Education Advisory Council
The Education Advisory Council (EAC) serves as an expert advisory body to's board of directors, executive director and staff. The group provides information, consultation, advice, and other guidance and support for the board and staff to consider when implementing policies and developing products and services to further the mission.
Dr. Susan Sclafani
Education Consultant
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Prior to joining Pearson Foundation, Susan Sclafani held several key staff and leadership posts during a long and distinguished career in education. Susan is the former Coordinator/Principal of a magnet school in Houston; former Executive Director of Curriculum Development, Associate Superintendent and Chief of Staff for Houston’s Independent School District; former counselor to the US Secretary of Education; former Assistant Secretary of Education for Vocational and Adult Education; and former Director of State Services at the National Center on Education and the Economy. With each position held, she worked tirelessly to improve K-12 education systems at the local, state and national levels. Susan holds an AB in German and Mathematics from Vassar College, an MA in German and Mathematics from the University of Chicago, and M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kathy BelandKathy Beland
Executive Director, School-Connect
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Kathy Beland is lead author of School-Connect and the original author of the award-winning Second Step, A Violence-Prevention Curriculum series (grades pre-k through middle school), which is implemented in over 25,000 classrooms in the U.S. and Canada and in 26 other countries, and is the subject of many research studies. She is also lead author of the Eleven Principles Sourcebook, How to Achieve Quality Character Education in K-12 Schools (2003) and the writer/executive producer of 12 award-winning educational videos, including Yes You Can Say No, Facing Up, Choices, and Check It Out!,  all four of which won regional EMMY awards. Kathy has served as director of School & Beyond in Bethesda, MD; program director of the Character Education Partnership in Washington, DC; research and development director of Committee for Children in Seattle, WA; and assistant director and ninth grade teacher at the Santa Barbara Middle School, which she helped found in Santa Barbara, CA. In 2009, Kathy was honored with the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Character Education by the Character Education Partnership in Washington, DC.

Marvin Berkowitz

Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz
Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis
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Marvin Berkowitz is the former Coors Professor of Character Development at the Air Force Academy and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Studies at Marquette University. He earned a Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in 1977. He is currently the Sanford McDonnell Professor of Character Education at the University of Missouri-St Louis and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship. He directs the Leadership Academy in Character Education.  Dr. Berkowitz is also co-editor of the Journal of Character Education, and he has authored over 100 book chapters, monographs, and articles on character education, moral development, adolescent development, and risk-taking, and is author of You Can’t Teach Through a Rat: And Other Epiphanies for Educators (2012). He has received the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award from (2006) and the Kuhmerker Career Achievement Award from  the Association for Moral Education (2013).

Philip BrownDr. Philip Brown
Fellow, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University
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Philip Brown founded and directs the Center for Social and Character Development. He has been doing school-based social skills development work for more than 30 years. After working in local and county programs, he directed substance abuse prevention programs for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and then joined the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), where for 18 years he coordinated student services programs, including creation of the New Jersey Character Education Network. He has been a principal investigator on three U.S. Department of Education Partnerships in Character Education grants. With support from the NJDOE and the Center for Applied Psychology, he established the Center for Social and Character Development (CSCD) at Rutgers University in 2002. Phil has served in student support services related management positions in the New Jersey Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 25 years, as a school board director, founder and president of the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development and is a member of the National School Climate Council. With colleagues from Fordham and Marshall Universities, he is co-editor of the Handbook of Prosocial Education (2012).

