TCP 49(2) Spring 2016

A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Division 27 of the American Psychological Association

Volume 49 Number 2 
Spring 2016

John_Moritsugu_small.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.


From the Editors  Tiffany_McDowell_and_Dan_Cooper_small.jpg
Daniel Cooper and Tiffany McDowell 
Adler University, Chicago

We are pleased to present the spring issue of TCP, a case study in what makes community psychology such a special field. All the reader has to do is check out the 2016 SCRA Awards to see how much excellent work is being done by members. There are some common themes in the issue. Two columns discuss promising approaches to homelessness—Pathways to Housing and Pathways to Independence—making the Community Practitioner and Transformative Change in Community Mental Health columns must reads. Throughout the issue, multiple perspectives on community psychology training can also be found. Be sure to read both the Education Connection and Student Issues columns. Living Community Psychology allows us to get to know Lindsey Zimmerman, who has worked tirelessly to raise community psychology's digital presence. The A in SCRA stands for action, and this issue's Public Policy column gives us several concrete actions we should be taking on the global refugee crisis. The Rural Interest Group presents new findings from a study on the needs of those seeking care for children with psychosocial concerns. Looking for a comprehensive book on community-based research methods? Maurice Elias' review of the latest edition of the Handbook of Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research will leave you looking no further. The Regional Update and Early Career Interest Group columns provide multiple avenues for members to get involved and connect with other comrades through groups, conferences, and events. Finally, SCRA's President and Treasurer provide us with a transparent look at the state of the society coming out of the mid-winter meeting. Happy reading all!

Dan and Tiffany

The Community Practitioner

Written by Olya Glantsman

Interview with Pathways to Housing founder: Sam Tsemberis

One of the best representations of community psychology in practice is the Pathways Housing First model, which is recognized by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, among others, as the most effective approach to ending chronic homelessness for individuals with mental health and addiction issues. In 2014, its originator, Sam Tsemberis received an award for Distinguished Contribution to Practice in Community Psychology from the Society for Community Research and Action. This year, Sam is the recipient of the American Psychological Association's award for Distinguished Contributions to Independent Practice. The story behind this extremely successful project offers community psychology practitioners the opportunity to see not only the intervention and results, but also the process behind them. The following interview with Dr. Tsemberis highlights some of his valuable insights as a visionary practitioner with respect to the intervention that has changed so many lives.



Best Dissertation in a Topic Relevant to Community Psychology: Kate Dorozenko, Ph.D.

Emory L. Cowen Dissertation Award for the Promotion of Wellness: Sarah Reed, Ph.D.

Early Career Award: Jenna Watling Neal

SCRA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Theory & Research – Douglas Perkins

SCRA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Practice in Community Psychology – Ruth Hollman

SCRA Ethnic Minority Mentorship Award – Robin Miller

SCRA 2016 Special Contribution Awards:  Jean Hill, Bradley Olson, G. Anne Bogat and Jacob K. Tebes 



Message from SCRA Treasurer, Jim Emshoff

Early 2016 finds SCRA’s financial status to be healthy and strong. I will review our revenue, expenditures, and investment performance for 2015. Then I will describe some changes in our financial processes before providing a summary of our budget for 2016. 

In 2015, we exceeded our expected revenue, primarily as a result of a profitable Biennial. While we have an expectation that the Biennial will provide us with some of our financial support, it has not always worked out that way. We are thankful to Andy Hostetler, Meg Bond and the rest of the team at UMass Lowell for both a stimulating and profitable conference. 


Education Connection

Edited by Carie Forden

This Education Connection column offers a series of reflections on community psychology education outside of the Ph.D. Nghi Thai, Susana Helm, and Dick Leavy describe the challenges they have faced with promoting student interest and engagement in community psychology programs, courses, and content, and they suggest strategies based in recruitment, course development, and undergraduate research. Michael Morris uses an ecological framework to discuss his experiences with teaching in and directing a long-running freestanding master’s degree program, and he describes the strategies his program has used to deal with challenges around community engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, student recruitment, and maintaining quality. All four authors provide us with an opportunity to consider how we might best support the sustainability and growth of community psychology in our universities.

