2023 Scholars: Marisa G. Franco and Riva Jyoti Riley

Wednesday, June 28–Friday, June 30, 2023
8:30–10 a.m.

This year’s Scholar in Residence program will take place at Fletcher Hall.

RSVP to: 716-357-6404 or email rsvp@chq.org

This program is made possible thanks to generous support from the Edward L. Anderson, Jr. Foundation.

Friends: Why We’ve Evolved to Need Them & How to Make Them

Overarching theme:

In the harsh reality of nature, amidst brutal competition to survive and reproduce, the ultimate evolutionary surprises have arisen countless times: cooperation, altruism, and then friendship. We will take an evolutionary journey to explore how friendship emerged in animals and how this trajectory informs friendship among humans. Our understanding of how vital friendship is across time and species will then propel us to explore science-backed strategies (for humans) to make and keep friends.

Day 1: The Evolution of Friendship

Day 2: How to Make Friends

Day 3: Applied Activities + Q &A

Recommended Reading:
These articles will be discussed on day two.

  • How to Make Friends as an Adult, Psyche
  • The Science of Adult Friendship, NPR 1A

About the Facilitators

Marisa Franco

Marisa G. Franco

An enlightening psychologist, TED speaker, and New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Marisa G. Franco is known for digesting and communicating the science of human connection in ways that resonate deeply enough with people to change their lives. She works as a professor at The University of Maryland, writes for Psychology Today, and has been a featured psychologist for major publications like The New York Times,  The Atlantic, and Scientific American. She speaks on mental health and belonging at corporations, government agencies, non-profits, and universities.

Riva Riley

Riva Riley

After completing a PhD at the University of Cambridge, Riva Riley returned to the USA and is now a Collegiate Fellow at the University of Maryland’s University Honors program. Her research and teaching are focused on social behavior and its consequences for individuals and groups. She is especially interested in how individuals can use their own social influence to change their social environment, and how social influences impact social evolution. Evolution, which is often described as survival of the fittest, has so often produced incredibly cooperative species, and so she studies a delightful little fish, Cory catfish, to help understand how social influences can modify evolution and ecology and lead to complex social behaviors (as happened in humans)