Team

Wake Forest is a community of faculty and staff committed to educating the whole person and transforming students into leaders and citizens of character. The staff for the Program for Leadership and Character focus on advancing this work everyday.

Program Staff
  • Michael Lamb, Executive Director
    Michael Lamb

    Executive Director
    (336) 758-2343
    lambkm@nullwfu.edu

    Michael Lamb is the Executive Director of the Program for Leadership and Character and Associate Professor of Politics, Ethics, and Interdisciplinary Humanities. He is also a Research Fellow for the Oxford Character Project. He earned a B.A. in political science from Rhodes College, a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, and a second B.A. in philosophy and theology from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His interdisciplinary research and teaching focus on character education, the ethics of citizenship, and the role of virtues in public life. He is the author of A Commonwealth of Hope: Augustine’s Political Thought and co-editor of Cultivating Virtue in the University and Everyday Ethics: Moral Theology and the Practices of Ordinary Life. His work has been published in a number of edited volumes and academic journals, including the American Political Science ReviewReview of Politics, Journal of Moral Education, and Journal of Character Education. He has also received awards for teaching excellence from Princeton, Oxford, and Wake Forest. A political theorist with experience in practical politics, he has advised colleges on character education and civic engagement and served as chief of staff for campaigns for state senate, Governor, and U.S. Congress in his home state of Tennessee. Prior to joining Wake Forest, he helped to launch the Oxford Character Project and served as Dean of Leadership, Service, and Character Development for Rhodes Scholars.

  • Kenneth Townsend, Director of Leadership and Character in the Professional Schools
    Kenneth Townsend

    Director of Leadership and Character in the Professional Schools
    (336) 758-3794
    townsek@nullwfu.edu

    Kenneth Townsend is the Director of Leadership and Character for the Professional Schools and Scholar-in-Residence at the Wake Forest School of Law. A recipient of the Truman Scholarship for Public Service and the Rhodes Scholarship, he earned a B.A. from Millsaps College, an M.Phil. from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. and M.A.R. from Yale University. Prior to joining Wake Forest, he worked at Millsaps College as Special Assistant to the President, Assistant Professor of Political Science, and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for Professional and Civic Engagement and, before Millsaps, as a Fellow in the University of Mississippi’s Barksdale Honors College and Lott Leadership Institute. A licensed attorney and frequent commentator on public affairs, he has taught courses in ethics, political theory, public policy, and constitutional law at Millsaps College, University of Mississippi, and Yale University.  He teaches “Professional Responsibility” and “Leadership and Character in the Professions” at the Wake Forest School of Law. His research focuses on the relationship between law and morality, the role of religion in a democracy, and the ethical obligations of professionals.

  • Eranda Jayawickreme, Senior Research Fellow
    Eranda Jayawickreme

    Senior Research Fellow
    jayawide@nullwfu.edu

    Eranda Jayawickreme is Senior Research Fellow in the Program for Leadership and Character and Associate Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University. He earned a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College and a Ph.D. in positive and social/personality psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Alongside Dr. Michael Lamb, he is a Co-Project Leader of a $1.68 million initiative on “Exemplar Interventions to Develop Character” funded by the John Templeton Foundation. He is also Psychology Co-Director of “The Honesty Project” and was Co-Project Leader of the $3.4 million “Pathways to Character Project” funded by the John Templeton Foundation that examined the possibilities for the strengthening of character following adversity, challenge or failure. His research focuses on post-traumatic growth, moral personality, wisdom, and well-being. His awards include the 2018 Faculty Excellence in Research Award from Wake Forest, the 2015 Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science, a Mellon Refugee Initiative Fund Fellowship, and grants from the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, Templeton World Charity Foundation, the European Association for Personality Psychology and the Asia Foundation/USAID.

