"Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion."
~ Barry Holstun Lopez
Where are they (and how are they) now? Click on the picture to read a few stories of students in the dissertation phase.
On September 21st, this man morphed from Student to Alumni, from Master to Doctor! Click on his picture to read more about Dr. Singh and his dissertation work.
"During the three years of class work, the most exciting thing has been the injection of a mysterious nourishment I received every time I went down to Santa Barbara. This has been the first time that I felt a part of a community that speaks my language. The fact that I could be talking to someone for hours and by the end we both know that we not really know what we have been
talking about, and yet we smile knowing that something happened
here - that is priceless. Today, the most exciting aspect of my studying
is no doubt, my dissertation."
From an interview with dissertation student Aviva Joseph. More of the interview can be found here, in addition to some of Aviva's course and fieldwork papers.
Current Student Profile
Dissertation student Robin Barre reacts to the Newsweek edition with the cover "We Must Fire Bad Teachers." Link to Newseek, and read Robin's article, by clicking here.
Tell us a little about your personal and educational background.
I was born in a small town near Lake Michigan. I lived in the Tampa Bay area of Florida from 1980-1990 where I attended the University of South Florida. My bachelors degree is from the Tampa campus and my Masters of Liberal Arts is from the St. Petersburg campus. I worked in the advertising industry until moving to Syracuse, New York in 1990 to complete a Ph.D. in Public Communication (Mass Communication) and Women’s Studies. I have been a dancer most of my adult life and a yoga practitioner for the last eleven years.
What were you doing before you applied to Pacifica?
I was and still am a tenured associate professor in the School of Journalism & Communication at the University of Oregon where I have taught since 1993.
How did you find out about Pacifica, and what led you to apply?
A colleague was a student in the Mythological Studies program and I also received advertising via my subscriptions to related publications. I began my studies in the Mythological Studies program and transferred to Depth Psychology.
What specifically appealed to you about the Depth Psychology degree?
The opportunity to dig deeply into Freud’s and Jung’s ideas and most specifically the opportunity to study and write in the area of ecopsychology.
What has been the most exciting aspect of studying in the Depth Psychology program thus far?
Finding connections between praxis and practice in area of cultural studies, which is what I have done thus far, and animal studies/ecopsychology. I’ve made some wonderful professional and personal contacts by way of field work, course work, and conferences connected to animal activism.
What are one or two of the courses you’ve taken that have been favorites, or made a significant impact on you?
Courses taught by Ed Casey and Mary Watkins.
What is unique or special about the Depth Psychology community?
Openness to different approaches to the topic and an understanding of the complexity of students.
What are your hopes and dreams for how you will use this degree after you graduate?
Ideally, I would find a new academic home where I could write, teach, and conduct research in a supportive environment that blends my passions for depth and ecological psychology with media studies.
In addition to her recent publication in Spring Journal...
- Merskin, D. (2010, accepted-forthcoming). Hearing voices: The promise of participatory action research for animals. Action Research.
- Merskin, D. (2010). The new Artemis? Women who hunt. In N. Kowalsky (Ed.). Hunting -Philosophy for everyone: In search of the wild life (pp. 225-238). Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell. .
- Durham, D. & Merskin, D. (2009). Animals, agency, and absence: A discourse analysis of institutional animal care and use committee meetings. In S. McFarland & R. Hediger (Eds.), Animals, agency, and authority. Boston: Brill.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THREE OF OUR CURRENT STUDENTS
Debra (shown here with her cat Sweet Pea) finished her coursework in 2010
This edition of Spring Journal was guest edited by Gay Bradshaw, another Depth Psychology alum, who contributed an article titled "The Art of Cultural Brokerage: Recreating Elephant-Human Relationship and Community" (co-authored with Carol Buckley), "We, Matata: Bicultural Living Among Apes," "Freud and the Family Horse: Exploration into Equine Psychotherapy" (co-authored with Vera Muller-Paisner) and "The Evolution of Ethology: An Interview with Marc Bekoff."
Also in the journal, a film review of "The Cove" by current dissertation student Victoria Drake.
Congratulations to Debra Merskin for her recent essay in Spring Journal's Minding the Animal Psyche edition entitled "Re-visioning Eco-psychology: Seeing through Dream Animals to Species in Peril."
Scroll down to read more about Debra in our student profile section.