Roger P. Weissberg

Board Vice Chair

Roger P. Weissberg is NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning, UIC and LAS Distinguished Professor, and Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He directs the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Research Group. He is also Board Vice-Chair and Chief Knowledge Officer for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a national organization committed to making evidence-based social, emotional, and academic learning an essential part of preschool through high school education.. For the past three decades, Weissberg has trained scholars and practitioners about innovative ways to design, implement, and evaluate family, school, and community interventions.

Weissberg has authored more than 260 publications focusing on preventive interventions with children and adolescents and has developed curricula on school-based programs to promote social competence and prevent problem behaviors including drug use, high-risk sexual behaviors, and aggression. His Social Competence Promotion Program for Young Adolescents received a model program designation from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. His major published works include Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators (1997), The Promotion of Wellness in Children and Adolescents (2000), Long-term Trends in the Well-being of Children and Youth (2003), a special issue of the American Psychologist on “Prevention for Children and Youth that Works” (2003), Safe and Sound: An Educational Leader’s Guide to Evidence-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs (2003), Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does the Research Say? (2004), School-Family Partnerships for Children’s Success (2005), Sustainable Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning (2006), “The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions” (2011), 2013 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs—Preschool and Elementary School Edition (2012), “Afterschool programs that follow evidence-based practices to promote social and emotional development are effective” (2013), and Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice (2015).

Weissberg has been the president of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Community Research and Action. He co-chaired an American Psychological Association Task Force on “Prevention: Promoting Strength, Resilience, and Health in Young People.” He is a recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s five-year Faculty Scholars Award in Children’s Mental Health, the Connecticut Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Psychological Contribution in the Public Interest, and the National Mental Health Association’s Lela Rowland Prevention Award. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, he was named a University Scholar in 1997-2000, a Great Cities Institute Scholar in 2004-2005, Distinguished LAS Professor in 2008, and UIC Distinguished Professor in 2014. He received the 2000 American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award for Applications of Psychology to Education and Training and the Society for Community Research and Action 2004 Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award. He also received the 2008 “Daring Dozen” award from the George Lucas Educational Foundation for being one of 12 people who are reshaping the future of education. In February 2013 he became one of 12 new members elected to the National Academy of Education. He now serves both as a Commissioner and as a Member of the Council of Distinguished Scientists for the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.

Born in Newark, N.J., Weissberg graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s in psychology from Brandeis University in 1974. He received his doctorate from the University of Rochester in 1980. He was the research director for the Primary Mental Health Project from 1980 to 1982. He was a professor in the Psychology Department at Yale University between 1982 and 1992, where he collaborated with the New Haven Public School District to establish the K-12 Social Development Project. He has been a faculty member at UIC since 1992 and has led CASEL since 1996. He and his wife, Stephanie Wright, a clinical psychologist, have two wonderful children, Elizabeth and Ted.