Who We Are

Founded by UW faculty in the College of Education and School of Social Work, we are researchers, practitioners, students, and community partners working at the intersection of social, emotional, and intellectual learning to advance knowledge, lend expertise, and support the implementation of programs in schools and out-of-school settings.

Leslie Rupert Herrenkohl, Ph.D.

University of Washington Faculty Profile Page

Professor, UW College of Education
University of Washington

Leslie Rupert Herrenkohl, Ph.D. is Co-Director of the 3DL Partnership and Professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington.  She is a developmental psychologist and learning scientist who is fascinated by how people learn. She brings a holistic, socio-cultural approach to examine how people learn concepts, develop skills, and shift their participation to become new people through their experiences. She considers how social and emotional dimensions intersect with the traditional intellectual and academic perspectives in learning sciences research.

As a designer, Dr. Herrenkohl is interested in creating environments to support powerful learning that is conceptually rich, personally meaningful, and culturally relevant.  She often designs learning environments and then studies how people learn within them.  In order to do this work, she has participated in many generative partnerships with practitioners.   These collaborations give her a deep appreciation for the need to integrate theory and practice and to conduct iterative research to better understand the impact of particular approaches and strategies.  She is excited to apply her research interests and expertise to the 3DL Partnership’s emphasis on community collaboration, design-based intervention research, networked improvement communities, developmental evaluation and other contemporary approaches to engaging research to better guide decision-making around the design and evaluation of learning opportunities.

Todd Herrenkohl, Ph.D.

UW Faculty Profile

Professor, UW School of Social Work
University of Washington

Todd Herrenkohl, Ph.D. is Co-Director of the 3DL Partnership and Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.  His funded research focuses on the development and prevention of youth violence, consequences of family violence for children, and resilience in vulnerable youth and families. Dr. Herrenkohl’s publications span a number of interrelated areas including prevention and wellness and positive youth development.  Through various basic and applied research activities, Dr. Herrenkohl and his research colleagues focus on bringing knowledge to bear on targeted practice and policy goals.  He is particularly interested in the “shaping” of resilience within social environments–and the role of formal and informal systems in wellness promotion.  As a researcher and mental health practitioner, Dr. Herrenkohl approaches his current work with schools and community-based organization mindful of the complex needs of youth and families and also committed to restructuring systems so that all children are served equitably and holistically. His work in the area of evaluation focuses on continual improvement and the uses of data to drive innovation.  This work is derived from the foundations of developmental and participatory models of research that place collaboration at the center of all activities on the ground. In support of broader goal around social justice, Dr. Herrenkohl brings to his work a passion for understanding and mitigating complex social problems and for promoting opportunities for those who have been traditionally underserved.

Michelle Proulx, M.Ed.

Ph.D. Student in Learning Sciences & Human Development
University of Washington

Michelle Proulx, M.Ed. is Director of Services for the 3DL Partnership and formerly Social and Emotional Curriculum Developer for the Bellevue School District. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences at the University of Washington. Ms. Proulx’s research in social and emotional learning is influenced by her training as a developmental psychologist and her experiences working as a counselor and psychologist in a diverse urban school district. Ms. Proulx is particularly interested in the implementation and evaluation of preventative social and emotional instruction and the impact of explicit skill development on teacher practices and student outcomes. Central to her work are issues of measurement and the pursuit of efficient and authentic methods for assessing skill development among culturally diverse groups.

John Benner, M.Ed.

Ph.D. Student Learning Sciences & Human Development
University of Washington

John Benner, M.Ed., is a PhD student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development Program at the UW College of Education.  His work focuses on social and emotional learning in P-12 settings and out-of-school environments with a particular emphasis on parent engagement strategies that support community building and emphasize the strengths diverse families bring to their children’s education. Before coming to UW, John worked for many years in the field of early child education as a Reggio Emilia inspired teacher and later as a program director for a Preschool – 6th grade before and after school and summer program in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle.  These experiences drew John’s attention to the power of informal learning settings to support healthy emotional development including shaping skills, interests, dispositions.

