Founder and Co-Director
Nissen has a dual appointment in DBOS, serving as the Administrative Assistant for Professor Csikszentmihalyi and the Quality of Life Research Center each morning. In the afternoons, she assists Linda Pillow and the DBOS office staff with student and faculty requests in addition to performing general office duties.
Brittany Branand received her MA in 2012 and is currently a fifth-year PhD student in Positive Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Her research focuses on positive interpersonal relationships, including mentoring relationships, relationships in the college community, and romantic relationships in older adulthood.
Branand, B., Mashek, M., Wray-Lake, L., Coffey, J.K. (in press). Inclusion of College Community in the Self: A Longitudinal Study of Self-Expansion Processes. Journal of College Student Development.
Coffey, J.K., Wray-Lake, L., Mashek, D., Branand, B. (under review). A Longitudinal Examination of a Multidimensional Well-Being Model Among College Students.
Nakamura, J., Warren, M., Branand, B., Liu, M., Wheeler, B., Chan, T. (2014). Positive Psychology across the Lifespan. In J. Teramoto Pedrotti & L.M. Edwards (Eds.), Perspectives on the Intersection of Multiculturalism and Positive Psychology. New York: Springer.
Branand, B. (2013, June). The Role of Romantic Relationships as a Distinct Domain of Happiness. Symposium presented at the Third World Congress on Positive Psychology, Los Angeles, CA.
Branand, B. (2013, June). Intimacy and Generativity as Factors in Academic Mentoring. Symposium presented at the Third World Congress on Positive Psychology, Los Angeles, CA.
Wheeler, B., Dymchenko, N., Branand, B., Rho, Y., Nakamura, J. (2011, July). Doing good and feeling good in older adulthood. Poster presented at the 2nd International Congress of Positive Psychology in Philadelphia, PA.
Ko, I., Dias, S., Koch, J., Fruiht, J., Branand, B., Chan, T., & Nakamura, J. (2011, April). The relationship between work-home interference and job/life satisfaction: Mediating effects of meaning and flow. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA.
Thomas Chan is a fifth-year doctoral student in Positive Developmental Psychology. He has three lines of research, positive aging, mentoring, and development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
In terms of positive aging, he has worked with the City of Claremont to understand and improve the retirement process at the micro (individual) and macro (program and policy) levels for its aging residents. Currently he is investigating the conditions that foster “meaningful and purposeful” retirements.
Over the past four years, he has also worked on the ‘Sources of Good Mentoring’ project that investigates the developmental implications of meaningful mentorships. More specifically, this study aims at understanding how good mentorships foster environments conducive for experiencing flow and heightened meaning at work.
Lastly, he has spent the past six years studying the changes in the PFC neural circuitry in regulating natural threats. He has examined these changes in infant, juvenile, and adolescent animal models.
Nakamura, J., Warren, M., Branand, B., Liu, M., Wheeler, B., Chan, T. (2014). Positive psychology across the lifespan. Perspectives on the Intersection of Multiculturalism and Positive Psychology. Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-8654-6_8
Kabitzke, P., Barr, G., Chan, T., Shair, H., & Wiedenmayer, C.P. (2014). Medial prefrontal cortex processes threatening stimuli in juvenile rats. Neuropsychopharmacology. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.40
Chan, T. (2013, June). Generativity and ego-integrity returns on past mentoring investments. Symposium presented at the Third World Congress on Positive Psychology, Los Angeles, CA.
Chan, T., Kyere, K., Davis, B.R., Shemyakin, A., Kabitzke, P., Shair, H., Barr, G.A., & Wiedenmayer, C.P. (2011). The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in innate fear
regulation in infants, juveniles, and adolescents. Journal of Neuroscience. 31(13), 4991 – 4999. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5216-10.2011
Michael Condren received his MA in 2011 and is currently a PhD student in positive organizational psychology. His research focuses on the factors that enable and inhibit positive and generative deviance in individuals and organizations; mentoring relationships and leadership; and developing interventions to build cross-cultural skills using psychological capital.
Reichard, B., Serrano, S., Condren, M., Wilder, N. & Wang, W. (article submitted for publication). Accelerating the Development of Cross-Culturally Competent Leaders: The Role of Cross-Cultural Psychological Capital and Trigger Events.
Condren, M. (June, 2013). Cross-cultural Trigger Events: A Grounded Theory Study. Symposium presented at the 2nd International Congress of Positive Psychology in Los Angeles, CA.
Condren, M., Fagergren, A. & Willis, M. (July, 2011). Development & Testing of a Scale to Measure the Construct of Positive Deviance. Poster presented at the 2nd International Congress of Positive Psychology in Philadelphia, PA.