  • Heather Maranges, Co-Director of Research and Assessment
    Heather Maranges

    Co-Director of Research and Assessment
    marangeh@nullwfu.edu

    Heather M. Maranges is the Co-Director of Research and Assessment at the Program for Leadership and Character, leading the program’s empirical assessment of programming, courses, and interventions to understand how to facilitate the formation of virtuous character. Heather received her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology at Florida State University, and the Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowship for work at the Social Justice Centre and Departments of Psychology and Philosophy at Concordia University. Early on in her in university years, her coursework incorporated considerable study not only in psychology, but also in philosophy, English literature, and biology. Today, her research seeks to understand what facilitates cooperation and virtue, inspired by both Aristotelian virtue ethics and behavioral ecology frameworks. In particular, she studies how both self-control and childhood environments/experiences shape moral character and decision making.

  • Kate Allman, Co-Director of Research and Assessment
    Kate Allman

    Co-Director of Research and Assessment
    allmank@nullwfu.edu

    Dr. Kate Allman is the Co-Director of Research and Assessment in the Program for Leadership and Character. She received her B.A. in English from Emory University, her M.Ed. in English Education from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work focuses on fostering holistic connections between student learning, evaluation, programmatic planning, and organizational thriving in Institutions of Higher Education. She has specialized expertise in holistic program evaluation, grant management, and institutional accreditation. Prior to coming to Wake, she served as a faculty member and administrator at Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, and Towson University, where she led numerous formative, outcome, and impact evaluation projects using a collaborative, participatory approach. At Duke University, she was awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants that supported the development of teacher leaders in STEM Education. As a Research Scholar in the Program for Leadership and Character, Kate coordinates and supports research activities and internal evaluation.

  • Casey Keller, Research Coordinator
    Casey Keller

    Research Coordinator
    kellerc@nullwfu.edu

    Casey Keller is the Research Coordinator for the Program for Leadership and Character. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and a double major in Religious Studies. She then went on to earn her M.A. in Psychology at The College of William & Mary in 2017. Since then, Casey has gained valuable experience coordinating various behavioral and pharmaceutical research projects within Psychology/Psychiatry. Casey believes strongly that the college experience should be educational to the whole person, and is so excited to be a part of making character education a priority at the institution that is so dear to her.

  • Jeremy Markovich, Director of Communications
    Jeremy Markovich

    Director of Communications
    (336) 758-3629
    markovj@nullwfu.edu

    Jeremy Markovich is the Director of Communications for the Program for Leadership and Character. Jeremy graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Journalism, and worked as an award-winning reporter and producer at television stations in West Virginia and North Carolina. He’s also written pieces for Charlotte magazine, SB NationCBS SportsWharton magazine and Politico, and was most recently a senior writer, editor, and digital manager at Our State magazine, where he hosted a podcast about North Carolina’s overlooked people, places, and stories.

  • Ann Phelps, Director of Programming
    Ann Phelps

    Director of Programming
    (336) 758-3731
    phelpsa@nullwfu.edu

    Ann Phelps is the Director of Programming for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University. She earned a B.A. from Hastings College and an M.A.R. from Yale University where she studied the intersection of religion, the arts, and modern culture at the Institute of Sacred Music. In her former roles as Director of the 1 Campus 1 Community Office of Community Engagement and Interim Director of Religious Life at Millsaps College, she taught courses on community engagement and vocational discernment. Most of her research has been conducted outside of the library, where she has worked as a freelance musician and teacher with colleges, universities, and religious communities to envision how corporate rituals and collective creativity can empower us to be more ethical actors in our changing world. She has recorded vocals for a number of composers and ensembles, most frequently with her communal song and jazz band, the Theodicy Jazz Collective, that has provided leadership and reflection in communities such as Yale, Cambridge, and Oxford Universities and Canterbury, St. John the Divine, and Washington National Cathedrals. Her most recent research explores how rehearsal and performance of particular virtues (and vices) in theatre might have an impact on character even after the curtain closes (Educational Theory, forthcoming). Her publications extend beyond the academic realm to award-winning visual art and the self-illustrated poem The Tower and the Well, written almost as much for children as for the adults who might read it to them.