Developing and Sustaining Community Psychology Courses, Programs, and Content Outside the Ph.D. Program

Written by Nghi D. Thai (, Central Connecticut State University, Susana Helm (, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and Richard L. Leavy ( Ohio Wesleyan University


Living Community PsychologyLCP_LindseyZimmerman_small.jpg

Written by Gloria Levin

For this installment, we introduce a clinical/community psychologist (CP) who, after moving from place to place for her education, is now settled in the Bay Area, working as an implementation scientist in the largest health care system in the U.S. – the Veterans Health Administration. She also has played a critical role in encouraging and implementing SCRA’s emerging presence online and in social media, thereby providing wider opportunities for younger members to participate in the organization.

Lindsey Zimmerman, Ph.D.
National Center for PTSD
Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System
Menlo Park, CA


Public Policy

Edited by Jean Hill

SCRA Statement on the Global Refugee Crisis

For more information and to take action, please visit the SCRA website at

Currently more than twelve million people need humanitarian aid in Syria. Nearly eight million are internally displaced and four million are seeking asylum somewhere in the world. For SCRA, one of its’ main principles is to support every person's right to be different without risk of suffering material and psychological sanctions.


Regional Update Spring 2016Gina_Langhout_large.jpg

Edited by Regina Langhout

Happy spring! With this column, I would like to thank the following Midwest Student Regional Coordinators, who have finished their terms: Jaclyn Houston, and Abigail Brown, both from DePaul University. Also, welcome to two new Midwest folks: Regional Coordinator Amber Williams, from National Louis University, and Student Regional Coordinator Taylor Thorpe, from DePaul University. In this issue, I want to draw your attention especially to the work happening in the Southeast Region. That region has been doing a really great job of figuring out how to stay connected in between regional meetings.


Early Career Interest Group

Written by Ashlee Lien and Ben Graham

The SCRA Early Career Interest Group is launching several new initiatives this year, and we invite all early career community psychologists and graduate students considering their early careers to join our monthly call as we move forward in supporting early career professionals.

Starting this month, the ECIG will meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 1pm PST/4pm EST. The mission of the ECIG is “to enhance the sense of community and a shared identity among early career members through advocacy, engagement, and the provision of resources.” Our current activities include launching our newly updated website, hosting our first professional development webinar, and to collaborate on a project to document the work settings and professional trajectories of early career community psychologists.


Rural Interest Group

Edited by Susana Helm
Co-Editors Cheryl Ramos and Suzanne Phillips

The Rural IG column highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologist, students, and colleagues in their rural environments. In this issue, we are pleased to provide a “brief report” from Courtney Cook, a fifth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). For future issues, please email Susana ( if you would like to submit your own brief rural report or if you have resources we may list here. 


Student Issues

Edited by Sarah Callahan and Meagan Sweeney

Taking Action: The Creation of Student Lead Initiatives in Doctoral Programs
Written by Michelle Abraczinskas, Emily Neger, Katie Knies, Nyssa Snow-Hill, Melanie Morse, and Rebeca Castellanos, University of South Carolina

This paper highlights how we, as a group of students in the clinical-community (CC) psychology program at the University of South Carolina (USC), have taken action to address areas of unmet need as we have progressed through our program. Though the experiences described below are situated at USC, we think the settings created are both applicable and translational to other CC, clinical, and community programs, and want to share our experiences with a wider audience in the hopes that it will be helpful.


Transformative Change in Community Mental Health Interest Group

Edited by Geoffrey Nelson

Pathways to Independence: A Transformative Case Management Model for Individuals Experiencing Chronic Homelessness
Written by Molly Brown ( and Martina Mihelicova, DePaul University

Individuals experiencing chronic homelessness face numerous barriers to recovery and housing including lack of affordable housing, no or insufficient income, low educational attainment, job market instability, difficulty navigating complex service systems, and chronic and untreated medical, mental health, and substance use issues (Caton, Wilkins, & Anderson, 2007). In recent years, a promising shift toward evidence-based, transformative housing interventions, such as Housing First, has occurred in the U.S. and internationally to address systems-level causes of homelessness and promote recovery on the individual level (Goering & Tsemberis, 2014).


Book_Review_Jason_Glenwick_resized.jpgBOOK REVIEW

Opening the Door to Methodological Diversity and Better Matching to Community-Based Phenomena: A Valuable New Tool

Written by Maurice Elias, Rutgers University 

Citation: Jason, L.A. & Glenwick, D.S. (Eds.)(2016). Handbook of Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods. New York: Oxford University Press

The latest edition of the Handbook of Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research: 
Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods strikes me as being three books in one, each telling a story of the growth and depth of research methodology in understanding community-based phenomena. The three stories, told by over 80 authors, correspond to the three sections of the book, and the last three terms in the title.