MAPP 2013

Jennifer Grace Baron

Larry Benz
Dr. Benz is the President/CEO of PT Development LLC, and a partner in Evidence In Motion, Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, ProRehab-PC, Fit For Work, and BreakThrough Physical Therapy. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in private practice PT and occupational medicine. A frequent lecturer at PT programs, national conferences, and MBA programs, Dr. Benz has been on the American PT Association’s (APTA) Advisory Panel on Practice and The Board of the American Board of PT Specialties and is currently a Trustee with the Foundation for PT, PT Business Alliance (PTBA), and University of Louisville. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Kentucky Outstanding PT award and Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the year for his region. In May 2012, Benz was awarded the prestigious Robert G. Dicus Award. In 2013, Benz graduated from the Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology program at UPENN.

Samantha Boardman
Samantha Boardman, M.D., serves as a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry and Public Health, as well as an Attending Psychiatrist in Employment Assistance Program at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Over the past year, Dr. Boardman attained a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology. Her final paper for University of Pennsylvania “Positive Psychology for Psychiatry” discusses the potential ways psychiatrists can integrate positive psychology into their practice and, more broadly, how positive psychology enhances our understanding of the full range of human experience. Additionally, she founded; a website which shares insights from the psychology community with readers, and explores the way psychology, culture and science intersect.

Brooke Booth

Emily Brolsma

Lisa Buksbaum
Lisa is the CEO & Founder of Soaringwords, a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring ill children and families to “Never give up!” She is a passionary, a visionary driven by great passion and action. Three experiences with death and illness in her family motivated her to launch the organization in 2001. Since then, Soaringwords has embraced more than 250,000 children and families in hundreds of hospitals around the world. Lisa leads employee volunteer initiatives at leading companies, including American Express, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, and Verizon. She is an honors graduate University of Pennsylvania; MBA in Marketing Columbia University; and Masters in Applied Positive Psychology. Lisa has already collaborated with many positive psychology leaders including Barb Fredrickson (positivity and love), Jane Dutton (high-quality connections), Shane Lopez (hope), Rich Tedeschi (post-traumatic growth), and Mayerson/VIA Institute to create videos and programs to share healing positive psychology interventions with children and families grappling with illness. She lives in NYC with her husband Jacob and two sons, Jonathan and Josh.

Jingkai Chen

Jeremy Clifton
I am interested in adaptive judgments of the universe as a whole, which I call universal assessments. For example, is the world a war-zone to be endured or a wondrous place to be explored? I am fascinated by which UAs are more true, but for the next decade or so I will be studying what universal assessments are adaptive and designing interventions that can be administered at scale. Before coming to MAPP, I grew up in Taiwan and Hong Kong, studied philosophy at Houghton College, and worked as a community organizer. I then left the grassroots world to work in the CEOs office at Habitat for Humanity International on their global strategic plan. My wife also works for international non-profits and we currently live in DC. My website is

Katherine Conlon
Katie works as an Organizational Consultant, Coach, and Trainer with faculty and staff at the University of Maryland. She also coaches managers at Elysian Energy, a small but mighty energy efficiency company with a triple bottom line. Katie regularly facilitates workshops for community groups, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in the DC-metro area, and is building a private coaching practice. Before pursuing a career as a consultant and coach, Katie spent nine years working in the non-profit sector and in higher education, managing service-learning programs and teaching courses in leadership development. She is passionate about helping people create positive change in their lives and about supporting change movements in communities. She is particularly interested in the importance of a sense of mattering and its relationship to well-being (her capstone topic). In addition to her MAPP degree, Katie also holds a Masters in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland.

Bob Easton
Robert (Bob) Easton is a Senior Managing Director with Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company with more than 270,000 people. Bob focuses on helping some of the world's leading companies move through large-scale global transformation programs. Bob has worked and lived throughout the world including: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Germany, London and currently, the United States. Bob's prime interest is the relationship between trust and well-being and what is the flourishing organization. Bob has commenced a Doctorate at Case Western where his studies focus on developing a well-being assessment strategy or framework that becomes the gold standard for determining the degree to which an institution is considered to be flourishing.

