Alan Pope, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia, USA. His initial attempt at a doctorate in Computer Science (specializing in Artificial Intelligence) proved dissatisfying, leading him in 1991 to begin studying and practicing Vajrayana Buddhism under authentic Nyingma masters (a passion that continues to this day). Leaving the academic study of artificial intelligence behind, Alan pursued the study of natural intelligence, receiving his doctorate in clinical existential-phenomenological psychology at Duquesne University in 2000. On the basis of these influences, Alan’s research generally seeks to elucidate the processes of psychospiritual transformation resulting from suffering (particularly loss) and creative and spiritual practice. In his teaching, the topic of genuine happiness frequently arises in courses such as Eastern and Transpersonal Psychologies, Buddhist Psychology, Consciousness and Experience, Psychology of Meditation, Psychology of Loss, and Psychology of Consumerism. He intends to develop and teach a course entitled Radical Happiness in the fall of 2017, using as its basis the book of the same name currently being developed by Phakchok Rinpoche and Erric Solomon.
Alan is the author of From Child to Elder: Personal Transformation in Becoming an Orphan at Midlife (2006, Peter Lang) and an array of book chapters and journal articles. His current research attempts to theoretically integrate the philosophical view provided by Indo-Tibetan Buddhism in its capacity as a contemplative science with the various and disparate approaches of Western psychology. He also intends to develop a theoretical account of the process of personal transformation. Alan was the 2009 recipient of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 32’s Carmi Harari Early/Mid-Career Award for Outstanding Contribution to Inquiry in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology. He is a Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow and a Founding Fellow of Life University’s Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics. He lives (happily) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, with his wife Shu-chin Wu.