Volume 49 Number 2 
Spring 2016

Pres_john_moritsugu.jpgFrom the President

John Moritsugu
Pacific Lutheran University

The Mid Winter Meetings were held at the end of January in Washington, D.C.  These meetings permit us to come together, share what we have been doing and discuss our plans for the coming year. It is an exciting time since the executive committee is an extra-ordinary team of individuals who have accomplished much in their professional lives as individuals and have experience as creators of communities. It is fun and it is challenging.  From this crucible of ideas and opinions come the plans and programs for the division. We accomplished our business of discussing the future and approving a budget for the year. There is a synergy generated by these face-to-face meetings.  My thanks to all of the EC participants at the Mid Winter Meetings: Bret Kloos–Past President; Susan McMahon–President-Elect; Dina Birman–Representative to APA Council; Stephanie Reich–Secretary, James Emshoff–Treasurer; Tiffeny Jimenez–Member-At-Large; Anne Brodsky–Member-At-Large; Chiara Sabina–Member-At-Large; Meagan Sweeney–Student Representative; Regina Langhout–National Regional Coordinator; Brian Christens–Council of Education Programs; Olya Belysaev-Glantsman–Practice Council, Meg Bond–Publications, Jacob Tebs–Editor of AJCP, Daniel Cooper–Co-Editor of The Community Psychologist (Tiffany McDowell, is the second Co-Editor). And of course a special thanks to our Administrative Director, Victoria Scott, and Administrative Assistant, Taylor Scott, who made the meetings seem effortless and making sure the “wheels stayed on the wagon.” We also had the first group of Leadership Development Fellows: Dawn Henderson, Janelle Silva, and Jennifer Wallin-Ruschmann. It was an exciting time. I would encourage you to consider running for one of the offices in the future, or stepping up to a leadership role in the division. 

In the coming months and years, you should see changes in the way we communicate, the ways in which we make decisions, and the organization’s engagement of the membership. This comes from our discussions of the Strategic Planning group’s report and recommendations to the Executive Committee which presented a timely overview of the society’s strengths and weaknesses. Much thanks to the group’s members: Victoria Scott, Gina Hijjawi, Greg Meissen, Anne Brodsky, Chris Keys, Jim Cook, Susan McMahon, Brian Christians, David Lounsbury, Jean Hill, Bill Neigher. This work was initiated at the request of last year’s EC meetings and ably administered by our Administrative Director, Victoria Scott and the assistance of Taylor Scott. Following discussions led by Susan McMahon, we left the D.C. meetings with a set of clear objectives outlined. The Strategic Planning process and report details are being elaborated elsewhere. I would only say our thanks to their long and timely efforts. 

Also of note around our meetings was the report of APA’s awarding Sam Tsemberis of Pathways Housing National, the Distinguished Contributions to Independent Practice Award for 2016. A well-deserved acknowledgement of his work on the Housing First model for addressing homelessness. 

In the realm of awards, the Executive Committee, at the recommendation of Bret Kloos, conferred special awards to Ann Bogat of Michigan State University and Jacob Tebs of Yale University for their work on securing a new publication agreement with Wiley, for the American Journal of Community Psychology. A second special award was bestowed on Bradley Olson for his work on advocating policy changes within APA with regards to the Ethics Code, the law and psychologists’ roles in interrogations. Finally, a third special award was given to Jean Hill for all of her hard work updating the SCRA website, and building a more robust digital and social media presence.

In another vein, at this time, I am aware that two new International Regional meetings are occurring this year.  Toshi Sasao has organized a meeting in Tokyo that included participants from the Asian region in February. Mona Amer has helped organize a Middle East/North Africa conference meetings in Cairo that meets this spring. I am also aware that John Sylvestre and Tim Aubrey from University of Ottawa and Manual Riemer from Wilfred Laurier University along with a strong Canadian committee have been busy organizing the next biennial, to be held in Ottawa in 2017.

All of this activity helps to underscore, that the society is alive and active, and growing. This is made possible by an involved and engaged membership that includes students, early career, and established members.  There are committees that are at work, or re-awakening. And as always, there is more to do. It is my privilege to be a part of this all for the year.