Hear From Our First-Ever Weissberg Scholars

June 26, 2023
Weissberg Scholars

When CASEL brought together early career scholars eager to make a difference in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL), we hoped that the researchers and the field would benefit from this collaborative community of future SEL innovators.

To support research interests spanning student and teacher well-being, culturally relevant SEL, equity, principal preparation, and more, the CASEL Weissberg Scholars received two years of collaboration, mentorship, and guidance from SEL leaders.

Two years later, as the inaugural cohort comes to a close, the program has been even more impactful than we imagined. CASEL is looking to welcome 10 new scholars to the 2023-2025 cohort.

Watch the video below and read on for an inside look at our first-ever Weissberg Scholars cohort, their research, and their experiences in this learning community.

Pilar Alamos

“One [lesson] that really stands out to me is the focus on the strengths of the teachers, the children, the community that you’re working with, and how to promote positive development. … This program brought me to a space of people who embody social and emotional learning in every aspect of how they do things.”

Pilar’s research focuses on the kinds of teacher-child interactions and relationships that matter for young children’s social and emotional development in early childhood education settings. 

Summer Braun

“We have found connections between our work, presented at conferences together, and written grants together. It’s meaningful to me to continue the impactful work that CASEL and Roger [Weissberg] started so many years ago, with each of us adding our own little drop to the bucket.”

Summer’s research centers on understanding the associations between teachers’ occupational health and well-being and their students’ social, emotional, and behavioral development.

Jerome Graham

“Being in an education leadership department, studying SEL has been really siloed at times, but being a Weissberg Scholar has reignited my passion for and excitement about conducting SEL research.”

Jerome’s research interests focus broadly on the interaction of race and class in educational policy and practice.

Marisa Crowder

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is how important collaboration is. You might not have all the answers, you might not have all the skills, but you can have friends or a research team who can help fill in those gaps.”

Marisa’s research aims to identify promising practices that can empower educators to create or adapt effective SEL programs, practices, and assessments that are culturally relevant for their students.

Christina Mondi-Rago

“This has been a wonderful opportunity to deepen my knowledge of social and emotional learning, to receive mentorship from senior scholars working at the intersection of research and practice, and to connect with peer researchers from different disciplines and institutions.”

Christina’s research focuses on the assessment and promotion of social and emotional learning and mental health starting in early childhood, with an emphasis on populations affected by poverty and trauma.

If you’re an early career scholar interested in joining the next generation of SEL innovators, apply for the 2023-2025 Weissberg Scholars cohort today. Applications will close on July 31, 2023.


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