Canadian Positive Psychology Association

Our Founders

The Canadian Positive Psychology Association (CPPA) was founded on January 19, 2012 by Dr. Jamie Gruman, Dr. Veronika Huta, Louisa Jewell, Lisa Sansom and Dr.Tayyab Rashid, all of whom shared the vision of developing a psychologically healthy Canadian society through the research and application of positive psychology across Canada.

Dr. Jamie Gruman is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Department of Management at the University of Guelph. His research on positive psychology and positive organizational psychology has included topics such as employee engagement, mindfulness, psychological capital (hope, optimism, confidence, & resilience), and workplace spirituality. His positive psychology writing has appeared in numerous journal articles and books such as ‘Advances in Positive Organizational Psychology’, ‘The Handbook of Employee Engagement’, ‘A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management’ and ‘The Cambridge Handbook of Workplace Training and Employee Development’. Dr. Gruman is co-developer of Halcyonic well-being, an approach to well-being that has been overlooked in the psychology literature, and the ReNU model of effective leisure time, which offers people a boost, not just a break. A frequent keynote speaker, he has spoken for numerous Fortune 500, public, and non-profit organizations such as General Motors, The Canadian Federal Government, and The Children's Wish Foundation. His TEDx talk on “the good life” can be found on YouTube.

Veronika Huta, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University. She and her students conduct research on different ways in which people seek fulfillment in life, including eudaimonic pursuits (authenticity, meaning, excelence, growth) and hedonic pursuits (pleasure, enjoyment, comfort, absence of pain), and how these relate to well-being, health behaviors, prosocial and pro-environmental behavior, parenting predictors, abstract thinking, and time perspective. She also studies well-being experiences beyond Subjective Well-Being, most notably the feeling of meaning, as well as self-connectedness, and elevating experiences (awe, moral elevation, inspiration, and transcendence). She teaches courses in positive psychology and graduate statistics. She is a past president of the Royal Canadian Institute, a co-founder of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, and has previously co-organized a conference on eudaimonia for both philosophers and psychologists.

Louisa Jewell, MAPP, is the Founder and former President of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association and she is passionate about being the bridge between researchers and practitioners to improve the well-being of all Canadians. Louisa is a speaker, author and well-being expert who has facilitated thousands of people towards greater flourishing both at work and in their personal lives.Louisa is a graduate of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania where she was taught by the field’s founder, renowned psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman.Louisa is an instructor of positive psychology at the University of Toronto and the University of Texas Dallas and regularly delivers webinars and workshops to educators and practitioners around the world. Her work has been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Canadian Living Magazine, Live Happy Magazine, Chatelaine, Psychology Today, Women's Agenda, Toronto Sun, to name a few. She is a contributing author to the European Handbook of Positive Psychology, Positive Psychology at Work and Positive Psychology News Daily. For more information visit:

Dr. Tayyab Rashid is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada. Dr. Rashid's expertises include positive clinical psychology, strength-based resilience, posttraumatic growth, multicultural psychotherapy and positive education. Dr. Rashid completed his clinical training at the Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey and at the University of Pennsylvania where he developed and empirically validated positive psychotherapy (PPT) with Dr. Martin Seligman, the founding father of positive psychology and one of the leading experts in optimism and well-being. Dr. Rashid's research has received numerous honours and awards and has been published in peer reviewed journals and has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation (CBC), Globe & Mail, Toronto Star & TEDx. Dr. Rashid guest edited the special issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology (May 2009) devoted to positive interventions for clinical disorders.

Lisa Sansom is an Organizational Development Consultant at Queen’s University and the owner of LVS Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that helps to build positive organizations. In these roles, Lisa shares positive psychology tools and techniques with her clients through speaking, corporate training and coaching across Canada. Lisa has been working in Organizational Development since 2000 working at financial companies, government, education and health care. Her focus is primarily on change management, high performing teams and leadership development. Additionally, she writes articles and does book reviews for a number of magazines and online publications.Lisa obtained her MBA from the Rotman School of Management, and she is a PCC-accredited coach with the ICF. She completed her MAPP (Master of Applied Positive Psychology) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. In her volunteer time, Lisa has served as the Vice-President, President and Past-President of the University of Pennsylvania MAPP Alumni Association. She is a founding Board member of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

Please view our DISCLAIMER about the uses and application of positive psychology. 

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