Is Gratitude A Pathway to Happiness?

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Date(s) - 13 Oct 2016 until 13 Oct 2016
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Rotary Centre for the Arts


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Join us for a free event focused on gratitude and its importance to well-being and happiness. On Thursday, October 13th, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm a panel of UBC Social Work and Psychology Professors will discuss and answer audience questions on various aspects of gratitude. This discussion will be moderated by John Graham. Some of the questions we will explore include: Does gratitude enhance feelings of well-being? Can gratitude interventions enhance work or community situations? What are the barriers to sustaining a state of gratitude? Don’t miss out on this interactive evening!

Panelists & Bios:
Mark Holder, Ph.D.
Dr. Holder is an Associate Professor at the UBC where he studies the science of happiness. He leads a research team that is identifying factors that contribute to happiness in children (e.g., temperament, social relationships, spirituality and religion) in Canada, India and Zambia. His team is also investigating strategies to enhance happiness in children and adults. Dr. Holder is an award winning teacher and researcher. He recently gave a TEDx talk entitled “Three Words that will Change your Life”. He regularly gives keynote addresses and workshops on happiness in the workplace and in one’s personal life. Dr. Holder frequently appears on television and radio, his research has been featured in prominent international newspapers and magazines from four continents, and he has published over 80 papers including two recent books on positive well-being.

Judy Gillespie, Ph.D.
Dr. Gillespie is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning and a Masters Degree in Social Work. Her primary interests are in the role of communities and their social, physical, and political infrastructures in the promotion of child welfare. She is also keenly interested in place; the role of place in well-being and the interactions of person and place, including the ways in which professional practice is shaped by place. Her own professional practice has included child protection, mental health therapy with children, adults and families, and co-facilitation of group treatment programs for perpetrators of intimate partner violence. She has also practiced community organizing in a variety of settings with much of this occurring in rural areas and Aboriginal communities in northern Alberta. Dr. Gillespie’s past research has focused on multi-sector community change initiatives and she is currently leading an international research collaboration examining the acquisition of interprofessional expertise in child welfare.

Brian Rasmussen, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Rasmussen is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at UBC Okanagan, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School for Social Work at Smith College, Northampton, Dr. Rasmussen has over 25 years of clinical experience with individuals, families and groups, primarily in out-patient psychiatric settings. His primary academic interest is clinical social work theory, and in particular, the application of psychodynamic theories to practice. In collaboration with Dr. Daniel Salhani, a theoretical project is underway to integrate social and psychodynamic theories for clinical practice. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts where he teaches clinical social work theory. Dr. Rasmussen is a consulting editor for the journals Psychoanalytic Social Work, Smith College Studies in Social Work, and Journal of Social Work Practice. Dr. Rasmussen maintains a private practice in Kelowna that focuses on psychotherapy and clinical consultation.

Holli-Anne Passmore, B.A., M.A.
Holli-Anne is a Ph.D. graduate student in Psychological Science. Her research focuses broadly on well-being, with a particular focus on Meaning in Life and on the beneficial effects of nature involvement. Holli-Anne has numerous academic publications, and has presented her theory and research papers at several national and international conferences. She has been awarded over $200,000 in scholarships and grants, including UBC’s Killam Doctoral Scholarship and SSHRC’s CGS Masters and Doctoral Scholarships.

John Graham, Ph.D. RSW (AB)
John Graham is a Professor of Social Work and Director of the School of Social Work. Prior to coming to UBC, he was Director of the School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University, and before that at the University of Calgary where he had served as Murray Fraser Professor of Community Economic Development, and PhD Program Coordinator. Graham has held over $4 million in research funding, has published over 100 journal articles, 51 book chapters, and is completing his tenth book. He has published on international development (with a particular focus on Bedouin-Arab communities in the Middle East), social policysocial welfare historyspirituality and social workmulticultural social work, and homelessness. His current interests concentrate on employee well being, and subjective well being (happiness) in and out of the workplace. His writing was recently recognized among the top 50 most frequently cited for his discipline in the English speaking world, 2000-2009. A longstanding mentor to junior faculty and to graduate students, Graham has sat on over 100 graduate student committees at the masters and doctoral levels, and in 2014 received a teaching award for graduate student mentoring.

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