By Eve Brank, Associate Professor, Law-Psychology Program, Social and Cognitive Program
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has a 125-year tradition of firsts in psychology and the Law-Psychology Program is one of those firsts. In 1974, Bruce Sales and a group of faculty from both the Department of Psychology and the College of Law led the way for the founding of a unique program – a program focused on interdisciplinary training in psychology and law.
On October 23rd, we started a three-day event meant to reflect on where the Law-Psychology program has been and where they are going – and to celebrate both! The group first gathered at the Wick Alumni Center on Thursday, October 23rd to welcome alums back to Lincoln and focus on the relationship with the law school. Professor Bob Schopp was honored as being the faculty who has served on the most dissertation committees for students in the Law-Psychology program. The group also reflected on all those trips between East and City Campus – lots and lots of miles have been logged doing the Holdrege Hustle!
On Friday, the group heard from panels of alums and affiliates who have the careers and lives they have today because of UNL’s law-psychology program. Throughout the last 40 years, the Law-Psychology Program has seen four directors – Bruce Sales, Gary Melton, Steve Penrod, and Rich Wiener. All four program directors were part of a panel that spoke about, among other things, where the program and law-psychology in general should be headed. The current law-psychology students showcased some of that future by displaying their research posters that highlighted their current work.
Friday ended with a celebratory dinner honoring the relationship with the Psychology Department. Four undergraduate alums from each of the program director eras spoke about the impact the Law-Psychology program had on them as undergraduate students at UNL. Richard Blunk, an undergraduate from when Bruce Sales was the director, announced the Bruce Sales Law-Psychology Program Excellence Fund (check out the Alumni Spotlight to learn more) as a way to honor the mentoring and influence Bruce Sales had on Richard’s life and career.
Finally, the group celebrated good ‘ole Husker football with an all-day tailgate and a win against Rutgers!