Emily Piper-Vallillo is a research assistant for Arts as Civic Commons, a project that explores the civic forces that shape our lives through experiences with art. Before joining Project Zero, Emily was a classroom teacher in Chicago and São Paulo, Brazil. Her current research interests include art therapy, bridging the teacher-research gap, and the social inequality that impacts the lives of students in the American public school system. She holds an M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. with honors in the College of Letters from Wesleyan University. Emily is a writer across genres and maintains her own artistic practices in fiber arts, painting, and photography.