Community Practice Vignette - Greg Meissen
SCRA Community Psychology Practice Council
Community Psychology Practice Profile
Your Name: Greg Meissen
Address: 1845 Fairmount, Department of Psychology, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
Phone numbers: (316) 978-3039
Name of workplace(s): Community Psychology Doctoral Program, Wichita State University
Title(s): Professor & Coordinator
How would you prefer to be contacted? (Please mark all that apply)
[ x ] E-mail
[ ] Telephone
[ ] Snail Mail
[ ] Other
Please list professional affiliations that relate to community psychology practice.
In which of the following formats would you be interested in sharing your account? (Please mark all that apply)
Website x Book x Journal x Article in "The Community Psychologist" _x_
Would you be willing to participate in longer interview or answer more questions via e-mail or a longer questionnaire? (Please mark all that apply)
[ x ] Telephone Interview
[ x ] Video Interview
[ ] Longer Questionnaire
[ ] No
Questions about Your Community Psychology Practice
Please describe the work you do, for pay, as a community psychologist, including the setting(s) where you work?
- Professor & Coordinator, Community Psychology Doctoral Program at Wichita State University
- Community Psychology Consultant
- Leadership Coach
What training/education do you have in community psychology?
- PhD in Community Psychology
Please describe how your training/education contributed to your work as a community psychologist. What do you view as the most important skills you learned in your training as a community psychologist.
The most important skills I got in graduate school were:
- Organizational & Community Development
- Non-Profit Consultation
- Applied and community-based research skills
- Grant writing
- Program Evaluation
- Needs Assessment
What other experiences or training have contributed to or enhanced your ability to work as a community psychologist?
Much of my skill development came through "on the job training" by taking on new projects and working with new community groups I not only had to learn new content but also new practice and research skills to do a good job. For example, learning skills in strategic planning and executive transitioning through reading, workshops and working with partners already skilled in these areas was common to my continued professional development. I founded and directed a community research center at WSU for 25 years and always had to stretch to learn new content and skills to grow and fund the Center particularly grant writing.
Are there other ways you use your community psychology background and training, either unpaid or in paid roles other than your primary work?
My entire professional life has been and continues as a Community Psychologist which have included a number of roles including:
- Non-Profit Board Member
- Consultant to Non-Profits, Organizations and Communities
- Advocate for Disadvantaged Groups
- Community Development/Organizer
- Fund Raiser
- Grant Writer
- Leadership Coach
- Program Evaluator
- Asset Mapping
What advice might you give to students or people considering community
psychology as a career?
My advice would be to get a set of skills in graduate school knowing that you will always be a "work in progress" as new skills will be needed for an unknown future professionally. Also, it is important to learn those skills in depth and to become an expert as becoming an expert so when a new project or career possibility arises that you know what it takes and to gain the knowledge and skill to pursue that project. Finally, gain some collaborative experience which teaches much including that you do not have to know everything because you will have partners - it is the essence of community psychology.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your role as a community psychology practitioner?
Community Psychology practice is highly fulfilling because of the visionary and dedicated people in communities that we have the honor of working with.
Key Words: Community Development, Leadership, Program Evaluation
Primary Place of Employment: Wichita State University
Areas of Practice Expertise: Community Based Research and Practice