Van Wesep’s background in strategic business growth will enable Reflection Sciences to expand its reach and impact in education
Reflection Sciences, the executive function company, has appointed Isaac Van Wesep as Chief Executive Officer, effective June 1. The appointment will drive innovation, growth and the pursuit of the company’s mission to ensure every child gets the executive function support they need to achieve academic, career and personal success.
Van Wesep has a deep understanding of education technology and a passion for improving educational outcomes for all children. His expertise will be instrumental in guiding Reflection Sciences as it continues to lead the growth of cognitive science tools to enhance learning, curriculum and child development.
“After working closely with Isaac over the last two years, it’s clear he has the vision, energy and executive function skills to build on Reflection Sciences’ leadership in executive function,” said Co-Founder and Board Director Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D. “The science is now very clear that executive function skills significantly predict student achievement in core areas such as math, literacy and social-emotional skills. Measuring and improving executive function skills is the way forward to support student success.”
Executive function—or “EF” for short—is the set of brain skills that allows people to hold information in mind, control impulses and think flexibly. These skills allow people to pursue their goals, make better decisions and prioritize actions. Scientific research has shown that EF skills are essential to academic success in children, and also critical building blocks for social-emotional skills that are important success factors throughout life. EF skills are malleable and develop rapidly during childhood. EF skills can be undermined by trauma, such as pandemic isolation and poverty, but they also can be improved with practice.
Reflection Sciences was founded by Drs. Stephanie Carlson and Phil Zelazo, distinguished faculty at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. The company’s Minnesota Executive Function Scale (the MEFS), developed through a research collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the first objective and normed measure of executive function skills for the commercial market. The tool has been used by educators, clinicians and researchers to support growth and development in 100,000 individuals.
“Measuring and developing young learners’ executive function skills holds tremendous potential for improving academic, career and life outcomes,” Van Wesep said. “The research around executive function is clear: it is the essence of human decision-making and the foundation for success in school and at work. The education community is now beginning to understand the science of EF, paving the way for a decade of EF advancement in preK–12.”
To learn more about Reflection Sciences, visit https://www.reflectionsciences.com.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.