Speaker and Sessions

IMPROVING SOCIAL SKILLS AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR


After more than two years of social disruptions, school closures, isolation, loneliness, and online learning, parents and educators have noticed a drop in social skills and prosocial behavior in children. A 2021 OnePoll survey of parents of school-aged children (ages 5-14) found that 7 out of 10 parents expressed concern that their child’s social skills are at risk and two-thirds are concerned that their children have become more socially awkward around others since the pandemic. 81% of the parents polled wanted schools to implement activities to teach social skills. Research has found that social deprivation and lack of peer interaction in adolescence will have lasting negative consequences on their brains and physical and mental health while other research shows that social skills and prosocial behaviors (caring, cooperating, altruism, etc.) have significant benefits, including buffering against stress and adversity, increasing positive moods and health, and improving learning.

This conference will explore the "Science of the Social Brain" the impacts of isolation, the influences of peers, and the importance of social connections. Discover ways to create cooperative and collaborative classrooms; reduce school conflicts; improve a sense of belonging and identity; teach social and friendship skills; incorporate peer groups and social learning; and promote prosocial behaviors in students to boost school and life success.

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This conference will be presented as a hybrid conference. You can either attend in person in New York City or participate virtually. Click here for more details.

You will gain knowledge about:

  • Strategies for conflicts, collaboration, and cooperative learning
  • Developing and designing classrooms to promote prosocial skills
  • The science of bridging divides and building a sense of belonging
  • The power of connections, positive relationships, and friendships
  • Promoting differentiation, group, and social learning in classrooms
  • The teen brain and influences of peers, pressures, and the pandemic
  • Helping students with poor social skills, autism, and social anxiety
  • Teaching empathy, kindness, gratitude, and altruism to students
  • Using groups and collaborations for learning, reading, and math

 

Featured Speakers

Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH

Social Scientist; Physician; Director, Human Nature Lab; Co-Director, Yale Institute for Network Science; Sterling Professor of Social and Neural Science, Yale University; Named by Time Magazine in the list of “100 most influential people in the world”; Author, Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (2020) and Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society (2019); Co-Author, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (2009)

Social Brains in Adolescence: Peers, Pressures, and a Pandemic

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, PhD, FMedSci, FBA

Neuroscientist; Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge; Leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group; Honorary Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London; Author, Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain (2018); Co-Author, “Development of a Gamified Cognitive Training App “Social Brain Train” to Enhance Adolescent Mental Health” (2022, Wellcome Open Research), “Navigating the Social Environment in Adolescence: The Role of Social Brain Development” (2021, Biological Psychiatry), “The Effects of Social Deprivation on Adolescent Development and Mental Health” (2020, Lancet Child and Adolescent Health), and The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education (2005)

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

Jay J. Van Bavel, PhD

Director, Social Identity and Morality Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Department of Psychology, New York University; Co-Author, “Out-Group Animosity Drives Engagement on Social Media” (2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony (2021), and “The Social Neuroscience of Cooperation” (2020, The Cognitive Neurosciences)

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connections and Bridging Divides

Geoffrey L. Cohen, PhD

Professor of Psychology, Stanford University; Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Author, Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides (2022); Co-Author, "A Meta‐Analysis of the Effect of Values Affirmation on Academic Achievement" (2021, Social Issues), "A Brief Social-Belonging Intervention in College Improves Adult Outcomes for Black Americans" (2020, Science Advances), and "Bolstering Trust and Reducing Discipline Incidents at a Diverse Middle School: How Self-Affirmation Affects Behavioral Conduct During the Transition to Adolescence" (2019, School Psychology)

The Social Brain, Language, and Learning

Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD

Professor, Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington; Co-Director, UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences; Director, NSF Science of Learning Center (LIFE); Endowed Chair, Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Learning; Member, National Academy of Sciences, the Rodin Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Cognitive Science Society and the American Psychological Society; Co-Author, "Brain Myelination at 7 Months of Age Predicts Later Language Development" (2022, Neuroimage), "Early Language Learning and the Social Brain" (2015, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press), "Is Speech Learning 'Gated' by the Social Brain?" (2007, Developmental Science), and The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn (2000)

