Welcome to my Home Page.  I am a Professor of Psychology at Mansfield University where I have taught for the past 30 years.  I also serve as Chairperson of the Psychology Department. My background is in clinical and community psychology.  The community psychology philosophy (see the Society for Community Research and Action) of understanding human behavior and social activity in the context of the ecological demands of the social, cultural, and community environment has guided all of my professional activity.  I believe education and the prevention of individual and social problems is the most important way to affect human well-being.  Resources expended on prevention pay valuable future dividends in reduced human suffering and the expense of treating damaged people.

For many years my academic work involved supporting a graduate program in community-clinical psychology which emphasized service to rural communities.  I taught courses in rural community issues, prevention, and program evaluation and I was involved in state and national mental health and other rural issues through many organizations, especially the The Center for Rural Pennsylvania and the National Association for Rural Mental Health. At Mansfield I've supported extensive involvement of the University in our local community, first through the creation of the Rural Services Institute in 1984 and more recently through my involvement with the Laurel Health System and the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health.

We no longer have a graduate program and my current teaching is focused on undergraduate education.  I teach two counseling courses (Helping Skills and Theories of Counseling) in the Psychology major and I offer an elective "wellness" course in Death and Dying.  I also teach two courses in leadership, available to any interested students (Leadership Skills and Introduction to Leadership Studies).  These courses encourage student development and are based on the philosophy that a college education carries with it an imperative for students to embrace responsibility for leadership and ownership for community development and improvement.  My desire to promote college student development and leadership contributed to my role in the development of the University's First-Year Experience program, including the course for all incoming first-year students (First-Year Seminar).

My interest in leadership extends to a Leadership Project that is exploring student readiness and motivation for assuming leadership roles and for active engagement in both college and community experiences. I've developed a research instrument that explores student background and interest in engagement and change.  I'm interested in talking with others about these issues and in collaborative projects to explore leadership themes across campuses, regions, cultures and countries.  Please contact me if you are interested in these issues. 

Involvement with teaching college students is immensely rewarding and I continue to learn and grow through each new encounter.  Engagement in my local and greater communities is also very fulfilling.  My teaching and community experiences confirm that there is great value and personal satisfaction in striving to improve our collective situations and in seeking answers to our personal and shared questions.  New questions arise out of answers to old ones.  The hope for the future lies in the shared endeavor to improve the lives of those around us.

The buttons above will take you to other pages that provide more detail about my professional interests and activities.  I welcome your input and reflection on these pages and issues.

- Denny Murray

Mansfield University
2001 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Last Reviewed on  01/11/2008 .

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