Undercurrent, Strategist (July 2015 - August 2015)

This was my dream job and I finally landed it in July 2015. Unfortunately, Undercurrent was acquired by Quirky in April. Quirky has had major financial issues and dragged Undercurrent down with them. Despite being highly regarded and profitable, Undercurrent shut down on July 31st, 2015.

The Workologist, Founder (September 2011 - Current)

In mid-2014 I moved my coaching and consulting company from SamSpurlin.com to TheWorkologist.com. The work I do is largely the same -- one-on-one executive and personal development coaching, organizational consulting/workshops, and freelance writing.

I tap into my experience as a positive psychology PhD student to ground all of my work in the latest research on happiness, well-being, meaning, optimism, job satisfaction, and the other tenets of positive organizational psychology.

LeAD Labs, Research Lab Lead & Leadership Development Coach

At Claremont Graduate University I work for leadership expert Dr. Becky Reichard's lab, LeAD. At LeAD we use theory and research to drive leadership assessment, evaluation, and development. I work as the Research Lab Lead -- leading a team of graduate students in doing meaningful applied research. I also serve as a leadership development coach in which I have 1-on-1 coaching sessions with a wide array of clients.

Claremont Graduate University, Teaching Assistant

Over the past three years I've worked for Dr. Jeanne Nakamura, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Dr. Becky Reichard as a teaching assistant for graduate level classes in Positive Psychology and Positive Organizational Psychology. I'm currently working as a teaching assistant for two of Dr. Reichard's Organizational Behavior courses at the graduate school level.


"Will Work Ever Be Fun Again?" - Co-authored chapter with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Dr. Csikszentmihalyi was asked to write the final chapter in a handbook about flow at work. He was tasked with writing about his take on the future of flow at work. Through taking two of his classes and serving as his teaching assistant, Dr. Csikszentmihalyi got to know me and my interests as they relate to the future of work. As such, he asked me to co-author this chapter with him. It is currently pending publication.

A Report on Potentially Relevant Psychological Research for GTD - Report for David Allen

I led a project in partnership with The David Allen Company in which we conducted a systematic review of potential psychological connections to the Getting Things Done methodology. Upon completion of the project David asked me to move forward with this idea and create a report for him that could be used as the backbone of new content in the revised edition of Getting Things Done. Chapter 14 of the new edition was created from this report.

Predicting Job Satisfaction for Independent Workers: The Interaction of Self-Leadership and Job Characteristics - Thesis ProposalAcademic Poster, and Presentation at International Leadership Association Conference

PhD students at Claremont Graduate University are required to complete a first-year thesis prior to embarking on their dissertation. This is my thesis proposal (data collection is underway). The academic poster and presentation are versions of this thesis proposal that I presented at the International Leadership Association conference in San Diego, CA.

The Hero Construction Company - Final Evaluation Report

I designed, researched, and conducted a full formative evaluation of an anti-bullying intervention developed by The Hero Construction Company. It consisted of a year-long data collection effort using mixed methods.

Right to Play Junior Leader Development Project - Report

I contributed to a project to develop a proposed junior leader development project and evaluation for the non-profit Right to Play. They wanted to roll out a program that involved teaching children involved with their programs basic leadership skills. They also wanted to evaluate the efficacy of the program while also using the opportunity to kickoff a longitudinal study of leadership development. I helped conduct the initial research on the curriculum we would develop as well as helped conceptualize the program/research design and implementation. This project eventually stalled due to lack of fundraising on behalf of Right to Play.

The Psychology of Independent Work - Academic Poster presented at International Positive Psychology Association World Congress

This was an academic poster generated from the research project conducted by myself and Emily Warren while we were living and working in Prague. We analyzed 14 interviews we conducted with members of the coworking space to better understand the needs, challenges, and strategies employed by independent workers.

Self-Experimentation and the Quantified Self: New Avenues for Psychology-Based Coaching - Academic Poster presented at Society of Consulting Psychology Midwinter Conference

This was an academic poster I co-presented with my colleague, Jeff Fajans. My portion was to develop and explain the application of Quantified Self techniques and self-experimentation to one-on-one coaching engagements.

The File Drawer, Co-Host

A weekly podcast about organizational psychology, being a graduate student, doing meaningful work, and everything else that strikes us as interesting.

TEDxClaremontColleges, Former Co-Organizer

From 2011-2014 I served as a co-organizer/co-curator for TEDxClaremontColleges, an annual conference in the style of TED. During my tenure we hosted two all-day events with over 26 speakers and 800 attendees. We also organized one TEDxSalon event with two live speakers and nearly 80 attendees. I helped fundraise and manage a budget of over $30,000 for each conference while leading a team of over 25 volunteers. Notable speakers during our events included David Allen, author of Getting Things Done (400,000+ views), Roko Belic, director of Happy, and Comicbookgirl19, a YouTube entertainer with over 300,000 subscribers.

Technical Experience

SPSS, (learning R now), Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, DedooseAtlas.ti, Evernote, ThingsTodoist, Slack, Basecamp, iOS, Medium, Wordpress, Squarespace, Markdown.

Graduate Level Academic Coursework

Methodology & Statistics

  • Research Methods
  • The Study of Experience
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Directed Research
  • Intermediate Stats
  • ANOVA (Analysis of Variance)
  • Applied Multiple Regression
  • Categorical Data Analysis


  • Foundations of Evaluation
  • Comparative Evaluation Theory
  • Evaluation Procedures

Psychology Content

  • Foundations of Positive Psychology
  • Applied Developmental Psychology
  • Positive Organizational Psychology
  • Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology
  • Adolescent Development
  • Theories & Concepts in Lifespan Development
  • Flow
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Organizational Development
  • Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory
  • Communicating in a Complex World