Meet the Authors of the HAPPY Higher Education Instructor's Guide

 Louis Alloro, MAPP, MED

Louis Alloro is a change-agent working with individuals and systems to enable positive evolution. He is one of the first one hundred people in the world to earn a Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Louis is a fellow at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and owns a NYC-based consultancy, which partners with the SOMO Leadership Movement, a city-wide intervention in Cleveland, Ohio.


 Sara Oliveri, MAPP

Sara Oliveri is one of fewer than 250 people in the world to earn her master’s degree in Positive Psychology – the science of individual and organizational thriving. Sara is the founder of a coaching and consulting business in Washington, D.C., where she coaches individuals and organizations to work at their highest levels and enjoy high qualities of life. Sara’s approach to coaching is to help clients cultivate their current strengths as well as identifying and helping clients understand key areas for growth. Sara was trained directly by Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, and has recently worked with businesses such as Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and Millennium Partners to train attorneys, managers, and staff in positive psychology techniques. Sara’s work is future and action oriented. Sara guides individuals and organizations in areas such as employee engagement, relationships, health, happiness, and work life balance. Described by her clients as wise, practical, and inspirational, Sara empowers people to create satisfying and meaningful lives.


 Shannon M. Polly, MAPP

Shannon M. Polly is a corporate communications trainer, facilitator, and speaker and founder of Shannon Polly and Associates ( Shannon uses empirical research from positive psychology with her organizational clients to deliver workshops on fostering positive and flourishing workplaces. She also facilitates appreciative inquiry summits and delivers training on executive presence. Shannon received her Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Yale University. Shannon has been an assistant instructor in the MAPP program at the University of Pennsylvania. She has given lectures at West Point, Columbia Business School, Wharton Business School, the University of Delaware, and the MAPP program. She is a contributor to the book, Positive Psychology at Work. In addition, she has been a trainer for the Master Resiliency Training program for the U.S. Army. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters.  Her top strengths are:  connector, positivity, and relator.


 Stacey Guenther, MSODKM

Stacey Guenther is the former director of educational programs for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. She earned her master’s degree in organization development and knowledge management from George Mason University in 2004 and worked as an organization development consultant until joining the CWB staff in 2009. Stacey led the development of the CWB Generative Well-Being Coaching Advanced Certificate as well as the Mindful Living LLC (living and learning community) for undergraduate students at Mason. Prior to Mason, Stacey worked for more than 14 years in marketing communications with a number of wellrecognized brands including McDonald’s, Wegmans, Starbucks, Eastman Kodak, and Ralston Purina. Other career highlights include managing fund-raising events and volunteers for Make-A-Wish and serving as a civilian reporter at a U.S. Army installation in Germany.


 Nance Lucas, PhD

Nance Lucas is the Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and Associate Professor of New Century College at George Mason University and former Special Assistant to the Provost and director of the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. Dr. Lucas is an Adjunct Faculty member with The Gallup Organization and an Affiliate Faculty member of the Robert Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park with a concentration in leadership studies and ethics. Her teaching and scholarship interests focus on leadership, wellbeing, strengths, and character development. She is co-author of a bestselling book, Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want To Make A Difference, and contributing author of Leadership Reconsidered and The Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Nance is the co-founder of the Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE), MasonLeads, and Mason’s Leadership Legacy Program. She is an affiliate faculty member with The Gallup Organization. Nance served as the creator and convener of the 1997 Global Leadership Week Program (a world-wide leadership program initiative spanning five continents), co-founder of the National Leadership Symposium, co-founder of the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs, and a past chair of the National InterAssociation Leadership Project.


 Brandice Rogers, MA

Brandice Rogers is the Director of Educational Programs for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.  In her role as Director of Educational Programs, Brandice is responsible for CWB's Mindful Living Program, the Advanced Coaching Program in Leadership and Well-being, and non-credited educational programs. She earned her master’s degree with honors in English with an emphasis in teaching composition and has taught a variety of college writing courses. She also has a strong background in hatha yoga and Buddhist meditation and completed advanced yoga teacher training certification with Yoga Works in Los Angeles. She has been registered with Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level since 2007. Brandice’s special interests includes research and applications of mindfulness, compassion, and well-being in higher education research, curriculum, and leadership.


 Mark Thurston, PhD

Mark Thurston, Ph.D., is senior fellow at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. With an academic background in psychology, he has worked in the fields of consciousness studies, holistic health, and mindfulness training for 35 years. Mark is faculty coordinator for the University’s undergraduate minor in consciousness and transformation, for which he teaches two required courses.

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