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Here we highlight the extraordinary work of our members, both those recognized by SCRA and those who have won awards from the APA.
Gary Harper is a professor of health behavior and health education in the school of public health at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor whose work has made broad-ranging contributions to community psychology theory, research, and intervention. Dr. Harper is a leading scholar on LGBT issues and HIV interventions and his work has been crucial in both bringing community psychology’s attention to LGBT issues and in elevating the impact and relevance of our field to the study of sexual orientation. Over the course of his more than 20 years career he has contributed numerous seminal and highly-cited scholarly works; edited special issues in AJCP and TCP on issues of relevance to LGBT theory, research, and intervention; coordinated early Biennial and International Community Psychology Conference sessions on LGBT issues; developed, implemented, and evaluated community-based HIV interventions; and taught and mentored a generation of students in these areas.
Judith Meyers is the president and chief executive officer of the Children’s Fund of Connecticut, a public charitable foundation, and its subsidiary, the Child Health and Development Institute. Dr. Meyers has devoted her career to practicing as a community psychologist at the highest-level in foundations, government, and nonprofits, advocating for, and directing initiatives and programs that make meaningful change in the lives children. Using her knowledge of community psychology research and practice, her work focuses on intervening at the policy, systems, and practice levels in order to promote optimal child health and development, with a particular focus on mental health. Her leadership in the foundation world has made explicit links between community psychology and foundation work. Following her APA Fellowship on Capitol Hill, Dr. Meyers has held several policy-focused practitioner positions, in Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Nathan Todd is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research aims to understand why and how individuals and groups work together for social justice, and the multifaceted ways that religion and racial privilege are part of this process. In particular, he is interested in religious settings as mediating structures that may constrain or promote social justice engagement. Dr. Todd has a strong record of community psychology scholarship and is an active contributor to the field and to SCRA.
Dominique Thomas is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State and Associate Editor of The Community Psychologist. His dissertation research was a mixed methods study to advance understanding of campus racial climate, specifically for African-American students. He employed a sequential transformative strategy that included qualitative and quantitative phases. Items for the planned measure were developed from a series of interviews with African-American students. The resulting measure includes three subscales: Institutional Factors, Experiences and Perceptions, and Student Interracial Interactions that demonstrate internal validity, criterion-related validity, and incremental validity distinguishing the subscales from a measure of General Campus Climate. The dissertation was selected for recognition with this award because of the strong theoretical and empirical grounding, the careful methodology, attention to engagement with participants, large samples, innovation, and potential utility for advancing the field.
Dissertation Title:Black Scholars Matter: Development and validation of a campus racial climate measure for African-American college students
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Winnie Chan, Georgia State University
Michelle Stratton is in independent community psychology practice in northern California. Her dissertation is a sophisticated qualitative study of Rwandan and Congolese refugees in her home community of Manchester, New Hampshire. The project is the result of sustained engagement and inquiry into culturally-based sources of resilience, as well as consideration of how the ‘host’ culture can be more mindful of creating an environment that helps immigrants sustain, and not unreflectively assault, these sources of resilience. The dissertation exemplifies empowering and culturally sensitive methods to identify cultural resources and pathways for resilience that likely have important implications for trauma reduction and the promotion of well-being among refugees. The work exemplifies the core values of participatory collaboration between the researcher and the community, as well as respect for diversity and a strengths and wellness framework.
Dissertation Title: Culture, Resilience, and Adaptation: The Voices of Rwandan and Congolese Refugees
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Mary Watkins, Pacifica Graduate Institute
Bianca L. Guzmán is a highly recognized ecological community psychologist who has national expertise in the educational pipeline of K-20 students of color. She is currently the Director of Pathway Programs at Cal State LA, a new office she created on her campus to address the issues of preparing K-12 students for college. Dr. Guzmán has served as a fellow to the Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness where she assisted in developing and implementing evaluation protocols for educational pathways that can impact the lifelong success of students. She is currently the President of the Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35 of APA), Section 3- Latina Women-- where she continues to implement her knowledge around issues impacting young girls and women of color. In 1987 Guzmán founded a non-profit organization called Choices to promote health and education in Latinx communities. Through her social science research endeavors in the Choices program, Dr. Guzmán has mentored hundreds of students of color who have earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Dr. Guzmán has written numerous articles that have been published in peer reviewed journals, as book chapters and trade publications and she has also edited a book entitled “Latina Girls: Voices of Adolescent Health in the U.S.”
Louis Brown, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Judith Meyers, Children’s Fund of Connecticut
Maury Nation, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University
Stephanie Reich, University of California, Irvine
Barbara Yee, University of Hawaii at Manoa