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CIRP Meeting Highlights

A number of reports, updates, and analyses were received and discussed at the CIRP meeting including a report on internationalizing the undergraduate curriculum, a discussion APA’s role in international quality assurance, APA’s response to international crises, and a draft APA resolution on genocide.

By Danny Wedding, PhD

The APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) met in Washington, DC on March 23 – 25.  The meeting was attended by CIRP members, liaisons from boards, committees and other groups, and APA staff.  The meeting also provided an opportunity for CIRP to hold a joint meeting with the APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA). 

CIRP Chair Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD opened the meeting by introducing three new members to the Committee: Shinobu Kitayama, PhD; Jeanne Marecek, PhD; and Stephen Quintana, PhD.  Each of the three psychologists has considerable international experience, and brings critically valuable skills and expertise to the committee.

CIRP reviewed applications for the 2007 Scientific Meeting Support Fund and recommended support for the three top applicants: (1) Jordanian Psychological Association to support the 2nd Middle East & North Africa Regional Conference of Psychology (MENA2) in Amman, Jordan; (2) Interamerican Society of Psychology to support the 1st Latin American Congress of Psychology Students in Lima, Peru; and (3) the Centre of Advanced Study at Utkal University to support an International Conference on Adolescent Health in Bhubaneswar, India.

Merry Bullock, PhD provided an update from the APA Office of International Affairs and described APA Council’s support for the International GOALS (Global Opportunities and Long-term Strategies) Initiative. The resolution will add $150,000 to the yearly budget of the Office of International Affairs. Council added $75,000 to the 2007 budget to start these initiatives, and full funding will begin in 2008. CIRP members were especially interested in the plan to use GOALS funding to support a “Psychologists’ Map of the World,” a web page in which simply rolling a cursor over a map would provide immediate information about psychology, including links to organizations, education levels and norms, how professional psychology is recognized, and more in every country for which these data are available. In addition, the committee supported and applauded Dr. Bullock’s plan to develop a video roster of psychologists who have served as former Fulbright Scholars who will be willing to serve as informal consultants for other psychologists contemplating international travel, research or teaching. 

President Sharon Brehm, PhD made time to participate in the CIRP meeting to express her interest in international psychology and her personal invitations to the Presidents of psychology associations around the world to attend the upcoming San Francisco convention. CIRP members and others will serve as informal hosts for those VIP guests who accept these invitations. In addition, CIRP provided convention hours to co-sponsor with the Board of Directors support a Presidential Roundtable Sympoisum that will bring each of these visiting psychologists together to address emerging issues in psychology from an international perspective.

President Elect Alan Kazdin, PhD met with CIRP to discuss his interest in working with CIRP to support the education and training of psychologists around the world, and his interest in increasing activities of the International Visitors’ Program that allows international psychologist to spend time at APA Central Office to learn more about its activities and programs.

Florence Denmark, the lead APA representative to the United Nations briefed CIRP on the current activities of the APA NGO. The plans for a “Psychology Day” at the UN on October 11, 2007 were especially interesting. 

A number of reports, updates and analyses were received and discussed at the CIRP meeting. These included a report on internationalizing the undergraduate curriculum, a discussion APA’s role in international quality assurance, APA’s response to international crises, and a draft APA resolution on genocide. Ψ