excellence in Research for her research on emotional intelligence and emotional   read more

Maria Rivera, M.A.

Maria Rivera, M.A.

Implementation Coach

Maria Rivera, M.A., is a trainer and coach for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She has almost 30 years experience in education and education management. She has held multiple leadership positions, including Principal for several New York City Public Schools and more recently Director of Student Teaching and Internship Placement Coordinator at the University of Bridgeport, School of Education. She received her B.A. from Herbert H. Lehman College in Elementary Education and Psychology and her M.A. in Educational Administration from Columbia University, Teachers   read more

Susan Rivers, Ph.D.

Susan Rivers, Ph.D.

Co-founder and Research Scientist | Email

Susan Rivers, Ph.D., is co-founder of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a visiting research scientist in the Department of Psychology. She received her B.A. from Skidmore College and her M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale. Until recently, she served as founding deputy director for the Center and is now Executive Director at iThrive, a nonprofit that uses digital games to promote social and emotional skill building in adolescents (ithrivegames.org). Susan is a co-developer of RULER, an approach to teach adults and children the skills of emotional intelligence: recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions. With support from federal and foundation grants, her research tests the impacts of RULER. This intervention, designed to teach emotional intelligence to children, relies on first teaching the adults who surround children in schools (i.e., teachers, principals, and school staff) to appreciate the significance of their own and their students emotions, to value the importance of emotional intelligence, to learn and model these skills, and to support, teach, and encourage students to develop their skills. RULER is designed to be part of the everyday routine of teaching and learning; it is infused into the curriculum, not taught as a separate lesson or set of activities. Rigorous evaluations of RULER show significant, positive effects. With RULER training, classroom climates improve, teachers teach more effectively, and students are more engaged in learning and perform better. Tens of thousands of teachers have been trained in RULER, reaching hundreds of thousands of students across the globe. The Institute for Education Sciences funded Susan and her colleagues to develop Preschool RULER, an adaptation of the approach for our youngest learners in early childhood classrooms. Pilot tests of Preschool RULER are promising, showing that teachers and children enjoy the approach, and children’s skills in emotion labeling and understanding are improving. Newer work Susan is leading focuses on transforming emotional intelligence training to be delivered in games, virtual worlds, and social robotics. Susan works with collaborators across industries and disciplines to explore how to leverage technologies that are appealing to both children and adults in order to help develop emotional awareness and emotion regulation skills across a variety of contexts including STEM learning in middle school students, literacy and conflict resolution in elementary school, design making and team work in young adults, and health and well-being amongst young adults in the military. One goal of this work is to embed emotional intelligence training into activities that people enjoy doing (i.e., to sneak it in). The Recognizing Excellence in Learning and Teaching (RELATE) project emerged from work funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and aims to identify effective teaching and learning practices in classrooms that serve children with learning differences.   read more

Kate Rozen

Kate Rozen

Executive Assistant | Email

Kate Rozen is the executive assistant to the director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She joined the Center in 2014, after working in the private sector for over ten years. Kate engages in strategic planning, manages communications and relationships, and provides high-level administrative support for the daily operations of the Director’s office.  Kate also is a former member of the Junior League of Greater New Haven where she worked closely with the Connecticut Food Bank. She resides in Woodbridge, Connecticut with her husband, daughter, and dog.   read more

Sharon Shapses, M.S.

Sharon Shapses, M.S.

Senior Implementation Coach and Trainer | Email

Sharon Shapses, M.S., is a Preschool RULER and RULER for Families consultant and coach for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She holds a M.S in early childhood from Bank Street College of Education, as well as a certificate in coaching from New York University. For more than 35 years in the field of early childhood development and education, Sharon has served as a parent cooperative preschool director, parent educator, adjunct assistant professor, and instructional coach. At the Center, she works with the Preschool RULER team training and coaching preschool teachers and administrators. As a member of the RULER for Families team she develops resources to engage parents in the RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning. She continues to conduct RULER Anchor Tool and Feeling Words Curriculum trainings, as well as individualized coaching sessions for teachers and school leaders. Drawing on her love of children’s literature, she helped develop the Feeling Words Curriculum for kindergarten through second grade classrooms. Her interests include yoga, gardening, attending theater and modern dance, being in nature, sailing, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog,   read more

Charlene Stokes, Ph.D.

Charlene Stokes, Ph.D.

Research Affiliate | Email

Charlene Stokes, Ph.D., is a research affiliate with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is also a research psychologist with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). There, she has managed several research portfolios, primarily surrounding the construct of trust, including interpersonal trust and influence, cross-cultural trust, emotion and trust, and trust in automation. She earned her B.S. from The Ohio State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Wright State University in Industrial-Organizational and Human Factors Psychology. In collaboration with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Charlene recently established the human-machine teaming program, which conducts research in the implicit social and emotional underpinnings that drive human interaction with technology. Potential applications include using technology to teach emotional intelligence skills, improved human-machine system interface designs, and training paradigms that promote calibrated trust and human-machine teaming. Charlene’s additional research interests include adaptive performance and well-being. She is the author or coauthor of many peer-reviewed publications on the above   read more

Michael Strambler, Ph.D.