How Relationships Power the Brain

Pamela Cantor, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Turnaround for Children; Governing Partner, Science of Learning and Development Alliance; Member, Brookings Institution's Task Force on "Next Generation Community Schools"; Commissioner, "Learning 2025 Commission" of the American Association of School Superintendents; Author, Whole-Child Development, Learning, and Thriving: A Dynamic Systems Approach (2021); Co-Author, "Drivers of Human Development: How Relationships and Context Shape Learning and Development" (2018, Applied Developmental Science); Co-Editor, The Science of Learning and Development (2021)

The Science of Making and Keeping Friends

Marisa G. Franco, PhD

Psychologist; Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Maryland; Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Contributing Writer and Expert for The New York Times, Scientific American, and Psychology Today; Author, “The Trait That ‘Super Friends’ Have in Common” (2022, The Atlantic) and Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make--and Keep--Friends (2022). 

A Sense of Belonging Matters: Building Connections and Community

Terrell L. Strayhorn, PhD

Professor, Higher Education and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Director, PhD Program in the Department of Educational Administration & Foundations (EAF), Illinois State University; Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Senior Research Scientist, Do Good Work Educational Consulting, LLC; Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, Virginia Union University; Author, College Students' Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students (2018), Student Development Theory in Higher Education: A Social Psychological Approach (2015), Theoretical Frameworks in College Student Research (2013); Co-Author, “I Just Want to Be a Regular Kid:” A Qualitative Study of Sense of Belonging Among High School Youth in Foster Care" (2020, Children and Youth Services Review) and The Evolving Challenges of Black College Students: New Insights for Policy, Practice, and Research (2012)

The Challenge of Permitting and Cultivating Principled Dissent in the Social-Pressure Classroom: A How to Guide

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Director, Well-Being Laboratory; Awarded 2013 Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award by the American Psychological Association; Author, The Art of Insubordination (2022), The Upside of Your Darkside (2017), Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology (2013), Designing Positive Psychology (2010), Curious? (2009); Co-Author, "Social Anxiety Is Associated with Similar Emotional Impairments During Digital and Face-to-Face Communication in Daily Life" (2020, PsyArXiv), "Gratitude Across the Life-Span: Age Differences and Links to Subjective Well-being" (2019, Positive Psychology), "When Empathy Matters: The Role of Sex and Empathy in Close Friendships" (2017, Personality)

The Social Brain: The Neural Basis of Social Cognition, Social Connection, and Emotion

Kevin N. Ochsner, PhD

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology; Director, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Lab, Columbia University; Co-Author, “Evidence That Default Network Connectivity During Rest Consolidates Social Information” (2018, Cerebral Cortex), “From Striving to Thriving in the Face of Threats: The Emerging Science of Emotion Regulation Training” (2018, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences), “Social Networks in the Brain” (2017, Nature Human Behaviour), and “Social Cognition as Reinforcement Learning” (2016, Cognitive Neuroscience)

1) THE SCIENCE OF SOCIAL BRAINS: CREATING CONNECTIONS & COOPERATION

Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH

Social Scientist; Physician; Director, Human Nature Lab; Co-Director, Yale Institute for Network Science; Sterling Professor of Social and Neural Science, Yale University; Named by Time Magazine in the list of “100 most influential people in the world”; Author, Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (2020) and Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society (2019); Co-Author, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (2009)

The Science of Making and Keeping Friends

Marisa G. Franco, PhD

Psychologist; Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Maryland; Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Contributing Writer and Expert for The New York Times, Scientific American, and Psychology Today; Author, “The Trait That ‘Super Friends’ Have in Common” (2022, The Atlantic) and Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make--and Keep--Friends (2022). 

How Relationships Power the Brain

Pamela Cantor, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Turnaround for Children; Governing Partner, Science of Learning and Development Alliance; Member, Brookings Institution's Task Force on "Next Generation Community Schools"; Commissioner, "Learning 2025 Commission" of the American Association of School Superintendents; Author, Whole-Child Development, Learning, and Thriving: A Dynamic Systems Approach (2021); Co-Author, "Drivers of Human Development: How Relationships and Context Shape Learning and Development" (2018, Applied Developmental Science); Co-Editor, The Science of Learning and Development (2021)

