Dr. Jeffrey A. Kottler, one of the foremost authorities and prolific writers in the fields of counseling, psychology, advocacy and education, will speak to community, professional and student audiences when he visits PennWest Clarion April 23 and 24 as part of the historic Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series.

He will present “Unlocking the Mysteries of Everyday Human Behavior” at 6 p.m. April 23 in Hart Chapel. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Additionally, Kottler will speak to campus audiences, including students, Student Affairs staff, and faculty both days. As part of the Seifert grant's outreach to the greater community, Kottler will address a mental health agency in Brookville.

"We at Pennwest Clarion are privileged to have Dr. Kottler for eight different presentations geared toward several audiences, two of which are open to the community," said Dr. Mark Lepore, professor in the Psychology, Counseling and Art Therapy department and Seifert Series committee member. 

Lepore has attended workshops presented by Kottler, and he has used several of Kottler’s books in teaching graduate students. Kottler is a bestselling author of more than 120 nonfiction books – including a New York Times bestseller – that address a wide range of subjects including personal development, group leadership, professional development of psychotherapists and teachers, self-care for helping professionals, social justice, and a variety of contemporary issues related to helping and healing, leadership, creativity and personal meaning-making. His books have been translated into more than two dozen languages and include a New York Times best seller and a few that have been produced as feature films.

“In addition to the learned and research-based material that Dr. Kottler presents, he is also very down to earth, funny, engaging and relatable,” Lepore said.

Mary L. Seifert ’46, whose rich family history with PennWest Clarion can be traced to 1907, possessed and encouraged a passion for learning. She graduated with education degrees in secondary social studies and geography and a minor in English from Clarion State Teachers College, then taught for 35 years and retired from Edison Junior High in West Mifflin School District.

As an investment in young people, she chose to endow a culture and lecture series to provide the university community with cultural experiences that inspire learning through thoughtful discussions.

All Seifert Series events are free and open to the public.

Since being formed, the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series has brought memoirist, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou; film director, producer, screenwriter and actor Spike Lee; Tibetan monks; comic strip creator and author Alison Bechdel; Pulitzer Prize finalist poet Martin Espada; Holocaust survivors photographer Lisa Shifren; and renowned poet and visionary Yehoshua November, along with many others. In February, the series hosted The Tamburitzans. Programming has inspired discussion on topics including Work and the American Dream, In God We Trust?, Beauty Matters, and The United States of Gender.

A goal of the series is that individuals who attend events will begin to think differently about an issue, not just because they showed up, but because they actively listened and participated in conversations with others after the events ended.