Veterans Affairs Section report

The author prepares for the upcoming collaboration with Dr. John Klocek, presenting “How to Review an Article”

By Anne Klee, PhD

The VA Section has been active the past several months. We are continuing with our Quarterly Conversations. On November 17, 2011, Dr. Randy Phelps, APA Deputy Executive Director for Professional Practice and Dr. Diane Elmore, Associate Executive Director APA Public Interest Government Relations Office, provided an update on relevant APA activities in Washington D.C., discussed how APA supports VA psychologists, and identified ways that VA psychologists can help inform advocacy on behalf of the profession and the health and well-being of Veterans. The call was informative and well attended. Thank you to Drs. Phelps and Elmore for taking the time to presentto us.

The next VA Section Quarterly Conversation is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 2-3 pm CST, and is being offered in collaboration with Psychological Services. Dr. John Klocek will present on “How to Review an Article.” Many of us are asked to peer review articles submitted for publication. This call will offer guidance on the review process with a particular emphasis on reviewing for Psychological Services. We are grateful to Division 18 member Dr. Klocek for sharing his expertise.

The VA Section has three active committees focused on recruitment, mentoring, and our section awards. Drs. Ed Padin and Monica Roy have been spearheading our recruitment efforts by exploring opportunities to use new media, such as video, and internet to disseminate information about Division 18. We will be developing a new brochure (for hard copy and electronic distribution) to recruit VA psychologists into Division 18. We also are developing a “Network of Champions at VA facilities” to talk about APA Division 18, advocate involvement in professional issues through the division, and be a resource to psychologists in different career stages and tracks. As part of this effort, we also will move toward developing stronger partnerships with Psychology Chiefs and Training Directors, and will provide them with membership information to pass on to their staff. In conjunction with this recruitment endeavor, Dr. Allison Aosved is chairing a new mentoring committee that is looking to establish a “Network of Mentors” that can provide guidance and entry for our early career psychologists to help them in developing their careers. Dr. Aosved has developed a survey to be distributed among VA psychologists and trainees to get a sense of what people are interested in, and what they are looking for in a mentor. If you would like to join our recruitment or mentoring committees or serve as a local “champion” at your medical center, please email Dr. Ed Padin, Dr. Allison Aosved, or Anne Klee.

Dr. Dan Kivlahan and an outstanding committee of VA psychologists are soliciting nominations for our annual awards to be presented at the upcoming Annual APA Convention in Orlando, Fla. from August 2-5, 2012. Please consider nominating a colleague or trainee for one of the following awards:

  • The James Besyner Award for Lifetime Achievement

  • Outstanding Clinician

  • Outstanding Researcher

  • Outstanding Administrator

  • Outstanding Director of Training

Please see below for details on the call for nominations and directions for submitting nominations. We look forward to hearing from you, and encourage you to pass this along to your colleagues and students!

  • Outstanding Psychology Student Award
    This award is open to students at any stage of their graduate career (i.e. practicum students, psychology interns, and postdoctoral fellows). Nominees must have clinical and/or research experience with the criminal justice population. In addition to these experiences, nominees must have made accomplishments during his/her training that exceed expectations of his/her developmental level.

  • Outstanding Dissertation Award
    The Outstanding Dissertation Award will be given to a person who has completed (defended) their dissertation within the last 18 months prior to the award deadline (June 15, 2012). The focus of the dissertation research should be related to the criminal justice population. Trainees who implemented any type of research (qualitative, quantitative, or theoretical) are encouraged to apply. In addition to the application requirements listed below, individuals nominated for this award also need to submit: a copy of the dissertation in either Word or PDF format; and a letter of support from the dissertation advisor. The dissertation advisor does not have to be the person to nominate the trainee. The letter of support from the dissertation advisor should include: acknowledgement that the student was nominated for the award; confirmation of the date of the dissertation defense; and a brief statement of his/her support or endorsement for the student being nominated for the award.

  • Early Career Achievement Award
    This award is open to individuals who earned their doctoral degree in psychology within the last seven years. Nominees will have provided services to a criminal justice population in their career through clinical work and/or research. Overall, nominees will demonstrate, through their professional work, that they are dedicated to providing and improving services for those involved in the criminal justice system.

  • Outstanding Clinician Award
    This award will be given to a psychologist who primarily provides direct clinical services to a criminal justice population and has done an outstanding job. The Awards Committee will look favorably upon those who have implemented and applied evidence based treatments to a criminal justice population; the committee is particularly interested in hearing about new and inventive clinical applications to a criminal justice population. The committee will also look favorably upon those psychologists who have worked collaboratively with others in their workplace to promote the application of appropriate clinical interventions. This award may be given to a psychologist with any number of years of experience.

Nominations should include a:

  • A current CV of the nominee (within the last year)

  • A letter of nomination (one-two pages in length) describing why this nominee should be considered for the award (be sure to specify which award for whom you are nominating the individual)

  • For self-nominations, a letter of recommendation is required, as well as a one-two page narrative describing why you believe you should be considered for the award.

  • For the Dissertation Award, as mentioned earlier, you must also submit a copy of the dissertation, as well as a letter of support from the dissertation advisor which includes: acknowledgement that the student was nominated for the award; confirmation of the date of the dissertation defense; and a brief statement of his/her support or endorsement for the student being nominated for the award.

Please submit your nominations through email, no later than June 15, 2012 to Lauren Lussier, PsyD (Criminal Justice Section Awards Committee Chair).

As I stated in my last article, if there is anyone interested in becoming more involved in the section, feel free to contact me Femina P. Varghese, PhD (Criminal Justice Section Chair). I look forward to hearing from you.