Junot Diaz Lecture

Guest Lecture Series

Fall 2016

Addiction & Recovery in Our Community: Many Paths to Recovery

March 22, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Addiction & Recovery in Our Community: Many Paths to Recovery

Dr. Robert Roose
March 22, 9 a.m.
Scanlon Banquet Hall

Westfield State University is pleased to partner with Baystate Medical Center to host Addiction & Recovery in Our Community: Many Paths to Recovery.  According to the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health (2016) an estimated 20.8 million people in the United States live with clinically diagnosed substance abuse disorder.  For every person addicted, family members, friends and loved ones are also impacted. In 2017, 1,745 people lost their lives from an opioid overdose in Massachusetts.

Dr. Robert Roose, Vice President, Mercy Behavioral Health at Sisters of Providence Health System and member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Opioid Addiction Working Group, will address the status of the current opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, what progress has been made, what work is underway, and provide recommendations to aid our ongoing community response to promoting recovery.   

Following the presentation, a panel of leaders in many service areas in our community will lead a discussion to normalize the prevalence of addiction and identify opportunities each have used to assist others in accessing a path to recovery. 

At the conclusion of the panel discussion will be a demonstration on how to use narcan, and attendees will have an opportunity to network with many of our region’s substance use professionals. 

Panel Presentation on the Many Pathways to Recovery:

  • Tara Bates, LCSW, Medical Social Worker, Baystate Medical Center
  • Alissa Burke, Detective, West Springfield Police Department
  • Lisa Ducharme, Veteran and Military Services Coordinator, Westfield State University
  • Stephen Lee, DBH, PA-C, Physician Assistant Program, Westfield State University 
  • Judith MacMunn, LICSW, Area Clinical Manager, Department of Children & Families
  • Dr. Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer of Addiction Services, Sisters of Providence Health System 

10:45 – 11:15 am – Narcan Education & Demonstration – Dr. Stephen Lee, PAC, WSU; Nicholas Bull, Pharmacist, Baystate Medical Center (will provide both forms of narcan) 
11:15 – 12:00 pm – Area Substance Use Providers - Vendor Consultation


Literature, Gender and Culture: A Cross Cultural Conversation

March 31, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Literature, Gender and Culture: A Cross Cultural Conversation

Dr. Gina Athena Ulysse
March 31, 9 a.m.
Scanlon Living Room

This event will bring together guest Dr. Gina Athena Ulysse, speakers from multiple disciplines including anthropology, women, gender and sexuality studies, literature and cultural studies to engage in a conversation about global studies through a diverse cultural lens.

Dr. Ulysse is a Haitian American feminist artist-anthropologist-activist and professor at Wesleyan University. She is also a performance artist, poet and multi-media artist. A dynamic performer, described by artist Evan Bissell as “a powerhouse and a whirling storm,” and historian Robin D.G. Kelley as “a one-woman aftershock,” Gina Athena Ulysse has performed variations of her one-woman show Because When God is Too Busy: Haiti, Me and The World at conferences and in colleges and universities throughout the United States and internationally.  


To Survive on This Shore

April 6, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

To Survive on This Shore

Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Variant Older Adults

Jess T. Dugan, MFA and Vanessa Fabbre, Ph. D.
Thursday, April 6, 6 p.m.
Scanlon Banquet Hall

In this lecture, artist Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre will speak about their collaborative project To Survive on this Shore, which combines photographs of transgender and gender-variant people over the age of fifty with interviews about their life experiences in regards to gender, identity, age, and sexuality and provides a nuanced view into the complexities of aging as a transgender person.  In addition, Dr. Fabbre will speak about her research on gender transitions in later life and discuss implications for the health and well-being of LGBTQ older adults.

Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity and community. 

Vanessa Fabbre, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis whose research explores the intersection of LGBTQ issues and aging.  


Active Transportation for a Healthy, Sustainable Planet

April 20, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Active Transportation for a Healthy, Sustainable Planet

Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D.
Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m.
Woodward Center

Dr. Janet Walberg Rankin has established the ActivEarth Initiative, which promotes global change through active transportation and combines physical activity, environmental stewardship and economic viability to make the world a healthier place to live. Her presentation will touch upon many different areas such as the health of the body, environment, and transportation.  Her current research includes determining predictors and barriers of active transportation (walking and biking) as a means to increase physical activity, and the exploration of the co-benefits of active transportation on health the environment and the economy.

This event was organized by the Exercise is Medicine on Campus committee which focuses on educational opportunities for campus and community to ensure that knowledge of the importance of physical activity to health is shared and incorporated into campus life. 


*Note this schedule is subject to change.  Please check back for updates.

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