Feature article

Remembering tragedy, celebrating success

The Div. 31 president addresses shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas and discusses highlights of the division's APA convention program.

By Dinelia Rosa, PhD

Dear Colleagues,

It would be very hard to go on business as usual without addressing the recent tragic events in Minnesota, Baton Rouge and Dallas during the past few weeks. Our hearts go to all the families of the ones that lost their lives. As these unfortunate events rapidly unfolded, so did our feelings of anger, rage, frustration, disappointment and confusion. We question a system that seems broken for some more than for others. We see how polarizations and binaries can dehumanize people and groups. It is easy to place people in categories; it is more complex and challenging to look at individuals and appreciate the uniqueness that we can find in each. The latter is hard to do, particularly when behaviors and violent actions are repetitive toward individuals of specific groups, seem to follow similar patterns and seem to have the same or similar end results. As hard as it is, not doing it feeds into increased escalations, reactive behaviors and dehumanization. Yes, let us be angry and upset but without losing our compassion and empathy during these testing times.

I am glad to report that our division elections are out and included in this newsletter. We are grateful to the members that agreed to run for the various positions. We ask that you consider running again in the future. To the elected members, we are delighted and looking forward to working with you.

Our APA convention program is out. A few weeks ago we sent it via our listserv. I would like to highlight two special events in addition to our professional program. The 2016 Karl F. Heiser Award Ceremony, a traditional award ceremony spearheaded by our division to recognize efforts to define the discipline of psychology statutorily by state and federal laws and regulations through advocacy, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, 10-10:50 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Denver hotel, Capitol Ballroom 5. Please join us to recognize this year's awardees. They are: Kevin Arnold, PhD (Ohio Psychological Association); Elizabeth Campbell, PhD (Florida Psychological Association); Gregorio Febbraro, PhD, posthumously (Iowa Psychological Association); Elizabeth A. Lonning (Iowa Psychological Association); Chris Morrison (APA); Brenda J. Payne, PhD (Iowa Psychological Association); and Dinelia Rosa, PhD (New York State Psychological Association).

This year our social hour, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, 7-7:50 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Denver hotel Capitol Ballroom 5, features various recognitions. We will be recognizing the pass of RxP at Iowa State. We continue to gain ground in this important area. We are also recognizing the Arizona Licensing Board for passing legislation in support of the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact, making Arizona the first state to gain such a significant achievement. We look forward to other SPTAs joining Arizona. As part of our annual social hour we will be recognizing the psychologist of the year. Come join us to find out who has earned that title. For the first time, we will recognize the state association hosting the APA Annual Convention, Colorado Psychological Association (CPA). We will also highlight features and unique aspects of CPA. We hope to continue this tradition every year through our social hour. Also, a first this year, we will be presenting the first Rural Psychologist Award. So please, do not miss this special social hour. I am confident that you will enjoy it. Bring your colleagues, too.

On another note, I am happy to announce the reactivation of our division's Advocacy Committee. Lindsey Buckman, PsyD, has kindly agreed to serve as chair for the remaining of this year. With the agreement of our president-elect, Linda Knauss, PhD, Linda Campbell, PhD, will serve as 2016 chair-elect. Soon the group will begin to work on specific goals relevant to all our SPTAs. Please contact Lindsey Buckman with questions or ideas.

Many of you are aware of the significant changes that were recently announced for the next State Leadership Conference. Our division will be reviewing and assessing the impact of these changes to our SPTAs, in particular our small state associations. While we are aware of the current financial predicament of the American Psychological Practice Organization (APAPO), we want to ensure that representation of all our SPTAs continues to be a strong highlight of this important conference. Please email me any questions or concerns.

This brings me to highlight the relationship between the APA and APAPO and why shall we consider joining both. The mission of the APA is to serve human welfare, not the profession. We are a charitable scientific and educational organization aimed to applying our profession for the benefit of people's lives. Different from the APA, the APAPO main focus is legislative advocacy and in advancing the discipline. As you can see, the mission of each is quite different but complementary. As recently stated by Cynthia Belar, PhD, “Quite simply, the APAPO is primarily for the benefit of its members vs. APA's goal of benefitting the public.”

Last but not least, I would like to invite our members to get involved in our division. Check our website at and find out about our task force groups and committees. Let us know of your interest to collaborate with us. We welcome new leadership.