The Journal News, The Huffington Post, MidHudson News Network, WPAP: Pace experts speak to media about Boston explosions

Pace has provided expert sources to news media as the public tries to make sense of the tragedy in Boston.

Pace has provided expert sources to news media as the public tries to make sense of the tragedy in Boston.

Joe Ryan was interviewed by The Journal News, Mid-Hudson News Network and WPAP, a Clearchannel radio station in Florida.

From The Journal News: “Joseph Ryan, a former New York Police Department officer who is now chairman of the homeland security graduate program at Pace University, said people can’t just rely on police to spot something. “The only way we can fight back is we all have to get involved,” he told The Journal News. “Constant vigilance in a free society is a necessary task that we all must undertake.”

Richard Shadick was interviewed by The Portland Press Herald in Portland, Maine. “Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center at New York’s Pace University, said there are similarities to 9/11 in the public’s feelings of uncertainty. “I think there is a sense of dismay now, too, though, that this doesn’t just happen in New York or Washington,” he said. Shadick said proximity plays a role in people’s feelings, too. People in Maine are likely to be affected differently than people in, say, Idaho. “But I do think these events become a permanent part of our collective consciousness,” he said.

Anthony Mancini was interviewed by the Huffington Post. “Letting children verbalize their concerns can help blunt the impact of their feelings, said Anthony Mancini, a Pace University psychology professor who focuses on grief and trauma. “Children do have the capacity to bounce back, and experiencing something horrific like the Boston Marathon … is not a sentence of trauma by any stretch at all,” he said. “Most children will do fine in the way that most adults would do fine.” While children who witnessed the explosion first-hand could face some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder, Mancini said, children are often resilient and bounce back.”


Washington Times, Journal News, College Magazine & Educated Reporter: Sandy Hook Tragedy – Trying to Explain the Unimaginable

As the public struggles to make sense of a senseless tragedy, media outlets have called upon Richard Shadick, Ph.D., director of the counseling center at Pace’s downtown campus, for perspective. (Left: A woman comforts a young girl Friday during a vigil service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn. / Andrew Gombert/AP)

As the public struggles to make sense of the senseless tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, media outlets have called upon Richard Shadick, Ph.D., director of the counseling center at Pace’s downtown campus, for the psychological perspective.

About the killer’s state of mind from the Washington Times:

“Human behavior is very complex. … What we can say with confidence is that this individual was suicidal,” said Richard Shadick, director of a counseling center and a psychology professor at New York’s Pace University. “Individuals who are suicidal, there is only a very small subset of those who are violent. We’re looking at a very rare phenomena here that we don’t know a lot about.”

About talking to children about tragedy and fear from The Journal News:

Parents should continue to monitor their children for signs that they are having difficulty coping with news of the shooting, especially children who have previously been exposed to violence, said Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center at Pace University’s downtown Manhattan campus. He said that parents should consider having their children spend less time with electronic media, such as television and video games, and find places of calm and quiet to talk.

“Of course, consider a child’s age and development,” Shadick said. “But approach things in a factual way that doesn’t sensationalize the scenario. If parents feel too sad themselves, they should wait a bit.”

About the suicidal killer from College Magazine:

Clinical psychologist and Pace University psychology professor Richard Shadick, Ph.D., said he believes this is a case of a suicidal person with psychological problems.

“Anyone who takes lives in this way is clearly suffering from a mental illness of some kind,” he said. “It’s deeply tragic and sad. The individual who most likely is mentally ill was unable to get the help and support he needed to take care of his problems.”

Shadick made sure to note that we should not take this a condemnation of everyone with mental instabilities.

“It’s important for people to understand that this individual does not represent all individuals who suffer from mental illness,” he said. “We should stay away from generalizations about who this person was until we get more information.”

College Magazine’s thoughts and prayers go out to the children, parents, teachers, and all those affected by this tragedy. At a time like this, what we need most is to just be with loved ones.

“Individuals should try very hard to take care of those around them because it’s a very upsetting situation that evokes a lot of hopelessness and helplessness,” said Shadick. “This is a very good time to reach out to friends and family.”

