Joseph E. Zins, who died in 2006 at the age of 56, was a pioneer in the field of social and emotional learning. At the time of his death, he was a professor in the College of Education of the University of Cincinnati and director of the university’s doctoral program in special education. He was nationally and internationally respected for his expertise in the areas of social and emotional learning and the prevention of youth problem behavior. His published works include Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does the Research Say? (2004); Bullying, Peer Harassment, and Victimization in the Schools (2003); and Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators (1997).
Joe’s work exemplified the blending of rigorous scientific research and effective practice that CASEL has upheld as an abiding standard. To honor his memory, in 2007 CASEL established the awards that are now known as the Joseph E. Zins Awards for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning. Currently the awards are presented to investigators and researchers at distinct phases in their careers: the Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning by a scholar at the Research Scientist or Assistant or Associate Professor level, and the Distinguished Scholar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning by a scientist at the Senior Research Scientist or Full Professor level.
- Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, an applied developmental psychologist and a professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia, received the Distinguished Scholar Award.
- David S. Yeager, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, received the Early Career Award.
Download a one-page flyer that describes the 2015 Joseph E. Zins awards in more detail.
- Joseph A. Durlak, emeritus professor of psychology, Loyola University Chicago and a specialist in outcome research related to children’s social and emotional development and the prevention of youth problem behavior, received the Distinguished Scholar Award.
- Stephanie Jones, associate professor of human development and urban education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, whose work focuses on the longitudinal effects of poverty and exposure to violence on social and emotional development in early childhood and adolescence, received the Early Career Award.
- J. David Hawkins, endowed professor of prevention and founding director of the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington, received the Distinguished Scholar Award.
- Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology, University of Pennsylvania, received the Early Career Award.
Three awards were made in 2011, the year in which the focus of the Zins Awards shifted exclusively to SEL research, honoring recipients at specific stages of their careers.
- Edward F. Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology at Yale University and director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Maurice J. Elias, professor of clinical psychology and interdisciplinary health at Rutgers University, received the Distinguished Scholar Award.
- Celene E. Domitrovich, member of the adjunct faculty of Pennsylvania State University in the College of Health and Human Development and the Department of Mental Health, received the Early Career Award.
- Marc Brackett, research scientist in psychology and deputy director of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory at Yale University.
- Jennifer Loudon, manager in the Chicago Public Schools Office of Specialized Services.
- Sara Rimm-Kaufman, associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Virginia and director of the university’s Social Development Laboratory.
- Victoria Blakeney, social and emotional learning curriculum coordinator for the Anchorage School District.