Christine B. Whelan, Ph.D.

Christine B. Whelan is a clinical professor in the Department of Consumer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the director of the Money, Relationships & Equality Initiative at Wisconsin’s School of Human Ecology. In partnership with the Center for Financial Security, Dr. Whelan teaches and researches on topics of self-improvement, gender, relationships formation and purpose throughout the life course. Prior to joining the School of Human Ecology, Dr. Whelan was a visiting assistant professor in the sociology departments at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Iowa.

Dr. Whelan received a doctorate from the University of Oxford for her research on the quest for self-control and self-improvement in American since the 1950s. She continues to research behavioral change literature and programs, incorporating aspects of applied sociology into her teaching. As a nationally recognized expert in the field of self-improvement, Dr. Whelan has authored two books on best practices for emerging adults — Generation WTF (Templeton Press, 2011) and The Big Picture (Templeton Press, forthcoming) — and has published op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post , USA Today, Chronicle of Higher Education, and quoted as an expert on self-improvement in Forbes, SELF, City Journal and many others.

Dr. Whelan, who graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, also researches and writes on changing dating and marriage patterns in the United States. She has authored two books shattering myths of hypergamy – Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women (Simon & Schuster, 2006) and Marry Smart (Simon & Schuster, 2009) — and academic articles on mate preferences. Dr. Whelan has been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the New York Post and has been cited and reviewed in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan and The Washington Post, among others.