The Crisis of Connection: Its Roots, Consequences, and Solution

Niobe Way, EdD

Professor, Developmental Psychology, New York University; Founder, Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity; Co-Director, Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education; Contributor, Psychology Today; Author, The Crisis of Connection: Its Roots, Consequences, and Solution (2018), Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection (2011), Growing Up Fast: Transitions to Adulthood Among Inner-City Adolescent Mothers (2001), and Everyday Courage: The Lives and Stories of Urban Teenagers (1998)

Intentional Neuroplasticity: The Neurobiology of Adversity and the Resilience of Social Attachment

Lori L. Desautels, PhD

Founder, RevolutionsinEducation; Assistant Professor, College of Education, Butler University; Creator and Instructor of Butler's Applied Educational Neuroscience certificate program; Former School Counselor; Founder, Indianapolis Counseling Center; Author, Connections Over Compliance: Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discipline (2021), Eyes Are Never Quiet: Listening Beneath the Behaviors of Our Most Troubled Students (2019), Unwritten - The Story of a Living System: A Pathway to Enlivening and Transforming Education (2016), and How May I Serve You?: Revelations in Education (2012)

Navigating Our Uncertain Social World

Oriel FeldmanHall, PhD

Alfred Manning Associate Professor, Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University; Secondary Faculty Appointment, Carney Institute for Brain Science; Winner of multiple awards, including the Cognitive Neuroscience Society “Young Investigator” Award for outstanding contributions to science, the American Psychological Society's “Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions”, and the American Psychological Association’s “Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology” in the area of cognition and human learning; Co-Author, “A Probabilistic Map of Emotional Experiences During Competitive Social Interactions” (2022, Nature Communications), “Following Your Group or Your Morals? The In-Group Promotes Immoral Behavior While the Outgroup Buffers Against It” (2022, Social Psychological and Personality Science), and “The Computational Challenges of Social Learning” (2021, Trends in Cognitive Science)

Design Curriculum Stories to Spark Cognition and Connections

Allison G. Zmuda, MA

Founder/Curator, Learning Personalized; President, The Competent Classroom; Co-Author, Curriculum Narratives (Forthcoming, 2023), How to Leverage Personalized Learning in the Classroom (2019), "Meet Generation Alpha: Teaching the Newest Generation of Students" (2017, Solution Tree Blog), Students at the Center: Personalized Learning With Habits of Mind (2017), Learning Personalized: The Evolution of the Contemporary Classroom (2015), and Transforming Schools, and Breaking Free From Myths About Teaching and Learning (2010)

Bena Kallick, PhD

Co-Director of the Institute for Habits of Mind; Program Director for Eduplanet21, a company dedicated to online professional learning and curriculum development based on the Understanding by Design framework; Board Member, GlobalMindEd; Author, Nurturing Habits of Mind in Early Education (2019) and Strategies for Self-Directed Learning (2004); Co-Author, Students at the Center: Personalized Learning With Habits of Mind (2017) and Dispositions: Reframing Teaching and Learning (2013)

2) THE SCIENCE OF “US”: BUILDING BELONGING, IDENTITY, & COMMUNITY

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

Jay J. Van Bavel, PhD

Director, Social Identity and Morality Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Department of Psychology, New York University; Co-Author, “Out-Group Animosity Drives Engagement on Social Media” (2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony (2021), and “The Social Neuroscience of Cooperation” (2020, The Cognitive Neurosciences)

A Sense of Belonging Matters: Building Connections and Community

Terrell L. Strayhorn, PhD

Professor, Higher Education and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Director, PhD Program in the Department of Educational Administration & Foundations (EAF), Illinois State University; Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Senior Research Scientist, Do Good Work Educational Consulting, LLC; Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, Virginia Union University; Author, College Students' Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students (2018), Student Development Theory in Higher Education: A Social Psychological Approach (2015), Theoretical Frameworks in College Student Research (2013); Co-Author, “I Just Want to Be a Regular Kid:” A Qualitative Study of Sense of Belonging Among High School Youth in Foster Care" (2020, Children and Youth Services Review) and The Evolving Challenges of Black College Students: New Insights for Policy, Practice, and Research (2012)

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connections and Bridging Divides

Geoffrey L. Cohen, PhD

Professor of Psychology, Stanford University; Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Author, Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides (2022); Co-Author, "A Meta‐Analysis of the Effect of Values Affirmation on Academic Achievement" (2021, Social Issues), "A Brief Social-Belonging Intervention in College Improves Adult Outcomes for Black Americans" (2020, Science Advances), and "Bolstering Trust and Reducing Discipline Incidents at a Diverse Middle School: How Self-Affirmation Affects Behavioral Conduct During the Transition to Adolescence" (2019, School Psychology)

