Distinguished Speakers in Psychology Program

Speaker Profiles

Dr. Robert Sapolsky
Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University

Dr. ROBERT SAPOLSKY is a world renowned scientist and leading authority on the brain, stress, health, and coping. He is a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University and of neurology at Stanford's School of Medicine. He is also a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya. While his primary research, on stress and neurological disease, is in the laboratory, he makes annual trips to the Serengeti of East Africa to study a population of wild baboons and the relationship between personality and patterns of stress-related
disease in these animals.

Dr. SAPOLSKY is widely recognized as one of the finest science writers of our time. He is the best-selling author of several books, including "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers", "A Primate's Memoir", and is a frequent contributor to such publications as The New Yorker, Discover, and Scientific American. His work has also been profiled on PBSand in the National Geographic special documentary "STRESS: Portrait of a Killer".

Dr. Temple Grandin
Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University

Dr. TEMPLE GRANDIN is a professor of animal science, a world renowned scientist, inventor, engineer, best-selling author, animal welfare activist, one of the world's leading authorities on autism spectrum disorders, subject of an Emmy Award winning movie, named one of the world's "100 Most Influential People" by Time Magazine.

Dr. Grandin has published numerous articles and books on autism including the best-selling "Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism", "The Autistic Brain", and "Emergence: labeled autistic". She has also published numerous scientific articles and popular books on animal behavior, inlcuding the groundbreaking books "Animals in Translation", and "Animals Make Us Human". Her work in the field has encouraged new directions in research on autism and has inspired thousands. Dr. Grandin lectures world-wide on autism spectrum disorder and animal handling. In the United States, over half the cattle are handled in humane systems she designed. Her designs have transformed animal welfare and the animal handling industry. She has received awards awards from both the animal handling industry and animal welfare organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals),and the American Humane Society.

Dr. Stephen Hinshaw
Professor of Psychology, U.C. Berkeley

DR. STEPHEN HINSHAW is a professor and former chair of the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the former president of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

DR. HINSHAW is a leader in the field of developmental psychopathology, investigates the earliest signs and progression of childhood psychiatric disorders, particularly attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He is editor of Psychological Bulletin, the most cited journal in the field of general psychology. He is the author of "The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures", "The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change" and "The Years of Silence Are Past: My Father's Life with Bipolar Disorder", and co-author of "The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today's Push for Performance ". A significant public voice, he has been interviewed by Time magazine, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America.

Jeff Bell

National Spokespeson for the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation
President and Co-founder of the Adversity to Advocacy Alliance

JEFF BELL is a nationally recognized author, motivational speaker, and KCBS radio news anchor. A leading voice for mental health advocacy, Jeff serves as a national spokesman for the International OCD Foundation and Mental Health America and
is the president and co-founder of the Adversity to Advocacy Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and fostering the power of turning personal challenges into service to others with similar challenges. Jeff is also a mental health blogger for Psychology Today.

Jeff is the author of two books, " Rewind, Replay, Repeat" - his memoir of living with and overcoming the challenges of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - and "When in Doubt, Make Belief". Jeff is a regular speaker at LPC and is an honorary
member of the LPC Psychology Club and the LPC Psi Beta Honor Society.

Brian Copeland
Multitalented Comedian, Writer, Television host, Talk radio host and Commentator
Mental Health Advocate

Nationally renowned performer BRIAN COPELAND a frequent and popular visitor to LPC with sell-out performances of
his highly acclaimed solo shows, "Not A Genuine Black Man: My Life as an Outsider", and "The Waiting Period: Laughter in the Darkness". Copeland's critically acclaimed monologues are a poignant exploration of such issues as race and identity, mental illness, stigma, and coping that are profound, entertaining, and very funny.

Copeland's incisive, cutting-edge standup comedy material won him San Francisco's prestigious Cabaret Gold Award as well as top prize in the Monterey Laugh Off. His unique ability to hilariously cut to the heart of some of our most serious social and political problems has earned him spots as the opening act for such diverse artists as Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Donna Summer, Peabo Bryson, Al Jarreau, Ringo Starr, Manhattan Transfer, Steve Allen, Dana Carvey, Kevin Pollack, Rick Springfield, Lionel Richie, Lou Rawls, George Benson, Patti La bell, Etta James, Gregory Hines, The Righteous Brothers, The Temptations, and the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Dr. William C. Dement
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine

DR. WILLIAM DEMENT is the world's leading authority on sleep. sleep deprivation, and the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Dr. Dement
is a passionate advocate for increasing public awareness of the importance of sleep, the consequences of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders, and the dangers of driving when drowsy. For more than 40 years Dr. Dement has taught the most popular course in the history of Stanford University - "Sleep and Dreams" - through which an estimated 25,000 students have been exposed to the fundamental concepts about sleep and its relation to health and safety.

He is the founder of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center, the world's first sleep disorder clinic. He also founded the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Board of Sleep Medicine, and co-founder of the Sleep Research Society. He also served as the founding President of the American Sleep Disorders Association.

Dr. Dement is the author of the definitive textbook on sleep disorders, and the founding co-editor of the scientific journal, Sleep. He has written or co-authored more than 500 scientific publications and has written the authoritative best-selling book for the general public, "The Promise of Sleep".

Kim Peek "The Real Rain Man"
World renowned "megasavant"

KIM PEEK was the inspiration for screenwriter Barry Morrow's Academy Award winning movie Rain Man. After meeting Kim at a meeting of the Association for Retarded Citizens (the ARC), Morrow was inspired to write a script, originally titled "Kim", that highlighted Kim's unique talents and personality. The script went through numerous modifications and evolved into the movie "Rain Man" - with Dustin Hoffman as the lead character "Raymond Babbitt". The movie would go on to make the terms autism and savant household words.

KIM possessed one of the most extraordinary minds ever studied. A one-of-a-kind "megasavant" Kim stored a seemingly infinite amount of information and could retrieve it from his mental library as fast as an internet search engine. In 2007, Kim was made an honorary member of the LPC Psychology Club and Psi Beta Psychology Honor Society. Until his death in 2009, Kim and his dad Fran spoke at LPC each semester.


Dr. John Ratey

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

JOHN RATEY is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and has a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1986 he founded the Boston Center for the Study of Autism, and in 1988 he founded a new study group of the American Psychiatric Association focused on the study of aggression, which grew out of his researchand development of novel drug treatments for aggressive behavior. During this time, Dr. Ratey lectured internationally on aggression and disturbances in the brain that affect social functioning.

In the 1980s, Dr. Ratey and Dr. Edward Hallowell co-authored Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood (1994), the first in a series of books that demystify the disorder. Dr. Ratey also co-authored Shadow Syndromes (1997) with Catherine Johnson, PhD, in which he describes the phenomenon of milder forms of clinical disorders. In 2000, he authored the bestselling book, A User's Guide to the Brain which translates how neuroscience affects emotions, behavior and overall psychology.


Mel Stuart
Award winning Hollywood Producer and Director

The late MEL STUART was an award winning producer and director of over 180 movies and documentaries, including the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Making of the President, Four Days in November, and Wattstax. Mr. Stuart received four Emmies, a Peabody Award, an Oscar nomination and numerous awards from film festivals around the world. In 2010, Mr. Stuart presented the world premiere of his new film documentary, "The Mystery of Sleep", at the Las Positas College Psychology Conference.