As the Assistant Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Dena Simmons, Ed. D., supports schools to use the power of emotions to create a more compassionate and just society.
Prior to her work at the Center, Dena served as an educator, teacher educator, diversity facilitator, and curriculum developer. She has been a leading voice on teacher education and has written and spoken across the country about social justice pedagogy, diversity, education reform, emotional intelligence, and bullying in K-12 school settings, including the White House, United Nations, the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, two TEDx talks, and a TED talk on Broadway.
Dena has been profiled in Education Week, the Huffington Post, the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. Dena is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, an Education Pioneers Fellowship, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, a Phillips Exeter Academy Dissertation Fellowship, and an Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellowship among others. She earned her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dena’s research interests include teacher preparedness to address bullying in the K-12 school setting, culturally responsive pedagogy, and social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions—all in an effort to ensure and foster justice and safe spaces for all.