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Christine Duvivier’s Bio

written by Christine Duvivier 1 January 2007

Christine DuvivierChristine Duvivier, MAPP 2007

positive change

My professional voyage began about 20 years ago, a fresh MBA graduate from Cornell University.  At Digital Equipment Corporation, I found my strengths lay in bringing people together to improve customer engagement.  By the time I had left my position as Director of Customer Loyalty & Quality worldwide, we had improved loyalty 40%.   I went on to study leadership, guide executives and work closely with leaders from diverse companies, first as the Northeast Director of The Center for Quality of Management and then as a management consultant to senior executives.

Little did I know that my life would be up-ended.

In my work, I noticed that positive attributes and skills often went unnoticed, or were even squelched. Why is it, I wondered, that signature strengths in individuals often go untapped? This question compelled me to explore Positive Psychology, founded by Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. Positive psychology focuses on healthy organizations, positive emotions, and flourishing. I dove in and earned a Master of Applied Positive Psychology.

Initially, my research focused on inspiration and motivation in business leaders, but in the midst of my investigation, a heartbreaking event changed my life.

In 2007 a young friend of my family died by suicide. This promising teen was well-liked and active in the community, yet he struggled in school. I knew other teenagers just like him—kids who have tremendous promise, but who don’t excel in school. Too many wonderful, talented and motivated kids are labeled as having “problems” simply because they are not making all As on their report cards and, as a result, seem destined to live a mediocre life. This assumption, I believe, is a travesty — for the individuals, certainly, but also for their communities and the  businesses who need fresh talent.  Read My Full Story Here

My articles for PositivePsychologyNews.com are here.

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Jeff 9 April 2009 - 11:38 pm

I have been reading your articles and find them quite thought provoking. I have a few questions about what I’ve read. First, what do you do as a teacher to draw out intrinsic motivation for a project or assignment for which a student lacks interest? I do try my very best to differentiate for my students as do all the teachers that I work with regularly. Sometimes it works. For the most challenging cases it often fails.

Second, I have observed teens that seem on the surface to be interested in a very narrow scope of interests. It seems that they like dirt biking, food and the opposite sex. How would you go about teaching them literacy and numeracy? I would like these kids to be able to read articles like yours and to critically think about major issues like education reform. They seem not to have the depth of life experience to understand why these issues are important and worth the hard and often unpleasant work of learning to read. That’s the rub. Its not always fun and flow for them, but it certainly can be meaningful and an achievement upon which they look back with pride.

I guess to clarify, I would like to ask you about your experiences teaching adolescents in a public school setting. I’m finding applying theory and school reform challenging in my daily practice. What sounds idyllic on paper often goes to pieces in the classroom. It is hard to tailor curriculum to every student’s exact interests every time.

Christine Duvivier 11 April 2011 - 8:19 pm

Dear Jeff,

I think I am seeing your comment for the first time, two years after you wrote it. If you never received a response from me, I apologize. It is because I did not see your comment.

Please let me know if you still have these questions– or new ones.

All best wishes,


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