I emigrated from South Korea when I was five and have much to thank my parents for in giving me the opportunity to create a good life in Hawaii and later in New York City. I graduated from SUNY at Buffalo with a double major in psychology and philosophy. Thereafter, I completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology at SUNY at Stony Brook, followed by a one-year internship at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Center, in New York City. Currently, I am a Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Science area and a Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan.
I have been teaching and conducting research related to positive psychology and diversity for more than two decades. In fact, I was one of the first, and also the only person of color, to be invited to participate in the inaugural Positive Psychology meeting held in Akumal, Mexico.
Since then, I have tried to stay productive and impactful in the work that I do. I have published more than 200 empirical or scholarly works and have edited more than a dozen books. I have been identified as one of the 70 top producers of research among clinical psychologists from clinical psychology doctoral programs in the United States, as well as one of the top 100 (#28) producers of research among social workers from American social work doctoral programs.
I enjoy teaching and mentoring, and emphasizing the importance of intentionality in whatever we do in life. Most recently, I have started to embark on a topic that I explored when I was an undergraduate philosophy-major long ago, namely, the importance of Nietzsche’s notion of amor fati. I have always been fascinated by Western existentialism and phenomenology, and even took a graduate seminar covering Sein und Zeit during my senior year in college.
However, I have also become interested in exploring points of intersectionality between such Western philosophical positions with those found among Eastern thinkers. In that regard, I am delighted and honored to have been asked by Dr. Wong to serve as an incoming Associate Editor of the International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology.