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2013 - 2014 Psychology Speakers Series

All presentations are free and held in room 168 of the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center.  

For more information, contact Frank Conner (ph: 616-234-3612)

*Streaming video of each presentation will be available here after each lecture.

Do Parents Make a Difference? An Exploration in Raising a Child [watch it now]
Kate Byerwalter, Ph.D.
Wednesday, October 16, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Kate Byerwalter is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Grand Rapids Community College. In this presentation, Dr. Byerwalter will introduce the current research around the practice of parenting. She will present different parenting styles and explore how culture may affect parenting. In addition, Dr. Byerwalter will identify priorities in parenting. Lastly, she will examine the role of parents in shaping children's cognitive development. Participants will leave with an understanding of how parents do matter in the development of a child and what practices are connected to the optimal outcomes.

Do sports matter as much to girls as they do to boys? Gender and the Myth of the Blank Slate [watch it now]
Robert O. Deaner, Ph.D.
Thursday, November 14, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Robert O. Deaner is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Grand Valley State University.  In this presentation, Dr. Deaner will confront the conventional wisdom and U.S. federal policy which posits there are no appreciable sex differences in sports interest between boys and girls. This “Blank Slate” position of equal interest is challenged, however, by theory and data from several fields, including evolutionary biology, endocrinology, child development, and anthropology. Dr. Deaner will discuss why this discrepancy is important to resolve, review relevant evidence, and present new research that contributes to the resolution of this issue.

Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy: Yes, our brain is the biggest erogenous zone! [watch it now]
Phyllis M. Schadler LMSW, ACSW
Tuesday, February 18th, 1:00 – 2:30

Phyllis M. Schadler is a practicing therapist and social worker with over 30 years of experience. With additional credentials as a Registered Play Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist, she currently works at Psychology Associates of Grand Rapids, P.C. In this presentation, Ms. Schadler will explore the ever changing role that sexuality plays within the lives of individuals. She will introduce topics ranging from the effect of sexual trauma, sex related to aging, and how today's society minimizes the power of emotions in sex and therefore marginalizes individual experiences bringing on Low Sex Desire. The presentation will also discuss how emotions play a key component to pleasurable sex often times more than biology. Lastly, Ms. Schadler will provide some insight into the role of a sex therapist and the path to working within this field.

Stress can destroy a 66 ton bridge; imagine what it might do to you? Understanding and managing stress [watch it now]
Steven L. Pastyrnak, Ph.D.
Wednesday, March 12th, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Pastyrnak is Division Chief of Pediatric Psychology at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. In this presentation he will provide an overview of stress, including aspects of anxiety and depression. Participants will be introduced to ways to recognize stress as well as the short and long term effect of this common condition. Recent research on stress and the impact on performance as well as evidence based strategies for management will be shared.  Dr. Pastrnak’s presentation will be practical and somewhat hands-on, at times with audience participation.  This presentation will be beneficial to for individuals currently struggling with too much stress in their lives while equally useful for a person simply curious about the subject.