Our Team

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Director | Email

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. His grant-funded research focuses on: (1) the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, relationship quality, and mental health; (2) the measurement of emotional intelligence; (3) best practices for teaching emotional intelligence; and (3) the influences of emotional intelligence training on children’s and adults’ effectiveness, health, creativity, and both school and workplace climate. Marc has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning and an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. He also is a distinguished scientist on the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. Marc is the lead developer of RULER (an acronym for the five key emotion skills of recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions) is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1,500 public, charter, and private pre-school to high schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Sri Lanka. RULER infuses social and emotion learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent. Research has shown that RULER boosts academic performance, decreases school problems like bullying, enriches classroom climates, reduces teacher stress and burnout, and enhances teacher instructional practices. Marc regularly consults with large companies, including Facebook and Google on best practices for integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into training and product design. With Facebook, he has developed a number of products, including: social resolution tools to help adults and youth resolve online conflict, the bullying prevention hub to support educators, families, and teens, and InspirED, an open-source resource center to support high school students in leading positive change in their schools. Marc also holds a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial   read more

Scott Levy

Scott Levy

Executive Director | Email

Scott Levy is the Executive Director for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Scott is responsible for overseeing the strategy, management and operations of the Center. After graduating from Harvard College, Scott spent 20 years as an Investment Banker at JPMorgan and Lehman/Barclays, most recently as Managing Director providing strategic and financial advice to senior management teams and boards of public and private companies. He serves on the board of a venture-backed digital healthcare technology company, having previously acted as interim CFO. Scott is deeply committed to education and children’s health. He recently completed a Senior Research Fellowship in public education policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and served as Chairman of the Byram Hills Education Foundation. He is an elected member of the Byram Hills School District Board of Education and serves as a Director of the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association. Scott is Vice Chairman of Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Chairman of the Hospital’s Investment   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

Valancia Ariyanayagam, M.B.A.

Valancia Ariyanayagam, M.B.A.

Financial Assistant IV | Email

Valancia Ariyanayagam is a financial assistant IV at 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/financial 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

Craig Bailey, Ph.D.

Craig Bailey, Ph.D.

Director of RULER for Early Childhood | Email

Craig S. Bailey, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist and the Director of RULER for Early Childhood at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Craig and his team facilitate professional development workshops with early childhood educators, develop content for practicing and teaching emotional intelligence, and conduct psychological, educational, and intervention research. In particular, Craig specializes in children’s social and emotional learning in early childhood classrooms with an emphasis on how teachers support and promote the development of empathy and emotion regulation. With experience as an early childhood educator, Craig is passionate about bridging the gap between research and practice. In addition to his work at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Craig consults on many research initiatives, most prominently as the Director of Measurement and Evaluation for Think Equal. 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

Christina Bradley

Christina Bradley

Postgraduate Associate | Email

Christina Bradley is a Postgraduate Associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. One of her primary focuses this year is helping to run the Yale Wellness Project, which is a large study of a few college wellness programs. This project aims at exploring how colleges can support their student’s emotional and mental wellbeing. She also works on the inspirED team, for which she is developing a school climate assessment tool. Christina is also involved in the Emotion Revolution for Educators study, which looked at the wellbeing of 9,000 educators from across the country. Before beginning as a postgraduate associate, Christina earned her B.S. from Yale University where she focused on psychology and wellbeing. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned and consulted at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence for 3 years. After graduating, she moved to Italy for 7 months to help implement and research RULER, the Center’s social and emotional learning program, in schools across Italy. She plans to pursue her doctorate in social psychology with a focus on emotional and mental   read more

Madeline Chaffee, B.S.P.H., CHES

Madeline Chaffee, B.S.P.H., CHES

Project Manager for RULER for Families | Email

Madeline Chaffee is a Project Manager for RULER for families. RULER for families supports emotional skill building in the home, as well as explores opportunities to further develop partnerships between families and schools. As a Program Manager, Madeline will be working with the families team to help schedule and facilitate workshops, provide ongoing support to RULER schools, and develop resources for RULER schools and their families. Prior to coming to Yale, Madeline worked as a Health Educator for a county health department in Montana and was the lead Health Educator for five School Based Health Centers in Stamford, Connecticut. While the bulk of her experience is in working with middle and high school aged students, she enjoys working with children and families of all ages to help them lead healthier and happier lives. Madeline holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and ACE Certified Health   read more

Nicole Elbertson, M.Ed.