Logan Favia, Ed.S.

Ph.D. Student in School Psychology
University of Washington

Logan Favia, Ed.S., is a Ph.D. student in school psychology at the University of Washington.  Logan received a Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree in school psychology from the University of Washington.  As part of her graduate training, she evaluated students and provided evidence-based interventions to students with academic, social, emotional, and behavior issues in the clinical and public school setting.  She completed her School Psychology Internship in the Federal Way Public Schools.  Logan’s work focuses on the implementation and evaluation of universal, social-emotional learning programs in order to foster children’s social and emotional development in the school setting.

Meixi Ng

Ph.D. Student in Learning Sciences & Human Development

Meixi Ng is a PhD student in the College of Education at UW and just moved to Seattle from Singapore to begin her doctoral studies in Learning Sciences and Human Development. She is particularly interested in students that have had difficult experiences with school and don’t enjoy learning in the classroom, and how to design social networks of learning that changes those attitudes. She believes that learning designed in this way can dignify and heal individuals, restoring their self-worth and joy in learning. Furthermore, she became even more interested in the roles of students – precisely those wounded by school (Olson, 2009) – to change teacher beliefs and expectations and the learning culture at school and beyond.

Meixi experienced this first hand working with the Mexican Secretary of Education where a public policy called Tutorial Relationships, interchanged roles of tutor and learner and successfully closed the achievement gap in the worst performing 9000 schools in the country. Inspired and transformed by the work in Tutorial Relationships in Mexico, she moved back to Singapore in 2012 and founded FiftyFold to pilot the work in Tutorial Relationships in Singapore & Thailand in 3 schools. With 3DL, She has the opportunity to work on the NSF iTest project at Neighborhood House. It is such a wonderful way to be connected to Seattle and the undergraduates at UW and foster new partnerships that dignify and connect people to their culture and home community and have an impact on student attitudes and agency.

David Phelps, M.Ed.

Ph.D. Student in Learning Sciences & Human Development

David Phelps, M.Ed., is a Ph.D. student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development Program at the UW College of Education. For the past eight years he has worked closely with young children in a variety of learning environments including a school for underprivileged children in Peru, a Reggio-Emilia inspired preschool in Vermont, a care farm for youth in the Netherlands, a philosophy for children program along the Ohio River, and in an out-of-school time program in Seattle. David completed his Master’s Degree in the Learning Sciences Program at Indiana University where he researched how young children learn fundamental but generative concepts in the sciences and the language arts through activities children naturally find fun and engaging: drawing stories, playing board games, and using interactive simulations.

Yvonne Alvarez

STUDIO Lead Mentor

Ms. Alvarez is a fourth year UW undergraduate studying Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.  Her main motivation behind investing time in Studio is the group of students we mentor. Every week as a mentor I have the ability to spark interest in STEM for the youth and encourage them to seize any opportunity to become more active in the STEM community. Studio is also a great platform for me to expand my knowledge about social inequities and how to tackle them in any way we can. My hope is to take all my experiences and use what I’ve learned from them and continue to apply them in any future STEM career I will pursue after graduation.

3dL Alumni

Rachel Phillips, Ph.D.

Rachel Phillips, Ph.D., was the iTest Project Director and educational researcher at the University of Washington. The itest Project is a National Science Foundation funded partnership between the University of Washington’s College of Education, School of Social Work, DREAM Project, and Pipeline Project, along with Neighborhood House, a community based organization serving the West Seattle’s High Point neighborhood. Dr. Phillips’s work was focused on the schooling and learning orientations of traditionally underserved youth, particularly those serving time in youth detention centers. Dr. Phillips had also participated in a variety of research projects that focus on science education, math education, technology, and games for learning. She also provided a variety of consulting services, largely related to curriculum development.