Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Coming up September 20th, 2023 - LIVE on KUCI - Susan Charles, Professor of Psychological Science and Professor of Nursing Science, and Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the School of Social Ecology - UC Irvine

Well-being improves across young adulthood and into midlife, according to a new study by Susan Charles, professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine.

“Contrary to negative stereotypes of aging, late life is a time of relatively stable and high levels of well-being,” says Charles. “With older age, people focus more on the present and less on planning for the future, and this mindset is one possible explanation for high levels of well-being later in life. Older adults generally report greater satisfaction with their close friends and family members, which may also explain why people who are older have relatively stable levels of well-being over time.”

Charles and her research team followed 1,000 people, ages 22 to 95, over two decades for the study, which was published earlier this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. They asked participants about the positive and negative emotions they were feeling that day, in the past week and in the past month.

You can read more details here. Professor Charles is enthused to discuss her team’s findings.

Susan Charles, Ph.D

University of California, Irvine

research: Emotion Research Lab (


Susan Charles is Professor of Psychological Science and Professor of Nursing Science, and Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California-Irvine. Her research examines social and emotional processes across the adult life span. She is interested in how affective experience varies across the life course, and how they are related to cognitive physical and mental health. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Psychological Science.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Coming up Wednesday 9/13/23 at 9:30am - Ana Homayoun and her latest book, ERASING THE FINISH LINE: The New Blueprint for Success Beyond Grades and College Admissions

ERASING THE FINISH LINE: The New Blueprint for Success Beyond Grades and College Admissions, author, academic advisor, and educator, Ana Homayoun addresses issues that are critical and timely for parents, teens, educators, and anyone who cares about our kids today.
With mental health issues on the rise, college pressure, new technology like ChatGPT, social media, and the fear of what's to come in the future, Ana re-envisions what skills young people really need to thrive in school, and more importantly, in life.

“Ana Homayoun fearlessly questions the prevailing mindset that a good life is simply a linear path from good grades to a good school and ultimately a good job…Erasing the Finish Line will resonate deeply with caring adults who believe that young people deserve the opportunity to self-define success and chart their own authentic path.”*

Discussion Points with Ana Homayoun:

College admissions has become a faulty finish line for adolescent development; it is not only misleading but is harming the wellbeing of children and parents.

Our world is fast-changing and rife with uncertainty; students are dealing with the effects of COVID (emotionally, socially, academically) and facing a new technological world (i.e. ChatGPT), requiring increased creativity, innovation, connection, and leadership.

Parents can nurture their children’s growth and model the skills that will help them succeed. By focusing on daily habits - like organizing, prioritizing and planning, starting and completing tasks, and being adaptable when something doesn't go as planned - you can model and work with your tween/teen to further develop these skills.

People are so obsessed with high test scores and college admissions that we are missing developing critical and crucial skills that are key for lifelong success. Our laser focus on these achievements leaves students feeling anxious, demoralized and unprepared.

By focusing on skills - like executive functioning skills

Connection is another critical skill that is one of the most important for our future success. But without realizing it, we often approach connections transactionally, rather than with authenticity. We then miss out on meaningful, mutually supportive relationships that have the potential to enrich our lives.

In ERASING THE FINISH LINE: The New Blueprint for Success Beyond Grades and College Admissions (Hachette Go; 8/29/23; $29; ISBN: 9780306830693), renowned teen and early career development expert, author and educator Ana Homayoun offers a groundbreaking new way of thinking about education for parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers deeply invested in the emotional development and well-being of children today.

For decades, we have been collectively brainwashed into believing that getting into a “good” college is an all-encompassing key to a successful life. Year after year, this frenzy causes students and their families to be overtaken by the rollercoaster ride of the college admissions process which leaves students feeling anxious, demoralized and unprepared.

What if we’ve overlooked the critical skills young adults need to navigate an ever-changing world? What fundamental skills help young people adapt, persevere, and thrive?

