Mark Setton, D.Phil., is the co-founder and CEO of Pursuit of Happiness. He has studied and published works on East Asian philosophy and well-being for the past 30 years. He earned his B.A. and M.A. at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, and his doctorate at Oxford University. He has taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University, and presently, the University of Bridgeport. Mark and his team design and teach educational programs on the science and implementation of well-being for secondary schools, universities, 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.
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.
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, Ph.D., teaches educational psychology and human development at George Mason University. His research area of interest is life purpose as an asset for adolescents and emerging adults as they face challenging life transitions. He previously obtained a BS in occupational education and an MS in higher education.
Marie Cooke PhD was previously the Further Education Programme Director at the Maryvale Institute, England, supporting hundreds of distance-learning, adult students from all over the world each year, studying theology and catechetics. She previously obtained a BA Div (Hons) and research MTh from Maynooth in Ireland, before completing a doctorate at the University of Glasgow. Marie successfully initiated and led a peer wellbeing support programme for University of Strathclyde students which utilised POH training and contributed to research. Born in Dumbarton, Scotland, Marie has lived and worked in ten cities from Berlin to Inverness. With decades of experience in youth work, chaplaincy and project management, Marie is currently the Ministry Development Staff Support Officer for the Church of Scotland in Glasgow Presbytery.
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 andeffective 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.
William Chasseaud is the Senior Editor of PoH and a professional copy editor and proofreader. With a background in the study of art and English and American literature, he served an apprenticeship in graphic design in London, UK. He gained a qualification in magazine editorial (distinction) from the London School of Publishing and Public Relations and has designed and edited illustrated publications throughout his career. He has volunteered for nonprofit organizations dedicated to the homeless, as well as an over-fifties forum. In 2018 he published a volume of poetry, and is now preparing his own illustrated book on the poems and places of W B Yeats. His areas of interest include philosophy, psychology and religion, as well as verse drama, ancient civilisations and the arts and cultures of different societies. He joined the PoH team in 2012
Görkem Gençer, MSc, is the Digital Operations Coordinator of Pursuit of Happiness. During his master study in Stockholm School of Economics, he began to question the societal benefits and drawbacks of automation throughout history. Then, he worked as a Senior Industry Analyst at AIMultiple and authored over 100 essays on various aspects of the digital transformation and its impact on humans. His experience showed how out of control depression and anxiety problems have become worldwide, and how critical it is for people to develop habits that increase their happiness. Görkem now manages Pursuit of Happiness's digital initiatives and helps organization to reach a wider audience.
Prisha is currently studying at the University of Washington on a pre-med route working towards a degree in Psychology. She is very interested in learning how to “hack” the brain and use different phenomenons to improve our daily living. Prisha is very passionate about mental health and well being and is very excited to contribute to this field through her art!