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Social-Emotional Learning & Civic Engagement (SEL-CE) Faculty Fellows Program

SEL Faculty Fellows

Social-emotional skills are inextricably linked to academic learning, intellectual agility, well-being, and civic engagement. Research shows why and how these skills are vitally important to foster in K-12 schooling and in higher education. These skills are used to recognize and manage emotions, handle conflict constructively, establish positive relationships guided by empathy, engage in perspective-taking, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations effectively. As asserted by the National Equity Project, "The promise of social and emotional development as a lever for increasing educational equity rests on the capacity of educators to understand that all learning is social and emotional, and all learning is mediated by relationships that sit in a sociopolitical, racialized context."

The Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University works to incorporate and promote civic engagement and civic learning throughout the curriculum. To understand and advance the synergy of social-emotional learning (SEL) and civic engagement, Tisch College launched the Initiative on Social-Emotional Learning and Civic Engagement (SEL-CE) in 2017. One key overarching goal of the Tisch SEL-CE initiative is to encourage and prepare Tufts faculty, across the university, to integrate social-emotional and civic learning dimensions into their teaching and research.

• Are you seeking a supportive interdisciplinary learning community with Tufts faculty colleagues?
• Do you want to explore how/why integrating social-emotional learning approaches can cultivate equity and inclusive excellence in higher education classrooms, and help you to fully reach and engage all students you teach and mentor?
• Are you interested in considering ways that mindfulness practices can foster well-being, emotional agility and resilience—for yourself, and in your work with students and colleagues?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, we hope you will consider applying to participate in the Tisch SEL-CE Faculty Fellows cohort during the 2019-20 academic year. The 2019/20 Tisch SEL-CE Faculty Fellows program will include up to 15 Tufts faculty members from schools across the University; it will extend through the entire academic year, with monthly two-hour meetings each semester (dates for the year will be determined by late June 2019, once the cohort is established), and a half-day retreat in mid-January. Each Tisch SEL-CE Faculty Fellow will receive a small stipend for full participation for the year, which will include but is not limited to: 1) actively participating in monthly cohort meetings on the Medford campus and the January 2020 half-day retreat which will occur just before the start of the Spring 2020 semester; 2) completing readings and reflective writing throughout the year, beginning this summer; 3) contributing to online discussions via the Tisch SEL-CE Canvas site; 4) working to revise at least one course syllabus; 5) participating in an evaluation of the program that also includes assessing how your learning in the SEL-CE Faculty Fellows program has influenced your pedagogy and curriculum.

If you are interested in being part of the Tisch SEL-CE Faculty Fellows 2019-20 cohort, please complete the short application form by Tuesday, June 18. For more information, please contact Deborah Donahue-Keegan (, Associate Director of the Tisch College SEL-CE Initiative, and Lecturer in the Department of Education.

This program is convened by the Tisch College SEL-CE Initiative in partnership with Tufts Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT); it is co-facilitated by CELT and Tisch College staff. It is supported by a generous gift from the Zussman Fund for Social and Emotional Learning established by David T. Zussman, A53, J80P.

2018-2019 SEL-CE Faculty Fellows

The 2018-19 Tisch SEL-CE Faculty Fellows cohort was composed of 14 Tufts faculty and staff members from schools across the University:

  • Sara Allred, Scholars Program Administrator, Tisch College of Civic Life
  • Silvia Bottinelli, Lecturer, Department of Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts
  • Laurie Goldman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning
  • Susan Higgins, Full-Time Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Ron Lasser, Professor of the Practice, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Elizabeth Lemons, Senior Lecturer, Department of Religion
  • Margaret Morris, Senior Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Tariq Naseem, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Kathleen Robinson, Doctoral Student, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development
  • Noelle Roop, Lecturer, Department of Education
  • Erin Seaton, Lecturer, Department of Education
  • Thomas Vandervelde, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Ian Wong, Director of Health Promotion and Prevention, Student Services Department of Health Promotion and Prevention
  • Chantal Zakari, Professor of the Practice, Department of Graphic Arts, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts