Bio, Dwight Harshbarger
Dwight’s recent (2019) historical fiction novel, A Quiet Hero, tells the true story of French General René Carmille’s sabotage of the WWII Nazi census of French Jews, saving the lives of thousands. Carmille also provided twenty thousand counterfeit identity cards to members of the French resistance, and built mobilization codes for hundreds of thousands of troops. The codes were instrumental in the successful 1942 Allied invasion of Northern Africa.
Dwight is the author of three earlier novels, two of them focusing on failures of safety management resulting in injuries and fatalities. Valley at Risk – Shelter in Place (2015), is a fictionalized account of the fatal 2008 explosion at Bayer CropScience's Institute, West Virginia plant. An investigative reporter explores the flawed management practices leading to the explosion and the company's later attempts to cover up those practices. She then unearths decades of chemical spills, leaks and explosions. Her investigative journey takes her into the corporation’s dark history.
Dwight’s 2009 novel, Witness at Hawks Nest described the human tragedy of hundreds of acute silicosis deaths (and their cover-up) in Union Carbide’s construction of the giant Hawks Nest hydroelectric tunnel in southern WV during the 1930s –America’s deadliest and least known industrial disaster. The WV Library Association recognized Witness at Hawks Nest with its 2011 book of the year award.
His first novel (2005), In the Heart in the Hills: A Novel in Stories, described the struggles of a boy and an Appalachian community during and following WWII. The intimate connections of community members deepen, twist, and teach – until they are suddenly pulled apart.
Dwight is known for his work in applied psychology, including a seven-year tenure as the Executive Director of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. Dwight co-founded the CCBS accreditation of safety programs based on principles of behavior.
Dwight studied at West Virginia University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of North Dakota, where he received his Ph.D., and Harvard University, where received a post-doctoral fellowship. He returned to WVU and served as a tenured professor of psychology and later as a professor in the School of Public Health. He has a wide range of corporate consulting experience in the USA and Asia, and served as a senior vice president at Sealy, Inc., and Reebok International, Ltd. Dwight is a senior fellow of the Cambridge Center. He continues to serve as an industrial / management consultant and has designed and operated a wide range of behavior-based programs, including behavioral safety programs.
He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. He received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organizational Behavior Network, Association for Behavior Analysis International.