Press Release

CASEL Board Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl Starts as NoVo Endowed Chair of SEL at UIC

February 16, 2021

CHICAGO, IL – CASEL Board of Directors Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl has begun her tenure as the next NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair of Social and Emotional Learning in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The position was created in 2011 to support ongoing social and emotional learning (SEL) research at the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with support from the Novo Foundation. As the new NoVo Chair of SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl will take over for CASEL Co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Roger Weissberg, who held the post since its creation.

Known as a world-renowned expert in SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl was a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1991 to 2020. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2021 Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy, and has been invited to participate in several dialogues with the Dalai Lama on the themes of cultivating compassion and educating the heart.

“It is truly such an honor for me to take on this new role as the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in SEL, and to join such an amazing group of faculty and students at UIC — a world-class university,” Dr. Schonert-Reichl said. “And, it is particularly meaningful to me to be returning to Chicago, where my interest and passion for SEL all began as a teacher. Indeed, it was during my years as a new teacher that my students taught me that the best learning happens when explicit attention is given to creating educational contexts that support and promote their social and emotional competence and well-being.”

“Kim is an internationally renowned scholar whose groundbreaking work and collaborations have advanced social and emotional learning research, evidence-based practice and public policy for decades. It is very exciting that she is coming to UIC, where she will provide quality training and mentorship to future leaders in the field of SEL science and education,” said Dr. Weissberg.

“Our heartfelt congratulations to Kim Schonert-Reichl in her new role as NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair for SEL at the University of Illinois Chicago. NoVo’s Foundation’s endowment of the UIC chair is an acknowledgment of the importance of this work and the growing field of social and emotional learning. Today, we know SEL leads to much stronger educational achievement, sustained personal development, and healthier school communities. Together, we can continue to bring social and emotional learning programs and methods to schools and districts across the U.S., enriching the educational experiences of youth across the country,” said Jennifer Buffett, President and Co-Chair of NoVo Foundation.

Dr. Schonert-Reichl received her MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago, her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Iowa, and completed her postdoctoral work as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellow in the Clinical Research Training Program in Adolescence at the University of Chicago and the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern University Medical School. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Schonert-Reichl worked as a middle school and alternative high school teacher.

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