Dr. Kelly Lambert introduced Dr. Diener to the audience.
Dr. Diener presented The Science of Happiness
Applied to Your Life.
Randolph-Macon College’s Department of Psychology presented the first annual
Mike McKay Lecture on the Mind on Tuesday, September 29, 2009. Dr.
Ed Diener, co-author of the popular book, Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of
Psychological Wealth (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), presented The Science of Happiness
Applied to Your Life.
Diener claims that happiness can contribute to good health. "Happy people are better
citizens," said Diener. "They have stronger immune systems, healthier cardiovascular
systems and better health behaviors." Happiness, according to Diener, makes for
better relationships, and happy people have higher incomes. Diener spoke to a packed
auditorium, and his humorous delivery elicited much laughter from the audience.
“Given Mike’s tremendous impact on R-MC and its students, we felt it was important
for that part of his legacy to be a series on the mind that perpetuates his own
inquisitive mind and continued search for answers to life’s psychological questions,”
said Randolph-Macon President, Robert R. Lindgren. “We miss Mike deeply but are
grateful that a fund established shortly after his death will allow us to remember
and honor him. In that spirit, today’s gathering is a joyous event indeed.”
Diener is an accomplished scholar whose research focuses on understanding various
aspects of well-being, including temperament and personality influences on well-being;
social relationships and well-being; income and well-being; and cultural influences
on well-being. He is the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology
at the University of Illinois.
The lecture series is named in honor of the late Dr. Mike McKay, a beloved Randolph-Macon
College psychology professor who died in an automobile accident in December 2007.
The Lecture Series is supported by a fund that was established shortly after Dr.
Dr. Kelly Lambert, chair of the R-MC psychology department, was thrilled to kick
off this annual event with Diener’s lecture. “As a neurocognitive psychologist,
Dr. McKay loved to explore many aspects of the mind and we will try to capture his
interests in these lectures. We all remember Dr. McKay for his jovial nature and
wonderful sense of humor; it’s fitting that this first lecture explored the effects
of positive emotions such as happiness on various mental functions.” Lambert is
the Macon and Joan Brock Professor of Psychology and was named the 2008 Virginia
Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
A book-signing and reception followed the lecture.
Those interested in contributing to The Mike McKay Lecture on the Mind series should
contact R-MC’s executive director of Development, Laura Doherty at (804) 752-7229
or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org