Division 52 Update

By Danny Wedding, PhD

Division 52Division 52 held its midwinter Board meeting in Brooklyn, New York, March 6-7, in conjunction with the annual Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) convention. This venue allowed numerous Division members to present papers on international topics at the EPA meeting. The Division has adopted an informal policy of holding board meetings in conjunction with EPA every other year; alternate year meetings will be held during other regional conferences (in addition to the annual meeting held each year at the APA convention). We have tentatively made plans to hold the 2011 midwinter meeting during the Southeastern Psychological Association convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

One of the most important products associated with the Division of International Psychology is the International Psychology Bulletin. Senel Poyrazli, PhD, a psychologist teaching at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg, has done an admiral job with the Bulletin during the five years she served as editor, and a deeply grateful Division presented Senel with a medal commemorating her service at the Board dinner Saturday night. Senel is being replaced as editor by Grant Rich, PhD, a psychologist who trained at the University of Chicago and who is currently teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast—Juneau. We are very grateful that Grant has been able and willing to take on this new responsibility. The search committee that recruited Grant was made up of Senel Poyrazli, Harold Takooshian and Richard Velayo. Articles and information for the International Psychology Bulletin should be submitted to Dr. Rich at by e-mail.

The Division reviewed and approved a comment drafted by Gloria Grenwald on the importance of internationalizing the undergraduate curriculum that will be submitted as a possible change to the proposed Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology. The Division’s Curriculum and Training Committee continues to explore the possibility of developing an undergraduate introductory psychology textbook with an international orientation.

The Board congratulated several members who had recently published new books with international themes, including Rivka Meir, Wade Pickren, Uwe Gielen, Judy Kuriansky and Danny Wedding. The Board also commended the excellent work of Rivka Meir who has aggressively, enthusiastically and successfully recruited new members for the Division.

Fellows Chair Harold Takooshian reported that the Division’s four nominees as new Fellows of APA were approved by the Association; we are pleased to welcome Fred Bemak, Sharon Horne, Senel Poyrazli, and Neal Rubin as the newest Division 52 Fellows.

Janet Sigal is the 2010 Program Chair for Division 52, and she received 19 symposia proposals: 14 of there were accepted. We had 74 posters submitted, and 58 of these were accepted for presentation at the 2010 San Diego convention.

The Board discussed a bill being debated in Uganda that would broaden the criminalization of homosexuality and require the death penalty for anyone convicted of repeated homosexual acts, who is HIV-positive or who engages in same sex acts with minors. Division 52 joined other associations and organizations in formally protesting this proposed policy (see PsySSA Statement).

The Division is especially excited about the development of a new journal for the Division: International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation. The initial journal mission statement follows:

International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, & Consultation is committed to publishing conceptual models, methodologies, and research findings to help study and understand human behavior and experiences around the globe from a psychological perspective. It publishes intervention strategies that use psychological science to improve the lives of people around the world. The journal promotes the use of psychological science that is contextually informed, culturally inclusive, and dedicated to serving the public interest. The world’s problems are imbedded in economic, environmental, political, and social contexts. International Perspectives in Psychology incorporates empirical findings from education, medicine, political science, public health, psychology, sociology, gender and ethnic studies, and related disciplines. The journal addresses international and global issues, including inter-group relations, disaster response, societal and national development, environmental conservation, emigration and immigration, education, social and workplace environments, policy and decision making, leadership, health care, and the experiences and needs of disadvantaged groups.”

In summary, the Division of International Psychology continues to thrive. It is a robust division built around the commitment of a core group of highly dedicated Board members and Committee chairs. It is a genuine honor to serve as President of the Division for 2010.