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Thanks for all the lox, Michele!

Paul Hanges

I have worked with and been friends with Gelfand (aka Michele) for approximately 20 years. It is impossible to concisely state the impact she had on the program as well as on me. I have tons of fond memories of her...Of course, her impact on the program is immeasurable.

Linda Zou

Dear Michele - I am so bummed out that we didn't get to spend more time together, and so grateful for the time we did have! Thanks for everything - you have made me feel so welcomed and supported!

Ed Lemay

Michele, I'm going to miss having you next door! I'll miss all of our hallway conversations, your energy, and your humor. I'll also miss our parties, and all of the fancy wines. You've been a great colleague and friend. Good luck at Stanford, and congratulations!

Jana Raver

I can sum up my grad school memories of Michele in a very simple equation: Michele = joie de vivre + generosity. She was always up for a party and opened her home to all of the faculty and students on so many occasions. These parties were usually huge events organized to celebrate others’ big life events and successes, where she served amazing goodies and laughter.

Jon Wilkenfeld

At first I was surprised that Michele’s appointment at Stanford will be in their business school, with a courtesy appointment in psychology. But really, who could pull this off better than Michele, who has crossed disciplinary lines since her earliest days at Maryland. Our great loss is Stanford’s great gain.

Jeanne Brett

What an honor to have had the opportunity to work with you, Michele. Your intellectual bravery and theoretical insight, your drive and your humor, your confidence and your caring. I could go on and on. There is no better colleague and mentor than Michele Gelfand. Her academic contributions are not just to the knowledge base but to the people all over the world she engages with in generating that knowledge.

Klaus Boehnke

In the attached picture, you see us on a cruise on the St. Lawrence River on the occasion of the 16th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP) in Montreal. This was the first time I met Michele. I believe it was the time when she had just accepted the offer from UMaryland...Why do I send this picture? Because it shows the birth of a highly productive academic friendship.

Amy Stillwell

From the moment I arrived at Maryland, you made me feel welcome and appreciated even when I wasn’t feeling well, with soup and chocolate pancakes from Plato’s Diner! You opened so many doors for me by simply believing that I was capable and inviting me in...

Eftychia Stamkou

You have been a role model to me, an inspiring force from the start of my PhD...I have met several prolific scholars, but you are unique in many ways: extremely successful, yet approachable and friendly; super busy with all kinds of projects, yet full of energy and always responsive; excited about many different ideas, yet a deep thinker and devoted.

Lynn Imai

When I reflect on my time with you at Maryland, the first word that comes to mind is MOM. When I first joined the program, you were a new mom to Jeanette who was still a toddler in a car seat and Hannah wasn’t born yet. This feels like yesterday to me, but can you believe this was 18 years ago?! While you were an academic mom to me and the other students, you really did come close to a real one.

Astrid Homan & Gerben van Kleef

We’ve spent so much amazing and fun time together, but where are the pictures?! We actually found more joint papers than pictures 😉... But we treasure very fond memories of your stay in Amsterdam, of working together on awesome projects, and of conference visits with you around the world.

Rebecca Ratner

I have always loved arriving at the Psychology Department to serve on a dissertation committee that Michele was chairing or serving on. Her warmth, wisdom, and upbeat attitude enriched the experience for all of us. Her personal greetings to me when I entered the room made me feel welcome and included. Congratulations on this exciting new chapter at Stanford, Michele! I will miss you.

Virginia Choi

I have so many good memories of excitedly chatting with her on an explosive number of different research ideas, and wanting to eke out an extra lifetime just to try them all. Throughout my PhD career, Michele has lent me both her passion and bravery.

Lisa Nishii

One day I was hanging out in the doorway of Harold Goldstein’s office telling him that the first time I ever felt truly passionate about something I was studying was when I read Harry Triandis’s work on individualism-collectivism. Harold stopped me mid-sentence and took me to Michele’s office next door and said, “she’s your woman.”

Emmy Denison

Whether it's coming up with anecdotes or innovating interdisciplinary projects that bridge academic fields, Michele is a master at connecting concepts, which makes her work rich and ever-evolving. I look forward to continuing to work with Michele even after she is no longer at UMD, and I know I will carry the lessons I have learned from watching her into my own work.

Elizabeth Salmon

My favorite memories of Michele are the times we celebrated milestones and accomplishments together as a lab. We would come together over drinks at the Cosmos club, meals at delightful restaurants, or for festive parties in Michele’s home. Of all our wonderful gatherings, my favorite was when we celebrated Michele and her coauthors’ publication in Science. I remember the strong sense of community...

