Press Release

CASEL Launches Program to Spur Innovations in Social and Emotional Learning

Ten scholars of social, emotional, and academic learning selected for a two-year program that honors the memory of Dr. Roger P. Weissberg

October 20, 2021

CHICAGO – CASEL launches the inaugural class of the CASEL Weissberg Scholars, a new program to mentor and support innovators of social, emotional, and academic learning. Amid the exploding popularity of social and emotional learning (SEL), this program will invest in the future of the SEL field by working with early career scholars to identify new strategies and strengthen best practices in support of all children. To help achieve that vision, we are proud to introduce the 2021 CASEL Weissberg Scholars: Pilar Alamos, Ross Anderson, Josefina Bañales, Summer Braun, Marisa Crowder, Jerome Graham, Casta Guillaume, Julia Mahfouz, Christina Mondi-Rago, and Danielle Ryan Hatchimonji. Learn more about the scholars on the program webpage.

The CASEL Weissberg Scholars program honors the memory of Dr. Roger P. Weissberg, whose research played a unique role in the evolution and maturation of the field of SEL. Dr. Weissberg was CASEL’s chief knowledge officer and board vice chair, and Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For four decades, he trained scholars and practitioners about innovative ways to design, implement, and evaluate family, school, and community interventions. His more than 260 publications focused on positive youth development programming to enhance the social, emotional, and academic learning of children and adolescents. Dr. Weissberg passed away in September 2021. Upon learning of the program to carry on his legacy, Weissberg commented:

“The CASEL Weissberg Scholars Program is the most meaningful honor of my professional life. I am excited that my colleagues and I will provide learning experiences and supports to early career scholars who will advance evidence-based practices and policies to improve the positive development and life opportunities of millions of young people,” said Dr. Weissberg.

Participation in the two-year CASEL Weissberg Scholars program will enable scholars to gain valuable exposure to the SEL field and allow them to interact with thought leaders in SEL research, practice, and policy. They will receive educational and professional development, as well as join a collaborative community of early career scholars who are eager to make a difference. Scholars will be provided mentorship from senior scholars in the field of SEL and receive guidance and support in their pursuit of educational and professional goals to innovate and advance SEL.

Early career scholars are defined as individuals who have received their Ph.D., Ed.D., or equivalent research degree between January 2016 and October 2021, and have demonstrated experience and a commitment to collaborative research approaches.

CASEL would like to thank Pure Edge, Inc. for sponsoring the first cohort of CASEL Weissberg Scholars Program. For every $1 donated, Pure Edge, Inc. has generously offered to donate $2 in support of the program through November 30, 2021


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