It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we welcome each one of you: colleagues, guest speakers and delegates

Antonella Delle Fave is professor of Psychology at the Medical School of the University of Milano, Italy. After getting an MD degree, she specialized in clinical psychology and devoted her research activities to the investigation of well-being indicators, with a particular attention to cultural and diversity issues. She developed research and intervention projects in the domains of health and education, and supervised international co-operation programs to promote resource implementation in conditions of disability and social maladjustment. Together with international partners she launched and implemented the “Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation”, aimed at identifying well-being components across cultures. She is currently conducting research and intervention projects on well-being promotion in conditions of chronic and degenerative diseases among patients and caregivers, exploring the potential of an integrated treatment approach. Her scientific production includes papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as authored and edited books. She served as President of the International Positive Psychology Association (2009-2011) and of the European Network of Positive Psychology (2006-2010).  Since 2010 she is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Happiness Studies.


Silvia Helena Koller is Brazilian and works as a Full Professor and Chair of the Center for Psychological Studies of At-Risk Populations in the Department of Psychology at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School f Public Health, as well as an Extraordinary Professor at North West University, in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. She was awarded as Honorary Professor at Universidad de Chiclayo and Universidad Autónoma del Peru, Peru, and as the 2010 the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) International Fellow and the 2010 Association of Psychological Societies Fellow. Her commitment to the internationalization of knowledge in Psychology has led it to disseminate Brazilian research in various scientific associations around the world, taking various positions in international organizations, as well as publishing her research on high quality journals abroad. Affiliations: President of the Brazilian Association for Research and Graduate Studies in Psychology and of the Brazilian Society of Developmental Psychology; The Human Sciences Research Council and UNICEF consultant in Africa; Former Editor-in-chief of the Trends in Psychology, Interamerican Journal of Psychology and Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica (Psychology) journals; Former Associate Editor of the International Journal of Behavioral Development (International Society for the Studies on Behavioural Development - ISSBD), and of the Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography (Society for Research in Child Development - SRCD); Ad hoc Representative of Latin America at the International Affairs Council. Executive Committee of the International Society for Research in Behavioral Development (ISSBD), and Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA). Member of the Scientific Committee of ISSBD Biennial Meetings (Belgium, Canada, Australia, Germany, Zambia, China and Lithuania). Her research focuses primarily on positive and ecological development and applied psychology, children’s rights, resilience, and prosocial moral development. Her papers have been published in several international and Brazilian journals. Jacobs Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, World Childhood Foundation (WCF), World Bank, Every Child and various Brazilian agencies have granted her research/intervention. She lectured at different universities around the world, such as North-West University (South Africa), University of Zurich (Switzerland), UIUC, UNL, UNC, and ASU (USA), Universidad del Valle, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Pontifical Universidad Católica Javeriana, and Universidad de Baranquilla (Colombia), Universidad San Marco, Pontifical Universidad Católica, Universidad Autónoma, and Universidad de Chiclayo (Peru), Pontifical Universidad Católica (Chile), and others. Her research team has been collaborating with researchers of the five continents. She participates in several outreach programs. She is also committed to building capacity among youth, and fostering young people’s awareness of their human rights, as well as programs for teachers


Sahaya G. Selvam is currently an Associate Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at Tangaza University, Nairobi, Kenya. His academic preparations include undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, Sociology, and Religious Studies, and two master’s degrees in Philosophy of Religion and Psychology of Religion, and PhD in psychology from the University of London. Selvam’s focus in positive psychology revolves around the conceptualisation of character strengths in religious and cultural domains, particularly in the African context.  His doctoral work explored the mediating role of character strengths in a Christian-mindfulness based intervention attempting to facilitate recovery from addictive behaviour. Recently he completed a study involving some African anthropologists in a Delphi process, arriving at a list of character strengths relevant for the contemporary African youth. He hopes to develop a training manual on “character grooming” for young people in Africa.  As for his personal life, Selvam is a person of South Asian origin, ministering as a Catholic priest in East Africa since 1992.


Linda Theron is a full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria; an associate of the Centre for the Study of Resilience, University of Pretoria; and an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa. Her research and publications focus on the resilience processes of South African young people challenged by chronic adversity and account for how sociocultural contexts shape resilience (see www.Lindatheron.org.) This research has been nationally and internationally funded (including by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research [CIHR], International Development Research Centre, Canada [IDRC]; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada [SSHRC]; GCRF Resilience Foundation Awards, UK; South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development [SANPAD]; National Research Foundation, SA [NRF]). She is lead editor of Youth Resilience and Culture: Complexities and Commonalities (Springer, 2015). She is also an associate journal editor of Child Abuse & Neglect (Elsevier).