Laura Kray

When I think about my interactions with Michele over the past twenty years, I think of global adventures, hearty laughter, copious amounts of white wine (which must always be tasted first before committing to a full glass), and delicious cuisine in fancy restaurants, interspersed with some academic talks and research discussions.

Katherine Klein

What a joy it was to have Michele as my colleague in my years in the Psychology Department at the University of Maryland. When I think of those years, I remember Michele’s cheery shout of “Hello, colleagues!” as she rounded the corner into the I/O Psychology wing of the department.

Jasmine Wheeler

My favorite memories with Michele, aside from the many research "aha!" moments I had in her office or lab spaces under her guidance, involve the moments we shared that highlight the academic and life milestones that occurred during just over the half decade our paths crossed at College Park.

Adam Factor

The key thing that comes to mind when I think of Michele is personality. She has such a powerful identity as a person that she humanizes everything she does and breathes life into everyone she works with. It’s something that I admire for being rare in academia, and makes me proud to be a part of SDOS.

Erica Molinario

Michele, I am extremely grateful to have had crossed paths with you at UMD! I have learned so much from you and I have a deep admiration for you and your research. You truly are an example of integrity, creativity, and fun that all young scholars like me should follow as an example.

Michelle Dugas

For all of the weighty topics of Michele’s lab strongest memories are most often punctuated by laughter and food. Whether sharing bagels and schmear, pizza, or kitfo, Michele’s lab meetings were more than an exchange of ideas—they were an opportunity to build community and friendship.

Bill Gabrenya

I first met Michele at a meeting of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research in the early 1990s when she was still a student with Harry Triandis. John Adamopoulos and I attended her presentation, possibly some early work on the tight-loose dimension, after which we both just said, “wow.” As in: a star is born.

Jenny Chatman

Whether in research meetings, touring college campuses, or meeting with the Bad Asses, I have been struck by Michele's rare combination of immense brilliance as a scholar coupled with her outsized personality that oozes outrageous happiness, a love of life, and unrivaled kindness to others.

Mansoor Moaddel

Moving to Stanford confirms a mysterious law of nature governing the voyage of a shining star from east to west, brightening and energizing the unrelenting inquisitive souls gathered along her pathways in search of a bone.

Andy De Los Reyes

I mentioned the meta-analysis to Michele because a key aim of the review involved incorporating her tightness-looseness scale to examine a cross-cultural dataset of clinical assessment studies. Now, what's interesting about this story is...

Shinobu & Mayumi Kitayama

I am sure we will have another chance here (Ann Arbor), there (Palo Alto), or elsewhere, like Kyoto or Paris!!! Your work has been so inspiring and stimulating. We hope we continue to work together to globalize psychological theories.

Adam Galinsky

Michele is a good egg. It’s a phrase she loves to use to describe others but it fits her perfectly. She’s also an enthusiastic egg, contagiously filling others with both excitement and possibility. She’s a brilliant egg, unparalleled in the breadth of her intellectual contributions. And she’s an endearing egg...

Arie Kruglanski

When I think of Michele, the term that comes to mind is gratitude. Gratitude for having her with us these last 25 years, and for what she gave her students, her colleagues, SDOS and the department. Michele was all about giving, she called it the Jewish Mother syndrome.

Ben Schneider

My oh-so-fond reminiscences of my colleague Michele are too numerous to present in a quick note. The short story is that we met at an international psychology conference before she ever received her PhD and we have been close colleagues and friends since then. I knew when I met her she was fabulous and I was right...

Lisa Leslie

I vividly remember my last meeting with MG as a grad student at UMD... She immediately announced that she had been crying her eyes out since I left, and also reported that she had checked the exact number of emails we had sent to each other over the last five years...That's one of the greatest things about Michele. She cares about her students deeply...and isn't afraid to show it!

Mo Wang

Another piece of fond memory was that Michele always brought me breakfast in the morning when I was in my office. I don't remember when it started, but she just always showed up with boiled eggs, cottage cheese, and a banana for me (the credit also goes to Todd, as he is the one putting them together).

Ren Li

During my Ph.D., I was very lucky to have an advisor who taught me how to approach research challenges in a positive and resilient mindset. Michele offered opportunities that I often felt were beyond me from early in my Ph.D. She encouraged me to stretch my limits, to try new and risky ideas, and not to take ‘no’ for an answer easily.

Jens Herberholz

We shared many memorable moments, both as colleagues and friends. Not surprisingly, when I was searching for pictures, I found plenty of our daughters spending time together at school, birthday parties, and musical performances. Aside from your family’s friendship over the years, my favorite memory is how we converted a simple crayfish study from my lab into a Master’s thesis for one of your students!

