In this issue

President's message

The current Div. 20 president reviews her presidential term and discusses the upcoming year and convention.

By Sara Czaja

This is the final presidential message of my term, which ends at our meeting in August where I turn over the office to Harvey Sterns, a pillar of our division. This has been an exciting year for Div. 20 and me. I have learned a great deal about the larger association and the workings of Div. 20, which continues to play a key role in meeting the challenges and opportunities of an aging society.

I have had the opportunity to interact and work with an outstanding team of individuals who are dedicated to the division and keep it running smoothly and allow it to flourish. I was fortunate to have Bill Haley and Pat Parmelee show me the ropes and Harvey Sterns willing to jump in as our upcoming leader. They really served as my safety net and fostered my ability to serve as president of the division. I am confident that the division will continue to flourish with Harvey at the helm and Manfred Diehl next in line. The interactions among the president, past president and president-elect are key to the success of the division as are the leaders and members of the Div. 20 committees and task forces and our liaisons to other groups. There is not enough space to thank everyone, but I would like to highlight a few people who work tirelessly for our division and made my job as president so much easier.

Joe Gaugler has continued to do an outstanding job keeping our finances in order. He helped us institute a plan to reduce our deficit, and we are now on the plus side of the budget equation. Grace Caskie has continued to do a superb job as newsletter editor. She is always open to new ideas such as highlighting a student member in the newsletter. Becky Allen deserves special recognition for her tireless efforts chairing the Elections Committee. This is a very challenging job, as she has had to put forth a great deal of effort to recruit Div. 20 members to stand for election and take leadership positions in the division. Joann Montepare has done an amazing job as secretary, and Jane Berry and Karen Kopera-Frye have worked tirelessly to ensure that the awards process runs smoothly and that members of our division are recognized for their outstanding contributions.

Walter Boot and Christopher Rosnick deserve special thanks for their efforts in putting together the Div. 20 program for the upcoming meeting. I am amazed at the complexity of this task and their willingness to put in so many hours of effort. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge David Chiriboga and Lynn Snow for their work on the Membership Committee. Our latest membership report indicates that we have an increase in paying members. This is a major accomplishment in these rather shaky financial times.

Warner Schaie and Sue Whitbourne have been extremely dedicated in their role representing Div. 20 on the APA Council of Representatives. Thanks to them, Div. 20's interests are well represented. Sue rotated off the committee this past year but agreed to take on a new role as leader of our social media activities. This will clearly increase the exposure of the division, especially with Sue as leader. We are also very fortunate that Pat Parmelee has stepped in to serve as a council representative. We will continue to be in good hands and be assured that our interests are represented.

There are so many other individuals who excel in their leadership roles including Katherine Fiori, Ann Pearman, Jennifer Moye, Adam Davey, JoNell Strough and Anthony Sterns to name a few. I would also like to commend Deborah DiGilio for her efforts on the Committee on Aging (CONA) and for helping to ensure that members of our division are represented on important task forces and activities, such as the upcoming White House Conference on Aging. The list of individuals who continue to make sure our division is thriving is large; we are fortunate to have so many talented people who are willing to put time and effort into our organization. I appreciate having had the opportunity to interact with such a terrific group of people.

I would also like to highlight our program at the upcoming meeting, which promises to be very exciting from both an academic and social perspective. Walter and Christopher deserve special congratulations for putting this together. The theme of this year's program is “Aging, Diversity and Technology,” which is very timely given the dramatic social and demographic changes that we are witnessing. We made some changes to our program in the hopes of increasing the involvement of our members in the division's activities. The business meeting and the awards ceremony will take place Friday (Aug. 7) from 4-4:50 p.m. followed by my presidential address. Our social hour will then be from 6-6:50 p.m. We hope that many of you will partake in the festivities and congratulate your colleagues for their achievements. It will also provide a nice venue to interact with old friends and make new acquaintances. Our dinner will be offsite on Thursday evening (Aug. 6) at Joe Badali's Ristorante Italiano & Bar; space is limited so reserve a spot by contacting Wally. It promises to be a fun evening.

We had five collaborative symposium accepted this year and three continuing education sessions approved. I would also like to highlight our speed mentoring event (Aug. 7, 9-10:50 a.m.), Convention Centre Room 717B. This interactive mentoring program will include brief presentations followed by informal small-group and one-on-one discussions with senior research investigators in geropsychology and neuropsychology. Divs. 20 and 40, CONA and the Committee on Early Career Psychologists are sponsoring this event. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and junior investigators. Of course, there are many other Div. 20 sessions and activities; we hope that as many of you as possible are able to attend the meeting and participate in the Div. 20 activities.

In closing, I would like to underscore the importance of being involved in Div. 20. The needs of older adults, especially those who are “vulnerable,” are vast and members of Div. 20 have vast expertise and experience and have a great deal to offer to improve the quality of life for current and future generations of older adults. Membership within the division also affords opportunities to collaborate with a community of colleagues who share common goals and interests as well as opportunities for mentorship for those who are starting out in their career. Thank you again to all of you for this exciting year!