Always a spirited supporter of women and their causes, APA President Norine G. Johnson, PhD, dedicated part of the 2001 Annual Convention Opening Ceremony to recognizing the accomplishments of APA's four living women presidents.

"These distinguished psychologists have served as role models for thousands of women who wished to become psychologists and serve in leadership roles," said Johnson. "They've been a source of inspiration for many careers, including mine."

All four were on hand to receive a presidential citation from Johnson:

  • Florence L. Denmark, PhD, president 1980. Denmark is perhaps best known as a trailblazer in establishing a field of the psychology of women. She is also one of APA's representatives to the United Nations. "With determination and purpose, Dr. Denmark has motivated young psychologists to pursue their goals, and taught them in turn to motivate others," Johnson said.

  • Janet T. Spence, PhD, president 1984. Spence, also this year's winner of APA's Award of Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, is known as a visionary who "tackled the enigma of masculinity and femininity and challenged traditional explanations for gender differences," Johnson said.

  • Bonnie R. Strickland, PhD, president 1987. Strickland has done groundbreaking work on women and depression, helping psychology and other health-care providers better understand and treat the disorder. "Throughout her career, Dr. Strickland has spoken for women and others who have not had a strong voice in the past," said Johnson.

  • Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD, president 1996. Cantor, well-known for her practice, teaching and inspired advocacy of psychology, "is a women leader who makes the difficult look gracious," reads Cantor's presidential citation. "Like Ginger Rogers dancing with Fred Astaire, Dorothy Cantor did it backwards and in high heels."