In this issue

Spotlight of Laura Dewey

Spotlight on Laura Dewey, a former ECP Delegate at the 2015 State Leadership Conference, and member of the Delaware Psychological Association.

By Le Ondra Clark Harvey, PhD

Our recent APA Convention in Denver was full of activity, and as the SPTA representative for the APA's Committee on Early Career Psychologists, I was thrilled to attend and participate in programs specifically designed to address the needs of ECPs. I was honored to work alongside former chair of the ECP Taskforce, Lindsey Buckman, and the incoming taskforce chair, Jennifer Doran, and present a poster which highlighted the work of Div. 31's ECP Taskforce.

One way that Div. 31 has shown its support of ECPs within SPTAs is to highlight an ECP member in each of its newsletters. This quarter, we highlight Laura Dewey, a former ECP Delegate at the 2015 State Leadership Conference, and member of the Delaware Psychological Association. Laura reports:

“The Delaware Psychological Association (DPA) has recognized the need for increased Early Career Psychologist involvement within the organization in order to broaden its perspective and effectively advocate for psychologist's needs at the state and federal level. 2016 is the first year that an ECP position was established by the Executive Council, and it prompted my ability to attend the State Leadership Conference. Increasing engagement of ECPs in psychology organizations was a strong theme of interest, and DPA has been receptive to several initiatives with this goal.

“First, the Executive Council proposed an amendment to the constitution creating a new membership category for ECPs in order to allow gradual transition from student to full member with reduced dues over three years. After a vote from members, this amendment was adopted. Second, DPA updated its constitution to ensure that there is a sub-committee of the Membership Committee for ECPs to ensure that ECPs perspectives have a direct avenue to the Executive Council. Finally, a needs-based assessment of ECPs within DPA is in progress to better understand how to support and advance issues of relevance to ECPs.

“In addition to these systemic changes within DPA, there has been increased interest in overall ECP engagement. We have brainstormed ways to use social media and grassroot outreach efforts to demonstrate DPA's value to ECPs; for example, having a current ECP reach out to new ECP members to ensure direct connection to DPA, highlight unique benefits of DPA membership for ECPs, and understand current needs. Future goals include completing the needs assessment, building the membership sub-committee of ECPs, and establishing ongoing connection via social media.”

Many thanks to Laura for sharing the exciting work that is happening with the DPA. This SPTA is clearly working hard to recognize the importance of including ECPs in its leadership structure and recruit ECPs to its chapter.