Social Emotional Learning as the New Frontier

September 7, 2018

CRESSTCON’18 is right around the corner! The theme, Learning Together: Building Partnerships to Accelerate Excellence and Equity, is evident in this week’s highlighted breakout session, Social Emotional Learning as the New Frontier: Frameworks, Measurement, and Interventions. In this session, our presenters will share results from the latest research on SEL including work from interventions that also serve as opportunities for formative assessment (Berlinski), data from multiple reporters of SEL (Buckley), descriptives highlighting racial/ethnic differences in feelings of belonging in school (Graham), and a framework for game-based assessment of SEL for young children (Schenke). Read about our amazing session presenters below and then join us at CRESSTCON’18 on October 1-2 at the UCLA Luskin Center. Visit our website to learn more and register.


Session Presenters
Sandra Graham

Sandra Graham is a Distinguished Professor in the Human Development and Psychology division in the Department of Education at UCLA and the University of California Presidential Chair in Education and Diversity. She received her BA from Barnard College, an MA in History from Columbia University, and her PhD in Education from UCLA. Her major research interests include the study of academic motivation and social development in children of color, particularly in school contexts that vary in racial/ethnic diversity. Professor Graham has published widely in developmental, social, and educational psychology journals and received many awards. Among her awards, she is a 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research on Child Development and the 2014 E. L. Thorndike Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Educational Psychology, Division 15 of the American Psychological Association. In 2015 she was elected to the National Academy of Education. She is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, Association of Psychological Science, and the American Educational Research Association.

Katie Buckley

Katie Buckley is the Managing Director of Research at Transforming Education where she ensures schools, LEAs, SEAs, and other education-related organizations have access to actionable, research-informed guidance for implementing, integrating, and sustaining evidence-based practices related to the development of students’ social-emotional competencies and the learning environments needed to foster them. Previously, Katie was a Senior Analyst at Abt Associates, a Consultant at the Center for Assessment, and a Research Associate at the Northeast and Islands Regional Education Laboratory (REL-NEI) at Education Development Center. Katie holds an Ed.D in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from Harvard University, a M.P.P in Education, Family, and Social Policy from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College.

Katerina Schenke

Katerina Schenke is a Research Scientist at CRESST. Her research is focused on understanding how and under what circumstances students are motivated towards learning, how we can measure motivation and engagement through digital games, and how we can develop models of assessment that are informative to students and teachers. Katerina received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of California, Irvine, and B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009 in Psychology and German. From 2015 to 2016, she completed a Postdoctoral position at the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles with an affiliation at CRESST.


Jessica Berlinski

Jessica Berlinski serves as the Director K-12 of Ripple Effects, an innovative social change enterprise focused on leveraging personalized Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to improve students’ behavior and academics, address trauma, and achieve equity. She also works as an SEL consultant, advocate and social changemaker with over a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academic and SEL tools and programs.

Prior, Berlinski co-founded and served as Chief Impact Officer and Chief Learning Officer of ed-tech start-ups Personalized Learning Games (renamed Centervention) and If You Can. In these roles, she commercialized the first evidence-based SEL assessment and learning game for K-12 and the first SEL iPad game for the consumer marketplace. She also collaborated to create the country’s first community-based SEL initiative in Newtown CT, where she worked with the school district, community leaders and victims’ families to leverage technology to teach and assess SEL skills.

In the non profit arena, Berlinski served as Managing Director of GameDesk, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded non-profit focused on innovative learning models. As National Director of Character Counts, she co-created and implemented values-based programs in urban and rural school districts across the country, as well as successfully advocated for the inclusion of programs and language supporting school climate in Obama’s ESEA proposal.

You can find out more information here about all the CRESSTCON’18 breakout sessions.