The Society for the Psychological Study of Masculinity and Men, Division 51, American Psychological Association
volume 11
number 2
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  President's Message

Division 51 2006 President Larry Beer

Division 51 President Larry Beer

Reflections on my Year as President of Division 51

Let me start by thanking our bulletin editor, Mitchell Hicks, for offering me the opportunity to write this column for the bulletin.  It gives me the chance to make sense out of a consuming, challenging, and rewarding experience.  I also want to thank the rest of the board who served along side of me in addition to committee chairs who put a great deal of time and effort into our division.  The board for 2006 consisted of my predecessor, Fred Rabinowitz, as past president, our current president, Mark Stevens, as president-elect, Michelle Harway as Treasurer, David Shepard as secretary, and Neil Massoth as our representative to council.  Our members at large were Holly Sweet, David Whitmore, Gary Brooks, and Wil Liu.  Among the committee chairs who distinguished themselves were Aaron Rochlen, who put together an outstanding program for the convention in New Orleans, Vic Frazao, who worked at addressing our challenging membership needs, Mark Kiselica who headed our fellows committee, Matt Englar-Carlson who represented us on the Social Justice Committee and Taleb Khairallah who was our federal advocacy coordinator.  I would like to say goodbye to Sam Cochran who did a great job as our journal editor and welcome our new editor, Ron Levant who I am confident will continue to make sure that this journal remains a high quality and important publication.

Getting back to my own experience, I had a number of highlights.  My first one had to be our midwinter meeting held in San Antonio last February.  It was very special to me to bring my 13-year-old son, Adam, to the meeting and introduce him to the other members of the division who were in attendance.  The cutting-edge work we are doing in this division has facilitated a less constricting set of expectations that he will feel he needs to live up to in being a man.  Also, at the meeting was the annual men’s retreat where 20 of us continued our own personal growth and connectedness with each other.  I am not aware of anything like this which occurs anywhere else within the American Psychological Association (APA) and it is always a special experience.

This meeting felt like the beginning of my term and I felt like I was off and running after it was over.  During the year I focused a great deal on enhancing our own connections with each other, and on updating our bylaws and mission statement.  While the bylaws are still a work in progress, the mission statement has undergone a comprehensive review for the first time in the division’s history.  With the intensive efforts of Ron Levant, Sam Cochran, and Mark Stevens, along with significant contributions by a number of others, an updated mission statement will be presented to the board at our midwinter meeting this year.  This review process was challenging due to the emotions which surround the issues that our division addresses, but very rewarding at the same time.

The final highlight was the entire APA convention in New Orleans.  At the convention I was able to reconnect with many of you at our meetings and programs and meet some of you for the first time.  I gave the presidential address which I had been thinking about on some level since the day I found out I was elected to the position.  I very much appreciated the chance to share my views on issues relating to gender and relationships, and also valued the chance to hear the opinions of others who were in attendance.

So, in closing, let me simply say thanks for the opportunity.  It was an experience I will always remember and cherish.  I look forward to continuing to work along side many of you in new roles as division 51 continues our important work.

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  Edited by: Mitchell Hicks, PhD