Goodbye, My Darlings….

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Dear graduates,

It’s that time of year again; when I have to say goodbye to another group of AMAZING students.  Now, If there’s one thing I have learned over the last few years it’s that I can’t get away with not writing one of these goodbye messages where I reference a bunch of old movies (see here for past letters: Elf, Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, Mean Girls).  I tried to tell students I didn’t want to this year.  I said, “but words are useless! Gobble, gobble, gobble…too much, darling, too much!”  They wouldn’t allow it, though.  They said, “Pull yourself together! The public is in danger!”  So now I’m sitting in my office trying to write this letter. I spent the first couple of minutes just swearing at my computer… for that is my creative process.

But don’t worry, I’m on it.  And like the other goodbye letters, this one is going to be incredible… too.

We had a pretty amazing year; the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference, the PSI Talks, our open house.  I was exhausted when it was all over.  I was like “We’re dead! We survived but we’re dead!”  But you all helped push me through it as you always do.  In the end, it was totally wicked!

By now, most of you know that I can’t be at graduation this year.  It’s not my fault.  My wife is graduating on the same day and I can’t be at both.  I tried to convince her.  I was like, “We are talking about the greater good!” but she was like, “Greater good?’ I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you are ever gonna get!” She’s right, of course, but it doesn’t change the fact that I had big plans for that day.  I was finally gonna tell you all what I think.  I had a whole speech about good guys and bad guys and those shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings.  I was gonna make funny puns like, “ice of you to drop by”, but not anymore….

The truth is, I really don’t want you all to go.  In fact, I’ve been masterminding plans to keep you here.  Those plans mostly involve failing you so you have to retake classes, but I’ve also considered sabotaging the library elevator to keep you stuck on the top floor along with other elaborate evil-villain-like traps.  Honestly, nothing is beneath me.  Now I’ve got your attention, don’t I? Now you respect me, because I’m a threat!  That’s the way it works. Turns out, there are a lot of people, whole countries, who want respect, and they will pay through the nose to get it!

You sly dogs! You had me monologuing.

So that’s it.  You’re all done.  You’ve worked hard, you’ve done great things, but it’s time to go.  Once you’re gone, don’t look back.  I never look back, darlings. It distracts me from the now.  So don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.  In fact, if you want to bet on something, bet on your own life!  But when you’re out there, doing your thing, just trust me that I’m your number one fan!

In the meantime, keep being amazing.



PS. I’m going to give you one last piece of unsolicited advice.  On your first day of work, remember, even though you deserve them… No capes!

Shatter Mountains with His Fists: The Hulk’s Rage

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With the release of the new Avengers movie, Avengers Infinity War, coming out in a couple days we are sharing an episode from the podcast Serious Fun, one of the other Phoenix Studio Podcasts, from a few months ago. In this episode of Serious Fun our All the Rage hosts, Ryan Martin and Chuck Rybak were guests and talked with Serious Fun host, Bryan Carr. This episode goes on to discuss the Hulk’s rage and was recorded at the Brown County Public Library Comic-Con.

Episode Guest: Bryan Carr

Bryan-CarrBryan Carr is an assistant professor in the Communication and Information Science departments at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, where he teaches courses in the mass media and game studies emphases. His work focuses on popular culture, particularly in terms of identity representation and negotiation in superhero comics, video games, and sports. His work on these subjects has been published in the Journal of Entertainment and Media Studies and the Southwest Mass Communication Journal, as well as in edited volumes like Parasocial Politics, Re/Framing Identifications, The 100 Greatest Video Games, and From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line.

The Evidence is Clear: The Science Behind Media Violence

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In this episode Dr. Ryan Martin conducts a special interview with Dr. Craig Anderson, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University. The two discuss the massive body of research on violent media.

Episode Guest: Dr. Craig Anderson

craig andersonDr. Anderson is widely considered a leading scholar on the psychology of aggression. His research in recent years has focused on media violence effects, especially violent video games. His aggression research has appeared in all of the top psychology journals, including the top public policy journal. He is currently funded by multiple grants from CDC and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). His work has had a major impact on public policy at local, state, national and international levels.

Society Prepares the Crime: Capitalism and Violence

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In this episode, Drs. Ryan Martin and Chuck Rybak, talk with Sociologist, Dr. Andrew Austin, about the complicated relationship between capitalism and violence.

Episode Guest: Dr. Andrew Austin

andrew austinAndrew Austin is Associate Professor and Chair of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He teaches courses in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Sociology. His areas of teaching and research are crime and justice issues, political economy, and race and ethnic relations.

Combat Their Negative Tendencies: Free Will, Anger, and Aggression

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In this episode, to start off the semester, Ryan and Chuck talk with Philosopher, Dr. Christopher Martin about what determinism is, how it is different from free will, and much more.

