Volume 13, Number 2

September, 2009

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Editors, The Experimental Psychology Bulletin

Kristi S. Multhaup

Davidson College


Mark E. Faust

UNC at Charlotte


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Division Representatives



Ralph Miller

SUNY Binghamton



Jeremy Wolfe

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard Medical School


Past President

Nelson Cowan

University of Missouri



Veronica Dark

Iowa State


Members-At-Large of the

Executive Committee

Bob Cook (09-12)

Tufts University


Nancy Dess (09-12)

Occidental College


David Washburn (08-11)

Georgia State


Jeremy Wolfe (08-11)

Harvard University


Mark Bouton (07-10)

University of Vermont


Nora Newcombe (07-10)

Temple University


Graduate Student Representative

Angela AuBuchon

U. Missouri


Representative to APA Council

Randy Engle (10-12)

Georgia Tech


Emanuel Donchin (08-10)

University of South Florida


Committee Chairs

Janet Duchek (Awards)

Wash. U., St. Louis


Lisa Savage (Fellows)

SUNY Binghamtom


John Wixted (Program)




Charles L. Brewer

Furman University


Early Career Psychologist

Network Representative

Jessie Peissig

California State U. at Fullerton






Presidential Travels

Part 2


 James H. Bray, President,    

 American Psychological



Contributed by Sarah Jordan



June-July 2009


Travel Log--June 30, 2009.  This is the second installment of my travel logs of presidential travels. The month started in Toronto to plan the APA/NIMH Community Day and ended in Guatemala City at the Interamerican Congress of Psychology (CIP).  I will send a separate email about the CIP conference.  As a private pilot, you learn about different kinds and levels of turbulence—There were lots of experiences with air turbulence this month, bouncing around the skis and with APA turbulence in coping with the economic downturn and its impact on the APA and other issues within the field.  Feel free to share them with your colleagues. 


Planning Meeting for the APA/NIMH Toronto, “The Role of Families in the Prevention and Adaptation to HIV/AIDS Community Day”

June 1-2, 2009 Toronto, Canada


I believe it is important to give back to our communities.  We have a great opportunity to do that at our APA conventions.  Willo Pequegnat, from NIMH, John Anderson, from APA, and I met June 1 with the Toronto planning group to design the community day.   The Toronto planning group is chaired by psychologist, Sean Rourke, and includes representatives from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Canadian community based organizations and the Canadian government. 


Community day will take place Thursday, August 6 at the MaRS Center in Toronto.  We are expecting 250-300 people to attend the event.        


Hot issues.  Immigration is a big issue in Toronto, just as it is in the U.S.  Around 52% of the population of Toronto was born outside of Canada.  It is a very different city than when I first attended an APA convention back in the 1980s.  The Canadians are also rightfully concerned that research done in the U.S. may not directly apply to their citizens because of cultural differences and differences in immigration patterns.  These are issues that we are discussing in our planning group to make sure that our community day meets the needs of Canadians. 


Mirage Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Foundation Awards Dinner

June 2, 2009 Washington DC


As President, I am invited to represent APA at events and celebrations.  The National Press Club was the site of the Mirage Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Foundation “I have a dream” Awards dinner.  The Mirage Foundation give awards to successful immigrants who have made a difference in the areas of business, health, psychology, and other areas.  They also award scholarships to promising immigrant college students.  It was inspiring to hear the award winners discuss their dreams for the future.  The NPC is a historic site and it is always inspiring to walk around and view the famous pictures of our nations leaders.  APA Board member, Jean Carter and her husband accompanied me to the dinner along with APA staff, Ellen Garrison, Nancy Moore and Rena Subotnik. 


Hot Issues.  Immigration reform is not currently a hot issue in DC, but when it comes to the fore, the Mirage Foundation demonstrates why we need to create policies that recognize the important contributions that immigrants make to the U.S. 


Working in a community health center, my patients often have to wait weeks or months to receive services.  For these reasons I returned home for the day of June 3 to see my patients.  While it is a taxing trip to get up at 4 AM in DC to be at work on time in Houston, the payoffs are well worth the effort to provide the much-needed psychological services to our patients.  Many of the patients I see at the Northwest Community Health Center are immigrants and the glow of attending the Mirage Awards ceremony carried the day and helped me appreciate the sacrifices and contributions that these folks make. 


