After completing my PhD in Cognitive Science at Emory University, I conducted postdoctoral research in the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab at Northeastern University and the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. I am currently a Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I approach studying emotional well-being from my roots in cognitive and affective science. I began my career investigating a situated, embodied view of the mind from cognitive science in a domain relevant to mental health: emotion. This constructionist approach generated new questions about the varied and complex emotions that people experience. To translate this theoretical approach into research addressing well-being, I started collaborating with interdisciplinary faculty studying Eastern philosophy and contemplative practices. Our dialogue revealed that modern constructionist approaches to the mind and centuries-old Buddhist philosophy share an emphasis on the dynamic and malleable nature of emotions. This theoretical convergence motivated studying emotional skills that may contribute to well-being, including skillsets targeted in contemplative traditions. My interdisciplinary work at the Center for Healthy Minds examines how emotional skillsets are conceptualized and measured, and whether learning such skills contributes to well-being, resilience, and healing.