Meet The Team

Seph Fontane Pennock

Founder, CEO

Top 3 Strengths
bravery, hope, love of learning

With his work in positive psychology, Seph has been able to help tens of thousands of practitioners and educators all around the world.

Seph strongly believes that we can deal with most of life’s absurdities by leveraging human connection and challenging ourselves, instead of using dogma or pharmaceutical drugs.

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Hugo Alberts, PhD.

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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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.

Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury

Researcher, Writer

Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury holds a postgrad in clinical psychology and is a certified psychiatric counsellor. She specialized in optimizing mental health and is an experienced teacher and school counsellor. She loves to help others through her work as a researcher, writer , and blogger and reach as many as possible.

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Lucinda Poole, PsyD.

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).

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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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.

Beata Souders, PsyD 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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Elaine Houston, BSc (Hons)

Researcher, writer

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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Catherine Moore, MBA, BSc

Researcher, writer

Top 3 Strengths
creativity, social intelligence, humor

Catherine Moore has a BSc 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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Birgit Ohlin, MA, BBA, Coach

Researcher, writer

Birgit Ohlin, MA, 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, BSc Dual Honours

Researcher, writer

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, Bc.S., 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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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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Brad Desmond, MSc, Psychologist

Psychologist, trainer, 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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Juliette Tocino-Smith, MSc.

Researcher, writer

Juliette Tocino-Smith has an MSc. in Medical Anthropology from University College London, as well as a B.A. in International Relations and Anthropology from the University of Sussex.

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Kori D. Miller, BSc.

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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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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Heather S. Lonczak, Ph.D.

Researcher, writer

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 four published children’s books; one of which is an iParenting Award winner.

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Heather Craig, BPsySc

Researcher, writer

Heather Craig BPsySc (Honours), is a provisional psychologist, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria. She is a passionate writer with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) from La Trobe University (2009) and is currently enrolled in a Masters of Philosophy, at Monash University.

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Valentina Macias Vasileff, BSc.

Support manager

Top 3 Strengths
humor, teamwork, kindness

As a soon to be clinical psychologist, Valentina focuses mainly on the ‘negative’ side of the human condition whilst selectively having to ignore that everyone, even those with severe psychiatric conditions, have strengths and good things going for them. She now believes that traditional psychology must work with these strengths in order to improve life satisfaction, decrease clinical symptoms, and foster an overall change in the mentality of clients.

Allie Rigby

Editor in Chief

Top 3 strengths
open-mindedness, creativity, and playfulness

Allie is an editor, teacher, and writer based in Northern California. She graduated from Scripps College in 2014 after merging her passions for sociology, environmental studies, and creative writing.  Editing for PositivePsychology.com has reinvigorated her love of good, clean writing that delivers helpful content to readers. She feels lucky to edit content that emphasizes the value of resilience, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence.

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