About helping children deal with tragedy and trauma from The Educated Reporter:

“This is a teachable moment: It’s one of the unfortunate realities of life,” Richard Shadick, a clinical psychologist and professor at Pace University in New York said of the Friday morning shooting that left 27 dead —including 20 children—at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.“Sometimes there are tragic circumstances that happen in the safest and most unexpected places.”

Across the country, education reporters are assembling reaction stories – localized articles on the safety practices of their local campuses, comments from the district’s police chief, and reaction from school staff and parents about their own fears and concerns. There will be questions about what, if anything, could have been done to prevent this senseless, unfathomable tragedy. Some of the toughest conversations – many of which will be taking place in schools across the country — are still to come.

For adults – parents, teachers, and school administrators – it’s important to consider a child’s developmental age when dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event, Shadick said.

“How much they can handle is the first thing,” Shadick told me. “There’s less of a need to provide information to a kindergartener than to someone in seventh grade where access to the media is much greater.”

But it’s also important that there be two-way communication – “A child should be allowed to talk about their concerns, and their questions should be answered,” Shadick said.

With younger children, the central message should be that they are safe, that what happened is extremely unusual, and that trustworthy adults are there to protect them, according to Shadick. The focus should be on instilling a sense of security and normalcy.

At the same time, adults – including teachers, coaches, and school administrators – need to be monitoring how children are processing the information. Kids who have experienced violence at home, or have “an excessive diet of media violence” should be monitored more closely to see if they are expressing anger or anxiety,” Shadick said.

Forbes: “Multi-generational Households: Surprise, It’s Not Necessarily A Nightmare”

Living with mom and dad, again, isn’t half bad. So shows the latest data from Pew Research Center. Among the three-in-ten of those surveyed, ages 25-34 who’ve had to shuffle back home during the Great Recession, nearly 80 percent of them say things are working out and they are optimistic about their financial future.

A Pew Research analysis of Census Bureau data shows that the share of Americans living in multi-generational family households is the highest it has been since the 1950s, having increased significantly in the past five years,

Adults ages 25-34 are among the most likely to be living in multi-generational households (mostly with their parents). In 2010, 21.6 percent lived this way, up from 15.8 percent in 2000, reports Forbes Contributor Sheryl Nance-Nash, in the article “Multi-generational Households: Surprise, It’s Not Necessarily A Nightmare.” 

While economically returning to the nest has its rewards, it’s not always a smooth transition. What’s the key to making it work?

Be sensitive.

Don’t focus on past conflicts … Generational differences around parenting should be acknowledged. Grandparents and parents may have markedly different viewpoints on child rearing  than their children do. “Honoring these differences should be an active part of the dialogue in the household, especially if there are small children being reared,” says Richard Shadick, PhD, director of the Counseling Center and adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University.

NEWS RELEASE: Ask a Question; Save a Life. Pace University Receives Grant for Online Training of Faculty and Staff in Suicide Prevention

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a nationally recognized suicide prevention program designed to educate persons to recognize and respond to the signs of suicidal thinking or behavior. Research has shown that those who ultimately attempt suicide often provide numerous direct or indirect clues as to their intentions. Contact Dr. Richard Shadick at or 212-346-1526 to sign up for online training and learn how you can save a life.

Pace University Receives Grant for Online Training of Faculty and Staff in Suicide Prevention;  Gatekeeper Approach Strengthens “Community Connectedness” to Detect and Treat At-Risk Individuals

 – Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds –

NEW YORK, NY, March 21, 2012 – Pace University’s Counseling Center, New York City campus, has received a one-time, $6,000 mini-grant from the QPR Institute for the implementation of a local online suicide prevention training program.

“Suicide remains the third leading cause of death among the 15-24 year old age group, of which most college students fall within,” said Richard Shadick, Ph.D., Director of Pace’s Counseling Center in New York City and an adjunct Professor of Psychology.Stigma of mental health services can prevent students from getting the attention they need.  Seventy-five percent of students who die by suicide never come for counseling.  While suicide is one of the most preventable forms of death, doing so is quite complex.  Pace will use this grant to train faculty and staff in a simple gatekeeper procedure that follows CPR and can save lives.”

