Dan P. McAdams Dan P. McAdams, PhD
Dan P. McAdams is professor of psychology and professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Professor McAdams received his BS degree from Valparaiso University in 1976 and his PhD in psychology and social relations from Harvard University in 1979. Honored as a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern, Professor McAdams teaches courses in Personality Psychology, Adult Development and Aging, Theories of Personality and Development, and the Literatures of Identity and Generativity.
Listen to an audio interview with Professor McAdams, "What’s the Difference Between a Conservative and a Liberal?"

Research Assistant Professors

Regina Lopata Logan, Ph.D. Regina Lopata Logan, PhD
Regina Logan is a research assistant professor at Northwestern University. She is the director of the Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood (FLSA) alongside Dr. McAdams, who is the principal investigator. Professor Logan teaches Adulthood and Aging, Gender and the Life Course, and Career Development. Dr. Logan's research and interest areas include gender issues, career development, generativity, and wisdom in adulthood. She is also interested in the effects of race on development and has begun a project looking at how historical events are narrated, focusing on differences of race and gender. In addition, Dr. Logan has extensive experience in teaching and learning in adulthood. Professor Logan has been named to the student government's Honor Roll of best faculty three times, and in 2009 she received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the School of Education and Social Policy.
Research Data Coordinator
Lisa Renaud
Lisa Renaud is the data coordinator for the Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood (FLSA). She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan. Her database experience includes work as a research assistant and archivist at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, as an analyst for a healthcare consulting firm creating industry benchmarks from Medicare data, and in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University as a programmer and analyst.
Graduate Students
Henry Raffles Cowan
Henry Raffles Cowan is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Northwestern University.  He received a Bachelor's degree in psychology and criminology at the University of Toronto, and worked in addictions and geriatrics at Toronto's Centre for Addition and Mental Health before joining the Foley team at Northwestern.  His research focuses on narrative aspects of mental illiness, particularly on interactions between personal, cultural, and institutional interpretations of mental health and mental illiness.
Jen Guo
Jen Guo is a doctoral student in the Personality & Health Psychology program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology and women, gender, & sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include the development of and changes to personality traits, motivations, and narrative identity across the lifespan.  Specifically, Jen uses qualitative methodologies and growth curve analysis to examine the different thematic qualities of people's life stories and how they relate to psychological and physiological well-being over time.  
Erika Manczak Erika Manczak
Erika Manczak is a doctoral student in the Clinical and Personality Psychology program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 2007 as a member of the College Scholar Program. Her research primarily focuses on parent-child relationships across the lifespan. Within this, she is especially interested in the mechanisms that facilitate intergenerational transmission of psychopathology, in particular, the psychobiological and narrative processes that may buffer or exacerbate mental and physical health risk.
Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy is a doctoral candidate in the Psychology program at Northwestern University. He studies how difficult life experiences affect physical health outcomes.  For his dissertation, Michael is working with a subset of FLSA participants to measure various aspects of their physical health.  He is examining blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation and immune system function and studying how the different ways people understand their life stories might shape their physical health.  
Hollen Reischer
Hollen Reischer is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology and documentary studies at Duke University. Hollen has extensive experience facilitating, documenting, editing, and publishing underserved adults' life stories. She has also worked with a number of organizations to advance social and environmental justice causes. Hollen is particularly interested in the life narratives of marginalized and underrepresented people, with a focus on meaning-making, identity, and values.  
Carolyn Pichert Swen
Carolyn Pichert Swen is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University in politics and master's degrees from the University of Chicago in international relations and public policy. She has worked domestically and abroad in non-profit organizations as well as government agencies. She is interested in how culture and context influence peoples’ narrative identity. She is currently researching principals’ professional identity and how it changes during their first years as new principals.
Claudia Zapata Claudia Zapata
Claudia Zapata-Gietl is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Social Policy program at Northwestern University, and an MPES fellow. She received her bachelor's degree from California State University Long Beach in psychology and comparative literature. Before graduate school she worked at a non-profit serving the immigrant population in downtown Los Angeles and the UCLA Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing. Her main research interest is the development of identity in Latino emerging adults and its relationship to transition to college and civic engagement issues.