  • Bradley Burroughs, Assistant Director in Religious Life
    Bradley Burroughs

    Assistant Director in Religious Life
    burroub@nullwfu.edu

    Bradley Burroughs is Assistant Director of Leadership and Character in Religious Life. He received a B.A. from Allegheny College, an M.Div. from Duke University Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. His academic work integrates theological ethics, modern social theory, and contemporary theories of virtue to explore the role and development of character in contemporary life. He is the author of Christianity, Politics, and the Predicament of Evil: A Constructive Theological Ethic of Soulcraft and Statecraft, as well as articles that have appeared in The Journal of the Society of Christian EthicsThe Journal of Lutheran EthicsChristian Century, and elsewhere. Prior to joining Wake Forest, he taught at Allegheny College, United Theological Seminary, and the Graduate Theological Union, where he held a joint appointment at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. In addition to teaching courses in ethics, theology, and formation, he also has experience in broad-based community organizing.

  • Elizabeth Whiting Pierce, Director of Interdisciplinary and Engaged Learning in the Professional Schools
    Elizabeth Whiting Pierce

    Director of Interdisciplinary and Engaged Learning in the Professional Schools
    piercee@nullwfu.edu

    Elizabeth Whiting Pierce is Director of Interdisciplinary and Engaged Learning in the Professional Schools. She earned a B.S. from Trevecca Nazarene University, an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in Religion from Emory University, concentrating in Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. Before joining the Leadership and Character Program at Wake Forest University, Dr. Pierce directed the Center for Ethics and taught ethics at Mars Hill University. A primary goal of her teaching is to equip leaders to constructively engage conflicts arising in their professional settings and in society at large.

  • Raven Scott, Assistant Director of Programming in the College
    Raven Scott

    Assistant Director of Programming in the College
    scottr@nullwfu.edu

    Raven Scott is the Assistant Director of Programming for Leadership and Character in the College at Wake Forest University. In her role, she facilitates workshops and experiences for students including Call to Conversation, The Black Women’s Leadership Retreat, and ongoing series with leaders of student organizations and athletics teams. Raven has spent her career educating in a variety of settings, from teaching high school in Jackson, Mississippi, to teaching English in Madrid, Spain, to developing leadership workshops for Strive: How You Lead Matters, a sports leadership non-profit. She also directed a volleyball club for over 150 girls in Jackson and runs her own program combining volleyball and leadership development. Raven earned a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology and a minor in the Lilly-affiliated Faith & Work Initiative from Millsaps College while also earning accolades as a volleyball player on the Millsaps College varsity team. She also holds an M.A. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Mississippi.

  • Kathleen Stimley, Assistant Director, Finance and Operations
    Kathleen Stimley

    Assistant Director, Finance and Operations
    (336) 758-2531
    mckeekl@nullwfu.edu

    Kathleen Stimely has a decade of experience in managing character-research related grants in psychology and philosophy. Kathleen worked as both Program Coordinator and Program Manager for the Character Project at Wake Forest from 2010 to 2015, as the Program Manager for the Beacon Project from 2015 to 2018, and as the Program Manager for the Honesty Project from 2018 to 2020. Kathleen now serves as Program Manager for the Program for Leadership & Character. Kathleen has a B.A. in psychology from Francis Marion University and a M.H.R. from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

  • Gillian Hagamen, Program Coordinator
    Gillian Hagamen

    Program Coordinator
    hagameg@nullwfu.edu

    Gillian Hagamen is the Program Coordinator for the Program for Leadership and Character. Prior to joining Wake Forest, Gillian worked at the University of Texas at Austin as a Program Coordinator in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering where her work focused on recruiting and supporting undergraduate students, especially women and underrepresented minorities. Her nearly 20-year career also includes work with the Seattle Mariners, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and NatureBridge. Gillian received her B.A. in American Studies from Colby College.

