Presidential Scholar Signature Forums

The Preparing for Public Education in the 21st Century: Signature Forums speaker series focuses on providing Maryland’s education leaders, parents, teachers, and policy makers with access to the newest information and research on current and pertinent education topics.

These forums provide a unique opportunity for education stakeholders to interact with national experts at the top of their field and access to the most up-to-date research for teacher preparation.


Fight. Flight. Freeze. The Life-Long Implications of Childhood Stress and Trauma

Tuesday, April 10
4:00–6:00 p.m.
TU West Village Commons

Toxic psychological stress—violence, poverty, neglect, abuse—has negative effects on a child's brain. Research has shown that this trauma alters the brain, affecting behavioral, social, and emotional functioning. As a child ages, these effects continue to influence brain development, educational outcomes, and social activity well into adolescence and adulthood. Dr. Bethany Brand, one of the world’s foremost authorities in psychological trauma, will discuss brain function changes in adults due to childhood trauma and the repercussions for our society.

About the Speaker

Bethany Brand, PhD, is a professor of clinical psychology at Towson University. She has over 25 years of clinical experience, with expertise in treating and assessing trauma. Dr. Brand has served on three national task forces that developed guidelines for the assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders. She conducts research on the assessment and treatment of trauma related disorders, including the assessment of feigned dissociative disorders.

Dr. Brand is the principal investigator on the largest prospective treatment outcome study to date of dissociative disorders (the TOP DD studies). She has delivered clinical and research presentations around the world. In addition to assessing and treating patients in her private practice in Towson, Maryland, Dr. Brand serves as a forensic expert in trauma-related cases including federal, capital (i.e., death penalty), and Supreme Court cases.


The topics discussed in the speaker series represent the newest thinking in education for the 21st century, as well as important research that should be applied to education settings.  Anticipated topics to be covered in the future include, but are not limited to:

  • teacher and leader preparation,
  • innovation in teaching and learning,
  • neuroscience of learning,
  • science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education,
  • the advancement of early childhood education,
  • effective use of technology in the classroom.

The Signature Forums are free to attend and open to everyone, although registration is required.  Educators, school administrators, and policy makers are encouraged to attend.