International Bullying Prevention Conference

OPENING KEYNOTE: Laugh Just for the Health of It!

Humor and laughter are crucial aspects of both personal health and healthy relationships with others. In this session, we will explore the numerous influences that laughter has on us and look at strategies for how we can find more humor in our daily lives, therefore increasing our strength, patience, and even job satisfaction as a result. We will also discuss the benefits of humor in our work with youth.



Karen Vadino is a Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Trainer and Consultant. In her years of work as a human service professional, Karen’s experience has often been rooted in the field of chemical dependency, both as a licensed clinician and as a certified prevention specialist. She has extensive experience working with children and families, as she previously worked as a clinician and supervisor in Children’s’ Services group homes and a Children’s Psychiatric Hospital. Karen has also been a part-time instructor in Social Work, Sociology, Juvenile Justice and Human Development at Youngstown State University, Penn State University and Westminster College. She has been recognized nationally, speaking and sharing her insights with thousands of people every year. Karen has been described as “one of those rare people who can make you laugh and cry in the same moment." She is well known for her “Vadinoan Theories”, such as her idea that we shouldn’t wait until we are completely happy before laughing. Karen is completing a few book projects, including a compilation of her original workshop materials and activities.

CLOSING KEYNOTE: Emotionally Intelligent Bullying Prevention

Emotions drive our thinking and decisions, the quality of our relationships, our physical and mental health, and everyday performance. When emotions are ignored, suppressed or acted-out all students are jeopardized. In my presentation, I will discuss our Center’s evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning, RULER, and the research we’ve conducted, which shows that schools must meet the real emotional and social developmental needs of students for bullying to decrease, for effective teaching and learning to take place, for positive relationships to form and for students to fully express their talents.


Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Yale Child Study Center. His research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, relationship quality, wellbeing, performance, and school climate climate. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1200 public, charter, and private schools across the world. For the last five years he has worked with Facebook to develop tools that help adults and children develop emotional intelligence and prevent bullying.