A message from the president

The Division President reflects on the many exciting events from 2010 and thanks the outgoing division officers for their unwavering support

By Steve Norman, PhD

Since the annual APA meeting, Division 18 has been busy. New officers in place, new agendas, old projects continued. The Division and Sections are humming with activity.

Important Executive Committee decisions included a discussion and agreement to provide funding and support for the National Multicultural Conference & Summit. This annual conference is sponsored by a number of organizations and is designed to disseminate research and information on a variety of multicultural issues, which can impact many of the clients within Public Service Psychology. Division 18 members are encouraged to attend and the Division is honored to provide the support.

Another major decision approved by the Executive Committee is related to the use of Division membership resources for research. After extensive discussion, the Executive Committee authorized researchers, (with some level of verification of the legitimacy of their research efforts), to have controlled and limited access to members’ contact information, for a small fee. This process will help to fuel important research within Public Service Psychology, while ensuring some continued member privacy. This process will be very infrequent and can be modified if the need arises. The Division is pleased to support and promote important research projects, which will increase the knowledge base within Public Service Psychology.

The Division is currently in the active phase of developing the 2011 APA program. Division members and Sections have been encouraged to develop program submissions, which will reflect important work and research being conducted. The Division is looking to develop submissions related to the APA President, Dr. Melba Vasquez, initiative on immigration, among a number of issues relevant to Public Service Psychology.

Other activities: The Division continues to promote submissions to Psychological Services journal and Division members have been active in developing theme issues, which will both discuss new research and provide resources for Public Service practice. Within the Division EC, we continue to review structure to determine the best alignment to increase effectiveness. In addition to Division structure, each Section is reviewing by-laws to determine what structure best fits for respective Sections. All of these changes will hopefully promote efficiency in Division work.

A Division milestone of sorts, was achieved on October 13th, 2010, with the publication of the 25th edition of messages on Pubserv Direct. Pubserv Direct is the Division method of electronic communication with all members, even those who opt out of any of the Division Listservs. This has proven to be an effective and useful method of communicating and is evidence of the Division’s effort to provide information and resources to all Division members. (These messages are archived and available, if anyone would like to review, please contact me). Thanks to Dr. Lindsay Avritt and Dr. Pam Fischer for this work!

Division members are strongly encouraged to read the excellent article and tribute to Dr. Kathleen McNamara in the November awards issue of the American Psychologist. Dr. McNamara was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Professional Contributions to Institutional Practice by APA. The article highlights the important career spanning work Dr. McNamara has completed within, and for, Public Service Psychology. This is a well deserved award for one of Division 18’s most prominent members. A review of previous award recipients, documents a long history of Public Service Psychology by many outstanding psychologists. Dr. McNamara is another in this long line and the Division offers its congratulations.

Finally, I would be re-miss if I did not again offer my thanks, and Division thanks, for outgoing Division officers. Your work has made the Division strong and we will continue that path.

Holiday Season Wishes.