photo of Amie Gordon standing in front of trees
Amie Gordon. Photo:Abby Cohn.

What makes some romances sizzle and others go down in flames? That’s a question that fascinates Amie Gordon, a psychology doctoral student who specializes in the well-being of relationships. “If you want to understand what makes society work and brings fulfillment to lives, understanding romantic relationships is vital,” she says.

Thanks to fellowship support, Amie can devote her full attention to her passion: conducting research studies that unravel the inner workings of intimate human interactions. “There’s such a variety, I can never get bored,” says Amie, a UCLA alumna who came to Berkeley in 2007. Currently, she’s examining the role of appreciation — both being appreciative of one’s partner and, in turn, being appreciated — in healthy pairings.

Observing that popular magazines often dispense unfounded advice about love, Amie is committed to bringing scientific rigor to her subject. She hopes to pursue an academic career and, through writing, deliver sound and useful information to the general public. “I’m really lucky,” says Amie, who is from Sonoma County. “I can’t think of anything else I would feel as fulfilled doing.”

—By Abby Cohn