Volume 48 Number 1
Winter 2015

Regional Update Winter 2015  Gina_Langhout_large.jpg

Edited by Regina Langhout, Regional Network Coordinator,; University of California at Santa Cruz

The fall is a busy time for SCRA members. Many are planning or attending Eco conferences. I want to especially thank all the graduate students who put so much time, dedication, and love into making Eco happen each and every year. Eco is an intimate setting that helps many people feel connected to SCRA, so this work is essential for our society. You can read three brief Eco reports in our column for this issue. In other news, Ciara Glover has finished the Regional Coordinator term for the Southeast. Thanks, Ciara, for all your hard work!

Southeast Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Sarah L. Desmarais,; North Carolina State University

Courte Voorhees,; University of Miami

Student Regional Coordinators

Natalie Kivell,; University of Miami

Alexander Ojeda,; University of South Carolina

Candalyn Rade,; North Carolina State University

Nashalys Rodriguez,; Georgia State University

2014 Southeast Eco Conference Summary

Written by Betsy Davis

The University of South Carolina Clinical-Community Psychology program graduate students were excited to host this year’s Southeast Ecological-Community Psychology (Eco) Conference. The conference was held on October 10 and 11 at Hickory Knob State Resort Park in McCormick, South Carolina. This year’s theme was Transforming the Landscape: Creating Positive Community Change from the Ground Up, with presentations and discussions revolving around many of the core tenets of community psychology: seeking to improve the health and well-being of all people through strategies such as understanding individuals in their environments, changing systems to promote social justice, and helping communities to create their own social change through empowerment and community organizing.

The conference was well-received, with 80 people in attendance, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty from eight different universities in the Southeast region. Dr. Julia Perilla from Georgia State University presented the keynote address, sharing her experiences developing community-engaged services for Latino families struggling with domestic violence. The conference featured over 30 presentations ranging from innovative sessions on video-based evaluation efforts and an original game designed to promote opportunities for critical dialogue to more traditional presentations exploring a variety of issues related to social justice and community-based work. Friday and Saturday evening social events also provided attendees with informal opportunities to build a sense of community and network with others across programs.

Congratulations to the 2014 Poster Presentation Award Winners:

1st Place: The Impact of Participation in Cool Girls, Inc. on Girls’ Social Capital Networks

Scot Seitz, Julia Mangia, Gabriel Kuperminc; Georgia State University

2nd Place: Identifying and Training Future Community Mental Health Professional: Barriers, Challenges, Implications for Change

Emani Mills, Grayson Chappell, Kia Debnam, Jonathan Livingston; North Carolina Central University

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year’s Southeast Eco Conference.  Next year’s conference will be hosted by University of North Carolina - Charlotte, and we look forward to seeing you there!

West Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Joan Twohey-Jacobs,; University of LaVerne

Lauren Lichty,; University of Washington at Bothell

Emma Ogley-Oliver,; Marymount California University

Student Regional Coordinators

Erin Ellison,; University of California, Santa Cruz

Aran Watson,; Alliant International University

Update from the Northwest

Northwest Eco!

Written by Amy Shearer


The NW Ecological Community Psychology conference was organized by graduate students and faculty in the Community Psychology program at Portland State University, and was held at the Native American Student and Community Center on the PSU campus. PSU also hosted NW Eco in 2013, and the NASCC was a great location for the event then as well. Our theme this year was "Interdisciplinary dialogues in community research in action," and we were interested in proposals that spoke to collaborative partnerships between community practitioners and researchers that spanned disciplines. We accepted 14 proposals - 7 30-minute oral presentations, 4 one-hour roundtable discussions, 1 one-hour innovative session, and 2 posters. We were also fortunate to have a great keynote presentation from Alison Martin, Ph.D., who is the Assessment and Evaluation Coordinator for the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs at Oregon Health & Science University. We concluded the day with an informal get-together at a local restaurant. There were a total of 50 attendees (34 preregistered and 16 on-site), and we had attendees from as far away as Arizona, San Francisco and New York. Next year the conference will be hosted by University of Washington-Bothell.