  • Britney Jenkins, Administrative Assistant
    Britney Jenkins

    Administrative Assistant
    jenkinb@nullwfu.edu

    Britney Jenkins is the Administrative Assistant for the Program for Leadership and Character in the Professional Schools. 

    For over ten years, she has worked in the public and private sectors developing systems and workflows for businesses and organizations to speed up task management and completion, reduce errors in processing, streamline approval processes, improve customer experience, and increase the scalability of workflows. Britney is the Systems and Workflow Strategist for BGLR Virtual Solutions, a company that seeks to help overwhelmed creatives and entrepreneurs improve their productivity and profit with streamlined workflows and business tools.

    Britney serves on the Board of Magna Opera Missions, Incorporated, which seeks to close the gap between people of varying socioeconomic backgrounds through education and to provide access to resources. Throughout her career matriculation, Britney has had the privilege of creating curriculums that enhance literacy and social-emotional skills in early childhood. Britney studied Political Science and Public Administration at Elizabeth City State University and Norfolk State University.

  • Donovan Livingston, Staff Affiliate
    Donovan Livingston

    Staff Affiliate
    (336) 758-7134
    livingda@nullwfu.edu

    Donovan Livingston is an award-winning educator, hip-hop artist, spoken word poet, and public speaker. In 2016, his Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation address Lift Off went viral, reaching over thirteen million views. His convocation address was published as a book in 2017. He earned his B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. from Teachers College at Columbia University in Higher and Postsecondary Education, and an Ed.M. in Learning & Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research explores the ways in which college students use hip-hop – more specifically, its lyrical and poetic aesthetics – to construct meaning, negotiate (often contested) identities, navigate campus life, create community, and develop a sense of critical consciousness. For 10 years, Livingston has served first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students in higher education and their families in various college-college access organizations including the College Advising Corps (UNC-Chapel Hill, New York University), federally funded TRiO programs (Upward Bound and Student Support Services), and non-profit organizations (Student U, The Emily K Center). Recently, he helped expand the College LAUNCH for Leadership Program at Wake Forest University, a college-and-career readiness program aimed at helping students discover their potential for leadership and passion for social change; prepare students to embark on the college application process; and impact their communities through Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). Livingston continues his work at Wake Forest today as the Assistant Dean in the Office of University Collaborations and a Staff Affiliate of the Program for Leadership and Character.

Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Johann Ducharme, Postdoctoral Fellow in Character Education
    Johann Ducharme

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Character Education
    ducharj@nullwfu.edu

    Johann Ducharme is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Character Education within the Program for Leadership & Character. He earned his Ph.D. from the College of William & Mary, M.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and B.A. from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. 

    Johann’s research explores the cultivation of intellectual virtues such as creativity, curiosity, and intellectual humility in students and future leaders. He is currently working on a grounded theory of intellectual humility contextualized to undergraduate education that highlights pedagogical strategies employed by professors to counterbalance its excess or absence. Prior to joining the Program at Wake Forest, Johann worked as graduate assistant for Dr. Jim Barber and research assistant for the Mason School of Business at William & Mary. He also held posts as a Program Manager at the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C., and was a regular lecturer for the American Studies Program on Vocation and Leadership. He enjoys mentoring undergraduates as they navigate the challenges and joys of emerging adulthood.

  • Hyunju Lee, Postdoctoral Fellow in Education
    Hyunju Lee

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Education
    hyunjul@nullwfu.edu

    Hyunju Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program for Leadership and Character and Department of Education. She is a teacher-scholar applying philosophical insights to conduct interdisciplinary research on character development and social-emotional learning in multicultural societies. Based on theories of aesthetics, her work examines the ways in which aesthetic experience leads to transformative social-emotional learning and empowers underserved groups of students to become active social agents. She is currently implementing an arts-integrated character education for college students at Wake Forest University. With an emphasis on social justice in education, her other research and teaching agendas center on how character development and social-emotional learning contribute to educational equity, intercultural relations, and social transformation. She has conducted research on social-emotional learning, global citizenship education, and multicultural education and collaborated with a non-profit in Kenya that supports sustainable social development through arts and character education.

