Adjunct Faculty Spotlight
Our adjunct faculty bring a wealth of knowledge and experience across various subfields of psychology. Here we explore the backgrounds and expertise of four dedicated adjunct instructors who continue to enrich the educational experiences of Psychology students at Temple.
Robert Whitney has taught at Temple since 2016. After earning a Ph.D from Virginia Commonwealth University, he specialized in the assessment and treatment of PTSD for over 25 years at the Department of Veterans Affairs. From 2010 to 2015 he was the director of the Coatesville PTSD Program- one of the oldest and largest of the VA residential PTSD programs. After retiring from the VA, he began teaching at Temple as an adjunct faculty member, developing popular new courses on Trauma Psychology and Psychological Resilience. Dr. Whitney enjoys helping students further develop critical thinking and scientific writing skills. He advises his students to critically evaluate the basis and origin of information they receive, especially during this age of disinformation. When Dr. Whitney isn’t teaching, he enjoys playing the guitar to relax. He has played for almost 60 years, and was recently gifted a new Fender Stratocaster!
H. Jean Wright II, Psy.D, is an experienced and professionally trained Clinical and Forensic Psychologist with over 20 years of experience in behavioral health, project management, and initiative development in government, private practice, and academia. He the current Director of the Behavioral Health and Justice Division within the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. Within our department, Dr. Wright teaches classes on multicultural issues, psychology and law, and developmental psychology. He is the co-editor of a new book from Oxford University Press entitled “University and Public Behavioral Health Organization Collaboration in Justice Contexts”. He is also a regular contributor to local media outlets including WDAS FM in Philadelphia and on various local cable channels. He also conducts interactive seminars, workshops, and trainings on a variety of topics related to behavioral health and wellness, population health, and trauma-informed care. Dr. Wright encourages his students to pursue an academic major and job based on their passion instead of the potential income. His advice is “Choose something you love. If you love it; you will do it all the time! If you do it all the time; you will become very good at it. If you become very good at it; people will stand in line to pay you for what you do!”
Marilyn Deutsch, Ph.D, is a Philadelphia native and Temple psychology alumna. As an undergraduate student at Temple, she was very active in the psychology department. She was a Psi Chi Officer and even provided the department with student feedback during the planning of the “New Psychology Building” which became Weiss Hall! During Dr. Deutsch’s senior year, she participated in a joint program between the psychology department and Hahnemann Hospital's mental health program. This resulted in her first publication and a presentation at the International Conference of Applied Psychology in Brussels, Belgium. She later went to earn her doctorate in Developmental Disabilities/Child Clinical Psychology at Ohio State University. Dr. Deutsch has over 30 years of experience working in private practice, specializing in psychological aspects of disabilities, child psychology, and health psychology. She has also worked as a Consultant to The Commonwealth Medical College Integrated Medicine Task Force.
Dr. Deutsch returned to Temple as an Adjunct Professor in 2014. Her favorite course to teach is a Capstone on the Psychology of Disabilities. As a developmental psychologist and clinician, she likes to see the development of her students in this self-directed, rigorous course. They start out overwhelmed and anxious because it is self-directed, somewhat intimidated by the peer review process, and a little defensive with her multiple edits! By the end of the semester, they are self-assured, confident and incredibly proud of their product. This class also gives Dr. Deutsch an opportunity to get to know each student very well. She recommends that students get experience in research and statistics even if they are interested in clinical work because it keeps you on track, honest, and helps you understand whether your clinical skills are working. Outside of teaching and clinical work, Dr. Deutsch is also a trained hospital clown, visiting with adults at Jefferson Hospital and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Institute, as well as with children at St. Christopher’s Hospital.
Damon Smith, Ph.D
Dr. Damon Smith is a School Psychologist who began his academic journey by obtaining a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University before receiving a Ph.D in School Psychology from Penn State University. He currently works in the Bristol Borough School District as the Coordinator of Special Education and as a School Psychologist. As a longtime adjunct instructor at Temple, he loves to teach Foundations of Developmental Psychology because it allows him to combine the science and practice around child development with his personal experiences as a parent of two children. Although Dr. Smith is currently a School Psychologist, he notes that he was not always an ideal student in high school or college. During high school, his low grades made him ineligible to play sports; however, he was able to turn things around. As he notes, “It can change, you can change. Don't give up!” He also encourages students to take a "fun" course every semester to broaden their horizons. In addition to required courses, he advise students include a course that you will enjoy. During his time at SDSU, he took classes in surfing, sailing, and bowling!