CHICAGO (June 6, 2011) - The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is pleased to host the Honorable Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy as commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient at the Chicago Campus commencement on June 10, 2011 in downtown Chicago. Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), served in the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the 1st Congressional District of Rhode Island from 1995 to 2011. Rep. Kennedy has been a tireless advocate for mental health research and services, and for eliminating the stigma around mental health issues. Among his many achievements, Kennedy was the lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which provides access to mental health treatment for tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care.
"Patrick Kennedy's tremendous accomplishments in advancing both treatment and access to mental health services embody the values of The Chicago School, and is consistent with our focus on developing engaged practitioners who are creative and purposeful agents of change in the communities they serve," said Dr. Michele Nealon-Woods, president of The Chicago School. "We are deeply honored to welcome Congressman Kennedy, whose work serves as a model to our students of dedication, innovation and service."
In addition to the Mental Health Parity Act, Kennedy authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act, the COMBAT PTSD Act, and the Alzheimer's Treatment and Caregiver Support Act. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Distinguished Service Award, the Society for Neuroscience Public Service Award, the Autism Society of America Congressional Leadership Award, the Depression and Bipolar Support Paul Wellstone Mental Health Award, and the Epilepsy Foundation Public Service Award.
Since choosing not to run for a ninth term, Kennedy has turned his attention to developing the One Mind for Research Campaign to improve funding and unify research efforts in brain science. On May 25, 2011, the 50th anniversary of his uncle John F. Kennedy's "moonshot" address in which he challenged America to send a man to the moon, the One Mind Campaign concluded a three day conference that challenged the world to conquer brain and neurological disorders-a "moonshot to the mind." The conference brought together prominent neuroscientists, representatives from government, advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical industry, and culminated in the release of a 10-year plan for neuroscience research and funding. The goals of the plan include developing public and private partnerships to share research in order to make progress on addressing brain disorders -- from schizophrenia to traumatic brain injury.
"Nearly 100 million Americans live with a disorder of the brain or central nervous system," said Kennedy, "and the signature injury of the current war has been traumatic brain injury. We must apply the same sense of urgency and goal-driven research that allowed us to put a man on the moon to research the mysteries of inner space--the human brain."
Kennedy will address approximately 3000 people on June 10th, including more than 500 masters and doctoral graduates in degree programs such as clinical, forensic, international, industrial/organizational and business psychology; applied behavior analysis; and school psychology. As commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient at The Chicago School, Kennedy joins a distinguished list of individuals including Tipper Gore; Hon. Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; former U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson III; and award-winning journalist/author Alex Kotlowitz.
The ceremony is closed to the public. A limited number of press passes are available. Media contact: Lynne Baker, 312.379.1635.
About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is the nation's leading nonprofit graduate school dedicated exclusively to the applications of psychology and related behavioral sciences. The school is an active member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, which has recognized TCSPP for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. The school's community service initiatives have resulted in three consecutive years of recognition on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, including the additional "With Distinction" honor in 2010. The Chicago Campus was one of three institutions in Illinois to receive the 2010 Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Campuses are located in Chicago; in Los Angeles, Westwood, and Irvine, California; and the newest campus in Washington, D.C. Doctoral psychology programs and masters psychology programs are offered on-ground and in an Online format.
For more information about The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gradpsychology. Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thechicagoschool.
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