Empathy Researchers to Speak at Kent State on Dec. 5

Community Speaker Series to Honor the 50th Anniversary of May 4, 1970

The Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University, in partnership with the national public radio affiliate WKSU 89.7 FM and the KSU Brain Health Research Institute, will host the first of a two-part distinguished speaker series “How Science Can Help: Fostering Connection in a Fractured World” on Dec. 5 from 7-8:30 pm in the Kiva Auditorium in the Student Center on the Kent Campus. Following two TED-style talks, Jeff St. Clair, host of WKSU’s “All Things Considered” and “Exploradio”, will lead a moderated discussion, after which the audience is invited to attend a reception to meet the speakers.

“We think that these events will allow the community to better understand issues relating to living in a polarized world and promoting tolerance and understanding through the lens that psychological science is uniquely positioned to provide,” explained Dr. Maria Zaragoza, chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences and one of the event organizers. “The event will provide an understanding of the current science of empathy and building personal connections as well as suggestions for how we and our children can all learn empathy and resilience.”

Tickets are free, open to the public, and may be reserved in advance by visiting: www.kent.edu/psychology/speakerseries.

Dr. Mary Dozier, a developmental psychologist at the University of Delaware created a program that boosts resilience and connection in at-risk children. She will discuss techniques to enhance personal connections and help families who are facing adversity to thrive. She will present evidence regarding the intervention’s effects on children’s behavior and biology and describe how the model applies to neglected children, foster children, and children of mothers with opioid dependence.

To learn more about Dr. Dozier’s research, visit: http://www.abcintervention.org/ and https://www.psych.udel.edu/people/full-list-searchable/mdozier

Dr. Jamil Zaki, a social neuroscientist at Stanford University is the author of the book “The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World”. His research demonstrates that empathy is a skill that we can all strengthen through effort and serves as an inspiring call to action. He will provide insights into how we can empathize more with others, and work towards mending the growing tears in our social fabric. 

“Our ability to connect with one another's emotions is at the heart of humanity's ability to thrive together,” Zaki said. “But, in many ways, the modern world has made it harder than ever to care for each other.  Thankfully, empathy is a skill, which we can grow through practice.” 

To learn more about Dr. Zaki’s research, visit: http://ssnl.stanford.edu/people

About May 4, 1970 at Kent State

On May 4, 1970, four students were killed and nine wounded when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the campus of Kent State University. This event served a pivotal role during a tumultuous time for our country and has continued to have a lasting impact throughout the community. As the 50th anniversary approaches, the Department of Psychological Sciences is commemorating the tragedy and continuing the university-wide mission to prevent violence and promote democratic values established in its aftermath through this special interactive speaker series in partnership with WKSU. To learn more, visit: https://www.kent.edu/psychology/speakerseries

Media Contacts:
Maria S. Zaragoza, Ph.D, mzaragoz@kent.edu, (330) 672-2167
Jim Maxwell, jmaxwel2@kent.edu, (330) 672-8028

POSTED: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 11:51am
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 11:59am
Jim Maxwell