Public Lecture Series

Smith SSW students clapping at a public lecture.

The annual Public Lecture Series brings experts in the to campus for lively and informative presentations. The lectures are held in Weinstein Auditorium and are free, open to the public and accessible. Continuing Education (CE) credits are available for a fee. Learn more about this year's Public Lecture Series below. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 4:30 p.m. | Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall 

Gloria Lucas

Creator, Nalgona Positivity Pride, Mujeres Market & Gorditxs Storytelling​

Gloria Lucas is a body-positive activist, entrepreneur, and a public speaker. In 2014, Gloria started Nalgona Positivity Pride - a Xicana-brown-indigenous body-positive organization that focuses on the link between historical trauma and eating disorders - after personally struggling with an eating disorder. Gloria’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, NPR, Bitch Magazine, and The Body is not an Apology. She lives in Santa Ana.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 6:30 p.m. | Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
April Few-Demo, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Head, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech​

April L. Few-Demo is professor of Family Studies and head of the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include intimate violence, adolescent and emerging adult sexuality, qualitative methodologies, rural women’s re-entry experiences, LGBTQIA+ family issues and diversity issues in academia. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Issues, Family Relations, and the Journal of Family Communication and has been elected to several offices in the National Council of Family Relations. A recipient of awards for teaching, research, and diversity service, Few-Demo’s scholarship on the utility of Black feminism, intersectionality and critical race theories has resulted in plenary invitations at national conferences and publications on feminist family studies and intimate partner violence in books such as the Sourcebook of Family Theory and ResearchViolence in The Lives of Black Women: Black, Battered and BlueWritten/Unwritten: Tenure and Race in the Humanities, and a co-edited book, The Handbook of Feminist Family Studies. Currently, she is co-editor of the forthcoming Sourcebook on Family Theories and Methodologies, the leading authoritative handbook for interdisciplinary family scholars that is published about every 12-15 years and is edited by the most prominent scholars in the field.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 7:30 p.m. | Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall

Thema Bryant-Davis, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University; Licensed Psychologist; Ordained Minister; Sacred Artist

Thema Bryant-Davis is a is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and a past psychology representative to the United Nations. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in the cultural context of trauma recovery. Bryant-Davis is author and editor of numerous books, book chapters, and journal articles and presents nationally and internationally on psychological healing and thriving. She was awarded the California Psychological Association Distinguished Scholar of the Year Award. In addition, Bryant-Davis presented the keynote during the 2019 Deepening Clinical Practice Conference

Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 7:30 p.m. | Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall  

Deepa Patel, CSOTP, LCSW, Certified EMDR Clinician​

Executive Director of Trauma and Hope

Deepa Patel is a licensed clinical social worker, certified sex offender treatment provider and a National Gang Crime Research Center gang specialist. She has expertise in treating non-voluntary clients, specifically juvenile and adult gang members and sex offenders. Patel has a unique ability to relate to her clients and she established an Outpatient and Inpatient Sexual Exploitation Training and Treatment Services Model (SETTS) that is in use at Trauma and Hope and within numerous outpatient, inpatient and human trafficking task force programs. Patel is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently she was recognized by the Department of Homeland Security in 2019 for continued efforts and collaboration in the area of sexual exploitation and gangs. Patel is a member of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force and the Loudoun County ICOPE Project (Improving Children’s Outcomes for Positive Endings) and she co-authored Working for the Crew: Understanding Gang Controlled Exploitation.

Lectures provide one and one-half (1.5) Continuing Education Credits (CEs). The cost to register for CEs is $15 per lecture. Those who wish to earn CEs should arrive 15 minutes ahead of the lecture to register. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the lecture. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the presentation. Participants must sign in and out of the session and complete an evaluation. Therefore, a late arrival or an early departure of greater than ten minutes constitutes not attending the lecture in its entirety. Payment will be collected at registration. Payment must be made by check or money order ONLY. 

This program is wheelchair accessible. For disability access information or accommodations requests, call 413-585-2407.

To request a sign language interpreter, call 413-585-2071 (voice or TTY) or send email to: at least 10 days before the event.