On August 1st, 2023, Dr. Dengting Boyanton has been appointed as the founding dean of the Flourish Positive Psychology Institute at California University on Aug. 1, 2023.
Dr. Boyanton comes to California University from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has just earned her Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), and studied with Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. She also earned her PhD in Educational Psychology from University of Virginia in 2007.
Prior to joining California University, Dr. Boyanton founded and led the Flourish Positive Psychology Institute at the Sino-American Educational Research Association (S-AERA) from 2020-2023, and was the dean of the Institute of Educational Research at the Tianli Education Group from 2015-2020.
At S-AERA, Boyanton has successfully trained almost 200 positive psychology trainers, offering a total of seven certificate programs. At Tianli Education, Boyanton was responsible for curriculum development, course design, and teacher training. As the dean, she supervised over 20 schools located all over China with over 20,000 students and almost 1,000 staff members at that time.
As dean, Boyanton emphasized the concept of “watering the root”, a term she coined herself. She mainly focused on educating the students to become well-rounded and healthy well-being. She highly emphasizes nurturing good qualities and virtues, forming healthy lifestyles and habits, developing positive relationships, building positive and supportive learning communities and environments, igniting inner drive and passions, discovering strengths and talents, and many others.
“I believe the utmost purpose of education should be centered on life. Or more specifically, should return to the root of life. Education should strive to help each life flourish and become the best possible self. Higher education should strive to transform the lives of our students and to make the world a better place for everyone.” says Boyanton.
“Successful education should not only be defined by how successfully it has trained the students academically and professionally, but also by how well it has helped discover and nurture their character and strength. These most essential qualities allow students to remain hopeful, regain confidence, and resume dedication after encountering hardships and difficulties, thus preparing them to survive and thrive in college and beyond,” says Boyanton.
Boyanton wholeheartedly believes a quote by Baha’u’llah, “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit there from.”
Boyanton’ own research projects have addressed issues associated with improving the psychological health of teachers applying positive psychology. She has recently completed her Master’s Capstone Project titled “Watering the root: Developing a positive psychology well-being teacher training program applying the mutual value theory.” Her research on mutual value theory has been published by New York Peter Lang Publishing in 2014 and is currently available in over 20 countries.
In addition, Boyanton currently serves as the 171 SIG Chair of American Educational Research Association (AERA). As the SIG chair, Boyanton expands interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships by launching a mentoring program, which advances connection, collaboration, and community-building across and beyond the organization.
“We live in an increasingly challenging and rapidly changing society and now, more than ever. Anxiety, stress, and anxiety are all on the rise, the three-year pandemic has only worsened the situation. Positive psychology as a new field, has never been needed so urgently before. We need experts who are equipped with professional knowledge and evidence-based practice to help transform our next generation and prepare them for the future.” says Boyanton.
“My vision for this new positive psychology master’s program is that we will train many professional positive psychology trainers who can work and teach positive psychology to K-12 students and teachers in schools. Through this model of training, we will be able to enable the next generation of leaders with a strong root of life and build a better future for humanity.” Says Boyanton.
“The California University has a long and proud history of leadership, innovation, and contribution. Its mission of expanding human capabilities by connecting people, positive psychology has never been more important. I am excited to work with the faculty and staff of California University to continue transforming lives for the better.” Says Boyanton.
“Dengting Boyanton’s vision of educational expertise, transformation of lives, and passion for positive psychology, aligns seamlessly with California University’s goal of educating lives for a better world,” said Dr. Liz Li, president and co-chair of the Executive Board of Trustees. “Her experience with building a culture of scholarship, humanity, and transformation will build upon the California University community’s trajectory as a leader in positive psychology education and research. We are excited to welcome her to the CU family.” Says Dr. Li, President of California University.
Boyanton earned a B.S. in English literature from Central China Normal University (CCNU), an M.Ed. in foreign language education, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. She recently earned her Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to California University, she also worked as an assistant professor of educational psychology both at the University of Texas Brownsville and Long Island University New York.
California, California University is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution of higher education recognized by the US government and accredited by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. Located in Silicon Valley, a high-tech center in California, it is adjacent to world-renowned companies and Stanford University. Most of the professors are Ph.D. degree holders from distinguished universities or experienced executives from Silicon Valley.
On a personal note,
Dean Dr. Boyanton shares a few tips that help grow her root of life daily:
- “I enjoy my morning routine. I get up at 5 am every morning, and immediately do my yoga for about 20 minutes to wake up my body.”
- “I take a morning shower with cold water every day. I feel quite refreshed and energized afterward and ready for the day.”
- “I give myself 30-40 minutes every morning to write reflective journals, mainly to reflect on the day before and also to jot any creative ideas. That is my personal time, and also my high time of the day.”
- “I use a timer for my work and set a 40-minute working limit each time. During the breaks, I will do all kinds of things I love, yoga, taiji, dance, singing, ukulele and I love all these.”
- “I highly value my spirituality growth. I do book study with friends twice a week. I often do it with my husband and my daughter. We formed a study group with 4-5 families. We have a Whatsapp group every day and are committed to learning and growing together every week.”
- “I absolutely love what I am doing and am very passionate about researching and teaching positive psychology. I always wake up feeling excited about starting a new day and cannot wait to dive into my work.”