Advisory Committee

Tauck Family Foundation is dedicated to being a learning organization, gathering and sharing knowledge, and continuing to build our internal capacity and external networks. To support Foundation staff to best meet the needs of its investees, we have established an Advisory Committee to provide ongoing advice and feedback to the Foundation around the implementation of the Foundation’s strategy. Committee members bring expertise in social and emotional learning programs, strategies, and practice; the education sector; early childhood; theory of change; performance management; organizational development and capacity building; research; evaluation; and knowledge and deep understanding of the Bridgeport community, communities of color and/or low-income populations. We are grateful to the committee members for their ongoing support, partnership, and advisement.


Advisory Committee Members

Mary Pat Curran Healy

Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition

Mary Pat Curran Healy has been the Executive Director, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC), since February 2010. In February 2017, BCAC merged with LifeBridge Community Services and Healy became Senior Director at BCAC, The Center for Research and Advocacy at LifeBridge Community Services. Prior to joining BCAC and LifeBridge, Mary Pat served as the community relations and government liaison for AT&T. In this capacity, Mary Pat administered and directed a strategic statewide corporate giving grant program, focused on Education / Technology, Economic and Community Development and the Arts. In addition, she has held numerous leadership positions on legislative, technology and executive committees of local and regional business and non-profit organization’s Board of Directors on developing agendas on public policy issues. Through her role at BCAC, Mary Pat has spearheaded numerous forums and community conversations, initiatives on issues such as education and healthcare bringing about policy and systemic change. Most recently, BCAC has taken the role as driving force on the implementation of Social & Emotional Learning and improving overall School Climate. She has extensive knowledge of the Bridgeport community and has a passion for the well-being of Bridgeport’s children and families and the issues that have long engaged members of the BCAC coalition.

David E.K. Hunter, Ph.D.

Hunter Consulting

David E.K. Hunter, Ph.D. consults nationally and internationally with government and private funders and direct service agencies in the social (not-for-profit) and public sectors with a focus on organizational capacity building, developing strategies and theories of change, performance management, and the creation, delivery, and assessment of social value. His practice builds on over three decades of experience using performance management to improve the quality and effectiveness of social services. David is the author of numerous articles and papers about strategic performance management, including Working Hard & Working Well. He is a founding member of the Alliance for Effective Social Investing and coauthor of the Guide to Effective Social Investing published by the Alliance, and of the associated Social Value Assessment Tool for Nonprofits in the Social Sector (for use by external evaluators). David is also a member of the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, which recently published The Performance Imperative; he offers many of his tools and papers on his website .

Stephanie Jones, Ph.D.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Stephanie Jones, Ph.D. is the Marie and Max Kargman Associate Professor in Human Development and Urban Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Her research focuses on social and emotional development from early childhood through adolescence. Much of her recent work has focused on exploring non-cognitive factors across the developmental spectrum, with an emphasis on conducting rigorous scientific research while also creating translational and applied products for the early and middle childhood practitioner and policy communities. Stephanie is a member of numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development and child and family anti-poverty policies. In addition to her expertise in program evaluation, Stephanie has experience conducting large scale literature reviews; creating multi-disciplinary, integrative conceptual frameworks; and translating research into accessible content, for example as a lead facilitator of HGSE PPE series, as a consultant to various program developers and state-based initiatives, and as an invited trainer/presenter for state-wide educator groups. Thus, Stephanie's work regularly engages her in collaboration with diverse stakeholders from the fields of research, policy, and practice. Stephanie received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Yale University, where she trained with Edward Zigler. In 2008, Stephanie was awarded the Grawemeyer Award in Education for her work with Zigler and Walter Gilliam on A Vision for Universal Preschool Education, published by Cambridge University Press. In 2013, Stephanie was awarded the Joseph E. Zins Early-Career Distinguished Contribution Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning, from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Clark McKown, Ph.D.

