Meet The Team

Seph Fontane Pennock

Seph Fontane Pennock

Founder

Top 3 Strengths
bravery, hope, love of learning

Seph is a seasoned entrepreneur and the business mind behind PositivePsychology.com.

With his background in online marketing and a passion for helping therapists and coaches, he co-founded the new mental health application Quenza that helps practitioners better help their clients with digital support.

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Hugo Alberts, Ph.D.

Founder, CPO

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, love of learning, curiosity

Dr. Hugo Alberts (Ph.D.) – psychologist, researcher, and entrepreneur. Upon completion of the master’s psychology in 2002, he obtained his doctorate in 2007 on the theme of self-control.

In 2008, mindfulness was a major focus of his research and teaching. Through controlled lab- and field studies his research seeks to provide insight into the effectiveness of this method and the processes that underlie mindfulness.

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Lucinda Allen

CEO

Top 3 Strengths
appreciation of beauty & excellence, honesty, fairness

Lucinda brings a wealth of experience in building processes and driving operational excellence to PostivePsychology.com, helping the team run more effectively behind-the-scenes. She strongly believes in the power of shifting one’s mindset and is motivated by helping others discover many of the tools that helped her on her own journey toward positive mental health.

Valentina Macias Vasileff, B.Sc.

Social Community Manager

Top 3 Strengths
humor, teamwork, kindness

As a soon to be Clinical Psychologist, Valentina believes traditional Psychology focuses mainly on the ‘negative’ side of the human condition. She thinks it selectively ignores that everyone, even those with severe psychiatric conditions, have strengths and good things going for them. Valentina is of the opinion that well-rounded therapeutic interventions must also work with human strengths in order to improve life satisfaction, decrease clinical symptoms, and foster an overall change on the mentality of clients.

Alex Ciric

 Customer Satisfaction Manager

Top 3 Strengths
kindness, humor, appreciation of beauty & excellence

With his technical knowledge and friendly, positive attitude, Alex has been making customers happy for more than six years in customer service roles. He’s motivated by helping others overcome challenges and is only ever an email away. Don’t be shy to reach out!

Aleksandra Negojevic

Customer Satisfaction Manager

Top 3 Strengths
fairness, kindness, honesty

Aleksandra holds an MA in Linguistics and her travels across five continents (and counting) helped her realize that being positive takes you to many places. She finds joy in seeing others happy and will always be there to answer a question, provide support and overcome any kind of obstacle for you. This genie never runs out of wishes!

Annelé Venter

Publisher

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, gratitude, spirituality

With her zest for life and a love for the written word, PositivePsychology.com is blessed to have Annelé as its publisher. Annelé beautifully formats the blog contents and lays a final set of eyes on all content before it airs.

Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

Writer, Community Manager

Top 3 Strengths
gratitude, perseverance, and hope

Nicole holds a Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia. Her research interests lie at the intersection between well-being, personal energy, and positive psychology. Her work appears in several top business journals, including the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

When she’s not busy working on her thesis, Nicole can be found writing for psychology and wellness services, helping them to prepare science-backed communications for their customers.

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Mahlatse Ntshwane

Mahlatse Ntshwane

Publishing Assistant

Top 3 Strengths
spirituality, fairness, and honesty

With her interest in literature and curiosity in unearthing what leads people to more meaningful lives, Mahlatse enjoys her role in helping to prepare all articles for publishing and maintaining visual consistency across the blog.

 

Mahlatse Ntshwane

Katie McCandless

Editor

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning, honesty, and perseverance

Katie is an editor and proofreader originally from Kentucky, now based in the Netherlands. She is a self-proclaimed word-nerd and passionate about helping writers clearly communicate their message to readers. Outside of work, she loves to read, cook, and travel.

Lucinda Poole, Psy.D.

Tool Developer

Top 3 Strengths
social intelligence, love, and curiosity

Dr. Lucinda Poole is a psychologist, researcher and mindfulness teacher from Melbourne, Australia. Lucinda is trained and experienced in a number of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and interventions drawn from Positive Psychology research (e.g., strength-based change, self-compassion, gratitude, resilience).

