(Posted March 8, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- While survival rates for soldiers in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are lower than the death rates in Vietnam, there is an increase in trauma-related problems. A psychology professor at Juniata College will explain how advances in technology, such as body armor, have reduced fatalities, but increased reported instances of head traumas in the lecture "Combat-induced Neurotrauma" at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 17, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science

Mark McKellop, associate professor of psychology, will talk as part of the college's Bookend Seminar Series about how hundreds of thousands of troops have returned home with new (and unanticipated) problems linked to neurological injury. These "neurotraumas" include post-traumatic stress disorder, penetrating traumatic brain injuries and explosive blast brain injury.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Bookend Seminar Series features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata College faculty.

McKellop will talk about the causes of these various trauma-related disorders and the behavioral consequences of these often-debilitating brain injuries.

In addition, he will cover how approximately 1.6 million service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and how statistically the death rates for soldiers has been lower than in earlier prolonged wars such as Vietnam.

McKellop joined the Juniata faculty in 2002 as an assistant professor of psychology. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 1994. He earned a master's degree in clinical-child psychology in 1996 and a doctorate in clinical-child psychology in 2000, both from the University of Cincinnati.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1985 to 1992. His research interests include stress, coping and resilience in children and adolescents, health psychology, how psychotherapists are portrayed in popular culture and gender influences on child development.

He received the 2008 Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching. He also was promoted to associate professor in 2008. He has taught courses in abnormal psychology, behavior disorders in children and adolescents, child and adolescent development and the psychology of personality.

McKellop was a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. from 2001 to 2002. He also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio from 2000 to 2001.

His research has been published in academic journals such as Child Neuropsychology and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.