APA's Board of Directors has four new members, three elected by APA's Council of Representatives and the new student representative Rachel Casas, who as chair of American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) automatically has a seat on the board. Here's a bit of history on each:
• Barry S. Anton, PhD, who rejoins the board as recording secretary, is a child clinical psychologist from Tacoma, Wash., and a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Puget Sound. Much of his service to psychology centers on children's mental health and psychology education. Anton helped organize the April 2009 Summit on Children's Mental Health with the Society for Research in Child Development and brought the National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Psychology to his university last June. He served on APA's Board of Directors as a member-at-large from 2003–05, and has served two terms on council.
This term on the board, he's most interested in helping psychology reunite after the recent criticism over psychology's involvement in torture and the economic downturn.
"I think it's important for us to highlight our good deeds so that our reputation starts to sparkle as it has in the past," he said.
Little-known fact: "I'm a second-generation psychologist," says Anton. "My mother was a school psychologist and classmate of (former APA President) Dorothy Cantor's at Rutgers. That's where my inspiration to become a child psychologist has come from."
• Rachel Casas, is a clinical neuropsychology student at the University of Iowa and on internship at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a fellow of both APA's Diversity Program in Neuroscience and the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Her research focuses on how cultural factors influence brain functioning and cognition, and she spent last year in Puerto Rico collecting data for her dissertation. Casas served as chair of the APAGS Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and co-founded her university's Latina/o Graduate Student Association. During her year on the board, she'd like to explore ways to increase psychologists' identification with APA. "Without APA, all of our careers are irrelevant," says Casas. "APA is our public voice and our vehicle to effect change."
She'd also like to promote more collaboration between APA and small, specialized organizations that attract psychologists in research subfields as a way to strengthen both sides.
Casas, who spent part of 2008 working at APA's Public Interest Government Relations Office as the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Dalmas A. Taylor Memorial Minority Policy Fellow, would also like to explore ways APA could garner more support from the public for its advocacy efforts.
Little-known fact: Casas collects vintage postcards sent from Miami between 1900 and 1990. "It's a flash of history and a brief, but personal, glimpse into someone's life," she says.
• Nadine Kaslow, PhD, is a researcher, practitioner and a professor at the Emory University School of Medicine in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Her many leadership roles include chairing the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers from 1998–2002 and serving two terms on APA's council. She's also incoming editor of the Journal of Family Psychology.
After Hurricane Katrina, she led the effort to help displaced psychology postdocs and interns, and in 2002 she won the Karl F. Heiser advocacy award for her work to include psychology in the Health Care Fairness Act of 1999.
Health care will also be a top priority for her on the board.
"We need to be addressing how we can ... move forward the behavioral health component of health-care reform," she says.
She'd also like to bring together psychology's many camps so the association can be stronger and more productive. "We need to use the best of what everyone has to offer to do the best for psychology and the public," she says.
Little-known fact: A former ballet dancer, Kaslow is the psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet.
• Jennifer Kelly, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and owner of the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine. She served on APA's council from 2004–09, chaired APA's Board of Professional Affairs in 2007 and is a member of APA's Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice. She was president of the Georgia Psychological Association from 1999–2000 and is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, a prestigious program where up-and-coming Atlanta professionals mentor each other.
Like Kaslow, she's eager to help psychology maintain its seat at the table throughout health-care reform. "This is an opportunity to really get out there and let the administration understand what we do, how we aid primary care and about the integration of the mind and the body," she says.
Little known-fact: Kelly's parents were community organizers in Gulfport, Miss., in the late '60s when the area faced two significant challenges: rebuilding from Hurricane Camille and school segregation. What might have been a rough road to end segregation went smoothly because community leaders like her parents pulled the city together in its time of need.
"Through those experiences, I learned the importance of collaboration in all the work that you do," she says.