Art of Happiness course ‘graduates’ to Department of Psychological Science

Kimberly Henderson
Kimberly Henderson. Photo provided by the College of Innovation and Design.

After teaching the Art of Happiness course in the College of Innovation and Design in fall 2019, Kimberly Henderson, a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Science, rallied support from colleagues to give the class a permanent home in their department.

Henderson’s enthusiasm for the subjects covered in the course (concepts such as mindfulness, gratitude and awe), stems from her experience in positive psychology, coupled with the benefits she’s witnessed in the lives of students who put these principles into practice.

The course has sustained healthy enrollments over several semesters and garnered positive feedback from learners who have taken it over the years, under the instruction of Joel Vallett.

Vallett, who provided both the intellectual and practical foundation for the course, accepted a position at Southern Utah University last summer.

Vallett’s departure, while a loss for Boise State, opened the door for Henderson to join forces with the College of Innovation and Design to develop the next evolution of the course. In addition to her work developing and teaching the Art of Happiness, Henderson has participated in Designing Your Life trainings alongside College of Innovation and Design faculty at Stanford’s d.school, has acted as a consultant for the University Foundations 100 course: Designing Your Life, and also will teach two of its discussion groups during the spring 2020 semester.

“We are grateful to Kimberly for the passion, commitment and hard work she has put into developing this course as it transitions into its next growth phase. Good experiments yield positive results and expand into new territories of knowledge, influence and opportunity, and we are excited for the ways that Kimberly and her colleagues will help this course to flourish in even more impactful ways. We are grateful to Eric Landrum, as chair, and the department of Psychological Science for their partnership and hope that this will be a bridge that leads to deeper partnership opportunities in the future,” said Alison Skilbred, director of programs in the College of Innovation and Design.

Although the course now will be offered by the Department of Psychological Science, it will continue to be available to students of all majors and will be co-marketed by the College of Innovation and Design through the transition.