2021 IPPA Award Winners


About IPPA’s Awards Program:

IPPA’s Awards Program recognizes exemplars in the study and practice of positive psychology. Congratulations to the 2021 Award Winners!


James O. Pawelski Positive Catalyst Award

The James O. Pawelski Positive Catalyst Award is presented to an IPPA member who:

    • Advances change for the Association
    • Has committed their service to IPPA for a sustained period of time
    • Has mobilized and catalyzed others to contribute to IPPA
    • Has Helpted to build and contribute to the IPPA community
    • Can show concrete outcomes and impact for the Association based on their efforts

James O. Pawelski Positive Catalyst Award

Liz Corcoran
Impact Performance Group


Christopher Peterson Gold Medal 

The Christopher Peterson Gold Medal honors an IPPA member who exemplifies the best of positive psychology at the personal, professional, and academic levels. This award is named after Christopher Peterson, a beloved IPPA Fellow, professor, scholar and pioneer in the field of positive psychology. Peterson’s many scholarly contributions include his work on the character strengths and values classification and assessment with Martin Seligman. On a personal level, Peterson was known for his sincerity, humility, integrity, sense of humor and generosity.


Ed Diener



Raymond D. Fowler Service Award 

The Raymond D. Fowler Service Award honors an IPPA member who has gone above and beyond to give his or her time in the service of advancing the field of positive psychology. The award is named after a dear colleague and IPPA Fellow, Ray Fowler, whose generosity and vision catalyzed the creation of IPPA back in 2007.

Jenny Brennan
Ardent Wellbeing, LLC


Outstanding Practitioner Award

The Outstanding Practitioner Award honors an IPPA practitioner who has shown the most outstanding excellence and impact in advancing the practice of positive psychology in ethical and evidence-based ways.


Margarita Tarragona



Early Career Researcher Award 

The Early Career Researcher Award honors an IPPA member who, within the first 10 years of completing their PhD, has contributed most significantly to scientific advancement of knowledge in positive psychology.

Johannes Eichstaedt
Stanford University

Eric Kim
University of British Columbia


Dissertation Award 

The Dissertation Award is conferred on the author of a Ph.D. dissertation on a topic in the domain of positive psychology. Many of the applications received this year were characterized by impressively high levels of originality and methodological complexity: a very promising perspective for the future of positive psychology.


David Newman
University of California

2021 Dissertation Honorable Mentions

Kelly Allen
Monash University

Scott Donaldson
University of Southern California

Dwight Tse
University of Strathclyde

2019 IPPA Fellows 

The title of Fellow is conferred on IPPA members who have contributed most significantly to the scientific advancement of knowledge in their specific field of research or practice within the domain of positive psychology, and to the development of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Congratulations to this year’s IPPA Fellows:


Noof Aljneibi
University of Pennsylvania

Sulynn Choong
Asian Center for Applied Positive Psychology

Stewart Donaldson
Claremont Evaluation Center at Claremont Graduate University

Charles Martin-Krumm
Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens de Paris of the Catholic Institute of Paris

Tyler VanderWeele
Harvard University

Mathew White
University of Adelaide and University of Melbourne


IPPA Division Awards

2021 Spirituality and Meaning (SMD) Researcher Award

Pninit Russo-Netzer
University of Haifa; Achva Academic College, ISRAEL

Positive Educator Impact Award – IPPAEd Division

This award recognizes individuals (educators, students, coaches, consultants, administrators, parents, academics) that are having a positive impact in an educational and academic setting by implanting the principles, practices, and applications of Positive Education. As such this award is open to individuals or teams who work in educational settings, and academics focused on positive education research.

Practitioner Award

Denise Quinlan
New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, NZ

Lucy Hone
New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, NZ

Researcher Award

Kristján Kristjánsson
University of Birmingham, UK

Contributions in Positive Health Award – Positive Health and Wellness Division

This award recognizes individuals with long and distinguished careers who have made a notable impact on the field of positive health. Nominees can be any professional involved in positive health (academics, researchers, clinicians, organizations, practitioners, consultants, coaches), who uses positive psychology to advance human longevity, quality of life, and physiological and psychological wellbeing (including decreased morbidity).

Gail Ironson
University of Miami, USA

Exemplary Research to Practice Award– Work and Organizations Division

This award is presented to a member of the Work and Organizations Division who has advanced the application of evidence-based science in the field of positive work and organizations (PWO). Their work serves as a stand-alone exemplar of a cumulative contribution to PWO through applying theory and research in practical applications and/or field application of scientific findings. The quality of their work demonstrates the potential of our members to contribute to PWO theory, research, and/or practice, and should be considered a standard for us all, researchers and practitioners alike, to aspire to as we work to positively transform the way the world works.

Vicki Cabrera
Claremont Graduate University, USA

Markus Ebner
University Vienna, Austria

The Vaillant Award for Contributions to Positive Clinical Psychology– Positive Clinical Psychology Division

Named in recognition of Dr. George Vaillant’s seminal contributions to the field of Positive Clinical Psychology, this award recognizes distinguished contributions of the application of positive psychology in the clinical realm, including but not limited to endeavors such as designing, delivery, training and evaluation of positive assessment and interventions.

Chiara Ruini
University of Bologna, Italy

Inspiring Mentor Award – SIPPA (Student Division)

The SIPPA Inspiring Mentor Award recognizes one outstanding mentor in the field of positive psychology who provides continued commitment and support to students that foster professional and academic development.

Sarah Scnitker
Baylor University, USA

Inspiring Mentor Honorable Mentions

Meg Warren
Western Washington University, USA

Andrew Howell
MacEwan University, Canada





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