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. She has twice been named to the student government's Honor Roll of best faculty, and in 2009 she received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the School of Education and Social Policy. Dr. Logan's research and interest areas include gender issues, career development, generativity, and wisdom in adulthood. In addition, Dr. Logan has extensive experience in teaching and learning in adulthood.

Nicky Newton Nicky Newton, PhD
Nicky Newton is a research assistant professor at the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at Northwestern University, specifically working on the Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD in personality and social contexts psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research, which focuses on the ways in which social roles and social support are related to adult personality development, through the lenses of gender and race. Current research projects include: differences in generative expression and concepts of legacy among midlife African Americans and Whites; the association between midlife adults’ social support and their physical and emotional health; the relationship between social roles and generativity; and the experience of regret over time. Nicky received the Elizabeth Douvan Junior Scholar Fund in Life Course Development in 2011. More information concerning Nicky and her research can be found at

Graduate Students
Rayane Alamuddin   Rayane Alamuddin
Rayane Alamuddin is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy program and a graduate fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from the American University of Beirut. She has taught undergraduate psychology courses and worked in post-war psychoeducational programming in Lebanon. She is currently exploring the relationship between prosocial themes in emerging adults' narratives of virtue transmission and their home environments, well-being, and civic engagement behaviors. Her other research interests include the role of ethnic identity and related social experiences in Arab American youth's transitions from high school, and the effects of dual-generation education programs on low-income families.
Michelle Albaugh Michelle Albaugh
Michelle Albaugh is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Social Policy program in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She received a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from DePaul University in music in 1994. Her research thus far has centered on the intersection of personal faith and political ideology. She has collaborated with Professor Dan McAdams, using his narrative theory of personality and associated methodologies to study how committed Christians, politically liberal and conservative, differ from each other. Her interests include religious identity, religious trends in American society and culture, charismatic/transformational leadership, leadership in religious organizations, qualitative and narrative methods, and a variety of quantitative methods.
Keith Cox Keith Cox
Keith Cox is a doctoral student in the clinical and personality program at Northwestern University. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia. He earned a master's degree in religious studies from the University of Virginia, where he studied the intersection of religion and psychology, especially positive psychology. His current research in the Foley lab has two main foci: self-narratives and positive psychology.
Brady Jones   Brady Jones
Brady Jones is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy program at Northwestern University. 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. Her main research interest is the recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction of K-12 teachers, particularly how they deal with challenges and find personal and professional fulfillment at work.
Hee-Sun Kim Hee-Sun Kim
Hee Sun Kim is a doctoral student in pastoral care and counseling at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She received her BA and MA in Christian studies from EWHA Women's University in Korea and her master's in theological studies with focus on pastoral counseling from Garrett. Her main interests are providing psychological and theological frames for Christian women who suffer domestic violence and helping them reinterpret the meaning of suffering, the cross, forgiveness, etc. She wants to integrate Dr. McAdams's narrative methods to bring healing and redemptive narratives by helping women narrate their own stories, ultimately so that women could reconstruct the past and reimagine a new future.
Miriam Klevan Miriam Klevan
Miriam Klevan is a second-year doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy program. She received her BA in English literature from Columbia University and her MSW from New York University. She has worked clinically with domestic violence victims, families at risk of being separated by the child welfare system and foster families, and has used narrative methods in her therapeutic practice. Her research interests include using narrative methods to study infertility, adoption and foster care. She is currently conducting narrative research into the way infertile adoptive parents interpret and contextualize their family building experiences.
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, magna cum laude, from Cornell University in "Psychonarrative Application" as a member of the College Scholar Program. Her research primarily focuses on the use of narratives to explore parent-child relationships across the lifespan. Within this, she is especially interested in investigating the mechanisms that facilitate intergenerational transmission of psychopathology. Recently, she has also begun examining regulatory focus theory as it relates to personality and developmental psychology.

Keegan Walden
Kathryn (Katie) Weitz White, MEd. Katie Weitz White
Since 2006 Katie has been working with The Sherwood Foundation as the Director of Impact Planning and Improvement. She received her doctoral degree from Northwestern in Human Development and Social Policy in August 2011. Her dissertation focused on political and civic participation among urban adolescents. Using the construct of generativity, her study of 256 high school juniors found the measure to be highly predictive of group affiliation, civic, electoral and political voice participation. She has also written about principal's use of narratives to understand expert and novice problem solving, accountability policies' influence on the classroom, and presents on the educational interventions The Sherwood Foundation funds. Katie White's current work has taken her to Omaha, Nebraska, where she is actively involved in community boards and serves as a director for Building Bright Futures, Girls Inc., Film Streams, and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. She can be reached at
Joshua Witt Joshua Wilt
Joshua Wilt is a doctoral candidate in the clinical and personality psychology program at Northwestern University. He received a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from The Ohio State University in psychology with a biochemistry minor in 2005. He received a master's degree from Wake Forest University in psychology in 2007. He has collaborated with Professor Dan McAdams, using his narrative theory of personality and associated methodologies to study the properties of individual scenes in life stories and how individual scenes are linked together. His current research interests include personality theory, psychometrics and the ways people use their life stories in daily life.

