Candidates for APA President
"My father, Tony, was Italian, as was my mother, Marie, and my 16 aunts and uncles. From all their happy unions came my 22 cousins and everybody lived on Randall Avenue in the Bronx. This was the world into which I was born, March 26, 1947. I have lived in New York, Ohio, Iowa, Texas and Pennsylvania while working as a professional waiter, chef, actor, director, teacher and, for a quarter century, as a psychologist. Being a father and husband are the most important elements of my existence. I am incredibly proud of my two talented sons and I've loved my wonderful wife for 30 years. But being a psychologist is the focus of my life."
Education: Ragusea received his doctorate from the APA-approved program in clinical psychology at Baylor University.
Practice: Since 1980, Ragusea has worked in a large group practice as a clinical psychologist at the Child, Adult and Family Psychological Center in State College, Pennsylvania. He also gained experience at community mental health centers, and state and community hospitals. He was founding chief executive officer and clinical director of a 92-bed private psychiatric hospital.
Research: Since 1995, Ragusea has served as founding chair of Pennsylvania's Practice-Research Network, a unique and effective model that unites practitioners and research psychologists to conduct clinically relevant and scientifically rigorous psychological research. (See The Pennsylvania Practice Research Network, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, (In Press, 2001.)
Public Service: This year, Ragusea was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of Psychology by Gov. Tom Ridge.
Teaching: Ragusea has taught at Penn State University and Harvard Medical School and has presented numerous workshops across North America on topics such as family therapy, forensic psychology, medical psychology, the need for prison reform and the importance of developing practice-research networks.
Publications: He has written more than 30 articles and book chapters related to professional psychology and served as occasional editorial reviewer for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.
Broadcasting: Ragusea has appeared as a psychologist on many television and radio shows broadcast throughout the Northeast.
Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA): Ragusea is a Fellow of PPA and has served as PPA's President, Clinical Division President, Hospital Practice Committee Chair, PennPsyPAC Board Member, and founding chair of PPA's Practice Research Network. He has also served on numerous PPA task forces and working groups.
APA: Ragusea is an APA Fellow and served on the Council of Representatives for more than six years where he also functioned as chair of the State and Provincial Caucus. He has also served on numerous APA task forces and working groups including the presidential task force on Envisioning and Accessing New Professional Roles. (See Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32, 79-87.)
Certifications: ABPP Diplomate in Family Psychology, ABPN Diplomate in Neuropsychology, ACFP Certificate in Forensic Psychology and American Red Cross Certificate in Disaster Mental Health Services.
Honors: Award for Distinguished Service to Psychology from PPA.
Ragusea's candidate statement
Psychologists are powerful. Indeed, I believe that psychologists are involved in a world changing revolution. APA should advance that revolution.
Too often we forget that for most of human history, people didn't think about personal and interpersonal issues in psychological terms as we do today. Psychological problems, as well as the family and social dysfunction that inevitably accompany them, went essentially unaltered throughout the millennia of human civilization. That was reality. But today, psychologists are changing that reality.
Through psychological intervention, we are using our power to effect change in the lives of the people we heal today as well as the lives of their children's children. I contend that psychologists--clinicians and the researchers who guide clinical judgment--are changing the course of human history. This idea is both grandiose and an accurate perception of reality. Psychologists must learn to accept this truth and utilize psychology's power more effectively and more wisely.
To do so, we must build upon the strengths of our existing science while expanding into a rapidly arriving future full of technological change. Telehealth and online therapy are just the start. Beyond these beginnings lie challenges like the psychological impact of genetic engineering and the decision making process involved in genome manipulation. Psychologists must be ready to meet these challenges.
We must broaden our vision and expand the scope of our practice past the narrow view of the consulting room. The front page of any newspaper provides a quick glimpse of the ways in which society needs doctors of behavior, psychologists. It is our destiny to respond to these pressing human needs.
I want to help psychology walk into that future. During this campaign, I will share my ideas about how, if elected APA president, I hope to lead psychology into tomorrow.
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