Check here to contact the current members of the SCRA Executive Committee.




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 McMahon, DePaul University

As President, I will collaborate with the Past-President, President-Elect, Administrative Director, and Executive Committee to take positive action steps to promote the vision, mission, and goals of SCRA.  In particular, my emphasis will be to effectively implement the strategic plan that SCRA has developed, which has the following priorities: 1) organizational effectiveness, 2) financial sustainability, 3) membership growth and engagement, 4) education, and 5) visibility.  My previous leadership roles within SCRA have included President-Elect, Chair of the Council of Education Programs, Regional Network Coordinator, and Midwest Regional Coordinator.  At DePaul University, I am Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in the College of Science and Health and Professor of Psychology.  My research focuses on school-based intervention and evaluation.


Brad Olson

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. 


Elizabeth_Thomas.jpg 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 Emshoff Photo 2015 small.jpg

Jim Emshoff, Georgia State University

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

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.

Chiara Sabina Photo.jpeg Chiara Sabina, (APA Program), University of Delaware

I serve as a Member at Large and work to develop Division 27 programing 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.  We are striving to develop an excellent program that highlights the many accomplishments of our Division. 


Carolyn_Tompsett.jpg 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.




Jaimelee Behrendt-Mihalski, University of North Carolina, Charlotte 

 As SCRA National Student Representation, I act as the advocate for student members of SCRA. I work with our other National Student Representative, Erin Godly-Reynolds, to manage student research and travel grants, and edit student submissions to The Community Psychologist. I hope make SCRA more accessible to students and increase student involvement. Feel free to email me with questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions at any point. 


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, Jacob Kraemer Tebes, Yale University

As Editor of the American Journal of Community Psychology (AJCP), I oversee journal editorial operations on behalf of SCRA, the owner of the journal. This includes management of journal operations with the support of the AJCP Editorial Assistant and Editorial Board. Most of my time is spent communicating with authors about manuscript submissions and with reviewers about their service to the journal. I also report on journal operations to the SCRA Executive Committee and to the Publications Committee, and work with the publisher to troubleshoot various issues. Finally, I communicate regularly with prospective authors and SCRA members through email and conference presentations in order to make AJCP operations more transparent and accessible, and to encourage greater involvement in AJCP as authors or reviewers.


Editors of The Community Psychologist, Daniel Cooper, and Tiffany McDowell, Adler University

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, Laura Kohn-Wood, University of Miami

As chair of the Council of Education Programs (CEP), I coordinate the activities of the CEP. The mission of the CEP is to support and advocate excellence in education in community research and action at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. We accomplish this through information gathering and exchange, targeted support of new and existing programs, recognition of excellence among educators and programs, and efforts to enhance awareness of community research and action, SCRA, and education and training in the field. The CEP also maintains the education-focused portion of the SCRA website, providing links to community-focused undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate training programs, as well as to educational materials.


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.

Nicole Freund

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.

Jesica Shiam FernandezRepresentative 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. 


 Jean HillJean Hill jeanhill@scra27.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 rachel.storace@scra27.org

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.pngAshley Simons-Rudolph ashleysimonsrudolph@scra27.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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