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   read more

Susan Rivers, Ph.D.

Susan Rivers, Ph.D.

Deputy Director | Email

Susan Rivers, Ph.D., is deputy director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a 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. Susan’s research draws from social and health psychology to examine the conditions that promote and impede healthy living across the lifespan. Her primary research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in   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   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   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   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   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   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,   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   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   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   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   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.   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   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   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   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   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,   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   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   read more

Larrisa Henington

Larrisa Henington

Training Coordinator | Email

Larrisa Henington 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. Larrisa is originally from Palm Harbor, FL and earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of South Florida where she worked with the   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   read more

Kara McElvaine

Kara McElvaine

CRM Coordinator | Email

Kara McElvaine is the CRM coordinator at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  She earned her B.A. at the College of William and Mary, where she double-majored in Anthropology and Art History.  Kara relocated to New Haven 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.  At   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   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   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   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   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).   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   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.   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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,   read more