Reflections from a Northwest Eco Attendee

Written by Benjamin Graham

Having recently relocated to the west coast (U.S.), attending this regional iteration of the great Eco tradition was refreshing, and provided an opportunity to share ideas. As a Midwesterner, it was great to see such engaging community research being undertaken here.  The passion and commitment to utilizing our research skills to better communities echoed my experiences at the many Midwestern Eco conferences I have been part of, while offering unique nuances.

As an observer, notable in the culture of Northwest Eco was the relative absence of clinical community psychology. This was a different point of view from the Midwest Eco conferences I have attended. In both the presentations I heard and those I gave, this dynamic played out in a freedom of exploration completely independent of the 1-1 dynamic of therapy.  I was challenged to think more broadly about the ethics of community research in a workshop by Justin Brown and Monique Guishard, and experienced a wonderful dose of consciousness-raising through the self-reflective practices shared in a presentation by Pilar Hernandez-Wolfe, Thomas Doherty, and Michel Hyman.

As a presenter, I appreciated the flexibility that Eco conferences provide, where we can present and explore diverse research topics.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to present and get feedback on two studies I have been part of, which ranged from system-wide training issues within large healthcare systems to a novel exploration of member voice among sexual minority communities.   

What I value most about Eco conferences is how they create an important forum for ideas.  The 2014 Northwest Ecological Community Psychology conference was no exception. Less formal than national conferences, Eco provides an important space for work shopping the development of research that can positively impact communities while growing community psychology nationally and internationally.  It’s great to see that this tradition is alive and well in the Northwest.  Looking forward to U-Mass Lowell in 2015!

News from Los Angeles, CA

Reflections on Attending a Lecture by Kevin Nadal, Ph.D. on Microaggressions and Eating Disorders

Written by Wendy Emerson, Graduate Student at Antioch University Los Angeles

On November 5, 2014, I attended the lecture on Microaggressions and Everyday Life: A Guide to Battling Everyday Discrimination presented by Dr. Kevin Leo Yabut Nadal and hosted by the Applied Community Psychology Specialization at Antioch University Los Angeles. There were more than 100 audience members in attendance eager to learn from this award winning professor, psychologist, researcher, performer, and activist who is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Deputy Director of the Forensic Mental Health Counseling Masters Program at John Jay College for Criminal Justice- City University of New York (CUNY).


During Dr. Nadal’s lecture, he defined and educated us all on microaggressions, utilizing research findings and personal experiences; his added use of wit and undeniable charisma, fully engaging every audience member. In learning from his lecture I found myself connecting his discussion to the work I do in the field of Eating Disorders.

Microaggressions directed at people with eating disorders are an emerging issue. On the systemic level, the discussion is becoming louder than ever- particularly with regards to the use of Photoshop in the media, and the use of the term “plus size model” when describing a woman who wears the not-so-average size 4 in clothing. Issues such as these are directing microaggressions to the mass public, thusly encouraging the perpetuation of microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations toward people with eating disorders. These accepted projections from our society, cause the occurrence of the following microaggressive statements:

 “You look good, have you lost weight?”

“You’re a dude, you can’t have an eating disorder, that’s a girl problem.”

“You look healthy, you don’t look like you have an eating disorder.”

 “Why are you so skinny/fat/ chubby?”

“That girl needs to eat a cheeseburger, pronto.”       

 “How can you eat all of that food and be so skinny?”

The effects of these statements cause the perpetuation and normalizing of eating disorder behaviors, through the degrading of another person’s body image and self-worth based on the world view of what healthy or normal looks like.

As Dr. Nadal explained, microaggressions can be simple forms of subtle discrimination, which can happen in only 3 seconds, but often lasts much longer for the recipient of the transgression. For our society, the microaggressions against eating disorders stem from ignorance, backhanded compliments, and/or biases sold to use by the majority worldview. So, before stating your own opinion or questioning of how someone else looks, consider what his/her/zir opinion and personal narrative might be.

