2014 Presidential Wrap-Up

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By Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD

As we come to the end of 2014, I want to reflect back on this year and thank all the people who made it happen. We should be very proud of what we have accomplished.

The highlight each year for our division is always the APA convention. We had a fantastic program with many other divisions signing on to co-sponsor our sessions. All were well-attended and a couple had standing room only. I want to thank all of our speakers for sharing their knowledge with us.

I want to thank our program committee, Carlos Cuevas, Walker Karraa, and Nnamdi Pole, as well as Charles Figley, chair of our Awards Committee, for making our conference program and social hour such a roaring success.

My presidential address was part of a panel on trauma and health disparities with co-presenters Sandra Mattar and Sherry Hamby. This session was part of the collaborative agenda and was co-sponsored by Division 45. (See article in this issue for a summary of that address.)

In addition to the work put in at the convention, several members of our Executive Committee have worked hard to make sure that our organization continues to grow and thrive.

Denise Sloan has our Publications committee up and running. This committee will oversee all division publications including the journal, newsletter, website, webinars, and our social media.

Our social media presence has nearly tripled in over the past year with more Likes being added to our Facebook page every week. We also now have a very active presence on Twitter and Linked-In. Our social media team includes Tyson Bailey, Lesia Ruglass, Jessica Punzo, Christine Valdez, me. and Beth Rom-Rymer, who has recently joined us.

George Rhoades has successfully launched our first webinar series. These webinars are offered for free or for a small fee for those earning CEs. The recorded webinars will be available on our website.

Our Division Services rep, Keith Cooke, has worked hard with us to get our bylaws updated and develop our first-ever Policies and Procedures manual. Not too exciting, perhaps, but essential to a well-run organization.

Tyson Bailey and Renu Aldrich have been working on major changes and updates to the website and newsletter, respectively. These updates will allow us to access our content across platforms and devices, and to more fully integrate the content of the newsletter, journal, website, and webinars with social media. We’re looking forward to big things in the coming year.

Our officers, Beth Rom-Rymer, Connie Dalenberg, Amber Douglas, Lisa Rocchio put in many hours behind the scenes to ensure that our division continues to run well. And Jessica Punzo, our Membership chair, has done a great job this year in recruiting new members, especially students and ECPs, thus ensuring our future.

Our transition year for our journal, Psychological Trauma, is nearly complete. Current editor-in-chief, Steve Gold, has been overseeing production of manuscripts that were in process before 2014, while I have been working with manuscripts submitted this year. Our incoming associate editors, Sandra Mattar, Sylvia Marrota-Walters, Diane Castillo, and Zhen Cong have been doing excellent work, while handling close to 200 new manuscripts submitted this year and learning a new online submission system. Staff at APA continues to offer great support, especially Amanda Conley and John Hill, our manuscript coordinators.

During my presidential year, I have had lots of great opportunities to represent the Division, speaking at 38 conferences this year in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Elizabeth Carll, chair of our International Committee, invited me to participate in a panel on trauma and health at the U.N’s Committee on Mental Health. Elizabeth also put together a great panel for the convention on Global Perspectives on Mental Health.

Diane Elmore and I went to Capitol Hill to meet with staffers (see Diane’s article, this issue), and I had a chance to meet the U.S. Surgeon General, Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH.

The job of president is quite a bit of work, but it is never boring. As I wrap up this year, I am confident that incoming-president, Beth Rom-Rymer, will do an amazing job carrying forward the goal of advancing the field of trauma psychology. I want to thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA, is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women’s health. She is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Lactation, Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health and Trauma Psychology, President of the APA Division of Trauma Psychology, and Editor-in-Chief-elect of Psychological Trauma. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, Texas and Research Associate at the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.