Dr. Robert D. Enright, Ph.D.Co-founder, International Forgiveness Institute
Dr. Robert Enright is the unquestioned pioneer in the scientific study of forgiveness. He has been called "the forgiveness trailblazer" by Time magazine and is often introduced as "the father of forgiveness research" because of his 25-year academic commitment to researching and implementing forgiveness programs.
Dr. Enright is the author or editor of seven books, and over 100 publications centered on social development and the psychology of forgiveness. He published the first social scientific journal article on person-to-person forgiveness and the first cross-cultural studies of interpersonal forgiveness. He also pioneered forgiveness therapy and developed an early intervention to promote forgiveness--the 20-step "Process Model of Forgiving." The Enright Forgiveness Inventory, now used by researchers around the world, is an objective measure of the degree to which one person forgives another who has hurt him or her deeply and unfairly.
A professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a position he has held since 1978, Dr. Enright previously taught at the University of Minnesota and the University of New Orleans. He is co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge about forgiveness and community renewal through forgiveness. He is also a licensed psychologist. Read Dr. Enright's Personal Biography and learn about his reseearch interests on the UW-Madison Educational Psychology page.
Dr. Enright has received funding from the John Templeton Foundation to conduct research into medical applications of forgiving. He also received funding from a variety of foundations, agencies and individuals for establishing and operating the International Forgiveness Institute. He currently has elementary and/or high school forgiveness education programs operating in Northern Ireland, Greece, Liberia, Singapore, Ghana, Lebanon, the Philippines, Slovakia, Italy, Colombia, Canada, and in Wisconsin as well as other states around the U.S.
For his work in the peace movement, Dr. Enright was named a 2006 Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. In 2007, he received UW-Madison's highest award--the Hilldale Award for "excellence in teaching, research, and service." He also received the 2008-2009 Dick Ringler Distinguished Peace Educator Award from the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.
See Dr. Enright's full Curriculum Vita.
Dr. Suzanne Freedman, Ph.D.Contributing Writer and Researcher Dr. Suzanne Freedman is a Professor in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware and both her Masters Degree and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied under and conducted research with Dr. Enright. Her dissertation was a landmark study that was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology on Forgiveness with Incest Survivors.
Dr. Freedman's areas of expertise include the psychology of interpersonal forgiveness, forgiveness education and intervention, moral development, incest and sexual abuse, eating disorders, early adolescent development, and at-risk adolescents. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences on the psychology of interpersonal forgiveness. At the Univesity of Northern Iowa she has taught a variety of psychology courses including the Psychology of Interpersonal Forgiveness.
Read Dr. Freedman's full Curriculum Vita.
Dr. Gayle L. Reed, RN, Ph.D.Researcher, Program Developer/Lecturer, Speaker Dr. Reed has been working on forgiveness research at the University of Wisconsin with Dr. Robert D. Enright for 21 years, received her PhD in 2004, and has been part of the International Forgiveness Institute team since its inception in 1994.
Dr. Reed's research includes an experimental study with women recovering from emotional abuse by a spouse or romantic partner. The results of this study demonstrated that forgiveness therapy provided many psychological and developmental benefits for these women. The full report of this research, which was co-authored with Dr. Enright, can be found in October 2006 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. In addition, Gayle and one of her research participants in this study were featured on the nationally-televised Jane Pauley Show.
Gayle has also completed another study that shows a strong correlational relationship between forgiveness levels and psychological health for people recovering from a traumatic divorce due to infidelity. This research study was also the first use of a survey developed by Dr. Reed and Dr. Enright that operationalized the concept of finding meaning in suffering. Finding meaning in suffering was found to be highly correlated with both forgiveness levels and psychological health thus demonstrating that finding meaning in suffering is an important step in the forgiveness process. This research has been featured in the World of Forgiveness and in a conference paper given for the 2006 CAPS annual meeting. Additionally:
- Gayle has taught and is now teaching a number of developmental courses for the Educational Psychology Department of UW-Madison. All of these courses include a strong emphasis on the developmental process and benefits of forgiveness.
- She has given over 70 forgiveness workshops, retreats, and seminars--more than 20 of them in the past three years. The forums for these forgiveness presentations include health care organizations, social service groups, university forums, peace conferences, faith organizations, schools, advocacy groups for sexually exploited women, volunteer mental health groups, hospice care organizations, and county juvenile court commissions.
- Gayle has also been offering coaching through the forgiveness process for individuals and couples for the last ten years. She says the courage and growth of these clients has been truly remarkable.
Dr. Reed is volunteering with the IFI in working on the STREETS FORUM for sexually exploited women, on bringing forgiveness into prisons starting with the Columbia Correctional Institute, a maximum-security correctional facility just north of Madison, WI, and on developing a Forgiveness Certification Program for professional counselors with the UW-Madison Continuing Education Department.
Read Dr. Reed's full Curriculum Vita
Read Dr. Reed's full Curriculum Vita
Jacqueline SongPrincipal Researcher, Program Director
Jacqueline Song received her Master of Science degree in Psychology at Centro Escolar University in the Philippines and has PhD units in Clinical Psychology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She is a member of the International Forgiveness Institute where she coordinates conferences and workshops on forgiveness education in various world venues.
Jacqueline is a member of the forgiveness research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is helping to develop a new group forgiveness inventory, a short-form of the Enright Forgiveness Inventory, and Forgiveness Therapy programs in maximum security prisons. She is the author of four publications and one chapter in progress, all of which focus on the psychology of forgiveness. She developed and delivered two presentations at a professional meeting. Her current research concerns forgiveness interventions with people without homes and those who experience road rage.