Emily FitzSimons

Christa Frintner
Christa Frintner has diverse experience ranging from grant writing for non-profits to facilitating non-violence workshops in prisons to leading youth groups. Before completing the MAPP program in 2012-2013, she worked at a residential program with teenagers who had a variety of mental health and behavioral issues. Christa is equally excited about helping people directly and improving interventions (as well as access to them) through research and advocacy. In this light, she hopes to pursue a clinical psychology PhD beginning in 2015. In the meantime, Christa is taking some time to explore the quieter aspects of positive psychology, particularly mindfulness and self-compassion. A Quaker, she is interested in how these and other positive psychology research areas relate to religion, spirituality and community. Christa wrote her capstone on mindful decision-making and intends to research how mindfulness and self-compassion might contribute to making intentional, life-giving choices.

Stacy Graiko

Deborah Hammons

Rosemary Hancock
Rosie Hancock is a consultant and coach focused on applying positive psychology in the workplace for both individuals and organizations. She has over twenty years' experience in IT and Management Consulting. For the past 7 years she has been helping individuals and organizations figure out what matters to them and how to make that happen. In addition to her Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree she also holds a Master of Education with Certificate in Counseling, a Graduate Diploma in Career Development and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from Cambridge University. She is currently working on a number of initiatives with the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and also acting as an Assistant Instructor on the MAPP program. Her mission is to build the well-being of as many people as possible through implementing positive psychology research findings within organizations and all those involved with them (not only employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders but also their families and the wider community).

Christy Harris
Christy Harris graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s in English and Georgia State University with a Master’s in English. It was during her time teaching freshman college students that she realized the need to touch the lives of students much earlier. Therefore, Christy joined Teach for America to start her career in secondary education. Teaching middle school students in Atlanta and Brooklyn exposed Christy not only to the achievement gap, but the wellbeing gap. With the desire to care not only for the intellectual needs of students, but also for their emotional and mental wellbeing, Christy explored the field of positive psychology. As a graduate of the MAPP program and currently the Principal of KIPP STRIVE Academy, Christy is hoping to infuse positive psychology into her school to improve the wellbeing of students and staff.

Elisa Hunter
As a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Elisa has enjoyed putting “FUN” into FUNctional and using recreation as a tool to help individuals with physical and mental disabilities increase in health and well-being. Elisa has worked in numerous hospitals and rehabilitation centers and is nationally certified as a Non-profit Professional through the Non-profit Leadership Alliance. Elisa loves adventuring with her husband and baby son, teaches Zumba and aerobics, and believes dessert is a necessity. A positive psychology enthusiast, Elisa hopes to help recreational therapists, personal trainers, and other change agents incorporate positive psychology into their profession. Elisa is particularly interested in cultivating flourishing families. She believes that the opportunity to use the family as a vehicle to enable individuals and communities to thrive has largely been underutilized and she is excited to unlock this potential. Elisa hopes to eventually earn a PhD to teach positive psychology in educational settings.

Marita James
I have a 20-year career in Finance, am a CPA and currently serve as the acting CFO of a clinical research company that operates in the US and China. My lifelong passion is focused on flourishing; how people thrive and whether flourishing results from nature, nurture or techniques that can be introduced at any point in life. The MAPP (8) program inspired a newfound passion: to serve an unmet need by offering research findings to those that seek grounded methods of flourishing. My capstone supports storytelling as a platform to deliver the science of positive psychology to a mainstream audience and I look to collaborate with professional writers to develop book proposals that promote the science of well-being.

Joseph Kasper

Zachary Kelm

Emilia Lahti
Emilia (MSSc, MAPP) is an empowerment coach and writer residing in California. Her current research and work are focused on understanding how individuals can rise above challenges and come out of hardship with a newly discovered, profound sense of strength, purpose and adaptability. Emilia is currently collaborating on various projects which aim to bring positive psychology into the mainstream discussion in her native Finland, and to make the country an inspiring exemplar of positive psychology. Emilia wrote her MAPP master´s thesis on the Finnish construct of sisu, under the supervision of Dr. Angela Duckworth. Her goal is to unearth possible ways for the cultivation of this universal strength capacity, and also to ensure a culturally diverse vocabulary of the determinants of resilience, achievement (as well as the good life) within the dialogue of positive psychology. She is also an outspoken anti-domestic violence advocate, an endurance athlete and an avid systems- thinker. You can find more information about her work at

Emily Larson
Emily Larson is a researcher and practitioner in the fields of education and public policy. Her overall goal is to create paradigm shifts in the education systems from focusing merely on academic achievement to creating a culture of well-being in school systems. She is currently working with schools in India and Nepal to introduce positive psychology interventions in their curricula. Emily completed her MAPP degree in 2013; the title of her capstone was “Increasing the Well-being of Disadvantaged Populations: A Meditational Analysis of Socio-economic Status and Well-being”. While completing her MAPP degree, she was a researcher at the Positive Psychology Center for over a year working with Dr. Peggy Kern, PhD candidate Alejandro Adler, and PhD candidate Johannes Eichstaedt. Emily graduated magna cum laude from Grand Valley State University with a B.A. (honors) in psychology. During the next year, she will be dividing her time between Nepal, India, and Thailand to continue her research and practice in education and public policy.

