by Richard Curran, '16
On Tuesday, April 12th the Saint Anselm Psychology Department hosted Dr. Susan McGurk from the Center of Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University for the Annual Hechtl/Lasky Lecture Series. The series is in honor of former faculty members Richard Hechtl and Julian "Jack" Lasky, who were leaders in Saint Anselm College's psychology department, having devoted their careers to promoting wellness through basic and applied psychology research.
Students have previously worked with Dr. McGurk on her research while she was at Dartmouth University, and she was excited to return to campus to present her current work. Dr. McGurk has won numerous awards such as the National Alliance of Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the Young Investigator Award (1987-1990), the Independent Investigator Award (2010-2012), the 2004 Rehabilitation Practitioner of Distinction Award by the National Rehabilitation Association, and the 2007 Gerard Hogarty Award for Excellence in Schizophrenia Research. As part of the lecture series, students had the opportunity to meet with Dr. McGurk during a dinner and research presentation on campus.
Dr. McGurk shared her experiences helping people with psychiatric disability achieve employment goals through her program called the "Thinking Skills for Work Program." This program is a multi-component cognitive remediation program combining computer practice of cognitive skills and the teaching of compensatory strategies in order to optimize cognitive and work functioning in persons receiving vocational rehabilitation services.
McGurk has helped many people through this program to overcome challenges, improve their self-image, and maintain employment. Dr. McGurk is an inspiring researcher who has made great contributions to the psychology field, and it was a pleasure having her come share her knowledge with us on campus.