Michael Strambler, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist | Email

Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D. is an associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and is based at The Consultation Center in New Haven, CT. A main aspect of his research centers on how home and school environments shape students’ emotional and psychological investment in academics and such investment impacts their academic and social-emotional wellbeing. Along with Lance Linke, Mike co-directs a collaborative project between Bridgeport Public Schools, Yale School of Medicine, and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence aimed at promoting social emotional learning which includes implementation of RULER. A key component to this work also focuses on capacity building around the use of data for informing practice. Mike received his B.A. from Morehouse College, his M.A. from Stony Brook University, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He has earned several grants and awards including those from the Ford Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Tauck Family Foundation, and the American Psychological Foundation and he is the author of numerous scholarly articles and   read more

Benjamin Toll, Ph.D.

Benjamin Toll, Ph.D.

Director of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Research Program | Email

Benjamin Toll, Ph.D., is the director of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Research Program at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He is also an associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, a member of Yale Cancer Center, and the program director of the Smoking Cessation Service for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Benjamin has a long-standing collaboration with other Center team members advancing the Center’s robust health messaging research program. This line of inquiry aims to encourage healthy lifestyle choices across the lifespan in the general population. It includes investigations into how best to leverage emotions and a range of psychological variables in communications designed to dissuade people from using nicotine and tobacco, an area of particular interest and expertise for Benjamin. Benjamin has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications relating to nicotine and tobacco research, including a policy statement from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) encouraging physicians to provide tobacco treatment for cancer patients and the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) treatment guidelines for smoking cessation amongst lung cancer patients. He holds leadership positions in several national associations relating to tobacco treatment   read more

Shauna Tominey, Ph.D.

Shauna Tominey, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist | Email

Shauna Tominey, Ph.D., is an associate research scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the Yale Child Study Center. At the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, she is the director of early childhood programming and teacher education and directs the Preschool RULER Development Project.  At the Yale Child Study Center, she studies ways to develop social skills and foster social support to promote resilience among children and families in under-resourced populations, including families in rural areas and families who have children living with serious illness. Dr. Tominey holds undergraduate degrees in music and psychology from the University of Washington, an M.S. in family studies and human services from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in human development and family sciences from Oregon State   read more

Seth Wallace

Seth Wallace

Project Coordinator | Email

Seth Wallace joined the Center in the summer of 2014. He has worked in psychology research at Yale since 2010, and currently works as a coordinator for the inspirED project, collaborating with Facebook and high schools across the country to develop resources for students and teachers looking to create positive emotional climate in schools. Seth is completing his M.S.W. at Southern Connecticut State University with a particular focus on gender and sexuality, and an internship at the Yale LGBTQ Resource Center. He has almost 15 years of activism experience and consults schools and organizations in New England on topics LGBTQ identity. In his spare time, he coordinates public LGBTQ events for the New Haven   read more

Mark Weiss, M.A.

Mark Weiss, M.A.

Implementation Coach

Mark Weiss, M.A., has been the Director of Education for Operation Respect for 13 years. He was a New York City school principal for 20 years, founding the first alternative high school in the Bronx in 1979 and leading that school for 13 years. In 1993, he founded a New Visions 6-12 grade public school, School for the Physical City, heralded in a New York Times Magazine cover story as “A City School Experiment That Actually Works.” He led that school for more than 7 years. Mr. Weiss brings his commitment and expertise in building school communities of respect and learning to his work with Operation Respect and to the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as a consultant. At Operation Respect, he directs a staff of trainers who lead workshops focusing on social and emotional learning and promoting positive school climate nationally from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina, to the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, and internationally in Israel and Palestine, Jordan, Ukraine, and most recently, Japan. He lives in Putnam Valley, New York with his wife, Jane, enjoying the nearby families of their three adult daughters and four   read more

Arielle White, M.A.

Arielle White, M.A.

Research Assistant | Email

Arielle White is a research assistant for the Emotion Revolution project at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Her role entails the cleaning, coding, and analysis of large datasets, survey creation, review of literature, and manuscript writing. Her primary interest in this project is current school climate for students across the U.S. and improvements to policy that will promote student health and agency and foster a more positive, nurturing environment for adolescent development. Her research interests lie more broadly in the creation and maintenance of social locations within a cultural hierarchy that are determined by self vs. other perceptions of sexual orientation, gender identity, and race/ethnicity. Additionally, she is interested in how these facets of identity intersect and manifest in both individual- and group-level experiences within specific points of time and across generations. She is particularly concerned with capturing and articulating the experiences of marginalized groups and the larger role of emotional intelligence in developing empathy, reducing prejudice, and improving overall well-being. During her undergraduate career, she researched aesthetics and perceptions of creativity in various types of artists under the supervision of Dr. James Kaufman. Her Honors thesis was published in the Division 10 journal for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts; she has co-authored several book chapters on this topic. As an undergraduate she was also a recipient of the SPSP Diversity Undergraduate Registration Award. She completed her Master’s degree at San Francisco State University under the supervision of Dr. Charlotte Tate, where she focused on perceptions of and attitudes toward sexual minority groups and related personality traits as well as the psychometric properties and validity of relevant measurement   read more