Lisman lecture series to honor professor, bring 'big names' in clinical psychology

By My-Ly Nguyen '00, MBA '02

Prof. Stephen LismanStephen Lisman gets choked up when he talks about the Binghamton University lecture series in clinical psychology that has been established in his honor.

"It's so touching. I never imagined something in my name like this," says Lisman, a SUNY distinguished teaching professor in psychology who celebrated his retirement from Binghamton in the spring after more than four decades of extraordinary service.

Lisman's first doctoral student, Terence Keane, MA '76, PhD '79, SD '11, is spearheading efforts to secure funding for the Stephen A. Lisman Annual Lecture in Clinical Psychology to keep Lisman's impact on the program alive, address educational and training gaps and expose students to important topics in the profession.

Keane provided a sizeable gift toward establishment of the lecture series. The goal is to endow the event so it can be funded in perpetuity.

"This lecture will improve available resources to faculty and provide the best possible educational experience to graduate students," says Keane, associate chief of staff for research and a director at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Boston Healthcare System.

Keane was a member of the first class of students to enroll in Binghamton's clinical psychology training program in September 1973, just months after Lisman was hired as one of the program's first faculty.

"He gave 41 years of his heart and soul educating clinical psychologists," Keane says of Lisman. "I worked with him from basically day one of my graduate training and day one of his professional career. He has been a wise counsel, advisor and mentor. He's been a friend."

The Lisman lecture is expected to attract one or two "really big names" to campus each year — top clinical psychologists whom the department would not be able to bring in due to factors such as cost, psychology Professor Matthew D. Johnson says.

Johnson envisions the lecture will enhance the department's reputation and mean more recognition for the University.

"We have a wonderful psychology department here, and we're hoping to expand it even further, but no psychology department can cover everything in depth," Johnson says. "This series will allow us to give our students exposure to important aspects of psychology that they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to from our current faculty."

Lisman guided Binghamton's clinical psychology program, which integrates both science and practice. He also directed the University's Psychological Clinic, which serves the campus and local community and provides hands-on training for advanced graduate students.

"All the students know that they have been the program life force for me," Lisman said at his retirement gala in May. "The experience of not only teaching and challenging them, but seeing the things they go on to accomplish, has been not only immensely rewarding but also a continuing affirmation of the belief I have had in their talents and their potential."

Lisman has resumed teaching this fall, but as a Bartle professor. Bartle professorships foster the transition to retirement for Binghamton's senior faculty, enabling them to keep making important contributions to the University while reducing the level of their responsibilities. Lisman continues to be in private practice in clinical psychology.


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Last Updated: 9/26/16