UNH Hosts Renowned Expert on Adoption Nov. 22 in Celebration of Adoption Awareness Month

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

Editors, News Directors:
UNH graduate Diana Post, New Hampshire's state representative to the American Adoption Congress (a national organization for adoptees, families and professionals) is available for interviews for feature stories in conjunction with Adoption Awareness Month. A resident of Dover, you can reach her at 603-743-5727.

DURHAM, N.H. -- In celebration of Adoption Awareness Month, the University of New Hampshire will host Joyce Maguire Pavao, one of the country's leading experts on adoption issues, as its featured speaker Monday, Nov. 22.

Pavao's talk, "The Family of Adoption" takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Elliott Alumni Center. It is free and open to the public.

Author of "The Family of Adoption," (Beacon Press, 1998), Pavao is the founder and director of the Center for Family Connections, which has offices in Boston/Cambridge and New York. The center is a non-profit corporation that serves families touched by adoption, foster care and guardianship. In addition to providing extensive national and international training on adoption issues, Pavao has appeared on such popular news programs as "48 Hours," the "Today Show," and "The McNeil-Lehrer Report."

Pavao holds an M.Ed. in cross-cultural counseling and consulting psychology from Antioch University, and an M.Ed. in human development and an Ed.D. in human development and consulting psychology from Harvard University's, Graduate School of Education. She has received the Baran Pannor Award for Excellence in Open Adoption, the Adoption Activist Award from the North American Council for Adoptable Children and other child advocacy awards and citations over the years.

She states that, more than her degrees or honors, her most valuable credential is that she has experienced life as an adopted person, and she "has love and great respect for both her birth and adoptive families."

According to Kathleen McCartney, UNH professor of psychology and family studies, Pavao's visit to UNH is the result of a senior class project by recent graduate Diana Post, who is also adopted. In her psychology honors thesis, "Adoption in the Classroom," Post showed that professors of counseling and social work courses did not teach much on adoption-related issues. She presented her findings at a national conference in Washington, D.C. and, as a result, was asked to give an in-service workshop to the New Hampshire Psychological Association this winter. Her work will also be published in the April issue of the "Journal of Social Issues."

"Joyce is a brilliant and funny speaker who knows both the history and psychology of adoption issues," says Post, of Dover, who is New Hampshire's state representative to the American Adoption Congress, a national organization for adoptees, families and professionals. "She is truly a pioneer who paved the way in areas of adoption counseling during the 1970s, when no one else was really doing this."

Pavao's talk is sponsored by UNH's Child Study & Development Center, the Institute on Disability and the departments of social work, family studies and psychology.

November 10, 1999

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