Rush NeuroBehavioral Center

Clark McKown, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Rush NeuroBehavioral Center. Dr. McKown is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. McKown received his doctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley and completed his pre-doctoral internship at Stanford University Medical Center's Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and the Children's Health Council. Dr. McKown's clinical specialties include psychological assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with social, emotional, and learning challenges, including autism-spectrum, anxiety, mood, and disruptive behavior disorders. Reflecting a passion for understanding children's positive social connections, Dr. McKown's research focuses on factors that influence social status among elementary-aged children. Most recently, he and his colleagues have developed a web-based system to assess social acceptance, classroom social networks, and social-emotional comprehension in children in kindergarten through third grade. In support of that work, Dr. McKown has received federal and foundation grants and has published and presented his findings widely.

Pamela McVeagh-Lally

Pamela McVeagh-Lally is a philanthropic and non-profit consultant. She has spent ten years dedicated to helping all children thrive through building the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) and advancing the effectiveness and impact of SEL-focused organizations. She provides customized strategic, programmatic, and organizational development consulting to non-profits and foundations working with public schools and districts. Pamela's strong operational acumen and passion for performance management was brought to bear in her role as Tauck Family Foundation's Fellow, where, during a 9-month engagement, she led several special projects and continued implementation of the Foundation's strategy while providing maternity leave coverage for the Program Officer/Portfolio Manager. Pamela started her career in philanthropy at NoVo Foundation, a $2 billion grant making Foundation in New York, where she became the manager of the SEL Initiative. There, she gained experience designing and managing large-scale education initiatives involving multiple stakeholders, managing a portfolio of grantees, and developing a capacity building grants program for SEL providers. Most recently, as Dovetail Learning's Associate Director, Pamela led the California-based non-profit's strategic planning and growth initiatives, oversaw and improved all aspects of operations, wrote a three-year business plan to scale the organization's K-6 SEL program, and co-led a curricula redesign. Pamela has a background in childcare and the arts and holds a certificate in Grantmaking and Foundations from NYU's Heyman School of Philanthropy and Fundraising and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Otterbein University.

Jennifer Miller

Author and SEL Consultant

Jennifer Miller has twenty years of experience working with adults to help them become more effective with children through social and emotional learning. She is a regular expert contributor to the 2016 Webby Award winning site, NBC Education Nation's Parent Toolkit. Author and illustrator of the site, Confident Parents, Confident Kids, she has 22,000 followers and views from 152 countries around the world. Her platform extends to a full range of social media portals including a YouTube Channel and presence on Twitter, Pinterest, Medium, Google+, LinkedIn, Good Reads and Facebook. Maurice Elias, author of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting wrote, Confident Parents, Confident Kids "merits the attention of anyone working in social, emotional and character development who wants a place to send parents for ideas and advice and dialogue." She has contributed articles to popular publications and sites such as Parent Magazine, The Huffington Post, Thomas Vander Ark's Getting Smart; Smart Parents series, NBC Parent Toolkit, Ashoka Changemaker Series, Edutopia, Responsive Classroom, and The Community Psychologist (American Psychological Association). To be published later this year by Rowan and Littlefield, she contributed a section to the book, Building Powerful Learning Environments: From School to Community by Arina Bokas. Former roles include Director of the Office of Safety, Health and Nutrition for the Ohio Department of Education, Director of State Practice for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Peace Education and Program and Publications Specialist for AmeriCorps*VISTA. Jennifer has her Master's Degree in Education with a focus on social and emotional development from the University of Illinois at Chicago. When not writing, Jennifer can be found volunteering as a room parent at her son's school or assisting in homework or play. She lives with her husband and son in Columbus, Ohio.

Dena Simmons, Ed.D.

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is a lifelong activist, educator, and student of life. A native of the Bronx, New York, Dena grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with her two sisters and immigrant mother. There, Dena learned and lived the violence of injustice and inequity and decided to dedicate her life to educating and empowering others. As the Assistant Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, she works with schools to use the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. Prior to her work at the Center, Dena served as an educator, teacher educator, diversity facilitator, and curriculum developer. She has been a leading voice on teacher education and has written and spoken across the country about social justice pedagogy, diversity, education reform, and bullying in K-12 school settings, including two TEDx talks. Dena has been profiled in the AOL/PBS project, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and a Beacon Press Book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. Dena is a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, an Education Pioneers Fellowship, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, a Phillips Exeter Academy Dissertation Fellowship, and an Arthur Vining Davis Aspen Fellowship among others. She has her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dena's research interests include teacher preparedness to address bullying in the K-12 school setting and social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions - all in an effort to ensure and foster justice and safe spaces for all.

Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D.

Yale University School of Medicine

Michael J. Strambler, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and is based at The Consultation Center. Dr. Strambler's research interests concern understanding the role of social environments in the academic, psychosocial, and behavioral well-being of children with a focus on urban settings. A key area of this work centers on how home and school environments shape how students perceive themselves academically and how self-perception impacts academic and social-emotional outcomes. His experience in applied research, program evaluation, and program design in these areas has spanned from elementary school to undergraduate education. His most recent work in Bridgeport involves co-directing (with Dr. Susan Rivers) a collaborative project between Bridgeport Public Schools, Yale School of Medicine, and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence aimed at promoting life skills and social emotional learning that includes implementation of the RULER Approach. Dr. Strambler has earned awards from the Ford Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, and the American Psychological Foundation and he is the author of numerous scholarly articles and papers. He earned his B.A. from Morehouse College, his M.A. in Psychology from Stony Brook University, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Shauna Tominey, Ph.D.

Oregon State University

Shauna Tominey, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Practice and Parenting Education Specialist at Oregon State University. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, an initiative to provide high-quality parenting education to Oregon families. Previously, Dr. Tominey served as the Director of Early Childhood Programming and Teacher Education at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. As a former early childhood educator and family service professional, Dr. Tominey blends practical experience with research to develop and test programs aimed at promoting self-regulation and social and emotional skills for children and the adults in their lives. Dr. Tominey regularly speaks at local and national conferences and recently co-authored "Stop, Think, Act: Integrating Self-Regulation in the Early Childhood Classroom" with Megan McClelland and “45 Strategies that Support Young Dual Language Learners" with Elisabeth O'Bryon.

Nicola Wagner-Rundell, Ph.D.

Child Trends

Nicola Wagner-Rundell, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends, Inc., where she supports organizations to embed outcomes-focused performance management to improve the quality and effectiveness of services for children and youth. She brings several years of experience of working with youth- and child-serving organizations and the funders and capacity-builders that support them, primarily in the fields of out-of-school time, workforce development, early childhood and education. Nicola and her team's consulting services at Child Trends range from helping organizations take their first steps in using data to support organizational transformation, to becoming data-driven learning organizations, and conduct program implementation evaluations. She facilitates intensive Theory of Change workshops as developed by David Hunter and provides implementation support to develop performance management, such as performance measure development, program development, coaching on data inquiry and insight, performance reporting, and associated organizational and culture change. One of Nicola's current Child Trends projects includes an evaluation of Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's PropelNext initiative. Prior to joining Child Trends, Nicola was Head of Impact Management at the UK's leading venture philanthropy organization, Impetus-PEF, and worked for several years at a top-tier international management consultancy firm. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Oxford University.

Wendy Watson-Hallowell


Over the last 30 years, Wendy’s skills have been honed in leadership roles at MTV Networks, The Rensselaerville Institute, her own consulting firm Frontier Consulting Group, and by co-founding a grass roots community based nonprofit, Sustainable West Milford, in her town. In her work as a results-focused philanthropy consultant, Wendy has facilitated outcome-based change management projects and trainings with state, county and local government, all sizes and shapes of foundations and corporations, and a variety of high performing nonprofits. She is passionate about enabling individuals, organizations and communities to value themselves and each other in the ongoing process of change. She has guided hundreds of individuals, entrepreneurs, and over 750 foundations and nonprofit organizations to achieve tangible increases in impact and performance. In 2001, her successful practice in mentoring and coaching led to the co-authorship of the book, ‘Live a Life You Love and Make a Living Doing It', and in 2015, Wendy published ‘Seven Beliefs that Limit Your Life and How to Change Them’. She launched BeliefWorks™ in 2015 to teach individuals, executives and the organizations they lead how to challenge and change their limiting beliefs to dramatically increase their impact and quality of life. She offers coaching, team-building, and workshops for those in transition and ready for lasting change. Whether acting as an employee, a consultant or coach, Wendy has learned that beliefs are the key lever for significant and sustainable change. Behavior change alone is not sustainable by itself. As ‘The Belief Coach’, Wendy is committed to teaching the new skills required to achieve the results we seek, and to create the lives we really want to live.