Karen I. Wilson, Ph.D.

--- Clinical Neuropsychologist & Founder, ChildNexus ---

Speaking provides an opportunity for me to teach and share information that can change lives.
You’ve been a professor of Psychology for years, even headed an academic department at CSU. Now, your company, ChildNEXUS, Inc. operates in a similar field. Do you think educational institutions /departments want to collaborate with industry? If yes, why?

I think there are tremendous opportunities for partnerships between educational institutions and industry. In my own experience, I have seen clinical faculty partner with community agencies to conduct research investigating how to improve the health and well-being of clients. As coordinator of a graduate program, I was also frequently contacted by private companies seeking students for internship opportunities. So, collaborations are definitely possible. In terms of barriers, I think a major barrier is a lack of networking opportunities between academia and industry.

You speak frequently about brain development, social-emotional issues in children and adolescents and on learning differences. What motivates you to be a guest speaker? How do you prepare for a speaking engagement?

I have received specialized training in brain development, clinical psychology, and neuropsychology. I have 17 years of clinical experience, and 25 years of teaching experience; as a result, I have developed expertise. I have information that most people don’t have, and the information I have helps people. So, I am motivated by a desire to disseminate information that can change lives. When I prepare for a speaking engagement, I review any research or articles related to my topic, review my slides and notes. I don’t memorize what I am going to say, because I want the delivery to be natural and authentic, and I want to make a connection with the audience.

What advice would you give educators or industry folks who want to touch student lives in some way?

I think you need to speak with the students directly – ask about their thoughts, feelings, desires, and pain points. Once you know what students need, you can connect with them on a cognitive and emotional level, and then determine how you can be of service.

Karen I. Wilson, Ph.D. Bio:

Dr. Karen Wilson is a Clinical Neuropsychologist, Director of West LA Neuropsychology, and an Assistant Clinical Professor (Voluntary) in the Medical Psychology Assessment Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior at UCLA. She is also the Founder of ChildNEXUS.com, a web platform that provides information to parents who have children struggling with neurodevelopmental or social-emotional issues, and connects them with professionals who provide psychological and educational support services. Dr. Karen Wilson has shared her expertise in a broad range of media outlets: television, radio, podcasts, print, and online. She is a sought after speaker and has been invited to address a multitude of audiences including parenting groups, educators, and professionals.

Find her on LinkedIn, Twitter and FaceBook.

Spotlights
I love talking about my work, life, and perspectives. It's a very engaging and fulfilling experience for me to be able to connect with people openly and honestly on that level.
- Adeet Deshmukh
Guest lecturing is rewarding in that it allows me to stay abreast of what the next generation is thinking and what the top academics are concerned about and it allows me to give back and share my wisdom with tomorrows society leaders.
- Rishad Tobaccowalla
There is a distance between the world of academia and industry-- giving back to students with a professional's perspective tightens that distance and gives students invaluable direction for their future.
- Jared Nicol
The divide between the industry and academia is widening. The next generation of graduates are being armed with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant by the time they graduate. Professionals must collaborate with professors and cultivate classrooms where everyone benefits.
- Richie Etwaru
Bringing in communication professionals to guest lecture in my classroom is an excellent way to bring the material home and to further inspire students and to educate them on the various opportunities in our industry.
- Michelle Truelson
One of the biggest challenges for college professors is insuring that real-world demands of work and of professions are represented. Most professors have career experience working as teachers and researchers and don’t necessarily have detailed understanding of the needs of other professions. At the same time, we are expected to help prepare the next generation to move into business and professions. Guest lectures can be one solution to this challenge. Industry experts, corporate leaders, and business professionals can help insure that class content is relevant to the world of work.
- Matthew Seeger, Ph.D.
Most rewarding experience for me is getting students excited about a career in Consumer Insights, and seeing the value of anthropological thinking to consumer research
- Timothy Malefyt, Ph.D.
I am very motivated to share my life and professional experiences with students, so that I can bring some insight into the world of entrepreneurship, which is the most scary, grueling yet rewarding career path there is.
- Gaye Tomlinson
Speaking provides an opportunity for me to teach and share information that can change lives.
- Karen I. Wilson, Ph.D.
Guest lecturing provides an opportunity to connect with community at-large
- Mugdha Yeolekar, Ph.D.
I like talking about PR because it’s something everything thinks they understand - but they really don’t know how it is different from advertising or marketing. I break it down in simple terms and make the tactics and theories very digestible.
- Andrea Holland