Chiamaka Ikpeze, pursuing her graduate education full time at Harvard
One of the things we are most proud of at Children’s Institute is our commitment to supporting staff as they grow, develop, and further their professional goals. Many staff pursue further academic study while working at Children’s Institute. As a result, we sometimes have to say goodbye to talented people as they discover their passions and identify new opportunities. At the end of December Chiamaka Ikpeze will be leaving us as she transitions to pursuing her graduate education full time. Chiamaka has served as a Whole Child Specialist for the Whole Child Connection since early 2020. Starting just prior to the pandemic, she has been instrumental in helping the Connection to develop its response, including co-developing a self-care training and community check-in series. In addition, she has facilitated an internal “SEL and critical discourse” conversation that has allowed us to begin exploring the equity implications of social-emotional learning and apply an anti-racist lens to all of our work.
This fall, Chiamaka began a masters degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and specifically within the Ecological Approach to Social and Emotional Learning (EASEL) lab which explores the effects of high-quality social-emotional interventions on the development and achievement of children, youth, teachers, parents, and communities. During her time at Harvard, she will be working on the SEL Kernels in Nigeria project, a USAID-Funded partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) designed to engage local educators and researchers in Nigeria to identify SEL needs and adapt evidence-based Kernels to fit the Northeastern Nigerian school context. Although we will no longer have Chiamaka on staff, we know we will continue to learn from her as she brings her expertise, passion, and insight to her future endeavors.