President-Elect's column

Gloria Balague introduces her presidential initiatives including interdisciplinary science and practice, obesity, and caring for young professionals

By Gloria Balague, PhD

Happy Spring everyone! Winter has been rough in Chicago, so the promise of nice weather is very reassuring right now!

During the month of January I had the opportunity to attend a "Leadership Development" conference organized by APA. Besides getting to know all the president-elects of the other divisions I also met the current President (Melba Vazquez) and the President-Elect (Suzanne Bennet Johnson). I came away from the conference energized and I thought of all the opportunities we have at our disposal to give our field and our division more visibility. Let me share some of the things I felt were more relevant:

President-elect Suzanne Bennet Johnson described her presidential initiatives and I believe that they match our division interests very well:

Interdisciplinary Science and Practice
Our field is really an interdisciplinary one and it may be a good idea to emphasize collaboration with other sciences in our projects and presentations

Obesity is a national health problem, but few divisions are as well suited to offer pathways to solutions as ours! Many groups can recommend exercise but we can talk specifically about how exercise should be presented and taught to ensure higher compliance rates. Our work cuts across age groups, with interventions at the prevention level and at the intervention level. Think about this area in terms of funding and presentations.

Engaging the Future Generation, or Caring for Young Professionals
We need the involvement of graduate students, recent PhD's and those who are still establishing themselves. We want your input and we want you to be involved, so let us hear your voice!

APA is also in the process of reinstating some proposals, like the Grants for Interdivisional Projects, which were abandoned due to the financial crisis. We could be cooperating with many other divisions: Adult Development and Aging (think Master's athletes!), Clinical Neuropsychology (Head injuries?), Health Psychology, Educational Psychology (Coaching Education?), Group Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology...

Let's try to expand our sights and generate ideas that will keep us in the forefront of APA. Please send me your comments or ideas.