Wake Forest University
Visit the Growth Initiative site here
Visit the Beacon Project site here
Visit the Character Project site here
Here's a link to an article at Slate.com where I discuss the question of whether adversity can build character.
Here a link to a NY Times piece about some research I did with my colleague Erik Helzer on well-being and control.
Here's a video of me discussing well-being at the 2014 NAIS Well-Being Summit
And if you came to this website looking for answers to the question of how you could become happier, you could do worse than start here. Or here.
I received my Ph.D. in positive and social/personality psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. With my colleague Laura Blackie, I do work on understanding post-traumatic growth in terms of permanent positive personality change among war-affected populations in Rwanda and Sri Lanka as well as various populations in the USA. In addition, I'm broadly interested in questions related to moral psychology, growth following adversity and the study of well-being. My interest in the scientific study of character has its origins in my undergraduate research, which explored moral behavior from the perspective of ecological psychology. I'm also interested in the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of positive psychology.
Trained in both psychology and moral philosophy, I graduated with summa cum laude honors from Franklin & Marshall College in 2005, and was awarded the Henry S. Williamson Medal, the college's highest student award presented annually to the outstanding senior of the graduating class. My awards include grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Asia Foundation/ USAID, the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, and the Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania; a Mellon Refugee Initiative Fund Fellowship, and numerous academic awards from Franklin & Marshall College.