Elaine Houston, B.Sc. (Hons)

Community Manager, Tool Developer

Top 3 Strengths
prudence, love of learning, judgment

Originally from Ireland, Elaine Houston is an independent business owner and Behavioral Science graduate with an honors degree from the University of Abertay, Scotland. After graduating, Elaine developed her passion for psychology through a range of avenues, focusing on consumer and small business psychology before going on to work within her local community as a learning and development officer. When she isn’t working, Elaine enjoys exploring creative outlets such as painting, drawing, and photography.

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Dr. Joshua Schultz

Joshua Schultz, Psy.D.

Researcher, Writer, Tool Developer

Top 3 Strengths
love, appreciation of beauty and excellence, judgment

Joshua is a therapist and writer based in Philadelphia. He holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Widener University, where his dissertation focused on compassion in leadership. He believes in systemic justice and is interested in reforming organizations and institutions through the introduction of love and empathy. His work is aimed at helping others act with compassion while living a life they find meaningful.

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Ernst Jansen

Senior Programmer

Top 3 Strengths
humor, perseverance, self-regulation

The Caesar of CSS, head honcho of HTML, the prince of PHP,  whatever you want to call him, none of this would be possible without our main man Ernst. We get an idea, Ernst makes it a reality.

Jeremy Sutton

Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love, curiosity, love of learning

Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D., is a writer and researcher studying the human capacity to push physical and mental limits. His work always remains true to the science beneath, his real-world background in technology, his role as a husband and parent, and his passion as an ultra-marathoner.

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Tchiki Davis

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, fairness, and honesty

Tchiki is a content writer, technology consultant, and co-creator of online programs that have helped more than a million people worldwide find a bit more happiness. Tchiki obtained her qualifications from The University of California, Berkeley in social and personality psychology with a certificate in management of technology innovation.

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Oliver Page

Oliver Page, MD

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
honesty, curiosity, and humility

Oliver is a doctor and writer based in London, holding an integrated medical and psychology degree from University College London.

He believes in the intentional cultivation of values and strengths-based approaches to promoting wellbeing. Oliver aims to motivate and inspire people to recognize their potential and act on goals congruent with their authentic self.

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Melissa Madeson

Melissa Madeson, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
compassion, forgiveness, curiosity

Melissa believes in a holistic approach to mental health and wellness and uses a person-centered approach when working with clients.  Currently in a full-time private practice, she uses her experience with performance psychology, teaching, and designing collegiate wellness courses and yoga therapy to address a range of specific client needs.

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Heather S. Lonczak, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
humor, creativity, bravery

Heather S. Lonczak, Ph.D., is a researcher and author with a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Washington. Heather is the Author and Academic Editor for Magination Press (American Psychological Association), PositivePsychology.com, and American Journal Experts. She is the author of six published children’s books; one of which is an iParenting Award winner.

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Alicia Nortje, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths

leadership, curiosity, creativity

Alicia is a research fellow at the University of Cape Town, where she is involved in multiple projects investigating eyewitness memory and face recognition. She’s highly skilled in research design, data analysis, and critical thinking. When she’s not working, she indulges in running on the road or the trails, and enjoys cooking.

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Dr. Jeffrey Gaines

Jeffrey J. Gaines, Ph.D., ABPP-CN

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
appreciation of beauty and excellence, humor, spirituality

Jeffrey Gaines earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from SUNY/Stony Brook in 1992, and a further Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2001. He sees clinical psychology as a practical extension of philosophy and specializes in neuropsychology – having been board-certified in 2011. Jeffrey is currently Clinical Director at Metrowest Neuropsychology in Westborough, MA.

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Dr. Katherine Compitus

Katherine Compitus, LCSW, DSW

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning, appreciation of beauty & excellence, fairness

Dr. Katherine is a licensed clinical social worker, doctor of social welfare, and animal behavior scientist. She is trained in multiple modalities including CBT and DBT and is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Certified Family Trauma Therapist. Katherine is the founder and chairman of Surrey Hills Sanctuary, a non-profit organization providing veterinary social work services in New York State.

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Jessica Swainston

Jessica Swainston, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
honesty, creativity, curiosity

Jessica is a psychologist, researcher, and industry professional. After completion of her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience, Jessica’s doctorate focused on cognitive and emotional health in women affected by breast cancer. Jessica is now working in industry, helping to develop digital mental health applications for the modern world.

