From the CEO
APA's 54 divisions provide smaller, professional homes within the association where our members can connect and network with other psychologists in the same specialty area. From experimental to international to school psychology, there is a welcoming home base for every APA member, including our student members. APA's divisions contribute to APA in countless ways, not the least of which is our leadership pipeline. Many of APA's leaders, including President-elect Nadine Kaslow, PhD, started their careers in APA governance by serving in volunteer division leadership roles.
With that in mind, APA continuously works to help division leaders have a positive, rewarding leadership experience. Ensuring that leaders have fulfilling terms is a critical part of the mission of APA's Division Services Office team. It was with that goal in mind that we restructured and expanded division services in 2011 to allow us to offer a la carte services that enable divisions to choose the type of services they want from APA. For some divisions, that means helping them develop their Web pages, giving them guidance on social media or helping them recruit members. For others, it means working with them to develop a communications strategy or conducting research on division member needs.
Other divisions seek our help in organizing conferences, one of which is the biennial National Multicultural Conference and Summit, a collaboration of Divs. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women), 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues) and 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race). The two-day summit brings together roughly 800 educators, clinicians, researchers and policymakers to address how psychology can best serve our diverse nation. (The next summit will be held in Atlanta, in January 2015.)
Support for our division leaders also comes from the Committee on Division and APA Relations, or CODAPAR, which hosts our annual Division Leadership Conference, to be held Jan. 24–26 in Washington, D.C. The two-day conference brings together division presidents-elect and program chairs to learn how a division works, share ideas and get an inside look at APA governance. It also enables divisions to form partnerships. As just one example, leaders of Divs. 13 (Society of Consulting Psychology) and 14 (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology) teamed up at last year's meeting to launch a research project to identify the competencies required for psychologists who do leadership and executive coaching.
CODAPAR also invites staff from APA's General Counsel's Office, Journals Department and many other APA offices and directorates to talk to new division officers about ways APA can support their division, such as with convention programming or guidance on avoiding legal pitfalls. They also encourage divisions to look for ways their interests overlap or apply for funding through the Interdivisional Grants Program. This initiative encourages two or more divisions to join forces to, for example, work on a project that can advance psychology as a science or promote collaboration between science and practice. Recent winners include Divs. 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) and 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology), which are using their interdivisional grant to provide discounted registration and travel assistance for students and early career psychologists to attend their joint conference. It's entitled "Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction" and will be held Feb. 28–March 1 in Atlanta.
Overall, our goal is to give division leaders the support they need so that they can focus on moving their specialty area forward. APA staff work to develop personalized relationships with divisions to keep each one, with its unique practices and traditions, running smoothly when officers turn over each year. We recognize that if we treat every division the same, we're not giving every division what it needs.
Get to know APA better by joining a division, taking part in a division committee or running for elected office in a division. You have our support.
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