The art of balance

We are a diverse team of lifelong learners who believe in the powerful benefits of emotional intelligence, and we come to work each day committed to creating and supporting healthy cultures in every school, business, and team we work with.

The Applied EQ Group was founded at the intersection of neuroscience, psychometrics,
and clinical best clinical practice.

We like to think our work as the graceful art of balance, where risks are taken (thoughtfully), perspectives are disrupted (intelligently), and solutions are found (creatively).

Meet Dr. Adam Sáenz

Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous.

These four words characterize the current global culture shift. The challenges associated with that shift leave us to wonder: how can we possibly thrive in such an emotionally-taxing environment?

We are entering an Era of Emotional Intelligence.

The only way forward is to become more self-aware and emotionally intelligent as individuals and to help those around us do the same. This is the promised land for us as a society.

When we increase our EQ, everyone wins. Not only do we become more physically and psychologically sustainable, but we do so as we live out the best version of ourselves. And one of the most loving things we can do for those depending on us is to offer them the best version of ourselves. We become better leaders, better teammates, better colleagues, better spouses, better parents, better neighbors. We live from a place of power, a place of love (for ourselves and one another), and a place of effective decision making.

We’ve helped hundreds of organizations and thousands of people over the past 5 years through speaking, in-person workshops, online resources, and one-on-one coaching. We remain dedicated to equipping as many educators and business leaders as we can.

And we can help you and your people. It’s time to take action: let’s shift ourselves and empower the people in the rooms we lead. It’s time to get EQuipped!

– Adam Sáenz

Meet Adam

As a licensed psychologist, author, and emotional intelligence expert, Adam has worked in the education and mental health fields for over twenty years. He has worked in collaboration with the College of Education at Texas A&M University, including the Department of Human Resource Development, The Department of School Psychology, and the Department of Research, Measurement and Statistics. He has also lectured in the graduate school at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School. He has delivered state national keynote addresses based on his research, which focuses on stress management, the dynamics of effective relationship building, personality assessment, and emotional intelligence. Among his publications are the best-selling The Power of a Teacher, Relationships That Work, and his most recent release, The EQ Intervention: Shaping a Self-Aware Generation Through Social and Emotional Learning.

Adam and his team have developed the Educator Assessment of Social and Emotional Learning (EASEL), a one-of-a-kind, empirically-validated, multi-domain assessment of personality, emotional intelligence and vulnerability to stress. The EASEL serves as the backbone for coaching plans for individual educators, campus faculties, and district-wide Social and Emotional Learning interventions. In addition to the EASEL, Adam and his team have developed the Big5-EQ, also a psychometric measure of personality and motivation, that serves as the backbone for coaching and consulting with corporate clients.

As a high school track and field coach, Adam is a lifetime member of the Texas Track and Field Coaches Association and a member of the Association of Applied Sports Psychology. He has coached multiple track and field athletes to state championships, and he serves as a consultant to the Texas A&M University Center for Student Athlete Services.

Dr. Adam Sáenz, Ph.D., D.MIN.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Meet the team

Nicole Hale, Ph.D.


After earning a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University, Nikki comes to Applied EQ Group after extensive training in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

As a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Nikki brings expertise in the area of psychological assessment, early childhood development and intervention for at-risk adolescents. She has conducted professional development for paraprofessionals, classroom teachers, counselors, and administrators.

Melissa Silva, B.A.

Instructional Strategist

Melissa joins Applied EQ Group as a veteran classroom teacher and campus intervention coach. Melissa has overseen the development and district-wide implementation of social and emotional curricula. She cares deeply about reaching students from socially and economically impoverished backgrounds, and she excels in her ability to mentor other teachers as they implement social and emotional learning strategies with their students.

Ashley Gabbard Jolly, M.Ed.

Instructional Strategist

Ashley is an instructor in the Texas A&M University College of Education and Human Development in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture. She graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis in Early Childhood and Reading from Texas A&M University. While teaching elementary in Texas public school systems, she received a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Sam Houston State University. After teaching in a wide range of elementary school experience, she began teaching at Texas A&M University, where she specializes in teaching classroom management and curriculum planning and instruction.

Kristen Shumbera, M.Ed.

Instructional Strategist

Kristen graduated with her undergrad from The University of North Florida and her Masters from the University of Florida. She has over ten years experience in the elementary classroom with all of them serving students in Title I schools. Kristen also has over five years experience working with pre-service teachers during her time at Texas A&M University. Kristen has a heart for students and focuses on building healthy relationships that encourage kids while they are in her class, and after. She firmly believes in the importance of mental health and connecting students with the appropriate resources.

Emily Brewer, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow

Angela Kennedy, M.A.

Instructional Strategist

Angela is the Social and Emotional Learning Director for a Texas public school district. She has 20 years in education and 15 years in counseling. Outside public education as a school counselor, she has worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor in a small practice. She is passionate about the implementation of Social and Emotional Learning in the public schools and the importance of instructing life long skills in students.

Myeongsun Yoon, Ph.D.

Consulting Data Analyst

As an associate professor in Texas A&M University’s Department of Educational Psychology, Myeongsun has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment and the Journal of School Psychology. Myeonsung and her research team have overseen data collection and data analysis efforts for Applied EQ Group, and she has supervised the statistical and reliability studies of the Educator Assessment of Social and Emotional Learning (EASEL), and the Big5-EQ assessments.

Amy Jensen, M.A.

Instructional Strategist

Amy has spent fourteen years working in education, half of those teaching in the classroom and the other half in educational leadership. She has partnered with several instructional organizations to write frameworks, curricula, and professional development in recent years, bringing expertise in engagement and social and emotional learning. Amy is particularly passionate about creative behavior management and conflict resolution. She offers robust support to teachers so they and their students might thrive. Amy has three boys of her own in the public school system, and she serves those who teach out of both gratitude and understanding of the unique challenges they face.

Partial Client List...

Bell Flight Helicopters
Blackwood Institute
BNSF Railway
Carter Enterprises
Consumer Electronics Distributors
Cook Children’s Hospital
Dallas ISD
Essilor USA
Frances Tuttle Technology Center

Game Stop
Houston ISD
Holly Frontier
Jakcson Lewis
Lockheed Martin
Mad Taco
Methodist Health CenterMetro Tech
North Texas Council of Governments
Old Castel Envelope Company
Paul Quinn College
Porter and Chester

Safran Aerospace USA
Southern Methodist University
Southwest Airlines
State Farm
Texas A&M
The Bair Foundation
Trinity Industries
Trinity University
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Zweiker & Associates