Finance Committee

June 4-6, 2009 Washington, DC


Dealing with the budget and financial issues of the association is a challenging task in these economic times.  Our treasurer, Paul Craig, and APA executive staff, led by Norman Anderson and Archie Turner, are working hard to ensure that we provide the services to our members while making sure that we live within our means—no easy task.  The Finance committee reviews the budget in detail prior to the Board of Directors meeting and makes recommendations concerning our spending and investment policies.  We have a number of outside financial experts who are part of the Finance Committee.  They provide input and advice about how we should invest our resources to maximize earnings on our investments.  It is a steep learning curve to go from psychology practice to complex investment strategies.  Fortunately we have an excellent Finance Committee made up of psychologists who have a sophisticated understanding of these issues. 


Hot issues.  We will need to make some hard choices in the next year to maintain our successful programs and current governance structures, while developing our strategic initiatives and maintain a balanced budget.  It is critical that we have a balanced budget the next two years because of requirements of our lending agreements.  If we do not have a balanced budget in 2009 we will suffer substantial penalties with our loans. 


APA Board of Directors Meeting

June 11-14, 2009 Washington, DC


The June board meeting is packed full of issues to discuss in preparation for the August Council meeting.  It is quite a contrast to the April retreat meeting where we are focusing on big picture issues and strategic planning.  The June board meeting has a major focus on the budget for 2009 and 2010 and issues that will be addressed at the August Council meeting.  The number of issues we dealt with made this one of the most challenging board meeting in recent times.  Despite the fact that the board increased its meeting time by coming in early and staying late, we were not able to complete all of our business.  The Board will be having several conference calls prior to the APA Convention to complete this work. 


Hot issues.  Budget, finances and more budget.  The Council instructed the APA staff to make sure that we have a balanced budget for 2009 and to follow the association rule of 1-2% safety margin in 2010.  Because of a decrease in expected revenues from dues and publishing, Norman Anderson and the APA staff are continuing to make cuts in spending.  These are very difficult choices and will require that we slow down or stop doing some activities.  The Board also voted to reduce governance spending, such as board travel and board retreats in 2010.  The Board re-affirmed its policy that there are no “sacred cows” in our budget and every program is up for review.  The one exception is that we need to support programs that generate income, while continuing to provide high quality service to our members.


Dinner with Congressman Brian Baird

June 12, 2009 Washington, DC


Congressman and psychologist Brian Baird (D-3rd-WA) joined the Board of Directors for dinner at the National Press Club during the Board meeting.  Brian is now the chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology.  Brian has a passion for utilizing behavioral and psychological science to deal with global climate change.  Using his psychology skills he tells us that we can no longer talk about “global warming,” as it is a mixed term—instead we need to talk about “lethal planet warming.”   He is working on legislation to highlight the need for psychology and behavioral science research to address these problems. 


Father’s Day Weekend

June 18-21, 2009 Northern California


Least you think that being APA President is all work and no play—I include this trip to reassure you otherwise.  As a family psychologist, I place a high priority on maintaining my relationships and contact with my family.  This trip was to celebrate father’s day with my two daughters.  As many of you know, I share a passion for oenology and northern California.  My oldest daughter, Lindsey (who has grown up attending many APA meetings), is getting married in October.  She plans to honeymoon in the Napa Valley area, so I thought it would be great to spend a weekend with her and Jessica (undergraduate at UC Davis) to plan her honeymoon.  Lindsey works for Rosie Bingham, APA Board Member, at the University of Memphis—a small world story. 


Hot issues. The hot issues here are how people are coping with the economic downturn in a place and industry that relies on discretionary spending.  Many people at the wineries discussed how people were continuing to buy lots of wine—only not the most expensive ones.  Some have even seen increases in sales.  As psychologists we need to be vigilant about the potential negative impact of increased alcohol consumption on relationships and psychological problems.  I guess I can’t leave work behind after all. 


Travel Log—July 2, 2009.  At 35,000 feet headed home from Guatemala.  I left Guatemala with a great sense of pride about how APA is contributing to the development of psychology throughout Latin America.  After spending 5 days of busy and often passionate discussions with colleagues from throughout the Americas, it is clear that psychology has great potential for making a difference here. 