    She completed her Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa where she specialized in educational philosophy, moral philosophy, and social-emotional learning. And, she earned an M.T.S. in interdisciplinary religious studies at Boston University and an M.A. in spiritual formation at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She holds a B.A. in educational technology at Ewha Womans University in Korea, where she concentrated on learning motivation and instructional methods for holistic human development.

  • Ryan Juskus, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Environmental Program
    Ryan Juskus

    Postdoctoral Fellow in the Environmental Program
    juskusr@nullwfu.edu

    Ryan Juskus is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program for Leadership and Character and the Environmental Program. He earned a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University with a concentration in ethics. He uses humanistic and qualitative methods to examine the religious and ethical aspects of political ecology, both analyzing how communities adapt their moral and religious traditions to address environmental injustices and cultivating normative traditions capable of addressing the intersecting challenges of ecological change, human difference, and asymmetries of power. His dissertation focused on a religiously and racially diverse series of citizen science initiatives organized in places affected by fossil fuel industries in Appalachia, Chicago, and Birmingham, where different political ecologies of love, knowledge, and sacrifice come into conflict. With fifteen years of leadership in international experiential and service-learning, affordable housing development in DC, environmental justice in Alabama, higher education in North and South America, and community engagement in diverse contexts, Ryan is committed to advancing models of whole-person education that integrate the head, hands, and heart through research, service, and character formation. As a member of the board of directors of Peace and Hope International, he also supports a fellowship of indigenous Paz y Esperanza organizations across Latin America that serve victims of violence through legal intervention, psycho-social and pastoral accompaniment, violence prevention, and structural reform. He is eager to work with Wake Forest colleagues and students to cultivate environmental leaders of character.

  • Lauren Mark, Postdoctoral Fellow in Communication
    Lauren Mark

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Communication
    markl@nullwfu.edu

    Lauren Mark is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Program for Leadership and Character and the Department of Communication. She earned her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in English Literature and French, her M.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University, her M.Ed from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D from Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Lauren’s work focuses on transformational possibility and critical awareness. Several of her projects highlight the cultivation of relationality through teaching and mentoring, and building community through needs based responses. Other projects point to the dehumanizing effects of racially-based stereotypes and microaggressions. Her dissertation research focuses on cultivating interrelationality and harmony through Asian-based approaches to communication.

    Prior to joining Wake Forest, Lauren worked as an Instructor and Graduate Teaching Associate at ASU teaching courses in Intercultural Communication and Performance Studies, among other areas. She has also worked as an educator in international, Taiwanese and U.S. based secondary schools, in intercultural non-profit management, translation/interpretation, and dance training and choreography. While working in Taiwan, Lauren co-founded cross-cultural organizations to promote intercultural learning exchanges, promote mindfulness, and foster creativity. Lauren also incorporates somatic awareness in her teaching to attune to oneself and one’s environment while feeling one’s way through cultures and communication. Her published work can be found in peer reviewed academic journals such as the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Qualitative Inquiry, Communication Research Reports, Culture and Brain, Taboo: the Journal of Culture and Education, Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry, and Storytelling, Self, Society. Her work can also be found in edited volumes such as: Intra-public Intellectualism: Critical Qualitative Inquiry in the Academy, The Corona Chronicles, and Philosophical Mentoring in Qualitative Research: Collaborating and Inquiring Together. Lauren is thrilled to be part of this postdoctoral cohort and looks forward to mutual transformation with fellow colleagues and students.

