UIC Fellows to Study SEL

Amy Mart and Ari Frede, both doctoral students at UIC -- and former Chicago-area teachers -- will begin two-year fellowships this month with UIC's SEL Research Group and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL.

The fellowships, which include a $30,000 stipend, travel allowance, and full tuition waiver at UIC, allow education scholars to devote two years of study to social and emotional learning, a field of education that mounting evidence suggests has a strong connection to academic achievement.

"The goal of the fellowship program is to train future leaders in SEL research and practice,"" says Roger P. Weissberg, NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning at UIC and professor of psychology and education. “We selected Amy and Ari from a highly competitive applicant pool because they are strong researchers, with first-hand knowledge about how to enhance children's social, emotional, and academic learning."

Weissberg, a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences distinguished professor who directs the SEL Research Group and also serves as CASEL’s president and chief executive officer, says the fellows will advance social and emotional learning as a strategy to promote students' academic performance, mental health, social relationships and citizenship, and help make it a core component of everyday instruction. The UIC SEL Research Group, which includes scholars in psychology, education, sociology and public health, fosters projects that address social and emotional learning research and assessment, practice, educator preparation and policy development.

The group is supported by NoVo Foundation, the philanthropic organization led by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, the daughter-in-law and son of billionaire Warren Buffett. CASEL is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to advance the science and evidence-based practice of social and emotional learning.