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Michelle Albaugh

Michelle Albaugh

  • Assistant Director of Coaching
  • Instructor, MS in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC)

Annenberg Hall 2120 Campus Drive Evanston, IL 60208
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Life narratives at the intersection of personal faith and political ideology.


Michelle Albaugh is a highly regarded leadership and effectiveness coach. She joined the MSLOC faculty in September, 2015, after she earned her PhD in Human Development & Social Policy, from the School of Education and Social Policy here at Northwestern. She received a bachelor’s degree in music, magna cum laude, from DePaul University in 1994. She spent roughly the next 10 years working for a start-up in the telecommunications industry, first in a technical capacity and then in establishing client relationships and crafting creative communication solutions for business and government. It was during that time that she developed an interest in leadership, leadership development, and organizational change.

Michelle made the jump to academia to work as a full-time research assistant for sociology professor Kathy Edin, on the TLC3 subset to the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being study. From that experience she caught the research bug and then earned her PhD at Northwestern.

Her research thus far has centered on life narratives at the intersection of personal faith and political ideology. She collaborated with Professor Dan McAdams, using his narrative theory of personality and associated methodologies to study how committed Christians, politically liberal and conservative, differ from each other.

Joining the MSLOC program faculty represents an optimal convergence of Michelle’s past, present, and future research & career interests.  She is co-teaching a variety of MSLOC courses and serving as a Capstone Advisor, as well as facilitating the Organizational and Leadership Coaching Certificate (OLCC) Program.

Her husband, Terry, is an entrepreneur, and together they have 2 children (Samantha and Joshua) who keep them on their toes and help put the rest of life into perspective!


  • 2005 – Spencer Research Training Grant, Spencer Foundation
  • 2004 – Human Development and Social Policy Graduate Fellowship


  • PhD, Human Develpment and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2014
  • MA, Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern, 2007
  • Bachelor of Music, DePaul University, 1994

Selected Publications

Albaugh, Michelle; Scott, Kimberly; Conn, Amy (November, 2017). An Evaluation of Digital Portfolios in Coach Education: Developing Reflective Coach Practitioners. Philosophy of Coaching An International Journal: 6-28
(Download )

McAdams, D. P., Albaugh, M., Farber, E., Daniels, J., Logan, R. L., & Olson, B. (October, 2008). Family Metaphors and Moral Intuitions: How Conservatives and Liberals Narrate Their Lives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 978-990

McAdams, D. P., & Albaugh, M. (August, 2008). What if there were no God? Politically conservative and liberal Christians imagine their lives without faith. Journal of Research in Personality: 1668-1672

McAdams, D. P. & Albaugh, M. (2008). The Redemptive Self, Generativity, and American Christians at Midlife: Life Stories of Evangelical and Mainline Protestants in Belzen, J. A. & Geels, A., Autobiography and the psychological study of religious lives Rodopi.

Albaugh, Michelle and McAdams, Dan P. (June, 2011). Autobiographical Narratives of Religion and Coping after Negative Life Events: Personality and Ethno-Religious Perspectives.

Poster Presented at the Biennial Conference of the Association for Research in Personality. Riverside, CA. 

Albaugh, M. L., & McAdams, D. P. (February, 2008). Politically Engaged Christians Imagine Life Without Faith. Poster Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Albuquerque, NM. 

Albaugh, M. L. (January, 2007). Political Orientation and Pastoral Leadership: A Lakoff-ian View. Poster Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Memphis, TN.