Michael “Mick” Smyer, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, joins K&A after serving in various teaching and administrative roles throughout higher education for more than 40 years. Most recently, he served as Provost and Professor of Psychology at Bucknell University; prior to that, he was the chief research officer and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College, after beginning his career as a faculty member and administrator at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Smyer was a Fulbright fellow (Japan, India) and is widely regarded as a national expert on aging and its ramifications, topics about which Dr. Smyer has written and lectured extensively. At K&A, Dr. Smyer will work with a team of other consultants with deep experience and expertise in bringing change to various sectors of higher education; because of some unique aspects of his experience, he will advance our discovery and use of the methods of design thinking in project work — he recently spent 18 months in Palo Alto, CA, serving as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and as a Civic Innovation Fellow at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) at Stanford. In those roles, he experimented with the application of design thinking methods, empathy, and strategies to his project, Graying Green: Climate Action for an Aging World.
Dr. Smyer earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University, and his doctorate in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on aging, from Duke University. Mick and his wife, Piper, have two children who are liberal arts graduates, and twin toddler grandsons. Beyond his professional roles, Dr. Smyer maintains a vivid connection with his New Orleans roots as the washboard player with the Rustical Quality String Band.