Good afternoon, everyone,
I stand before you today to ask for your nomination and vote in my bid for the Presidency of the American Psychological Association. At this time in history, I do not think it an exaggeration to say that society needs psychology more than ever. The list of problem areas in which psychological science can contribute is a depressingly long one: the opioid crisis; high suicide rates among veterans; increasing stress and anxiety levels in children, adolescents, and adults; climate change, the failure of engineers to report their concerns about the Boeing 737-MAX, the clash between our love of technology and our desire for privacy; an increase in discrimination and hate crimes toward ethnic-racial and sexual minorities fueled by observational learning; and the ongoing effects of the profound income inequality in our society, including poverty, homelessness, and disparities in health, mental health, and education. Psychology and psychological science speak to all of these concerns and more, including speaking truth to power about the inappropriate and unethical use of notes from therapy sessions in legal proceedings.
But psychological science does much more than address problems and concerns: the psychology of high performance contributes in the arts and athletic arenas, helps those in the boardroom and the classroom; indeed, high performance psychology helps individuals in all areas of endeavor play to their strengths and avoid the pitfalls of their challenges, so that they can maximize their talents and be their best selves. And I, for one, hope for a time when there are fewer problems for psychological science to solve, leaving more time for us to focus on development and growth.
At the same time, APA is engaged in major, transformative changes. The person elected in 2020 will be President in 2022, the fourth year of APA’s strategic plan. APA will also have had a few years under its belt with the integration of our advocacy efforts across the directorates and the C3 and C6 sides of the house. In 2022, APA may well be in the process of accrediting Master’s programs in health service psychology, and we cannot forget that an ethics code centered on social justice and human rights will also be coming forward for approval.
Thus, the 2022 President needs to be both inward and outward facing: to help manage the substantial changes in the organization while interacting and communicating with other organizations and the world: a strong and vibrant APA is needed to support psychological science as well as the psychologists who translate that science into practice in multiple arenas. In short, the Presidency needs to be about APA, the organization, as much as or more than it needs to about the individual who will serve as the Presidential steward for one short year.
I have been involved in APA Governance for more than two decades. And over the past 20 years, I have been connected to the four major directorates of APA, and have supported initiatives by the Committee on Early Career Psychologists and APAGS.
I served as the Division 16 liaison to APA’s Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, and several of my research areas are related to psychology in the public interest. I am a psychological scientist and university academic, as well as the Director of Training in an APA-accredited Program in School Psychology. I have served on the Board of Educational Affairs and several workgroups of that Board, including Melba Vasquez’ Presidential Taskforce on Educational Disparities. I am a certified school psychologist and a licensed psychologist, although my work outside the university primarily involves consulting and applied psychological practice. And I have served on the Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment, the Board of Scientific Affairs, and the Joint Committee on the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.
In addition to serving on various workgroups or committees of APA and Divisions 5, 15, 16, 45, and 52, I have served on the Committee on Division/APA Relations, served as the Division 16 Council Representative for two terms, and served as a Member-at-Large on the APA Board of Directors.
I have also been involved in service activities in other professional organizations within and beyond psychology, and have research collaborations in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the South Pacific.
I come to this campaign as one who is willing to serve: serve APA, serve psychology, serve society. If I become President, my overarching goal is to amplify the diverse, multiple, and varied voices of psychology and psychological science in keeping with the strategic plan, to evaluate the effectiveness of the many changes that are underway, and to do my best to ensure that APA is doing what all of us here want it and need it to do to make this society the one we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in.
To those of you who do not know me, I ask you to speak to those who have served with me and to check out my website, which is in development. I believe that I have a reputation for achieving consensus and for bringing disparate voices together in harmony, not only in music but also on the floor of Council and in the Boardroom. It is as a person committed to service and with the greatest of humility that I ask for your nomination and vote. Thanks for your kind attention.