The Education Sector

The SOCIAL Framework in the Education Sector

Our experiences in early educational settings influence the development of our social skills and feelings of belonging. These experiences shape our abilities to form meaningful social connections throughout our entire lives.

Our Report: The SOCIAL Framework in The Education Sector: Learning Through the Lifespan explores how educational settings can serve as sites for addressing social disconnection and fostering more connectedness for educators and students of all ages. 

At our 2022 Annual Action Forum, Drs. Julianne Holt-Lunstad and Mark Van Ryzin presented on the SOCIAL Framework and key learnings from our SOCIAL Framework: Education Sector Report.


  • Dr. Mark Van Ryzin, Research Associate Professor, University of Oregon
  • Abigail Barth, MPH, Research and Innovation Program Manager, The Foundation for Social Connection
  • Tyra Hill, Social Connection Fellow, The Foundation for Social Connection
  • Sabina Low, Arizona State University

Reviewers & Contributors

  • Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Brigham Young University, Council Chair
  • Dr. Matthew Smith, Co-Director, Center for Population Health and Aging & Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Thomas Cudjoe, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Dr. Nicole Ellison, Professor at School of Information, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Harry Reis, Professor of Clinical and Social Psychology, University of Rochester
  • Dr. Louise Hawkley, Principal Research Scientist, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Edward Garcia III, MPH, Founder & Board Chair, The Foundation for Social Connection
  • Jillian Racoosin, MPH, Deputy Executive Director, The Foundation for Social Connection
  • Shannon Vyvijal, Social Connection Fellow, The Foundation for Social Connection
  • Daneen Sekoni, Policy and Advocacy Lead, The Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness
  • Matthew Itzkowitz, JD, Policy Manager, The Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness
  • Cat Moore, Director of Belonging, University of Southern California
  • Dr. Yoi Tibbetts, Research Director, Motivate Lab and Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Jeremy Nobel, Founder & President, The Foundation for Arts and Healing and Faculty, Harvard Medical School and Chan School of Public Health
  • Florence Mauchant, Founder & CEO, NeverTechLate
  • Kaitlin Ferguson, Research Coordinator at District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Lee Colaluca, Vice President of Marketing and Programs, The Foundation for Arts and Healing
  • Laura Talmus, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Beyond Differences
  • Lisette Ostrander, Director of Educational Programs, Beyond Differences
  • Marianna Freydlin, Educator & Beyond Differences Ambassador

Framework in Action

A brief overview of how the Foundation is putting the framework into action:

Embed Multi-Sector Approach

We connect partners from different sectors and levels of influence to support united, multi-sector work.

Support Implementation

Through our innovation work, we share evidence-based strategies and learnings with partners who can implement and test approaches shared in the SOCIAL Framework Reports.

Inform Policy

Our research informs policy development at our sister organization, The Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness.

Are you putting the framework in action? We’d love to learn how!

If you are designing, implementing, researching, or testing a solution for social connectedness through the education sector, we’d love to learn more! Please contact us and share what you are doing to advance social connection!

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