Discussion Day

Discussion Day 2017

Strong at the Broken Places:
Resilience of the Human Spirit

Feb. 22, 2017

The public is welcome at all Discussion Day programs. All events are free.

For information about Discussion Day, please contact: 
Cheri Krueckeberg at
Rusty Coulter-Kern at
Brad Yoder at
Dave Johnson at


Discussion Day Schedule 
Strong at the Broken Places: Resilience of the Human Spirit
(VIA Credit) Keynote Speaker  Lynn Sanford, LICSWkeynoteforweb
10 a.m., Cordier Auditorium

Lynn Sanford, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker who began her career working with victims of sexual assault. She also worked for twenty years with youth convicted of crimes against people (homicide, attempted homicide, and multiple sexual assaults). She is the author of Strong at the Broken Places: Building Resiliency in the Lives of Survivors (1990, 2004) and The Silent Children (1980). Sanford is also co-author of Women and Self-Esteem (1984) and In Defense of Ourselves (1978). Sanford has recently worked as a Military Family Life Consultant at various locations within and outside the U.S.  She is currently Visiting Professor of Trauma-Informed Social Work at Wheelock College, Boston, MA.

Concurrent Sessions 1:30-2:30 p.m. Click here for workshop details. ONE VIA credit for attending TWO afternoon workshops.
LocationWorkshop TitlePresenters
Science Center
Flory Auditorium
Strong at the Broken Places--More on Resilience Lynn Sanford, LCISW
ACEN 101The Emotional Cost to Unresolved ConflictAngie Briner, M.S. Ed. and 
Theresa Onderko ’93, BA
 ACEN 364Eating Disorders: It's Not About the FoodValerie Staples, MSW (’79)
 ACEN 149Alzheimers and Other Dementias: Considerations for Professionals and FamiliesTasha Williams, PhD, HSPP, ABPdN
ACEN 369Addiction and the Opioid Epidemic - How Did We Get Here
and What’s the Solution?
Megan Fisher, MA, MHS, LMHCA, CADAC IV
Jo Young Switzer Center
Hoff Room
Integrative Healing for the Whole PersonRenee Devine, MA;Dani McGuire, IAYT, ERYT; Myra Tovey, RN, BS, and Lyndy Guevara, MS
ACEN 238Death and Grief: As Difficult As it is UnavoidableTim Polakowski ’08, MSW, LISW-S, ACHP-SW
 ACEN 236Mental Health and The Affordable Care Act: Where Do We Go from Here?
Brad Yoder, MSW, PhD.
Jo Young Switzer Center
Speicher Room
Let’s Talk about Infant Mental Health - Yes, it’s for Real!Stephan Viehweg, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E® (IV)
Wine AuditoriumArt: How it Can Nurture, Heal Inspire?Marsha Heck, Carol Myers, Tina Hepworth, Lea Goldman.
Coordinated by Ejenobo R. Oke, MFA
 Concurrent Sessions 3-4 p.m. Click here for workshop details. ONE VIA credit for attending TWO afternoon workshops.
LocationWorkshop TitlePresenters
Science Center
Flory Auditorium
The Future is Now: Using Genetics to Improve Drug Selection for Psychiatric Disorders Thomas Smith, Pharm D, BCPP
Jo Young Switzer Center
Speicher Room
Taking the wonder out of understanding children’s behavior and development: A look at identifying autism and other developmental delaysStephan Viehweg, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E® (IV)
Jo Young Switzer Center
Hoff Room
ADHD: Myths, Misunderstanding and MedicationRusty Coulter-Kern, PhD.
ACEN 101Suicide Prevention – The Community ResponseShelly Snider, BA and Ted Westerhof, BS, MBA
ACEN 149Alzheimers and Other Dementias: Considerations for Professionals and FamiliesTasha Williams, PhD, HSPP, ABPdN
ACEN 234Art Therapy - When Words Are Not Enough Kay Guyer, BA
ACEN 369The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience: What Brain Imaging Can and Cannot Tell us About the Disordered Mind
David Johnson, PhD
ACEN 238Don’t Label Me! Barb Burdge, PhD, MSW
ACEN 364Anxiety – Real SolutionsTammy Van Balaan, MSW, ACSW
ACEN 146Forest WalkChristina Thomson
Film Festival All Films begin at 7 p.m.
THE DHAMMA BROTHERS (2008) – 80 minutes
Flory Auditorium
Discussion Leader: Christer Watson 
An overcrowded, violent maximum-security prison, the end of the line in Alabama's prison system, is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program. Behind high security towers and a double row of barbed wire and electrical fence live over 1,500 prisoners, many of whom will never again know life in the outside world. But for some of these men, a spark is ignited when it becomes the first maximum-security prison in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat, an emotionally and physically demanding program of silent meditation lasting ten days and requiring 100 hours of meditation. The Dhamma Brothers  tells a dramatic tale of human potential and transformation as it closely follows and documents the stories of the prison inmates at Donaldson Correctional Facility as they enter into this arduous and intensive program. This film has the power to dismantle stereotypes about men behind prison bars and demonstrates the potential of meditation to impact psychological well-being.
STRESS: PORTRAIT OF A KILLER (2008) - 60 minutes

ACEN 101
Discussion Leader: David Johnson and student, Taylor Crisman.

Stress helps ensure survival, but for humans the modern world presents a never-ending catalogue of worries that may, in fact, prove fatal. This National Geographic documentary looks at the impact of stress on the body, including brain shrinkage and DNA damage, and what can be done to prevent it. Neurobiologist and author Robert Sapolsky (Stanford) hosts this fascinating film that takes viewers inside the laboratory and across the world in search of answers.

WARTORN (2010) - 68 minutes    

Wine Auditorium
Discussion Leader: Sam Torgerson
After the Civil War more than half of the patients in mental institutions were veterans. In 1980 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) became an accepted diagnosis for veterans with psychological wounds. Based on personal accounts of American soldiers whose physical and mental health was torn asunder by the shock and fear of bloodshed and PTSD, the documentary narrates the chronic effects of battle agony and post-traumatic anxiety on military personnel and people close to them throughout American history ... from the Civil War through today's modern warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There much confusion about post-traumatic stress. What are some manifestations?  Are there people who don't get it? It is rare for anyone who experienced intense combat to come back completely fine. There's that mythology of the warrior who should not feel much after shooting an enemy. But in fact, nobody is really unscathed unless they really have no compassion for human life. Almost everybody carries something with them.

THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE (2013) -- 88 minutes

Jo Young Switzer Center, Speicher Room
Discussion Leaders: April White, MSW, LCSW, and students Zack Clark, Sarah Arney and Sydney Brobst.

A feature documentary about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Deep entrenchment of social stigma and discrimination has kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum created by this silence has been filled with sensational mass media depictions of people in active addiction that continue to perpetuate a lurid public fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. “Recovery is OUT – to change the conversation from problems to SOLUTIONS.”