Urban Education and Community Forum set for April 25

The UMKC School of Education’s ninth annual Urban Education and Community Forum will be April 25, featuring Susanne Denham, Ph.D., speaking to “Children’s Emotional competence as a Foundation for Success.”


Susanne Denham.
Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

Denham, university professor emerita at George Mason University, is an applied developmental psychologist with particular expertise in the social and emotional development of children. In this Forum, she will discuss how children’s self-regulation, social cognitions, emotional competence and positive social behaviors contribute to their early success in school. Denham also will examine how parent and teacher behavior affects children’s social-emotional learning, and how the educational system can best support those parents and teachers.


Her past work considers

  • Connections between emotions, socialization, and healthy relationships
  • What toddlers and preschoolers understand about their own and other people’s feelings
  • How changes in other areas of development, like cognition, fuel emotional skills
  • Problems that can ensue when emotional development is delayed, and how they can be ameliorated


Denham has been a guest scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health Developmental Psychology Laboratory.  The National Institutes of Mental Health, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the National Science Foundation have funded her work.


Free and open to the public, this year’s Forum will be 5-6:30 p.m. in room 401 of the UMKC Student Union at 5100 Cherry Street. Doors open and seating is encouraged at 4:30 p.m.  Reservations are requested by April 16.


During the Forum, the School of Education also will honor Susan Wally, president and CEO of PREP-KC, as recipient of the 2018 Hugh J. Zimmer Award for Excellence in Urban Education. PREP-KC works to improve student achievement in the region’s urban schools, specifically through college and career preparation. Prior to founding PREP-KC, Wally served as vice president for education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.