Jonathan Cohen smallDr. Jonathan Cohen
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; Co-editor of the International Journal on School Climate and Violence Prevention; Senior Consulting Advisor, Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center; Chair, the American Educational Research Association’s School Climate, Culture and Community Special Interest Group; Co-founder and President-Emeritus, National School Climate Center: Educating Minds and Hearts Because the Three Rs’ Are Not Enough; and a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. He is a Diplomat in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a member of the Council of Distinguished Scientists, National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development, Aspen Institute. Cohen has worked in and with K-12 schools for over thirty-five years as a teacher, program developer, school psychologist, consultant, psycho-educational diagnostician and mental health provider. Jonathan founded the Teachers College Press Social Emotional Learning book series. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and five books. His books include: Educating Minds and Hearts: Social Emotional Learning and the Passage Into Adolescence. (1999); The Psychoanalytic Study of Lives over Time: Clinical and Research Perspectives on Children Who Return to Treatment as Adults (with Bert Cohler) (1999); Caring Classrooms/ Intelligent Schools: The Social Emotional Education of Young Children (2001); Making your school safe: Strategies to Protect Children and Promote Learning (with John Devine) (2007); and, Integrating Prosocial Learning with Education Standards: School Climate Reform Initiatives with Kristie Fink & Sean Slade). He consults to schools, districts, State Departments of Education, foreign educational ministries, World Bank and UNICEF’s Child Friendly Schools program about a range of social, emotional and character development informed learning, risk prevention/health promotion and school climate reform efforts.

Charles ElbotCharles Elbot
Leadership Coach, Denver Public Schools
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Charles Elbot was born in Europe and lived his first twenty years part of three cultures—French, German and American. He began teaching and helped found an alternative high school in Boulder, Colorado, and then went on to serve as a school principal for 21 years including at Slavens School, a K-8 Denver public school, which was honored as a 2001 National School of Character. This school was also recognized for its excellence in student academic achievement. These accomplishments attracted educators from around the country who spent days observing “how” things were done at the school. In 2002, Elbot founded the Office of Intentional School Culture and since then has shared school culture building with schools in Denver and beyond, including work with educators in New Zealand. His book with Dave Fulton, Building an Intentional School Culture, was published in 2008. Elbot graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. and earned an Ed. M. from Harvard University.

Dr. Maurice EliasDr. Maurice Elias
Professor, Rutgers University
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Maurice Elias is Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Psychology Department, Rutgers University, Academic Director of Rutgers’ Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships Program (CESEP;, Coordinator of Rutgers’ Internship Program in Applied, School, and Community Psychology, Past President of the international Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of APA, Director of  Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, Coordinator of Improving School Climate for Academic and Life Success (ISCALS) at Rutgers’ Center for Applied Psychology, and Founding Member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. Books include Emotionally Intelligent Parenting (2000), Bullying, Peer Harassment, and Victimization in the Schools: The Next Generation of Prevention (Haworth, 2003), the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Curricula for Elementary and Middle School Students (2006), The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement:  Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom (Corwin, 2006). He collaborated with storytellers in the U.S. and Israel, and a prominent Israeli School Psychologist, to create a book for young children: Talking Treasure:  Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children (2012).  He is a licensed psychologist in NJ and writes a blog on Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) for the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Ann Higgins-D'AlessandroDr. Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro
Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, Fordham University
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Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro’s research interests focused primarily in two areas: the development of sense of self and morality across the lifespan and basing evaluation strategies for school change intervention programs in developmental and program theories. Research in the development of sense of self and morality “focus on understanding the role of self-evaluation and the influence of institutions and groups in their development and expression in action, particularly moral actions, altruism, and self-evaluated ‘wrong’ actions.” She currently teaches at Fordham University in New York in the Psychology department.

Kristie FinkKristie Fink
Lecturer & ARL Program Coordinator, Utah State University
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Kristie Fink is a faculty member at Utah State University where she teaches and coordinates the Alternative Route to Licensure program for teachers.  She is the former executive director of Community of Caring in Washington, D.C., where she worked for Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.   She has also been the director of the program at the University of Utah.  Kristie was the first person in the nation to serve as a full-time character education specialist in a state department of education, and also coordinated the annual Dialogue on Democracy activities as the executive director of the Utah Coalition for Civic, Character and Service Learning.  She has served as an officer on the board of directors for the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C.  She chaired the Blue Ribbon Panel for the National Schools of Character program, and has also made site visits for NSOC.  She was selected for publication in the “Best of Character” 20-year anniversary edition for the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University and co-chaired a white paper for with Karen Geller on integrating Common Core and character education.  She also co-authored “Making Character Education a Standard Part of Education” with Linda McKay for, wrote “Promoting Character Education” for Glencoe-McGraw-Hill, and consulted with Turner Learning and the Cartoon Network on “Animate Your World: Shaping Character.”  She has received many teaching and service awards, including awards presented by Sargent Shriver, former First Lady of Utah Jacalyn Leavitt, and most recently by the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education. She has spoken widely on character education and service learning across the U.S. and Canada.

