September Team Meeting

Our first team meeting of the fall semester! First, introductions. Over the summer, Ali O’Hare was hired as our new Projects and Development Manager. Julia Dunlavey was hired as our new Administration and Communications Coordinator. Everyone gave some background about themselves and their research. 

Connor returns for the semester armed with a new grant to create a synthesis of literature and empirical findings in the field of ritual behavior…stay tuned for a brand new project page!

Catherine recapped the progress she made with ASPECT Hub—studying how artificial intelligence like Amazon’s Alexa can be used as applied behavioral analysis to reinforce language production. 

John talked about his efforts with Maggie this summer to revamp the website—doesn’t it look nice? He emphasized that in order to continue CMAC’s research, a clear and robust web and social media presence is essential. A good rule of thumb when describing research: could your parents understand it? It’s more difficult than it looks! 

Kendra, a 3rd year PhD student at BU’s Graduate Division of Religious Studies, introduced her preliminary research into terror management theory, which could morph into a formalized CMAC project. Terror management theory describes the psychological fear of inevitable death and how people cope with this using symbolic systems of cultural values. Heavy stuff. 

Laura and Marqueze are pursuing their Masters of Divinity at BU, and are working together to develop a volunteer program to help with CMAC project Tools Against Child Trafficking (TACT). If you would like more information about volunteering, please email We need all the help we can get! 

Julia asked the researchers to contribute quotes and exciting visuals to feature on social media, and shared her long-term goal to create more engaging, people-driven video spotlights of CMAC projects. Ali was eager to create tools that would help her development goals of finding new sources of funding. 

It was great for the team to be introduced (or re-introduced) to everyone’s research and goals. After the meeting ended, we went our separate ways, blending into the commuters and Red Sox fans in Kenmore Square…until next month!