Early career psychologists at the 2016 State Leadership Conference

More than 40 early career psychologists attended the 2016 State Leadership Conference.

By Le Ondra Clark Harvey, PhD


I am the State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Associations (SPTA) representative and the new co-chair of the APA Committee on Early Career Psychologists (CECP). In February, the new CECP practice representative, Tyson Bailey and I had the pleasure of hosting more than 40 early career psychologists (ECPs) during the APA’s Annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) held in Washington, D.C. 

ECPs participated in a number of events, including an orientation session that provided an opportunity for ECPs to share challenges in recruiting and retaining ECPs within SPTAs as well as success stories. There were a number of other ECP-focused events including a social during which ECPs had the chance to mingle with members of the APA Board of Directors. Another highlight was the annual awards luncheon during which the Ohio Psychological Association was presented with the Div. 31 CECP Initiative Award in recognition of implementing activities that engage and sustain ECPs in advocacy, leadership and the practice of psychology. During the closing banquet, both I and Lindsey Buckman, the ECP representative on the Committee for the Advancement for Professional Practice, were presented with presidential citations for our work on behalf of ECPs. 

The conference provided attendees the opportunity to learn about the importance of advocating for the profession of psychology at the state and federal level. The SLC ended with visits to Capitol Hill where attendees met with congressional representatives and left with a renewed commitment to continue to strive to meet the needs of ECPs within their respective states.

One thing I heard during the SLC was that ECPs are looking for ways to gain leadership experience and get more involved in APA governance. As such, I want to highlight two upcoming opportunities for ECPs.

First, the Div. 31 has an ECP Task Force. This task force is in need of ECP members. If you are interested in learning more about the ECP Task Force, visit the students and early career psychologists webpage and submit your inquiries.

Second, the CECP will have two open positions. The CECP advocates for the unique needs of ECPs and provides useful resources for ECPs (e.g., scholarships, ECP Listserv and the CECP financial planning guide). Please visit the CECP website for information about the application process and to access resources.

In closing, many thanks to the delegates who attended SLC. ECPs are the future of APA and I encourage all ECPs to reach out to the Div. 31 ECP Task Force as well as the CECP to learn about opportunities to get involved.