  • Sara Etz Mendonça, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology
    Sara Etz Mendonça

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology
    mendons@nullwfu.edu

    Sara Etz Mendonça is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Program for Leadership and Character and in the Department of Psychology. She earned a B.A. in Romance languages and literature from the University of Chicago, an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Her research focuses on the development of character and virtues in youth and the creation of effective character interventions.  Her work has been published in edited volumes such as Developing Gratitude in Children and Adolescents and peer-reviewed academic journals including Current Psychology and Cross-Cultural Research. She has also presented her findings at multiple national and international conferences including the Society for Research in Child Development and the Association for Moral Education. Beyond her scholarly work, she is a dedicated educator who has won teaching awards from multiple middle and high schools from Illinois to Mexico to Sweden, and, most recently, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While working in high schools, she founded programs for immigrant parents and their children to inform them about the college admissions process so that the students could continue their education by attending university. A firm believer in the connection between mind and body, she has both founded and coached various track and soccer teams in the educational institutions where she has worked.

  • Julie Miller, Postdoctoral Fellow in Interdisciplinary Humanities
    Julie Miller

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Interdisciplinary Humanities
    millerjj@nullwfu.edu

    Julie Miller is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Leadership and Character and Interdisciplinary Humanities Programs. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and was most recently at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. Her research and teaching interests include political and intellectual history of the United States to Reconstruction and the long history of American slavery. While teaching at Wake Forest, she will be at work on her first book, a history of the idea of a “person” in American politics from the Declaration of Independence, under contract with Harvard University Press. Struck by the ways in which studying the past can help us reimagine ourselves, she aims to work with students to explore questions surrounding civic belonging, political power, and above all, the possibility of human freedom.

  • Colleen Mitchell, Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics and International Affairs
    Colleen Mitchell

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics and International Affairs
    mitchec@nullwfu.edu

    Colleen E. Mitchell is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program of Leadership and Character and Department of Politics and International Affairs. She is a scholar of the history of political thought, particularly the ancient and early modern periods. Her research broadly focuses on thinking about how we ought to understand and approach the limits and possibilities of imperfect politics. She is currently working to complete a book manuscript exploring the relationship between politics, morality, and religion by examining Augustine’s and Machiavelli’s treatments of Rome. Her other research and teaching interests include American political thought, constitutional interpretation, feminist political thought, and politics and literature.

    Colleen received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Notre in 2019 and previously served as a postdoctoral fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Loyola University Maryland and is originally from Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

  • Hannah Read, Postdoctoral Fellow in Character Education
    Colleen Mitchell

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Character Education
    readh@nullwfu.edu

    Hannah Read is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Character Education in the Program for Leadership and Character. She completed her Ph.D. in Philosophy at Duke University. Before that, she earned an M.A. in Philosophy at Tufts University and her B.A. in Philosophy and Literary Studies at The New School University.

    Hannah’s work falls primarily at the intersection of moral and political philosophy, moral psychology, feminist philosophy, and the philosophy of education. Her dissertation investigated the role of empathy in mitigating the moral, epistemic, and practical harms of political polarization. In particular, she argued that empathy can play a crucial role in helping us find common ground and thereby bridge fraught divides that inhibit forging meaningful interpersonal relationships, learning from differences, and cooperating toward shared goals. Much of Hannah’s current work concerns normative and empirical questions regarding strategies to promote empathy education and training against the widespread tendency to reserve empathy for those who are closest to us. She aims to identify best practices for cultivating empathy and perspective-taking across various group divides and to offer a normative account of the role that individuals and institutions — e.g. colleges and universities — in different social positions should play in supporting such practices. Alongside this work, Hannah is engaged in a series of related projects regarding the interplay between feminized artificial intelligence (like Siri, Alexa, and others) and the development of moral skills, such as empathy and perspective taking, as well as possibilities for harnessing such technologies in the service of moral skill development and education.

  • Adetoun Yeaman, Postdoctoral Fellow in Engineering Education
    Adetoun Yeaman

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Engineering Education
    yeamana@nullwfu.edu

    Adetoun Yeaman is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Engineering Education in the Department of Engineering. She earned her doctorate from Virginia Tech, where her research focused on understanding empathy in the experiences of undergraduate engineering students in service-learning courses. She has an M.S. degree in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a strong interest in the ways that people interact and the role that engineering and technology play in society. To this end, she continues to look for ways to promote social competencies, such as empathy, within engineering education and practice. Her research spans a variety of areas including empathy in engineering, design education, and multimedia learning. She is excited to be a part of the dynamic team at Wake Forest University continuing to develop the emerging engineering program and incorporating character interventions in the undergraduate engineering curriculum. She is passionate about helping people find their place as valuable contributors in society and is enthusiastic about further fostering this passion in her current role.

