Community Practice Vignette - Susan Wolfe
SCRA Community Psychology Practice Council
Community Psychology Practice Profile
Your Name: Susan M. Wolfe
Location: Cedar Hill, Texas
Name of workplace(s): Susan Wolfe and Associates, LLC
How would you prefer to be contacted? (Please mark all that apply)
[ x ] E-mail
[ x ] Telephone
[ x ] Snail Mail
[ x ] Other Carrier Pigeon
Please list professional affiliations that relate to community psychology practice.
American Evaluation Association (including Community Psychology Topical Interest Group)
Dallas Health and Human Services Commission
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
[ ] Video Interview
[ x ] 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?
I am a self-employed consulting community psychologist. I do evaluation, capacity building, training, grant writing, strategic planning, facilitation, and other activities for for-profit, non-profit, medical, educational, and governmental organizations.
What training/education do you have in community psychology?
A master of arts from Michigan State University in Ecological Psychology and was all but dissertation when I left there.
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.
Nearly all of my skills and underlying values and theories are derived from CP. Most important skills were probably the evaluation/research skills - but partly because of their theoretical grounding (e.g., participative, empowering).
What other experiences or training have contributed to or enhanced your ability to work as a community psychologist?
I've worked across a variety of settings in a variety of roles and each has contributed to my skill set and knowledge base. These include medical settings, educational settings (university, K-12, and community college), mental health clinics, federal government, industrial innovation, and independent consulting work. The jobs have included working on basic and applied research in labs and communities (including program evaluation), managing intervention and prevention programs, and policy analysis. Trainings included some skills based (attending conferences such as the American Evaluation Association), writing skills training, and content training (e.g., health disparities.)
Are there other ways you use your community psychology background and training, either unpaid or in paid roles other than your primary work?
I use my skills for various volunteer activities. I am a behavioral social science volunteer with the APA SESRCD program, have participated on and led various coalitions and organizations locally. These included serving on the Certified Retirement Community advisory board for my local town, serving as president for OWL (an advocacy organization), advocating for budget items with Dallas City Council, and sitting on obesity and teen pregnancy and other health and human services commissions.
What advice might you give to students or people considering community psychology as a career?
If the field fits with their values, and the skills taught are those they would find enjoyable to use in their daily work then they should consider it. Although there is not a job titled "community psychologist" there are numerous positions that fit with the skills, theoretical foundation, and values of community psychology.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your role as a community psychology practitioner?
I like that it has allowed me such a range of opportunities and to engage in so much meaningful and interesting work.