Guest Speakers

Positive psychology is the science of optimal human functioning.  Within the field, there are researchers that go out and use the scientific method to observe, measure and test positive interventions (exercises and activities for boosting wellbeing).  There are also practitioners, they are the ones that go out an translate the research and put the science into action.

Our faculty member, Sid Efromovich, put it best when he said, “The positive psychology researchers are the botanists of our field. They study the genus, what it means to be plant, how the plants come to be and where they flourish best.

The practitioners are the florists. They understand plants. They know what works, what doesn’t work and why.  And their job is to assemble the plants and flowers into bouquets that people use and know when one type of arrangement is better than another.”

To support our Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) students in becoming the best practitioners of the science, we bring in two guest speakers every month that offer them the opportunity to learn from a researcher and a practitioner.

The Researchers share their findings and what’s “hot” in positive psychology science. The Practitioners come from diverse backgrounds and share how they translate positive psychology.  Some use positive psychology with children, others in technology, some as coaches, others in business.  This gives our students the opportunity to get ideas for how they can apply positive psychology with the populations they serve and hear about the journeys other practitioners have taken.

Connecting our students with Guest Researchers and Practitioners is one of the many ways that we uniquely serve our students in getting the most comprehensive training in positive psychology, teaching them to apply the science, and identifying how to enhance their careers.


Below is a list of our distinguished researchers:

Andrew Newberg PhD, Neuontheologist Barbara Fredrickson PHD, Leading scholar within social psychology, affective science, and positive psychology Bob Vallerand PhD, Professor of Psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal Gayatri Devi MD, FACP, FAAN, Director, Clinical Associate Professor at New York University School of Medicine Giacomo Bono PhD, Researcher and Professor at California State University Kelly McGonigal PhD, Health Psychologist Lea Waters PhD, Psychologist, Researcher & Speaker Robert Emmons PhD, Author, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology Ryan Niemiec PhD, Author, Researcher Scott Barry Kaufman PhD, M.Phil, Researcher, Author Sonja Lyubormirsky PhD, Researcher, Psychologist at University of California Stephen Post PhD, Author Tim Pychyl PhD, Professor, Researcher Todd Kashdan PhD, Professor, Psychologist, Public Speaker, Family Man

Below is a list of our distinguished practitioners:

Aaron Jarden MAPP, PHD Bright Dickson MAPP, Business Consultant and Leadership Coach Eleanor Chin MAPP, Experienced coach, presenter and trainer Elaine O'Brien PhD, MAPP, Creative Director and CEO of Lifestyle Medicine Coaching and Training, LLC, a consultancy, and FitDance: Move2Love Emilia Lhati MAPP, Sisu Researcher, Public Speaker and Entrepreneur Kurt Schuster MBA, MAPP, Coach, Co-founder ad CEO of Noomii Lisa Sansom MBA, MAPP, Organizational Development Specialist, teacher, coach, speaker, advisor and consultant helping others to flourish Lucy Hone MAPP, Researcher in resilience/well-being Kathryn Britton MAPP Marie-Josee Salvas-Shaar Nico Rose MAPP, Head of Employer Branding & Recruiting Programs at Bertelsmann Renee Jain MAPP, Childhood happiness and resilience expert Stella Griznot MAPP, Business Entrepreneur, Speaker, Consultant Seph Fontaine Entrepreneur Christine Duvivier MBA, MAPP Aren Cohen MBA, MAPP Sherri Fisher MAPP, MEd Allison Webster MAPP, MEd, JD Sean Doyle MAPP Margaret Greenberg MAPP Jeremy McCarthy MAPP Karen Garman EdD, MAPP Shannon Waffen MAPP, CAPP Noémie Le Pertel MS, MPH, MAPP Sandy Lewis MAPP, ACC David J. Pollay MAPP Jan Stanley MAPP Sherif Arafa MAPP, MBA Jaime Jenkins BSW, MAPP