Laura Severance

Here are a few of my favorite Michele memories...MG always offering me a hard boiled egg when we met. Her students never went hungry!...MG opening her home to us for lovely parties with her husband, daughters, and Pepper. The desserts were especially abundant!...MG mentoring me, pushing me, and giving me the skills for a successful research career.

Karen O'Brien

Top 10 Reasons Why I Will Miss Michele Gelfand: 10. Michele is an exceptional role model for how to negotiate anything! 9. She is wickedly smart. 8. Michele conducts important research that makes a powerful difference in our world. 7. She has research collaborators – and friends - all around the world...

Ryan Fehr

When I think back to my time at UMD, I can't imagine it without Michele. Michele was the best advisor a student could ask for. I just graduated college before joining UMD in 2005, and honestly didn't know what I was getting into. It was only with Michele's kindness, patience, and guidance that I was able to survive my time at UMD and truly enjoy every moment of it.

Sarah Gordon

There are too many good memories with Michele to count. My favorites range from our brainstorm sessions on research topics as varied as one could imagine, our one-on-one chats about work, life, and family (whether over drinks at the Cosmos or in Michele's homey office), and of course our regular sticky check-ins! I will always think back on my time in Michele's lab as one of much growth.

Yoon Young Sim

When I had my first breakfast with Michelle, she said she feeds her students well. And she surely did not only with the food but the warmth. How she welcomes her students, staff, and former people to her dinner is really touching.The conversations that happen within our group meetings with her show how much she cares about her people.

Piotr Prokopowicz

One of my favorite memories with Michele is meeting her family's dog, Pepper. Of course, the memory is not about Pepper (the wonderful creature that she is), at least not primarily about that. It's about what that meeting represented. It's about feeling at home when you're five thousand miles away from your family.

Jesse Harrington

Whether it was planning a strategy to tackle reviewer comments for a PNAS paper (published!), getting shushed because we couldn't help discussing tightness-looseness research at a Bethesda Jazz and Blues Club event, or the kindness she showed my wife and I by hosting a celebration for our upcoming wedding at her house, I couldn't have asked for a better advisor or person to guide me through my grad school journey.

Don Conlon

Hello Maryland, and hello Michele, I know Michele begins a new part of her academic journey at Stanford this Fall, and I am sure my friends at Terrapin Station are sad. But you have been so blessed to have had the most fantastic person to be with you for over two decades.

Miriam Erez

Michele herself is an integration of loose and tight behaviors. Her flexible behavior has facilitated her proactivity and creativity, whereas her tight behavior is reflected in her rigorousness, strong methodology, and managing skills to run her research in thirty-three cultures. On top of these two capabilities, I would like to add a third one – her impressive interpersonal and relational capabilities

Garriy Shteynberg

I came to the party, and with both of us standing in her lawn, she marked up the pages of my thesis, handing them to me one by one. I remember it was very windy, so each page had to be passed between us very carefully and with much intention. It was a physical manifestation of how MG approaches scholarship--with perseverance, tenacity, and seriousness, and lots of humor.

Sarah Lyons-Padilla

Favorite memory: When Michele's 33-country TL study was accepted to Science, she took the whole lab out to celebrate with a limo tour of DC. For reasons that are foggy in my memory, the evening started out with Michele in a pickle costume. When it turned out that the limo AC wasn't working...

Jaeeun Lee

Thanks to Michele, I could visit the Cosmos Club, which was one of the fanciest places I’ve ever been to in my life! It was such a fun, memorable memory. I also fondly remember the event that was held to celebrate Michele’s joining of the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Ben Levine

Michele, wishing you all the best! So excited for you! Working with you was so impactful on my career and development. Watching you lead and ideate and create, shaped my thought processes, research identity, and the I/O I wanted to be.

Jess Fernandez

It’s hard to think of a memory of Michele when she wasn’t smiling, giving high fives, getting excited about new studies, planning her next jazzercise, ordering massive amounts of food for lab meetings and celebrations, laughing in the SDOS hallways, or spreading her UMD pride.

Mandy O'Neill

I first met Michele as an undergraduate psychology student at University of Maryland. I was a student in her “Intro to I/O Psychology” class...I sat in the middle of the huge auditorium and soaked up the brilliance and humor of Michele, then a young assistant professor...

Michael Dougherty

It's been a true pleasure to work with Michele for the past two decades. We've all seen the passion, energy, and enthusiasm that she brings to the department. What many don't see, however, are the random woo-hoo's and hurray's of support she sends out.