Nicole Elbertson, M.Ed.

Director of Blended Learning | Email

Nicole (Nikki) Elbertson is the director of blended learning at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In various research and training roles at the Center for over 15 years, she has managed and coordinated several projects focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of RULER from elementary through high school. Nikki has contributed to the design and publication of the Center’s research studies and curricula, and she is the co-author of several scholarly articles, papers, and book chapters. Currently, she focuses on content development for the Center’s RULER online portal and serves as a RULER trainer and coach. Outside of her work at the Center, she is a certified group fitness instructor, teaching strength training and aerobics classes.   read more

Sarah Free, M.S.

Sarah Free, M.S.

RULER Program Manager for Middle Schools | Email

Sarah Free, M.S., is the Program Manager for RULER for Middle Schools. Sarah earned B.A.s in Psychology and Philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross, and her M.S. in Special Education from Dominican University. Prior to joining the Center, she served as a high school and middle school Special Education teacher on Chicago’s South Side. In this capacity, she developed and taught ten different courses for 8th -12th grade, founded the varsity softball program and the high school’s Queer-Straight-Alliance, and was a founding member of the school’s anti-racism committee. Sarah was the co-author of a 2016 study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, that focused on emotion regulation and disordered eating. She enjoys reading educational and legal philosophy and theory, running, and maintaining a creative writing   read more

Eliana Grossman

Eliana Grossman

Postgraduate Research Assistant | Email

Ellie Grossman is a postgraduate associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Her duties at the Center entail working primarily with the Botin Foundation to formulate workshops that teach emotional regulation through creativity and art to adults and children. She earned her B.F.A. from Northeastern University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with Tufts University. With this undergraduate education, Ellie was able to study psychology at Northeastern and painting at the SMFA at Tufts allowing her to combine these discourses. For her final thesis, Ellie visually depicted perception and metaperception in her interpersonal relationships through the form of large-scale oil paintings. She hopes to continue this body of work, allowing her experiences at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to inform her artistic practice. In addition to her art background, Ellie completed two full-time internships at Rosie’s Place in Boston, MA and Vinfen in Somerville, MA in which she worked with poor and homeless women and adults with mental illness and disabilities, respectively. In addition to going back to Rosie’s Place and Vinfen to visit her former clients, Ellie enjoys painting, baking and all things   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

Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D.

Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist | Email

Jessica Hoffmann, Ph.D., is an associate research scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She serves as project director for RULER for high schools, which helps bring social-emotional learning to high school students and educators to promote safe, nurturing environments where students and educators can reach their full potential. 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 specializes in working within school settings to develop creative interventions aimed at enhancing children’s creative thinking to promote adaptive coping and enhance mental health. Her current research focuses on the efficacy of RULER for high schools, including the impact of emotion skills instruction on school climate, creative problem solving, and emotion regulation   read more

Rachelle Ianniello, M.S.

Rachelle Ianniello, M.S.

Educational Content Assistant | Email

Rachelle Ianniello, M.S., joined the Center in September 2017 as an Educational Content Assistant where she supports the Technology team in development of the RULER platform. Before coming to the Center, she worked as an Associate in the management consulting field focusing on culture change, leadership and team development, individual coaching, and organizational dynamics and health. Rachelle holds a B.A. in Organizational Communications from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University. In her spare time, she enjoys performing in musicals, mentoring youth through the performing arts, and spending time with her husband and two   read more

