My involvement with INPM actually began when I realized something was missing from popular psychology forums, namely the spiritual dimension. After searching the web for a more inclusive organization, I presented at INPM’s 2014 meaning conference. Dazzled by the breadth of knowledge and perspectives shared there, I repeated my involvement in 2016. In fact, I visited a number of New England colleges and universities to promote participation by other researchers and writers.
As an educator retired from academia, who now focuses on qualitative research, I’ve applied my years of working with minority cultures (ethnic, social, racial, geographical, and economic) to the topic of meaning. My latest project, Memories to Momentum: Stories of Looking Back, Living Forward is now published. I conducted five tours of North America, interviewing an incredibly diverse sample (arranged primarily by many contacts) on the impact of childhood memories – from tragic to ecstatic – on adult life. The heart of these intriguing life stories is a search for meaning, with the particular meaning usually reflecting cultural roots.
Fifty-nine life stories appear in M2M, with 20 reflecting childhoods in non-North American settings. They not only validate INPM’s insistence that Positive Psychology include “the dark side,” they suggest additional aspects of meaning. While those await future research, M2M’s “Conclusion” summarizes much of the current literature by linking key findings to themes across stories. Notes and references provide avenues for further investigation.
My research builds on outstanding programs I experienced at Northwestern University (B.A. with Honors), University of Pittsburgh (M.Ed., educational research) and University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Ed.D., administration, policy, and research, with special emphasis on cross-cultural work). I also was honored with marvelous mentors.