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Scott Clewis (Master of Applied Positive Psychology ‘19) has been interested in the concept of resilience for nearly as long as he has worked in law. A trial attorney who specializes in representing victims of medical malpractice, Scott observed that physicians involved in legal suits often suffered symptoms of trauma and stress. “Mistakes happen in every profession, in every walk of life,” reflects Scott. “How do individuals confront adversity, challenges, or life struggles and maintain their resilience?
When Christina Cheuk (MAPP ‘19) applied for the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at Penn, she didn’t know that her year of study would coincide with a long-distance move and a newly created position as Director of Inclusion and Diversity at McMaster-Carr. “It was an intensive year,” she laughs, “but MAPP just sort of hugs you. What I was learning was a support system in and of itself, because positive psychology applies to your personal well-being as well as your professional well-being.”
Evelina Fredriksson (Master of Applied Positive Psychology ‘19) jokes that she “had a really long commute to the MAPP program but it was totally worth it.” She has spent the last five years traveling between Sweden, Cambodia, and Philadelphia.
Like many people who complete the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, Elizabeth Weight (MAPP ‘18) says she felt “called” to do so. Elizabeth is the communications director for Utah’s Department of Transportation. She is also a competitive bodybuilder who finds purpose in helping women, especially working moms like herself, feel strong.
Celeste Caton (Master of Applied Positive Psychology ‘20) says she decided years ago that she would someday apply for the MAPP program and that it was just a question of when. She remembers the moment she identified positive psychology as a guiding principle for her life and a field she wanted to study formally. As a newly minted college graduate living in Tijuana, Mexico, she was working at a migrant shelter for women and children who had been deported from the United States or who had come to the border to seek refuge in the US.
Danny Torrance has always been captivated by the fortitude of the human spirit and one’s ability to find hope and meaning in even the darkest moments of life. It’s no surprise that he attributes Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning as the catalyst for his interest in positive psychology. Danny started his career as an eager aspiring social worker, working as a case manager for a non-profit organization that coordinated services to help individuals with disabilities live independently in the community instead of a nursing home.