Feature Article

President's column

Div. 7 will be collaborating with other divisions through joint task forces, special projects and sessions at APA convention.

By Jacquelynne S. Eccles, PhD

I am honored to be the president of Div. 7. As Gail pointed out in her president's column last year at this time, we serve for two years as president. My term began in January 2015. I want to thank Gail for the great job she did as president. She will be a very hard act to follow. Her dedication to the division was without parallel.

I also want to welcome Michael Lamb on as the new president-elect. He has already begun his six-year term with great plans for jointly sponsored pre-conferences with other developmental science organizations. This effort is part of our ongoing goal of raising the visibility of Div. 7 both within APA and internationally. Div. 7 is one of the oldest formal organizations devoted to the scientific study of human development. Unfortunately, our membership and visibility have declined over the past 20-30 years. On the one hand, this has created financial and visibility problems for us. On the other hand, it reflects - we think - the very positive growth in other professional organizations devoted to the scientific study of human development. Over the past several years, the executive committee of Div. 7 has been discussing ways to work more closely with these other professional associations to serve our overlapping scholarly communities. Sponsoring focused pre-conferences is one mechanism we are pursuing.

Another mechanism involves joint activities with other APA divisions. Over the past 40 years, several new, more applied, developmentally focused APA divisions have been created. APA has established several mechanisms to support collaboration amongst its many divisions. We are taking advantage of several of these mechanisms, including joint task forces, joint special projects and joint sessions at the annual APA meeting. I will say more about these activities in later newsletters. At this time, I want to highlight the joint sessions at the upcoming annual meeting in Toronto. This year, Sandra Simpkins, the chair of our program committee, was very successful at working with other division to put together a set of very interesting sessions for the meeting in Toronto (see the program summary, PDF 385KB ). It is clear that APA wants more such sessions for the future annual meetings. Sandra did an amazing job this year using this mechanism to increase our presence at the annual meeting. By so doing, she has laid the groundwork for our continuing collaboration with several other basic and applied divisions. I want to thank her for all of the hard work she put into the program this year.

In closing I want to invite all members to participate more actively in Div. 7. One of the jobs of the president each year is to recruit members to serve on various committees and play other important roles in APA. We want to include as many members as possible in such leadership activities. Please send me an email if you would be interested in participating in such activities.

I also want to thank all of the people who have participated in such activities over the past year. The chairs and various elected officers are listed below. Each of these individuals have served our division very well over this past year.