MAPP 2008

Louis J. Alloro
Lou·is [n. loo-is] A·lloro [uh-lohr-o], M.Ed., MAPP is a change-agent working with individuals within networks in systems to enable positive evolution. He is one of the first 100 people in the world to earn a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. There, he published a framework for how communities evolve called Social-Emotional Leadership. This thesis work is now activated in real-time as a city-wide well-being initiative in Cleveland, OH and Northern Valley, NJ, which is the school district where Alloro matriculated as a young boy. In these two projects, the work is to find, leverage, connect and build psychological muscle in SOcial-eMOtional (SOMO) leaders, who are the influential change-agents within networks in systems. In coming together to learn to think expansively, SOMO leaders become more effective facilitators to form super-organisms to innovate differently in business, healthcare, education, etc. and most importantly: get different results. Alloro is a Fellow at George Mason University's Center for Consciousness and Transformation, owns a private consultancy founded in New York, NY, is co-director of the Certificate in Positive Psychology (CAPP) program currently run at the NYC Open Center and writes for both Positive Psychology News Daily and his own blog called Verve (Energy difficult to describe in words; it is felt).

Scott Asalone
Scott is a business consultant, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and unofficial beach bum. Scott’s passion and continual study is about helping people achieve their personal greatness both in business and in their personal lives. His most recent book, Pathways to Greatness, is being re-edited in preparation for broader circulation. Over the past year, through his consulting company, ASGMC, Inc., Scott circled the globe offering workshops on creating emotional connection with clients and his consulting firm is now engaged in workshops on unleashing personal greatness. Scott recently opened a small independent bookstore in Asbury Park because of his passion for the written word and to create a place where successful and would-be authors exchange ideas. Housed in the bookstore is Scott’s independent publishing company, Great Insights Press.

Alicia (Luciano) Assad
Alicia is a mother of two young children and while currently focusing on parenting, she applies positive psychology to create a healthy environment for her growing family. With a B.S in Arts Administration and Dance Minor from Wagner College, she began her career in performing arts as a Radio City Rockette and fitness model in NYC. A former Miss New Jersey who was the youngest contestant in the 2002 Miss America Pageant, Alicia has training in yoga, Pilates and has completed two marathons. She is a certified health coach with the long term goal of doctoral studies in psychology. Ultimately, she will apply her knowledge of positive psychology, somatic awareness and holistic health to supporting women through pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Nikki Bardoulas
Nikki is a social studies teacher in Chicago. As a former AmeriCorps volunteer and youth leadership facilitator, she is passionate about education, social justice, and character development. She is looking forward to implementing positive psychology into her classes this coming school year and teaching it as a course sometime in the future.

Shawn Bennett
Shawn is a senior counselor for Powell Chemical Dependency Center in Des Moines, Iowa where he is honored to help men and women rebuild their lives after suffering from addiction.

Lee K. Bohlen
Lee K. Bohlen is an executive and life coach and has been helping business people improve their professional presence, organizational abilities and communication skills for close to 20 years. Lee K. completed her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Since then, she has begun incorporating positive psychology into all areas of her coaching practice. In addition, Lee K. works as a trainer for the University’s Penn Resiliency Program. As part of this team, she facilitated trainings at Geelong Grammar School in Australia and is currently delivering these programs to the US Army under the direction of Dr. Karen Reivich. Lee K. has served as a teaching assistant for the MAPP programs and holds a BFA from the University of Connecticut.

Trecia Borgo Davis
Trecia is a former parenting educator who has helped hundreds of parents learn positive parenting skills through her many courses and workshops. Trecia’s passion to raise her three children in a positive and flourishing environment led her to the book The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman, et al and to the MAPP program at PENN. Taking from her experience working with adult learners, she was trained in the Penn Resilience Program (PRP) by her former PENN advisor, Dr. Karen Reivich (The Resilience Factor). Trecia has had the privilege of working with Dr. Reivich as part of a team of trainers and facilitators teaching resilience skills to officers in the U.S. Army as part of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program. Besides her MAPP degree from PENN, Trecia also holds a Master’s in Communication from the University of Southern California. She is in the process of applying for her doctorate degree in educational psychology with an emphasis on educating adult learners in non-traditional environments.