A Roadmap to Belonging: Strategies for Creating a Sense of Belonging in Youth and Ourselves

Caren Baruch-Feldman, PhD

Clinical Psychologist; School Psychologist, Harrison School District; Author, The Resilience Workbook for Kids: Fun CBT Activities to Help You Bounce Back from Stress and Grow From Challenges (Forthcoming, 2022) and The Grit Guide for Teens: A Workbook to Help You Build Perseverance, Self-Control, and a Growth Mindset (2017)

Building Belonging and Cultivating Connection With Classroom Circles

Janeen Antonelli, MA

Co-Founder and Chief Culture Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Former Teacher, Principal, and County Office Administrator with expertise in reaching and teaching at-promise youth; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator

Jessie Fuller, MA

Co-Founder and Lead Learner Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; A California League of Schools' Teacher of the Year

Joelle Hood, EdD

Co-Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer, Thriving YOUniversity; Certified Life Coach; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator; Former Principal; Former Senior Consultant, Collaborative Learning Solutions; Awarded Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year; Passionately committed to empowering individuals and organizations to THRIVE

Neuroeducation Meets Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: An Instructional Framework for Promoting Connectedness, Belonging, and a Culture of Success

Mariale M. Hardiman, EdD

Co-Founder and Director, Neuro-Education Initiative (NEI); Professor, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University; Author, The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools (2012) and Connecting Brain Research With Effective Teaching: The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model (2003); Co-Author “NeuroEducation for Social Justice: Integrating Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and NeuroEducation Instructional Practices.” (2022, AERA) and “Exploring Teacher Efficacy Beliefs in Puerto Rico: Results from a Neuroeducation Professional Development Study” (2018, AERA)

Ranjini M. JohnBull, PhD

Assistant Professor; Faculty Lead for the Mind, Brain, and Teaching Program, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University; Co-Author “NeuroEducation for Social Justice: Integrating Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and NeuroEducation Instructional Practices.” (2022, AERA)

3) TEACHING SOCIAL BRAINS: USING COLLABORATION & SOCIAL LEARNING

The Social Brain, Language, and Learning

Patricia K. Kuhl, PhD

Professor, Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington; Co-Director, UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences; Director, NSF Science of Learning Center (LIFE); Endowed Chair, Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Learning; Member, National Academy of Sciences, the Rodin Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Cognitive Science Society and the American Psychological Society; Co-Author, "Brain Myelination at 7 Months of Age Predicts Later Language Development" (2022, Neuroimage), "Early Language Learning and the Social Brain" (2015, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press), "Is Speech Learning 'Gated' by the Social Brain?" (2007, Developmental Science), and The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn (2000)

The Challenge of Permitting and Cultivating Principled Dissent in the Social-Pressure Classroom: A How to Guide

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Director, Well-Being Laboratory; Awarded 2013 Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award by the American Psychological Association; Author, The Art of Insubordination (2022), The Upside of Your Darkside (2017), Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology (2013), Designing Positive Psychology (2010), Curious? (2009); Co-Author, "Social Anxiety Is Associated with Similar Emotional Impairments During Digital and Face-to-Face Communication in Daily Life" (2020, PsyArXiv), "Gratitude Across the Life-Span: Age Differences and Links to Subjective Well-being" (2019, Positive Psychology), "When Empathy Matters: The Role of Sex and Empathy in Close Friendships" (2017, Personality)

Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom: Promoting Engagement and Social Interaction

Kristina J. Doubet, PhD

Consultant; Professor, Department of Middle, Secondary, and Mathematics Education, James Madison University; Co-Author, Differentiation in Elementary School (2017), The Differentiated Flipped Classroom (2016), Differentiation in Middle and High Schools (2015), and Smart in the Middle Grades (2006)

Effective Collaborative and Cooperative Learning: Possibilities and Perils

Dylan A. R. Wiliam, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Educational Assessment, Institute of Education, University of London; Former Dean and Head of the School of Education, King’s College London; One of the World’s Leading Authorities on Formative Assessments; Author, Creating the Schools Our Children Need (2018), Embedded Formative Assessment: Strategies for Classroom Assessment That Drives Student Engagement and Learning (2017, 2nd Edition), Leadership to Teacher Learning (2016), and “The Secret of Effective Feedback” (2016, Educational Leadership)

