Executive Committee Election

Nominee for Division 16 vice president of education, training and scientific affairs

Meet the nominee for Div. 16 vice president of education, training and scientific affairs.

By Catherine A. Fiorello, PhD

Catherine A. Fiorello


I am honored to have been nominated for the position of Vice President of Education, Training, and Scientific Affairs. Questions about the training of school psychologists are once again paramount. APA is poised to fight for the inclusion of professional psychologists as health care providers under the Affordable Care Act, and Division 16 must push to ensure that doctoral level licensed school psychologists are not overlooked in this effort. Especially as the move toward school-based health clinics advances, acknowledgement of our particular expertise in prevention and systemslevel intervention will be increasingly important. We need to get the word out that there are many highly-trained mental health professionals already present in schools!

As APA continues to struggle with the internship match imbalance, Division 16 needs to ensure that the unique needs of school psychologists are included in this effort as well. As professional psychology moves toward requiring an APA-accredited internship for licensure, the relative lack of school sites will become more problematic. Division 16 must advocate for seed money for schools, and consortia including schools, to develop appropriate internships.

We are beginning to discuss the next IDEA reauthorization even as our colleagues in psychiatry revise the DSM. Putting diagnosis and identification on a strong scientific footing, rather than basing decisions on political and financial exigencies alone, should be a major goal for our profession. Our influence has typically been strong considering our relatively small size, and we need to continue this trend.

The relationship of research to practice has never been more critical. The needs and experiences of practice should feed into research, just as translational research moves empirical findings into practice. As schools embrace student outcomes as important accountability measures, school psychologists are uniquely positioned to ensure that measures of outcomes are broad, encompassing more than just test scores in a few academic areas, and psychometrically strong. Our training in assessment, treatment fidelity, and intervention evaluation will prepare us to lead in this area.

My goal as VP-ETSA would be to represent the profession of school psychology as trainers of psychologists with unique skills to contribute to both professional psychology and education.


I earned my Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of Kentucky. While completing my dissertation, I worked as a certified school psychologist in rural Kentucky. Since that time, my career has combined research with practice, as I have combined private practice and clinical supervision with research and teaching. I recently earned Board Certification in school psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology, and was named a Fellow of Division 16 of APA. I also earned the rank of Professor at Temple University, where I have taught for over 16 years and directed both the EdS and PhD programs for nearly 10 years.

I have reached a point in my career where I see involvement in governance as a way to have an influence on psychology and education writ large. Working with the APA Board of Educational Affairs and Board of Scientific Affairs provides a venue to reinforce the influence and unique viewpoint of school psychology on professional psychology.

I have volunteered for a number of professional organizations, serving on the executive boards of the Trainers of School Psychologists (including as president), the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs (including as secretary), and Division 16 (currently as treasurer). My experience working with a wide range of colleagues across many professional organizations will be invaluable as we unite to ensure a strong future for school psychology.