Dewey J. Bayer, PhD Professor

Dewey J. Bayer, PhD
Dewey J. Bayer, PhD Professor Emeritus

I am a product of a Jesuit education -- Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (now closed) and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. I parted with the Jesuits in order to follow one of my professors at Xavier to the University of Arkansas, where I earned a PhD. in psychology in 1970. That’s when my education really started, for it is after I joined the Canisius faculty in the fall of 1970 that all of my deepest learning began. For that I have to thank several generations of students and countless colleagues, supervisees, and clients, from whom I have learned all that has been important.

My major professor during my graduate training had a strong influence on the directions that my teaching interests and research took. I have focused on the importance of early experience on social development and learning. I have a strong empirical bent and enjoy teaching courses like statistics, research methods, behavior management, and assessment. For more than 20 years, I have worked in the area of school psychology and am responsible for starting the school psychology minor in the department. I take great pride in the fact that many of my former students are now school psychologists all over the country (though primarily in Western New York). Recognizing how my learning has been enriched by collaboration with others, in recent years I have adopted new teaching techniques that rely on technological innovations such as Wikis, Weblogs, and social collaborative software. These efforts have taken form on the department web site,

Since my earliest days in Buffalo I have been an active psychologist in the community as well as a college professor. For much of the last 40 years I was involved with the Division of Child Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital. Until I retired in 2004, I was the clinical director of the Therapeutic Preschool, a treatment program for young children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders. In that capacity I supervised a treatment staff made up of speech therapists, occupational therapists, special educators, social workers, and graduate psychology interns. For a number of years I was also the supervising psychologist at the Robert Warner Center at the hospital. The Center served children with a variety of developmental and physical disabilities. There I worked closely with other psychologists and developmental pediatricians. One of our more important research projects was with infants exposed to cocaine in utero. At the time the work was done, it was thought that those children suffered permanent cognitive and behavioral damage. Our studies found that they did not, a finding supported by other research teams across the country. Finally, in the Division of Child Psychiatry, I was the supervisor for over 2,000 psychological evaluations conducted between 1992 and 2004 on children in foster care who were freed for adoption. I found that activity to be especially rewarding because of the many fine evaluators I met and the wonderful people who adopted the children.

I am now a grandfather 6 times and all of my family members have the good fortune of remaining in Western New York. My wife and I enjoy traveling and being with those we love, including each other. It’s been a wonderful ride so far, and I still experience the excitement and pleasure that I had 45 years ago when my professional life began, here at Canisius.