Scholar Building on his Pursuit of Happiness

Contentment Scholar Heads to Harvard-MIT Center for Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Sept. 12, 2008

Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn spent his time at UT Dallas researching happiness. During the process, he learned that being a researcher makes him very happy.

Okulicz-Kozaryn’s dissertation topic, while earning his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Economy, was “Subjective Well-Being / Life Satisfaction / Happiness: Determinants of Values at the Individual and Societal Levels.”  Now he’ll continue to do research in social sciences through a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard MIT Data Center (HMDC).

Okulicz-Kozaryn was awarded the only post-doctoral fellowship offered by HMDC.  In his new role he will help researchers and students with statistical analysis in the social sciences.  He will work closely with Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences, which was created to foster large-scale, interdisciplinary projects that seek to understand or improve the well-being of human populations.

Since Okulicz-Kozaryn has spent the last four years in the highly interdisciplinary School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, he believes he has an excellent foundation for his next step.  “We have outstanding faculty and great courses.  We are well prepared to go anywhere,” he said.

Okulicz-Kozaryn is especially appreciative of the mentorship his doctoral dissertation adviser Dean Brian Berry has shown him.  “Dean Berry has helped me every step, constantly motivating me.  He was always supportive and had so many ideas.”

As a former endowed chair at Harvard University from 1976-1981, Berry is well suited to continue to mentor Okulicz-Kozaryn.  He is proud of his mentee and appreciative of the work Okulicz-Kozaryn had done in support of EPPS.  Okulicz-Kozaryn not only served as a teaching assistant for four years, designed and built the school’s new Web site and worked with Berry to publish two papers.

“Adam is the kind of doctoral student with whom it is a joy to work, full of ideas and energy and ready to take off and run with a new concept in ways that ensure that the teacher becomes the student, continuing to learn through a process of mutual stimulation and  collaboration.”

Okulicz-Kozaryn and Berry published one paper together earlier this year in Ecological Economics and have a second forthcoming in Cities, an international journal of urban policy and planning.

Okulicz-Kozaryn earned his undergraduate degree in banking and finance from the Poznan School of Banking and his Master of Science in corporate strategy and economic policy from the Poznan School of Economics in Poland.

Following his fellowship at Harvard, Okulicz-Kozaryn would like to remain in academia and continue to pursue his research through a tenure-track position.

“Research is exciting and stimulating,” he said.  “I like being able to discover new things and then write about them to teach others something new; something that will be remembered.”


Media Contacts:  Audrey Glickert, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4320, audrey.glickert@utdallas.edu
and the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Adam Okulicz

Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn will work closely with Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences.

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April 16, 2014