Phoebe studies how self-compassion can help students cope with communication anxiety when they need to give a speech, speak up in class discussions, ask questions, and seek help. She also enjoys collaborating with other researchers and has worked on projects assessing the effects of self-compassion interventions, how compassion to the self and others can mitigate difficulties experienced during group projects, and comparative employment outcomes between online and in-person degree holders. Her research projects have involved quantitative and mixed-methods approaches to understanding education-related processes and outcomes.

Phoebe also teaches an introductory educational psychology course that overviews theories of learning and provides practical skills for becoming a successful student. In the community she teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Yoga.

She is earning her PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin and plans to graduate in May, 2018.

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EDP 310: Strategic Learning for the 21st Century

Textbook–Motivation and Learning Strategies of College Success: A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning by Dembo, M.H., & Seli, H.

This undergraduate course introduces students to research on self-regulation, learning, memory, motivation, and emotion. More importantly, students gain practical skills for becoming more successful learners, such as time management, goal setting, study strategies, and techniques for regulating their outer (physical and social) and inner (motivational and emotional) worlds. Centered on Team Based Learning, this course is highly interactive and engaging, as students work together throughout the semester to discuss course concepts and prepare projects.

Mindful Self-Compassion 8 Week Program

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported, 8-week, training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.


A 300-hr Dharma Yoga certified teacher, Phoebe teaches weekly yoga classes at UT-Austin for faculty and students. Classes begin with short meditations to cultivate breath and body awareness, and involve fluid, safe movement to build strength, flexibility, and most importantly, kindness towards the body.  As a teacher, Phoebe believes yoga’s primary benefit is to facilitate a deeper familiarity with our bodies and minds. As such, she highly encourages her students’ creative movements and modifications.


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Working Papers

Long, P. & Neff, K. “Fear of evaluation mediates the relation between self-compassion and student communication behavior.” Under review at Communication Education.

Abstract: Student communication behaviors, such as participating in class discussions, asking questions, seeking help from others, and speaking with instructors outside of the classroom are associated with a variety of learning indicators, including increased knowledge and comprehension, academic performance, motivation, and interest in classroom materials. This study investigated whether self-compassion (the tendency to be mindful and kind to oneself and to recognize one’s common humanity) is related to an increase in adaptive student communication behavior. In general, as college student self-compassion scores increased, classroom apprehension about participation decreased, and the likelihood that a student would ask questions, seek help, and speak with their instructor improved. Additionally, students’ fears of negative and positive evaluation mediated the relation between self-compassion and these communication variables. The results suggest that self-compassion may be a source of resilience in students’ affective experiences and behaviours related to verbal communication.  Although experimental research should explore the causal connection between self-compassion and these communication variables, self-compassion practices may be beneficial in interventions designed to decrease student communication apprehension and fear of evaluation and increase communication behaviors.

Park, J., Long, P., & Choe, N. “Mitigating the conflict students experience with group projects through self-compassion and compassion to others.” Paper presented at roundtable discussion for the 2017 American Educational Research Association Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Group project assignments have become popular in college-level instruction, making group chemistry and harmony crucial for students’ learning. Because the nature of group projects highlights collaborative work, it is common for students to experience conflict among team members for various reasons, thereby hindering their learning and motivation to participate in the project. Such negative motivational consequences of what is termed intragroup conflict for this study may be mitigated by group members’ responses to the conflict. This study explored the role of compassion (self-compassion and compassion to others) in college students’ motivational and emotional experiences when intragroup conflict among team members was perceived. From an initial model of students’ various motivational goals for the group project, measures of intragroup conflict (in a second step) and of self-compassion and compassion to others (in a third step) were added to predictions of students’ project commitment and emotions. Three hierarchical multiple regressions showed that goals explained a significant amount of variance in project commitment and positive and negative emotions. A measure of conflict improved predictions significantly as did adding measures of self-compassion and compassion to others. The final model for project commitment showed that significant contributors were intragroup conflict (in a negative direction) and compassion to others (positive direction). Positive emotions were predicted only by self-compassion, whereas negative emotions were predicted by intragroup conflict (positively), self-compassion (negatively), and compassion to others (negatively).


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