San Francisco Campus Honors Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Werner

On May 3, 2013, over 125 people joined CSPP’s Dean Morgan Sammons in honoring CSPP Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Werner, who retired after more than 30 years of service to CSPP. The ceremony and reception were held in the beautiful new wing of the San Francisco campus. Among those in attendance were Dr. Werner’s wife and niece, CSPP alumni many of whom were Dr. Werner’s students, current CSPP students (including many of our 2012-2013 scholarship recipients who were also honored by Dean Sammons), and current and former CSPP faculty and staff.

During the course of the ceremony, Dr. Werner’s numerous contributions were acknowledged by Alliant President Dr. Geoffrey Cox, CSPP’s Dean Dr. Morgan Sammons, Associate Dean (and longtime colleague) Dr. Dalia Ducker.

Dr. Loewy mentioned the following as part of his remarks: “When I was in graduate school, learning to be a therapist, my professors and supervisors taught me to ‘trust the process.’  Dr. Werner gives that phrase a whole new meaning for me.  Many of the processes that we use at Alliant are based on Dr. Werner’s wisdom and hard work to document a process that works: from SERC to union contracts and so many others.

I learned from Dr. Werner that when dealing with important matters one needs a process and one must stick to the process.  I learned to slow down and trust that if we adhere to the correct process, the correct outcome is most likely.  What is true in therapy is also true in teaching and in administration.”

As another way to honor Dr. Werner’s legacy at CSPP, during the ceremony it was announced that we have created The Paul Werner Dissertation Award for Innovation and Creativity, which recognizes the clinical PhD dissertation that best exemplifies the emphasis on innovative and creative research that Dr. Werner fostered in his work with dissertation students. During the San Francisco Commencement Ceremony (approximately a month after the May 3 event), we learned that Robert Mejia is the first recipient of this Award, and he received both a certificate and a monetary award.

Dr. Werner was presented with a Memory Book containing the memories of many of his former students and colleagues. And with a wink to Dr. Werner’s specialty in statistics, Clinical PhD faculty member Dr. Shannon Casey made Paul a special cake.

We also unveiled our “Upon the Shoulders of Giants” wall honoring twelve of CSPP’s most beloved San Francisco Bay Area faculty, some of whom were able to personally attend the ceremony. This was the fulfillment of one of Dr. Werner’s visions for CSPP.


“For many reasons I will treasure the memory of the retirement reception. In planning for the reception I hoped that it could be a reunion of sorts. I wanted to make sure that invitations went out to colleagues and staff members from the past and also to graduates from the span of my career with CSPP.

I was thrilled and honored by the turnout of former faculty colleagues, some of whom traveled long distances or with difficulty to make it to campus. I especially enjoyed our all catching up, even within the tumult of the reception.  I appreciated the presence of former staff, whose work was the foundation of so much of what has worked well on campus. I was also so happy and honored that many past graduates came in for the celebration. I appreciated the opportunity to be reminded of my contribution to their success in our program and beyond. It also was wonderful that current students with whom I am working as well as newer scholarship students were in attendance, bringing the CSPP life cycle full circle.

Dalia Ducker’s comments and reminiscences about my years with CSPP were very moving. A special highlight of the day was the unveiling of the wall of photos of faculty members of the past… Although I’ve now moved out of my office and will be on campus less often, my commitment to the mission and goals of CSPP and of the university will remain undiminished.”

Thank you Paul for all you have given to CSPP over the past 30+ years.