The Foley Network
Jonathan M. Adler   Jonathan M. Adler, PhD
Jonathan M. Adler received his PhD in clinical and personality psychology in 2009 from Northwestern University, where he was an active member of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives. He is currently an associate professor of psychology at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. He is also an Associate Editor at Journal of Personality and the Chief Scientific Officer of Health Story Collaborative, a Boston-area non-profit that works with medical patients to help them craft and share their stories of illness and healing.  His research focuses on the interface between adult development and clinical psychology. Broadly conceived, his research interests revolve around the reciprocal relationships between identity processes and psychological functioning. He is especially interested in identifying the most productive ways people make sense of the difficult things that happen to them and how that personal meaning facilitates changes in identity. In other words, he is interested in how the process of making sense of negative experiences influences important life outcomes, including mental health, personality maturity, and the process and outcome of psychotherapy treatment. His research has been covered by the New York Times, National Public Radio, The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Huffington Post, among other outlets.  You can learn more about Dr. Adler's research at
Jack Bauer Jack J. Bauer, PhD
Jack Bauer, PhD is a professor of psychology at the University of Dayton. Bauer worked as a Foley post-doctoral fellow from 1999 to 2002. Bauer studies how themes of integration and growth in life stories correspond to eudaemonic personality development, looking at samples from college students through old age. He is a former associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, co-editor of Transcending Self-Interest: Psychological Explorations of the Quiet Ego (APA Books), and author of the forthcoming The Transformative Self: Identity, Growth, and a Good Life Story (Oxford).  More information about Dr. Bauer and his research can be found at
Keith Cox, PhD
Keith Cox is a clinician and researcher on the PTSD Clinical Team at the Charleston VA Medical Center and a Clinical Assistant Faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. He studies, among other things, how individuals make meaning out of emotionally intense experiences, sometimes traumatic ones. His work with the Foley Forum and the Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood has centered on the high and low point episodes in the life story, and how characteristics of these emotionally intense memories relate to indices of personality traits, emotional functioning, emotion regulation, and subjective well-being.
Ed de St. Aubin, Ph.D. Ed de St. Aubin, PhD
Ed de St. Aubin is an associate professor of psychology at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Ed de St. Aubin received his PhD in human development and social policy from Northwestern University. He and McAdams have collaborated on studies of generativity, and they are co-editors of Generativity and Adult Development: How and Why We Care for the Next Generation (APA Press, 1998) and The Generative Society (APA Press, 2003). Dr. de St. Aubin’s scholarship continues in the personological tradition that defines the Foley Center. His current efforts focus on adult personality development with an emphasis on personal ideology, ego development, sexuality and the narrative construction of self. More information about Dr. de St. Aubin and his research can be found at
Will Dunlop, PhD
Will Dunlop is an assistant professor of social/personality psychology at the University of California, Riverside. A graduate of the doctoral program in social, personality, and developmental psychology at the University of British Columbia, Dunlop has examined the role of redemptive stories in the recovery process of alcoholics. More recently, he has launched a research program examining the structure and development of personality. More information about Dr. Dunlop and his research can be found at
Phillip L. Hammack, PhD
Phillip L. Hammack is an associate professor of psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz. Hammack received his Ph.D. in comparative human development from the University of Chicago. He has quickly become the leading figure in the study of culture and narrative. His influential research programs examine the life stories of Israeli and Palestinian youth, the role of master cultural narratives in perpetuating societal conflict, and narratives of sexual identity development in a changing sociopolitical landscape. Hammack has already won three prestigious national awards for his theoretical and empirical contributions to social, developmental and cultural psychology. More information about Dr. Hammack and his research can be found at
Brady Jones   Brady Jones, PhD
Brady Jones earned her doctorate in human development and social policy at Northwestern University in 2015. She received her bachelor's degree from DePauw University in Spanish and a master's degree from Northwestern University in education and social policy. She has worked in K-12 schools in several capacities, most recently as a teacher of high school Spanish. She studies adolescent and adult development and flourishing, specifically how personality - holistically defined - can be leveraged to make individuals happier, healthier, and more successful in schools, organizations, and their careers.