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Claire Vowell

Claire Vowell, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
humor, creativity, honesty

Claire is a Counseling Psychologist, currently working with adults and young people in private practice and the NHS (UK). She is trained in several modalities, including CBT and psychodynamic therapy, and is passionate about reducing mental health stigma. When not working, Claire is passionate about food and spends much of her free time cooking with her young children.

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Dr. Maike Neuhaus

Maike Neuhaus, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
appreciation of beauty and excellence, hope, zest

Maike is an energetic and future-oriented Self-leadership Psychologist and behavior change expert, passionate about empowering others by sharing her knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for self-leadership. Having spent most of her career to date in behavior change science and science translation into real-world programs and services, she is now embarking on her own entrepreneurial journey as Co-Founder of Ducidium.

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Dr. Anna K. Schaffner

Anna K. Schaffner, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning, honesty, judgement

Dr. Anna K. Schaffner is a Reader in Comparative Literature and Medical Humanities at the University of Kent. Her latest non-fiction book explores the long history of the idea of self-improvement. It traces formulas for self-improvement in philosophical, religious, psychological and self-help texts from ancient China to the present day. She is also a qualified coach and has a deep interest in positive psychology and the art of self-improvement.

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Gabriella Lancia

Gabriella Lancia, Ph.D.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
honesty, kindness, humor

Gabriella obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (OISE) in Developmental Psychology and Education where her research is centered around emotions, instruction, and online learning. She currently works as a psychological consultant with children, adolescents, and adults in Toronto, Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys building her writing portfolio, spending time with her family, and walking her dog.

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Joshua Bourne

Joshua Bourne, PsychD

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love, perspective, honesty

Joshua Bourne, PsychD, works as a Counselling Psychologist, Life Coach, and consultant. He loves to help individuals and businesses thrive and understand themselves better to create everlasting positive change. Joshua is also an avid fan of everything space-related and loves sports. A world traveler based in London, UK, although originally from San Francisco, USA, Joshua help others adjust to life in different countries.

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Daniela Ramirez-Duran

Daniela Ramirez-Duran, Ph.D. Candidate, MAPP

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 strengths
honesty, creativity, gratitude

Originally from Chile, Daniela’s passion for positive psychology led her to pursue further studies in Melbourne, Australia. With vast experience as a Clinical and Educational Psychologist, her current work is focused on research and applications of contemplative practices such as yoga and meditation to contribute to people’s health and well-being.

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Catherine Moore, MBA, B.Sc.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, social intelligence, humor

Catherine Moore has a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Melbourne. She enjoys researching and using her HR knowledge to write about Positive and Organizational psychology. When she isn’t getting super ‘psyched’ about her favorite topics of creativity, motivation, engagement, learning, and happiness, she loves to travel.

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Angelica Attard

Angelica Attard, ClinPsyD

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
honesty, kindness, courage

Angelica has over 10 years of clinical experience supporting individuals worldwide with the challenges they face in their life. Currently specializing in working with professionals from legal, financial, consultancy, technology, and academic sectors, Angelica also paints and works with polymer clay. She is passionate about using both her art and writing to communicate psychological concepts to support others to navigate life with greater ease, effectiveness, and compassion.

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Elli Kolovos

Content Developer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning, appreciation of beauty and excellence, and kindness

Elli is helping to create compelling content on the PositivePsychology.com blog and social channels using her flair for transforming complex ideas into digestible information. 

Passionate about positive psychology, Elli sees it as crucial in inspiring a more holistic understanding of mental health and well-being. She is currently on her way to completing her undergraduate studies in psychology.

Rachael Harrison, B.Sc.

Content Developer

Top 3 Strengths
social intelligence, love of learning, and bravery

Rachael believes that continued learning and skill development is one of the primary drivers of life. She holds a First Class Honours in Psychology and is on her way towards completing her Masters of Social Work. She holds close the philosophy that everybody deserves to feel successful and confident in themselves, and seizes every opportunity to help others develop their self-confidence and strengthen their positive self-image.

Jeremy Sutton

Kalliopi Demetriou, B.Sc.

