Learning Sciences Graduate Student Receives CASEL Fellowship

Learning Sciences Graduate Student Receives CASEL Fellowship

Jessica Marshall, headshotJessica Marshall, a graduate student in the learning sciences doctoral program, received a two-year ​pre-doctoral research fellowship with the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to further her work creating more equitable learning environments​ across civic education​.

Under the guidance of Robert J. Jagers, CASEL's vice president of research​, Marshall will be working with practitioners​ and scholars​ in the field who are ​part of the Equitable Learning and Development Project - a collaboration between CASEL, the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and the National Equity Project.

As part of the ELDP project, Marshall will help develop tools and resources to support more equitable learning environments by integrating justice-centered social, emotional, and civic education.

“The work is happening ​between scholars, school districts, educators, parents, students, and community members, which gives me a unique opportunity to ​learn with and from people across​ research and practice - something I feel really committed to,” Marshall said.

Before arriving at Northwestern in 2018, Marshall was ​founding ​director of ​the department of social science and civic engagement for Chicago Public Schools. Earlier in her career, she spent eight​​ years teaching high school ​social studies and special education ​in New York City and Chicago ​public schools.

​During her time as an educator and district administrator Marshall worked with students, teachers and school leaders across the school district to expand student voice and civic engagement opportunities.

“It was my work with young people and educators that really drove me to pursue my PhD at Northwestern,” Marshall said. “I wanted to spend time really thinking and dreaming with others about what civic and political education could look like when it takes seriously the lived experience and insights of young people.” ​

At Northwestern she served as a graduate research assistant, program designer, and instructor with​ ​The Young People’s Race, Power, and Technology project, an afterschool program directed and co-designed by Sepehr Vakil, assistant professor of learning sciences at SESP.

“Jessica brought an authentic sense of love and care for youth, a deep knowledge of teaching and pedagogy, and also her expertise on all things Chicago,” said Vakil, director of the Technology, Race, and Ethics in Education lab. “Despite her wealth of expertise and knowledge, Jessie is incredibly open to learning and brought an expansive imagination and intellectual appetite to this work. I was lucky to have her!”

CASEL supports educators and policy leaders and enhances the experiences and outcomes for all PreK-12 students. Its fellowship program supports training exceptional doctoral students like Marshall for research careers to improve the social, emotional, and academic development for students preschool through high school, with a particular emphasis on equity.


By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 1/19/21