Veronica Fruiht studies the development of hope among adolescents and emerging adults in educational settings. In Fall 2014 she will join the psychology faculty at UW-Whitewater where she will study the ways that supportive mentoring relationships influence hope in college students (http://www.uww.edu/cls/psychology/about-faculty).
Fruiht, V. (in press). Supportive others in the lives of college students and their relevance to hope. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.
Fruiht, V. & Wray-Lake, L. (2013). The role of mentor type and timing in predicting educational attainment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 1459-1472. doi: 10.1007/s10964-012-9817-0
Fruiht, V. (2013, July). Supportive others in the development of four-year and community college students. Poster presented at the International Congress of Positive Psychology in Los Angeles, CA.
Fruiht, V. & Wray-Lake, L. (2012, March). Do who and when matter? The mentor type and timing interaction in naturally occurring mentoring relationships. Poster presented at Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting, Vancouver, BC.
Fruiht, V. (2011, July). Hope and the practice of character strengths among adolescents. Poster presented at the International Congress of Positive Psychology in Philadelphia, PA.
Laura Graham is a third-year PhD student in Positive Developmental Psychology. Her research interests include narrative identity, positive emotions, eudaimonic well-being, and meaning-making throughout the life course. Specifically, her current focus explores moral elevation, the emotional response to witnessing an act of moral excellence, in relation to eudaimonic well-being and personal narratives that emphasize growth.
Graham, L.E. (June 2013). Narratives of Elevation. Paper in symposium (Andrew Thomson, chair), “Elevating elevation: Recent advances ”. World Congress on Positive Psychology, Los Angeles, CA.
Bauer, J. J., & Graham, L. E. (March 2012). The Transformative Self: transcendence in narratives of eudaimonic growth. Paper in symposium (J. Martin & M. Freeman, co-chairs), “Narrative Perspectives in the Psychology of Personhood”. Annual convention of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA.
Bauer, J.J., & Graham, L.E. (2012, January). Narratives of recovery, gain, and growth in relation to well-being. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.
Julia Koch received her MA in 2011, and is interested in positive developmental impacts of relationships on individuals. She studies constructs such as optimism, defensive pessimism, and coping styles within mentor-protégé and romantic relationships.
Koch, J.C. (2013, June). Situational optimism and coping behaviors as factors in satisfaction with mentorship. Oral presentation at the Third World Congress on Positive Psychology, Los Angeles, CA.
Nakamura, J. & Koch, J.C. (2012) Beyond individuals: New frontiers in mentoring. In Anderson, F.O. & Christensen, G. (Eds.) Methods of positive psychology. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag.
Koch, J.C. & Nakamura, J. (2012, June) Situational and dispositional optimism as predictors of relationship satisfaction. Poster presented at the International Association for Relationship Research conference, Chicago, IL.
Koch, J.C. & Nakamura, J. (2013, Jan) Dispositional and situational optimism as predictors of relationship coping behaviors. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference, New Orleans, LA.
Hannah Krebs Lucas is a second-year doctoral student in Positive Developmental Psychology. Her current research explores optimal emotional and social experience across different stages of adulthood. Her master’s thesis investigates the phenomenon of flow in social settings among different age groups, with a focus upon older adults. She is also interested in older adults’ experience of mentorship and instruction by younger adults when learning new skills or reentering the workforce.
Lucas’s research is intended to provide understanding about the evolving social needs and preferences of a new cohort of adults as they age, in order to influence development of services and programming aimed at enhancing their lives. She is currently working on a collaborative project with the City of Claremont which seeks to understand the interests of adults and their desire to engage in organized activities in the community.
Krebs, H., Palazzotto, S. (2012, April). Strong Enough to Give: High Coping Appraisal and Compassionate Behavior. Poster presented at the 92nd Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association. San Francisco, CA.
Krebs, H., Palazzotto, S., Alvarado, N. (2012, January) Do We Ration Our Compassion? Examining Altruism and Personality Type. Poster presented at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.
Krebs, H. (2011, April). Regulating Emotion: Is Gender a Significant Predictor of Emotional Suppression? Poster presented at the 91st Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association. Los Angeles, CA.
Kelsey Proctor is a second-year doctoral student in Positive Developmental Psychology. She has many research interests including meaning in life in old age, life themes, and creativity. Her master’s thesis investigates the nature of a discovered life theme (Csikszentmihayi & Beattie, 1979) and its relation to meaning in life. Proctor is also a musician and is involved in the Pomona College orchestra and concert band and consequently has a side interest in the relationship between music and the mind.
Procter, K., & Rouse, S. (2012, November). Personality and physical responses to music. Talk presented at the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research, CSU Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA.
Past Visiting Scholars
Sami Abuhamdeh, Istanbul Şehir University, Turkey
J. David Creswell, Carnegie Mellon University
Rose Perez, Fordham University
Iza Labuda, Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education, Poland