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Dr. Belle Liang, Principal Investigator

Dr. Belle Liang is a professor of Counseling, Developmental, & Educational Psychology at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. As the founder and Principal Investigator of Purpose Lab, she is committed to advancing understanding of positive youth development, including mentoring and relational health, through her research. Her expertise in purpose interventions, including those that are technologically mediated, is reflected in her current work leading the development of True North, a curriculum and web-based application aimed at helping individuals and organizations cultivate purpose with data analytics.


With over 100 publications, Dr. Liang is recognized as a knowledgeable speaker and collaborator in the field of positive youth development. She is grateful for the opportunities she has had to contribute to the field and to translate research into practical application, as demonstrated by her recent co-authorship of the bestselling "How to Navigate Life: The New Science of Finding Your Way in School, Career, & Beyond" published by St. Martin’s Press.

See Belle's CV here

Dr. Terese J. Lund, Principal Investigator

Dr. Terese  (Tracey) J. Lund is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina. She is also Chair of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Director of Undergraduate Research at Wingate University. Her research interests center on child and adolescent development in diverse socioeconomic contexts, with a specific focus on parent-adolescent relationships, social-emotional problems, and positive youth development among adolescent girls. She teaches undergraduate courses such as Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Positive Psychology, and the Psychology of Women. 

True North Project Lead

Tim Klein

Tim Klein
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Tim Klein is an award-winning urban educator, as well as a clinical therapist and school counselor. He's worked intensively with marginalized students to empower them to pursue meaningful and fulfilling lives. He is the True North Lead at BC. He previously served as the director of strategic partnerships for Project Wayfinder, an organization designing and disseminating purpose education for secondary schools, Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, and Director of School and Community Engagement at Medford High School. In this latter role, he implemented strategies that increased college matriculation by 30%. Prior to that, he spent five years as the Outreach Director for Summer Search, a national youth development non-profit serving historically underrepresented student populations. His work has been featured in EdSurge, Greater Good Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and KCRW. He has spoken widely about youth purpose learning, including as panelist for NBC’s Education Nation and at Ashoka U Changemakers conference.

Current Researchers


Brenna Lincoln

Brenna Lincoln became connected with the Purpose Lab in 2016 and has been an active member ever since. During her years in the lab, she completed her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College and worked as a Mental Health Counselor in the Boston area. Upon returning to BC to pursue her PhD in counseling psychology, she became our lab leader. In the lab, she has contributed to a variety of projects and has cherished the privilege of working with this wonderful team. Outside of work, Brenna enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and adventuring outdoors.


Michelle Zhou

Michelle Zhou was a Master's student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Boston College. She also attended BC in undergrad, receiving her BA in Applied Psychology & Human Development and Theology. This is Michelle's sixth year in the Purpose Lab. She led the Mapping Purpose/Three Universities project. She enjoys making music with friends, reading, and drawing in her spare time.


Kira Patel

Kira Patel was a MA Mental Health Counseling student at Boston College, after completing her B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Development.  She was involved with the MentorOn project, the Changemaker project, and various aspects of the research team. In her free time Kira enjoys going for bike rides and taking trips to the beach. 

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Molly Binder

Molly is a Gabelli Scholar and she received her Bachelor's in Applied Psychology and Human Development, with a minor in Communications in 2023. She joined the lab in the summer of 2020 and has worked on multiple projects. In her free time, Molly enjoys hiking, running, and spending time outdoors.

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Alexandra Casker

Alexandra is a 2023 BC graduate with a B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Development and a minor in Marketing. She joined the lab in the summer of 2021 and has been involved in the 3 Universities project and other projects in the lab. In her free time, Alexandra enjoys spending time with family, going to coffee shops, and spending time outside.


Grace Fongemy

Grace Fongemy is an undergraduate junior at Wingate University. She is majoring in Psychology and looking to go into Occupational Therapy. She discovered research last semester and has fallen in love with it. While at Wingate she has started womens rugby club, and been a part of student government. She enjoys reading and hiking in her free time. 


