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Meghan Kirwin (MSc, MBA, CAPP)

Megan Kirwin Meghan’s mission is to empower individuals, teams and entrepreneurial organizations to thrive. Meghan is passionate about facilitating positive change with the individuals and organizations she works with. Meghan founded The Kirwin Group Inc. in 2004 and in her role as mentor, coach and facilitator has focused on building thriving workplaces. Meghan developed the Vitality at Work brand with a single focus of supporting individuals and organizations to realize their full potential through the application of positive psychology.

Meghan has completed a Masters of Science in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of East London, England, one of the leading universities in the field of positive psychology and a Master of Business Administration from Laurier specializing in Leadership and Organizational Behaviour. She also completed a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) from the Wholebeing Institute, where she studied under Dr. Tal Ben Shahar from Harvard University.

Patrice Palmer (BA, BEd, MA, MEd)

Patrice-Palmer-headshot.jpgPatrice Palmer is an adult educator, mindfulness facilitator, trainer and writer. She divides her time between writing; teaching; delivering workshops; presenting at conferences and volunteering with a Canadian NGO abroad. Patrice is also the author of The Teacher Self-Care Manual: Simple Strategies for Stressed Teachers and a teacher’s resource for middle-school students entitled Ready, Set, GROW! which is filled with positive psychology interventions for young learners.  She has taught students from ages 8 to 80 in a variety of settings both internationally and here in Canada.

Patrice has a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies (York University); a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education (Brock University); Master of Arts in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (OISE of the University of Toronto) and Master of Education in Teaching, Learning and Development (Brock University).  Patrice has several TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) accreditations including OCELT certification.  She is a certified Mindfulness Facilitator, certified Mental Fitness and Resiliency Trainer and has completed Laurier’s certificates in Positive Psychology and Positive Education.

Patrice’s experience with professional burn-out in 2015 prompted her to reflect on her own lack of self-care and adopt positive psychology interventions which she shares with educators, administrators and school leaders.  She is a fierce advocate for student, teacher and school staff well-being.  Her favourite forms of self-care are reading, spending time in nature or yoga.

Heidi Smith (RD, BSc.)

hpc-photo-cropped-high-quality.jpgHeidi Smith is a Registered Dietitian and mindfulness facilitator. She has been consulting for individuals and organizations for over 25 years. She is an award-winning presenter, author and a mother of 3. Heidi provides a unique perspective by combining her expertise on nutrition and exercise with her passion for mindfulness and reconnecting to our bodies and our intuition. Heidi is a certified facilitator of the MBSR program, a trained SoulCollage® Faciliator and an Advanced Dream Pattern Analyst. She is the author of the practical sport nutrition handbook entitled "Nutrition for the Long Run" and the wellness manual "Food, Hunger and Habits". You will find Heidi most days of the week in her favourite place (the kitchen), trying new recipes to fuel and nourish her active family.

Paul Fairlie (PhD)

Paul FairliePaul Fairlie is a consultant, researcher, speaker, and expert in work psychology. He has over 25 years of experience in organizational, market, and opinion research and consulting. He is the Founder and CEO of Heliosophy, an organizational consulting firm based on positive behavioural science. He is also a former director of research at a large employee assistance provider, where he oversaw data science and employee health research on thousands of organizations and millions of employees. 

Paul has a PhD in psychology, with foundations in organizational behaviour, personality theories, positive psychology, psychometrics, and advanced analytics. He has taught human resource management and organizational behaviour in universities, and has published research on topics including meaningful work, positive mindsets, employee engagement, and age differences in workplaces. Paul also moderates groups on LinkedIn (Meaningful Work, Evidence-Based Consulting). 

Finally, Paul is a human being. He owns eleven guitars and writes and records music. He’s a proud product of government-assisted housing. In his younger years, he worked as a bouncer, ditch digger, dock worker, door-to-door salesperson, role play actor, and worm picker. He was also hit by lightning as a child, which may explain a few things.

Elizabeth K. Misener (PhD, LMSW)

Elizabeth MisenerAs a professor, executive coach, leadership trainer, mental health social worker and co-founder of Vitality at Work, Elizabeth’s passion is to provide space for individuals and teams as they build awareness in exploring their core strengths and the shadow sides of their strengths in action. 

