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Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D.


Gallup Senior Scientist Shane Lopez passed away this weekend. We lost a best friend and brilliant psychologist who spent his best years contributing to the science and application of strengths, engagement and well-being. He brought together prominent psychologists in the earliest years of positive psychology summits at Gallup. He was at the forefront of the Gallup Student Poll and included much of his own hope research with Gallup's best student engagement work. He designed strengths intervention studies underway at the University of Nebraska that will continue his work in the coming years. His favorite work spot in the world was the Gallup Riverfront atrium, where he could enjoy the buzz of a thousand friends.

Shane's contributions to students, citizens, clients, schools and universities, as well as Gallup and everything we do, is immeasurable. He will be missed, and his contributions will forever be appreciated. He definitely changed the world, and he changed us as well. God bless Shane and his family, Alli and Parrish. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with them.

Connie Rath, President, The Clifton Foundation, July 25, 2016


Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., author of Making Hope Happen, was the world's leading researcher on hope. His mission was to teach people that investing in their future pays off today. Dr. Lopez was also one of the most vocal advocates of the psychological reform of America's education system. He helped schools function less like impersonal factories and more like dynamic human development centers that enable students to achieve the meaningful futures they say they really want, including a good job and a happy family.

Dr. Lopez was a Gallup Senior Scientist and Research Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute. He was the chief architect of the Gallup Student Poll, a measure of hope, engagement and well-being that taps into the hearts and minds of U.S. public school students to determine what drives achievement. It is available at no cost to public schools or districts interested in using it to start a conversation about hope in their community. More than 4 million students have participated since its inception.

Dr. Lopez researched the links between hope, strengths development, academic success and overall well-being, and collaborated with scholars around the world on these issues. He specialized in hope and strengths enhancement for students from preschool through college graduation, advocating a whole-school strengths model that also builds the strengths expertise of educators, parents and youth development organizations. He was a coauthor of the statistical reports for the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer.

A prolific author, Dr. Lopez published more than 100 articles and chapters, as well as 10 books. These include Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths, winner of the SAGE Press Book of the Year Award (with C.R. Snyder and Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti); The Handbook of Positive Psychology (with C.R. Snyder); Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures (with C.R. Snyder); Positive Psychology: Exploring the Best in People; The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology; and The Psychology of Courage: Modern Research on an Ancient Virtue (with Cynthia Pury).

Dr. Lopez was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the International Positive Psychology Association.


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