2018 Convention Speakers
RMPA is hosting an excellent series of speakers this year at the convention.
Distinguished Alumni Speaker
Robert Morgan, Ph.D.
Dr. Morgan received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Oklahoma State University (1999). He completed a predoctoral internship at the Federal Correctional Institution - Petersburg, Virginia and a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Dr. Morgan joined the psychology department at Texas Tech University in 2000. He is the John G. Skelton, Jr. Regents Endowed Professor in the Department of Psychology and serves as Department Chair.
Dr. Morgan's research interests are in correctional mental health, specifically treatment of mentally disordered offenders, and professional development/training issues. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Center for Behavioral Health Services & Criminal Justice Research. Dr. Morgan was the 2003 recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award presented by Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) of the American Psychological Association and the 2006 Outstanding Contribution to Science Award presented by the Texas Psychological Association. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Past-President of the division of Psychologists in Public Service (APA).
In addition to his Texas Tech duties, Dr. Morgan is also the Director of Forensic Services at StarCare Specialty Health System (a position he has held for approximately 10 years). In this role, Dr. Morgan assisted in the development and currently directs a community based forensic services program emphasizing pretrial evaluations (competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility) and a community based competency restoration program.
His talk is entitled: Beyond Pop Culture: The Application of Science in Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology has taken on “pop-culture” proportions within the larger landscape of psychology. With popular media depicting forensic psychologists as profilers (e.g., Profilers, CSI), increasing numbers of students are drawn to forensic psychology. The real work of forensic psychology science is less dramatic, but has larger impact. I have conducted forensic evaluations on over 950 criminal defendants and worked with thousands of offenders; but my work as a scientist has facilitated the greatest change. In this talk, I share two examples of how science impacts perceptions and treatment of offenders with mental illness and document fact over ideology related to administrative segregation of offenders. The empirical results may surprise many and emphasize the importance of applying science in the field of forensic psychology.
Teaching Conference Keynote Speaker
Wayne Viney, Ph.D.
Wayne Viney, Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor and Emeritus University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of psychology. He received numerous teaching awards from Colorado State University, and he has been President of the Society for the History of Psychology of the American Psychological Association and of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association.
His talk is entitled: William James as a Teacher: Some Lessons from History about Teaching
As a teacher, William James always placed ideas and content in higher priority than pedagogical methods, gimmicks, or fads. His biographer Ralph Barton Perry noted that James craved a hearing for the truth he believed was in him. In the spirit of the television star Mr. Rogers, James believed good teaching consists of the capacity to be passionate and to love something in front of an audience. In the classroom he was authentically who he was often a bit disorganized, but always spontaneous, honest, charming, open, and disarming. James embraced a philosophy of education that emphasized the capacity to always see alternatives and to be suspicious of claims that there is a fixed and final word or a definitive conclusion on any topic. In this talk we will seek to capture the teaching philosophy of one of the great psychologists by gleaning materials from his classic book Talks to Teachers and by reviewing his perspectives on teaching set forth in letters and his major psychological and philosophical works.
Tania Israel is a Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Arizona State University and a Masters degree in Human Sexuality Education and a B.A. in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Israel is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a Past-President of the Society of Counseling Psychology. Her scholarship on interventions to support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals and communities has been solicited by the Institute of Medicine, Congress, and the White House. Dr. Israel has received honors for her research and advocacy from the American Psychological Association, the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and her local LGBT community. Her TED Talk on bisexuality has been viewed over 40,000 times. Dr. Israel is the Director of Project RISE, a research team at UCSB that develops and studies interventions to support the psychological health of LGBTQ individuals and communities. More information is available at taniaisrael.com
Her talk is entitled: Four Ways Psychologists Can Participate in Social Change
As psychologists, we are known for our ability to support growth and change. Although much of our work takes place on the individual level, our knowledge and skills can be applied to social change, as well. Societal inequities and injustice are at the root of mental health disparities, and our profession has the tools to address these underlying causes of psychological distress. This presentation will describe ways in which psychologists can participate in social change through community engagement, policy advocacy, making information accessible, and teaching social justice. Dr. Israel will share strategies and stories to help psychologists envision and implement their work as social change agents.
William Douglas Woody, Ph.D.
William Douglas Woody, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado. He received his doctorate from Colorado State University in 1999, and his research interests include the teaching of psychology, psychology and law, and the history of psychology.
Dr. Woody serves as the Portenier-Wertheimer Teaching Conference Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, and he also served the organization as President in 2011-2012. He has received the RMPA Early Career Award, the RMPA Distinguished Service Award, and the RMPA Mentor Award. Among other recognition, he has received the Early Career Award for Scholarship in the History of Psychology and the Wilbert J. McKeachie Early Career Teaching Excellence Award, and he has earned numerous college, university, and other teaching and scholarship awards, including the first university-wide Sears-Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Northern Colorado. Additionally, he has been named Best Professor by the students at two of the three universities at which he has taught.
His talk is entitled: Finding the Roots of the Hoffman Report: The Psychology of Coercive Interrogation from the Cold War to Guantanamo
The Hoffman Report revealed some of the darkest events in the history of psychology. As is now well-known, APA administrators colluded with the Department of Defense to ensure lax ethical guidelines for psychologists, which in turn allowed the psychologists who developed the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques program to maintain their licenses and APA memberships in good standing, even as they waterboarded detainees. Much has been written about the psychologists who brought EITs to Guantanamo as well as the source of the EITs they brought with them: the training activities in the U. S. Air Force SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape) program. This talk will investigate the roots of the EITs as developed for the SERE program. These roots extend into the 1950s and 1960s, at the peak of the Cold War, as psychologists and others studied communist techniques applied to United States POWs during the Korean War, when many POWs confessed falsely to war crimes, including the use of biological weapons in North Korea. This extensive body of scholarship has largely remained out of public view, despite the involvement of several prominent historical figures in psychological science (e.g., Harlow, Skinner, Schachter, Festinger, Wolff) alongside the individuals deeply invested in the scholarship of coercive interrogation and creation of SERE and related programs (e.g., Biderman, Schein, Lifton, West, Sargant, Meerloo). This presentation will trace the scholarship of coercive interrogation from the models Ivan Pavlov tested in dogs in the 1920s through World War II and into the Cold War to illuminate the scholarship and applied studies that led to SERE and, decades later, to the use of these techniques against detainees by psychologists.
Gardner Memorial Lecture
Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
Each year RMPA hosts the Gardner Memorial Lecture, and we invite a researcher to speak to us about his/her non-invasive animal research, centered on animal cognition/communication. Beatrix ("Trixie") Gardner was a long-time RMPA leader as well as a world-renown interspecies communication expert at the University of Nevada-Reno, working with her husband Allen using American Sign Language with infant chimpanzees. Perhaps she is best known for her work with Washoe.