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Summer 2004 | Volume 26, Number 7 | Campus

Mícheál Roe Appointed to Head the School of Psychology, Family and Community

THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME on June 10: Professor and Associate Dean of Psychology Mícheál Roe had been named dean of Seattle Pacific University’s School of Psychology, Family and Community (SPFC). Four days later, Roe was aboard a flight to Northern Ireland to complete two research papers, one to be presented in Omagh, Northern Ireland, and the other at the University of Liverpool in England.

International reach is one strength of the person selected to lead SPFC — and there are many more. “I am heart and soul a professor,” says Roe about himself. His areas of teaching encompass developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology, statistics, research design, assessment and human sexuality.

A Mennonite appreciative of his church’s strong biblical focus on community, service and peacemaking, Roe writes and researches in two key domains: the Cowlitz Indian Nation and the Northern Ireland/Irish Diaspora.

With the Cowlitz, his current study is what he describes as “a very large needs assessment of the tribal membership.” In Northern Ireland, his focus is twofold: the concept of “symbolic ethnicity” as seen in a study of the Scotch-Irish/Ulster Scots connection; and the coordination of a four-nation study to examine the public response to the 2002 apology of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to innocents who suffered as a result of IRA paramilitary violence over the past decades. “The research project has teams in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and America,” explains Roe.

In his 16 years at Seattle Pacific, Roe has served as professor, department chair and associate dean. He demonstrates an open, consensus-building style that holds his colleagues and himself to high standards of excellence. “Mícheál is well-known and loved for his passionate teaching and compassionate scholarship,” says Les Steele, vice president for academic affairs. “He brings exceptional academic, interpersonal and administrative skills to the position.” Roe takes over as dean from Nathan Brown, the first dean of SPFC, who resigned his position in May.

Roe sees SPFC priorities for the next few years to include achieving accreditation of the clinical psychology doctoral program from the American Psychological Association, and initiating master’s and doctoral degree programs in organizational psychology. “A third priority is to work more intentionally at grant writing for external funding of our growing research programs,” Roe adds.

He and his wife, Jan, are the parents of six adult children: two birth children, two internationally adopted children and two foster children. Last year, their oldest daughter, Shannon, married Anthony Gariando, uniting two cultures. Roe says, “She and Anthony bring the Irish and the Filipino together in a lovely rainbow of color.”


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