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2015 - 2016 Psychology Speakers Series

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

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

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

The Real World of Forensic Psychology
Jeff Kieliszewski, Ph.D.
Monday, October 19th, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Jeff Kieliszewski is a licensed psychologist and forensic psychologist practicing in Grand Rapids. Dr. Kieliszewski is also an adjunct professor at Grand Rapids Community College and has worked in popular media, consulting on television programs and with film production companies as well as appearing on the Discovery and the National Geographic channels.  His presentation will provide an extensive overview of the fascinating field of forensic psychology; the application of psychology to the law and the legal system.  This presentation will discuss the research and scientific basis utilized in forensic psychology.  He will also present the technical aspects of forensic psychology intermixed with real life cases and accounts he has encountered through his practice.

Social Support and Mental Health: It’s Not What You Think.
Brian Lakey, Ph.D.
Tuesday, November 17th, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Brian Lakey is a professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University. In this presentation he will introduce key finding on how an individual’s support network affects his or her wellbeing. In particular, how low perceived support is linked to a wide range of mental disorders. A particular emphasis will be placed on relational regulation theory (RRT) which hypothesizes that the link between perceived support and mental health primarily reflects ordinary conversation and shared activities. RRT incorporates the unexpected finding that who and what is supportive is primarily a matter of personal taste and there is little in the way of objectively supportive people.  This will be presented in contrast to the dominant theoretical perspective in social support research that hypothesizes that specific supportive actions (e.g., advice) protect people from the bad effects of stress. 

Do Visual Artists See The World Differently?
Leon Lou, Ph.D.
Thursday, February 18th, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Leon Lou is an associate professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University and working artists with oil painting displayed in various juried shows. In this presentation he will build upon a question that that appeals to his interests in both the science of vision and art---how visual artists see differently from non-artists during their creative processes, and more specifically, in observational drawing and painting. Interspersed with many visual illusions, he will survey psychological and neuropsychological studies on visual information processing capacities that underlie proficient and exceptional drawing skills. In the last part of the talk, he will discuss the implications of these studies and explorations to art education and what they mean to anyone who loves viewing pictures, artful or not. 

No Child Is An Island: Integrating Family Systems Perspectives into Children’s Mental Health Treatment
Ann Heerde, MSW
Wednesday, March 16th, 1:00 – 2:30

Ann Heerde is a clinical social worker whose primary practice has been working with children in a variety of settings. She is currently Program Supervisor for Family Services at Community Mental Health of Ottawa County while also pursuing her doctorate in Social Work. This presentation is based on the premise that family, schools, and peer interactions affect the development of children. Given the impact of the environment upon children, it is imperative to utilize a broader systems approach to provide supportive treatment for children with mental health concerns. A model that provides a framework for understanding these relationships is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory. This presentation will provide an overview of Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory and identify strategies for incorporating a Family System Perspective into children’s mental health treatment.