Karen GellerDr. Karen Geller
Associate Professor, Immaculata University
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Leadership Coach and Professional Development Consultant
Karen Geller, is an Associate Professor at Immaculata University, teaching “Supervision and Evaluation,” and “The Principalship.” She is the former Principal of Upper Merion Area Middle School, a Blue Ribbon School, a National School of Character, and a Johns Hopkins National Network of Partnership Schools. Dr. Geller has been a leader in Character Education for more than 20 years and has utilized her strong curricular and administrative skills to inspire and motivate schools nationally to integrate Character Education throughout the school environment and across the curriculum. Dr. Geller has assisted many schools and districts nationwide in embracing Character Education programs through Community of Caring trainings. She is a national guest speaker and consultant for Character Education and Social Emotional Learning, and a Site Visitor for the National Schools of Character Program. Dr. Geller recently co-chaired a White Paper on “Integrating Common Core and Character Education: Why It Is Essential and How It Can Be Done” with Kristin Fink for Dr. Geller received such prestigious awards as The National Community of Caring Outstanding Administrator Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, the Optimist Partner in Education Award, the Rotary Carl A. Beck Humanitarian Award, and was honored by Senator Connie Williams for her work in Character Education. She has spoken before Pennsylvania’s Congress regarding Upper Merion Area Middle School’s exemplary No Bullying Plan and is a published writer in the areas of Common Core, Character, Social Emotional Learning, Leadership, and Bullying. Dr. Geller’s Case Study “School Climate Reform at Upper Merion Area Middle School” is published in The Handbook of Pro-Social Education, Volume 1.

Darcia Narvaez_smDr. Darcia Narvaez
Director, Notre Dame’s Collaborative for Ethical Education
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Darcia Narvaez is an professor of psychology and director of the Collaborative for Ethical Education at the University of Notre Dame. She was the research designer of the Minnesota Community Voices and Character Education project, which she spoke about at the White House. She has over 100 publications in the areas of moral reasoning, moral development and character education, including the award-winning books Postconventional Moral Thinking (1999, with Rest, Bebeau & Thoma), Moral development, self and identity (2004, with Lapsley), the Handbook of Moral and Character Education (2008, with Nucci),  Personality, Identity and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology (2009, with Lapsley). Her latest book is Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy (2012, with Panksepp, Schore,& Gleason) and her forthcoming book is The Neurobiology and Development of Human Morality.

F. Clark PowerDr. Clark Power
Professor, Program of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame
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Clark Power is a Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS), a Concurrent Professor in the Department of Psychology, and a member of the graduate faculty in Education at the University Of Notre Dame. A former Department Chair of PLS, Notre Dame’s “Great Books” program, Clark regularly teaches Great Books Seminars and courses in Ethics and Developmental Psychology. He is a former President of the Association for Moral Education and received the Kuhmerker Award for his contributions to the field of moral education. Power works in the area of moral development and education; the psychology of religious development, and sports and character education. His publications include Character Psychology and Character Education, edited by Daniel K. Lapsley and Clark Power (2005); The Challenge of Pluralism: Education, Politics and Values, edited by Clark Power & Daniel K. Lapsley (1992 ).

Rick RubelCaptain Rick Rubel
Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics, U.S. Naval Academy
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Rick Rubel completed a 30-year career in which he had two commands. Before arriving at the Naval Academy, he commanded the Navy surface ship building Program, the largest Program in the Navy. Capt Rubel has taught the Core ethics Course at the Naval Academy for 16  years. In 2002 he was appointed to be the first Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics at the Naval Academy.  Since that time he has served as the Course Director of the Core Ethics Course for 12 years. In this capacity he has co-authored and co-edited the two text books and had several articles published in Journals. He has served on the Maryland State Board for Character Education the past 8 years, and takes Midshipmen out to Maryland schools to give talks on Character to students. In his spare time, he has written several books for children on character and moral development.