Gregg Latterman

Christopher Major

Andrea Malmberg
Andrea Malmberg was raised and continues to live on the land with livestock and real food in the western United States. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Master of Science in Natural Resources from Washington State University and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from University of Pennsylvania. After completing her studies in Zimbabwe and Argentina in 2007, Andrea became an Accredited Field Professional in Holistic Management. Over the last twenty years and in many different capacities, Andrea has helped people understand biological, sociological, and psychological phenomena so that they can make sound ecological, economic, and quality of life decisions. Currently she serves as the Director for the Savory Institute’s Research and Knowledge Management’s Initiative. With her husband Tony, Andrea has profitably run several land-based, value-added enterprises. Her work, as well as her hobbies are ways for her to show that agriculture can thrive both ecologically and economically while enhancing one’s quality of life.

Jennifer Marino

Patrick O’Brien
Patrick O'Brien is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Renewal Care Partners (, an organization that provides home health care, skilled nursing, companion care, and care management services in New York City. Previously, he worked in financial services at Bridgewater Associates, McKinsey & Company, and JPMorgan. He holds a master's degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University. Patrick completed his undergraduate degree at Brown University.

Chin Leng Ong

Jason Powers

Jonathan Shapiro
Jonathan has an MBA from Stanford, a BS in Economics from Wharton and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has enjoyed a 20+ year career as an executive in the digital and Internet sectors where he has had the privilege of guiding ecommerce companies (Lillian Vernon and PetCareRx), a web publisher (, a digital advertising agency (MediaWhiz) and an internet services provider (DoubleClick). He discovered a passion for the field of Positive Psychology when he turned to Barry Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice to solve a business problem. His goal is to spend the rest of his career combining the discoveries from the field of positive psychology with emerging technologies to help individuals and organizations flourish. Jonathan’s personal mission is to add happiness to the world.

Jared Skemp

Andrew Soren
Andrew Soren, CPCC, MAPP, is a graduate of and assistant instructor within the University of Pennsylvania's internationally renowned Master of Applied Positive Psychology program. A Toronto-based leadership coach and consultant, Andrew is also Senior Advisor for Talent Strategies at BMO Financial Group, where he is accountable for leadership and employee engagement strategies. Passionate about meaning, culture and community, Andrew has worked in the corporate and non-profit sectors spanning the performing arts, philanthropy, corporate marketing and sponsorship, leadership development, culture change, coaching, and talent management.

Emily Esfahani Smith
Emily Esfahani Smith is a writer in New York. She is also managing editor of The New Criterion, an editor of the Hoover Institution's Defining Ideas, and editor-in-chief of Acculturated, a blog. She writes about culture, relationships, and psychology. Her writing has appeared at The Atlantic, New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and other publications. Emily wrote her capstone on experiences of awe and self-transcendence. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Emily grew up in Montreal, Canada, and now lives in New York City. She graduated from Dartmouth College, where she was editor of The Dartmouth Review.

Mary “Bit” Smith

Katherine Snyder
Katie currently works as a Global Business Manager for DuPont and has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University with Honors. She was drawn to MAPP by the potential positive psychology has to help individuals and teams thrive at work. Katie works within the context of a large corporation to build a resilient and a strengths based culture that allows teams to function at their very best. Her capstone explored the integration of positive psychology and workplace change and how some of the basic principles within this empirically based science can help us change better at work. Katie currently resides in Virginia with her family and lends her talents to a few organizations focused on early childhood development in the state.

Karen Warner

Allison Webster
I am an educator who is passionate about building children’s social-emotional skills alongside their academic capability, fostering school-wide community, and promoting growth among faculty. Currently I am Assistant Head of School at Shady Hill School, and I am involved in all aspects of academic life. For my capstone project, I wrote a teacher’s guide and curriculum. It is designed improve student well-being by developing their capacity to understand and manage choice, as well as improve their decision making (Schwartz meets Kahneman for middle school). In addition to my MAPP degree, I hold a J.D. from Tulane Law School and a M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education. I live outside of Boston with my husband, a child psychiatrist, and our two teen daughters.

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