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A Researcher, Too, Finds Safe Haven



Tulane researcher Annie Weiss, now at TC

Education school students displaced by Hurricane Katrina aren't the only ones who have found refuge at Teachers College. Researchers, too, have relocated here.

"Hurricane Katrina brought destruction on many levels," says Darlyne Bailey, TC's Vice President of Academic Affairs and dean. "In dismantling schools and neighborhoods, the storm also obliterated the research base of many faculty members at the city's universities - the children they were monitoring, and the classrooms they attended."

A researcher who was studying emotional self-regulation in young children in New Orleans, Annie Weiss, has joined TC's National Center for Children and Families (NCCF), and was accepted as a visiting student at Teachers College. Weiss had already started a doctoral program in school psychology in Tulane when the storm hit. Her academic advisor, Dr. Denise Newman, had studied at Teachers College with NCCF co-director Jeanne brooks-Gunn, and Newman helped begin the transition that brought Weiss and her research skills to TC. 

Weiss, who has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Williams College(Williamstown, Mass.), told Inside that the experience that led her into studiesof emotional self-regulation was two years in Teach for America, a teacher corpsthat sends college graduates into under-resourced schools serving low-income children. Through the program, Weiss taught third- and fourth-graders in a New Orleans public school that was 100 percent African-American. The school building consisted of two floors of open space, in which only 3 foot standing blackboards divided the classrooms. With children constantly distracted by the activities of classes around them, Weiss began exploring issues of "effortful control," with an eye toward helping children develop strategies to keep themselves from acting out.

At NCCF, Weiss's study of self-regulation in children could contribute to several ongoing research projects, including studies examining how neighborhood and family influences affect children's emotional self-regulation. 

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