Message from SIG Chair
Message from SIG Chair
SIG Chair

Shannon B. Wanless, Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your interest in our SEL SIG! Whether you are a member or someone who is interested in learning more, I am glad you found us and hope we have the chance to get to know you better. This SIG is for members of AERA who are interested in educational research that involves social emotional learning. Our members have a wide range of interests, backgrounds, professional roles with SEL, and ways of conceptualizing SEL as an important aspect of helping children, youth, and adults thrive. We welcome diverse ideas about SEL and the opportunity to grapple about ways to stretch our thinking and doing into the future of this field. It is our different points of view and approaches to research that make us stronger together!

This SIG has been my academic home for over a decade and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve. Joining me this year as past committee members are Chris Cipriano, Julia Mahfouz, Christi Bergin, Nancy Norman, and Veronica O’Toole, and our current committee members are Hannah Grossman, Kristina LaVenia, Almut Zieher, Danielle Hatchimonji and Sheniqua Jeffrey. A special welcome to our elect committee members, Jasmine Williams, Erika Saito, and Annahita Ball. We are all looking forward to a year of community building, sharing ideas, and grappling with the urgent role of our field in advancing social justice.

Our society is at an critical point of reflection about what it means to see the humanity in each other and consider the delicate balance of creating space for individualism and also building the skills for being a part of one world as a collective. As the SEL SIG Chair this year, I hope to equip our members with opportunities to see the role SEL has in creating a more just and equitable society and putting those ideas into action.

What an incredible time to be part of shaping the future! I look forward to working with all of you this year and beyond.

All my best,



Shannon B. Wanless, Ph.D.

SEL SIG Chair 2021-22

Director, Office of Child Development,  

Associate Professor, Applied Developmental Psychology

School of Education, University of Pittsburgh