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Understanding the Dementia Universe

A talk by Jess F. Deegan II, Ph.D. By Donation - Registration is recommended but not required.

Understanding the Dementia Universe
Understanding the Dementia Universe

Time & Location

Apr 08, 2023, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center, 195 W Main St, Cedaredge, CO 81413, USA

About the Event

Understanding the Dementia Universe: A Guide to Adapting to Dementia is a presentation by Dr. Jess F. Deegan II, a Biological Psychologist who received his Ph.D from UC Santa Barbara. The presentation will include information about the probability of having a dementia, the different types of dementia, and what is known the cause of each type. Dr. Deegan discusses the structure of the brain, neurons within the brain, and about how normal and dementia brains differ. The treatments available for each dementia are discussed, as well those recently approved by the FDA, and how best for those who are CareGivers to deal with dementia. Questions are always encouraged!

Board members from our local non-profit, Awareness, Support, and Education about Dementia for Delta county (ASEDD), will be in attendance to provide information about resources available in Delta County—including weekly support groups. ASEDD will be making Dr. Deegan’s “Understanding the Dementia Universe: A Guide to Adapting to Dementia”, a 24p version of the presentation available for your use (donations appreciated).

About Dr. Jess Deegan:

Jess F. Deegan II was born in Columbia, South Carolina, spending his early years as a Military Brat (both parents, US Army); his father retired as a Command Sergeant Major after 24 years. After spending years, off and on, in Wisconsin (yes, he is a Cheese Head—Go Pack Go), he graduated from Baumholder American High School (January 1976) in West Germany and attempted a college education at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater (Winter 1977). After the first semester and a GPA of 0.40, Dr. Deegan (not yet) took another route; across the years working in construction (prefab homes), cellulose insulation production & installation, metal buffing (Holton Horns), route sales (Jaeger & Weber Bread), and numerous restaurants. The last job outside academe was at McNally’s on the Kern, where Sunday evenings were often spent discussing a Women’s Studies course a friend was taking at Bakersfield College (BC). This again piqued his interest in education, where after attending BC and transferring to Cal State Bakersfield, he earned a B.A. in Psychology (1987) and was the Outstanding Graduate of the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Deegan then attended the University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D., 1994), during which he was hired as an assistant professor at California State University, Bakersfield

(CSUB-1993). At CSUB, he was promoted quickly, earning early tenure and both Associate and Full Professor ranks.

From 1993 until 2010, and from 2012 to 2015, he was a faculty member in psychology—serving as the Psychology Department Chair for nine years (1998-2007). He was also highly active in campus governance, serving on the Academic Senate for 14 of those years, including the Chair of the Faculty (and Academic Senate), for

almost four years. Between January 2010 and August 2012 Dr. Deegan served as the interim Associate Vice President for CSUB-Antelope Valley, a branch campus located in the Lancaster/Palmdale region of LA County. Although listed as in interim position, he served on the Boards of the

Antelope Valley Board of Trade and the Lancaster/Rosamond Chamber of Commerce, as well as seeming to live in the AV area. Although Dr. Deegan was not in AV for an extended time, he did receive an award from the AV Board of Trade for his work to expand higher education opportunities in the area.

Dr. Deegan’s area of expertise is Comparative Color Vision, which basically means he tested animals for their ability to see color—using both behavioral and electrophysiological measurements. Dr. Deegan is a scientist first, using his training as a psychologist to humanize his approach to Higher Education and Teaching. He was known as a professor who had high standards, was extremely fair, and was devoted to the student “understanding”; typically teaching courses involving research methods and biological psychology. Dr. Deegan served multiple times as the advisor to both Psych Club and Psi Chi (the International Honor Society in Psychology), during which times the students were seen as having additional enthusiasm.

In addition to his time working on campus, Dr. Deegan was also active in the community serving on the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (Bakersfield, California), who appointed him to the Kern County [California] Commission on Aging—where he served as an officer. Earlier community positions included Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as many other executive committee positions for local community non-profits, including President of the Bakersfield Trailblazers (four-wheel drive [Jeep] club).

Dr. Deegan, after retiring from academia, was awarded “Professor of Psychology, Emeritus” (May 2016) from CSUB; making him a permanent faculty member in the Department of Psychology. He now lives in Crawford, CO with his wife, Gigi, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 (MCI in 2012). The Deegans, after receiving the first diagnosis developed an accelerated plan to retirement, allowing the two to spend more of the remaining time together. After starting O’Deegan Consulting—bringing his scientific expertise to more applied settings, with the humanistic touch that has been at the root of his approach to people, Dr. Deegan led an effort to incorporate “Awareness, Support, & Education about Dementia for

Delta county” or ASEDD (a non-profit), where he served as President of the Board of Directors. Dr. Deegan is a former member of the Board of Directors for The Abraham Connection in Delta, CO, All Points Transit (former President of the BoD), and North Fork Senior Connections [charter member, Paonia, CO], and was appointed a Trustee for the Delta County Public Library District (former President of the BoT). Lion Jess (former President) of the Hotchkiss Lions (the motto is “We Serve”), continues to serve on the Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado (ADRC) Advisory Council (Region 10, the Area Agency on Aging) and the Regional Advisory Council for the Area Agency on Aging in Region 10 (Chair), and as a

charter board member of ASEDD. Most recently, he released “Understanding the Dementia Universe”, to help those that are Caregivers for someone with dementia.


  • Understanding Dementia




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