Several critical issues have impacted the APA within our recent past, both within and outside of our organization. The Independent Review, rising student loan debt, and the internship crisis have plagued our field and disenfranchised graduate students and psychologists alike. As a result, the proportion of early career psychologists (the future of our field) within APA is dwindling. It’s crucial that Board members provide voices for those who may otherwise be marginalized, make APA more accessible, and create better value for our members, meeting you where your needs are.
These issues call for three integral values embedded within the Board: integrity, diversity, and transparency at three critical levels (community-wide; e.g., social justice), organizational (APA), and personal.
Integrity calls for reliable fiscal responsibility among the Board and a commitment to representing a voice for all APA members. For two years I served on the Research, Service, and Professional Development Committee for WVU; we were charged with overseeing grants, stipends, and awards for the college. But integrity requires more than fiscal experience; it requires critical self-reflection, open-mindedness, and a steadfast devotion to serving our organization’s needs.
Diversity is situated in the middle, because it the centerpiece that makes everything work. It must be understood broadly (e.g., diversity in lifestyle, in career stage, in gender, race, and ethnicity, and in opinions and perspectives). Differences should be solicited, articulated, and respected; not marginalized, silenced, or belittled. Our field, and our society more broadly, have become increasingly polarized. As your Board member, I will work to embody a balance between both science and practice; two critical identities within APA members. Trained in the scientist-practitioner model, I am committed to representing the needs of both professional psychologists, scientists, and those who fall somewhere in between. As an early career psychologist, I have published 18 empirical articles, 13 chapters, and 1 book, and I’ve presented 11 symposia/papers and 28 posters on an evidence-based approach to professional issues, including lifelong learning, continuing professional development, and professional competence. I understand that being a Board member requires careful, conscientious consideration of the decisions to be made and a critical understanding of the diversity of viewpoints that impact and benefit the organization as a whole.
Transparency involves the unwavering commitment to honoring a process that not only withstands, but invites, scrutiny from all quarters. Of course, none of these values are lived out without work, and I understand that working together is what makes “work”, work. Through my service as the chair of the Continuing Education Committee, service within Division 17 and APA’s Working Groups, service at an institutional level and as a grant and journal peer reviewer, and my social justice and advocacy work, I recognize the importance of teamwork and have learned how to balance many responsibilities with steadfast enthusiasm.
As APA celebrates its 125th anniversary and expands to new directions in practice, ramps up its commitment to science, and looks for creative ways to add resources and value to APA membership, I am passionate and ready to serve.