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.

Follow Seph on Instagram (@sephfontane) >

View Seph’s author profile >

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.

View Hugo’s author profile >

Lucinda Allen

Operational Manager

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

Lucinda brings a wealth of experience in building processes and driving operational excellence to, 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 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!

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.

Annelé Venter


Top 3 Strengths
creativity, gratitude, spirituality

With her zest for life and a love for the written word, 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.

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 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.

Nicole Celestine, Ph.D. Candidate

Community Manager

Top 3 Strengths
gratitude, perseverance, and hope

Nicole is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at 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.


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).

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.

View Courtney’s author profile >


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.

View Anna’s author profile >

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.

View Jeremy’s author profile >


Dr. Joshua Schultz

Joshua Schultz, Psy.D.

Researcher, writer

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.

View Joshua’s author profile >

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.

View Melissa’s author profile >


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.

View Jeffrey’s author profile >

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.

View Katherine’s author profile >


Elaine Houston, B.Sc. (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.

View Elaine’s author profile >

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.

View Beata’s author profile >


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.

View Kelly’s author profile >

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.

View Catherine’s author profile >

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.

View Birgit’s author profile >

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.

View Elaine’s author profile >

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),, and American Journal Experts. She is the author of six published children’s books; one of which is an iParenting Award winner.

View Heather’s author profile >

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.

View Alicia’s author profile >

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 and working as an English editor for academic papers written by non-native English speakers.

View Joaquín’s author profile >

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.

View Leslie’s author profile >

Brad Desmond, M.Sc., 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.

View Brad’s author profile >

Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury

Researcher, Writer

Top 3 Strengths
fairness, humility, team-work

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.

View Madhuleena’s author profile >

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.

View Kori’s author profile >

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.

View Daniela’s author profile >