Valorie Burton
Valorie Burton is a motivational speaker, coach and author of seven personal development books. She has coached hundreds of clients in over 40 states and eight countries. Since 2010, she has appeared bi-weekly on Sundays on CNN's "Reclaim Your Career" segment offering viewers advice for taking charge of their professional lives. In 2009, she launched The CaPP Institute, which provides positive-psychology based coach training as well as corporate programs that foster greater resilience and productivity for employees and leaders. Her latest book, Where Will You Go from Here? Moving forward when life doesn't go as planned, combines positive psychology research, real life stories and biblical wisdom to empower readers to bounce back from setbacks. Her next book, Successful Women Think Differently, is derived from her Capstone project of a similar title and will be released in January 2012. She earned a BA in International Affairs from Florida State University and a MS in journalism is from Florida A&M University. Visit her online at and

Eleanor Chin
Eleanor, an executive and life coach, and business consultant, is the founder and principal of Clarity Partners Coaching and Consulting. Using her coaching and training skills, she works with individuals and institutions to navigate change, lead from strengths and create positive, dynamic and inclusive systems. A columnist on Positive Psychology News Daily, she is also a contributing author on a chapter about women’s networks and mentoring across difference in the book The Glass Ceiling in the 21st Century published by the American Psychological Association. Eleanor has also worked as a part of a team of trainers and facilitators led by Dr. Karen Reivich (The Resilience Factor) teaching resilience to educators and the U.S. Army in the U.S. and globally in the Penn Resiliency Program (PRP).

Denise Clegg
Denise Clegg is Director of Programs and Operations for the Penn Center for Neuroscience & Society. Prior to joining the CNS, she worked with Martin Seligman to launch and managed the Positive Neuroscience Project at the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves as a member of the Penn Resilience Program training team. Denise has over 15 years of executive management experience with expertise in organizational and funding development. Her work has focused on advancing policies, programs, and research with a positive social impact in the not-for-profit and academic sectors.

Peter Coan

Kirsten Cronlund
Kirsten Cronlund, Director of the Bryn Athyn Church School, brings together her knowledge of positive psychology, positive organizational development and design, and resilience to create a flourishing educational environment for teachers, students, parents, and community members. Her experience as classroom teacher, resilience coach, resilience trainer, author, and speaker equip her to leverage stakeholders’ personal strengths and the strengths of the organization to ignite curiosity, self-efficacy, and meaning in the educational process. Kirsten earned her MAPP (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology) degree in 2008 from Penn, and her MPOD (Masters in Positive Organizational Development and Design) from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. She worked as a resilience trainer in the program developed by Dr. Karen Reivich, delivered to educators and to US Army sergeants.

Gabriel de Corral
Gabe graduated from Harvard University in 2006. He is currently in the process of applying to law school for admission in the fall of 2009. While in law school he will pursue a joint degree in law and public policy. After law school he wishes to make important contributions to the policy making process in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that are based on the concepts and principles of positive psychology.

Bright Dickson
Bright was born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, and graduated from Columbia University in 2005 with a double major in English and art history. During and after college, she spent ten summers leading young women on expedition-length canoe trips in northern Ontario and Quebec. She has led two expeditions to Hudson Bay, each over fifty days in length. Currently, Bright works as part of a team of therapists that helps manage the transition to adulthood for teenagers with autism. Bright also serves as part of the Penn Resiliency Program training team. Her future plans include a doctorate in clinical psychology with a focus on children and adolescents and post-traumatic growth.

Alan Foster
Alan works at ghSMART, the leadership consulting firm - helping companies make their most critical people decisions. Previously he was with Bain & Company, the strategy consulting firm where he ran employee engagement and creating a culture of coaching & apprenticeship among Bain's 5000 employees. Previously Alan lived in Zimbabwe in a rural secondary school setting up HIV & AIDS awareness programs. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and read Economics at Cambridge in UK. But now he's in Brooklyn with his wife & daughter.

