About Me

I am an Associate Professor of Psychology at James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I regularly teach courses on Social Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Positive Psychology, and Psychological Research Methods. I received my B.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

I’ve authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on happiness, and with bestselling author Sonja Lyubomirsky, I’m co-author of Positively Happy: Routes to Sustainable Happiness, a workbook for putting happiness strategies into practice in everyday life. I recently finished my first book, The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations, which will be published in June of 2017 by Oxford University Press. (Read my wonderful agent’s description of it here).

With the Institute for Brain Potential, I offer multiple seminars on happiness and well-being each year to health-care professionals nationwide. In addition, I write the popular “Happy Trails” online column for Psychology Today. I consider explaining psychological research to the public in a compelling and useful way to be one of my greatest strengths. I am available to speak or consult with your organization about well-being, optimism, and happiness. Email me at jaimekurtz@gmail.com to discuss the possibilities!

Always eager to merge my love of psychology and travel, I am the creator and director of Exploring the Good Life in Scandinavia. In this three-week summer program, I lead college students on a tour of two of the world’s happiest nations, Denmark and Sweden, where they observe and conduct interviews on cross-cultural differences in well-being, in addition to doing happiness-boosting exercises of their own.

Nothing gets me fired up quite like looking ahead to the Next Big Thing. Current obsessions include trying to spend a semester teaching in Italy, qualifying for the 2018 Boston Marathon, and landing tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway. Meanwhile, I enjoy the wineries, restaurants, culture, and nature of my lovely home, Charlottesville, Virginia.

BRP

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