In this issue
Greetings from President Joan C. Chrisler, PhD
By Joan C. Chrisler, PhD
It is difficult to believe that my presidential year is more than half over already. The time has flown by, but a lot has been accomplished. Here, I will share some of the highlights with you.
Our energetic program chair, Maria del Pilar Grazioso, has put together a diverse and interesting set of papers, posters, symposia and conversation hours for the Toronto APA convention. In addition, of course, we have invited addresses by last year's award winners, and several other invited addresses and invited panels. She and her team of student assistants are at work now planning activities to take place in our divisional hospitality suite. I hope that many of you will be able to be in Toronto to enjoy the program.
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of Div. 1, and we will be celebrating 70 years of bringing psychology together. If you will be in Toronto, please plan to join us at the Div. 1 social hour to eat anniversary cake and share your favorite memories of the division's activities and accomplishments at our open mic. We will offer a ticket for a free drink to the first 70 students and early career psychologists to arrive at the social hour. Information about the history of the division, including daily trivia sheets (come every day to collect them all), will be available in our hospitality suite. So, please, spread the word that Div. 1's social hour and Hospitality Suite are the places to be in Toronto this August. We're number one!
On Feb. 28, at the APA building in Washington, D.C., Div. 1 held an unusual midwinter meeting of the extended executive committee. Sixteen of us attended. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for us to develop our working relationships (the executive committee has many new members), to plan the anniversary celebrations, review what we are currently doing as a division and to consider what we might like to do in the future. All of us agreed that the meeting was a success.
One of the things we did at the meeting was to revise our division's mission statement and develop a set of goals. (You will be able to read these documents elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter.) The goals we developed are intended to be both descriptive and aspirational. That is, they cover all of our current, traditional activities (i.e., our awards, the newsletter, the journal, the convention program, the Staats lecture), and they are broad enough to encompass new program initiatives we might take (some of which were discussed at the meeting, but others we have not yet imagined).
Our treasurer, Deborah Johnson, reported to us that we are in excellent financial shape, and she presented us with a 2015 budget, which we tweaked a bit and then voted to implement. We agreed that we would use our newly established goals to guide our budgeting so that we spend our funds primarily on projects and activities that contribute to the achievement of our goals. Our treasurer expressed concern that we have too much money in our checking account, and we agreed to seek information and advice about investing it more wisely. If any of you have experience with investment committees in other divisions, please email Deb your ideas for how we should proceed. We also discussed the possibility of setting up a fund with the American Psychological Foundation (APF). Our president-elect, Nancy Baker, is heading up an ad hoc committee to discuss the cost and feasibility of such a program. Several ideas were entertained about how we could allocate money from the fund once it is established. We will be sure to let you know the outcome of these discussions after the ad hoc committee reports back to us at our August meeting.
We heard interesting reports from our membership chair, Mark Sciutto, and our student representative, Emily Dow. Both told us that the most frequent reason why people join Div. 1 is because someone asked them (or told them) to do so. Like many (if not most) APA divisions, our division's membership is skewing older than the traditional retirement age of 65. If we are going to survive and thrive for the next 70 years, we need to recruit and retain new members, especially those at the beginning of their careers. If you want to celebrate Div. 1's anniversary, whether you can attend the party or not, the best way to do so is to reach out to a colleague or student and invite her or him to join Div. 1. Look for a membership form elsewhere in this newsletter. Feel free to copy the page and distribute it.
We discussed membership trends at length during our meeting, and we decided to do several things: (1) to survey members who have left the division to find out why they did not renew; (2) to do more membership outreach (such as communication via our divisional email list) to engage members in divisional activities; (3) to launch a membership drive targeted at faculty who teach at small, primarily undergraduate, colleges and universities, as those faculty are often generalists of necessity, if not by choice. We will be reaching out to Psi Chi and to Div. 2 (Teaching of Psychology) as we plan our membership drive. If you would like to join the Membership Committee to work on this initiative, or have ideas to advance the committee's work or both, please email Mark.
Student members of Div. 1 would like more interaction through social media. Our tech-savvy newsletter editor, Alicia Trotman, volunteered to set up a Div. 1 YouTube channel. Look for details about her plans and how you can contribute to them elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter. If you are willing to set up a Facebook or Research Gate page for the division, please contact me via email. These activities also require a few creative thinkers who can develop and maintain the pages once they are setup. These do not have to be time-consuming projects, but they do mean looking for ideas to post and thinking about how to make the pages interesting. If that sounds like something that you (or you and a team of your students could do – maybe as a class project?), we want to hear from you.
The division's “Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology” book series continues to sell well and provide us with annual royalties. The most recent volume, “Portraits of Pioneers in Developmental Psychology,” was published in 2011. Over the past few years, we have talked during our meetings about a desire to develop new volumes for this series, but we have not progressed beyond discussion. What we need is a series editor to take charge, give this some thought, propose topics, solicit people to edit books on those topics and serve as liaison with our publisher. This is a great job for someone with an interest in the history of psychology, as the books contain biographies of major contributors to the field. If you are interested, please contact me. If you know colleagues who might be interested, please ask them to contact me.
As I close, I would like to express my thanks to the extended executive committee of our division for their work, advice and support during my presidential year. I am grateful to them all. In addition to those mentioned above, I thank Janet Sigal, Anita Wells, Jocelyn Turner-Musa, Richard Velayo, Mindy Erchull, Gerianne Alexander, John Hogan, Carrol Perrino, Sue Dutch, Sue Frantz, Terece Bell, Nicholas Noviello and Wade Pickren.
Happy spring, everyone! See you in Toronto, eh?