Dr. Travis Wright is a nationally recognized expert on school-based support for children who have experienced trauma. Blending developmental, clinical, and educational perspectives, Wright studies how schools influence social–emotional and identity development for children navigating challenging circumstances and how best to prepare teachers to meet the needs of these students.
Currently, Dr. Wright is an associate professor of counseling psychology and early childhood education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison), where he is also faculty director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service. At UW–Madison, Wright founded and directs the BASES (Building Academic, Social, and Emotional Supports) Project, a research–practice partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District focused on increasing school-based supports for young children experiencing homelessness and building the capacity of schools, teachers, and families to better meet the needs of these students. The BASES Project has provided over 8,000 hours of direct support to more than 400 homeless children in the past 7 years. During the 2015–2016 academic year, while on leave from UW–Madison, Wright served as the deputy chief of early childhood education for District of Columbia Public Schools, where he oversaw implementation of one of the nation’s largest Head Start programs. Previously, he worked as a school-based mental health counselor, public school teacher, and early childhood educator in Washington, DC, and Boston, MA. Dr. Wright is licensed as a professional counselor in the state of Wisconsin.
Wright completed his doctorate in human development and psychology and a certificate of advanced study in school adjustment counseling at Harvard University and was a Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has received numerous academic and service awards for his efforts, including the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award for Child Development and Early Childhood Education Research.