Distinguished Speaker Series: ARCHIVES

Each fall and spring semester the Department of Psychology invites a distinguished scholar who has made a substantial scholarly impact on the field of psychology to speak to our faculty, staff, students and friends.

Barbara Fiese, Ph.D.
  • Date: February 25, 2016
  • Title: Why Family Mealtimes Matter: The Science and Politics of Food, Family and Children's Health
  • View pictures from the event.

fiese-thumbDr. Fiese’s research focuses on family level factors that promote health and well-being in children at risk due to physical illness and/or poor child-raising conditions. She examines how family rituals may promote medical adherence and reduce anxiety in children with chronic illnesses and tracks how changes in child and parent stories about family events are related to child and family adjustment. She is invested in bringing family science to the public to inform decision makers and opinion leaders to better the health and wellbeing of children. Her latest book, Family Routines and Rituals, was published in 2006 by Yale University Press.

Dr. Fiese earned a Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1987. She served as professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Syracuse University, New York from 2000-2008 and held appointments as professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse prior to coming to the University of Illinois in 2008. She was placed as a visiting fellow by the Advertising Education Foundation at DraftFCB, one of the largest advertising agencies in Chicago, to study food advertising and marketing to families. Dr. Fiese is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and serves on several national committees and boards. She was named director of the Family Resiliency Center in August 2008.


Timothy Elliott, Ph.D., ABPP
  • Date: October 8, 2015
  • Title: Resilience in the Initial Year of Caregiving for a Family Member With a Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
  • View pictures from the event.

elliot-thumb‌‌Timothy R. Elliott, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint faculty appointment with the School of Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center. He is a licensed psychologist and holds board certification (ABPP) in rehabilitation psychology, and he is a fellow in three divisions of the American Psychological Association (17, 22, 38).

His research has examined adjustment processes among persons living with chronic and disabling health conditions, with particular emphasis on the role of social problem-solving abilities and other factors that predict adjustment following disability. This work has resulted in over 250 publications and federal grant funding for 15 years (including support for five randomized clinical trials). He co-edited the first Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology (2000). His research team pioneered the use of long-distance technologies in providing problem solving training to family caregivers of persons with acquired disabilities, including the first randomized clinical trials of a psychological intervention for family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injuries, and for family caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injuries. He served on the Presidential Caregiver Task Force for the APA.

Elliott is a member of the Defense Health Board’s neurological/behavioral health subcommittee that advises policymakers on psychological/mental health issues and neurological conditions among service members and their families. He served as editor for the journal Rehabilitation Psychology from 2006 to 2011, and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Psychology. 

Upon joining the faculty at Texas A&M he collaborated with colleagues in the School of Public Health to develop the Telehealth Counseling Clinic. Supported by funds from HRSA and an 1115 Medicaid Waiver program, the TCC provides mental health services via videoconferencing to clients in five underserved counties in the Brazos Valley. He serves as the executive director.

He is a recipient of several awards and honors including the Dorothy Booz Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in Counseling Health Psychology (from the Society of Counseling Psychology), the Roger G. Barker Distinguished Research Award (from the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology), and the Mitch Rosenthal Award (for lifetime mentorship) and Invited Lecture (from the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology).