By Trent A. Petrie, PhD
The theme of this column is transitions...with every convention comes the transition to a new executive committee; members who have served the division during the last two-three years end their terms in office and the newly elected members join. Thank you to Drs. Jennifer Carter (past-president), Anthony Kontos (Program Chair), Karen Cogan (Council Representative), and Jack Watson (Member-at-Large), and Cassie Pasquariello (Student Representative) for their excellent service to the division; they are stepping off the Executive Committee. Also, welcome to our newly elected (and appointed) members of the EC: Drs. Christine Selby (President- Elect), Anthony Kontos (Member at Large), Kate Hays (Council Representative), Courtney Albinson and Jamie Shapiro (Program Chairs), and Michelle Garvin (Junior Student Representative); I am excited to have the opportunity to work with such a dynamic group. I also want to thank Dr. Steve Portenga, who will be stepping down as Newsletter Editor. He has served the division well in this role and as Chair of the Practice Committee; his energy and vision will be missed.
Since the Convention when I assumed my role as President, I have been working on organizing our committee structure and inviting new members to join. I have named new Chairs for the Practice (Dr. Michelle Joshua), Social Media (Dr. Laura Dipasquale), and Science (Dr. Amanda Visek) committees. They, and the other existing chairs, have been soliciting involvement from you, our members, and I appreciate how many of you have stepped forward to be a part of what each committee is doing. As always, if you are not yet, but want to become, involved, please read each committee chair’s report in the newsletter and then contact him/her to express your interest. Our committees will be working on interesting and important projects throughout the year, so your involvement would be mutually beneficial.
As I transition into my new role as president, one of my goals is to keep you informed as to what the EC is doing and what our purpose/focus/aims are for the upcoming year. To that end, I have been (and will be) using the divisions announcement email list to provide you with updates (e.g., appointments of new committee chairs, call for new committee members). Throughout this year, the EC will send you periodic messages about our work, new division or APA initiatives, etc. In the near future, expect to hear from us about upcoming division awards, the vote concerning ethnic minority psychological associations having representation in the APA Council, the creation of a new section (Performance Psychology) within the division, and many others.
A major divisional project this fall will be to conduct our member survey. Although planned for the summer, it will occur this fall under the guidance of President-Elect Christine Selby and Secretary-Treasurer Doug Hankes. They have assembled a group of members to develop the survey, which will then be administered by APA’s Division Services Office. So, when you receive the solicitation to participate, please take the small amount of time needed to provide us with your feedback. The information we collect from you will allow us to evaluate the current work of the division and provide us with direction for our future goals. There are many important issues within our field, and we want your input for determining where our focus and energy should be directed.
I also have launched, with the able assistance of Dr. John Coumbe-Lilley (Chair, Membership Committee), the goal of increasing the division’s professional membership by 25 percent by the 2014 convention. To that end, we have begun several initiatives that we believe will help us reach this goal, including outreach to sport and exercise psychologists within other professional organizations, such as AASP, who are not members of APA but can become professional affiliates of the division (without joining APA) and by offering a free one-year trial membership for those APA members who have interests in our division but have not yet joined. I am excited at the prospect of bringing in more psychologists into our division who are working in the field, but not yet affiliated with us professionally.
Again, I welcome comments, feedback, and suggestions from you about any of the issues I have raised or any that you would like us to address within the division. I can be reached via email and look forward to hearing from you.