Restore and Respect: How to Mediate School Conflicts and Keep Students Learning

Ondine Gross, EdM, MS

Nationally Certified School Psychologist; Clinical Professional Counselor; Educational Consultant, ROE SchoolWorks; Named “Outstanding School Psychologist” by the California Association of School Psychologists; Volunteer Community Mediator; Specialist, Fulbright Program, US Dept of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Author, Restore the Respect: How to Mediate School Conflicts and Keep Students Learning (2016)

4) TEACHING TEEN BRAINS: PEERS, SOCIAL PRESSURES, & ISOLATION

Social Brains in Adolescence: Peers, Pressures, and a Pandemic

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, PhD, FMedSci, FBA

Neuroscientist; Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge; Leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group; Honorary Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London; Author, Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain (2018); Co-Author, “Development of a Gamified Cognitive Training App “Social Brain Train” to Enhance Adolescent Mental Health” (2022, Wellcome Open Research), “Navigating the Social Environment in Adolescence: The Role of Social Brain Development” (2021, Biological Psychiatry), “The Effects of Social Deprivation on Adolescent Development and Mental Health” (2020, Lancet Child and Adolescent Health), and The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education (2005)

The Listening Project: A School- Based Method of Building Relational Intelligence in Middle Schools

Niobe Way, EdD

Professor, Developmental Psychology, New York University; Founder, Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity; Co-Director, Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education; Contributor, Psychology Today; Author, The Crisis of Connection: Its Roots, Consequences, and Solution (2018), Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection (2011), Growing Up Fast: Transitions to Adulthood Among Inner-City Adolescent Mothers (2001), and Everyday Courage: The Lives and Stories of Urban Teenagers (1998)

Congrats – You’re Having a Teen: Strengthening Connections and Raising a Good Person

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Co-Founder and Director of Programs, Center for Parent and Teen Communication; Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, an agency that serves Philadelphia’s homelessness youth; Co-Developer of the Teen-Centered Method; Author, “How to Help Children Build Resilience in Uncertain Times” (2020, American Academy of Pediatrics), Reaching Teens: Strength-Based, Trauma-Sensitive, Resilience-Building Communication Strategies Rooted in Positive Youth Development (2020, 2nd Edition), Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings (2020, 4th Edition), and Raising Kids to Thrive (2015)

Insights into the Teenage Social Brain: Peers, Presence, and Pro-Social Influences

Adriana Galvan, PhD

Wendell Jeffrey and Bernice Wenzel Term Chair in Behavioral Neuroscience; Associate Professor, Department of Psychology; Faculty, UCLA Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles; Co-Author, “Peer Influence Effects on Risk-Taking and Prosocial Decision-Making in Adolescence: Insights From Neuroimaging Studies” (2016, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences) and “Neural Mechanisms of Social Influence in Adolescence” (2015, Social, Cognitive and Aff ective Neuroscience)

Fostering Purpose in Youth Through Persuasive Science and Profound Prosocial Experiential Exercises

Todd B. Kashdan, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Director, Well-Being Laboratory; Awarded 2013 Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award by the American Psychological Association; Author, The Art of Insubordination (2022), The Upside of Your Darkside (2017), Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology (2013), Designing Positive Psychology (2010), Curious? (2009); Co-Author, "Social Anxiety Is Associated with Similar Emotional Impairments During Digital and Face-to-Face Communication in Daily Life" (2020, PsyArXiv), "Gratitude Across the Life-Span: Age Differences and Links to Subjective Well-being" (2019, Positive Psychology), "When Empathy Matters: The Role of Sex and Empathy in Close Friendships" (2017, Personality)

How the Teen and Young Adult Brains Make Sense of their Social World: During COVID and Beyond

Meghan L. Meyer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; Director, Social Neuroscience Lab, Dartmouth University; Contributor, Psychology Today; Co-Author, "Don't You Forget About Me: The Importance of Studying the Brain Basis of Real-World Interpersonal Memory" (2022, Cognitive Neuroscience), "Mental Health and Behavior of College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Mobile Smartphone and Ecological Momentary Assessment Study" (2021, Mental Internet Research), and "Self-Other Representation in the Social Brain Reflects Social Connection" (2020, Neuroscience)