Taylor Redd

Taylor is a fourth-year undergraduate at Wingate University. She is completing her B.S in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology. During her time at Wingate, she has been involved in research regarding children's development of bias and now examining gender differences in achievement. Taylor is planning to attend law school in the fall to pursue a career developing public policy. 


Annika Hakovirta

Annika Hakovirta is a first-year undergraduate student at Wingate University. She is majoring in Psychology and found her way to the lab this semester. She is excited to start working with Dr. Lund and her studies. Annika is an international student from Finland and also part of the women's tennis team at Wingate University. 

Past Researchers


Amie Kang

Amie Kang is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Boston College. She earned her B.A. in Psychology at UC Berkeley and her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Amie led the True North project, supervising a talented team of students. Apart from work and studies, Amie enjoys drinking lattes, experimenting with new recipes, and taking walks along the Charles River.


Lily Konowitz

Lily Konowitz, Ph.D. completed her doctorate in the Counseling Psychology program at Boston College.  She earned her B.A. in psychology and political science at Bucknell University, and her masters in counseling theories at Boston College.  Lily led the Changemakers project, MentorOn project, and the Antecedents of Purpose study. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, exercising, and reading novels/thrillers.


Madeline Reed

Maddie Reed was a masters student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Boston College. She earned her B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Development and English, as well as a concentration in Special Education at BC. Maddie was also been a member of Dr. Belle Liang’s research team on purpose development for over three years. She has been involved mostly with the Changemakers and MentorON programs. She hopes to be a counselor with special focus on providing services for the the LGBTQ+ community. Outside of school, Maddie loves riding her bike all around Boston. She is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, but she has lived in Boston for years! In her free time, she loves to read and write, as well as skateboard around her neighborhood park!


Arisa Viddayakorn

Arisa was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. She earned her Master's in Mental Health Counseling program at Boston College, after pursuing an undergraduate degree at BC as well. Arisa brings her marketing, technology, and psychology skills to bear as part of the True North team. Outside of the research team, Arisa enjoys dancing and exploring different cafes!

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Chris Liu

Chris is an aspiring educator, equitable education advocate, and educational researcher. Born in Tao Yuan City, Taiwan, raised in Shanghai, China, Chris is a bilingual (Chinese and English) international student who recently completed a Master’s degree at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Chris seeks to participate in equitable educational policy and to create authentic and humanizing spaces for youth to realize their change agency and illuminate their counter-narratives. Above all else, he believes in the power of mentorship that extends beyond the educational field. Throughout his time in college, Chris has had various personal experiences in being both a mentee and a mentor in English tutoring, dance, volleyball, biking, drumming, cultural exchanges, navigating college, academic advising, career advising and many more. Equipped with insights from his academic and extracurricular endeavors, he hopes to connect with and inspire more students, particularly students of color, and develop authentic and long-lasting relationships with each and every one of them.


Meghan Boyer

Meghan graduated from Boston College in 2020 with majors in Applied Psychology & Human Development, and Political Science. Meghan is currently pursuing her MSW and MBA at BC. For 2 years in the lab, she worked on projects examining Critical Consciousness and Meaning Making. Prior to graduate studies, Meghan completed a year of service in Nashville, TN at an anti-poverty non-profit organization called the Martha O’Bryan Center. Aside from research and volunteering, Meghan loves to spend her time playing soccer, watching the Buffalo Bills, and socializing with friends and family!

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Shao Wei Chew Chia

Shao Wei Chew Chia was a MDiv student at Harvard Divinity School, with an MSc in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh and BA in History and Literature from Harvard University. Shao Wei worked on the True North project and studying the influence of maternal relationships and mentoring relationships on purpose development.


Willow Wood

Willow Wood was a master's student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Boston College. Before moving to Boston, she earned her B.A. in Psychology and Art History at Lewis and Clark College. Willow served in the Purpose Lab for 2 years and most recently has worked on web development for the True North project. Outside of school, Willow loves exploring new hiking trails, cuddling with her cat, and playing Animal Crossing.

Photo Wall

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2/22/22, 2:22pm

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