Volume 49 Number 4
Fall 2016

From the President

Susan McMahon small.jpg

Susan McMahon

DePaul University

Celebrating Many Changes, Structural Growth, and Strategic Planning 

As President of SCRA, I hope to support and build upon all of the many exciting initiatives that are already taking place within SCRA, as well as to facilitate new growth and development of our mission-driven organization.  SCRA has long been my professional home - it is hard to imagine a more committed, values-driven, action-oriented group of people who are engaged in ground-breaking research, practice, and education to create positive change in our world. Whenever I am with SCRA colleagues and students, I am reminded how easy it is to form new rewarding relationships, reconnect with old friends, and discuss important issues– I believe this is due in part to our shared values and genuine interest in people and their well-being.  

I wanted to share a few highlights from our recent APA Convention in Denver in terms of awards and our business meeting.  Several awards were given at APA, including Sam Tsemberis (APA Distinguished Professional Contributions to Independent Practice), John Moritsugu (Presidential recognition), Ruth Hollman (Distinguished Contributions to Practice), Brad Olson (Special Contribution), Stephanie Riger (Division 35 Carolyn Wood Sherif Award), and Sarah Reed (Emory Cowen Dissertation Award).  In addition, the APA and SCRA Fellows Committees recognized Nicole Allen, Anne Brodsky, and Joy Kaufman as fellows of APA.  I was inspired by Ruth Hollman’s invited talk, where she enumerated many strategies that set her organization’s work apart from others, making such a difference in the lives of severely mentally ill participants.  When she hears “think outside the box”, she says “which box?” In our creative approaches to promoting positive change, we may work within and outside of many of these boxes, lines, or circles that guide our work.  In our business meeting, strategic planning was a focal point, as well as new ideas to further improve SCRA and contribute to a successful political election.  A big thank you to Tiffeny Jimenez and Chiara Sabina for coordinating the SCRA program at APA – they did an excellent job! 

We are in the midst of our annual cycle of change, and for starters, we have just initiated changes in our Executive Committee.  We welcome new EC officers and representatives: Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar (President-Elect), Elizabeth Thomas (Secretary), Melissa Strompolis (Member-at-Large), Scot Evans (Regional Network Coordinator), Ray Legler (Council of Education Programs), Nicole Freund (Practice Council), Anne Bogat (Publications Committee Chair), and Jaimelee Behrendt-Mihalski (National Student Representative).  We sincerely appreciate the time, energy, and contributions of the people cycling off the EC:  Bret Kloos, Stephanie Reich, Tiffeny Jimenez, Gina Langhout, Brian Christens, Olya Glantsman, Meg Bond, and Meagan Sweeney – all of you make us stronger as an organization.   Thank you so much for your outstanding service, and we hope that you will find ways to continue to be involved in meaningful ways with SCRA. 

Other important areas of change and transition are abundant in our administrative structure and personnel.  We thank Victoria Scott for her leadership as Administrative Director (AD), and we are excited to be working with Jean Hill ( as our new AD, a natural role for her given her service in so many other leadership roles within and outside of SCRA. We have also recently welcomed Peter Benedict as Outreach and Communications Specialist (  Given we have now strengthened our administrative support team to 4 part-time staff, we are now able to manage our membership database and renewals, so we have said good-bye to AMC Source.  This structural administrative change will enable us to better monitor and grow membership, as well as save resources. We are the strongest we have ever been in terms of administrative support, and we believe these supports will help us make significant progress in growing our organization, achieving our goals, and implementing our strategic plan.  Now, a little bit more about our strategic plan.

This figure illustrates the frame of the strategic plan. The values of SCRA are foundational to the strategic framework and inform the way we go about our work. As capacities are improved across the five strategic priority areas, SCRA is better able to support the activities (research, education, practice, and policy) of our members and partners to enhance SCRA’s global impact.

Our strategic plan presents five (5) strategic priority areas:









More information about the development, processes, objectives, and strategies related to the strategic plan can be found at  I invite you to join me in finding meaningful roles within SCRA – if you have interest in becoming involved, whether through a committee, council, strategic plan, interest group, biennial, or elected office, please let me know at  I will ensure you get linked up with the appropriate person or group to become part of this important process.  This is an exciting time to get involved, and I look forward to working with you over the next year through SCRA!