Sarah Kadden

Sarah Kadden

Early Childhood RULER Program Manager | Email

Sarah Kadden, LMSW, MAR, is program manager of RULER for Early Childhood at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  She provides professional development training and support as well as content and connectivity for the Early Childhood community.  Prior to joining the Center, she worked in community, non-profit, Early Childhood, and public school settings as an educator, social worker, professional development provider, and organizer. As part of Shelburne Farms’ Sustainable Schools Project she was instrumental in the development of the nation’s first public elementary school devoted to Education for Sustainability, provided training in that field to educators across the country, and contributed to Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Educating for Sustainability in Early Childhood Through Nature, Food, and Community.   Her interests converge around child development, social justice pedagogy and policy and change, and teacher practice.  She is a licensed social worker and certified educator in the state of Connecticut, holds a dual B.A. in sociology and religion from Mount Holyoke College, an M.A.R in ethics from Yale University, an M.S.W focused on school practice from Southern Connecticut State University, and completed an apprenticeship in experiential education at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne,   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

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

Michelle Lugo

Michelle Lugo

Executive Assistant to Marc Brackett | Email

Michelle Lugo is the Executive Assistant to the Director. She has been at Yale for nearly a decade supporting University leadership in various departments. Prior to joining the Center, she owned her own business and provided administrative support in the private sector. She graduated from Katharine Gibbs College. In her free time, Michelle is active in community service and volunteerism. She likes to read and enjoys going to the beach with her husband and   read more

Julie McGarry, M.A.

Julie McGarry, M.A.

Program Manager for inspirED | Email

Julie McGarry, M.A., joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in July as Program Manager for inspirED, partnering with Facebook to elevate high school student voice and empower students to take an active role in improving the social and emotional climate of their schools. Before coming to the Center, she was a high school English teacher in Philadelphia. A graduate of the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education, Julie has also worked in varying capacities in K-12 education in several Connecticut school districts. Outside of her time at the Center, Julie enjoys hiking, reading, and   read more

Rose Miller

Rose Miller

Postgraduate Associate | Email

Rose Miller joined the Center in 2016 as a postgraduate associate for the high school team, where she works on High School RULER and inspirED. Her role encompasses everything from data cleaning and analysis to creating content to engage with high school students across the country. Prior to coming to Yale, Rose was a project coordinator in the Peer Relationships Lab at Amherst College, studying children with ADHD and related disorders. She completed her senior honors thesis on gender differences in first-year college students’ friendships, and has also worked on research related to eating disorders and addiction. Rose hopes to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology studying the interplay between emotions, cognition, and mood disorders. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her Yorkshire terrier,   read more

Andrés Richner Maldonado

Andrés Richner Maldonado

Director of Education Technology | Email

Andrés Richner is the Director of Technology at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where he spearheads the development of an online learning platform to support RULER, the Center’s approach to social emotional learning and academic development. Andrés has dedicated most of his academic and professional career to the intersection of technology and human behavior, with a special interest in how people learn through diverse media. He graduated Princeton University with a B.A. in Psychology, and after several years as a classroom educator, pursued an M.A. in Communications, Technology, and Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Before moving back up to the Northeast, Andrés spent 4 years in Durham, North Carolina as a user experience consultant and designer of digital products for educational technology, healthcare, and   read more

Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D.

Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D.

Research Scientist / Director of the Creativity and Emotions Lab | Email

Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, received her doctorate from the University of New Hampshire, and did postdoctoral work at the Interpersonal Communication and Interaction laboratory at Tufts University. Dr. Ivcevic’s research interests center around the role of emotion and self-regulation in creativity across domains, as well as self-expression in different contexts of everyday life. She is currently the principal investigator on three projects: (1) Emotion, Creativity and the Arts, (3) Creativity, Art and Resilience, and (4) Emotion Revolution in the Workplace. Dr. Ivcevic received funding for her research from the Botin Foundation, Imagination Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Faas Foundation. Dr. Ivcevic collaborated with colleagues from Denmark, Spain, China, and Croatia and published her research in numerous academic journals such as Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Creativity Research Journal, Journal of Creative Behavior and others. She is Associate Editor of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving. Dr. Ivcevic received the Award for Excellence in Research from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation for her research on emotional intelligence an emotional creativity, as well as the Berlyne Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievement in psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts from Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. At the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Dr. Ivcevic is the Director of the Creativity and Emotions   read more

Apara Ranjan, Ph.D.

