Thursday, April 26     Friday, April 27      Saturday, April 28   
   8:40 - 9:40 a.m. ET      8:40 - 9:40 a.m. ET              4:25 - 5:25 p.m. ET      
   Alison Salloum, PhD, LCSW 
   Carl Becker, PhD               
    Anne Balsamo, PhD              

Scroll down to learn more about each keynote presentation.

Keynote Presentations

ADEC is pleased to announce the following keynote presentations for the 40th Annual Conference. Presentation content is still in process and updates will be made as information is available.

Thursday, April 26, 8:40 - 9:40 a.m. ET
Community-Based Research on Interventions for Bereaved and Traumatized Children
Alison Salloum, PhD, LCSW

Alison Salloum, Ph.D., LCSW, is an Associate Professor and the Interim Director in the USF School of Social Work and has a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. She received her MSW and Ph.D. from Tulane University School of Social Work. Dr. Salloum's primary research interest is on the treatment of childhood trauma and grief. She is specifically interested in examining psychosocial interventions for young children, children, adolescents, and their families who have been exposed to various types of traumatic events such as violence, disasters, and death. Recently, Dr. Salloum completed a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to develop and test a stepped care intervention designed to be accessible, efficient, and cost-effective to improve access to evidence-based treatment for children after trauma, and she is continuing this line of research with a large-scale community-based randomized clinical trial. Dr. Salloum has provided trainings on grief and trauma interventions for children nationally and internationally including in Lebanon, Israel, Turkey and Norway. Dr. Salloum is the author of Group work with adolescents after violent death: A manual for practitioners, Reactions to trauma and grief: A workbook for children, and more recently Grief and trauma in children: An evidence-based treatment manual. 

Evidence-based practices (EBP) that have been tested in real-world settings with bereaved and traumatized children remain limited. There are challenges to conducting research with children and their families in community-based settings, and once interventions are empirically-supported clinicians are faced with bridging research and practice. Dr. Salloum will discuss the lessons learned from developing the Grief and Trauma Intervention (GTI) for Children, an EBP for bereaved and traumatized children that was tested in an urban community setting. The theoretical foundation of GTI for Children will be discussed as well as practical applications in community-based settings. 

Friday, April 27, 8:40 - 9:40 a.m. ET
Japanese Spiritual Practices Facing Elder Care & Bereavement
Carl Becker, PhD, DLitt


After studying death and dying at Kyoto University in the 1970’s, Carl Becker received his PhD from the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii in 1981. Subsequently he taught at Osaka, Tsukuba, and Kyoto Universities, the first foreign-born scholar fully tenured and promoted as a civil servant in a Japanese national university. He has received Fulbright grants and the SIETAR Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding. He participates in projects of Japan's Ministry of Education, is consulted by news media, and has been decorated by the Emperor of Japan for his studies of aging and dying in Japanese culture.

Japan has the world’s most elderly population. This makes both the elderly and their caregivers more conscious of death. The elderly worry about becoming too much burden on their families and society, while their caregivers risk burnout in the process of caring for their elders. 

Aging populations present challenges to health care systems too. (a) Families and hospitals must care for growing numbers of invalid or demented elders. This is an exhausting job for families and nurses, often leading to burnout, neglect, or even abuse.  (b) Dying people themselves face problems of pain, fear, and loneliness.  Drugs alone are not enough to heal these psychological problems.  (c) Bereaved families suffer feelings of loss, grief, guilt, or meaninglessness.  If not addressed, these can lead to additional diseases, accidents, depression, even suicide.

Yet Japanese culture has many hints for avoiding burnout while facing death.  This presentation presents five aspects of Japanese spiritual practices: aspiration, perspiration, respiration, expiration, and inspiration.   We shall see how tools for measuring meaningfulness can identify burnout before it becomes severe, and prevent elder abuse before it happens.  We shall see how meditation can reduce the stress of both caregivers and people who are themselves dying.  We shall also see how an East Asian understanding of life and death can reduce the pain and fear of death, and help to heal the grief of bereaved families.


Saturday, April 28, 4:25 - 5:25 p.m.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt and the Design of Digital Memorial Experiences
Anne Balsamo, PhD

Anne Balsamo is a scholar, educator, entrepreneur, and designer of new media who has published multiple works exploring the cultural possibilities of emergent media technologies. Balsamo comes to Texas after having served as Dean of the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York City. She received her Ph.D. in Mass Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Balsamo has been a leader in the growth of digital humanities in the United States, having served on the board of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) since its founding in 2003. Her most recent book, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (Duke University Press, 2011), is a transmedia platform that addresses the role of culture in the process of technological innovation in the 21st century.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was created 25 years ago as a work of community activism to protest the appalling lack of attention by the US health agencies to what was then, in 1987, an increase in improbable fatalities among previously healthy gay men in the United States.  Its first inception unfolded in October 1987 on the National Mall in Washington DC as part of the March for Gay Rights; it included 1,920 Quilt panels.  Now 25 years later, the Quilt encompasses more than 48,000 panels, representing 60 countries and commemorating more than 93,000 names.   It is the largest living memorial of its kind in the world.

This presentation discusses the creation of an interactive memorial that was designed to augment the viewing of the textile Quilt.  I will demonstrate three digital experiences:  1) an open-source mobile web application called AIDS QUILT TOUCH; 2) a tangible tabletop interactive that enables viewers to SEARCH the database of Quilt images to find a specific image and to BROWSE the archive of Quilt panel images; and 3) a community sourcing application that engages people in analyzing and archiving information about the Quilt.