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

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Assistant Director | Email

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is the assistant director of 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

Robin Stern, Ph.D.

Robin Stern, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Partnerships | Email

Robin Stern, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of Partnerships 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

Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen

Director of School Relations and Implementation | Email

Jennifer Allen, Director of School Relations and Implementation at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, collaborates with schools, districts, and regional and state organizations, focusing on the introduction and sustainability of RULER, both nationally and internationally. 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

Laura Artusio, Ph.D.

Laura Artusio, Ph.D.

RULER Approach Coordinator, Italy | Email

Laura Artusio is a psychologist and Research Fellow at the University of Florence where she directs the Laboratory of Psychology, Emotions & Research (PER Lab) founded in 2013 during her European Ph.D. She has worked in collaboration with the team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence since 2009 and, as a certified RULER trainer, Laura is now the coordinator of the RULER Approach in Italy. Her goal is to bring the Emotion Revolution to her country and to integrate Social and Emotional Learning into the Italian school system. Laura is also part of the Emotion Revolution in the workplace, and she has trained thousands of people from different organizations around the world on emotional intelligence and work-related stress, with a special focus on human factors in aviation. Laura has a strong passion for dancing Argentine tango and loves to write, especially as a lyricist for the music composed by her   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

Erin Brough, M.B.A., P.M.P.

Erin Brough, M.B.A., P.M.P.

Program Manager for Content & Communications | Email

Erin Brough is the Program Manager for Content and Communications at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She holds an M.B.A. from Albertus Magnus College and is a Certified Project Management Professional. Over the last six years, she has worked with over 15 colleges and universities nationwide managing communication campaigns, course content revision, and implementation of new graduate and undergraduate programs. As a passionate project manager, Erin truly enjoys working with different teams and methodologies to reach shared objectives. In the Program Manager role, Erin is responsible for spreading awareness about RULER and working with the team to continuously improve the quality and delivery of RULER content. Erin lives in Hamden, CT with her husband and 4-year-old son. She spends her free time strength training, enjoying nature, and   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

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D.

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D.

Director of Research | Email

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D. is Director of Research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Cipriano is an Applied Developmental and Educational Psychologist, and her research focuses on serving vulnerable youth through systematic examination of the interactions within their homes, schools, and communities to promote pathways to optimal developmental outcomes. Dr. Cipriano has extensive experience working in classrooms with traditionally underserved student and teacher populations, providing training to teachers and support staff, and direct instruction to students. Dr. Cipriano directs a team of student and faculty researchers committed to improving outcomes for students and teachers in classrooms serving students with diverse learning needs and designs and maintains large-scale basic and applied research studies on: emotions, emotional intelligence, and social and emotional learning, including longitudinal studies and randomized controlled trials. She is the Principle Investigator of several funded research to practice projects and regularly disseminate her science in both academic journals and professional development workshops for pre-service and in-service educators and school personnel. A Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, Dr. Cipriano received her Ph.D. from Boston College Lynch School of Education, her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and B.A. from Hofstra University Honors College. You can learn more about her career at www.drchriscip.com and ongoing research at   read more

Nicole Elbertson, M.Ed.

Nicole Elbertson, M.Ed.

Director of Content and Communications | Email

Nicole (Nikki) Elbertson is the director of content and communications 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 early childhood 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 the strategic development, alignment, and distribution of the Center’s content and serves as a RULER trainer and coach. Outside of her work at the Center, she is a certified group fitness instructor and health coach.   read more

Beatris Garcia

Beatris Garcia

Postgraduate Associate | Email

Beatris Garcia is a Postgraduate Associate working on projects funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Walton Family Foundation to develop assessments of student and teacher social-emotional skills and emotional experiences. Beatris earned her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2018 with degrees in Psychology and Agricultural and Consumer Economics. At Illinois, Beatris worked as a research assistant under Dr. R. Chris Fraley in the Attachment, Personality, and Emotion Lab where she assisted in the development of an original coding protocol to study interactions between intimate couples. Beatris also worked as a research assistant under Dr. Howard Berenbaum in the Emotion Lab where she wrote her senior thesis on the role of emotion regulation strategies in the Depression-Rumination relationship. In addition, she tutored for the America Reads/America Counts program for the entirety of her undergraduate career working in elementary classrooms and was awarded the Tutor of the Year award for the 2017-2018 school year. Beatris plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with hopes of studying the role of emotion regulation in interpersonal   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

Elinor Hills

Elinor Hills

Postgraduate Associate | Email

Elinor Hills is a postgraduate associate for the high school team and works on both High School RULER and inspirED. Her role includes research and data analysis as well as developing content to engage with and empower high school students. Elinor received her B.A. from Yale University in May 2018 with degrees in Anthropology and Art. In both fields of study, Elinor’s work as an undergraduate focused on families and children and she is particularly interested in studying the causes and manifestations of adolescent anxiety. Elinor plans on pursuing an MPH in women’s and reproductive health or a PhD in social psychology. In her spare time Elinor enjoys photography, running and playing   read more

Alexandra Harrison

Alexandra Harrison

Postgraduate Associate | Email

Alexandra Harrison is a postgraduate associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Specifically, she works in The Social and Emotional Developmental Benchmarks Project. This project aims to establish empirically-supported developmental benchmarks and tools for assessing children’s social-emotional skills from pre-K through 12th grade. Alexandra earned her B.S. in psychology, with a minor in child maltreatment and advocacy studies, at The Pennsylvania State University. During her undergraduate career Alexandra worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Pamela M. Cole’s Processing Emotions in the Environment Project, an undergraduate teaching assistant for Dr. Cathleen Hunt’s introduction to developmental psychology class, and an executive member of Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology. She also traveled to Cambodia to learn about their education system, NGO schools, and Cambodia’s history and its effect on locals’ attitudes towards education. Alexandra plans to pursue a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, with research interests including emotion regulation, prosocial behaviors, antisocial behaviors, and cross-cultural   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.

