In this hourlong webinar produced for the Federation of Associations of in Behavioral and Brains Sciences, or FABBS, Zewelanji “Zewe” Serpell addresses the challenges and opportunities for connecting research to federal policy. Serpell, associate professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, draws on her experiences serving on the House Education and Labor Committee as an American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Congressional Fellow (a fellowship sponsored by the American Educational Research Association). Serpell shares her insights about what congressional staffers might be working on this session, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer actionable ideas anyone interested in using their research to inform policy.
Serpell’s research focuses on understanding and optimizing the learning experiences of African American students in school. As she explains on her university homepage, “With funding from the Department of Education, I am exploring whether cognitive activities associated with playing chess improve executive functions, and whether these improvements boost academic performance in elementary school. Supported by the National Science Foundation, I also study the efficacy of computer-based cognitive training, and adaptations to these programs to consider the social, affective, and motivational aspects of student learning.” Serpell has co-edited two books on school mental health, 2010’s Advances in School-Based Mental Health Interventions, and 2013’s Handbook of Culturally Responsive School Mental Health: Advancing Research, Training, Practice, and Policy (2013).
FABBS has produced a series of webinars at the intersection of brain, behavior and policy featuring key researchers and thinkers. The full playlist can he found HERE.