News from the Bay Area

Written by Erin Ellison

The Bay Area Community Psychology and Intervention Group's (BACPN) Spring Symposium joined the UC Berkeley Global Adolescent Health Colloquium on November 19. The symposium included a film screening and youth panel discussion on Wednesday, November 19th

The group screened the inspiring, Emmy-nominated documentary film, "The Revolutionary Optimists," which follows the story of youth in a Calcutta slum as they use research, dance, and organizing strategies to improve the health and future of their community. In addition to the film, BACPN organizer and Professor Emily Ozer of the School of Public Health moderated a panel discussion featuring Bay Area youth researchers and organizations to highlight local projects.  

The BACPN group consists of community psychologists, clinical psychologists, public health researchers, community workers, and colleagues from other fields with interests in community-based research and action. All students, faculty, practitioners, and community members with interests in community-based research and interventions are welcome in this group. We usually have two brief informal presentations, along with time to network, connect and informally check in about issues and ideas from our work. Our next meeting will be in Santa Cruz in the spring. If you are interested in becoming part of this network, please contact Erin Ellison ( and Aran Watson (

Midwest Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Olya Glantsman,, DePaul University

August Hoffman,; Metropolitan State University

Luciano Berardi,; DePaul University

Student Regional Coordinators

Jaclyn Houston,; DePaul University

Abigail Brown,; DePaul University

News from the Midwest

Written by Rachel Jantke (DePaul), Lori Markuson (NLU), & August Hoffman (Metropolitan State University) and edited by Luciano Berardi and Olya Glantsman


On October 24-25, 2014, National Louis University (NLU) hosted The 38th Annual Midwest Ecological-Community (ECO) Conference at their Lisle, IL campus. Organized by current students of the NLU Community Psychology Ph.D. program, this year’s conference focused on nontraditional ways of examining theory, engaging practice, evaluating outcomes, measuring Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), and integrating academic research beyond the classroom. 

To that end, this year’s theme was Empowered Communities: Moving From Theory to Practice. The aim was to bring forth lively, solution-oriented discovery and debate that solidified both the nature of our studies and our work. The organizational committee sought proposals that spoke to innovative and trend-setting strategies, collaborations, concepts and practices that have been successful (even if not evidence-based), to help bring forth social change. 

This year's Midwest ECO Conference welcomed over 120 attendees.  The Friday evening social event featured a screening of the film “The New Black,” a documentary that tells the story of how African American communities grapple with gay rights ( On Saturday, the conference schedule included 8 symposia (of which 4 consisted of independent presentations grouped together by common theme), 15 roundtable presentations, 5 workshops, 1 innovative format session, and 31 poster presentations. In addition, a Keynote Speaker Panel addressed issues of domestic violence. The Saturday evening social events included a networking dinner and celebratory bonfire.

Congratulations to the 2014 Poster Presentation Award Winners:

1st Place:
The impact of community-level factors on African American high school students

April Timmons, Mary Adekale, Shadia Shukair, Cristina Castro, Jack O’Brien, Christopher Lamprecht, Molly Barret, Raymond Preston, Hadey Shabehpour, Roberto Lopez-Tamayo, Jocelyn Droege, Christopher Whipple, Sadiq Patel, W. LaVome Robinson, and Leonard Jason, all from DePaul University

2nd Place:
The beat of Bajan youth
Katherine Cloutier, Michigan State University

3rd Place:
Procuring resources within the community to help fund research

Nyla Whitehead, Leonard Jason, and LaVome Robinson, all from DePaul University

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 38th Annual Midwest Ecological-Community Psychology Conference.  Next year’s Midwest ECO Conference will be hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison, and we look forward to seeing you there!