Arthur Fullerton
Arthur is a writer, a public speaker, and a strengths-based organizational consultant. He specializes in helping organizations identify their strengths and spend more of their resources doing the things they do well.

Kristin Gregory
Kristin J. Gregory is the Academic Program Manager of the Clifton Strengths School. In this role she focuses on student recruitment and engagement, as well as curriculum design and management of faculty, staff and students. Additionally, Kristin is a Strengths Performance Coach who helps K-12 and University educators leverage their own talents to discover and develop strengths in their students and colleagues on campus. MAPP enabled Kristin to unravel and align her own strengths to a meaningful career. She applies the skills and knowledge she acquired at MAPP daily in the creation of a positive institution and when building relationships with others. Kristin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Duke University and currently lives in New York City.

Ivor Groves
Ivor is a consultant through his firm Human Systems and Outcomes, Inc. HSO provides practice development, program evaluation and training services to human services programs such as, child welfare, children's mental health, and special education. Dr Groves will focus this next year on introducing these communities to the potential benefits and uses of the theory and research findings in positive psychology.

Justin Harris
Justin is at Temple University's developmental psychology Ph.D. program. There he is working in the Temple Infant Lab and studying play. He looks forward to eventually combining his background in computer science, positive psychology, and developmental psychology to study the benefit of all types of play across the life-span; whether on the playground, with board games, or in the wilds of cyberspace.

Cheree Ingram
Cheree is building her goal coaching and consulting business. She is busy writing the technical specifications for her capstone website-Coyogo, the accompanying planner and podcast show. In addition, she is preparing to teach positive psychology at her local community college as a non-credit course. She is pursuing a career that marries her past experience, health insurance operations & web development with her future endeavors.

Tanya Jacobsen
Tanya is interested in the application of positive psychology methods to the assessment and treatment of psychological disorders. She is currently doing research and survey work on the psychology workforce at the American Psychological Association. Previously she worked at the National Academy of Sciences providing administrative and technical support for two innovative, applied scientific research grant programs that encouraged Arab-Israeli cooperation and capacity strengthening in developing countries. Tanya has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in German literature. Since completing the MAPP Program, Tanya's goal is to get a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology so that she can apply positive psychology to both research and practice.

Lisa Jacobson
Lisa Jacobson specializes in advising individuals and organizations in HR and career matters. In 1998, after 15 years in HR management at Fortune 500 companies, Lisa founded Workplace Solutions, a human resources consulting firm. Since earning her MAPP degree, Lisa's consulting practice has grown to serve a national client base of early career professionals and career changers seeking career advice. Lisa's approach has three steps: 1. Discovery - Self-awareness and assessments, 2. Defining - Finding your professional voice and personal brand 3. Design - Creating a job, career or calling strategy. The program employs evidence-based findings, career strategies and practical job seeking advice. The combination of Lisa's HR experience, professional certifications, and knowledge of the workplace differentiate her from other HR and career consultants.

Elizabeth Johnston
Since graduating from Penn in 2008, Elizabeth received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School. Prior to Penn, Elizabeth received her BA, cum laude, from Middlebury College with a major in Psychology. She also minored in U.S. History and Spanish. In between college and law school, in addition to attending Penn, Elizabeth worked as a paralegal at a law firm and was a teaching fellow at Harvard for an undergraduate psychology class.

Betsy Ludlow
Betsy is an entrepreneur and marketer. She has recently launched a new website called Zone Positive ( offering online courses in positive psychology. After graduating from Wharton with an MBA, she spent 18 years with American Express rising to senior vice president of the Corporate Services division. She left to launch her own fitness franchise business which was subsequently purchased by Nutrisystem. Following the sale, she returned to school to get her MAPP degree in 2008.

