B.A., M.A., Stanford University; M.Ed., Ed.D., Harvard University
Visiting Lecturer in Psychology
Cultural psychologist exploring systematic cultural variation in ways to be well, both physically and mentally.
The quest for fulfillment, health, and contentment — well-being — is universal, yet it is pursued in a variety of ways depending on the context. My work on cultural variation in health and well-being has been informed by two important streams of research -- positive psychology and related work on the multiple meanings and practices of well-being, and cultural psychology with its systematic approach to the detailed study of the situations and contexts of people's lives. It is my hope that this research will benefit people in U.S. and other cultural contexts by increasing self-understanding, developing greater tolerance for difference, and illuminating other options for ways of thinking and acting that may increase well-being worldwide.
As an experienced teacher, advisor, and mentor, my general goal is to engage students in creative lessons that help them to see that their own “worlds” are culturally constructed -- not universal or natural -- and thereby help them better understand themselves and diverse others. My teaching methods are designed to help students personalize the course material, so that it is more likely to be remembered and made useful. Teaching "Cultural Psychology" and related topics is, to me, a gratifying service to the world.
I also work closely with a multi-university, interdisciplinary research team comprised of both Japanese and U.S. scholars. Together, we have received multiple grants from the National Institute of Health to conduct and analyze longitudinal, representative surveys in the U.S (Midlife in the U.S.) and in Japan (Midlife in Japan).
Outside of Wellesley, I spend time with my two kids, my dog, my husband, the baby grand piano, walking or swimming, reading historical fiction, and exploring diverse cultural contexts in the U.S. and abroad.