5) CONNECTING TO OTHERS: PROMOTING PROSOCIAL & SOCIAL SKILLS

The Social Brain: The Neural Basis of Social Cognition, Social Connection, and Emotion

Kevin N. Ochsner, PhD

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology; Director, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Lab, Columbia University; Co-Author, “Evidence That Default Network Connectivity During Rest Consolidates Social Information” (2018, Cerebral Cortex), “From Striving to Thriving in the Face of Threats: The Emerging Science of Emotion Regulation Training” (2018, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences), “Social Networks in the Brain” (2017, Nature Human Behaviour), and “Social Cognition as Reinforcement Learning” (2016, Cognitive Neuroscience)

Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Compassionate, Cooperative, and Collaborative Students

David Sloan Wilson, PhD

Evolutionary Biologist; Professor Emeritus, Biological Sciences and Anthropology, Binghamton University; Co-Founder, Evolution Institute; Co-Founder, Prosocial World; Author, A Life Informed by Evolution (2022) and Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others (2015); Co-Author, Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups (2019), Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Behavior (2018), and “A Program for At-Risk High School Students Informed by Evolutionary Science” (2011, PLoS One)

Designing a Pro-Social Classroom

Christi Bergin, PhD

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation; Research Professor, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, College of Education and Human Development, University of Missouri; Co-Founder and Scientific Director, Network for Educator Effectiveness; Author,Designing a Prosocial Classroom: Fostering Collaboration in Students From PreK-12 With the Curriculum You Already Use (2018) and “The Handbook of Prosocial Education” (2014, Moral Education); Co-Author, “Prosocial Behavior and School Engagement During Adolescence” (2022, Applied Developmental Psychology), “Positive Teacher-Student Relationships May Lead to Better Teaching” (2022, Learning and Instruction), and “Prosocial Goals” (2019, Social Goals in the Classroom)

No More Meltdowns: Social Skills Training for Emotional Regulation

Jed E. Baker, PhD

Director, Social Skills Training Project; Author, Social Skills Picture Book: For High School and Beyond (2017), Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens (2015), and No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out of Control Behavior (2012); Contributing Author, Autism in Lockdown: Expert Tips and Insights on Coping With the COVID-19 Pandemic (2020)

Evolving With Gratitude: Nurture Relationships, Improve Well-Being, and Activate Learning

Lainie Rowell, MA

Educator; Innovative Learning Consultant; Consultant for the Institute for Leadership Development, Orange County Department of Education; Apple Distinguished Educator; Google for Education Certified Trainer; Google for Education Certified Innovator; Author, Evolving With Gratitude: Small Practices in Learning Communities That Make a Big Difference with Kids, Peers, and the World (2022); Co-Author, Evolving Learner: Shifting From Professional Development to Professional Learning From Kids, Peers, and the World (2020); Contributor, Because of a Teacher: Stories of the Past to Inspire the Future of Education (2021)

Teaching What Matters to Teens: Activating Compassion, Kindness, and Altruism

Steve Banno, Jr., MEd

Award-Winning Teacher who created a High School Course on "The Love Course: Exploring The Art of Living", that prioritized social and emotional learning as a distinctive curriculum and integrates kindness and altruism; Consultant; Author, Teaching What Matters: Activating Happiness, Kindness and Altruism, (2022); Co-Author, Remaking Athletics to Transform Lives: Sport Psychology/Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for High School Sports (2023, Forthcoming)




 

Cultivating Culture: Connecting Kindness, Empathy, and Compassion to Student Learning

Janeen Antonelli, MA

Co-Founder and Chief Culture Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; Former Teacher, Principal, and County Office Administrator with expertise in reaching and teaching at-promise youth; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator

Jessie Fuller, MA

Co-Founder and Lead Learner Coach, Thriving YOUniversity; A California League of Schools' Teacher of the Year

Joelle Hood, EdD

Co-Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer, Thriving YOUniversity; Certified Life Coach; Consultant; Professional Learning Designer and Facilitator; Former Principal; Former Senior Consultant, Collaborative Learning Solutions; Awarded Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year; Passionately committed to empowering individuals and organizations to THRIVE