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The Team

Mark Setton

Mark Setton, D.Phil., is the co-founder and CEO of Pursuit of Happiness. Mark and his team design and teach educational programs on the science and implementation of well-being for academic institutions and corporations such as Google, Mediamax, the China Accelerator, Dartmouth College, etc. He is especially interested in recent scientific discoveries on well-being, as well as the remarkable resonance between modern science and ancient wisdom. He has studied and published works on East Asian philosophy for the past 30 years. He earned his B.A. and M.A. at Sungkyunkwan University, the only Confucian university in Asia. He has taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University, where he earned his doctorate, and presently, the University of Bridgeport.


Paul Desan

Paul Desan, MD, Ph.D., is the co-founder of Pursuit of Happiness and the Director of the Psychiatric Consultation Service for Yale New Haven Hospital. He obtained an A.B. in psychology at Princeton University, a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and an M.D. at Yale University School of Medicine. His present research interests include mood disorders, particularly Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D., and how S.A.D. can be used as a model to measure the interaction of psychological factors such as stress and cognitive style, and biological factors including seasonal cues. One focus of interest is the question of how a resilient individual can regulate mood and maintain life satisfaction in medical illness and existential loss.


Stefan Goldfinch

Stefan Goldfinch, M. Psych, M.A.P.S., studied Philosophy and Psychology before obtaining a M. Psych (Organizational) at The University of New South Wales. Stefan gained full registration as a psychologist in 2014 and is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS). His work to date has focused on enhancing employee engagement, motivating employees through transformational leadership and maintaining a positive workplace culture.  As a Master’s candidate, he conducted original research that revealed ways in which Human Resource (HR) managers may cultivate positive relationships with line managers, enhancing the overall effectiveness of HR. Stefan volunteers his time at the Pursuit of Happiness, combining his two passions of classical philosophy and modern psychology. He aims to promote Positive Psychology as a way of enhancing wellbeing and reducing depression and anxiety among adolescents and adults.


Debra Park

After retiring from teaching high school psychology for 33 years, Debra Park, M.A., “graduated” back to college and has been teaching undergraduate courses at Rutgers University, Camden NJ. As a Part-Time- Lecturer in both the Psychology department and the Institute for Effective Education/Teacher Prep, she has taught Introduction to Psychology, Human Development, Psychology of Happiness and Well –Being and Behavior Management to both traditional and non-traditional students. Debra is past-chair of the Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools, a committee of the American Psychological Association and has served on the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education and APA’s National Standards Working Group, revising the high school standards for psychology. She served on APA’s Membership Board from 2009 – 2012 and was Division 2, Society for Teaching Psychology Membership Board Chair 2012- 2015. Debra is a consultant and instructor for Pursuit of Happiness and continues to work with psychology teachers through her participation in many conferences and professional development venues.


Tony Arciero

Tony Arciero, MS, is a PhD student at George Mason University specializing in educational psychology and research methodology. While pursuing his studies, he also teaches a course on interpersonal communication, participates in a research group focused on student motivation, and has supported research helping at-risk adolescents discover and pursue their life purpose. His research area of interest is life purpose and how it may support motivation and become an asset for adolescents and emerging adults as they face challenging life experiences. He previously obtained a BS in occupational education and an MS in higher education. Prior to his doctoral studies, Tony served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force in the areas of space and missile operations, and then after retirement he spent eleven years in the Pentagon as a missile defense analyst.


Saira Qureshi

Saira Qureshi, MA, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counseling clinician in RI. She has taught psychology, child development and education courses at community colleges and universities in North East and New England. She also has online teaching experience. She holds a master’s degree in applied education psychology from NYU. She completed a post-graduate advanced counseling program and clinical internship in Rhode Island. In the past, she worked with a grant funded research project team at The Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. Her research interests include: positive psychology correlates, life-span, character, and personality development, multicultural and gender studies topics, mindfulness, mind stimulation therapy techniques, creativity, intelligence and effective teaching and learning, ecological psychology (psychological effects of minimalist and nature living and emotional wellbeing, spiritual health as a function of positive relationship with and caring for animal species), neuro-cognitive developmental disorders, evolutionary biology, psych therapeutic interventions for dual diagnosis /substance use disorders, and integrative health. She has been working with Pursuit of Happiness team since 2014.


Dominic Fanelli

Dominic specializes in web design, technology integration and mobile app development. Combining his passion for art and philosophy with a deep understanding of technology and web development, he brings an artistic level of creativity to his technical contributions for organizations and their digital presence. Dominic is presently the CTO and webmaster for Pursuit-of-Happiness.org and supervises all online operations and service deployment. He has designed several websites for non-profit and for-profit organizations and has a proven ability at advanced website optimization and SEO enhancement. After receiving his associate’s degree in Production Engineering from NEIT, he obtained a BA from the University of Bridgeport in Music Business, followed by multiple CompTIA certifications. He spent several years as the COO and Production Manager for Eastover Estate & Retreat in the Berkshires. Dominic is also a devoted musician with extensive experience in studio production and performance.