Speaking of Education

"Why are you going to APA?" many colleagues have inquired, especially those who know of my long-term commitment to the education and training of graduate students, interns and postdoctoral fellows and my passion for health psychology. After 25 years of teaching, research and clinical practice, I no longer have patients, classes, a lab or administrative responsibilities. I no longer work in the midst of a multidisciplinary health science center, and I supervise my doctoral student, Caren Jordan, mostly through electronic communications. My world has radically changed.

Let me share with you what I have learned in this process, and perhaps you will understand why I am here. Actually, the answer is quite simple if you know of my core value regarding the integration of science and practice, and you accept my basic assumption: Education leads to science and practice in the public interest.

As you know, the mission of the Education Directorate is to advance education and training in psychology and to promote the application of psychology in schools and education. What you might not know is that it has an outstanding, dedicated staff who are committed to furthering this mission. I am fortunate to inherit the benefits of Jill Reich's leadership.

Although our staff size is 43, because of limited space I shall highlight only my senior staff, each of whom is supported by superb staff who provide the backbone for our productivity.

As director of governance and public relations, Christine Cubby deftly manages the work of our Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) and its various workgroups on curriculum, technology and advoc acy/marketplace issues. In addition, she oversees communications and has nurtured our regional and national partnerships. She is now working with BEA student liaison Tamara Duckworth on a pre-convention institute designed to advance the development of teaching skills for students and new faculty.

Martha Braswell has not only ably staffed the Commission on Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology, but has kept the many initiatives of the precollege and undergraduate program area moving forward. This work is critical since it is at these levels that the public is first introduced to our discipline. I am especially pleased that Barney Beins, PhD, professor at Ithaca College, will join us this summer to head up these programs.

As director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education, Karen Anderson, PhD, applies psychological knowledge to preschool through grade 12 school-based issues--an important application for our discipline. Two exciting projects are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded program on prevention of risky behaviors in lesbian, gay and bisexual youth, and the American Psychological Foundation-supported Gifted Children Project.

As director of the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, Susan Zlotlow, PhD, heroically manages the accreditation process for 800 programs, working closely with the Committee on Accreditation and numerous constituent groups. Having moved to an outcomes-based model, our committee is a leader among accrediting groups while continuing to study its own policies and their relevance in a changing field.

Jo Linder-Crow, PhD, directs the office that oversees the continuing professional education (CPE) initiatives for APA. She works with the CPE Committee in both program development and management of the APA approval process for nearly 650 sponsors. New opportunities include the development of modular, sequenced programs of study, the use of electronic media and distance learning delivery methods.

Nina Levitt (Public Policy Office) heads education advocacy. She has worked tirelessly on major legislative initiatives while providing advocacy workshops to the field to improve our skills in participation. To foster student learning and involvement she has worked with Chris Loftis on plans for the Graduate Student Rally planned for Friday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Capitol steps. Be sure to attend.

An upcoming development is the establishment of the Office of Graduate Education and Training. This will be directed by Paul Nelson, PhD, deputy executive director, whose expertise in education and accreditation is internationally recognized. Stay tuned for more developments in this area. I would also like to note that Paul's leadership of the directorate since Jill Reich's departure has made him invaluable to my transition.

Last, but not at all least, is Shirley Matthews, director of administration and my right-hand person. Shirley is key to the day-to-day functioning of the directorate and my office. Need I say more?

If you consider how important these functions are, and you accept my opinion of those working on your behalf, you will understand why "I am now at APA." It is a great opportunity to facilitate educational endeavors that will lead to science and practice in the public interest.

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