Dr. Scott SeiderDr. Scott Seider
Associate Professor, School of Education, Boston University
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Scott Seider is an assistant professor of education at Boston University where his research focuses on the civic and character development of adolescents and emerging adults. He previously worked as an English and literacy teacher in the Westwood (MA) and Boston Public Schools, and earned bachelor and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Dr. Seider is the author of more than 50 academic publications including Character Compass: How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students Toward Success (2012), which won the American Educational Research Association’s outstanding book award in moral development and education. His most recent work– supported by a 2013 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship– investigates the cultivation of critical consciousness in urban youth attending charter high schools.

Andy SokatchDr. Andrew Sokatch
Director of Research, Character Lab
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Andy Sokatch serves as the Director of Research at Character Lab.  He has previously served as the founding director of research and evaluation at TNTP, and, most recently, as the vice president for research at Teach For America, where his work focused on understanding factors related to teacher effectiveness. He holds a PhD in social policy and children’s welfare from the Heller School at Brandeis University and has taught at the elementary, middle, college, and graduate school levels.

Clifton L. Taulbert
President, The Building Community Institute and The Freemount Corporation
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As a K-12 Education Consultant Clifton Taulbert has been a guest professor for The Principals Center at Harvard University, the American International Schools (K-12 schools) throughout Europe, Asia and Central America. He is also a recurring guest professor on Educational Leadership at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently he consults with Urban School Districts throughout the country. Mr. Taulbert introduced his most recent book, Eight Habits of the Heart for Educators at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The book became a national best seller within six months of publication and serves as a resource text when consulting with K-12 educators. Clifton Taulbert is a Pulitzer-nominated author was also a major contributor to the Brussels’ published Human Resource Development and Information Technology and was a featured article author in the Summer 2008 edition of Leader to Leader, formerly published by the Peter Drucker Institute. He is also a content professor for PDI-NinthHouse, with the likes of Ken Blanchard, Steven Covey, and Peter Senge.

David WangaardDr. David Wangaard
Director, School for Ethical Education
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David has been the director of The School for Ethical Education (SEE) in Milford, CT since 1995. Prior to earning his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado, David was a school principal in Alaska. He has been applying his character education strategies in schools since 1984 and has been one of the Character Education Partnership’s consultants for the National Schools of Character Program since 1999 and joined CEP’s Educational Advisory Council in 2011. Wangaard began SEE’s Youth: Ethics in Service service-learning program in 1998 and has used service learning to develop SEE’s Integrity Works! project to help secondary schools focus on academic integrity. Dr. Wangaard is an adjunct instructor at the University of Bridgeport and has been a successful presenter at national and international conferences in addition to authoring student and teacher texts in support of character development.

Rick WeissbourdDr. Rick Weissbourd
Harvard Graduate School of Education
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Richard Weissbourd is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he directs the Human Development and Psychology Program, and a Lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. His work focuses on moral development, vulnerability and resilience in childhood and effective schools and services for children. With Stephanie Jones, he directs the Making Caring Common Project, a national effort to make moral and social development priorities in child-raising and to provide strategies to schools and parents for promoting in children caring, a commitment to justice and other key moral and social capacities. He is currently conducting research on how older adults can better mentor young adults and teenagers in developing ethical, mature romantic relationships. He is a founder of several interventions for at-risk children, including ReadBoston and WriteBoston, city-wide literacy initiatives led by Mayor Menino.. He is also a founder of a pilot school in Boston, the Lee Academy, that begins with children at 3 years old. He has advised on the city, state and federal levels on family policy and school reform and has written for numerous scholarly and popular publications and blogs. He is the author of The Vulnerable Child: What Really Hurts America’s Children and What We Can Do About It (Addison-Wesley, 1996), named by the American School Board Journal as one of the top 10 education books of all time. His most recent book, The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development (Houghton Mifflin 2009), was named by The New Yorker as one of the top 24 books of 2009.