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Release: March 14, 2002

Ida Beam Professor Vasquez to speak on terrorism and children           

Melba J.T. Vasquez, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas and one of the top people in the field of counseling psychology, will speak on "The Psychological Effects of Violence and Terrorism on Children" at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 in Room 101 of Phillips Hall at the University of Iowa.

Vasquez's talk will address the various reactions among children to school violence and terrorism, reactions that she's found vary according to age (elementary to high school) and according to each students' personal history in coping with difficulty or trauma.             
"There are various emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physiological reactions to trauma, and the focus is on helping people understand the variety of 'normal' responses to 'abnormal events,'" Vasquez says.

            Vasquez will provide suggestions for helpful responses from parents, teachers, counselors and others who deal with children.  She will also discuss the many thoughtful explanations that have been proposed for the causes of violence in schools. 

            Vasquez's talk is one of several events planned during her visit. The other events, listed below, are intended primarily for graduate students in human services but -- with the exception of the brown bag lunch -- are open to anyone interested.

            Monday, March 25

            10 a.m. -- Vasquez will speak on "Ethical Dilemmas in Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Decision-Making Model" in Room 301 of the Lindquist Center, which houses the UI College of Education.

            2 p.m. -- Vasquez will speak on "Providing Leadership in Psychology:  Strategies for Success" in Room 301 of the Lindquist Center.

            Tuesday, March 26

            10 a.m. -- Vasquez will give a presentation on "Boundary Issues from a Multicultural/Feminist Ethical Perspective" in Room 301 of the Lindquist Center.

            Noon -- Vasquez will hold a brown bag lunch and discussion for students in the Lindquist Center's Jones Commons.

            Since 1991, Vasquez has been a psychologist and executive director of Vasquez & Associates Mental Health Services in Austin, Texas, where she specializes in individual, group and relationship psychotherapy, consultation and training for organizations and forensic consultation. She is also president of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Division of Counseling Psychology.

            Vasquez, who received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology in 1978 from the University of Texas at Austin, has published widely in the field of counseling psychology and is the recipient of numerous awards.

            In 1991 Vasquez and coauthor K. Pope published the book Ethics in Psychotherapy & Counseling: A Practical Guide for Psychologists, a second edition of which was published in 1998. Journal article titles have ranged from "Advancing the Study of Chicana/o Psychology" (The Counseling Psychologist, 2001), "Latinos and Violence: Mental Health Implications and Strategies for Clinicians" (Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, 1998) and "Counselor-Client Sexual Contact: Implications for Ethics Training" (Journal of Counseling and Development, 1988).

            In 2000 the APA's Division of Counseling Psychology awarded Vasquez its John Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Practice of Counseling Psychology and the APA's Committee of Women in Psychology gave her its Distinguished Leader for Women in Psychology Award. In 1999 the Texas Psychological Association presented her with its Outstanding Contribution to Public Service Award, and in 1989 she was named a fellow of the APA. 

            Vasquez's visit is being sponsored by the UI College of Education and its Counseling Psychology Program, the college's Division of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, its Diversity Committee and the UI Office of the Provost. Funding is being provided through the Ida Cordelia Beam Visiting Professor Program. Ida Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her family farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring a variety of top scholars to the university for lectures and discussions.

            Founded in 1872, the University of Iowa College of Education was the nation's first permanent college-level department of education. Since then the College has gained an international reputation of excellence in fields as diverse as rehabilitation counseling, testing and measurement, and language and literacy. It is home to the Iowa Testing Programs, developer of the widely used Iowa Tests of Basic Skills; to the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development; and to such top-ranked programs as Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Elementary Teacher Education, Secondary Teacher Education, and English Education and Literacy.