Assistant to the Executive Director | Email

Rachelle Ianniello, M.S., is the Assistant to the Executive Director. Rachelle has also worked with the YCEI content and technology teams on developing educational and marketing content for RULER trainings and 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, personal and professional 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

Meiko Lin, Ed.D.

Meiko Lin, Ed.D.

Project Director, Evaluation and Assessment | Email

Meiko Lin received her B.Com. from McGill University, her M.A. from University of California at Los Angeles, and her Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to her work at the Center, she served as an early childhood educator, education consultant, evaluator, and data analyst. Meiko’s research interests include implementation science, assessment and evaluation, and instrument design and validation in education.  She is further interested in promoting the constructive use of assessment and evaluation tools for enhancing the efficacy and efficiency of complex educational and social interventions across disciplines. Besides her studies and research interests, she enjoys making bread, tasting, and going for runs in Central   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

Kari Olsen, M.Ed.

Kari Olsen, M.Ed.

RULER Program Manager for High Schools | Email

Kari Olsen, M.Ed., is the RULER Program Manager for High Schools. Prior to joining the Center she worked as an elementary school teacher, middle and high school counselor, and middle and high school administrator in the Washington D.C. area. In her most recent role as Director of Student Services, Kari led the school team implementing RULER in her high school setting and collaborated with other RULER high schools in her district.  She supported school-wide conversations about mental wellness and encouraged students to find balance in their lives.   Kari received a B.A. in history from Rutgers College, and M.Ed. degrees in Counseling and Development, and Education Leadership, both from George Mason University. She enjoys singing, watching baseball, and following her fantasy football   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

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

Susan Riello, M.S.

Susan Riello, M.S.

Instructional Designer | Email

Susan Riello, M.S., is the Instructional Designer for the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence. In this role, she works within the Technology team to design the courses, resources, and learning experiences for the RULER Online platform. Susan is passionate about balancing design and delivery in education, ensuring that technology is used as a pathway to learning rather than an obstacle. Prior to joining Yale, she worked as an instructional designer and content developer for higher education graduate programs. She is a certified Peer Reviewer for Quality Matters, a research-based, peer-review organization dedicated to continuous improvement of online and hybrid courses. Susan also holds certificates in Instructional Design, Accessibility, and Usability from the Online Learning Consortium. She graduated with a B.A. in Communications and an M.S. in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University. Susan is also currently an adjunct faculty member within Quinnipiac’s School of Communications, where she teaches undergraduate courses in “Media, History, and Memory” in both on-ground and online   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

Karina Villareal Medved, M.A.

Karina Villareal Medved, M.A.

Program Manager for RULER Out-of-School Time Initiatives | Email

Karina Villareal Medved, M.A., is the Program Manager for Out-of-School Time at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The OST Team focuses on adapting the RULER approach for OST settings (i.e., after school and summer programming). Their current focus involves developing youth curriculum and professional development resources for OST staff that are grounded in social and emotional learning. As a McNair Scholar, Karina earned her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. She then earned her Masters in Community Psychology with a concentration in Program Development from the University of New Haven. Before coming to the Center, Karina spent most of her career on the frontline of the non-profit sector carrying out her passion for serving youth and families. Her field work thus far has focused on developing, revamping, and implementing culturally-responsive systems interventions in public schools and OST programs. During her spare time, Karina enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her loved   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 Manager | Email

Mela Waters is Training Manager 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

Cynthia Willner, Ph.D.

Cynthia Willner, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist | Email

Cynthia Willner, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Cynthia conducts research on children’s emotionality and the development of self-regulation. Her work at the Center focuses on measuring children’s social and emotional skills, particularly emotion regulation, and establishing research-based developmental benchmarks for children’s social and emotional competencies. Prior to joining the Center, Cynthia completed a postdoctoral fellowship in translational developmental neuroscience at the Yale Child Study Center, where she used electroencephalographic (EEG) measures to study the brain basis of anxiety. She obtained her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and her B.S. in Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics from Brown University. Prior to graduate school, Cynthia gained experience in education program evaluation as a research assistant and analyst at the non-profit social policy research institute MDRC. Cynthia has also obtained a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and has hands-on teaching experience as an English teacher at the Universidad del Istmo in Tehuantepec, Mexico, and at the Embassy Center for English Studies in New York City. Cynthia is passionate about translating developmental science into school-based approaches to enhance children’s   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

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 Approach Coordinator for Spain and Mexico | Email

Ruth Castillo Gualda, Ph.D. is a Psychologist with a specialization in social and emotional 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.S. 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