International conferences are a bit different than most conferences I attend in the USA, as they not only include excellent programs during the day, but also a number of cultural and social events in the evenings.  These events are usually high on ceremony.  They are sponsored by the various psychological societies in conjunction with the national governments.  The social and cultural events are held in government facilities (museums, embassies, etc.) and attended by ranking government officials.  Hotels are for rest, not for meetings.  


Interamerican Congress of Psychology (CIP)

June 27-July 2, 2009 Guatemala City, Guatemala


The Congress is organized the Interamerican Psychological Association.  The Congress had about 2000 people in attendance and was held on the campus of a local university.  Most of the programs were in Spanish, and included many psychologists and psychology students from the USA.


The opening ceremony was held in a national theater and included a moving performance by Guatemalan and Mayan performers.  Former APA President, Albert Bandura, received an honorary doctorate and special lifetime achievement award.  Carol Goodheart, APA President-elect, APA CEO Norman Anderson, Merry Bullock, and former APA President, Frank Farley, were at the conference, in addition to over 100 psychologists from the USA.  Merry Bullock, director of the APA office on international affairs, does an incredible job in representing APA with our international psychology organizations.  I was pleased to see a group of students carrying around signs with the National Latino/a Psychological Association banner.  They came from universities in California, New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and others.  There was a gathering of graduate students from across the Americas, lead by former APAGS chair, Nadia Hasan. 


There were several sessions in which presidents and executive officers from the various psychological associations met to discuss organizational issues within their country.  Brazil stated that they have over 200,000 psychologists that include both masters and doctoral level professionals. 


Changing of the Rose Ceremony.  After the first full day of the conference there was a ceremony and reception at the Palocio de la Cultura to honor the conference president, Dr. Maria del Pilar Grazioso, and Guatemalan psychologists.  After the end of the Guatemalan civil war in 1996, the government created a statue that symbolizes the peace treaty.  Each day they place a new white rose on the statue to symbolize the peace.  On special occasions a person is allowed to change the rose to honor their contributions.  This ceremony honored the incredible work of Dr. Maria del Pilar in developing psychology in Guatemala.  Dr. del Pilar was named an Ambassador of Peace, one of the highest honors for a Guatemalan citizen.  Dr. del Pilar received her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Houston


APA Event.  This was one of the “hottest” tickets at the CIP.  The APA hosted an incredible reception in honor of CIP at the National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology (http://www.munae.gob.gt) and the Carlos Merida Museum of Modern Art.  These two museums (across the street from each other) were opened just for this reception.  The museum director provided private tours and the US cultural ambassador attended to represent the US government.  The reception began with a memorable performance by local musical group and was followed by a large gathering (over 300 people) for cultural tours and discussions.  This will be one of the great memories of being APA president. 


Hot issues. Psychology in Latin America is growing rapidly.  While CIP welcomes the support and participation of APA, there are mild tensions about the influence of the APA in Latin America.  Given our language differences, there was much discussion about how psychology across the Americas can be integrated.  CIP provides an important forum for these discussions. 


Adiós -hasta luego--on to Oslo for the European Congress of Psychology, see you in Toronto


Travel Log—July 17, 2009.  At 36,000 feet headed home from Washington, DC.  This has been a busy and exciting travel month.  It started in Guatemala and ended headed home to get ready for the APA Convention—speaking of which—I hope you have your passport and are ready to come to an exciting convention. 


European Congress of Psychology (ECP) and the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations.  July 5-July 12, 2009 Oslo, Norway


My Dear Colleagues—this is the standard greeting in Europe.  Visiting the land of the midnight sun was a trek worth making.  The European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) organizes the Congress.  The Congress had about 2500 people in attendance and was held at several local hotels, a congress center and at the Nobel Institute.  EFPA has 34 member organizations that represent over 220,000 psychologists across Europe.  ECP had a special track of programming on Peace, Human Rights and Psychology at the Nobel Peace Institute.  In addition, there were many presentations on science and practice issues. 


