Theresa Pfister, Ph.D., is a recent graduate of the Education Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the University of Virginia. Her research during this time focused on the intersection of social-emotional learning (SEL), equity, and action. Whether studying civic efficacy, empathy, respect, or critical consciousness, Dr. Pfister’s work highlights the lived experiences and beliefs of youth as crucial to classroom, school, and district improvement.
Before returning to school for her Ph.D., Dr. Pfister was a Peace Corps volunteer, an elementary school classroom teacher, and a college advisor for first-generation students in New York City. To continue closing the research-to-practice gap, Dr. Pfister has joined the WestEd’s Center for Improving Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety (CISELSS) as a research and program associate.