Cumberland University Invites First Responders To Psychology and Criminal Justice Speaker Series Featuring Nick Wilson

Cumberland University will welcome the founder of the Resiliency Project and retired officer of 13 years Nick Wilson to campus for the first event in a year-long Psychology and Criminal Justice Speaker Series. Law enforcement and first responders from across Middle Tennessee, along with the general public, are invited to attend “Reality: A Night with Nick Wilson” in Alumni Hall on Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m., where he will discuss trauma, resilience and issues facing law enforcement today. 

The Psychology and Criminal Justice Speaker Series was coordinated by Misste Giles, a nontraditional student seeking ways to give back to the Cumberland community. 

“During a Forensic Psychology research project, I realized that notable speakers normally only visit big, well-known universities,” said Giles. “I decided Cumberland’s community should have the opportunity to hear from prominent figures in their fields of study as well.” 

Giles carefully selected speakers from a variety of professions that will be invaluable to psychology and criminal justice students and engaging for the greater community. Following Nick Wilson’s visit, additional special guests are scheduled to speak on campus throughout the fall semester and into the spring semester. 

“We are proud that this series was conceived and largely organized by one of our students,” said Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean Cummings. “Events like this are essential to fulfilling the educational mission of the university by encouraging students, faculty and staff to engage in a broad range of perspectives.”

During his 13 years of service, Nick Wilson led many long-term investigations, was a SWAT Team Operator, Field Training Officer and worked at a Department of Homeland Security task force investigating terrorism activities. After excessive exposure to trauma, Nick was diagnosed with PTSI which led to self-medicating to sleep, a DUI and rehabilitation. His story of resilience and mental health resonates with law enforcement and first responders all over the nation. He founded the Resiliency Project as a nonprofit committed to ending the silent suffering of first responders through peer support, funding for treatment, recovery and psychological services.  

For more information about this event, please contact Dr. Jessica Worthington at

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