- Who We Are
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Check here to contact the current members of the SCRA Executive Committee.
Bradley Olson, National Louis University
I am an associate professor of a unique community psychology PhD program, largely for adults, at National Louis University in Chicago, one of the most diverse universities in the U.S. My research and practice interests are in activism, civil and human rights, and the philosophy of science, evaluation, and praxis. I am excited to speak to as many diverse international and national groups about any topics related to SCRA, community psychology, or social justice.
Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, University of Illinois, Chicago
My vision is that SCRA becomes a widely recognized nationally and internationally professional organization for its contributions to the science and practice of understanding and addressing the social and community issues that the world is facing today. SCRA will become a stronger force and presence in addressing community participation disparities, health, and other forms of disparities that vulnerable and marginalized populations are experiencing, hence SCRA will become better recognized for these contributions across other related disciplines. I also envision that SCRA promotes the professional development of students. SCRA will provide students opportunities to make significant contributions to the field of community research and action and prepare the leaders, advocates, and educators of the future by giving students a stronger voice and enabling the shaping of the future of the organization.
Susan Torres-Harding, Roosevelt University
Elizabeth Thomas, Rhodes College
As Secretary, I work to nurture a strong and inclusive community as liaison between the Executive Committee, Interest Groups, Councils, Committees, and members of SCRA. I maintain records, keep policies up to date, and assist with internal communications. At Rhodes College, I serve as Plough Chair of Urban Studies and Associate Professor of Psychology. My scholarship with undergraduate students focuses on the role of arts in community building, participatory strategies for research and action, and academic contexts that support faculty, staff, students, and partners in community engagement and public scholarship.
Jim Cook, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
As Treasurer, I help to structure and have primary responsibility for administering the budget and finances for SCRA. This includes tracking and accounting for all expenses and revenues and reporting these data to the Executive Committee and SCRA membership. SCRA also holds significant financial assets and I monitor the investments we have made through our financial advisory company and help guide the investment strategy.
Dina Birman, University of Miami
As member of the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association, I represent Division 27 and SCRA within APA. The Council of Representatives is the legislative body of APA and has full power and authority over the affairs and funds of the association, including APA boards, committees, divisions and affiliated organizations. Council is composed of representatives of divisions, representatives of state, provincial and territorial psychological associations (SPTAs) and the members of the Board of Directors. As your representative I participate in APA Council meetings twice a year, vote on matters before the APA, and promote and support initiatives of interest to SCRA. I also participate in the group “Divisions for Social Justice,” and several social justice-oriented caucuses. I welcome your emails with any questions or suggestions about how I can better serve the division in this role.
Melissa Strompolis, (Membership & Awards), Children's Trust of South Carolina
I am one of the three Members-At-Large on the SCRA Executive Committee, and my responsibilities are for activities related to membership and awards. On the membership side I work closely with Jean, SCRA’s AD and representatives from the organization that helps us professionally manage member data bases, etc. on initiatives and outreach that will enhance and increase SCRA membership. On the awards side I also work with Victoria to manage the nominations, committee creation and review work, vetting, announcing, and presentation of the SCRA awards.
Noé Rubén Chávez, (Membership & Awards) Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
I am an Assistant Professor of Community Mental Health at Charles R. Drew University, in Los Angeles. My research and teaching are shaped by my bicultural identity and experiences growing up at the border region of Juarez, México-El Paso, TX. I collaborate with other scholars, students, healthcare professionals, and community activists in conducting work promoting health equity. In particular, my interests are in youth empowerment, community-based participatory research, and capacity building for health prevention/promotion. I am honored to contribute to the mission of SCRA in my role as Member-at-Large, specifically to support equity and inclusion for our members.
Carolyn Joyce Tompsett, (APA Program), Bowling Green State University
I serve as a Member at Large and work to develop Division 27 programming for APA Conventions. In doing so, I work with the other MALs, the SCRA Professional Development Committee, and the other members of the Executive Committee. At Bowling Green State University, I am an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology. My research focuses on adolescents within urban neighborhoods, and youth involved with juvenile justice and/or community mental health systems.
