Psychology students present 1st Biennial Conference, ‘Developing Psychology in a Globalizing World’

Representing a “new generation of psychologists,” the Clark University Undergraduate Psychology Committee (UPC) and members of Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society, will present the first biennial conference on “Developing Psychology in a Globalizing World,” from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, in various locations in the Higgins University Center, 950 Main St.

The conference theme is “Challenging Convention: Re-conceptualizing the Relationship between the Individual and Society,” devoted to combining innovative and novel research from international and interdisciplinary sources for producing fruitful development in re-conceptualizing some of the important concepts of our time. Conference organizers sought to reflect Clark University’s mission to “Challenge Convention. Change Our World.”  They worked to create a thematic topic broad enough to include research from various disciplines (psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, English, biology, etc.) and from various socio-cultural contexts.

“The conference should bring new ideas to the field and serve as a consolidating force to get the new generation of psychologists to innovate the science as a truly interdisciplinary field,” said Professor Jaan Valsiner, of the Hiatt School of Psychology at Clark, and adiviser to the University's Psi Chi chapter.

“Both UPC and Psi Chi were looking to be able to contribute to the Clark University atmosphere of big ideas with big impacts,” said senior Kenneth R. Cabell, UPC vice president and events coordinator of Psi Chi. To this end, they invited distinguished keynoter speakers whose central focus in psychology is interdisciplinary. Following is a list of the conference speakers, who will each appear in Tilton Hall at the time noted.

  • Richard A. Shweder, a cultural anthropologist and the William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago (11:05 a.m.);
  • Barry Rosenfeld, Director of Clinical Training and co-Director (with Dr. Cruise) of the Forensic Specialization in the Clinical Psychology Program at the Fordham University (2:25 p.m.);
  • Fathali M. Moghaddan, professor in Department of Psychology, director of Conflict Resolution Program in Department of Government, Georgetown University (4:50 p.m.).

The dynamic schedule of events will include poster presentations, interactive lectures, panel discussions and roundtable research dialogues, providing opportunities for participants to learn and exchange opinions with people from many different countries, various fields of study and share their own.

“We decided to host this conference not only as a general showcase and celebration of research that has been completed, but to be able to develop new ideas and ask and answer new questions by the end of the conference,” Cabell said.

The Clark conference organizers encouraged submissions from all 13 colleges and universities in the Colleges of the Worcester Consortium (COWC), spanning any academic disciplines interested in re-conceiving the relationship between the individual and society.  “But in the coming years for the conference, we hope to expand to Boston, Springfield, and other schools in Massachusetts,” said Cabell.

"This conference provides an unprecedented opportunity for students and faculty across Worcester and across disciplines to come together to discuss the changing self in today's society and globalizing world,” said Lene Jensen, associate professor of psychology and adviser to the Clark UPC. “It will be a day with many exciting formal and informal venues for dialogue, including keynotes by renowned scholars."

For more information about Developing Psychology in a Globalizing World, contact submissions.upc2011@gmail.com, or visit online.

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty lead a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offer a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world. www.clarku.edu

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- by Elena Rybalchenko, MSPC '11