Update from COUNT

Caucus for Optimal use of New Talent (COUNT) promotes diversity within APA governance.

By Harold Takooshian, PhD

Since its formation in 1999, the mission of the APA Caucus for Optimal Use of New Talent (COUNT) is “to promote diversity in APA governance boards and committees” — particularly with Early Career Psychologists (ECPs) and others who are new to governance (NTGs). On Feb. 23, 2013, during the APA council meetings in Washington, COUNT met to discuss new resources and developments. Some highlights of this COUNT meeting:

  • Vision.
    Barry Anton, the recent APA recording secretary, recounted his role in the origins of COUNT in 1999, and its vision to create new avenues into APA governance for ECPs and others NTG. This vision was echoed by three others on the 11-member Board of Directors: Jennifer Kelly, Josephine Johnson and Louise Douce. Dr. Kelly also thanked Maureen O’Brien for her mentoring program to pair new council representatives with experienced ones.

  • Changes.
    Garnett Coad, the long-time director of the APA Elections Office, described the new online nomination system in 2012, to further broaden the nomination process to all APA members. Garnett noted its success the first year, and future plans to flag each nominee’s prior governance experience — a policy supported by COUNT.

  • ECPs.
    Ayse Çiftçi, chair of the APA Committee on ECPs, noted that ECPs are an estimated 20 percent of APA membership, but only 1 percent of APA governance, so her CECP plans for a bold new summit coming in spring of 2013.

  • Resources.
    COUNT is circulating a fine new APA brochure on “Getting your voice heard” (PDF, 86KB). COUNT also debuted a new YouTube message on “Getting involved.” In October of 2013, COUNT will again endorse new candidates for APA boards and committees. COUNT Chair Harold Takooshian described a pending proposal to council (Agenda item #26) to help committees to select more diverse nominees for election, in line with the new APA Good Governance Project, which shares COUNT's goal of leadership diversity.

  • Details.
    All APA members and students are welcome to join COUNT, for a modest fee of $10. For membership details, contact Treasurer Deborah Loftis. For COUNT minutes, contact Secretary Lisa Osbeck. For elections, contact Eduardo Diaz. For any other details, contact COUNT Chair Harold Takooshian.