QPR involves these three simple steps:

  • Question … a person about suicide
  • Persuade … the person to get help
  • Refer …the person to the appropriate resource

To date, more than one million Americans have been trained in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is an evidence-based, Suicide Prevention Resource Center/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SPRC/AFSP) registered “best practice” program taught in classrooms by more than 5,000 Certified Instructors throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Ask a Question; Save a Life 

“What can be done to help individuals who are suicidal? Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of suicide can help,” advised Dr. Shadick. ”Suicidal individuals can be depressed, hopeless, angry, or socially isolated. They often have difficulty with sleeping or eating and demonstrate obvious changes in their appearance. Students who are suicidal have significant academic or financial problems or experience a significant loss, such as a relationship break up, divorce, or move. Suicidal individuals also talk about dying-either indirectly, such as saying that they want to end their pain or make it all go away, or directly, such as stating that they want to kill themselves. Students whom have attempted to kill themselves in the past are particularly at risk for future suicide death. Finally, with college students a significant proportion of suicides involve drug or alcohol use.”

QPR’s online suicide prevention program “gatekeeper” training takes about an hour.  A gatekeeper is someone who knows the basics about suicide and intervention skills, believes that suicide can be prevented and can assist in the aftermath of suicide.  The three formal goals of the program are:

  • Goal 1: Build community capacity to prevent suicide by strengthening community connectedness through gatekeeper training designed to detect and treat at-risk persons before a suicide attempt or completion occurs.
  • Goal 2: Reduce the frequency and base rates of suicide attempts and completions in communities experiencing increasing and high rates of suicide events (attempts and fatalities).
  • Goal 3: Establish sustainable suicide prevention programming and staff infrastructure at the community level through a public-private partnership. 

If someone is talking about killing themselves or is experiencing some of these symptoms, it is essential to intervene,” added Dr. Shadick.  “One should listen without judgment and acknowledge the pain they are suffering. Even if they downplay their symptoms, one should take them seriously. It is essential to get them to a psychologist quickly. Sometimes a college student may feel that there is a stigma connected to going to a campus counseling center. One should let them know that the counseling center is another form of academic support just like a writing center or tutoring service and that many students go to these centers for a wide variety of concerns, not because they are mentally ill.”

Members of the Pace Community who are interested in participating in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program should contact Dr. Shadick directly at, 212-346-1526.

About Pace University

For 105 years Pace has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Media Contact: Samuella Becker,, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172 



Investor’s Business Daily: “Plan To Refresh Resolutions”

Your New Year’s resolution seemed solid. Now it’s February and you’ve lost your motivation. Refresh.

By now, many of us have abandoned, or at least downgraded, our expectations for what we will do to change our lives in 2012.

Amy Alexander,  writing for Investor’s Business Daily, sought tips from goal-setting experts such as Pace’s Dr. Richard Shadick on how to reframe, or possibly even leverage, the slump that can happen in February when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

Get smart. “Most resolutions go awry because people do not think through what it takes to reach a goal,” said psychologist Richard Shadick, director of Pace University’s Counseling Center in New York City. “Instead of telling yourself ‘I am going to lose weight and be healthy next year,’ it is better to say ‘I will lose 5 pounds by March 15th by walking for 20 minutes three days a week and no longer drinking soda.'”

Get additional insight on how you can get back on track by clicking here to read the entire article.

SpryLiving: “A New You for the New Year”

It’s January. Time to ring in the New Year. And you have, without a doubt, made a ton of resolutions that for once you vow to finally keep. Know that you have the power to thrive, succeed, and become the individual you desire in 2012—without ever having to totally give up Moon Pies. Pace’s Richard Shadick and John Cronin offer advice in Spry Living’s January issue, reaching 9.5 million readers, on how to make your New Year Better Than Before.