Elizabeth received her Master of Social Work from Syracuse University in 1998 and her PhD from SUNY at Albany in 2001. She is trained in a variety of therapeutic modalities including Solution Focused, Problem Solving Therapy and evidence based approaches from the field of positive psychology. In 2016, she completed her Mediation & Mindfulness Teacher Training Certificate from the Positive Psychology Programme at the University of East London, England. As a mental health social worker, she has been working with individual clients to alleviate depression and decrease anxiety for over 18 years. Her passion is listening to her client’s stories and providing evidence-based tools to support them in their journey dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, suicidal thoughts, life transitions, and everyday struggles. Elizabeth has been described as a good listener who readily develops meaningful connections with people, encouraging conversations that provide space to create renewed vitality.


Sajel Bellon (BA, MA, EdD)

Curriculum Developer

Sajel BellonSajel Bellon is a Human Science Professor, Psychotherapist, and the Founder of Mind Armour & SOS Psychotherapy. She is driven to “un-stigmatize” the suicidal mind, while building beyond resiliency to post-traumatic growth. Her focus is bringing forward integrated researched strategies for mental health, education, and systemic culture change within the First Responder and high-stress sectors.

Sajel is a pioneer in linking the ‘family’ to the minimization and prevention of occupational stress injuries and loss of life to suicide, based on her own first-hand experience as a spouse and family member to the Emergency Service sector. Emphasizing psychological safety and connection as key pillars, Sajel helps organizations enhance their mental wellness promotion, trauma prevention and recovery processes.

Sajel has developed programs and delivered talks around the globe, including Canada, the U.S. and Australia, speaking for a variety of post-secondary institutions and organizations such as Harvard Business School, Berkeley School of Engineering, Central Queensland University, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association and the Armed Forces.

Sajel holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Western Ontario, a Masters from the University of Guelph and several additional certifications. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, a recognized member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals, the Global Speakers Federation and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

Esther Abel (MSc, MA, PhD candidate)

Curriculum Developer

esther-pic-2022.jpgEsther Abel is a PhD candidate in Social Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, currently focusing on the individual differences in attitudes and opinions people have regarding happiness and well-being in different contexts. Including for example, researching positive psychological interventions and how people react to positive “bullshit” or the pseudo-inspirational positive messaging popular on social media and in self-help. Esther has a keen interest in bridging the gap between academia and the public knowledge and use of positive psychology.

Esther completed her BSc. in Psychology at Cape Breton University in her hometown Sydney, Nova Scotia. She then went on to complete her MSc. in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at the University of East London in London, England, and her MA in Social Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. She will complete her PhD in Social Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in early 2023.

Outside of psychology, Esther loves crafts, especially sewing and garment construction, and loves to pick up new crafts like embroidery or bookbinding. She also loves doing her nails and nailart, which you can find on instagram @cozyspookynails.

Judy Eaton (PhD)

Faculty Advisor

Judy EatonJudy Eaton is an associate professor of Psychology at the Brantford campus of Wilfrid Laurier University. She has been conducting research in the area of positive psychology since 2000, when she first began studying forgiveness during her PhD studies. Her dissertation, which examined why taking responsibility for one’s wrongdoing is such an important part of an apology, was a finalist for the 2006 Martin E. P. Seligman Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research in Positive Psychology.

She has continued her research on forgiveness, examining the role of third parties in forgiveness; apologies, remorse, and forgiveness in the criminal justice system; and what she calls “extreme forgiveness”: the study of individuals who forgive seemingly “unforgivable” offences. Her other research interests in the area of positive psychology include the adult colouring phenomenon (and its role in stress reduction), mindfulness, compassion, and academic buoyancy and resilience in undergraduate students.

She developed and teaches a popular undergraduate course in Positive Psychology, and regularly supervises thesis students interested in areas related to positive psychology.

Simon Coulombe (PhD)

Faculty Advisor

Simon CoulombeSimon is an assistant professor of Psychology at the Waterloo campus of Wilfrid Laurier University and has a PhD in Community Psychology. His research interests are based on the integration of theories, concepts and methods from positive psychology (flourishing, strengths, life projects) and environmental psychology (optimal person-environment transactions) within a community perspective (focus on underprivileged communities). His works aims to promote the well-being of all citizens by creating well-being promoting environments (par ex., educational settings). Simon is teaching positive psychology at the undergrad level in the Psychology department.