Claudia Zapata Claudia Zapata
Claudia Zapata is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Social Policy program at Northwestern University. 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 students and its relationship to mental health and academics, primarily college attendance and achievement.

Collaborators and Associates
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 assistant professor of psychology at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. His research focuses on the interface between adult development and clinical psychology. Broadly conceived, his research interests revolve around the reciprocal relationships between self/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. You can learn more about Dr. Adler's research at
Jack Bauer Jack J. Bauer, PhD
Jack Bauer, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Dayton and a former postdoctoral fellow at the Foley Center. His research explores how people use ideas of growth to shape their life stories and how these "growth stories" facilitate eudaimonic well-being. He studies these ideas in the context of growth motivation and transcending self-interest across adulthood. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Personality. He is the co-editor of Transcending Self-Interest: Psychological Explorations of the Quiet Ego (2008, American Psychological Association Books). Before entering psychology he worked as a newspaper editor in northern Michigan.
Phillip J. Bowman Philip J. Bowman, PhD
Philip Bowman is director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and professor of urban planning and policy and of African American studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. A former faculty member at Northwestern University, Professor Bowman collaborates with Professor McAdams on research into the development and manifestations of generativity among African American adults. He is co-author with McAdams of "Narrating Life’s Turning Points: Redemption and Contamination" in Turns in the Road: Narrative Studies of Lives in Transition (edited by McAdams, Josselson and Lieblich; APA Press, 2001).
Ed de St. Aubin, Ph.D. Ed de St. Aubin, PhD
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.
Kathrin Hanek Kathrin Hanek
Kathrin Hanek is a doctoral student in personality and social contexts psychology at the University of Michigan. You can learn more about her at
    Craig Joseph, PhD
Craig Joseph is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University and an associate of the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago, from which he also received his PhD. Dr. Joseph's current research focuses on the cultural psychology of moral functioning, especially the role of virtues and character, and the psychosocial adaptation of Muslims and Muslim communities to life in the United States, with a particular focus on the role of full-time Islamic schooling in the development of Muslim-American identity. Among his recent publications are "Intuitive Ethics" (co-authored with Jonathan Haidt) and "Islamic Schools, Assimilation, and the Concept of Muslim-American Character" (with Barnaby Riedel). Joseph has taught at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, The University of Illinois at Chicago and the City Colleges of Chicago.
Ruthellrn Josselson
Ruthellen Josselson, PhD
Ruthellen Josselson is the author of Revising Herself: The Story of Women's Identity from College to Midlife, a longitudinal study of women's growth based on intensive interviews, and The Space Between Us: Exploring the Dimensions of Human Relationships, a phenomenological study of how people connect with one another over a lifetime. She is the co-editor of the annual The Narrative Study of Lives. Josselson's most recent book, with Terri Apter, Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls' and Women's Friendships, sheds light on the unique characteristics of female interaction and its implications for relationships.
  Tae-Chang Kim, PhD
Tae-Chang Kim is president of the Institute for Integrated Study of Future Generations in Kyoto, Japan.

Amia Lieblich, PhD
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
Brad Olson Bradley Olson, PhD
Brad Olson, PhD, a former fellow of Foley Center, is assistant professor and co-director of the Community Psychology PhD program in the Psychology Department at National Louis University in downtown Chicago. His research focus is on life story work for underserved populations and communities, particularly as a participatory research approach for policy change. He is also interested in the philosophy of science around the life story methodology.
Michael W. Pratt Michael W. Pratt, EdD
A professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Michael Pratt received his EdD in human development from Harvard University. He is interested in moral development and generativity and their socialization and expression, particularly within the context of the family. He is co-editor with Barbara Fiese of a book on family narratives, Family Stories and the Life Course: Across Time and Generations (Lawrence Erlbaum Press, 2004).
Ben Schalet Ben Schalet, PhD
Ben Schalet is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of medical social sciences at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He received his PhD in personality psychology in 2011 from Northwestern University and his BA in Fundamentals: Issues and Texts from the University of Chicago in 1995. His general research interests center on the relationship between personality traits and the development of psychopathology. His interests further include the psychological assessment of children, Openness to Experience, hypomanic personality, and psychotherapy outcome.


Undergraduate Students (2012-2013)
Izora Baltys
Sydnie Dobkin
Laynie Held
Jennifer Herr
Kiley Naas
Jessica Pollack
Darien Wendell