The opening ceremony was held at the Oslo Opera House.  It was a wonderful setting and included awards and outstanding dance and musical performances.  Former APA Presidents Diane Halpern and Phil Zimbardo, former APA CEO and President, Ray Fowler, Bruce Overmier, and APA Staff Merry Bullock, Steve Behnke, and Gary VandenBos were at the congress, in addition to many psychologists from the USA.  Funded by a generous gift from Ray Fowler, the Wilhelm Wundt-William James award was given to Norbert Schwartz of the University of Michigan for his distinguished contributions to the science and profession of psychology and to the promotion of effective cooperation between Europe and North America


A psychologist and president.  Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga who was a psychologist in Canada before serving as President of Latvia (1999-2007) gave the opening address at the congress.  Dr. Vike-Freiberga is an impressive woman.  She used her leadership and psychology skills to get Latvia into the European Union and NATO.  That is certainly a great example of applying psychology for the public good. 


A very special reception.  One of the special social events was held at the Oslo City Hall where the Nobel Peace prize ceremony is held annually.  It was an awesome experience to visit this historic hall where people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama received their Peace Prizes.  It was worth the long trip to Oslo


EFPA Council.  Much like our APA Council of Representatives, EFPA delegates meet to develop policies for their association.  It includes representatives from the 34 countries.  This was an historic meeting as the Russian Psychological Association was admitted into EFPA.  In addition, they approved their EuroPsy diploma.  This sets the minimum standards for psychology training in the EU.  


Hot issues. I met with President Tor Levin Hofgaard, and staff of the Norwegian Psychological Association to discuss possible areas of collaboration.  Dr. Hofgaard asked to meet with us to discuss how we can collaborate on peace psychology issues and on psychology and climate change.  We discussed the possibility of developing a memorandum of understanding between APA and NPA to facilitate collaborations.  In Norway, the President leaves his/her regular job and works full-time for the association. 


There are great opportunities to collaborate more closely with the EFPA.  They are developing standards for training, certification and licensure.  Sue Gardner, President of the British Psychological Society, met with me, Steve Demers (ASPPB) and Judy Hall (National Registrar) to discuss licensing issues they are facing in the UK


Task Force on Psychology’s Contribution to Ending Homelessness. July 15-16, 2009, Washington, DC. 


My presidential task force had its first face-to-face meeting at the APA building July 14-16.  The TF, chaired by Norweeta Milburn, has developed an ambitious set of goals and objectives that will address how psychological research and practice can impact the homeless problem in this country.  There will be a session on this at the Convention on Saturday afternoon from 3-3:50 PM, Convention Center Room 709. 


Hot issues. The Task Force made visits to Congressional offices to lobby for more psychological services and research for the homeless.   They were well received in these offices. 


Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative Stakeholders Meeting.  July 16, 2009, Washington, DC.  

This collaborative is promoting a new model of primary care for health care reform, the Patient Centered Medical Home.  This is a powerful group that has the ear of the White House and many Members of Congress.  It is sponsored by big business (IBM, WalMart, Exxon, etc.), insurance companies, and many trade organizations.  There are 28 medical home demonstration projects funded by their state legislatures across  the U.S.  I serve on the panel for integrating mental and behavioral health into the medical home.  APA staff, Ellen Garrison, and psychologist Nancy Ruddy, were also at the meeting.  It is critical that we collaborate with them to ensure that we are included in the push for increases in primary care.  I encourage you to look at their website: http://www.pcpcc.net.  They have regular conference calls and webinars that you can participate in.  Just go to their website and sign up—there is no charge to participate. 


Hot issues.  APA is not a sponsor of this group because of the “medical home” name.  We are lobbying with other groups like the American Nursing Association, to get this changed to the “healthcare home,” however, this might not be possible because the name is established.  We have some support for including psychological and behavioral services in the medical home, but there is still much work to do. 


Commission on Accreditation.  July 16-17, 2009, Washington, DC  

CoA held its summer meeting to review programs for accreditation and develop policies.  Dr. Nancy Elman is chair of CoA.  CoA is made up of 32 members from a variety of educational stakeholder groups.  This is one of the hardest working groups I have been with.  While CoA is supported by APA and staffed by Susan Zlotlow in the Education Directorate, they are an autonomous group because of regulations from the U.S. Department of Education. 


Takk--Thanks, see you in Toronto.  This is going to be a GREAT Convention. 





James H. Bray, Ph.D.

Department of Family & Community Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine

3701 Kirby Drive, 6th Floor

Houston, TX 77098

(713) 798-7752

President, American Psychological Association