New doctor of psychology program announces speaker series

Jonathan Campbell (second from left) is director of WCU’s new doctor of psychology program.

This fall semester, Western Carolina University introduced its doctor of psychology program. During its inaugural year, the program will welcome three speakers to campus – cartoonist Bob Mankoff; Thomas Joiner, one of the world’s leading authorities on suicide; and clinical psychologist Scott Lilienfeld from Emory University.

The doctor of psychology program is a three-year, post-master’s professional preparation program that prepares students to provide culturally competent, evidence-based clinical services. Jonathan Campbell is the program’s director.

The first speaker in the series will be Mankoff, who has used comedy and satire during a career that has spanned more than 40 years at some of the top publications in the country, including The New Yorker and Esquire magazines. Mankoff’s presentation will be Tuesday, Oct. 22. The time and place has yet to be determined.

His talk is titled “What’s So Funny and Why AI?” and will address the intersection of artificial intelligence and humor. It will focus on the creative process, from writing a successful “New Yorker” cartoon to inspiring creativity in others and enhancing ideas with A.I. and big data.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, WCU will welcome Joiner, who will speak at 6 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Hall conference room on the subject “Why People Die By Suicide.” Joiner is a clinical and research psychologist at Florida State University. The “Joiner framework” for suicide risk assessment is the most robust, evidence-based and widespread system now in use.

Joiner lists more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and his work has generated more than 56,000 citations in other peer-reviewed scientific publications. On Nov. 7, he will spend time with psychology graduate and undergraduate students.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Lilienfeld will speak at 6 p.m. at an undetermined location. In addition to being the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology at Emory, Lilienfeld is a visiting professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia. On Feb. 7, he will meet with psychology graduate and undergraduate students.

Lilienfeld is the editor of Clinical Psychological Science, the associate editor of Archives ofScientific Psychology, and past president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology. In addition to publishing more than 400 manuscripts, he has received press coverage in The New York Times and the Washington Post and has appeared on CNN, ABC’s “20-20” and the “CBS Evening News.”