“Yes, we all want to lose weight, eat more vegetables, get fit, drink water instead of white wine, hold fewer grudges, manage our stress, sleep better and help the planet go greener,” writes Jane Wilkens Michael in the January issue of Spry Living

But alas for many of us, our best goals and intentions are forgotten faster than old acquaintenances.  Here are tips that Michael garnered from Pace faculty members John Cronin and Richard Shadick on how to make our resolutions live on after January 1:

Emotional Health

Be realistic—and specific. “Instead of telling yourself, I am going to lose weight and be healthy next year, it is better to say, I will lose five pounds by February 15 by walking for 20 minutes three days a week and no longer drinking soda,” says Dr. Richard Shadick, director of the Counseling Center and adjunct associate professor of psychology at Pace University. The more specific, measurable, and attainable a goal is, the more likely it can be reached.

Giving back

It’s easy being green. “This New Year, resolve to help the planet,” says John Cronin, senior fellow for Environmental Affairs at Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. “There are two questions I am asked most often: ‘Can one person really make a difference?’ and ‘How?’ The answer to the first is easy: Yes! It is the story of human history — but those who never try to make a difference never do.” Cronin poses a creative challenge: “Look to your own life to find that something special you can make happen. For example, one mechanic adds a dollar to the bill of each of his car repair customers as a donation to the Riverkeeper organization. Over the past 20 years he has directed thousands of dollars to the group, and his customers are delighted. Help your child’s school find environmental experts to speak to classes. Here’s a simple one: Share a fascinating fact, and your friends will spread the information too —how much of the water on our planet is available for drinking? (Answer: Less than 1%). I promise they will be amazed, educated and eager to tell someone else. The point is that in addition to the how-to’s of proper individual behavior, which after 42 Earth Days should be common knowledge by now, there are creative acts you can perform, invent and organize that will change the world right in your own backyard if you are bold enough to try.  Jump right in. The planet is waiting.”

Prevention Magazine: “8 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues”

It’s hard to tell when all the joyous merriment of the season tips over into a seemingly undue case of the blues. From social, work and family celebrations, to financial pressure of gift-buying, to the hurry-up-and-party mentality, to skipped workouts, erratic eating and overblown New Year’s Resolutions … the fact is, holiday blues are nearly inevitable. Here’s a spoonful of coping advice from Pace’s Dr. Richard Shadick.

“Remember, holidays are often stressful. Holidays require more of us–more socializing, more shopping, and more running around,” says Richard Shadick, PhD, Director of the Counseling Center and Associate Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Pace University, in an article appearing in Prevention magazine and online at MSN Health.  “All of this can be taxing, so adjust your expectations and you won’t be as disappointed if the holidays don’t feel like great fun.”

Don’t go for broke

“Financial pressures are common during the holidays, particularly given the state of the economy in the past few years,” says Shadick. “Don’t assume that you are required to give lavishly if you cannot afford to. Complete a budget and stick to it.” Find thoughtful ways to reach out to people—whether it’s offering to pick up items for a neighbor when you’re hitting the grocery for the sixth time in a week, or just texting a friend who’s entertaining a houseful to see how she’s doing.

The CollegeSurfing Insider: “Big Test – Studying During the Holidays as an Adult Student”

As Thanksgiving approaches, the distractions increase … with thoughts of turkey, shopping, and family time taking you away from studying, writing papers, and finishing end-of-the-semester college projects. With these top tips, you can enjoy your holiday traditions (yum, pumpkin pie!) and finish up the semester strong.

Family get-togethers, holiday shopping, holiday cooking and more are all filling your calendar in Thanksgiving and December. With a bit of planning and preparation, these helpful hints should allow you to enjoy the holiday and keep from having to finish a key assignment or study for a final at the last minute:

Schedule your holidays.
Just like timing the components of a holiday meal, designate days and hours for studying/coursework, holiday commitments, and family time. For example, complete a homework assignment before you head out for Black Friday shopping, so you can enjoy the madness along with other deal seekers. Choose which holiday parties you will attend based upon school deadlines, so that you have enough time to study and have fun, says Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center and an associate adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University in New York.

