Geoffrey Cohen next in COW lecture series Nov. 15

Geoffrey Cohen next in COW lecture series Nov. 15

Image Credit: Nancy Rothstein

The College of Wooster’s Presidential Equity & Excellence Lecture Series will feature social psychologist Geoffrey Cohen on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. His new book is titled “Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides.” The lecture will be held in Gault Recital Hall in Scheide Music Center, 525 E. University St., and will be followed by a reception and book-signing. The talk is free and open to the public.

Cohen is the James G. March Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business and professor of psychology at Stanford University. His research examines processes that shape people’s sense of belonging and self and implications for social problems. He studies threats to belonging and self-integrity people encounter in school, work and healthcare settings and strategies to create more inclusive spaces for people from all walks of life. He believes the development of psychological theory is facilitated not only by descriptive and observational research, but also by theory-driven intervention.

“Belonging,” which was published by W.W. Norton in September, applies his and others’ research to myriad problems of communal existence and offers solutions for improving daily social life. Small acts that establish connection, brief activities such as reflecting on core values and practices Cohen defines as “situation-crafting” have been shown to lessen political polarization, improve motivation and performance in school and work, combat racism in communities, enhance health and well-being, and unleash the potential in people and their relationships.

Inaugurated this spring with a lecture in honor of Juneteenth, the Presidential Equity & Excellence Lecture Series features speakers on topics related to racial and social equity and justice and is designed to bring students, staff, faculty and community members together, with the aim of fostering understanding and catalyzing systemic change.