Joy Agner, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa
I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the Community and Cultural Psychology doctoral program at the University of Hawai`i and an occupational therapist. My research focuses on the betterment of health services and systems to promote patient empowerment and engagement. My goals as a National Student Representative are to support opportunities for students! This includes facilitating funding for student theses, dissertations, and travel grants, uplifting and supporting student movements (such as unionization efforts and diversity committees), assisting with the management of the student section of The Community Psychologist, and creating opportunities for students to build meaningful connections with mentors and student colleagues at the Biennial. To my fellow students, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Erin or me if you have ideas, comments, or questions.
Erin Godly-Reynolds, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
As the newly elected National Student Representative (NSR), I look forward to advocating for student members of SCRA, while learning from and collaborating with Jaimelee Behrendt-Mihalski, SCRA’s senior NSR. Alongside Jaimelee, I will manage student submissions to The Community Psychologist, coordinate award applications, budget student programming, and involve students in SCRA initiatives. For example, I hope to engage student members in conversations around mentoring and networking, work to create new opportunities for students to continue and deepen relationships that often begin at the biennial conference, and expand students’ networks to facilitate access to and attainment of high quality, full-time positions (including and outside of academia). Finally, I look forward to being involved in strategic planning throughout this two-year term, attending SCRA’s mid-winter meetings, the 2018 APA convention, and 2019 Biennial.
Scot Evans, University of Miami
At the University of Miami, I work alongside community groups to study and promote the role of community-based organizations, coalitions, and networks in the promotion of community wellbeing, social change, and social justice. As the National Regional Coordinator for SCRA I will support to the US regions and international liaisons, and edit the regional column for The Community Psychologist. I’ll also represent the regional perspectives to the Executive Committee. Please reach out to me if you are interested in getting more involved in activities in your region, or if you have ideas for how SCRA can better support your regional network.
Editor of The American Journal of Community Psychology, Nicole Allen, University of Illinois
As Editor of the American Journal of Community Psychology (AJCP), I manage journal editorial operations on behalf of SCRA, the owner of the journal. I do this with the support of the AJCP Editorial Assistant, Associate Editors, Editorial Board and Reviewers. Most of my time is spent reviewing and managing submissions; identifying and communicating with reviewers about their service to the journal; communicating with authors about their submissions; and discussing submissions for special issues. I report on journal operations to the SCRA Executive Committee and to the Publications Committee, and work with the publisher to discuss issues as they arise or pursue new opportunities (e.g., the development of an AJCP app). Finally, I communicate with prospective authors and SCRA members through email and via phone calls or virtual conferences as needed. For example, sometimes authors reach out to ask about the viability of a current study for publication in the journal or to discuss an idea they have for a special issue. I am happy to consult and encourage you to be in touch. In the tradition of my predecessor, I will offer conference presentations regarding AJCP operations to encourage accessibility and transparency and greater involvement in AJCP for potential authors or reviewers.
The Community Psychologist is the national newsletter for the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA). The TCP includes columns, articles, features, letters to the Editor, and announcements relevant to the membership of SCRA. As co-editors, our primary responsibility is to produce four issues of The Community Psychologist (TCP) each year. For each issue, we engage in regular correspondence with the production editor, TCP column editors, contributors from the SCRA membership, and contributors from other disciplines. We also serve as members of the SCRA Executive Committee and the Publications Committee.
Chair of the SCRA Council of Education Programs, Simon Coulombe, Wilfrid Laurier University
Chair of the Publications Committee, Anne Bogat, Michigan State University
The mission of the SCRA Publications Committee is to identify, encourage, implement, and oversee effective ways of disseminating information about community research and action. Our committee works closely with the editors of all of SCRA’s publications, including our TCP newsletter, the SCRA book series published by Oxford University Press, and the American Journal of Community Psychology.
