Mary McNaughton-Cassill Tapped to Deliver Last Lecture

Associate professor of psychology Mary McNaughton-Cassill will deliver the spring 2014 Last Lecture on Feb. 24. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the University Center Retama Auditorium.

Apropos of the event, McNaughton-Cassill’s remarks will explore death and dying — specifically how modern life in our highly mediated, technological world leaves us singularly unprepared to deal with the fact that we all are going to die.

“We glorify mythical deaths, which Jung and Freud would have said was a way of coping with our own anxiety and ignoring real life ones,” she says. “We love action hero movies with lots of death and violence, but we do want the good guys to win. We revere athletes and adventurers who take risks and survive, and feel badly when they don’t. But these mediated, vicarious experiences are far removed from the reality of life, death and dying.”

A recognized authority on the subject of Stress, McNaughton-Cassill last year published “Mind the Gap: Coping with Stress in the Modern World.” Her husband, biology professor Aaron Cassill, delivered the university’s inaugural Last Lecture on Nov. 5, 2013.

The Last Lecture is co-sponsored by the Student Leadership Center and the UTSA chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

January 15, 2014