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LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

KU hope researcher's Gallup poll on occupational well-being noted by New York Times

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Shane Lopez of the KU School of Business, set to take part in a public event at the Lawrence Arts Center this very evening, worked on a Gallup poll that was featured yesterday by the New York Times.

The poll of about 172,000 people had to do with the "well-being" of Americans by occupation, and per the Times and Gallup it was most notable for how highly teachers ranked on the list, trailing physicians on how they rate the quality of their lives. Lopez is a senior scientist for Gallup as well as a professor of the practice in the business school.

When I talked to him this week about his new book on hope and Lawrence events related to it, he told me he uses his psychology background to help Gallup craft questions and scales to measure concepts like hope and well-being. He doesn't have to handle the mathematical heavy-lifting of coming up with representative samples to poll.

This post also gives me an excuse to include a quote from Lopez that is tremendous but did not fit in my story earlier this week.

He was telling me about how he worked with Stan Lombardo, a KU professor of classics, to help put together an iPhone app that aims to help people become more hopeful with a story alluding to Homer's "The Odyssey." Lombardo, who writes and publicly reads translations of ancient Greek works such as Homer's poetry, is literally a Zen master and has a Wikipedia page.

Anyway, here's what Lopez said when describing Lombardo, whom he also called a "renaissance man": "He's a modern-day Hemingway, without the alcohol and depression."

I'm sure that bit of praise will be printed on the back of Lombardo's next translation.

Lopez's "Making Hope Happen in Our City" event is at 7 p.m. today at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Make hope happen for me by sending those KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.

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