Research Collaborators
  • Olga Pierrakos, Department Chair and Professor of Engineering
    Dr. Olga Pierrakos

    Department Chair and Professor of Engineering

    Dr. Olga Pierrakos is Founding Chair and Professor in the Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University. She earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University. She also holds an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics and a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech. With Dr. Michael Lamb, she is the Co-Principal Investigator of a grant focused on integrating character into engineering funded by the Kern Family Foundation as part of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN). Before coming to Wake Forest, Dr. Pierrakos served as Program Director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she managed a $100 million portfolio to advance STEM education in colleges and universities. She was also a founding faculty member of the Engineering Department at James Madison University. Her research focuses on engineering education, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering in sustainable energy systems.

  • Michael Gross, Associate Professor of Engineering
    Dr. Michael Gross

    Associate Professor of Engineering

    Dr. Michael Gross is Associate Professor of Engineering, a founding faculty member of the undergraduate Department of Engineering, and the David and Leila Farr Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest University. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University. Gross researches fuel cells, materials processing, and gas adsorption calorimetry, as well as student motivation. His motivation work focuses on activity-level, or situational, student motivation in STEM courses with the goal of directly applying motivation theory and empirical research findings to practical course design. His teaching areas include Materials Science and Engineering, Engineering Thinking and Practice, Engineering Measurement and Analysis, and Capstone. He has received the prestigious National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award, the Wake Forest University Research Award for Excellence, and the Wake Forest University Innovative Teaching Award. He has worked closely with the Program for Leadership and Character to design and integrate character modules into the Engineering curriculum and train faculty on how to teach character to aspiring engineers.

  • Elise Murray Dykhuis, Research and Assessment Consultant
    Elise Murray Dykhuis

    Research and Assessment Consultant
    dykhuiem@nullwfu.edu

    Elise Murray Dykhuis is an assistant professor in the character integration advisory group at the United States Military Academy, and a Research and Assessment Consultant in the Program for Leadership and Character. She received her B.A. in Psychology and German Language/Literature at the University of Notre Dame and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. Her research focuses broadly on individual pathways for character development among college students, and she spent much of her doctoral studies examining the aspects of person-centric, longitudinal models of intellectual humility among United States Military Academy cadets. She has a particular interest in using complex statistical modeling to examine these pathways and further honed these skills as a junior fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. She has published on the topic of character in college in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Positive Psychology and the Journal of Moral Education. Her work integrates the concept of character virtues with developmental theory and metatheory, on which she has written and presented in various forums. Dr. Dykhuis has also served as a statistical and survey-design consultant for various character-related projects and organizations. She strongly believes that college students are uniquely situated for immense character growth given their social, emotional, intellectual, and identity development, integrated with the vast opportunities presented by post-secondary education. As such, she sees the Program as a facilitator for life-long flourishing among future leaders of character and is excited to be part of that effort.

  • Dylan Brown, Research Affiliate
    Dylan Brown

    Research Affiliate
    browdf16@nullwfu.edu

    Dylan Brown is a Research Affiliate for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University. He graduated from Wake Forest in May 2020 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He previously worked as an undergraduate research assistant for Leadership and Character and the Department of Engineering. During his junior year, Dylan was a visiting student at the University of Oxford where he focused on normative and applied ethics. Dylan’s undergraduate research in virtue and character culminated in his honors thesis, “Forgiveness and Pardon: Normative Powers to Mitigate Interpersonal Wrongdoing and Self-Harm.” Dylan is grateful to be working for the program that sparked his research interests and developed him personally during his time as a student.