RESEARCH TEAM

Taewon Kim, M.A.: Taewon was born in South Korea and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, Social Science, and Women's Studies from Ewha Womans University. After graduation, she worked for several years and found that many employees suffered from meaninglessness devoid of self-determination. This led her to quit her job and pursue further study in counseling psychology. She is interested in meaning in academic and work experiences, especially for women or other underprivileged populations. Taewon hopes to explore and develop factors that promote resilience for people with low social status. She is also interested in the givens of existence: meaning, death, choice, free-will, and existential anxiety and hopes to create new processes of meaning reconstruction. kim2602@purdue.edu

Haley Sterling, M.A.: Haley was born in Zanesville, Ohio and moved to Highlands County in Florida in 2008. She attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida and attained an undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2011.  Haley's current areas of research interest include goal achievement, barriers to goal achievement, positive psychology, improving work life, and improving coping through alternative treatments (i.e., expressive writing, mindfulness, meditation, exercise). In her free time, Haley enjoys spending time with her family, spending time in nature, and attending live music events. hsterlin@purdue.edu

Tracie Liu, B.A.: Tracie was born in Harbin, China and spent most of her life just south of Nashville, Tennessee. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University in 2018, and her current research interests include bridge employment and meaningful work after retirement for older adults. She is also interested in employment among immigrants, positive psychology, racial/cultural factors, and mindfulness. Her favorite pastimes include dancing, wandering around new places, reading and writing, rewatching the same three shows on Netflix, and eating desserts. 

Patrick Murphy, B.A.: Originally from Rensselaer, IN, Patrick has lived the past 7 years in Fort Wayne, IN, where he attended Purdue University and earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology. His current research interests focus on the relationship between internal motivation and work. Patrick is also interested in exploring how principles of positive psychology can be used to develop strength-based interventions among low socioeconomic status populations. When he's not working, he enjoys traveling, listening to live music, reading, and almost anything that gets him out in nature. 

Brenda Shein, B.A.: Brenda was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent her undergraduate years in New York City and graduated from NYU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Before coming to Purdue, she worked for a couple years in community and clinical mental health settings and credits those experiences in shaping her vocational pursuits in counseling psychology. Brenda’s research interests include understanding existing barriers in access to meaningful work among low-socioeconomic status (SES) populations and exploring how meaningful work can cultivate behavioral change and resilience in people who have experienced trauma. When she's not working, Brenda enjoys spending time with others and engaging in forms of self-care. She finds the most joy from practicing yoga, experimenting with new recipes from all the food blogs she loves reading, and going on adventures outdoors.    

Eileen Joy, M.A.: Originally from Queens, New York, Eileen obtained her B.S. in Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Washburn University in Kansas. She is interested in examining the roles of poverty related stressors and cultural context in therapeutic processes, mental health functioning, and well-being. She is also interested in strength-based approaches to understanding marginalized communities' experiences with mental health. When she has time, she likes cheap travel (that is, a lot of camping), food, going to the dog park, and hanging out with her adorable schnauzer, Sherlock.