Apara Ranjan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher | Email

Apara Ranjan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Her research interests broadly focus on the psychology of creativity, the role of emotions and individual differences in creativity, and cross-cultural psychology. The focus of her current research is the relationship between self-regulation, creativity, and resilience, and how self-regulation helps transform creative ideas into achievements. This research is sponsored by the Imagination Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts. She received her Ph.D. in psychology and interdisciplinary studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her PhD research was about understanding the creative process across different artistic domains and how both personal style and inspirational source come together in the generation of a creative work. She holds a MA in Cognitive Science from the Centre for Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad, India. Prior to her work at the Center, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, where her research focused on understanding how culture shapes design thinking. Prior to that she was a Research Associate at University of California, Berkeley. Apara also enjoys teaching. She has developed and taught courses on psychology of humor, organizational creativity, psychology of creativity and Usability. She worked as a lecturer at University of British   read more

Joanne Richardson

Joanne Richardson

Training Coordinator | Email

Joanne Richardson comes to the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence from The Consultation Center in the Department of Psychiatry, where she played an essential role as a program coordinator since 2015. She coordinated partnerships and all trainings events for The Consultation Center, including the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP Project and the National Institute of Justice Project-Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative.  In her previous position of 20+ years as an office manager, Joanne collaborated with Yale departments across campus and negotiated all contracts with service providers. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Science from Southern Connecticut State University. She lives in East Haven with her   read more

Rebecca Rubin, M.Ed.

Rebecca Rubin, M.Ed.

RULER Program Manager for Elementary Schools | Email

​Rebecca joined the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence in July 2017, where she serves as the RULER Program Manager for Elementary Schools. Prior to joining the Center she taught in elementary schools in both Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. In Oakland, at Lighthouse Community Charter School,  she championed efforts to incorporate Constructivist principles into curriculum, and she helped to train her peers. She received a B.A. in political science from the University of Virginia and her Masters Degree in Special Education from George Mason University. Outside of work she enjoys hiking with her dog,   read more

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Director of Education | Email

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is the director of education 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, coaching, and education 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 a talk at the United Nations, two TEDx talks, and a TED talk on Broadway. Dena 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 the Paul and Daisy Soros Alumni Board. She enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and writing creatively. Follow Dena on   read more

Charlene Voyce, M.P.H.

Charlene Voyce, M.P.H.

Director of Out-of-School Time | Email

Charlene Voyce, M.P.H., is the Director of Out-of-School Time at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She received her AB from Duke University and her MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more than 30 years, she has worked in the world of SEL, first as a special education teacher, then as project director for a series of studies on the impact of school-based SEL programming on a variety of health, behavior, and academic outcomes. Currently she focuses on professional development for youth workers and adapting RULER to out-of-school time settings, including recess and after-school programming. Outside of her work at the Center, she is an advocate for individuals with disabilities in medical, school, and workforce   read more

Mela Toro Waters, M.S.

Mela Toro Waters, M.S.

Training Coordinator | Email

Mela Waters is Training Coordinator at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. As part of her role, she organizes leadership development conferences for school leaders and RULER training events for educators in order to create emotionally intelligent schools. Mela holds a certificate in Executive and Organizational Coaching from New York University. Under Dr. David Caruso, she received training in the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).  Mela is currently enrolled in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology masters program at University of New Haven. She has a B.A. in Graphic/Information Design and a M.S. in Educational Technology. Mela has a combined 12-year experience in educational technology and design. Beside working at Yale ITS and Apple, she taught in the classroom, advised middle school students, and integrated technology into K-8 curriculum at the Independent Day School. Mela enjoys co-chairing Future Leaders of Yale (FLY) affinity group, where she coordinates professional development training and facilitates the FLY Mentorship Program for Yale’s young professionals. Beside coaching millennials and leading group coaching sessions, she has presented on topics such as “Leading Millennials in the Workplace”, “Establishing a Mentoring Relationship”, “Generations at Work”,   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

Kimberly Zaweski

Kimberly Zaweski

Training Coordinator | Email

Kim Zaweski joined the Center in 2017 as a training coordinator. Working in the School Initiatives team, she organizes K-12 institutes for educators. Before coming to the center, Kim worked at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, an office at the university that brings together diverse opportunities for students interested in exploring entrepreneurship.  Preceding her work at Yale, Kim served as a Photo Editor at Weekly Reader Magazine, the educational magazine designed for elementary, middle school and high school   read more

Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen

Senior Consultant | Email

Jennifer Allen’s focus at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is on making Connecticut the first emotionally intelligent state. Jennifer received her B.A. in British and American literature and her M.A.T. in English from the University of Vermont. She earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in administration and supervision at Southern Connecticut State University, and she is currently completing her dissertation in the department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her doctoral research is on accomplished novice urban teachers and their decisions to stay or leave their classrooms. Jennifer has served as a high school English teacher and assistant principal and twice as a middle school principal, all in suburban settings. While she was completing her work at Columbia, she served as director of education and of secondary school redesign at two prominent national organizations whose work was focused on social and emotional learning, consulting with public and independent schools across the country and internationally and publishing a number of related articles. After completing her coursework at Columbia, she served as the executive director of professional learning and the chief talent officer in the Hartford, Connecticut Public Schools and later as the director of secondary education in the Westport, Connecticut Public Schools. At the center of Jennifer’s extensive work in schools – public, private, suburban, and urban – has always been the understanding that school climate and culture have a fundamental and inextricable impact on students’ wellbeing and   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

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.

RULER Consultant for Spanish Speaking Countries

Ruth Castillo Gualda, Ph.D. is a Psychologist with a specialization in social and emotionally learning. Ruth is a certified RULER trainer and coach, who has collaborated with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence since 2010. Ruth is the RULER Project Coordinator in Spain and consultant for high school RULER implementation in Mexico. Ruth received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Granada and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Emotional Intelligence from the University of Málaga. Her Ph.D. dissertation was co-supervised by Prof. Marc A. Brackett. Dr. Castillo is currently an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Faculty of Health at Universidad Camilo José Cela. Previously she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Biological and Health Psychology Department, Faculty of Psychology, at Autonoma University of Madrid. She is the co-author of several scholarly articles and communications that address the significance of Emotional Intelligence on psychological functioning and well-being. She has also collaborated on research projects focused on the promotion of healthy youth   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

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

Mariam Korangy

Mariam Korangy

Senior Consultant | Email

Mariam Korangy, M.A., is a senior consultant at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence focusing on Educational Technology. Mariam has contributed to the RULER for Families team designing workshops, games and videos for trainings geared towards families implementing RULER in their homes. She is currently working with the technology team at the Center to create online tools and applications to teach RULER during trainings, inside the classroom, and at home with families. Mariam has over 10 years of teaching experience in New York City, both in private and public schools, in addition to working in the educational media field. Mariam is also a Star Factor coach, a group which develops school leaders-principals, superintendents, and others – in the theory and practice of emotional intelligence. She serves on the President’s Advisory Council at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Newcomb-Tulane College Dean’s Advisory Board. Prior to joining the Center, she worked at the Manhattan School for Children and was a founding faculty member of The School at Columbia on the Child Study Team.  Mariam has also worked at Channel Thirteen/ PBS Online Ed department on the VITAL project, which provides standards-based lessons with media resources and assessments to educators and parents. While living in Paris, Mariam served on the board of the Bilingual Montessori School of Paris as the Treasurer. In the past, she has served in committee leadership roles for the New York Central Park Conservancy’s Playground Partners, The Asia Society, and The New York Junior League.  Mariam is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in Communications and Education at TC and is studying the impacts of technology and gaming on   read more

Miriam Miller, M.A.

Miriam Miller, M.A.

Senior Implementation Coach and Trainer

Miriam Miller, M.A., 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 M.A. from the University of British Columbia and is currently completing her doctoral 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

Emma Seppälä, Ph.D.

Emma Seppälä, Ph.D.

Co-Director of the Yale College Wellbeing Project | Email

Emma Seppälä, PhD, is Co-Director of the Yale College Wellbeing Project. She is also a Lecturer at Yale, Faculty Director of the Yale School of Management’s Women’s Leadership Program, and author of The Happiness Track. In addition, she is Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and   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