Div. 28 President’s Column

Div. 28 President Matthew Johnson provides an overview of division accomplishments during the past year.
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By Matthew Johnson, PhD

description I hope you all are having a great fall. This will be my final newsletter update as president of Div. 28. It’s been an honor to serve in this position and to work with such incredible colleagues. I’ll provide here a description of the division’s status at present, in addition to directions going forward into the next year.

Our division membership is strong. We have a total of over 500 members in Div. 28 this year. Thanks to our Membership Chair Dustin Stairs for his efforts in recruiting and maintaining membership. Our division is well integrated into larger APA efforts. This is due to the efforts of some very dedicated folks, including Bill Stoops, who is our Council Representative, and Geoff Mumford, who is associate executive director in the APA’s Government Affairs Office and who always does an excellent job at keeping our division represented in the APA’s national efforts including on Capitol Hill.

We had a very strong presence at the annual APA convention this year, thanks to the great efforts of the year’s Program Chair Meredith Berry. Expenses for the year are within budgeted targets, and the division should go into the next year with strong financial health. We greatly appreciate the continuing donations from Pinney Associates and Med Associates.

One of the initiatives for this year was to kick our social media presence into high gear. I’m happy to report that this has been successful. We’ve gone from virtual dormancy to an active presence with dozens of posts on both Twitter and Facebook. I’d like to thank the other members of our “Social Squad” for their hard work in this effort: Elizabeth Holly, Gaylen Fronk, Bill Stoops, Ryan Lacy and Justin Strickland. Please check out our social media presence.

A development to report is that we will be investigating a new direction in securing and maintaining financial support from corporate entities. The idea emerged at our business meeting during this year’s annual convention. We will be forming a new Development and Finance Committee to foster relationships with corporate affiliates and novel ways to promote investment in the division. One goal of this effort is to maintain more consistent personal involvement in such efforts across years, as such responsibilities have traditionally been handled by the president, a position that changes on a yearly basis. Stay tuned for news on the development of this committee.

I would also like to welcome our newly elected officers for the upcoming year. Kelly Dunn will be our new president-elect, and Eric Donny will be one of our members-at-large. Their commitment to our division is a powerful signal that our division will continue to be strong.

I’d like to thank the entire Executive Committee of Div. 28 for all of their hard work in continuing to make the division thrive. I’d like to specifically call out the following folks for their efforts. Mark Smith has continued to play an enormous role in the division by being a very active past president. He has been a tremendous help to me and has continued to provide leadership to the division. One special effort that Mark has accomplished is a reworking of the specific roles of president, president-elect and past-president to ensure more active participation of all three positions and to make sure the president enters her or his term after having been more fully integrated into the presidential-level leadership of the division. This contribution is likely to serve our division well for years and perhaps even decades to come. I’d like to thank Bill Stoops for continuing to serve as our Council Representative. Of course, Bill’s contributions go far beyond this role, as he provides remarkable institutional memory, creative contributions to division decision making and is well served by deep integration within APA at large. I’d like to thank Meredith Berry, who in her role as program chair, put together one of the best programs I’ve seen for our division at the annual convention. Erin McClure has created outstanding newsletters that have kept our division well integrated in her role as newsletter editor/website contact. Micky Koffarnus has served as an outstanding secretary, and I’ve personally valued his excellent attention to detail in the meeting minutes that he has provided. Dustin Stairs has continued to play a critical role as membership chair. Dustin also played a huge role in our social hour at CPDD in order to recruit new members. Treasurer Will Aklin continues to provide critical financial leadership for our division, ensuring our financial health. Rich Yi is doing excellent work as awards chair, following in the strong footsteps of Cathy Stanger who served this role culminating in the awards delivered at this year’s convention. Adam Leventhal has done an excellent job serving as our fellows chair, shepherding outstanding new fellows into our division. Our members-at-large, Kelly Dunn, Mary Cain and Ryan Vandrey, have provided critical input into the ongoing functioning of the division. I’d also like to thank Ron Wood for his continuing role as electronic information officer and Justin Strickland, who has continued in his role as archivist and who has already been working to set the stage for an excellent convention program in his role as next year’s program chair. I’d like to thank Amy Stamates and Gaylen Fronk as Student Representatives and Elizabeth Holly and Ryan Lacy as Early Careen Psychologist (ECP) Representatives. And finally, I’d like to thank Wendy Lynch as our president-elect. It will be my pleasure to hand the gavel over to Wendy. She has a strong organizational and leadership background, is an excellent scientist, and is widely respected. Our division is in the best of hands under her leadership. 

I thank you all for making this an outstanding year for Div. 28.