Mark Agars, professor of psychology and director of the Institute for Child Development and Family Relations at Cal State San Bernardino, will be the keynote speaker at the third annual HARC Coachella Valley Workplace Wellness Awards luncheon on Thursday, June 7.

HARC, which stands for Health Assessment and Research for Communities, is a nonprofit organization located in Palm Desert that conducts research and evaluation services. Every three years HARC conducts a population health survey of the Coachella Valley to determine the most pressing need in the community.

The awards luncheon will recognize Coachella Valley-area businesses that make having a healthy work environment a priority. More than 130 local business leaders and a resource fair will be featured as part of the event; Janet Zappala, Emmy award-winning journalist and co-anchor of the weeknight KMIR newscasts, will be the master of ceremonies.

The luncheon will take place at the Classic Club in Palm Desert at 11:30 a.m.

Agars joined CSUSB in 1999 after earning his doctorate in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology from Penn State University. He is one of five core faculty in the master of science I/O program at CSUSB, which was recently ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Currently, his primary research area is the work family interface. Agars directs the Work Family Life research lab, which conducts applied research on work and family issues with a specific focus on the factors that hinder or facilitate a person’s ability to meet responsibilities in both family and work domains, as well as the impact of a person’s efforts to meet these demands has on individual and family health. In addition, his work also examines work and family challenges among the population of workers living in poverty.

Agars’ other research is in the area of gender and diversity in the workplace, with an emphasis on social-cognitive predictors of sexism and other experiences related to diversity. Agars has published more than 25 articles and book chapters, given more than 70 presentations at national conferences, and numerous talks in the industry and the community on work and family, diversity, and leadership.