Penn State DuBois to host virtual event for those dealing with loss

Speaking Grief information
Credit: Penn State

The Penn State DuBois Office of Student Engagement in partnership with the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program coordinator Jessica Clontz is co-hosting a virtual community viewing of the WPSU documentary “Speaking Grief” in November. A panel discussion featuring three bereavement experts will immediately follow. All portions of the program are free and open to the public.

This entire program and panel discussion will take place via Zoom, and is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Those who wish to participate are asked to register at

According to WPSU, “Speaking Grief” explores the transformative experience of losing a family member in a death while living in a grief-avoidant society. This national public media initiative includes a one-hour television documentary, media-rich website, social media campaign, and numerous community engagement events, all aimed at starting a national conversation about grief. For more information, visit

Organizers say they worked to organize this program as a community service. They say grief is universal and inevitable, yet we struggle as a society to talk about such a life-altering experience which leaves grieving people isolated rather than supported. This documentary aims to create a more grief-aware society by validating the experience of grievers and helping to guide those who wish to support them.

Panelists participating in the evening’s discussion are:

  • Jackie Naginey Hook is a spiritual director at Life-Cycle Celebrant and end-of-life doula who coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program with Koch Funeral Home in State College, which includes the Having the Talk of a Lifetime, grief companioning, memorable funeral ceremony creation, remembrance service facilitation, legacy reception coordination, community outreach and end-of-life support. She is the co-founder of Learning to Live: What’s Your Story?, a co-facilitator of HEART – Helping Empty Arms Recover Together, a member of Grief Connection and writes articles for the Centre Daily Times, Centre County Gazette, Huntingdon Daily News and Centered magazine.
  • Evelyn Wald is the program director for TIDES, a program for grieving children and their families. Wald, an ordained Lutheran minister, has more than 25 years of experience as a grief and loss therapist and facilitator of many grief groups. She plays an active role in many of the local communities related to grief and loss.
  • Colleen Lanzoni is the mental health counselor and adjunct HDFS instructor at Penn State DuBois. She has 20 years of experience in the mental health field working with adults, families, and children. She serves as the grief counselor for the Clearfield Jefferson Suicide Prevention Team’s Healing Emotional After Loss to Suicide (HEALS) support group. She practices trauma-focused care and is a trained suicide bereavement clinician. She completed an undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University and earned a master’s in mental health xounseling through Capella University in 2011.

For more information on this event, contact Jessica Clontz at (814) 375-4833 or [email protected]