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Annual thanatology lecture honors former psychology professor

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—A renowned scholar of the psychology of dying, death and bereavement will give a lecture April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall at Hood College.

Kenneth J. Doka, professor of gerontology at The College of New Rochelle, a senior consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America and ordained Lutheran minister, will give a talk titled The Study of Death: Its Past, Present and a Glimpse of Its Future. He is the guest lecturer for this year's Dana G. Cable Memorial Thanatology Lecture Series, named in honor of Cable, former professor of psychology at Hood who passed away in July.

Doka is the author of nine books and more than 60 articles and chapters on aging, end-of-life issues and mourning. He has served as a consultant to medical, nursing and hospice organizations, as well as businesses, educational and social service agencies. He was elected president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling in 1993 and honored by that organization with an award for outstanding contributions to the field of death education. The series, formerly known as formerly the Carhart-Rollandini Thanatology Lecture Series, is endowed by Homer W. Carhart and Carla A. Rollandini through the Thanatology Endowed Lecture Series Fund.

The establishment of the fund emerged from Carhart's desire to share the concepts he learned from courses in thanatology—the study of death and dying—he took at Hood, which transformed his ideas about death.

Carhart's book of poems, Sunset Verses, and a CD of his music, Sunset Songs, were inspired by his studies at Hood. Proceeds from the sale of the book and CD, available for purchase in the Hood College bookstore, will help support Hood's thanatology program.

Carhart, a longtime friend and supporter of Hood, has endowed two other funds at the College: the Julia Holzapfel Carhart '30 Prize in Mathematics in honor of his wife, and the annual Homer W. Carhart Guest Pianist Concert.

Carhart earned a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland and was awarded an honorary degree from Hood during the College’s 2007 commencement program.

Rollandini is the founder of Elder Care Assistance. A graduate of George Mason University, she earned a certificate in thanatology from Hood in 2005. She is a volunteer member of the pastoral care team at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

For more information about this lecture or the series, contact Terry Martin, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and thanatology, at (301) 696-3759 or by email at tmartin@hood.edu.