Keith Cowley, President

Keith is a graduate of both the Open University (Psychology (hons)) and University of East London (MSc Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology) and will undertake PhD at the University of East London, exploring Environments of Human Flourishing in 2018. For his MSc dissertation, Keith developed a positive psychology intervention based upon the Duchenne smile called ‘A Smile A Day’ for which he received a distinction grade and will soon publish his study.

One of Keith’s talents is connecting our positive psychology community and his passion project as IPPA’s Student Divsion – President is to increase engagement with student communities globally, expanding and connecting this amazing field into new regions while growing SIPPA’s global presence and network.

Keith is also the Wellbeing research project manager for Action for Happiness, exploring the effects of undertaking an 8 week course to ‘Explore What Matters’ both in life and in your community. This study is funded by the Templeton Foundation and was set up by the London School of Economics. Keith presented a poster of this research at the 5th World Congress of positive psychology in July 2017 in addition to co-facilitating the SIPPA mentoring event, annual business meeting and contributing to IPPA’s business strategy meeting. In 2018, Keith will publish a paper with the co-authors from the Said Business School in Oxford University and the London School of Economics, presenting their findings on the subjective and biomarker data collected during the study.

Keith recently began lecturing, tutoring, marking and facilitating webinars at the University of East London as part of their psychology team delivering the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology.

Alireza Memarian, Past-President

Alireza Memarian is the Director and Editor-In-Chief of the European Journal of Psychology & Educational Studies, Positive Psychology section representative for APA’s Counselling division across all Iranian universities and a global representative at International positive education network (IPEN). Alireza is a Ph.D. student working on his positive psychology thesis at Isfahan Azad University to raise and promote Positive Psychology initiatives within and outside of Iran.
He is passionate to promote Positive Psychology and Positive Education among university professors & students as well as to the public. His passion is working with academics to establish Positive Psychology Associations in the Middle East in cooperation with a wide range of psychologists.

Alireza’s knowledge of both eastern and western cultures, business strategy, positive psychology and education spans sixteen years. Working and training with different skills in Canada provided him with the proper tools and insight to organize and connect with students & researchers all over the world, to introduce positive psychology initiatives to them and also to reach his goals at SIPPA and IPPA.

Positive psychotherapy & resiliency studies are two of his favourite subjects for which he is currently working on. Alireza built networks like the “Iran Positive Psychology Network” and tries to gather all students interested in positive psychology and organize them. His activities are not limited to one country. He wants happiness and a good quality of life for everyone, all earth’s citizens.

Alireza Memarian believes that sharing knowledge related to positive psychology and networking with university students all over the world will be one of the most important foundations for SIPPA.

Alireza is passionate about connecting SIPPA to other positive psychology scientific organizations as well as connecting it to international organizations such as UNICEF & UNESCO!

“Think globally and act locally!”

Sarah Bourdeau, Mentoring Co-Chair

Sarah Bourdeau is a graduate student in industrial and organizational psychology at University of Quebec in Montreal. Her research focuses on motivation and passion for work, social influences and work-life balance. Specifically, her thesis will investigate the role of social norms with regards with the use of work-life policies. Sarah also volunteers for the Canadian Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology as student representative, and for Mind Pad, as associate editor.


Sierra Trudel, Mentoring Co-Chair

Sierra Trudel is a School Psychology graduate student at the University of Hartford and currently serves as a research assistant specializing in clinical supervision and assessment of children.  Previously, Sierra worked for a yoga-based company as a regional training specialist in leadership development, powerfully setting goals, living mindfully, and cultivating a culture of integrity. Her goal in school psychology is to promote strengths-based assessment and adapt Quality of Life Therapy for a school setting.  Sierra believes mentorship should be a positive and nurturing experience that encourages growth and change.  Her goal as Mentoring Co-Chair is to create a program that is accessible to all, which promotes diversity and authenticity within the positive psychology community.

Heena Parbhu, Conference & Special Events Co-Chairs

Heena is undertaking a level 2 Counselling Skills qualification and enjoying every minute of it. She completed a BSc in Psychology at Brunel University and is continuing her development and education by completing a vast range of courses. She has worked with Macmillan, within NHS CAMHS and AHM settings and is beginning a new role in Private Mental Health settings. Through her education and roles, she has come to develop a true appreciation for Positive Psychology and its application in the field. Heena is hoping she will be able to raise awareness of IPPA and the benefits of Positive Psychology within the UK.

Alex Landry, Conference & Special Events Co-Chairs

Alex is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As the Conference and Special Events chair, he hopes to integrate positive psychology into the larger academic and mainstream communities. He researches optimal development and teaching of mindfulness interventions and self-regulation strategies at UCSB’s Center for Mindfulness and Human Potential. Alex is particularly interested in how the promise of a positive psychology can be integrated into contemporary pedagogy to enhance wellbeing and fulfilment in future generations.

Arun Gurung, Communication Chair

Arun Gurung is a doctoral candidate in Ajou University in South Korea. He majors in Global Management, an interdisciplinary research major with business, Human Resource, Organizational behaviour and Psychology.

His interest follows Well-being, Compassion, Job Crafting, Mindfulness, Virtuousness in Organization and is currently working on Compassion at work.

His expertise also extends to cross cultural management and aims to promote ‘positive psychology’ across borders specially in work organization.

He hopes to, as a communication chair, bring students, scholars, academics and prominent figures in Positive Psychology closer through SIPPA and IPPA.