Fuller is pleased to announce that Theresa Kiene has been appointed executive director of the Thrive Center for Human Development beginning March 1. The Thrive Center promotes human thriving by researching the development of child and adolescent spirituality, character, identity, and competence in context, and by guiding and informing individuals, organizations, and communities who assist young people to become flourishing adults.
Ms. Kiene comes to Fuller from Saint Paul the Apostle Parish where she served for 18 years as the director of teen confirmation, youth ministry, and family outreach. She was previously a television executive in development for CBS, FBC, 20th Television, and Lifetime Television, as well as an entrepreneur as co-founder and owner of Homemade for Life International, Inc. Her abilities in strategic planning, translating research to intervention, and using multiple channels for effective outreach strongly complement the research skills of the Thrive faculty.
Benjamin Houltberg, associate professor of human development and a faculty contributor to the Thrive Center, shared his enthusiasm for Kiene’s appointment to this role, saying, “I cannot imagine a better fit for the Thrive Center than Theresa Kiene. Theresa's proven record of success in her career, active engagement with youth, and passion for making a real difference in this world make her a game changer for the Thrive Center. Theresa provokes a sense of excitement about the future and her skills and experience create confidence that our rigorous research will be leveraged in a way that shapes the culture of how youth are served across the country.”
“We at the Thrive Center eagerly anticipate Theresa’s visionary and strategic leadership,” said Pamela Ebstyne King, Peter L. Benson Associate Professor of Applied Development Science. “She brings a proven record in raising capital, financial sustainability, effective communications and marketing, team building and management, and developing important social networks. We believe that she has the skills, character, energy, and vision to enable the Thrive Center to be not only the scholarly leaders in the study of youth spirituality and thriving, but also the leading resource for practitioners and parents.”
Kiene’s volunteer work within the Los Angeles area has been extensive, including service as a consultant to the Rev. Eric Andrews, C.S.P., president of Paulist Fathers and chairman of Paulist Productions; a board member on the Human Trafficking Legal Network; a board member for St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School; and a water committee chair for the California Small Business Association. Additionally, Kiene’s charitable affiliations include being a volunteer chaplain for the Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles County and Camarillo, teaching housing, school, and parenting classes at St. Anne’s, supervising students volunteering at St. Joseph’s Bread & Rose Café, and working with the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition.
Kiene is excited about the work of Thrive Center and looks forward to leading the effort to disseminate this work to youth, youth workers, and parents throughout the greater Los Angeles area and the nation.
About the Thrive Center
The Thrive Center for Human Development was established in 2011 with a dual mission to study human thriving and to translate that research into tangible resources. The center is motivated not just by the pursuit of knowledge about thriving, but also the desire to impact youth and communities. Collectively, it seeks to promote positive child and youth development through basic and applied research and the creation of interventions and resources for parents, educators, ministers, youth workers, and other adults who invest in children and adolescents.
The Thrive Center promotes human thriving by researching the development of child and adolescent spirituality, character, identity, and competence in context, and by guiding and informing individuals, organizations, and communities who assist young people to become flourishing adults.
The Thrive Center for Human Development is a result of a generous gift from Bob and Dottie King and a foundational scholarship of The Travis Research Institute’s former Center for Research on Child and Adolescent Development. Bob King is the Founder and former President of R. Eliot King & Associates, Inc., and an active venture investor in U.S. and international companies. Dottie King partnered with her husband to launch R. Eliot King & Associates, volunteers with many different youth organizations, and raised their three children.