Episode Guest: Dr. Christopher Martin

christopher-martinDr. Christopher Martin teaches a wide range of classes, but particularly enjoys courses helping students to ask and investigate deep questions about the nature of reality, identity, free will, and science. He specializes in the ‘rationalist’ perspective in early-modern philosophy (roughly, philosophy between 1650-1770 or so). He is currently working on an account of the reality of particulars (things like you and I) in Spinoza (an early modern rationalist). In addition to courses and work in early modern rationalism, he enjoys exploring the intersection of morality and the environment–the central topic of his Environmental Ethics course. When he is not hard at work on philosophy or helping students sharpen their rational capacities, he is likely enjoying traveling and the outdoors. He loves to combine the two and especially enjoys kayaking.

Human Trafficking: Attack the System

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In the final episode of season 2 of All the Rage, we talk about how to eradicate human trafficking at the international, national, statewide, and local level. More specifically, we talk about what you can do to help end modern day slavery. Guests include Stephanie Richard (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), Shawn MacDonald (Verite), and Terry FitzPatrick (Free the Slaves).

Additional Information:

Episode Guests:

  • Stephanie Richard

thumbnail_headshot2016StephanieStephanie Kay Richard, Esq., is the Policy & Legal Services Director at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) where she provides direct legal services to survivors of human trafficking and technical consultation on human trafficking cases nationwide. She has been involved in the anti-trafficking movement for over 10 years. During this time she has served as the domestic lead for the Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) and the policy Co-Chair of the Freedom Network, USA, two national US based coalitions working to improve federal and state laws and the implementation of these laws to better serve trafficking survivors in the United States. She graduated summa cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law, where she was the recipient of a public interest/public service scholarship. She is licensed to practice law in California, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, DC.

  • Shawn MacDonald

Shawn MacDonald is CEO of Verité, a civil society organization that works with businesses to promote workers’ rights and other sustainability goals in global supply chains through research, consulting, training, assessments, and policy advocacy. Before his appointment as CEO in 2016, Shawn had led Verité’s research, program, and policy work since 2003. Shawn has broad international and domestic experience in labor rights, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, workplace health, and multi-sector partnerships. Before joining Verité, he was Director of Accreditation at the Fair Labor Association, Vice President of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, Senior Advisor at Meridian Group International, and co-founder of the Development and Employment Policy Project. Additionally, he worked for a variety of civil society organizations in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. He holds a Ph.D. from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and an AB in History from Harvard University.

  • Terry Fitzpatric

Terry FitzPatrick (1) thumbnail

Terry FitzPatrick is the Free the Slaves Communications and Advocacy Director and is an award-winning journalist and media development expert who uses his reporting skills to expose slavery and showcase anti-slavery solutions, his experience covering government & politics to conduct anti-trafficking policy advocacy, and his communications training skills to help activists bring slavery to an end. FitzPatrick has covered a wide range of topics for NPR, PBS, BBC, VOA, The Dallas Morning News and The Texas Observer, including economic development, global health, environmental protection, criminal justice and human rights. He has produced documentaries for the Discovery Channel and History Channel, and short films on modern slavery in 12 countries. FitzPatrick has directed media skills training projects in 17 countries. He serves as the communications and advocacy strategist, chief writer, media relations officer and spokesperson for Free the Slaves. He majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Responsible Sourcing Tool
Know the Chain
Department of Health and Human Services
National Human Trafficking Hotline: (1) 888-373-7888
Freedom Network USA
Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST)

Media’s Influence on One’s Perception of Violence and Mental Illness

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1682602_1280x720Both news and entertainment media show people with mental illness as dangerous, violent, or unpredictable. Many of the individuals who commit these crimes are presumed to have a mental illness and this in turn perpetuates the social stigma that all people with a mental illness are violent or dangerous. Before some of the most recent and deadly mass shootings including the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the 2017 Las Vegas shooting at am outdoor concert, and the 2017 First Baptist Church shooting in Texas, The Virginia Tech shootings was one of the deadliest shootings to date. Taking place in 2007 and ending with 32 dead and 15 wounded, the shooter was perceived to have had a mental illness that caused him to commit this crime.

Hoffner and colleagues conducted a study that examined the perceived influence of news coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings on one’s own and others’ attitudes about mental illness, and behavioral outcomes as a function of personal experience with mental illness. They utilized an online survey of 198 adults within about one month of the shootings. Individuals without a mental illness, the perceived news influence on their own attitudes toward mental illness was associated with more engagement in support/comfort activities and greater likelihood of online opinion expression. In contrast, individuals with a mental illness, perceiving that others attitudes had become more negative was associated with less engagement in support/comfort activities. Respondents with no experience of mental illness reported greater stereotypes about mental illness and less willingness to seek treatment and they expressed more fear and less anger than those who had experience with mental illness.

Me (2)Mackenzie is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development and Sociology. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in May 2018, she plans on going to graduate school for Social Work.



Hoffner, C. A., Fujioka, Y., Cohen, E. L., & Atwell Seate, A. (2017). Perceived media influence, mental illness, and responses to news coverage of a mass shooting. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 6(2), 159-173. doi:

Human Trafficking: A Topic that Gets a Reaction Out of People

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In this fifth episode of season 2 of All the Rage, we talk human trafficking in popular culture with Dr. Bryan Carr, host of Serious Fun. From Taken to The Punisher to The Girl Who Played with Fire, we discuss the various ways modern day slavery has found its way into the popular culture and how these depictions influence the public.

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