Executive Team

Stewart I. Donaldson

President & Co-Founder

Stewart I. Donaldson is a distinguished university professor, the executive director of the university’s Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC), and the director of The Evaluators’ Institute (TEI).  He is deeply committed to improving lives through research, evaluation, and education.  Professor Donaldson works with students on a wide range of topics across several fields and programs at CGU, including the science of positive psychology, positive organizational psychology, and program design and evaluation.  Click here to see full bio.

Shari Young Kuchenbecker

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Shari Young Kuchenbecker earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Studies from UCLA and B.A  from Stanford University including research and work at Stanford’s Bing Nursery School. Conducting studies with UCLA Lab School, Stanford Cap and Gown, she and her research colleagues across the Western Region including UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill explore the intersections of emotions, thoughts, and actions.  She is the Director of R.W. Research, Inc., a private organization focused on collaborative research, education, and facilitating individuals, families, teams, and organizations through formative pro-active interventions.

Dr. Kuchenbecker’s interests include lifelong pro-social skills, actions, and well-being, empathy, cognitive-emotional regulation, development through sports, and helping people discover individual can-do attitudes and behaviors (self-efficacy) and working together as a community (collective efficacy).  Presenting with Albert Bandura and Phil Zimbardo at APA 2020 and at WPA 2020/2022, she shares their commitment to enlisting and empowering the power of youth for social and climate change to increase eco-friendly awareness and behaviors drawing upon Social Cognitive Theory and psychosocial means to accomplish the many needed changes.  Research by Dr. Shari Young Kuchenbecker.

Science Speak:

Her team’s newest research offers resilience insight!  Stress profoundly impacts our health and well-being, but nature’s allostatic plan includes our own body’s armor “when the going gets tough.” Oxytocin’s anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), analgesic,  healing, positive emotion, and pro-sociality promote social connection and survival across life’s many challenges.  Oxytocin counterbalances cortisol’s mobilization during stress – to help us do what we need to do – when it needs to be done. Women’s collective stress experiences at the end of an academic semester are buffered by a synchronous oxytocin surge enhancing sociality, social cognitive accuracy, stress reduction, and collective efficacy (STRESS, 2021).

Everyday Speak:

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”  Nature endows us oxytocin cascades helping us reach out, tend-befriend-and-nurture to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done … together.  THIS natural phenomena is at the heart of POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY.

Team Members

WPPA Program Coordinator – Victoria Cabrera (CGU)

WPPA Conference Chair (2024) – Matthew Higgens

WPPA Faculty at Large  – Giacomo Bono (CSU Dominguez Hills)

WPPA Ambassador Program Coordinator – Hannah Lucas (Krebs) (CGU)

Media Coordinator – Shari Young Kuchenbecker (WPPA)

WPPA Student Ambassador – Rachelle (Chelley) Webb (Cal Poly Pomona)

WPPA Student Ambassador – Omar Gomez (CSU Dominguez Hills)

Website and Technology Consultant – Daniel Wolcott Pugh, M.S. (Chapman University; USC)

Social Media Volunteer – Sarah Kawai (Chapman University)

Recruitment Leader – Chantel Zimmerman

Recruitment Leader – Georgianna Garrells (CSU Dominguez Hills)

Recruitment Leader – Monique Turner (CSU Dominguez Hills)

Student Representative – Brendan Everett (Chapman University)

Student Representative – Susan Mangan (CGU)

Student Volunteer – Yacov Aviv (CGU)

Student Volunteer – Jared Celniker (Chapman University, UC Irvine; University of Arizona)

Student Volunteer – Martha Rivera (Chapman University; CGU)

Student Volunteer – Sophia Silva (CGU)