The Community Practitioner



Volume 48 Number 2
Spring 2015

The Community Practitioner1-Susan_3-28-10_023.JPG

Edited by Susan M. Wolfe and Olya Glantsman

Transitioning into the New Year with a Review

My tenure as editor of The Community Practitioner column started in the Spring of 2010, and will end with this column in the Spring of 2015. After five years I have decided to step down as column editor to allow someone else the opportunity to edit this column, and to bring a fresh perspective in. I have very much enjoyed my term as editor and am grateful to everyone who contributed to the column over the past five years.  Thank you!  On that note, I am very excited to announce that the new editor of the Community Practitioner column will be Olya Glantsman!

As we are thanking Susan for a wonderful job taking care of the column for all these years, we would like to begin the new year by looking back on last year’s accomplishments.

A Year in Review

Over the past year, the Practice Council (PC) has experienced a great number of accomplishments including a successful leadership transition and a creation of a secretary/historian position.

Meeting the Needs

Last year, the PC continued to provide starter funds for larger community interventions that engage local community members via the SCRA Community Mini-Grants program. This year, fifteen grants were awarded with 17% of grantees residing outside of the United States. Peer Consultation Calls, in their second year, continued to provide support to students, early-career, and mid-career professionals working in communities. Callers have an opportunity to share their work with colleagues and get some ideas and help. Another great project included the creation of the Connect to a Practitioner Guide, which aims to bridge the gap between academic programs and practitioners. Additionally, many PC members continue to serve as advisors for the Ask an Advisor service, sponsored by the Community Tool Box at the University of Kansas, in which advisors answer questions on community development from people all over the world.

Student Support

PC continues to support Masters programs via the Connecting Master’s Students workgroup. Since, July 2014 this group has been meeting to develop questions and co-facilitate focus groups with Masters students across the United States to understand their professional needs as well as identify the motivators and barriers to engagement within SCRA. Additionally, as a result of the ongoing conversation about the disconnect of undergraduate students getting involved in community psychology, the Community Psychology Association student chapter, an officially recognized student organization at Wichita State University was founded. Finally, SCRA’s first Summer Institute was proposed and organized to be held at this year’s Biennial.

Visibility and Outreach

In 2014, the Community Psychology Practice Blog continued to raise awareness about the field and the people who do Community Psychology related work. Since the beginning of the year, there were 31 blog posts on a variety of subjects related to the field. The Outreach Group of the Council continued to generate monthly bulletins (called THEory into ACTion) on innovative work in community practice. Furthermore, in the past year, PC helped organize four webinars. Finally, the Community Psychology: Foundations of Practice book was published and released in print on December 15, 2014.

Looking Ahead

Looking back on the successful past year, we cannot help but think about the future. How should Community Psychology look 50 years from now? In raising this question and questions about how to sustain community development initiatives, the Practice Council in collaboration with the Council of Educational Programs, is organizing a session for the upcoming Biennial titled, The Next Fifty Years: Imagining the Community Psychology of the Future.  In this session, we will: 1) Revisit the Vision of SCRA on this special anniversary, 2) Generate a ‘go-forward’, long-term vision for SCRA with shorter term, intermediate action steps, 3) Disseminate the vision widely throughout SCRA utilizing a diversity of platforms including the SCRA list serve, social media, TCP, and community-focused journals (AJCP, Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice ), 4) Engage the appropriate SCRA Committees and Councils to accomplish proposed action steps, and 5) Give voice to various SCRA sub groups that will live the vision such as students, recent graduates, and newer members of SCRA. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Lowell.