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Project CATALYZE is teamwork and we want to partner with YOU

Project CATALYZE is funded by the United States Department of Education - Education Innovation Research, and lead by Dr. Tish Jennings, Professor of Education at the University of Virginia. Working with the CPS Office of Social and Emotional Learning, we will invite 40 elementary schools to participate in the project
(20 in year 1 + 20 in year 2).
The CATALYZE team is composed of five teams: CPS SEL Office, University of Virginia, American Institutes for Research (AIR), SEL Worldwide, and CREATE. 
Chicago Public Schools

The Office of Social and Emotional Learning is supporting the CATALYZE project efforts...

University of Virginia

Dr. Jennings and her colleagues at the Curry School of Education. Dr. Jennings has extensive experience in conducting and coordinating school-based research focusing on teacher development.

AIR - American Institutes for Research

The American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest education and social science research organizations in the world, will conduct the independent evaluation.

SEL Worldwide

SEL Worldwide has been delivering PATHS® Curriculum professional development to schools for many years.


CREATE is a new organization founded to deliver research-tested mindfulness-based SEL programs and has an exclusive license with the Garrison Institute, owner of the CARE IP, to deliver CARE.

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US Department of Education - EIR

The United States Department of Education - Education Innovation Research funded the CATALYZE project under the Grant # U411C190159

Meet our Team

Tish Jennings

Professor at the University of Virginia

Director of Project CATALYZE

Dr. Jennings has extensive experience in conducting and coordinating school-based research focusing on teacher development. 

Christa Turksma

Co-Founder of CARE and a child-clinical psychologist who received her training in The Netherlands. Before becoming a psychologist, she was a Kindergarten teacher and principal. 

Tara Hofkens

Research Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. With a PhD in Learning Science and an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology,  her research examines how stress influences children’s engagement, learning, and development in school.

Jean Sack

Supportive Schools Manager, Office of Social & Emotional Learning - Supportive Schools Team

Mark Greenberg

Dr. Mark Greenberg holds The Bennett Endowed Chair at Penn State and founded the Prevention Research Center. He is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for CREATE and a co-developer of the PATHS® Curriculum. 

Dorothy Morelli

CEO of SEL Worldwide

With more than 30 years of experience in elementary and secondary education. Morelli is a partner in SEL Worldwide which provides training and coaching support in the use of PATHS®.

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Karime Cameron

Research Associate at the University of Virginia and Project Coordinator for the CATALYZE project.  

Adam King

Elementary School SEL Support Manager at Chicago Public Schools

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Kim Kendziora

Principal Investigator and Managing Researcher at AIR with experience and expertise in evaluating school-based student support initiatives. 

Yibing Li

Senior Researcher at American Institutes for Research

Education researcher and evaluator with experience in school-based intervention, study design, statistical analysis, project management, and proposal writing.

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Tara Zuber

Researcher at American Institutes for Research

Adenia Linker

On-site Consultant for Project CATALYZE

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