Paul Desan, MD, PhD, is 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.
Sébastien is a motion graphic designer who has been working for the past three years in television. He received his M.A. in Image & Communications from the Goldsmiths, University of London and his B.A. with honors at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey. He has over ten years of experience in digital screen arts, graphic communication, web design and animation. He has happily been collaborating with PoH on an on and off basis for the past five years helping out with design work. He spends a lot of his spare time reading up on philosophy and psychology. He is particularly interested in man and his relationship with symbols and signs.
Lance Hickey, Ph.D., received his B.A. from Bowdoin College and his doctorate in Philosophy from Columbia University. He has published numerous articles in the philosophy of language and psychology, and his book Hilary Putnam was published in 2009 by Continuum. In this, the first full-length study of Putnam’s philosophy as a whole, Lance pays particular attention to Putnam’s contributions in the philosophy of mind, including the crucial role of the social and physical environment in forming the contents of our mental states. He has taught at St. Louis University, Yale University, Sacred Heart University, and currently at Suffolk Community College. He is also a specialist in Ancient Greek philosophy, and is delighted to see that contemporary psychology is finally catching up to the insights of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Epicurus. Lance’s current research is focused on these remarkable links between ancient concepts of happiness and modern research in psychology and philosophy.
Allison A. Holzer, M.A.T. & C.P.C.C., is drive by a passion to share insights and knowledge to promote health, well-being, and optimal performance. As a certified coach and educational consultant, she works with teachers, leaders, and students on how to cultivate personal, emotional, and professional growth. With her combined education research, program management, and classroom teaching experiences, Allison has learned how to translate research into practical resources and evidence-based tools. In fact, one of her greatest joys is writing simple, concrete, user-friendly tips that anyone can use to enhance positive emotions and contentment in their daily lives. Allison completed her Masters of Art in Teaching at American University and a BA in Psychological and Brain Sciences, with an emphasis on learning, from Dartmouth College.
Emily Joy MBChB, MRCGP is a family doctor who works in the Highlands of Scotland trying to spread a happiness epidemic amongst her patients. Happy patients are healthier patients, even when they are ill! She is the author of The Accidental Optimist’s Guide to Life, where her search for the meaning of life is constantly thwarted by her three children, her job and the series of accidents that go to make up real life. Her first book, Green Oranges on Lion Mountain is a rather different story of her two years as a young single doctor working in an upcountry hospital in Sierra Leone at the outbreak of civil war, but is still filled with optimism, hope and happiness. Her conclusions are that as a cossetted middle class Western woman, she still has a lot to learn, and to that end is delighted to join the Pursuit of Happiness tean to take a light hearted look at some of the happiness literature.
Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. Receiving his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Dr. Kashdan has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including many of the eminent outlets in clinical, abnormal, social, and personality psychology, and given over 100 presentations at national and international conferences. In 2009, he published Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (William Morrow) to promote the science of well-being for a general audience, is an author of the forthcoming book Designing the Future of Positive Psychology (Oxford University Press), serves as associate editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology, and is on the advisory board for the Templeton Flourishing Children Project. To date, his research has mostly focused on anxiety, positive emotions, gratitude, purpose in life, how personal strengths operate in everyday life, social relationships, and how to foster and sustain happiness and meaning in life. For the past 10 years, he has been teaching college courses on the science of happiness. He is regularly invited to give talks and workshops to business executives, schools, parents, retirees, scholars, and health professionals. His research has been featured in several popular media outlets including the New York Times and The Washington Post.
Debra Park has taught at West Deptford High School in Westville NJ, for 31 years and is currently the Social Studies Department chairperson. She is past-chair of the Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools, a committee of the American Psychological Association, has served on the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education, and is currently on APA’s National Standards Working Group revising the high school standards for psychology. She was recently elected to serve on APA’s Membership Board from 2009 – 2012. She is also a Part-Time Lecturer in the Teacher Preparation Program at Rutgers University -Camden campus for the past 8 years. Ms. Park has received many honors including N.J. Gloucester County Teacher of the Year (1999-2000), Rutgers University Public School Educator of the Year (2004), and APA Award for Excellence in Teaching Psychology (2006).
Mark Setton, D.Phil., 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 Stonybrook, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University, where he earned his doctorate. He is presently teaching East Asian philosophy and world religions, as well as his favorite course “Perspectives on Happiness,” at the University of Bridgeport. He recently received an award for his work comparing philosophical and psychological perspectives on Subjective Well-Being.
Born in the city of Chongqing, Wu Sumeng received her B.A. from Peking University in 2008, where she was trained in Korean language and culture. She continued graduate study on East Asian philosophy and religions in the Department of Asian and African Languages and Cultures of PKU. Her research focuses on the interface between traditional values and modernization, which led to her growing interest in the parallels between traditional East Asian philosophy and modern psychology. She joined PoH after receiving her M.A. in 2011, and is currently working with the team on a pilot curriculum project called “Teaching Happiness: Integrating Modern Psychology with Chinese Philosophy” in Chinese secondary schools.
Ray is responsible for Work Place Happiness and Engagement. Ray White has extensive experience driving start-up and fortune 1000 companies to increased profitability. He has more than 27 years of marketing and product experience and was the marketing lead for four companies that grew from $0 in revenue to as much as $320 million. Ray is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received a B.B.A in management and an M.B.A. in marketing. Ray has three kids and has been married for 23 years. He spends most of his spare time watching and participating with his kids in various sporting activities. Ray’s passion is helping people become successful, especially the millenials he is currently working with. Ray teaches business classes in Leadership and Success at all levels of the business hierarchy from new employees to C-Level executives. His current area of exploration is researching and documenting the connections between Happiness, Success, and Employee and Business Performance.
John has developed curricula for elementary, secondary and university programs in the areas of philosophy for children and civic engagement. He received his B.A. in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota and studied photography at The Maine Media Workshops. He is currently pursuing his own happiness as a freelance designer near the Mississippi where he spends most of his time chasing two adorable imps, playing on the computer and taking photographs.