Emily Forgo

I also distinctly remember just how much of an impression Michele made on me during my interview with her that day. She radiated so much warmth and kindness and confidence that it was hard not to feel more at ease as soon as you sat down with her.

Sarit Kraus

[Presented] is a slide from my talk on Human-Computer Negotiation: Learning from Different Cultures from June 2010. In the talk I described a computer agent that could negotiate well with people. It was developed together with Michele...

Zeynep Aycan

My son, Ata, used to call you the “seashell” (for its phonetic similarity to your name) when he was very young. The photo is me and Ata seeing your new book in the first days of its release in Toronto and jumping up and down in the bookstore with joy and literally hugging it!!

Yoshihisa Kashima

Michele, your unbound energy and enthusiasm, infectious laughter and cheeky smile – that’s you, mate. Ever since I met you in Urbana years ago when you were still a PhD student, you occupy a special place in my heart and mind.

Elizabeth Redcay

You will be soooo missed! It’s hard to imagine our department without you. You’re a “good egg” (to use a favorite expression). You’ve been a true inspiration to me in that you exemplify scientific excellence while promoting a fun and supportive culture and making direct real-world impacts from your research.

James Grand

Michele was a big reason why I wanted to join SDOS and UMD. She was the first person I met when I came for the job interview in 2014, and I remember talking with her at dinner that night about her time here, the program, etc. and thinking "Wow, I have never met another person in our field like this!"

Jen Wessel

Not only is Michele this research superstar who is globally respected for her amazing work, but she also has put in the effort to create a welcoming, positive climate for her colleagues and students. She has been a guiding star for SDOS's culture (which is the perfect balance of tight and loose!)

Gilad Chen

We will all miss Michele for her outstanding scholarship and mentorship of students. She's certainly a huge loss for U of MD, and an equally huge gain for Stanford! But, for me, Michele's departure also means fewer joint dinners, drinks, and fun conversations with Michele and Todd...I guess we'll just need to relocate our get togethers to Napa now -- and that's ok..

Brandon Crosby

After a long overnight flight, she went right into the office and was still ready and willing to talk to students about their research...Something small like a flight across the planet wasn't going to stop Michele from reaching out to her students and doing her research. One day, I will have the same energy, or at least, that's what I tell myself.

Janetta Lun

Not long after joining her lab, I became a part of her academic family, which many of you know is signaled by her calling you the first letter of your first name ("J" for me). MG doesn't only have a big brain, but she also has a huge heart..After a long day at work, I could always imagine her saying, "Let's call this a victory and have a drink."

Nava Caluori

I have so many great memories of my time working with Michele at UMD. From an ever-growing sticky list to exciting research projects that broadened my research imagination to silly moments in the lab, the Culture Lab is such a special group. It’s hard to beat the excitement I’d always feel when Michele brought in surprise bagels and lox to our lab meetings, ALWAYS enough to feed an army.

Yan Mu

When I am met with problems, I think of Michele and what she would do. Her openness, inclusiveness, and her insights and enthusiasm for scientific research inspires me and still guides me. I am so grateful to have worked with her and to be a member of the Culture Lab! Love all of you guys!

Ashley Fulmer

Food is such an integral part of the research process with Michele. She always makes sure the students are fed. Many of my fondest memories happened at restaurants in the district when we had visitors, meetings at Plato's, and in the department conference room with Seven Seas' dumplings. And I loved the parties at her house! Michele threw great parties.

Maurice Schweitzer

Though Michele and I are surprisingly close in age, I have looked-up to her for a long time. Michele has given me wise counsel from everything from serving as a president of IACM to when to give a speech at a party. Michele is an amazing mentor, leading light, and simply one of my favorite people.

Snehesh Shrestha

While our regular team meetings, random lunches, and conference events have all been fun--the Cosmos dinner is a fun tradition Michele hosts every year bringing together all the lab members and their loved ones, and it is obviously my favorite. Not only was it a time to let loose (pun intended) plus wine and dine, to me, it was also the time I realized the lab’s strong culture.

Josh Jackson

It’s hard to come up with just a few favorite memories with Michele because I feel like we have so many! Some of my favorite memories have been when we’ve traveled around the world together, like our 2016 trip to Israel where Michele gave the keynote at the Israel Organizational Behavior Conference or our 2019 trip to Austria where we worked our way through a bottle of (dry) Riesling while catching up about the last year and looking ahead to the future.