Focusing on foundational executive functioning skills that empower kids to develop their own blueprints for success, ERASING THE FINISH LINE flips the way we think about education altogether. In her accessible and solutions-oriented guide, Homayoun shares stories of her former and current students to shift our perspective beyond pre-prescribed paths and expand our vision to help each young person thrive in school and life.

Readers will discover how to:

Understand the importance of prioritizing foundational skills

Develop a system based on executive functioning skills

Build valuable social capital while fostering genuine connections

Identify their energy profile and how to recharge

Expand perspective through shared experiences and exposure

Remain adaptable in the face of disappointments and setbacks

ERASING THE FINISH LINE: The New Blueprint for Success Beyond Grades and College Admissions
Hachette Go | August 29, 2023

About the author:

Ana Homayoun is an academic advisor and early career development expert working at the intersection of executive functioning skills, technology and personal energy management. She is the founder of San Francisco Bay area based Green Ivy Educational Consulting and the author of three previous books: That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week, The Myth of the Perfect Girl and Social Media Wellness. She lives in San Francisco. To learn more about her work, please visit

Here's a speaking reel to see Ana in action:

Advance Praise:

“In this timely and important book, Ana Homayoun gives students and families the blueprint they need to launch into a fulfilling life and engaging career.

— Jeffrey Selingo, New York Times bestselling author of Who Gets In and Why and There Is Life After College

“Erasing the Finish Line is the book I will recommend over and over in the coming years, a gift to parents, educators, and adolescents confused by the conflicting demands of achievement and fulfillment.”

— Jessica Lahey, New York Times bestselling author of the The Gift of Failure and The Addiction Inoculation

"Ana Homayoun has given parents a blueprint for guiding all kids — not just the most advantaged -- in the “how,” not the “what”, of authentic, lifelong success… …This book will come as a relief for every parent who wants to help strengthen the bones of the building, not just its facade."

— Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out and Enough As She Is

“Eye-opening and compelling, this book has the answers that parents and educators need right now. ”

— Jordan Shapiro, author of Father Figure and The New Childhood

“…This book is practical, extraordinarily empathetic, and a breath of fresh air, and it's just what the doctor ordered for anxious parents and anxious teens alike.”

— Anya Kamenetz, author of The Stolen Year and The Art of Screen Time

“In her thought-provoking book, Ana Homayoun fearlessly questions the prevailing mindset that a good life is simply a linear path from good grades to a good school and ultimately a good job…Erasing the Finish Line will resonate deeply with caring adults who believe that young people deserve the opportunity to self-define success and chart their own authentic path.”

— Kyle Schwartz, author of I Wish My Teacher Knew and I Wish for Change*

“This book offers smart, practical advice that will help every parent reset household expectations for what success really means.”

— Gregg Behr, co-author, When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Mister Rogers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids

Coming up on KUCI 88.9fm - Wednesday 9:00am PT - Melanie Brooks talks about her new book, A Hard Silence: One Daughter Remaps Family, Grief, and Faith When HIV/AIDS Changes It All

In the mid 1980s, Canada's worst public health disaster was unfolding. Catastrophic mismanagement of the country's blood supply allowed contaminated blood to be knowingly distributed nationwide, infecting close to two thousand Canadians with HIV. Among them was Melanie Brooks's surgeon father who, after receiving a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery in 1985, learned he was HIV positive.

At a time when HIV/AIDS was widely misunderstood and public perception was shaped by fear, prejudice, and homophobia, victims of the disease faced ostracism and persecution. Afraid of this stigma and wanting to protect his family, Melanie's father decided his illness would be a secret. A secret they'd all have to keep. They did not know that her father would live past that first year, but he did. And for ten years before his death in 1995, from the time she was thirteen until she was twenty-three, Melanie's family lived in the shadow of AIDS. She carried the weight of the uncertain trajectory of her father’s health and the heartbreaking anticipation of impending loss silently and alone. It became a way of life.