  Miriam Klevan, LCSW, PhD
Miriam Klevan received her PhD in human development and social policy from Northwestern in 2012, where she studied the life narratives of parents who adopted after experiencing infertility. She is currently a psychotherapist in private practice.   Her clinical interests include infertility, adoption, and helping couples, families and individuals adjust to medical conditions, including chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, cancer and multiple sclerosis. She has published on infertility and adoption in both the academic and popular press and taught at the School of Education and Social Policy.
Jen Pals Lilgendahl Jen Pals Lilgendahl, PhD
Research by Jen Pals Lilgendahl examines processes of self-definition and identity construction in adolescence and adulthood, with a specific focus on how people connect memories of past events to the present self through the narration of a life story. She is primarily interested in narratives of very negative and identity-challenging life experiences. She identifies individual differences in how adults interpret such experiences in relation to self (e.g., growth, regret, defensive minimization) and relate those differences to personality, social/cultural contexts and important outcomes in adult life, including well-being, maturity and physical health. You can learn more about Professor Pals Lilgendahl at
  Jennifer Lodi-Smith, PhD
Jennifer Lodi-Smith is an assistant professor of psychology at Canisius College. Lodi-Smith received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, working with Professor Brent Roberts, one of the preeminent figures in the study of personality trait development. Using a multi-method approach to understand identity, Lodi-Smith has done important studies on narrating personality change and on the role of life narratives in healthy aging. More information about Dr. Lodi-Smith and her research can be found at
  Kate McLean, PhD
Kate McLean is a professor of psychology at Western Washington University. Trained at the University of California at Santa Cruz under the guidance of Avril Thorne (a pioneering researcher on life narratives), McLean is probably the most prolific and influential young scholar in the study of narrative identity today. She has published a large number of studies examining a wide range of developmental issues, from the challenges of narrating negative events among young adolescents to the role of autobiographical reasoning strategies in midlife narrative identity development. More information concerning Dr. McLean and her research can be found at
Nicky Newton   Nicky Newton, PhD
Nicky Newton is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at University of Michigan, working on research projects using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). She is also conducting follow-up data collections for two longitudinal studies based at the University of Michigan: The Radcliffe Class of 1964, and the Women’s Life Paths Study. She will be an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada) beginning July 2015. Newton received her PhD in personality and social contexts psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Nicky uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research, which focuses on correlates of adult personality development, through the lenses of gender and race. Current research projects include: personality and experienced well-being; how gratitude is experienced in later life; positive personality development in older men and women; and expressions of regret over time. Nicky received the Elizabeth Douvan Junior Scholar Fund in Life Course Development in 2011. More information concerning Dr. Newton and her research can be found at
  Monisha Pasupathi, PhD
Monisha Pasupathi is a Professor of Psychology at University of Utah. Pasupathi trained at Stanford and the Max Plank Institute in Berlin, Pasupathi is one of the world’s leading authorities on the role of socio-cultural factors and interpersonal relationships in the development of narrative identity. Her work spans the fields of social psychology, cultural studies, and life-span developmental psychology. More information aboud Dr. Pasupathi and her research can be found at
  Moin Syed, PhD
Moin Syed is an associate professor of psychology at University of Minnesota. A graduate of University of California at Santa Cruz, Syed studies the development of narrative identity in adolescence and young adulthood, with an emphasis on ethnic minority and immigrant populations. Syed’s work is notable for its blending of innovative narrative approaches and especially sophisticated statistical techniques. More information about Dr. Syed and his research can be found at
Joshua Witt   Joshua Wilt, PhD
Joshua Wilt is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in personality psychology from Northwestern University in 2014, where he was an active member of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives. His research is broadly concerned with investigating affective, behavioral, cognitive, and desire (ABCD) components that are relevant to personality structure and function. His current research examines ABCDs within the context of personality traits and life-story episodes. He is also interested in how traits and features of narrative identity relate to the psychology of religion and spirituality, with a specific focus on the experience of religious and spiritual struggles.


Undergraduate Students (2015-16)
Chase Bednarz
Suzanne Chen
Sunny Han
Halimah Jones
Fannie Koltun
Imani Wilson