Xinyue Pan

Every time when I step on a new land and feel at a loss, I find Michele’s number. I know that she will always find me, guide me through the way, and book me a bus tour, on which I can start exploring the world myself. I know that she will always feed me when I starve, but also cheer for the Mapo Tofu that I cook. I can never speak enough about how grateful I am to Michele.

Hannah Samuelson

I'm grateful to have received Michele's constructive mentorship, delightful tours of the Cosmos Club, and bagels at lab meetings. I'm sure your influence will be missed at UMD, the West Coast is lucky to have you - best of luck in your new position!

Marta Fulop

In 2002 the Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology organized its conference in Yogjakarta, Indonesia. This was my second IACCP conference. Michele was treasurer. There was a reception and Michele came up to me and said: “Hi, you really remind me of my grandmother. Maybe we are distant relatives.”

Jordan Epistola

I always appreciated how Michele would go out of her way to say hello to me and actually talk to me about how things are going and/or what I have been up to with my own projects whenever she walked by. To see someone that successful in our field take the time to say hello to me and show interest in my work made me feel more comfortable with and proud to be a part of the program.

Rellie Derfler-Rozin

I still remember our first lunch soon after I arrived at UMD right after my PhD. I have known about your work (obviously!) and admired it but have never met you personally. I will be forever grateful for the kind words and support. You encompass this rare combination of competence and warmth, in addition to levels of energy I have rarely seen before!! You are truly a role model, we will miss you here and I wish you happiness and success in your next amazing journey!

Josh Ryan

Michele is fantastic at making others feel welcome and appreciated. I remember feeling nervous as I awaited a talk with Michele as the last interview with faculty during my interviews for the university, but ended up greatly enjoying my conversation with her that day.

David Sloan Wilson

I contacted Michele out of the blue to discuss her work. At the time, evolutionary science and cross-cultural psychology were largely separate "islands" of the "Ivory Archipelago"--so much that Michele wondered if I had contacted the right Gelfand! But we quickly established common ground and never looked back.

Robin Pinkley

It is impossible to share “a single story” about Michele because she is the story. To meet her is to know her, and to know her is to love her – whether you’re her family, friend, colleague, student, mentor, cab driver, waiter, bartender, or someone she happens to pass on the street.

Rewina Bedemariam

I would like to say thank you for being so supportive and for the guidance you gave me. I was nervous about joining the Ph.D. program and had some confusion about the journey but coming to your office and speaking to you about my concerns always gave me some clarity and direction.

Dan Newman

Things I recall we did at UMD that year: Rafting trip, Toasting SIOP submissions, Sitting shiva for Michele’s mom, Baby shower for Sam Newman, Maryland SIOP dinner in Los Angeles...Importantly, no matter how stressful the work could be, Michele always made it fun. Working with Michele feels like being on a winning team.

Marieke van Egmond

I met Michele (and Todd, Jeanette and Hannah) when they all came to Germany to accept Michele's Anneliese Maier Award from the Humboldt Foundation at the end of 2011. Little did I know then what was in store for me the following two years and the adventures we would have...

Greg Ball

She is without a doubt one of the most impactful scientists in BSOS and at UMD in general. Her impact is apparent from the breadth of her publications and the widespread discussion they have received both in the scholarly circles as well as in the press.

Dana Nau

First, it has enabled us and our students to do some *great* research together -- things that neither of us could have done within our own academic disciplines. Second, our work together has been some of the most fun I've had during my academic career.

Dylan Pieper

Michele is an encouraging mentor and boss who recognized my unflappable Buddha nature. Michele takes the time to make everyone in the lab feel welcomed, get to know them, and discuss their ideas and goals.

Alex Shackman

Wishing you the best in your next adventure, Michelle! I am grateful for all of the encouragement you gave me as a new Assistant Professor, and for your thoughtful contributions to the Department as a whole.

Ray Friedman

It has been amazing to see you grow from a fresh Ph.D. to a NAS member. I remember those early conversations, when you staved off the pressures to join a business school. That took some guts!




at Plato's Diner

Sarah Lyons-Padilla (2014)

If you’re wondering what gives Dr. Michele Gelfand the stamina to manage multiple grants and research collaborations, look no further than the breakfast menu at Plato’s Diner in College Park. It was there where she worked with UMD computer scientists Patrick Roos and Dana Nau to produce a paper for the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on evolutionary game theory and third-party punishment. (Plato’s was thanked in the acknowledgment section.)


I followed Michele to Plato’s one day to see the magic happen. She sat down at the booth in the corner...

Highlights from
Michele's IACCP Talks

Thank you to Bill Gabrenya for putting this video together! 




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