Representative from the Community Psychology Practice Council, Nicole Freund, Wichita State University
As a Community Psychology Practice Council (CPPC) Representative to the Executive Committee (EC), I work as a voting member and a liaison between the Practice Council and the EC. CPPC’s mission is to expand the visibility, reach, and impact of community psychology practice through opportunities for connection, support, and professional development through the Society for Community Research and Action, academic community research and action graduate programs, other professional organizations, and communities. I have lived and worked in Wichita, KS for 16 years, including both academic work and private sector employment in marketing research and brand management. I have been involved with the CPPC for three years ever since joining SCRA when I began my doctoral work. Most recently, I joined the Community Engagement Institute’s Center for Applied Research and Evaluation as a research associate and managing editor for the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. When not working, I enjoy running, the outdoors, and hanging out with my family.
Representative from the Council on Cultural, Ethnic and Racial Affairs, Jesica Siham Fernandez, Santa Clara University
As a multidisciplinary scholar, grounded in community psychology and ethnic studies, I represent the Council on Cultural, Ethnic & Racial Affairs (CERA) within the Executive Committee. CERA's mission is to represent issues of cultural diversity, and promote the concerns of people of color as a focus of community research, action and intervention. As CERA's representative I am committed to supporting and advocating for, as well as promoting, the training and professional development of budding community psychologists and professionals of color, as well as engaging in efforts toward racial justice, decoloniality and intersectional feminisms. As acting chair-elect of CERA, I collaborate with CERA's chair and membership to advise, as well as inform and educate the Executive Committee on matters of concern to diverse communities, specially communities of color, and the implications of the EC's institutional decisions on SCRA's diverse constituency.
Representative from the Research Council, Chris Keys, DePaul University
As Chair of the SCRA Research Council, I work with diverse Research Council Members to support and enhance research and scholarship in community psychology so as to advance future research careers in the field. The Research Council currently is focusing on identifying effective ways to help young community psychology scientists become successful contributors to theory and research in community psychology. The Council grew out of the SCRA strategic planning process in 2016 and was established in 2017. Presently, the Council is developing specific approaches to enact the mission stated above. As it matures the SCRA Research Council anticipates it will be seeking to provide funding for community psychological research, to offer research mentoring and networking opportunities to young community psychology investigators, to coordinate and support research activities across SCRA, and to integrate research with practice and education in community psychology. In all these activities core values of community psychology such as social justice and diversity will guide our efforts to support and enhance community scholarship. Please feel free to be in touch if you have any questions about the SCRA Research Council, its plans and activities.
Jean Hill firstname.lastname@example.org
As Executive Director, I work closely with our staff and the Executive Committee to oversee the operations and strategic priorities of SCRA. I also have the pleasure of working with an array of SCRA’s members and other professional organizations to fulfill our vision for enhancing well-being and promoting social justice. Given that we are a 99% volunteer-run organization, I rely heavily on members (such as you!) to help make SCRA the best membership organization that it can be. Please reach out to me and share your interests, ideas, suggestions, and experiences.
Rachel Storace email@example.com
Rachel was introduced to Community Psychology during her undergraduate training when she joined UNC Charlotte's Community Psychology team with Jim Cook and Ryan Kilmer. She supported program evaluations of youth-based initiatives and service providers' adherence to System of Care principles by assisting in the collection, organization, and analysis of data from Child and Family Team meetings and reports provided by school, social service, and mental health professionals. Rachel has also worked in customer service, carrying out administrative tasks and operating as a point person for problem resolution. As administrative assistant, she provides support for SCRA's members by performing organizational tasks and gathering information for upcoming projects, reports, etc. She also supports membership renewals and inquiries, as well as maintains SCRA's records, calendars, and vendor services, including listservs, MemberClicks, and Survey Monkey. Please feel free to contact Rachel with any questions or updates pertaining to your SCRA membership or other services.
Ashley Simons-Rudolph firstname.lastname@example.org
As Outreach Communications Specialist, I serve as a catalyst to bring SCRA resources to greater public attention. I have a background in community psychology as well as non-profit and community based advocacy. I look forward to working with you to help promote your research and community involvement both within and outside of SCRA through press releases, e-newsletters, webinars, videos, social media and more!
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