Division 52 update

New developments in Division 52: A global meeting place

Dr. Neal Rubin gives an overview of the Division’s mid-winter meeting, communications and developing member collaborations

By Neal S. Rubin, PhD

Division 52, APA‘s Division of International Psychology, seeks to advance global perspectives in the field of psychology and provide a meeting place for psychologists interested in these issues. A series of recent activities reflect the division‘s commitment to advancing international psychology as a discipline, as well as providing opportunities for collaboration and connection among those interested in this diverse and growing field.

International Psychology Division 52

The division has a number of initiatives aimed at reaching out to forge new connections. For example, we have been designing conference programming with psychologists and other social scientists who share international and cross cultural interests. Our recent midwinter Board meeting in February 2012 was held in conjunction with the Society for Cross Cultural Research (SCCR), the Society for Anthropological Sciences (SASCI), and the American Anthropological Association‘s Children and Childhood Interest Group (AAACIG). Division 52 provided international psychology programs with symposia at SCCR in Las Vegas and at regional meetings this year, including the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) in Pittsburgh in March and the Western Psychological Association (WPA) in San Francisco in April. Along with other international psychological organizations, Division 52 supported the Fifth Annual Psychology Day at the United Nations in New York City, which brought together a range of psychologists, students, members of nongovernmental organizations and of the UN community interested in learning how psychological science contributes to advancing the UN agenda addressing the needs of vulnerable populations worldwide. The Board of Division 52 has also accepted an invitation from the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP) to provide an annual symposium on internationalizing the teaching of psychology.

We are very excited about the new division journal, International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation. Our aim is to have a truly international journal highlighting the scholarly contributions of psychologists throughout the globe. To that end, we have initiated a pilot program of mentorship in editing to facilitate the efforts of researchers from low-resource, underrepresented countries to publish in an APA journal. We are also continuously updating information in our traditional newsletter, the International Psychology Bulletin. The IPB represents a combination of peer reviewed articles, book reviews, informational pieces on important events in the international psychology community, biographies of international liaisons, dedicated student and early-career member columns and announcements about resources and opportunities in the international psychology community. In addition to these quarterly publications, we keep our members abreast of emerging issues with our monthly division Listserv and our Information Clearinghouse, which is regularly updated with career opportunities on the division website.

We also have new developments that promote engagement and new collaborations within our division. These changes in the structure of our Executive Board and our committees are intended to promote the impact of new voices and faces within the division by providing meaningful roles and productive mentoring experiences between junior and senior members. Each chair of a division standing committee is appointing student and early career members. Along with members and fellows, students present their research and perspectives in Division 52 programs at regional and national conferences. To further welcome their voices and to augment their impact on the ongoing work of the division, we have approved voting Board positions for a student representative and Early-Career member. We are also connecting senior division members with students and early careerists via the Heritage Mentoring Project (HMP). Together they are authoring biographies of luminaries in the field of international psychology, which will be published in the International Psychology Bulletin. Our goal is to connect members and enhance career trajectories while contributing meaningfully to an appreciation of the history of our field.

We anticipate an active Division 52 presence this summer at the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP) in Cape Town, South Africa. A number of Division members and fellows will present papers and symposia on a range of topics related to their research, teaching, advocacy, and humanitarian projects. Following ICP, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of Division 52 at APA in Orlando. We have scheduled some events that should be both interesting and enjoyable. For example, we will hold a breakfast for past presidents to renew relationships and to engage in strategic planning. We will also hold a contest among our students to select the international psychologist(s) they would most like to know, to be followed by a meet and greet with them. Lastly, we are collecting memories from Division 52‘s founding members to keep in our archive and to share in our hospitality suite program.

These developments reflect the vibrancy, creativity and productivity of our division members. We are committed to building the field of international psychology, while maintaining Division 52 as a warm and welcoming global meeting place.