2014 Conference Executive Planning Committee: Deveda François, Rachel Jantke, Regina Lee, Lori Markuson, Tiffeny Jimenez (faculty advisor)

In Other News:

Students from Metropolitan State University and Inver Hills Community College have been busy in organizing and participating in numerous community events. On Thursday, September 25, 2014 students harvested over 3000 apples donated by local fruit tree orchards (i.e., Sunrise Apple Orchard located in Wyoming, MN). The apples were washed, peeled and cored and transformed into over 100 apple pies that were then donated to local low low-income community members. On Saturday, November 15, 2014 Metropolitan State University and Inver Hills Community College will sponsor a fruit tree planting ceremony in Detroit, Michigan in an effort to stimulate community development and focus on healthy and sustainable community activities. Students from both institutions will be working with Detroit, MI residents as well as students from local colleges and universities. The trees will be planted in a food non-profit center (Eating Gardens) that produces healthy foods for low-income residents in the community of Detroit.

A second fruit tree planting project is currently being scheduled for Spring 2015 (tentative dates set for May 22-24, 2015) for the Red Lake, MN Tribal Nation. We are currently organizing a one acre tree planting project for the Red Lake, MN Tribal Nation to help focus on the importance of healthy foods. The project is also being sponsored through the Department of Natural Resources. We need your help! If you feel as though you would like to participate in any of these (or upcoming) events, please contact Dr. August Hoffman at Metropolitan State University (

Upcoming Events:

The annual MPA conference is just around the corner (April 30-May 2, 2015). The SCRA meeting at the Midwestern Psychological Association will be held Friday, May 1, 2015 in Chicago. For more information about the MPA conference (e.g., lodging, fees, eligibility) please visit the MPA website at: Also, plan to join us for the annual dinner, which will include the poster award ceremony, following the Conference on Friday night (dinner location will be announced shortly via SCRA’s listserv).

Announcements and information for inclusion in future Midwest updates should be sent to Olya Glantsman (

Northeast Region, U.S.

Regional Coordinators

Michelle Ronayne:; Nova Psychiatric Services (MA)

Suzanne Phillips:; Gordon College (MA)

Bronwyn Hunter:; Yale University, The Consultation Center (CT)

News from the Northeast

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association is in Philadelphia, March 5-7, 2015. We are planning a full day of SCRA programming. Our keynote is Debra Harkins, author of “Beyond the Campus: Building a Sustainable University-Community Partnership.”  We also have an invited address, by Joseph K. Ferrari: “Of, By, and For the Community: Assessing Catholic Permanent Deacons.”  The complete program will be posted on the EPA website (  We hope you will attend, and will encourage your students to come learn about community psychology. 

We need help!  We are looking for student-level coordinators to join our team.  Coordinators serve three year terms and provide regional leadership and guidance regarding the processes of membership development, activities, and communication. At the last Biennial, I asked student coordinators about what they like about serving in this way, and they cited the opportunity to do something important and the chance to shape programming; if this sort of leadership reminds you of any students you know, please contact Michelle Ronayne at

See you in Philadelphia!

Australia/New Zealand and the Pacific

International Regional Liaison

Dr. Katie Thomas:; University of Western Australia

Student Regional Liaison

Rahman Gray,; Victoria University

Think Global, Act Local – Strategic Planning and Momentum Exercises

Written by Katie Thomas

The SCRA End of Year Meeting will be held at SALT on the Beach on November 28th at 6pm.  The focus of the meeting will be a discussion and analysis of what has been effective in increasing and sustaining change momentum here and abroad and what could be of use in the local context. 

We will begin 2015 with a Strategic Planning and Momentum symposium on January 22nd. This will be in Teleseminar format to enable the inclusion of as many SCRA representatives as possible across the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific region.  We would particularly like to hear from students about what sorts of planning and development activities they would like to access. This is also an opportunity for established academics and practitioners who would be willing to set up mentoring and support for other Community Psychologists in the region.  If you are willing to maintain a collegial support system in your region and/or would like to make a short presentation of the support you are willing to offer, please forward your name, contact details and 50 words outlining your collegial support proposal to Dr. K. Thomas at The submission deadline is January 10th and the Teleseminar will be held on Thursday January 22nd.  This will be a great opportunity to set up some new support and mentoring networks in the region and will help us gain direction and momentum for the year ahead.

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