Emeritus Faculty Association news January/February 2008

Next Meeting:
The next meeting will be Friday, February 1, at 10.30 in the Javits room, 2nd floor library. The speaker will be Prof. Dan Klein, of Psychology. The title is: "Early temperament and risk for depressive disorders". Daniel N. Klein received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1983. He is currently a Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stony Brook. His research focuses on the mood disorders, with particular emphasis on chronic depression. His interests include classification and assessment, the relationship between temperament/personality and mood disorders, and the development, course, familial transmission, and treatment of mood disorders in children, adolescents, and adults. He is currently President of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, and a past President of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.

Last Meeting
The meeting began at 10:55 with Howard Scarrow, co-chair, presiding, and twenty-five members and guests present.
Howard introduced Prof. Wilbur ("Bill") Miller of the History Dept. who is the new head of the Honors College. Bill repeated and underlined the request made on his behalf in the November 2nd meeting, for Emeriti to volunteer their help with the reading of applications to the Honors College, which now number some 3000 per year (for roughly 300 places). The small staff of the Honors College is overwhelmed. ╩Several Emeriti volunteered after the November meeting, and Bill urged others who would like to help to contact him directly. He may be reached at wrmiller@notes.cc.sunysb.edu
The Emeriti were then greeted briefly by the new Provost, Eric Kaler, a Chemical Engineer until recently at the University of Delaware. He expressed his great pleasure at coming to Stony Brook, and his enthusiasm for the University which has developed here in the past fifty years. He also endorsed Professor Miller's plea for Emeriti to help with the reading of the flood of applications to the Honors College. Considerations of time necessitated deferring questions about his long-term plans and hopes until the May 2nd luncheon at which he will be our guest speaker, as well as our host.
Howard then introduced Leading Professor Emeritus Lee Koppelman, who, on the basis of a long and admiring acquaintance, introduced our speaker, Professor Howard Schneider, Dean of the new School of Journalism.
Schneider explained how, in 2004, he had only recently retired from thirty-five years at Newsday ╩when he was recruited by University President Shirley Kenny to introduce a journalism program at Stony Brook. It began operation in the Fall semester of 2006 and claims to be the only accredited undergraduate journalism program in New York Public Higher Education. With quarters in the Melville Library, it currently has about 130 majors and is teaching some 700 students each semester.
Schneider focused on the principles for the program which evolved from a course he taught on "the Ethics and Values of the American Press". He discovered that most undergraduates either believed everything they read, nothing they read, or were totally confused by the news. Various studies suggest that Americans are less informed about public affairs today than they were ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. The School of Journalism sought to address these deficiencies with courses on "News Literacy", both as a form of basic education, and as a means of preparing majors for careers in print and media journalism.
Schneider spent much of his time describing the strategies for teaching "news literacy", the challenges such an effort faces, and the importance of inculcating "the ability to use critical thinking skills in analysis of information and disinformation". He encouraged Emeriti to visit the program's facilities in the Library, and to endorse its expanding mission within the University.

Leonard Krasner Leonard Krasner died in Reno Nevada on November 28. After receiving his doctorate at Columbia university, Krasner was professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford before coming to Stony Brook and cofounding the department of psychology. He did much to advance the cause of behavioral therapy in terms of its theory, research, and application. Krasner's paradigm of behavioral influencing foreshadowed the cognitive-behavioral revolution in psychology. His collaboration with Jack Attowhe on token economies provided an important tool for prosocial behavioral change. Conjointly with his wife Miriam and Richard Stevens he explored open education and environmental design. With Art Houts he explored issues of values in science. With Len Ullman he explored a social learning interpretation of abnormal psychology. And with William O'Donohue he explored psychological skill training in their 1995 landmark work Theories of Behavioral Therapy: Exploring Behavioral Change. Besides taking the prize for the most untidy study in Stony Brook, he also contributed to a psychological understanding of the mystery novel and examined the sexual revolution in terms of its relationship to behavior modification. Together with Cyril Franks and others he cofounded the Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapy (now Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or ABCT). After retiring he returned to Palo Alto to live until his final move to Reno to be with his son Charles. Besides Charles he is survived by his other children Wendy Levine of Bethesda, MD, David of Weston, VT, and Stephanie of Portland, OR. Donations in his memory can be made out to the ABCT and sent to the Leonard Krasner memorial award, ABCT, 305 7th Ave, NY, NY 1001.

Egon Neuberger(Editors note: In an omission the full text of the Neuberger obituary failed to make the transition from the web newsletter to the mailed version last month. It is therefore repeated here.)
Egon really exemplified the model of a combined commitment to scholarship, teaching, and service. Through the 1970's he was active in promoting scholarship on comparative and internatational economic development; he edited numerous collections of papers on European economic life (with an understandable emphasis on his native Yugoslavia and Slavic Europe). He then devoted his career largely to university service, the academic version of good citizenship:- Dean of Social and Behavioural Sciences for two terms during a particularly unrewarding period of adminstrative support; a fill-in stint as Dean of Undergraduate Studies; work with the Honors College. The division had few resources but Egon always told his chairs what they were and how- and why- he was inclined to distribute them. He had no secret agendas; he was "our man" in the administration building (and library). He also wrote a text on introductory economics that came out of his Stony Brook teaching experience and he designed it for students in those large and usually unsophisticated courses he accepted as part of his faculty load, despite his status and experience. He and Florence were generous and serious patrons of the campus "high culture". Egon was also a first class skier and bicycled from home to campus until his very last years. We will all miss him.

Footnote to October's talk
In case you missed it, here is a footnote to Donny George's talk http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/world/middleeast/12iraq.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Website of the month (A sometimes monthly postscript of information and comment from your webmaster)
One of the many interesting anecdotes provided to us in Howard Schnieder's talk was about studies which show that when a subject hears news which conflicts with his/her previously held viewpoint, then increased electro-encephalagram wave activity occurs in that part of the brain associated with emotion rather than the part associated with reasoned thought. Later in the talk he recommended a visit the website of the Harvard Project Implicit (at the risk of having your liberal self-image totally destroyed): https://implicit.harvard.edu
But after you receive the results from your test(s) there, please do not get emotional about it. We suggest that you calmly and rationally talk it over with our next speaker.