Set realistic goals.
This may be the year that you hand off certain Thanksgiving dishes or holiday parties to someone else. Adult students often feel like they are unable to give anything their “all,” but if you set reasonable expectations about school, home and work, you will feel less stressed, Shadick says.

Don’t overindulge.
Enjoy that (one) cup of eggnog, as Shadick points out that drinking too much, overeating, or staying up later than normal makes it difficult to study effectively.

Be thankful for help.
If you feel overloaded, consider going to your school’s counseling center to talk to a professional about your holiday and school-related stress.

For more tips, click here “Ilya Zhitomirskiy: With Grief, A Dialogue On Depression, Stress And Anxiety Takes Shape”

In the wake of the suicide of a promising tech entrepreneur this weekend, Dr. Richard Shadick helps us – and readers – to understand the mindset of young founders in a startup culture who may be dealing with issues of isolation/stress/depression.

In the wake of the passing this weekend of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the four founders of much-hyped open-source social network Diaspora, an unsettling conversation has begun within the tech community. Zhitomirskiy’s death, rumored to be a suicide but officially the cause is unknown, has ignited what many see as a much-needed and long-awaited dialogue in the industry: the mental health repercussions of the immense pressure and scrutiny—both internal and external—that young tech founders weather in their quest for the new American Dream.

“These are the new masters of the universe,” says Richard Shadick, Ph.D., the director of Pace University’s counseling center and adjunct professor of psychology in an interview with “We saw the same profile with Wall Streeters in the 80s: lots and lots of pressure and enough money to motivate them to keep striving for more.” Entrepreneurs, especially those in the high-risk-high-reward startup game tend to have a specific type of personality profile, he says: exceedingly driven, creative, often idiosyncratic thinkers with what can be overwhelmingly high ideals. “It takes a little bit of craziness just to undertake such a huge endeavor to begin with.”

But are entrepreneurs any more prone to depression than the rest of the world? New research does link the creative thought process and capacity for highly focused work so often seen in founders with depressive thinking. Amongst themselves, founders point to isolation, pressure and lack of adequate health care as fuel to the fire of depression. One fund-raising entrepreneur notes that looking for funding might make it especially difficult for a young founder to address any mental health issues he might face. “I do believe it is an impediment to getting investor backing,” he says. “Depression is not well understood by people who haven’t experienced it.”

In the wake of a tragedy like the death of a member of the community, an outcry for a solution is natural. By all accounts the opening of a dialogue on the mental health issues of entrepreneurs—a possible predisposition to depressive thinking and the insurmountable pressure of attempting to reach superstardom by 30—is a step in the right direction.

But Shadick thinks it’s imperative that the conversation surrounding mental health become an industry priority.“The prototype of a Zuckerberg can be quite dangerous for someone to try and attain,” he says. To that end he says it’s essential to address the issue of stress management within the community and the encouragement of realistic work-life balance. “Particularly for founders. Because if someone is starting a company, they’re going to be the model for all future employees and the health of the corporate culture.”

And if work-life balance plays even the tiniest part of the mental health of an individual, that seems like one place where the risk just isn’t worth it.

Cape Cod Times: “Life skills your high-schooler should learn before college”

They are routines you probably take for granted — throwing in a load of laundry, keeping track of your debit card statement, remembering to eat vegetables with dinner so you get nutrients. Then you realize your college-bound high-school senior has used only paper money, eats three meals of Pop-Tarts and may not even know where the washing machine is.

Rather than frantically trying to teach your teens life skills as they’re packing up next August, college staffers say it’s best to start the instruction now.

College officials recommend getting students used to better time management this year, preferably by buying them a paper planner or setting up an electronic one. Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center for Pace University in New York City, says he often sees freshmen struggling when teachers don’t remind them five times about a due date.

College “faculty members tend to be a bit more hands-off,” he told the Cape Cod Times.

In a senior year that’s already full of college applications to fill out and school celebrations to participate in, teaching your child these skills can seem like another chore to check off the list. Shadick recommends linking learning these skills to the fun idea of going to college.

“Play on the student’s excitement,” he says.