Scott Bonner - Director, Ferguson Municipal Public Library, Ferguson, Missouri
Scott Bonner has been Director for the Ferguson Municipal Public Library since July of 2014, and has been a professional librarian since 2006. His library was named the 2015 Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year for its response when Ferguson, Missouri was in turmoil. His first career was in ground-level mental health, working mostly with kids and adolescents. He has 4 young children, and no sleep. Professional Social Media details: @scottybonner @fergusonlibrary
What We Did in Ferguson: A Warts-and-all Telling of Stories
Abstract: Scott will share the story of what he and the staff at Ferguson Municipal Public Library did when the community was in turmoil following the killing of Michael Brown in August 2014. Scott's talk will highlight how libraries can be a focal point for a community in troubled times.
Scott will speak on Friday February 17th
Brenda O’Connell, Department of Psychology, University of Limerick
Brenda O’Connell has just received her Ph.D. in Psychology and is currently employed as a Lecturer at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Her expertise is in the field of positive psychology. The purpose of positive psychology is to explore the factors that allow individuals, work environments and communities to thrive and experience positive mental health and wellbeing. Her doctoral research examined how interventions fostering gratitude improved social connections and psychological health. She now conducts research as part of the Centre for Social Issues Research Group and the Anxiety, Stress and Health Lab in the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences. She has authored several scientific papers and has presented her work both nationally and internationally. She has achieved many research accolades, for example winning the International Positive Psychology Association Student Scholarship to present at their World Congress and most recently was nominated by the Psychology Department for the 2016 Postgraduate Research Excellence Award.
Professional social media details - Twitter Handle @BrendaHOConnell
Wellbeing Begins with ‘We’ not ‘Me’: The Benefits of Social Relationships
Abstract; Humans are inherently social beings, built for connectedness to people and community and not to exist in isolation. In fact, we cannot thrive in our profession or in life without others. That is why the quality of our social relationships directly effects our psychological and physical health. Drawing on perspectives and evidence from social, health and positive psychology, this keynote speech will firstly discuss how healthy and supportive relationships are a vital component of our wellbeing, and why they are particularly important in the work environment. Secondly, I will discuss the application of positive psychology in organizations. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of healthy, high quality relationships with colleagues in the work environment to promote a connected network and foster a culture of working collaboratively. Finally, because social relationships are so important to our health and wellbeing, I will outline simple ways we can improve and foster more positive and fulfilling relationships with the people we work with and beyond.
Brenda will speak on Thursday February 16th