The Community Psychologist

A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Division 27 of the American Psychological Association

Vol 47 No 3 
Summer 2014

From the President  Fabricio Balcalzar large

Fabricio E. Balcazar
University of Illinois at Chicago

No Time to Pause

Summer is a time to slow down and enjoy the outdoors. Especially after this long winter we had, particularly in the Nordic States, which have been designated as the place where the Polar Vortex now resides. 


From the Editors Sarkisian_and_Taylor_small.jpg
Gregor V. Sarkisian and Sylvie Taylor
Antioch University Los Angeles

We would like to thank Fabricio Balcazar, Ph.D., for his service to SCRA as President over the past year.   It was a pleasure to work with Fabricio and we look forward to his continued contributions to SCRA as he transitions to his role as Past President.  

For this summer issue, we are excited to include two pieces that focus on the newly designed SCRA website as well as the new opportunities and resources that will be accessible to our members and the broader community. Additionally, this issue includes several articles and commentaries highlighting the insights of students engaged in community research and action. Finally, we encourage you to review the SCRA Awards information and nominate someone you know (including yourself).

Best Wishes,

Gregor & Sylvie 

Special Feature

SCRA Launches New Web Site!

Written by Ashley Anglin, on behalf of the Website Task Force

This is an exciting time for SCRA as we announce the public release of the new website []. We believe that the SCRA website should reflect our values as community psychologists, and those values include inclusivity and accessibility. Although our former website included a great deal of information, much of the content was difficult to access, and some pages were only accessible for current SCRA members. Therefore, the new website includes more public-facing content and resources.


Community Health

Edited by David Lounsbury and Darcy Freedman

The Community Health Interest Group (CHIG) includes over 300 SCRA members who are committed to advancing the intersections of community psychology, public health, and healthcare delivery. In this commentary, Venonica M. Baté-Ambrus, a Co-Chair of the CHIG, offers practical guidance for forging these intersections through Community Health Workers.


Community Ideas

Edited by Gina Cardazone

Next Generation Evaluation

Evaluation is a core competency for community psychologists, and is increasingly valued by practitioners, grantmakers, and community partners. Often, evaluation is framed in terms of accountability, and is associated with specific grants or projects. However, community psychologists know that evaluation is about much more than accountability. Appropriately deployed, evaluation can enable ongoing organizational learning, and more effective community action. 


The Community Practitioner

Edited by Susan Wolfe

This article describes a project that was completed in Cairo, Egypt with funding from a SCRA Mini-Grant.

 Experiencing CP Values in Action

Written by Amy Carrillo, Seham Kafafi, and Omar Ezzeldin, formerly at The American University in Cairo

As community psychologists, we are committed to demonstrating values such as diversity and social justice with a focus on psychological sense of community, collaboration, and highlighting community strengths. However, “talking the talk” can be very different from “walking the walk.” Three of us who worked on a community initiated cultural event will briefly share what we did, how we did it, and the benefits and challenges of working with community partners. 


Living Community Psychology

Written by Gloria Levin

Bernadette Sanchez“Living Community Psychology” highlights a community psychologist through an in-depth interview that is intended to depict both personal and professional aspects of the featured individual. The intent is to personalize Community Psychology as it is lived by its diverse practitioners.

For this installment, we profile a community psychologist who was a first-generation, ethnic minority college student, has received excellent mentoring throughout her professional career and, in turn, has been a passionate advocate for diverse students. Her own research program addresses positive youth development and youth mentoring.

Bernadette Sánchez, PhD
Associate Professor
DePaul University
Chicago, IL


Joint Column:  Community Practitioner and Education Connection

Guest Editor:  Sharon Johnson-Hakim

Competencies for Practice: Perspectives on Training and Education

The goal of this article is to advance the discussion on training for the identified practice competencies by comparing and contrasting the perspectives of the community psychology (CP) training programs with those of students. It is our hope that this analysis, along with included commentaries from students, faculty, and practitioners, will help identify workable steps towards improving graduate education for practice within the field. 


Regional Update Spring 2014 Gina_Langhout_large.jpg

Edited by Regina Langhout, Regional Network Coordinator,; University of California at Santa Cruz

We are a busy group! Across the globe, community psychologists are making an effort to connect with each other and like-minded people. The details in each region give only a partial snapshot of the vibrant communities that we co-create. Enjoy reading the activities below and contemplating which conversations you might join. Also, I want to welcome a new regional coordinator to the Northeast U.S., Bronwyn Hunter, who is at Yale University. Welcome aboard Bronwyn! 


