by Diane Finley, STP President
Happy 2023! I hope that everyone was able to find some time to recharge over the traditional winter break. We have all seen how important such self-care can be. Even if you are still teaching or doing other work, do try and find a few moments to sit and do nothing. I know that can be difficult for many of us. I know it is for me, but research (during, after, and before the pandemic) shows that it is important to take time for ourselves. I discovered that email was still there, and the world kept turning even though I was offline and not working.
I want to reshare some super news that Executive Director Tom Pusateri shared via the DIV2PSYCHTEACHER Listserv:
First: STP (APA Division 2) received enough votes on the apportionment ballot to provide us with a third representative to APA Council! This will give teachers of psychology a greater voice on the Council. We will be holding an election for our additional representative to APA Council early in 2023.
Second: All three bylaws’ amendments passed! The bylaws will be amended (a) to update the mission of the membership board to align with current practices at APA, (b) to grant voting privileges to APA Associate Members after one year (instead of five years), and (c) to add a graduate student member to several APA governance boards.
On behalf of the STP Executive Committee, thank you to all APA members of Division 2 who voted in the elections. We appreciate your support for STP and for teachers of psychology.
Now, back to my thoughts. I would like to thank you again for the opportunity to serve STP as President. STP has been my professional home for teaching since I found it at an APA convention right after I graduated. It is hard to process the fact that I am now President – this seemed so far away when I became President-Elect eighteen months ago! I look forward to serving STP. Please let me know if you have questions, concerns, or ideas on how we can better serve and involve everyone. Let me know if there are topics you want to see addressed in these monthly columns. My STP email is email@example.com.
My Presidential theme is “Inviting Everyone In.” As a community college instructor for over 20 years, I have not always felt welcome at gatherings of psychology professionals. I have been told by other psychology faculty that my school (a community college) could not have a psychology program because we are only a two-year school. In STP, I found colleagues and an organization who welcomed me and did not put such artificial barriers on the teaching of psychology. I have noticed, however, that many other faculty at community colleges are still not participating in STP.
To try and figure out why, I have two taskforces that complement my Presidential theme. One will work with community college faculty and the other will work with Historically Black College and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities. My community college serves these constituencies and as I work with four-year faculty at schools with these designators, I have seen faculty at these institutions are also not involved. The goal of the taskforces is to figure out why these faculty do not participate with STP, why they are not joining STP and how we can invite them to become active. What can STP do to facilitate that engagement? I suspect many of the issues will be the same, but I want to give each group its own voice. I do want to see STP expand in membership and involvement. Speaking of involvement, please do a regular check of the Get Involved link on the STP homepage under Membership. https://teachpsych.org/getinvolved.php
We often have multiple opportunities to serve. Please do not think you are not “good enough” or “experienced enough.” Everyone has something to offer.
Writing these monthly columns is one of my challenges. The last three Presidents, Amy Fineburg, Susan Nolan, and Linda Woolf have guided the Society through some really challenging times and their columns have been inspiring. I know I will lean heavily on their counsel as I move into this position. They have already been incredibly helpful and supportive as I prepared for my term.
I do want to thank the entire Executive Committee (EC) for welcoming me to the EC and for their encouragement as I developed my theme and taskforces. The EC is focused on making STP the best organization it can be, and their energy is formidable. I want to give a special thank you to Keli Braitman and Susan Nolan as they rotate off the EC. They will be missed. However, as always happens with STP, others have stepped up to continue their work. I want to welcome President-Elect Loretta McGregor and Vice President for Grants and Awards Morton Gernsbacher to the EC. I look forward to working with them.
I also want to welcome new Chairs to some of our committees. I thank them and their committee members for all their work. I wish I had enough space so I could list all the committee members who work tirelessly on behalf of STP. Some committees even ask for more work! Welcome to Skye Mendes (Graduate Student Teaching Association) and Courtney Gosnell (Early Career Psychologists Committee) from the area of Membership. Resources has six new chairs: Elizabeth Shobe (Departmental Consulting Services), Amy Hunter (Professional Development Mentoring Network), Eleni Pinnow (Project Syllabus Editor), Ashley Waggoner Denton (Best Practices in Teaching and Learning Editor), Barney Beins (Today in the History of Psychology Wiki Editor) and Ellen Carpenter (SOTL Workshop). Cobi Michael is assuming the Chair position for the International Relations Committee which falls under the Diversity and International Relations area. Welcome to STP leadership and thank you for your willingness to share your time and talents. As you can see, we have a wealth of talent and a wide range of areas where you can also serve. To view the entire list of STP leaders, visit https://teachpsych.org/STPLeaders.
It may sound as though I am a broken record, but I do want to encourage involvement by all STP members, and I am here to facilitate that. Have a wonderful start (or continuation) to your academic year. I look forward to hearing from you and serving you.