Dr. Peli Galiti, Ph.D., M.Ed.Director, Greek Forgiveness Education Program
Peli Galiti, Ph.D., M.Ed., was born in Athens, Greece. She has a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of Missouri, St. Louis and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Athens. She has done postgraduate studies in family therapy in the US and in Athens; she has worked as a volunteer counselor in psychiatric settings, at St Anthony’s Medical Center in St Louis and at Children’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Galiti was a lecturer at the postgraduate program of the School of Education at the University of Athens. Since 1999 she has worked as a high school teacher and school counselor in Athens. She was appointed to the Counseling Office of Youth by the Ministry of Education covering 170 schools in the Athens metropolitan area.
In 2012 she moved with her husband and their four children to Madison, Wisconsin, USA. She is currently Director of the Greek Forgiveness Education Program sponsored by the International Forgiveness Institute and is conducting workshops training teachers in Greece in collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Dr. Galiti is also a research scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Educational Psychology, working together with Professor Robert Enright, co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute.
Dr. Galiti is the author of two books and has been awarded with Greek program funding from the prestigious Stavros Niarchos Foundation, established by Stavros Spyros Niarchos, an Athens native who was one of the most innovative and successful businessmen of the twentieth century. Niarchos built and owned the largest shipyard in the Mediterranean (near Athens) and assembled the largest shipping fleet in the world before his death in 1996.
Patricia M. Plumb, M.F., Th.M.Program Manager, IFI - Kansas/Missouri
As an organizational development consultant for Fortune 500 companies, Patricia Plumb has trained over 7,600 leaders on topics such as leading effective teams, coaching, conflict resolution, change management, interpersonal communications, and teambuilding. Ms Plumb also co-pioneered a university graduate level program to equip school counselors with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with students at-risk.
Her leadership extends to serving on executive boards in forgiveness and reconciliation conferences, both national and international. Ms Plumb has been interviewed on television and radio regarding the dynamics of interpersonal communications.
Ms Plumb earned a Bachelors & Masters in Education from the University of Missouri and a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA
Amber Flesch, M.E.-P.D.Program Manager
Amber Flesch earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from UW-Whitewater in 2001 and a Master of Education, Professional Development from UW-La Crosse in 2005. During her Master's program, her Journal Article, Effects of Extrinsic Motivators Versus Intrinsic Motivation in an Elementary Art Class, was recognized as exemplar by UW-La Crosse.
She has served as the Curriculum Developer/Program Manager for the IFI since 2009. Her background is in teaching, mainly elementary art classes. Amber is also a member of the IFI Board of Directors.
Becki Fulmer, M.S.Director of the Northern Ireland Forgiveness Education Program
Becki Fulmer heads up the Forgiveness Education work in Northern Ireland in cooperation with the Corrymeela Community. Originally from Indiana, Becki has lived in Belfast for 8 years and has been working with Forgiveness Education since 2006.
Before moving to Northern Ireland, she worked as a Child, Adolescent and Family Therapist in both Indiana and Arizona. Becki has a BA in Sociology and Religion from Ashland University in Ashland, OH and a MA in Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary.
In her spare time she enjoys making jewelry, traveling to new places on the Island, catching up with friends over a good cup of coffee and relaxing on the beach in Ballycastle on the North Antrim Coast.
Margaret Rhody, M.E.Director of the IFI Milwaukee Forgiveness Education Program
Margaret Rhody is Director of the IFI Milwaukee Forgiveness Education Program. She has a Master of Educational Psychology - School Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Education - Youth Leadership, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
During her studies, Margaret worked with Dr. Tom Baskin to evaluate the Great Families forgiveness/marriage strengthening intervention (2005-2010). As research assistant, she scheduled and facilitated all pre, post, and follow-up testing of 101 families in longitudinal study with a 75% response rate at 5-year follow-up.
Margaret's professional positions include:
- Student Leadership Development Coordinator for the Newman Center Catholic Campus Ministry at UW-Milwaukee.
- Restorative Care Coordinator for Marian Franciscan Long Term Care Facility.
- Home Care Assistant for the elderly.
- School Counseling Intern who initiated and coordinated Restorative Justice and Forgiveness Education programs at Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning.
- Instructor of grade school Forgiveness Education Programs and Moderator of a Forgiveness Group for 10th grade girls.
Dennis Blang, E.D.I.Director
Dennis Blang is Director of the International Forgiveness Institute. He handles all the organization's business and financial matters, fundraising, grant administration, and online Continuing Education courses. Dennis is President of Dennis Blang Associates, a marketing, communications, and public relations firm he established in 2003.
Some of his previous professional positions include:
- Lifelong Learning Manager at the Energy Center of Wisconsin, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving energy sustainability where he directed the 9-person team that provided energy-efficiency, building science and market transformation training programs for architects, engineers, builders and plant managers.
- Executive Vice President-Operations for NAI MLG Commercial, Wisconsin's largest full-service commercial real estate firm, where he received the company's 2000 Leadership Award.
- COO, Vice President-Development at Medical Media Associates, a medical communications firm specializing in nephrology/kidney dialysis where he directed a committee of healthcare professionals that formulated healthcare policy issues, analyzed legislative initiatives, and advocated on behalf of kidney patients at the state and national level.
- President of Forward Wisconsin, Inc., a public-private marketing organization that recruits new business to the state where he directed a national marketing program with 7 consecutive years of improved results and a 300% increase in the number of new companies recruited to the state.
Become a "Peace Builder" by signing The Forgiveness Pledge.