Content Developer

Top 3 Strengths
kindness, hope, forgiveness

Kalliopi is currently completing her Master’s degree in Psychopathology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. As an intern at the Mood Disorders Centre at the University of Exeter, UK, she is conducting research and assisting in the delivery of novel interventions for depression that focus on well-being, mindfulness, and self-compassion. She is delighted to leverage her creativity to develop content for PositivePsychology.com. 

 

Caroline Rou, B.Sc.

Content Developer

Top 3 Strengths
love, kindness, appreciation of beauty and excellence

Caroline holds a BSc in Psychology, with a focus on forensic and clinical domains, and is currently pursuing her MSc in Positive Psychology. She believes that the paradigm shift from traditionalist psychology opens a catalog of opportunities for people from all walks of life to flourish. She is passionate about making mental health care tools easily accessible and feels grateful to be part of the PositivePsychology.com movement.

Courtney Ackerman, M.A.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
judgment, humor, and perseverance

Courtney is currently working as a healthcare workforce researcher for the state of California and a regular contributor to the Positive Psychology Program blog. She is also the author of two books based on concepts rooted in positive psychology: My Pocket Positivity and 5-Minute Bliss (available in June 2019). She has a passion for taking research findings and translating them into concise, actionable packages of information that anyone can understand and implement.

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Birgit Ohlin, M.A., BBA, Coach

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning, zest, gratitude

Birgit Ohlin, M.A., BBA, is an organizational change expert and coach from Zürich, Switzerland.
She has worked in Marketing for over 20 years in different leadership roles, industries, and countries. In 2015, she decided it was time for a change. She asked herself: where in my life do I experience meaning? Being an empathetic person, she decided to use this strength to help others as a coach.

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Elaine Mead, B.Sc. (Dual Hons)

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning, curiosity, appreciation of beauty and excellence

Elaine Mead has almost a decade of experience working with and supporting individuals from a range of backgrounds to uncover and progress towards their career and work goals. For the last 4 years, she has worked with young people in a range of educational settings on careers education, information, and guidance, as well as coaching and supporting their skills development to better be able to handle the ups and downs of life.

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Joaquín Selva, B.Sc., Psychologist

Researcher, Writer

Joaquín Selva first became involved in psychology as a behavioral neuroscience researcher as an undergraduate. At that time, he was both a teaching assistant and a research assistant and conducted research that led to the publication of three peer-reviewed papers. Since then, his work has included writing for PositivePsychology.com and working as an English editor for academic papers written by non-native English speakers.

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Leslie Riopel, Prof. of Psychology

Researcher, Writer

Leslie Riopel is a professor of psychology at Northwood University and an authority in the Psychology of Mindfulness. She has over 25 years of experience in the Corporate World as a Real Estate Client Services Manager & over 10 years of experience in the Wellness Industry as a freelance writer & Health & Wellness Subject Matter Expert.

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Brad Desmond, M.Sc., Psychologist

Researcher, Writer

Brad Desmond is an award-winning psychologist with additional post-graduate qualifications in education and training. He is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences and a twenty-year member of the Australian Psychological Society.

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Beata Souders, Psy.D. candidate

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
love of learning,  appreciation of beauty and excellence, curiosity

Beata Souders is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology at CalSouth and MA in Creative Writing at SNHU, she holds a master’s degree in Positive Psychology from Life University. An ICF certified coach and a Gottman Institute Certified Educator, Beata is on the Executive Committee for the Student Division of the International Positive Psychology Associations and has published and presented on subjects ranging the Flow Theory to learned helplessness.

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Kori D. Miller, B.Sc.

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
perseverance, honesty, forgiveness

Kori D. Miller is an enthusiastic life-long learner pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Ball State University. Her specializations are in neuropsychology and positive psychology. Kori has authored eight books. Her writing has appeared in Fine Lines Literary Journal, Better Humans, The Writing Cooperative, Publishous, The Start-Up, and The Ascent.

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Kelly Miller, BA, CAPP

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
gratitude, honesty, and love

Kelly Miller, CAPP, is a coach, positive psychology blogger, and author of Jane’s Worry Elephant: A Self-Help Guide for Kids With Anxiety. Kelly Miller holds a degree in Psychology from Plattsburgh State University of New York. She is also a graduate of the Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology Program, as well as the Applied Positive Psychology Coaching Certification from The Flourishing Center.

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