Div. 28 Candidate Statements
Statements from candidates for Div. 28 member-at-large
By Chana K. Akins, PhD, and Kelly Dunn, PhD
Chana Akins, PhD
Thanks for nominating me for the position of member-at-large of Div. 28. My term of member-at-large for Div. 6 just ended and I am looking for an opportunity to stay involved in APA service at the division level. Prior to serving as member-at-large for Div. 6, I served as co-chair of the membership committee and prior to that as president and secretary-treasurer. I received the Distinguished Service Award for Div. 6 one year before being elected president.
Other APA committee work includes co-chair of Committee on Division and APA Relations and Chair of Committee on Animal Research and Ethics. Within Div. 28, I was Awards Committee Chair as a replacement for someone who had to step down. I am a fellow of Divs. 6 and 28. I am enthusiastic to work within Div. 28 again as my research has become increasingly more closely aligned with the research of the division membership.
The major focus of my research is on studying the effect of drugs of abuse on sexual behavior. We have demonstrated that various drugs of abuse, including cocaine and methamphetamine facilitate sex-seeking behavior, albeit in different ways. Further, we found that this drug-induced facilitation results in resistance to (or delayed) extinction of sex-seeking behavior. We are currently adding an element of risk-taking to these studies.
Most recently, we are developing a voluntary drinking model in birds. Birds are known for naturally drinking alcohol (i.e., in the form of fermented berries) and they will consume it in excess and show signs of “drunkenness.” We are currently investigating a modified two-bottle drinking model in which quail are given a choice between water and alcohol. Our preliminary assessment is that the model looks promising.
Aside from APA/APA division experiences and overlapping research interests, I have also had many leadership opportunities including membership of the inaugural class of Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology of APA, Academic Leadership Academy of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, and recently the Women's Executive Leadership Development at the University of Kentucky.
Collectively, I believe that my prior experiences make me uniquely positioned to serve as member-at-large for Div. 28 and I am happy to do so if elected. Cheers.
Kelly Dunn, PhD
I appreciate the opportunity to run for the member-at-large position for Div. 28 of APA. To those who do not know me, I am trained as a behavioral pharmacologist and am currently an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
My research has spanned both preclinical as well as clinical human laboratory and randomized trial research, and has focused primarily on aspects related to opioid abuse (though I have also conducted research in contingency management, smoking abstinence, alcohol treatment, and outcomes development/assessment). More importantly for this position, I also have a long history of serving in leadership positions for both APA and Div. 28.
As a graduate student, I served as the behavioral neuroscience representative for the Science Student Council of the Board of Scientific Affairs for three years. In this role, I attended the bi-annual consolidated meetings and helped develop convention programming as well as other methods to increase the representation of science and opportunities for science-oriented students within APA.
In 2010, I was appointed to the Div. 28 Executive Committee as one of two inaugural early career psychologist representatives. I then assumed the role of newsletter editor for three years, before being appointed as the division secretary for an additional three years. I completed my tenure as the division secretary in December 2016 and am currently serving a one-year term as your convention program chair.
At the end of this term, I will have been a member of the Div. 28 Executive Committee for the past eight years. During my time on the committee, I have participated in countless conversations and division efforts to increase company sponsorship, engage our junior members, educate our membership about advocacy (through an advocacy column I created in the newsletter), and now to develop a diverse and engaging convention program that includes an innovative Data Blitz that I believe will highlight our junior researchers, stimulate conversations between Div. 28 and 50 (addiction), and increase engagement in our poster session. If elected member-at- large, I will be able to offer a rich institutional memory to the Executive Committee that will help us to continue advancing the goals set by the division and you—as its valuable members—and I will continue to work hard on behalf of Div. 28 to promote the value of science in APA more broadly.
I appreciate your consideration.