Social Work/Medical Humanities Lecture to Focus on Suffering and Hope

Sept. 19, 2005

by Julie Carlson

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Baylor University's School of Social Work and the university's medical humanities program will sponsor a lecture on suffering and hope as seen through the humanities. Dr. Andrew Achenbaum, professor of history and social work at the University of Houston, will lecture on "Efficacy of Illness Narratives in Times of Suffering and Hope" from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer School of Business. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"We are blessed and excited about Dr. Achenbaum's arrival and look forward to his lecture," said Dr. James Ellor, associate professor of social work. "In light of recent catastrophes in our own nation, Dr. Achenbaum will be sharing his knowledge of suffering and hope through the use of reflections from the humanities. Dr. Achenbaum's address is a timely dialogue on the application of the humanities for the Baylor family in light of the aftermath of Katrina."

A Phi Beta Kappa, Achenbaum received his bachelor's degree from Amherst College and his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan. After serving on the faculty at Michigan, he was named dean of the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication at Houston in 1999.

An expert in gerontological issues, Achenbaum is the author of "Old Age in a New Land," "Shades of Gray," "Social Security," "Crossing Frontiers," and the soon-to-be-published "Life's Uncertain Voyage." He is former chairman of the board for the National Council on Aging.

For more information, call the School of Social Work at 710-6411.

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