Born during the pandemic out of an immediate need to provide internships for CSU graduating seniors, the CRI has gone through several iterations since May 2020.

The CRI is run by Drs. Kristen Donnelly and Erin Hinson. Dr. Donnelly reconnected with Charleston Southern University in 2015 through her father Roger Nielsen (Class of 1974) and a renewed commitment to serve both on campus and throughout the Lowcountry. 

After creating the CRI on the back of a napkin over two years ago, the institute has grown from strength to strength, including partnerships with the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the development and delivery of our generational training. 

In Fall 2022, we will begin work with our 6th intern cohort and we're so excited to see where we will serve next!

Meet The Good Doctors 

We are empathy educators.

We help corporations, organizations, universities and individuals combat discord, inefficiencies, misunderstandings, and other interpersonal roadblocks that get in the way of effective growth and change through our framework of empathy education.

To be clear, we define empathy as a worldview that intentionally prioritizes understanding ourselves and others – contexts, histories, opinions – so that we can all have the richest human experience possible. 

We are both educators with social science PhDs. We have lived and studied around the United States and around the world, exposing us to a beautiful range of identities, experiences, and worldviews. Our work in multiple international conflict zones taught us that we can understand a person’s words and actions without supporting or endorsing them.

President and founder

vice president

Ethics Statement

Abbey Research follows the social science ethical bylaws of the American Sociological Association. Research is only conducted via informed consent. For surveys, this means anonymous participation and a statement of intent on behalf of the researchers. For interviews, consent forms are provided and collected. Any participant may withdraw their participation at any time. The researchers are bound to confidentiality until it breeches harm to self or others, and then the respondent is consulted before confidentiality is breached. Original, raw data belongs exclusively to Abbey Research and will not be shared with any other parties.

For any further questions regarding ethics, please contact the President of Abbey Research, Dr. Kristen Donnelly at kdonnelly@abbey-research.com.

Abbey Research Spotlight

The Good Doctors started Abbey Research in 2015 and now travel the world as Empathy Educators - spreading their framework of empathy through their YouTube channel, podcast, and online and in-person trainings! Their work running the CRI is a natural extension of their belief in the necessity of empathy and their passion for teaching and mentoring the next generation of leaders.