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Wellness Spring Speaker Series

Posted on: Mar 8, 2021

The Interdisciplinary Research Cluster on Wellness is proud to present its Spring Speaker Series. With expert speakers from all over North America, you’ll hear fascinating and thought-provoking research, ranging from the pandemic and overall wellbeing to gender diversity to financial wellness. 

Join us

for Optimism and Resiliency as Psychological Resources for Enhanced Wellness

When: Wednesday, March 10
At: 4:00pm (MST)
Link: meet.google.com/pnz-tnxg-etz

Optimism and Resiliency as Psychological Resources for Enhanced Wellness

Debora R. Baldwin, PhD, from the Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee.

With the world’s attention galvanized on the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are feverishly working to reduce and eliminate the harmful toll this virus has hurled on the lives of so many individuals. It is vitally important that we identify psychological resources to help us buffer the negative effects of this pandemic as well as daily life stressors on overall well-being. Optimism and resiliency are two positive attributes that comprise psychological well-being. Optimism refers to the tendency to expect a good outcome, and it has been shown to facilitate individual motivation and persistence towards a desired goal. Moreover, optimism is associated with lower self-reported stress and with numerous health benefits including lower mortality rates. Resiliency refers to an individual’s ability to “bounce back” from adversity or trauma. It is conceptualized by an individual’s current coping resources in response to life stressors such as academic distress, grief, illness, marital conflict, or job loss. Numerous studies show that individual resilience can reduce the negative impact of stress as well as improve physical health. In this talk, we will examine the concepts, effects, and mechanisms by which these psychological resources (Optimism & Resilience) enhance well-being from an experiential and research perspective.

About Debora Baldwin

Dr. Debora R. Baldwin (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. As a Health Psychologist, Dr. Baldwin examines the effects of stress (e.g., physical, psychological) and positive attributes (e.g., optimism, resiliency) on physiological outcomes (e.g., alpha amylase, cortisol, heart rate, skin conductance) and wellness domains in adults. Debora is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Black Psychology, and a regular reviewer for the Journal of American College Health as well as the Journal on Stress and Health to name a few. Since 2007, Dr. Baldwin also serves as the faculty advisor for Psi Chi, the International Honor Society for Psychology at the university. Debora is a seasoned psychology professor with years of teaching, research, and service experience.

Spring 2021 Presentation Series

Save the dates in your calendars for the whole series:



Presentation Title

Google Meet Link

Wednesday, March 10

Dr. Debora Baldwin

Optimism and Resiliency as Psychological Resource


Wednesday, March 24

Dr. Carmen Arth

Creating a Culture of Thriving for Sexual and Gender Diverse Students


Wednesday, March 31

Dr. Joe Cuseo

Wellness, Holistic Development, & The First-Year Experience


Wednesday, April 7

Dr. Robin Henager

Curricular and Co-Curricular Delivery of Financial Wellness Content


* Each presentation will be held at 4:00-5:00 pm (MST)