Temple University psychology professor Nora Newcombe, PhD, makes it a point to review others' journal articles because she appreciates the same services from them. And she reviews a lot of articles: She currently serves as consulting editor for four journals, has edited three others and reviews submissions for several more.
But her editorial work is just a small part of the service commitment that makes Newcombe the kind of person APA's Science Directorate wants its PSY21 initiative to help replicate. It aims to do that by creating awards that recognize distinguished service and developing programs that train and motivate members to serve the discipline.
What motivates Newcombe's membership in four APA divisions and 11 professional organizations and her service on numerous APA committees, boards and task forces?
"I enjoy getting out and meeting people," she says. "I have a real interest in policy, and the only way to pursue that is to get out and be part of discussions that form directions for our science." Demonstrating that interest in policy, Newcombe has testified before Congress advocating for more funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
And she appreciates the recognition her service has brought her. For example, she says that when she served on an NSF panel reviewing grant applications, the provost of her institution, Temple University, received a letter from a panel member saying it was wonderful to have Newcombe as a panelist. Such service increases a school's visibility, she says, and administrators' recognition of faculty members' efforts to serve their discipline is crucial to promoting faculty service, Newcombe adds.
"It's amazing how much more can be done with thank you notes to the higher-ups to promote a culture of service within the field," she says. "It goes a lot further than you'd think."