Who We Work With.
Our research explores two kinds of work-related wellbeing: happiness (what makes work fun or enjoyable) and thriving (what makes work profoundly meaningful or purposeful). We examine dimensions of each, how they influence each other, and how together they may create what we call flourishing.
The initial focus of our studies is people in the helping and caring professions-those working with the threatened, the vulnerable, and the marginalized.
Why We Need More Wellbeing.
According to Gallup’s World Poll, 63% of the global workforce is “checked out” and “sleepwalking through their workday.” The Wall Street Journal notes that more than half of American workers are less content with their jobs than they were 30 years ago in nearly every individual measure—from wages and retirement plans to vacation policies and commutes. This staggering and high level of employee dissatisfaction can also suggest a “steady erosion of trust and loyalty between employers and employees” says Rebecca Ray.
At a time when worker satisfaction is in decline, there is a large discrepancy between what we want from work and our actual work experience—this disconnect creates unhappy workers. And not surprisingly, unhappy workers act out their unhappiness at work. Our research will enable us understand what factors drive this unhappiness, as well as which factors contribute to wellbeing and flourishing in the workplace.
- Dimensions of Happiness
- Chronic daily moods and emotions
- Chronic daily subjective life evaluations (subjective wellbeing)
- Physical health
- Dimensions of Thriving
- Strong, positive identity
- Positive relationships with individuals and groups
- Positive growth & personal change
Meet the team on the frontlines of workplace wellness. In addition to the talented, multidisciplinary team highlighted below, we also partner with scholars, practitioners, and experts from a wide range of fields.
Matt Bloom is an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame where he leads the Wellbeing at Work Program. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Before becoming a professor, he was a consultant for Arthur Young and a financial advisor for Shearson Lehman Brothers. He has seen firsthand the negative consequences of unhappiness at work, and is committed to finding real solutions to make the workplace a positive, vibrant experience.
Matt lives in South Bend with his wife, Kim. His oldest son, Nicholas is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at Duke University. His son, Keaton, is an architect in New York. One of Matt’s passions is backcountry hiking, so each year he goes "off the grid" somewhere on the Appalachian Trail.
Judy Miller is the Administrative Assistant for the Wellbeing at Work Program. Prior to joining the team, Judy worked in the Nonprofit Professional Development Program in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, as an events and project coordinator in MBA Student Services at Mendoza, and as an administrative assistant at the Purdue University School of Technology. She earned her degree in business administration from Michiana College.
Judy lives in South Bend with her dog, Roxie. She enjoys the great outdoors, gardening, and traveling—particularly when a lake or ocean is involved—and spending time with her three children and four grandchildren.
Laura Schmucker is the Program Coordinator for the Wellbeing at Work Program, where she serves as a liaison across all partner organizations and participants, coordinating all survey development and distribution, as well as managing the logistics and data for the team’s research studies. Laura received her B.S. in accounting from Valparaiso University before serving as a CPA for a major accounting firm. In addition, Laura has filled a variety of leadership roles at a large church in the South Bend area.
Laura lives in South Bend with her husband, Ron, and loves the outdoors, spending her free time golfing, biking, playing tennis, and boating on the lake. Laura has three children. Zach lives in Chicago and works in the mortgage industry. Brian is pursuing a master’s degree in accounting at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Her daughter, Madison, also attends Indiana University, where she studies elementary education.
Linda Kawentel is a Senior Research Scientist with the Wellbeing at Work team. She uses quantitative methods to examine well-being among clergy and humanitarian aid workers. Linda has completed her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and brings to the team a background in the sociology of religion, sociology of the family, and qualitative and quantitative research methods. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Linda earned an M.A. in Religious Studies from John Carroll University, as well as a B.A. in Religious Studies and Political Science also from John Carroll.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys playing the flute in Notre Dame’s concert band, playing board games with friends, gardening, and traveling.
Sarah Klinedinst is a Senior Research Associate with the Wellbeing at Work team, where she is involved in data collection and analysis. Sarah received her B.A. in sociology from Saint Mary’s College and her M.A. in sociology from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to joining the team, she was a program coordinator for the Office of Pre-College Programs at the University of Notre Dame.
Sarah lives in South Bend and enjoys reading, cooking, and finding unique spots for good food in the area.
Lauren Squires is a Senior Research Associate with the Wellbeing at Work team, where she is involved in both qualitative and quantitative data analyses. Lauren received her B.A. in sociology and literature from Southwest Minnesota State University and her M.A. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
Lauren resides in South Bend with her husband, Gage, and their two cats. Together, they enjoy traveling, attending concerts, competitively playing board games, and spending the evening reading a good book.
Having spent the last 8 years as the Associate Campus Pastor for Community Care at Azusa Pacific University, Chris is the new Director of the Kern Center for Vocational Ministry & Associate Professor of Pastoral Care & Counseling at Azusa Pacific Seminary. He is a third generation pastor’s kid, and an ordained minister. In addition to his role as a professor in undergraduate and seminary teaching and training, he is also active as a denominational/church consultant, and frequent speaker at pastors’ retreats and conferences. Having spent a number of years in local church and parachurch ministry leadership, Chris developed a passion pastoral and church health issues. A graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, he is currently participating in research on pastoral health and effectiveness, including the Duke Clergy Health Initiative and Profiles in Ministry Project for the Association of Theological Schools. Chris also facilitates the clergy candidacy assessment, selection, formation, and ongoing care processes for a number of denominations and seminaries.
Chris is married to Lori, a cardiac nurse, and they have two children, Lexi (5), and Cole (10 months). Chris enjoys spending time with his family, playing tennis, scuba diving, and music (especially jazz).
Partners in Learning
The Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development, and places special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector.
The John Templeton Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It seeks to encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.