News Release

Shwalb named president-elect of national organization

Contact: Constance Woods


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David Shwalb

     HAMMOND – David Shwalb, assistant professor of psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University, has been named president-elect of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR), an organization dedicated to international research on human behavior.

     Shwalb, who has been conducting cross-cultural research since 1978, was named president-elect at the society’s annual meeting in February in San Antonio, Texas. Shwalb and co-organizer Barbara J. Shwalb will host the 2008 SCCR annual meeting in New Orleans next Feb. 20-23.

     A faculty member at Southeastern since 2003, “He is one of the department’s most dedicated and successful instructors,” said Matthew Rossano, head of the Psychology Department. “Dr. Shwalb has established a solid scholarly international reputation that has brought him, the department, and the university acclaim.”

     A former Fulbright scholar who received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, Shwalb’s cross-cultural research program involves ongoing collaboration with scholars and institutions in Japan and other Asian cultures. He holds affiliate positions with Hokkaido University (Sapporo) and the Japanese Child and Family National Research Center (Tokyo), and serves as the English abstract editor for the “Japanese Journal of Developmental Psychology.”

     SCCR is an organization of members devoted to pursuing cross-cultural research from a multidisciplinary perspective to include psychology, anthropology, and sociology. Other members of SCCR are communications, business, and education professionals.

     As president-elect, Shwalb’s vision is that SCCR will grow into an international organization that is relevant to the worldwide growing interest in scientific research about cultural influences on human behavior. “The SCCR has an illustrious past, founded by some great anthropologists and psychologists, and I want it to have an important future.”

     Also elected at the San Antonio meeting were Doug Caulkins, Grinnell College, president; Juris Draguns, Pennsylvania State University, past-president; David Cornouyer, University of Connecticut, secretary-treasurer; and Suzanne Frayser, Cultural Insights LLC, anthropology representative.

     “I first got interested in cross-cultural research when I was at Oberlin College. I spent my junior year studying in Japan at Waseda University, and that was the greatest educational experience I ever had. Ever since then I have enjoyed combining my studies of psychology and cultures,” said Shwalb.

     David and Barbara Shwalb and their undergraduate and graduate students are now conducting research about how college students, professors, school principals, parents, teachers and students understand respect and disrespect.

     Since the 2005 hurricanes, they also conducted three surveys of displaced and regular students at Southeastern, showing that many continued to feel its impact psychologically, physically, and economically.

     “We studied our students after Katrina because we wanted scholars and the public to understand what had happened to these young people. Bringing the SCCR conference to New Orleans is a second way we are trying to increase understanding of post-Katrina Louisiana, using our position as professors. People from outside Louisiana need to come see for themselves what the citizens of New Orleans and Louisiana are still going through every day because of the hurricanes,” said Shwalb.

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