Rural Issues

Edited by Susana Helm

The Rural IG column highlights the work of community psychologist and colleagues in their rural environments.  Please send submissions to me ( This is a great opportunity for students to share their preliminary thesis/dissertation work, or insights gained in rural community internships.  For this issue we have a brief report co-authored by Erika Jang, an undergraduate majoring in Family Relations, in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai`i. Erika completed her junior year internship (one semester, Spring 2014) in our department’s Rural Health Initiatives program. 


Early Career Interest Group

Written by Michèle Schlehofer , Salisbury University and Ashlee Lien, SUNY College at Old Westbury

We hope that by the time this column reaches you, you are enjoying warm, sunny summer weather. The Early Career Interest Group (ECIG) was formed last year to promote the concerns, interests, and issues unique to early career individuals within SCRA; opportunities for early career scholars to make contributions to or hold leadership positions within the SCRA community; and formalized opportunities for recognition of professional accomplishments by early career SCRA members. We have had a successful first year, and are looking forward to increasing our productivity as we enter our second year.


Student Issues

Edited by Danielle Kohfeldt and Chuck Sepers 

Making the Invisible Visible

Written by Irene Daboin, Georgia State University

There is an invisible truth about me that most people that I interact with on a daily basis don’t know: I am an international student. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. At the age of eighteen, in fall 2007, I moved by myself to the United States to pursue my undergraduate degree at University of Miami, and in fall 2011 I moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue a PhD at Georgia State University.  


Remembering Swampscott

Swampscott: a critical commentary

Written by David Fryer, University of Queensland, University of South Africa and Australian College of Applied Psychology   and Rachael Fox, Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia

An invitation to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Swampscott conference, positioned by many as central to the beginnings of United Statesian community psychology, is, to two British social scientists working in Australia, committed to engaging critically with the implications of power-knowledge for subjectivity and community and troubled by United Statesian dominance of community psychology, a bit like two Anglo Saxons being invited to celebrate the Norman Conquest in 1066 or Indigenous Australians being invited to celebrate 1788, when the First Fleet of British settlers arrived on Australian shores


Education Connection

Edited by Carrie Forden

Spotlight: SCRA Education on the Web

Written by Ashley Anglin , Atlantic Health Systems, Morristown, NJ

The SCRA Education Connection originated in the Community Connection, a clearinghouse founded in 1982 by Maurice Elias and Jim Dalton for exchanging community psychology course syllabi.  In 1987, the renamed Education Connection became a column in The Community Psychologist, and in 2007 Scot Evans, Jim Dalton, and the SCRA Council of Education Programs (CEP) collaborated in making the Education Connection an online resource. Now, seven years later, the online Education Connection is getting a complete makeover, thanks to the creation of the new SCRA website. It will now be housed online in a subsection called “Education” under the “What We Do” section to give viewers easy access to information regarding education and training in community psychology and related fields.



Edited by Kahaema Byer

For this issue, authors Khalifa, Mohamed, and Abdel-Malek draw from their experiences as Community Psychology students in Egypt to provide an analysis of the challenges of needs assessment, with emphasis on considerations for this work across developing and developed nations.  Two responses to their article follow. Volino-Robinson and Ballard highlight the similarities in the challenges faced in Egypt to those experienced working with diverse communities in the US. They conclude with a strong call to action for students not to conform to the status quo of Western, Eurocentric means of conducting research but rather to carve out much needed indigenous approaches.  Authors Mihaylov and Perkins advocate for a more generalized, cross-cultural approach in support of the experience of the authors. They simultaneously provide a challenging, critical analysis of the potentially subversive tools within community research as a discipline.


New Graduate Programs Group

Edited by Tiffeny R. Jimenez, Brian D. Christens and Emma Ogley-Oliver

In this issue we are featuring descriptions of new graduate programs.  Below, Dina Birman describes the new program at University of Miami, and while the National Louis University Ph.D. program in Community Psychology is about 6 years into their development, Tiffeny Jimenez, et. al., describe how this newer program has been designed to meet the social justice needs of communities.  In addition, Nuria Ciofalo, Susan James, and Mary Watkins describe the incorporation of the SCRA Practice Competencies in the new M.S. in Community Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and William Hartmann and Lauren Reed describe the development of a community program certificate program at University of Michigan.