Executive Team

Stewart Donaldson

Director & Co-Founder

Dr. Stewart I. Donaldson is Dean & Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. He is also the Chair of the International Positive Psychology Association’s World Congress on Positive Psychology in Los Angeles, June 27-30, 2013. He has published numerous scientific journal articles and chapters, and among his 10 books is “Applied Positive Psychology: Improving Everyday Life, Health, Schools, Work, and Society” (2011 with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeanne Nakamura). With his doctoral students, he is currently synthesizing all of the peer reviewed empirical work in positive psychology to date which will be presented at the World Congress and appear in “Happiness, Excellence, and  Optimal Human Functioning Revisited: Evaluating the Progress of Positive Psychology 15 Years Later.”  Two of his recently published syntheses are “Taming the Waves and Wild Horses of Positive Organizational Psychology” in Advances in Positive Organizational Psychology in 2013, and “Positive Organizational Psychology, Behavior and Scholarship: A Review of the Emerging Literature and Evidence Base” published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2010.

Shari Young Kuchenbecker

Associate Director & Co-Founder

Dr. Shari Young Kuchenbecker, past psychology faculty member at Chapman University, obtained her  Ph.D. in Developmental Studies from UCLA and B.A  from  Stanford University including research and work at Stanford’s Bing Nursery School. Conducting studies with UCLA Lab School, Stanford Cap and Gown, and elsewhere, her colleagues spread across the Western Region including UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, and UCLA.  She is the Director of R.W. Research, Inc., a private organization focused on collaborative research, education, and facilitating flourishing in families and organizations via research supported pro-active interventions.

Dr. Kuchenbecker’s primary research and publication areas include developing our understanding of positive psychology principals as applied to everyday life and sports across the life span specifically focusing on empathy, altruistic behaviors, cognitive-emotional mediation and facilitation of prosocial actions, development of empathy, time perspective, and helping people discover can-do attitudes and behaviors as well as altruistic actions (self-efficacy).   Our interconnected global community will be well served when each individual makes a commitment toward understanding one another, experiences positive sustainable compassion, and makes prosocial local and global community contributions.

Meghana (Meg) Rao

Associate Director & Co-Founder

Meg is Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of Human Resources Programs at Claremont Graduate University. She serves as the President of the Work and Organizations Division of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). She is currently developing the first Master’s degree program in Positive Human Resource Development at CGU.

Her research areas include positive work relationships, strengths-driven evaluation, and interdisciplinary research in positive psychology and gender. She leads the Positive Social Relationships Research Lab and is a researcher in the International and Cross-Cultural Research and Evaluation Lab, and Gender, Culture, and Empowerment Lab at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). She is currently synthesizing the published peer-reviewed research to date in positive psychology and presented the status of the research at the Fourth World Congress in Positive Psychology, Orlando, 2015.  One of her publications “Expanding Opportunities for Diversity in Positive Psychology: An Examination of Gender, Race and Ethnicity.” will appear in the special issue on Positive Psychology in the Canadian Psychology. Two other recently published syntheses are “Happiness, Excellence, and Optimal Human Functioning Revisited: Evaluating the Progress of Positive Psychology 15 Years Later.” in the 2015 Journal of Positive Psychology, “Positive Psychology Research in the Middle East and North Africa” in the 2015 Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology. For the past 12 years, Meg has also served as a strategic management and organizational development consultant to a variety of non-profits and institutions.   She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Development, an MBA in Human Resource Management, and is pursuing a doctoral degree in Positive Organizational Psychology at CGU.

Team Members

WPPA Ambassador Program Coordinator – Hannah Lucas (Krebs) (CGU)

Media Coordinator – Kim Perkins (CGU)

WPPA Student Ambassador – Rachelle (Chelley) Webb (Cal Poly Pomona)

WPPA Student Ambassador – Omar Gomez (CSU Dominguez Hills)

Website and Technology Consultant – Daniel Wolcott Pugh (Chapman University)

Social Media Volunteer – Sarah Kawai (Chapman University)

GIS Technology Volunteer – Ramchand Rao (CGU)

PR & Newsletter Student Volunteer – Mark Hughes (CGU)

Recruitment Leader – Chantel Zimmerman

Recruitment Leader – Georgianna Garrells (CSU Dominguez Hills)

Recruitment Leader – Monique Turner (CSU Dominguez Hills)

Student Representative – Brendan Everett (Chapman University)

Student Representative – Susan Mangan (CGU)

Student Volunteer – Yacov Aviv (CGU)

Student Volunteer – Jared Celniker (Chapman University)

Student Volunteer – Martha Rivera (Chapman University)

Student Volunteer – Sophia Silva (CGU)