Committee Updates

Reports by the Committee on Bisexual Issues and the Committee on Mentoring

Current committee activities and opportunities to get involved.

Report of the Committee on Bisexual Issues

The Committee on Bisexual Issues has been busy the past few months. We have a number of exciting updates to share with the division.

New Committee Members

Jenna Brownfield from the University of Missouri-Kansas City counseling psychology program has joined the committee as student representative. In addition, Laurel Watson, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, will join the committee as co-chair as Melanie Brewster, PhD, rotates off from this position. Welcome to both Jenna and Laurel. We also thank Melanie for her excellent leadership and contributions to the committee as both communications coordinator and co-chair.

Bisexual Foundation Award and BIC Travel Award

The solicitation for applications for the Bisexual Foundation Award and Bisexual Issues Committee (BIC) Travel Award are now live. Applications are due March 30. For more information on how to apply, please visit the Div. 44 Awards page.

Protected Program Hour

The Div. 44 board approved a motion submitted by BIC to reserve one APA convention program hour per identity-based committee in the division (race and ethnic diversity, transgender people and gender diversity, and bisexual issues) with the stipulation that the proposals are blind-reviewed and deemed to be sufficiently rigorous. This approach both maintains an expectation of scientific rigor in the work our committees do, while also prioritizing the opportunity for each committee to have visibility during the convention through ensuring program time. Our symposium, entitled “Bi-Intersectionality,” has been accepted for the 2017 APA Convention in August for the BIC program hour. Presentations include: “ Gender Differences in Minority Stress and Internalizing Symptoms among Cisgender, Transgender, and Non-binary Bisexual Individuals” (Dyar et al.); “Bisexuality and Non-monogamy among Trans Individuals and their Partners” (Rossman et al.) ; “ Complexity of Bisexual Identities: A mixed-methods exploration” (Ross et al.) ; and “ Stability of Bisexual Identity among Youth: A Prospective Analysis within the Contexts of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, and Family Acceptance” (Grossman et al.) We look forward to the presentations and hope to see you there.

Special Section of Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 

Our deadline for our special section in the Div. 44 journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity entitled “Bisexuality: Visibility and Stress in the New Queer Era” was March 1. We look forward to reading proposals and editing the special section. Please contact Melanie Brewster or Lori Ross with questions.

Webinars and Symposia

During the National Multicultural Conference and Summit (NMCS) in January, three researchers presented their findings at the symposium we organized entitled, "The ‘B' Is Not Silent: Discrimination, Internalization, and Bisexuality Identity.” Thank you to our presenters Andy Choi, Christina Dyar, and Brandon Velez. The slides for this symposium are available online.

In addition, we will soon hold a webinar hosted by Heath Schechinger, PhD, on bisexuality and polyamory in May 2017 entitled “ Webinar on Bi + Poly .” Stay tuned for more information.

Report of the Committee on Mentoring

Calling all Mentors

The Mentoring Committee is seeking new members and committee chairs to continue the mission of creating opportunities for mentorship.  Just before the 2014 APA Convention, we attempted to connect executive committee (EC) members, past and present, with graduate students and early career professionals (ECP) interested in joining the leadership pipeline. Very few EC members were interested and willing to participate in this process, and our suite meeting has continually declined over the past several years.  The goal of this initiative is to cultivate leadership for the continued success of the division. Many of us have had excellent mentors who inspired us to lead, advocate or just get involved.

The mentoring relationship has the potential to inspire greatness within the mentee.  Some have argued that in successful mentoring relationships mentors do not choose their mentees. Over the next few months, the Mentoring Committee would like to welcome any EC members or senior-career psychologists in our division to consider serving as a mentor to an ECP or mid-career psychologist.  A survey regarding your clinical and personal interests as well as the amount of time you have available to mentor will be sent out soon.  The expectations of the mentoring relationship are collaboratively developed at the onset of working with one another.  Mentoring can be as focused as helping ECP or mid-career psychologists become better researchers or as broad as talking about tenure, professional development, and getting involved in APA leadership. 

According to Johnson (2003), there are some research-supported benefits for mentors. He highlighted intrinsic rewards (i.e., greater career satisfaction, creative synergy, rejuvenation, generativity) and extrinsic rewards (i.e., accelerated productivity, greater networking, professional recognition for talent development).  

Please consider fostering our future division leadership and getting involved with our committee.