John Bosco Chika Chuwurjir is a lecturer in psychology at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state, Nigeria. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in March 2010 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he also started his post-graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. He earned his Master of Science degree in 2014. Currently he is a part-time doctoral student in Clinical psychology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In October 2017, he was appointed as Editor of Nigerian Journal of Psychological Research (founded in 1985), and has reviewed scores of manuscripts for reputable ISI journals such as Journal of Positive Psychology, Journal of Happiness Studies, Social Indicators Research, and others. He got the 2017 Early Career Scholar Grant for the 12th African Regional Workshop of International Society for Studies in Behavioural Development (ISSBD) at University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He researches mental health status and services for vulnerable populations, with primary research interests in clinical health psychology and positive psychology. Mr Chukwuorji has written 33 published journal articles, 2 book chapters and 2 published conference proceedings. Besides his research ventures, he has taught about 15 different courses, including Health Psychology, and served as undergraduate project supervisor (advisor) to 23 students since 2012. He is also extensively involved in carrying out administrative duties with the Faculty and in the Department of Psychology.


Helgard Meyer obtained his under- and postgraduate qualifications at the University of Pretoria and received various awards for academic achievements. He was in private practice from 1980 – 1990 and joined the University of Pretoria in 1990.  He has an interest in chronic pain and has presented may invited presentations at local and international congresses, conferences and symposia, mostly on chronic pain disorders. He serves on expert panels and advisory boards for various organizations in the healthcare industry and is the author/co-author of more than 70 medical publications which include original research publications in high-impact international journals. He has a special clinical and research interest in fibromyalgia syndrome. His current research focus is on the development of novel biomarkers in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome and the project is funded by the Department of Science and Technology which also funds 2 PhD students on this project.  He is a founder member of PAINSA and also the founder and academic convenor of the Annual Pain Symposium hosted by the University of Pretoria (currently in its 10th year). He is a Past-President of PAINSA and was a member of the Council of PAINSA for 16 years. He is also a longstanding member of the International Myopain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain.


Alena Slezackova, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and habilitation in general psychology. She teaches Positive Psychology, Health Psychology, Psychology of Mental Health and Well-being, and many other courses. She is a founder and director of the Czech Positive Psychology Centre CPPC (http://www.pozitivni-psychologie.cz/en/) which organizes conferences, workshops, and special lectures on positive psychology. Alena conducts her research within the Academic Center for Positive Psychology affiliated to Masaryk University in Brno. Her scientific interests include mainly hope, mental health, and well-being. In addition to her research and teaching, she is a member of the Editorial Board of five academic journals. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and the Country Representative for the Czech Republic in the European Network for Positive Psychology (ENPP). She is also the author of the first comprehensive monograph on Positive psychology in Czech and of a number of the research publications and the science popularization articles on the topics of positive psychology, health psychology and personal growth.


Professor Augustine Nwoye, Augustine Nwoye is Professor of Psychology and Fulbright Scholar in the Discipline of Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the premier University of African scholarship. Through his research and writings Dr. Nwoye has made original and unique contributions to the development, definition and study of African Psychology as a postcolonial discipline very much in demand in the curriculum of many departments of Psychology in the South and other regions of Africa. His Inaugural Lecture with the inquisitive title: What is African Psychology the psychology of?, was well-acclaimed and has now been made available to a wider readership through its  acceptance and publication in the prestigious journal, Theory & Psychology. His other important contributions to the field have appeared in: Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Journal of Family Therapy, The American Journal of Family Therapy, Psychotherapy and Politics International, Encyclopaedia of Critical Psychology, South African Journal of Psychology, British Journal of Special Education, Contemporary Family Therapy, Dialectical Anthropology, Journal of Systemic Consultation and Management, Annual Review of Critical Psychology, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, and the Comprehensive Handbook of Psychotherapy, edited by Massey & Massey, etc. Dr. Nwoye has held distinguished teaching positions and made solid academic contributions in several other universities in continental Africa, including: The University of Jos, Nigeria; Kenyatta University, Kenya, The University of Dodoma, Tanzania, and Covenant University, Nigeria. During his time at Kenyatta University he helped to establish its Department of Psychology, and served as the pioneer chair of that department. Also, while at Kenyatta, he was selected along with some few other academics to represent Kenyatta University in the task of assisting the University of Rwanda when the latter was struggling to re-establish itself at the cessation of hostilities and the return of civil peace in that country. Dr. Nwoye has won several visiting fellowships and given public lectures in many universities in continental Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including the Universities of Cambridge and Suffolk (England), Toronto and Calgary (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia), Covenant University, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Professor Nwoye is a native of Nigeria and took all his graduate degrees from the University of Nigeria. His Fulbright Scholarship led to his recent visit to the College of the Holy Cross and the Howard University in the United States. [Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]