Justin Merritt
Justin is co-founder and Dean of Faculty at Carlbrook School in southern Virginia, a private coeducational boarding school for struggling adolescents. Justin also has served as a principal of Education Management Services, LLC for the past decade, working with families from almost every state, assisting over 300 students in gaining acceptance to competitive colleges and universities. Prior to MAPP, he pursued advanced study in a number of fields, including general jurisprudence, educational theory, business management, and negotiation and dispute resolution. Along with his recent MAPP degree, Justin holds a Master of Arts in Education from Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, and he has completed further graduate studies at Oxford University and the Université Paris I-Sorbonne.

Breon Michel
Breon Michel, ACC, is a coach, trainer and speaker who inspires positive change for individuals and organizations. As the founder of Breon Michel LLC, she uses a strength-based platform to provide emerging and established leaders with a roadmap to fulfillment and success. Breon earned a master’s degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree in exercise science. She delivers resilience training programs developed by Dr. Karen Reivich (The Resilience Factor) to educators and US Army sergeants.

Virginia Millar
Virginia, a lifelong learner and educator, is a special education teacher in Atlantic City, NJ. Inspired by her many students who thrive in the midst of seemingly overwhelming challenges, Virginia embraces the science of positive psychology as the means to elevate and empower human strengths. She strongly believes in the potential for positive psychology to improve the lives of her students. She will continue to seek and create pathways to increase its presence in the school curriculum, policy, and atmosphere.

Adam Mussell
Adam is living Costa Rica for at least a year, and hopes to implement positive psychology in education, tutor, and coach futbol at a beautiful school in Cartago. In his free time he plans to visit every Central and South American country possible. He hopes to expand positive emotion research in an effort to highlight possible mental and physical health benefits.

Elaine O’Brien
Elaine O’Brien, MAPP 2008, is a PhD student in Kinesiology: Psychology of Human Movement, Temple University. A Kinesiology Instructor and T/A, Elaine develops a contiguous association between exercise and enjoyment for optimal performance and health. Her comprehensive Dance/Exercise design, Move2Love, is inspired by Martin Seligman's PERMA model. Elaine studied “Positive Psychology: Well-Being Across Cultures and Society,” with Antonella DelleFave, M.D., Oslo University. She graduated summa cum laude, Kean University, majoring in Psychology and Urban/Outdoor Recreation, and attended Lycee Bristol, Cannes, France. Elaine presented “Physical Activity, Leadership, Thriving” at Positive Psychology conferences in Beijing, China. She was head judge and trainer for the National Aerobics Championship for 10 years, officiating throughout the U.S., England, Sweden, Costa Rica, Mexico, Korea, and Canada. At recent United Nations Physical Activity and Non-communicable Diseases meetings, Elaine and world leaders recommended policies for increasing physical activity to improve global health. An advocate for Exercise is Medicine, ™ Elaine’s Positive Exercise Practices Lifestyle Medicine program, serves the medical community. Elaine recently presented, Health, Fitness and Leadership for the Women in Cable Telecommunications Leadership (WICT) Conference.

Lindy O’Brien
Lindy is a serial entrepreneur and owns an executive search firm, O’Brien and Roof, and she is now sole owner of a poultry retail business that she had originally started with her husband in 1996. Her two businesses now operate in her 9500 sq. Ft. building and she is planning to add a Farmer’s Market to the lower level in the spring/summer. She is in the process of turning her capstone into a business of career network training classes in 1Q/09, because she wants to bring positive psychology to people in a job search, when they need it most.

Cathy Parsons
Cathy is a nursing practice consultant and corporate facilitator at a multi-site health care facility in London, Ontario, Canada. She is devoted to improving the practice and experiences of nurses and nursing students within the health care environment and has introduced the idea of ‘positive interventions’ to enhance meaning and engagement for nurses, students, allied health care professionals, and leaders in both the practice and academic settings. Since MAPP she has done numerous presentations to raise more curiosity about the science behind happiness. She is also hoping to introduce concepts of positive psychology within nursing research. Currently Cathy is working with a team of nurses to host the organization’s first ever Nursing Appreciative Inquiry Summit, this October 2010.

