Expert on death, grief to lead lecture at Walla Walla University

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COLLEGE PLACE - A Walla Walla University faculty member who is an expert on death and the grief process will lead the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Lecture next week.

Pamela Cress, dean of the Wilma Hepker School of Social Work and Sociology, will present "Reflections from a Reluctant Thanatologist" Nov. 14 from 7-9 p.m. at the Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Thanatology, Cress' specialty, is the study of death among humans, from what causes it to how people react when someone dies. In her lecture, Cress will draw on her own experiences with loss, and also discuss how the scientific study of bereavement opens more understanding on how to support someone through it.

Cress has taught at Walla Walla University since 1990. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from the university. She became a full-time faculty member in 1996, and dean of the School of Social Work and Sociology in 2006.

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