Center for the Study of Narrative to Host Fifth Annual Narrative Showcase, Lecture by Dr. Richard LaFleur

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Dr. Richard LaFleur

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Center for the Study of Narrative will host its fifth annual Narrative Showcase April 17 at 5 p.m., featuring a lecture by author, researcher, educator and speaker Dr. Richard LaFleur. The event, which will take place in the second-floor auditorium of the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center, is free and open to the public.

Dr. LaFleur, an expert in the discipline of narrative psychology, titled his lecture “What is Mattering? Implications for Narrative Practice.” A qualitative psychologist whose scholarship is grounded in humanistic and transpersonal traditions, he utilizes narrative inquiry to inform his work – looking to the individual as a source of understanding the experience of life and incorporating the community as a broader context in which to live out the concept of mattering.

He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology/Consciousness and Society from the University of West Georgia, where he is currently on the faculty teaching psychology and integrative healthcare studies. His postdoctoral work was completed at the College of the Holy Cross under the supervision of internationally-known narrative scholar Dr. Mark Freeman.

Dr. LaFleur is co-chair of the 10th Narrative Matters Conference to be held in Atlanta in May 2020 in conjunction with Mercer.

Mercer’s Narrative Showcase also will include brief presentations from Penfield College faculty and graduate students who have engaged in narrative-themed dissertation research and community and service-learning activities.

Topics include intergenerational immigration stories; overcoming trauma and addiction; life after the suicide of a spouse; the lived experiences of individuals in the early-stage of Alzheimer’s disease; adult learners’ anxiety level after participating in a service-learning outreach project; career decision-making self-efficacy and attachment among African-Americans; and the relationship between levels of spirituality and levels of depressive symptoms, church attendance and prayer experiences among elderly people.

The Center for the Study of Narrative is a multidisciplinary initiative housed within Penfield College that calls upon a variety of disciplines including counseling, theology, psychology, sociology and literary studies, among others. Faculty and student collaborators emphasize qualitative research methods and “story listening” to study the lives of individuals and cultures, giving students practical education while promoting service-learning. 

About Penfield College

Mercer University’s Penfield College, established as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Penfield’s programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer, Penfield offers degree programs in areas including technology, public safety, public and human services, leadership and administration, healthcare and liberal arts. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as Regional Academic Centers in Douglas County and Henry County, and online. To learn more, visit penfield.mercer.edu.

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Kyle Sears