A Hard Silence is an intimate glimpse into Melanie's memories of coping with the tragedy of her father's illness and enduring the loneliness and isolation of not being able to speak. With candor and vulnerability, Melanie opens her grief wounds and brings her reader inside her journey, twenty years after her father died, to finally understand the consequences of her family's silence, to interrogate the roots of stigma and discrimination responsible for the ongoing secret-keeping, and to show how she's learned to be authentic now.

“Melanie Brooks is that rare writer who can delve as deeply into the world of ideas as she can the pitted terrain of the human heart. She brings these formidable gifts to her moving and important memoir, A Hard Silence, the tale of her doctor father who in 1985 was infected with the AIDS virus during a blood transfusion. But this is not simply the story of a daughter’s premature loss of her beloved father, for this was AIDS during the 1980’s, a time when the disease was shrouded in a dark mystery that brought out fear and bigotry, homophobia and the ultimate persecution of this ravaging disease’s victims, including Brooks’s surgeon father who up until his death ten years after his diagnosis kept his condition a secret, one his family had to keep as well. I cannot think of a writer more naturally suited to tell this timely and essential story, not just of her own personal grief, but of society’s fearful response to calamity and all that that entails.”—AndrĂ© Dubus III, author of Gone So Long and Townie

"At the heart of this brilliantly written memoir is the family secret that Melanie Brooks kept for ten years, from the time she was thirteen until the death of her father in 1995 from AIDS. She describes the isolation affecting her family as they kept this secret, the impossibility of sharing fear and grief during a time very like our own, a time of deep division and rampant prejudice. Written after twenty years of struggle and reflection, Melanie Brooks's ability to share with great clarity A Hard Silence, fills me with a sense of urgency, gratitude, and awe."—Abigail Thomas, author of Still Life: The Next Interesting Thing and A Three Dog Life

"Melanie Brooks's tender narrative of living with the secret of her father’s AIDS diagnosis during the epidemic’s era of shame and stigma echoes loudly today. This beautifully rendered memoir asks important questions about the complexities of loss and grief, the roots of stigma and shame, and the courage necessary to endure that resonate in this new and unfortunate age of social exclusion.”—Richard Blanco, author of The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

"A vivid and thoughtful exploration of a daughter’s grief for her father, and a family’s unwanted place in history, A HARD SILENCE movingly depicts the long toll of stigma and the healing power of words."—Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder & A Memoir

“A profound and riveting journey through shame and grief, A Hard Silence is, quite simply, unforgettable.”—Monica Wood, author of The One-in-a-Million Boy, When We Were the Kennedys, Ernie’s Ark, and Any Bitter Thing.
""The strength required of Brooks to endure the cruel fate of her father’s illness could have been surpassed only by what she summoned to write this superb, heartfelt memoir. With mesmerizingly beautiful prose, A Hard Silence is a case study in grief and survival, of the power of family bonds, of the ways in which we are both sustained and failed by our faiths and each other. I could not put it down."—Jerald Walker, author of Street Shadows and The World in Flames

Author Bio:

Melanie Brooks is the author of Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017). She teaches professional writing at Northeastern University and narrative medicine in the MFA program at Bay Path University in Massachusetts and creative writing at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast writing program. She is currently completing a Certificate of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She has had numerous interviews and essays on topics ranging from loss and grief to parenting and aging published in Psychology Today, the HuffPost, Yankee Magazine, the Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, and other notable publications. Her forthcoming memoir, A Hard Silence (September 2023), explores the lasting impact of living with the 10-year secret of her father’s HIV before his death in 1995. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children (when they are home from college), and two labs.

LIVE on KUCI - 7/17/24 9:00am - Janeane chats with Producer Jay Silverman about his latest film CAMERA, starring Beau Bridges

LISTEN ‘CAMERA’ starring Beau Bridges, centers around a young mute boy who uses an old film camera to express his point of view, with the h...