Dena Simmons is the Assistant Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She received an Ed.D. in Health Education from Columbia University, Teachers College.
Dena grew up in the Bronx. Her mother came to this country from Antigua as a very young woman, alone and without significant resources.
Showing great academic promise, Dena obtained support to attend a Connecticut prep school and subsequently won a Truman Scholarship and graduated magna cum laudefrom Middlebury College as a Spanish major and teacher education minor. She continued her academic training at Pace University where she earned a Master’s degree in childhood education in 2008.
Dena served as a public health volunteer in Antigua, where she worked with the Directorate of Gender Affairs to provide better health services for Dominican sex workers. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Dominican Republic, Dena studied the collaboration between schools and health agencies in efforts to prevent teenage pregnancy.
Dena has taught for several years in the South Bronx, first with Teach For America and then with the Ed.D. program at Columbia University, Teachers College.