• penn, michael
Professor and Associate Chair of Psychology



Office: LSP151 E


Ph.D., Temple University, Clinical Psychology, 1991

Clinical Intern, Temple University School of Medicine,  1990-91

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1986


Michael Penn is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College.  His research interests and publications include works in the pathogenesis of hope and hopelessness, the interpenetration of psychology and philosophy, the relationship between culture and psychopathology, and the epidemiology of gender-based violence.  Professor Penn has lectured widely around the world and has been invited to serve as a consultant and speaker at United Nations-related conferences in several countries.  He also serves the UN Leader’s Programme, which trains Director-level United Nations officers.  Professor Penn is the author of  two books, “Overcoming Violence against Women and Girls: The International Campaign to Eradicate a Worldwide Problem,” which he wrote with Dr. Aditi Malik, and "Moral Trauma: An Analysis of Akrasia and Mental Health," co-authored with Dr. Azin Nasseri.  He is also co-editor, with Professor Hoda Mahmoudi, of a new volume on Human Dignity and Human Rights, as well as numerous academic papers and chapters. In 2004, Penn was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Administration by Governor Edward Rendell and served on that board for three years. He currently serves on the Boards of the Authenticity Institute and the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, D.C. Professor Penn was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1986, is a former Ford Foundation Fellow, a former Aspen Institute Fellow, and is the recipient of several academic awards, including the John Russwurm Award for Scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania.


Sample of  Publications

Penn, M.L., Koroush, N., & Groff, M. (Forthcoming, 2019). Cultivating Humanity: Where Psychological Science, International Law, & the World’s Wisdom Traditions Converge in the Discourse on Human Rights. In N. Rubin & R. Flores (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Human Rights. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Mahmoudi, H., & Penn, M. (Eds.) (Forthcoming, 2019). Reflections on Human Rights and Human Dignity. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishers.

Penn, M.L. (In Preparation). Protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity in An Axial Age: Reflections on the Reclaimation of the Human Spirit

Nassari, A., & Penn, M.L. (2016). Moral Trauma: An Analysis of Akrasia and Mental Health. Academic Publishing.

Penn, M.L. (2015). Human nature and mental health. The Journal of Baha'i Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1/2, pp. 25-50.

Washington, E., & Penn, M.L. (2014). Painting with Light: The Art of Bunch Washington. Phillips Museum of Art.

Hall, A. H., Gow, K. M., & Penn, M. L. (2011). Do chronic moral emotions mediate between value congruence and psychological health in university students? In K. M. Gow & M. J. Celinski (Eds.), Wayfinding through life’s challenges: Coping and survival. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Hall, A. H., Gow, K. M., Penn, M. L., & Jayawickreme, E. (2011). Strength and weakness of character: Psychological health and resilience. In M. J. Celinski & K. M. Gow (Eds.), Continuity versus creative response to challenge: The primacy of resilience and resourcefulness in life and therapy. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Penn, M.L. & Malik, A. (2010). The Protection and Development of the Human Spirit: An Expanded Focus for Human Rights Discourse. Human Rights Quarterly, 32, 666-690.

Penn, M. L. & Witkin, D. (2008). Pathognomic versus developmentally appropriate self-focus during adolescence: Theoretical concerns and clinical applications. In Diessner & Tiegs (Eds.), Sources: Notable selections in human development, (Classic Edition.). Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 190-196.

Penn, M.L. & Clarke, P.J. (2008). Art. Culture & Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health. In B. Koan (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology.

Penn, M.L. & Pharaon, A. (2007). Biological, Psychological and Social Factors in the Pathogenesis of Psychopathy. In G. Walker (ed.) The Science of Morality, G. Walker (Ed.), pp. 105-116. London: Royal College of Physicians

Penn, M.L. & Radpour, M.K. (2006). Clinical Practice and the Dynamics of Relational Authenticity. Turkish Journal of Psychiatry, 17, p. 152.

Penn, M.L. (2005). Inner Enlightenment, Moral Refinement and Justice: Antidotes to Domestic Violence. Bahá’í World, 2003-2004 (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre).

Penn, M.L. (2005). Reflections on Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. World Order.

Penn, M. L. & Wilson, L. (2003). Mind, Medicine and Metaphysics: Reflections on the Reclamation of the Human Spirit. American Journal of Psychotherapy 57, 18-31.

Penn, M.L. & Nardos, R. (2003). Overcoming Violence Against Women and Girls: The International Campaign to Eradicate a Worldwide Problem. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Penn, M.L. (Winter, 2001). Oedipus Revisited. World Order, 32, 11-18.

Penn, M. L. (2001). Reflections on Human Rights, Moral Development and the Eradication of Gender-Based Violence. In Tahirih Danesh (Ed.), Bahá’í-Inspired Perspectives on Human Rights. (Victoria, CA: Juxta Publications).

Penn, M.L. (Spring, 2001). Eradicating Gender-Based Violence: Successes and Challenges. World Order, 32, No. 3, 33-54.

Penn, M.L. & Coverdale, C. (1996). Transracial Adoption: A Human Rights Perspective. Journal of Black Psychology, 22, 232-237.

Penn, M.L., & Witkin, D. (1994). Pathognomic Versus Developmentally Appropriate Self Focus During Adolescence: Theoretical Concerns and Clinical Implications. Psychotherapy, 31, 368-374.

Penn, M.L. (1994). Toward A Global World Community: The Role of Black Psychologists. Journal of Black Psychology, 20, 398-417.

Penn, M.L., Phillips, L., & Gaines, S.O. (1993). On the Desirability of Own-Group Preference [Feature Article]. Journal of Black Psychology, 19, 303-321.

Phillips, L., Penn, M.L., & Gaines, S.O. (1993). A Hermeneutic Rejoinder to Our Critics and Ourselves. Journal of Black Psychology, 19, 350-357.

Penn, M.L., Stahler, G., Shipley, T.E., Comfort, M.L., & Weinberg, A. (Winter, 1993). Returning Home: Reintegration of Substance-Abusing Homeless Women Following Detoxification. Contemporary Drug Problems.

Penn, M.L. (Winter, 1991-92). Memory, Emotional Processing and Anxiety: A Critique. Current Psychology: Research and Reviews, 10, 253-262.

Penn, M.L. (1992). World View, Hopelessness and Depression Among Adolescents and Young Adults. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Press.

Shipley, T.E., Shandler, I.W., & Penn, M.L. (Fall, 1989). Treatment and Research with Homeless Alcoholics. Contemporary Drug Problems.