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The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 53   Number 3 Summer 2020

SCRA News

Edited by Susan M. Wolfe, Susan Wolfe and Associates

SCRA Election Results

President-Elect: SUSAN M. WOLFE

Susan Wolfe

Susan brings a breadth of experience in community psychology and SCRA governance; leadership skills, energy, and time; working relationships with a broad range of members; and skills to operationalize good ideas. Her goal is to increase and broaden membership and activate many now-inactive members to lend their talents and viewpoints (including dissident ones) to our organization.

Her professional background spans practice and academic research roles, giving her a perspective on both. She has been an active SCRA member for over 30 years, held several leadership positions, including six years membership on SCRA’s Executive Committee. She has received multiple SCRA awards, recognizing her contributions to SCRA and community psychology. She has also held leadership positions in other professional associations, giving her additional insights to lend to this position.

She will increase the visibility of our field, having done so already by creating and leading the American Evaluation Association’s Community Psychology topical interest group.

SCRA will benefit from the strategic and operational skills she has mastered consulting to many organizations, most of whom contract for her services to confront seemingly intractable problems. Her consulting work focuses on equity and justice, which will help to inform her efforts to support SCRA’s continuing work toward a more diverse and inclusive organization. She has mentored diverse professionals within and outside of SCRA and is committed to support the development of SCRA members’ untapped leadership potential.

You can learn more about her and her work and download her CV at www.susanwolfeandassociates.com.

Member-at-Large: SERDAR M. DEĞIRMENCIOĞLU

Serdar_photo.jpgSerdar joined SCRA when he was a post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research. He chaired the International Committee twice, contributed to interest groups (Environmental, Indigenous, Policy), biennial review panels and the Mentoring Program. He also served in the European Community Psychology Association as board member and later as president.

Inspired by critical and action-oriented approaches in psychology and education, he has produced several ground-breaking books and also an award-winning documentary focused on neglected yet burning issues (e.g., personal indebtedness, militarism, decline of universities). On Sundays he writes for a newspaper in Turkey to promote children’s rights and well-being.

Serdar’s 20-year academic career in Turkey was terminated in 2016 for having signed a peace manifesto: He was fired and banned from public service for life. Forced to go in exile, he held visiting positions in Egypt, Italy, Belgium, and Germany. In 2021-2023, he will be a Philipp Schwartz Fellow at Goethe University Frankfurt.

He is deeply committed to social justice, human rights and peace. He was the only psychologist from Turkey joining those organizing to stop psychologists’ involvement in torture and the collusion. He served two terms on PsySR Steering Committee and recently as president of Div.48: Peace Psychology. He is currently associate editor of Education, Citizenship & Social Justice and book editor for the Journal of Community Psychology. As member-at-large, he will work to strengthen SCRA’s engagement with public health policy and advocacy, including immigration, refugees, and pandemics, and its collaborative connections outside of N. America.


APA Council Representative: SARA BUCKINGHAM

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Sara desired to serve as SCRA’s Representative on the APA Council because she believes our division plays a critical role in shaping the APA’s priorities. As community psychologists, we seek to address the roots of problems ecologically as opposed to solely treating their consequences. Due to advocacy from SCRA and like-minded divisions, the APA has moved towards addressing these underlying causes and drivers, taking stronger stances on social justice issues and allowing for deeper social justice advocacy from divisions. She aims to help SCRA continue that trend within the APA.

Sara deeply resonates with SCRA’s values, mission, principles, and strategies. She joined SCRA as an undergraduate student and is now on faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage, primarily affiliated with their Clinical-Community Psychology PhD Program. A number of experiences have prepared her for this role. I previously worked as a Policy Scholar in the APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office, focused primarily on immigration and socioeconomic policies. Within SCRA, she co-chair the Immigrant Justice Interest Group with Dr. Ferreira van Leer. She also serves as a regional coordinator for a non-profit grassroots advocacy organization, RESULTS, aimed at creating public and political will to end poverty. Through these experiences, she has come to appreciate the importance of both first-order and second-order change, strong relationships and clear communication, urgent responses to emergent issues and steadfastness in vision, and garnering input from all stakeholders while always acting in value-driven ways. Sara will honored to represent SCRA on the APA Council.


James Gordon Kelly, December 21, 1929 – May 16, 2020

Jim died peacefully of natural causes on May 16, 2020 in the Skilled Nursing Unit of Mirabella Seattle. He and his wife of 30 years, Seeley Dole Chandler, had moved to Mirabella, Seattle 10 years before his death. He was very active at Mirabella Seattle both within the Mirabella Community and in Seattle and played tennis and took vibraphone lessons until the last week of his life. 

Jim grew up in Cincinnati and graduated with honors from the University of Cincinnati in1953. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology in1958 from the University of Texas in Austin. He spent 2 years in a post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital under Erich Lindemann, PhD/MD, after which he completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. He went on to be one of the developers of a new field of psychology: Community Psychology. 

Jim was recognized and appreciated most for his huge contribution to the field of Community Psychology. His early and longstanding leadership included being the first president of the Division of Community Psychology within the American Psychological Association. Along with his empirical research and exemplary authored publications, h established principles for the field and theoretical points of view. His work both formed and influenced Community Psychology for more than 50 years. Over his professional life, he held positions in Community Psychology at Ohio State University, U. of Michigan, the U. of Oregon, and finally, at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He was an active researcher, contributing books and articles to the field of Community Psychology, receiving multiple professional awards, all the while training and mentoring many graduate students in the field, some of which became his good friends and co-authors. 

In addition to his wife, he leaves behind 5 children and their spouses, 5 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild; also his ex-wife, Sue Rombach Kelly.