Nadya Peeva
Nadya is an aspiring storyteller and evolutionary, but most of all she hopes that her time here will be spent in service of opening the heart. She recently received the gift of a transformative experience and has decided to bring her life in full alignment with the yearning of her soul. The outer expression of her inner longing is yet to take shape but she is setting out on the journey with a newly discovered capacity to see, love and affirm life in all its infinite multiplicity of manifestations. Her one wish is to continue to think, act and be "as though everything is a miracle."

Suzann Pileggi Pawelski
Suzie is a freelance writer who specializes in the science of happiness and its effect on health. Her recent cover story, "The Happy Couple," for Scientific American Mind addresses how to create flourishing marriages based on positive psychology. She writes for the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), Wisdom, Natural Health, Cesar's Way, and others. Additionally, she’s a certified health coach helping people make better food/lifestyle choices. Previously, Suzie directed PR campaigns for Fortune 500 clients as a VP at Weber Shandwick Worldwide. She spearheaded the PR for The First World Congress on Positive Psychology and garnered coverage in USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Time, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Pennsylvania Gazette. Her proudest accomplishment is co-founding a sponsorship school with her Mom in India for disadvantaged children.

Denise Quinlan
Denise is a facilitator and researcher, working primarily in the application of positive psychology to schools and child well-being. She works with a cluster of 8 Primary schools in New Zealand who are implementing positive psychology in their school practices. She has worked in Australia and the UK as a trainer for the Penn Resilience Program and Positive Psychology training program (the Positive Education Conferences held at Geelong Grammar School and Wellington College). Denise is currently working towards a PhD, which is focused on character strength interventions and well-being in children aged 10-12.

Nicholas Ritchey
Nicholas Ritchey of MAPP.3 strongly identifies with his top 5 VIA character strengths; bravery, zest, curiosity, creativity, and honesty. His strengths shine in his charismatic teaching, dynamic web development, ambitious world travels, and everything that comes along with being a good husband, son, and friend. Nick currently resides in South Korea and is fortunate to be working with some of Korea’s brightest students. Nick is the first person in Korea with a graduate degree in positive psychology and has used it to advise Yongmoon Graduate School. He believes that a strong body, mind, and relationships are essential for a good life. For this reason, Nick regularly makes time for powerlifting, studying, and quality time with family and friends.

Elizabeth Roberds
Elizabeth grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from Earlham College in 2007 with a triple major in psychology, English, and art, and a minor in art history. While completing MAPP in 2008, Elizabeth was accepted into the PhD program in school psychology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she currently resides. Elizabeth continues to be interested in the intersection of positive psychology and Quakerism.

Brian Selander
Brian serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Governor Jack Markell and the State of Delaware. Before going back into public service, he was National Director of a practice at a multi-national corporation, Managing Director of a business consulting firm, spokesperson for a Governor, Communications Director for Senator, presidential campaign aide, environmental activist, print journalist, and, most recently, talk radio host.

Madhur Upadhyay
Madhur is a Human Resources Manager for a technology services company. He is married and based out of Hackensack, New Jersey. His mission in life is to inspire others to be the greatest they can be, for themselves and the larger context in life in which they find themselves. He intends to transition to India as a teacher, trainer and a trekker.

Cristian Vera
Cristian is the head of sales of a large multinational company, with more than 12 years of international business experience in South America, Mexico, Unites States and now Africa. He is passionate about leading business teams to achieve outstanding results and helping individuals become their best possible selves. He specialized on Job Wellbeing, and has collaborated in PP programs in Mexico (Universidad Iberoamericana) and Chile.

Maggie Wachter
Maggie lived and worked in Europe for the last 25 years. To attend MAPP, she commuted monthly from Geneva, Switzerland, while working for the United Nations. Following MAPP graduation, Maggie decided to pursue her dream to continue her studies at the doctoral level. In the summer of 2008, she moved from Geneva to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to study quality of life for older adults.

Stefan Zonia
Stefan was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan. After graduating from MAPP, he worked for Bancroft Neurohealth, where his interest in working with children with autism blossomed. He is currently planning a relocation to Chicago, Illinois, and is pursuing a position in autism research at the University of Chicago.

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