Christine B. WhelanTeaching Faculty, Consumer Science | Director of the MORE (Money + Relationships + Equality) Initiative

“Not for school but for life we learn.” This quote from Seneca is my high school’s motto, and I use it in the first lecture for most of my classes. I’m a firm believer that academic research can and should be useful to all of us in our day-to-day lives. My favorite classes are ones chock full of fodder for cocktail party conversation: cool ideas and new perspectives; fun facts and counter-intuitive approaches; and knowledge that will hopefully germinate into food for thought for years to come.

At UW–Madison, I teach classes on what it means to live “the good life,” especially through the lens of choices about money, relationships, and personal improvement.

Stop by to chat about how my latest book, The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life, may help you frame that important question of what’s next in college and beyond. Watch my TEDx talk, “Authentic Purpose: A Roadmap,” for a further amplification of that thinking. Or visit me online at to learn more.

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Christine Whelan in Nancy Nicholas Hall.


  • Consumer Science



  • MA and PhD, Economics and Social History, University of Oxford
  • BA, Politics, Princeton University


Office: 4220 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-262-7794



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