My program of research explores the various mechanisms by which stress and trauma influence health, well-being, and resiliency.
Some of the questions that interest me are: How do people survive, thrive, grow, and transform- even in the midst of the darkest and most challenging situations? Can we effectively assess growth and transformation? How can we intervene in innovative, non-invasive, and compassionate ways to promote healing and positive behavior change?
I am fortunate to work as part of the posttraumatic growth research group and am grateful to the host faculty mentors who have supported and shaped my work: Dr. Richard G. Tedeschi, a founder of the field of posttraumatic growth;Amy Canevello, an expert in the study of dyadic relationships;Arnie Cann, an expert in the study of humor, pro-social behavior, and psychometrics; Lawrence Calhoun, co-founder of the field of posttraumatic growth; Jeanette Bennett, an expert in psychoneuroimmunology and the biobehavioral effects of stress; and Christine Elnitsky, an expert in the study of military reintegration and Veteran health care.
Todd Kashdan (positive psychology and curiosity guru) and Marjan Holloway (a pioneer in the empirical study of military suicide prevention) have also served as generous and inspiring mentors to me. I credit them with teaching me that research can be intellectually stimulating, satisfying, and fun,