• Twitter
  • YouTube
Day 1 - Plenary Session
May 10, 10:00 - 10:50 am (EST/USA)
Awe: Neuroscience & "Now" Moments


Michelle "Lani" Shiota, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University (USA)

Jennifer Stellar, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto - Mississauga (Canada)

  • LinkedIn profile

Expert Panelists:











Neil Gang, Chief

  • Chief of Police, Pinole (CA) Police Department (USA)

















Randy P. Auerbach, PhD, ABPP

  • Associate Professor Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University; Division of Clinical Developmental Neuroscience, Sackler Institute

  • Co-Director, Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Depression

  • Director, Translational Research on Affective Disorders and Suicide Laboratory

Awe Elicitors: The Mind, the Breath, and More 

Michelle "Lani" Shiota, PhD

More information:

Awe as a Pathway to Better Health  

Jennifer Stellar, PhD

More information:



Michelle "Lani" Shiota, PhD

Michelle "Lani" Shiota is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. Her research examines positive emotions and emotion regulation, and the roles they can play in supporting healthy behavior and emotional well-being. Shiota's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation, and published in high-impact journals including Emotion, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and American Psychologist. She is the Director of the Shiota Psychophysiology Laboratory for Affective Testing (a.k.a. SPLAT Lab), and Director of the Substance Use Translational Research Network (SATRN) at ASU. 

Email: lani.shiota@asu.edu

Jennifer Stellar, PhD

Jennifer Stellar is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Toronto. As director of the Health, Emotions, & Altruism Laboratory (HEAL) her research examines the forces that drive prosociality and morality. Dr. Stellar investigates a family of emotions called self-transcendent emotions (e.g., awe, compassion, gratitude) and explores how individuals encourage moral behavior and uphold moral norms. Her work aims to answer a fundamental question about humans—how do we transcend our own self-focus to care about other people, groups, and society as a whole?

Email:  jennifer.stellar@utoronto.ca

Website: www.jenniferstellar.com

Chief Neil Gang

Police Chief Neil H. Gang began his career with West Windsor, New Jersey Police Department in 1988 and was selected to become the Chief of Police for the Pinole Police Department in California in 2014.

Neil is a graduate of the prestigious Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command and is also member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Police Executive Research Forum, International Hostage Negotiators Association, California Police Chiefs’ Association, and the National Association of Police.

Neil is the Chairperson of the newly formed California Police Chiefs’ Association committee on Officer Wellness and Resiliency, as well as the CPCA Region 6 Board Member. He is also the Chairperson of the Contra Costa Police Chiefs’ Association, Officer Wellness Committee and works at the federal Level as a member of the BJA/COPS Officer Safety and Wellness Group and with the IACP. He was just awarded the 2020 Public Safety Hero of the Year by Congressman Mike Thompson and is a national keynote speaker on Officer Wellness and the author of the Asher Model-7 Point Approach to a Culture of Wellness, Turning Tragedy into Hope.

Randy P. Auerbach, PhD, ABPP

Randy P. Auerbach, Ph.D., ABPP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Division of Clinical Developmental Neuroscience, Sackler Institute. Additionally, he serves as Co-Director of the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Depression at Columbia University and Co-Director for the WHO, World Mental Health International College Student Initiative. Dr. Auerbach received his B.A. from Cornell University (2000) and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University (2010). Dr. Auerbach’s research is committed to improving our understanding of depression and suicide in adolescents. His research is multidisciplinary and utilizes a multimodal approach for assessment (e.g., laboratory-based experiments, passive sensor monitoring, electrophysiology, and neuroimaging) to determine why depressive symptoms unfold, how self-injurious and suicidal behaviors develop, and what changes in the brain during treatment.

As a whole, the research aims to better understand the putative mechanisms that may improve early identification of and treatment for adolescent depression and suicidal behaviors. This work is funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, the Dana Foundation: Clinical Neuroscience Research Grant, and several private foundations, and to date, it has resulted in over 170 published scientific papers and book chapters. Dr. Auerbach is the recipient of a number of awards including the David Shakow Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions in Clinical Psychology, the Richard Abidin Early Career Award, and the Theodore Blau Early Career Award.

Sign up for updates

© 2020, Resilience Symposium. Proudly created with Wix.com