Vicki Zakrzewski

education director, Greater Good Science Center

At the Greater Good Science Center, Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee) offers research-based resources to improve the social and emotional well-being of educators and their students. She does that by producing articles and other online materials, conducting workshops and leading the center's summer institute for educators. During her 20 years in education, Zakrzewski has worked as a private-school director, classroom teacher at California’s first public charter school (which served as the model for Aspire charter schools), administrator at Kaiser Permanente’s award-winning Educational Theatre Programs, children’s playwright for a worldwide humanitarian non-profit, curriculum developer, educational evaluator, grant writer and researcher. Examples of her recent consulting work include: Futures Without Violence, the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow), the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers, the International School of Brussels on the Common Ground Collaborative character curriculum, and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide — a follow-up book for children, based on the movie Inside Out. Zakrzewski co-led the Ball Foundation’s story project for personal transformation, as part of a strategy for bringing systemic change to school districts. Recently, she spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for teaching students how to become caring world citizens. Zakrzewski has a B.A. from UCLA and a Ph.D. in education and positive psychology from Claremont Graduate University, where she studied under the guidance of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.