spring 2023 COR Update

Michele D. Ribeiro Ed.D. ABPP, CGP, AGPA-F

Well, this quarter’s column will be a little different from my usual overview of Council items, as we are still about three weeks away from the midyear Council of Representatives meeting (based on the date I am writing this article).  And, as the agenda is still in process, I will also not be reporting on what will be discussed, as reps just received some of the agenda items a few days ago. 

So instead, I thought I would take a little time to talk about the importance of helping shape OUR APA and division.  Earlier today, I resent a call for nominations to our listserv outlining the numerous boards and committees that APA offers including the following: 

Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest
Board of Educational Affairs
Board of Professional Affairs
Board of Scientific Affairs
Committee for Global Psychology
Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Sub specialties in Professional Psychology
Committee on Rural Health
Ethics Committee
Finance Committee
Membership Board
Policy and Planning Board
Publications and Communications Board
Committee on Animal Research and Ethics
Committee on Human Research
Committee for Postdoctoral Education and Training Programs in Psychopharmacology for Prescriptive Authority
Committee on Aging
Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education
Committee on Children, Youth, and Families
Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology
Committee on Division/APA Relations
Committee on Early Career Psychologists
Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs
Committee on Professional Practice and Standards
Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Committee on Socioeconomic Status
Committee on Women in Psychology
Continuing Education Committee
Fellows Committee
Health Equity Committee

Each time I see this list, I am reminded what a diverse and fantastic organization we are all a part of.  I also realize that there are amazing members in our division and within the larger APA that may never volunteer to join any of these boards/committees during their tenure in the organization.  In fact, I have never served on any of these either and only in the past seven years reinstated my membership with APA after about a ten year hiatus.  Looking back, I regret that I didn’t have the mentoring to encourage my earlier involvement and engagement.  Fortunately, I did find my way into Division 49 by running for the board and having colleagues that encouraged me and believed I could make a difference.  Thus, I implore you today to take that step forward like I did seven years ago and get more involved whether in leadership, by inviting a student(s) and/or colleague into the organization, and/or telling us what you need/want from our division so we can change and grow with the needs of our membership.  Your ideas help us better define and guide who we are and what we do. 

With new leadership, comes new ideas.  Along these lines, we have some exciting things developing including a new institute that was birthed by Dr. Shala Rae Cole and Dr. Lisa De La Rue, now going on its second year; a new CE program offering the latest in group psychotherapy developments organized by Dr. Aziza Belcher Platt, and tireless work by Dr. Noelle Lefforge and others, with building and maintaining group as a specialty within APA.  Other opportunities to get involved are through the written word, as Dr. Tom Treadwell and Dr. Leann Diederich, our newsletter editors for The Group Psychologist, are always inviting article submissions; and Dr. George Tasca leads an exceptional team that directs our journal publication, Group Dynamics.  Our division has so many opportunities for professional growth and involvement. 

Come involve and share your ideas to help us develop in more inclusive and equitable ways.  As your council rep feel free to email me at Michele.Ribeiro@oregonstate with your questions, comments, ideas related to the Council of Representatives or the division generally.  And as always, thanks for your continued membership in our special division where belonging and community is at our core.