Hannah Thompson and Lori Caudle were awarded a $5,000 Student/Faculty Research Award for their project entitled, “Social Emotional Learning Trauma-Informed Intervention Preschool Study (TIIPS): A Partnership with Rural Southeastern Teachers.” The research-practice-partnership uses a trauma-informed intervention framework to foster children’s social emotional development and prioritize workforce well-being among educ-
ators. The partner school in the study is located in a small mountain town outside of the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band Cherokee Indians. Caudle and Thompson aim to identify how their efforts support teacher well-being, trauma-informed practices and classroom-level interventions, and analyze whether or not the partnership resulted in improved social emotional competencies and behaviors in children. The Student/Faculty Research Awards are open to all disciplines, with award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The project was fully funded because the University understood the value of supporting early childhood educators and young children and recognized the direct impact research-practice-partnerships can have on communities. Dr. Caudle and Thompson believe in the importance of community-based research and issues regarding early childhood education at large, and the award will allow them to make an impact on the community while collecting crucial data that can be used to advance understandings of teacher and student well-being.