Jessica Koslouski, PhD is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Collaboratory on School and Child Health at UConn and in the Department of Educational Psychology in the UConn Neag School of Education. Her main areas of research and engagement focus on trauma-informed and whole child approaches in schools. Koslouski focuses on the importance of creating and implementing holistic approaches to addressing trauma as she trains educators in trauma-informed teaching practices. Koslouski’s dissertation focused on the development and implementation of a professional learning intervention aimed at creating a more trauma-informed school in the elementary setting.
Her background spans over a decade from when she first started off in Honduras as a teacher to children living in an orphanage. “I was able to see the negative impact of trauma-based childhood events on the children as it affected their ability to trust, regulate themselves in the world, and engage in school,” says Koslouski. She also witnessed the “healing power of relationships” and saw how well the children were doing despite the adversities they faced. Koslouski then came back to the United States and taught for 10 years. In the U.S., she noted the lack of trauma-informed training in school settings and decided that something needed to change. She decided to pursue her doctorate. The graduate training, paired with her background working with children from Pre-K through high school, had given Koslouski a strong understanding of approaches to child development at different stages.
Currently Koslouski is working on publishing her dissertation and is involved with various projects at UConn. One project is the Mechanisms Underlying Mind-Body Interventions & Measurement of Emotional Well-Being: M3EWB. She is also leading training for schools in Connecticut on how to create a trauma-informed school community. She will be partnering with Naugatuck schools as she implements ongoing coaching and consultation on trauma-informed practices into the school system.
Involvement with CSCH
The Collaboratory on School and Child Health’s focus on the WSCC (Whole Community, Whole School, Whole Child) model resonated with Koslouski and drew her to UConn. She believes that whole child thinking is how teachers and schools can support kids in a holistic way. “We can support their health, social and emotional development, and the family and community around them so they are available for learning,” says Koslouski. Her main goal is to help schools support “well-rounded students with positive well-being who are going to engage in ways that are meaningful to them and society.”
Koslouski has visited over 20 countries on five continents including Ecuador, Kenya, and India. In college she studied abroad in Ireland and traveled to other European countries on weekend trips. She hopes to make it to six continents by going to Australia. Outside of traveling, she likes to spend time with her family, swimming, and reading.
Undergraduate Researcher Angel Ojide interviewed Dr. Koslouski and wrote this profile.