The Team

Our growing, interdisciplinary research team brings together a dynamic group of people who share a passion for improving the human condition at work. Our wider community of partners includes scholars from many fields, experts from philanthropies, and practitioners from a variety of organizations.

Matt Bloom Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Notre Dame

Matt Bloom is Associate Professor and Principal Investigator of the FiM Project. As a pastor's spouse, he has seen firsthand the negative consequences of unhappiness at work, and is passionate about finding real solutions to make the workplace a healthy, vibrant, supportive place. One of his passions is backcountry hiking, so each fall he goes "off-the-grid" somewhere on the Appalachian Trail. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Matt lives in South Bend with his wife Kim. Matt's oldest son, Nicholas (pursuing at PhD in sociology at Duke University) and Nicholas' wife, Kate (pursuing a Masters of Public Health at the University of North Carolina), live in the research triangle of North Carolina. His son, Keaton, will finish his architecture degree at Notre Dame this year.

Mary Bales, Post-Doctoral Scholar & Co-PI, University of Notre Dame

Mary has a PhD in human development from Purdue University. Her doctoral research focused on Head Start educators and students. Mary brings her commitment to educators to the FiM project. She has expertise in educator professional development, early literacy, qualitative analysis, and quantitative research methods. Mary leads the narrative studies at FiM. Mary lives in South Bend with Eric and Amelia. She loves to run and ride her bike with Eric and cuddle and read with Amelia.

Amy Colbert Ph.D., Co-PI, University of Iowa

Amy Colbert is Associate Professor of Management at the University of Iowa. She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from the Tippie College of Business at The University of Iowa in 2004. Amy studies intrinsic motivation, leadership, and work-family dynamics in addition to her interest in well-being. She grew up near Hannibal, MO and during high school was an official tour guide of that historic town. Amy lives close to Iowa City with her husband Mike, and her two sons Ben and Matt.

Laura Schmucker, Project Manager, University of Notre Dame

Laura has a background in public accounting (she was a CPA for a major accounting firm) and brings a wealth of expertise to the project. Laura manages all of the financial, logistic, and administrative activities of the project. Laura has also served in a variety of leadership roles at a large church in the South Bend area. Laura loves the outdoors and spends her free time golfing, playing tennis and boating on the lake. Laura lives in South Bend with her husband Ron, and their youngest child, Madison. Laura's oldest son, Zach, lives in the Wrigleyville area of Chicago and works in the mortgage industry. Her middle child, Brian, is following in his mother's footsteps by pursuing an accounting degree at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Jackie Tachman, Senior Research Assistant, University of Notre Dame

Jackie is a recent graduate of Oberlin College and majored in English and Anthropology. She also ran cross country and played in a band at Oberlin. Perhaps best of all, she studied in New Zealand for a semester and was able to trek in the beautiful mountains of the south island. Jackie fills many important roles on the project, and a key aspect of her work is overseeing all of our web-based survey studies. In the fall of 2014, Jackie hopes to pursue graduate studies in public health and is very interested in advocating for fixed income and impoverished elderly people.