Hectic Happiness

Hectic Happiness is the first book by Gilda Werner Reed, PhD. She condenses 7 decades of one life well-lived in this ongoing love story and testament to overcoming adversity. Polio survivor and dreamer enamored with JFK, space flights, and Biology—sheltered Southern girl with a penchant for civil rights, politics and world events—devoted wife, mom, grandmom—doctor in Applied Biological Psychology—teacher of thousands—ex-Congressional candidate in deep red-state Louisiana—author. Hectic Happiness is a survival story of triumph and tragedy, joy and pain, feistiness and naivete.



University of New Orleans’ award-winning faculty member, Dr. Gilda Werner Reed, has condensed 71 years of living and world events into a new book, Hectic Happiness.
The work captures the joys, challenges and tragedies of Dr. Reed’s life, and the “heart-melting adorableness, enchanting exuberance, delightful antics and jaw-dropping accomplishments” of four sons, three daughters, six grandsons, and eight granddaughters.
Gilda and soul-mate, husband Sam adopted two siblings––special needs babies––when their fifth baby was still in diapers, to give a total of three in diapers at once., and Hectic Happiness follows the challenges and joys of a full family life.
Gilda is a native New Orleanian, a public-school advocate, a polio survivor, a member of a third generation U.S. Navy family, and a 2008 U.S. Congressional candidate.
Her work follows the volatile events that shaped the last seven decades in family, career, political and cultural spheres.
Dr. Reed earned her doctorate at University of New Orleans (UNO) in Applied Biological Psychology with a minor in Applied Developmental Psychology while raising her large family. Her dissertation was done on “cute, furry white rats with pink eyes,” she said. She injected them with “MIF-1 peptide or morphine and compared behavior using a conditioned place preference paradigm.”
Dr. Reed completed the education courses required for Louisiana certification, plus the National Teacher’s Exam, and became one of the most popular instructors in the UNO psychology undergraduate program, teaching eight different courses on campus and online. She has taught literally thousands of students since 1994.
In 2012 she was named among the nation’s top-rated professors in Princeton Review’s The Best 300 Professors, and in the top 13 by Huffington Post.
In 2008-2009, Dr. Reed was rated 21st by RateMyProfessors. And the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association named Dr. Reed recipient of its 2011-2012 Excellence in Teaching Award.
The Times asked her how she was able to motivate so many students. “I have excellent, inspiring students!” she said. Dr. Reed also explained that she is a strong advocate of public education and that her students truly want to learn. “Mom and dad aren’t paying the bills,” she said. “My students really want to be there. They are a joy to teach!” To Dr. Reed, teaching is an honor—not an obligation, she said.
Dr. Reed’s involvement in the larger community and her enthusiasm for public life included a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 when she won her primary but lost in the general election.
She was named Louisiana Woman of the Year in 2008 by BayouBuzz and was named an honorary member of the Jefferson Firefighters Association for her support.
She has been honored with a Trailblazer Banquet Award, served on the Jefferson Parish and the Louisiana Democratic committees.
Hectic Happiness is her first book. From the book and covers:
”With intentions of spawning future volumes, she condenses 7 decades of one life well-lived in an ongoing love story and testament to overcoming adversity. She is a dreamer enamored with JFK, space flights, and Biology.
”She is a sheltered Southern girl with a penchant for civil rights, politics and world events.”
”Hectic Happiness is a survival story of triumph and tragedy, joy and pain, feistiness and naiveté.”
Hectic Happiness is self-published via G W Reed Publishing, LLC.
— The Psychology Times January 2019-Page 17