Candidate Statements

President-Elect Statements

Casey McDougall, PhD
Affiliation: New Mexico State University

Advancement through Division 45 Governance has been a great interest of mine. Not for personal gain; but motivated by duty, obligation, and the promotion of cross-cultural psychology. I believe I have observed the inner machinations of the Executive Committee, needs of our diverse membership, and (to a degree) the pulse of the APA. As President Elect, my initial goals would be to buttress the Presidential Trio and adhere to the sole PURPOSE of the division. For background, I am the Training Director of the NMSU Postdoctoral M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology program and a Full Professor within the Counseling & Education Department. I recently became a prescribing psychologist in New Mexico and am a licensed psychologist in Minnesota. I am very proud that I was able to complete my Post-Doctoral training with the (Pueblo of) Acoma Behavioral Health Services. I previously worked for Indian Health Service as the Behavioral Health Director at the Red Lake Hospital (Red Lake Nation; Red Lake, MN). Finally, I am a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and Direct Descendant of the White Earth (Nation) Band of Chippewa; identifying strongly with both cultures. Through LEADERSHIP, I can execute the blended interests in Public Service, a Society of Culture and Diversity, and the integration of psychobiosocial psychopharmacology; all of which will undoubtedly promote access to and continuity of care for underserved populations and people with (ethnic) health disparities. AND still maintain the vision and mission of Division 45 to promote culture, ethnicity and race.

Lisa Rey Thomas, PhD

With gratitude, curiosity, respect, humility, and excitement I submit to colleagues, friends, and leaders of Division 45 my candidacy for your consideration.

Those of us committed to serving out diverse communities often find ourselves on journeys that we never imagined. My journey has allowed me to engage in the scholarship and practice of psychology in academic positions as a research scientist, in advocacy and leadership as a member of numerous national and local committees, in my work as the Director of Community and Tribal Partnership in a regional health collaborative, and as a member of a wonderful and diverse community.

Division 45 is privileged to have a legacy of leaders who have left us well positioned to blend the knowledge, courage, and innovation of out past leaders with the energy, vision, and grit of out future leaders. As President, I would work with Division leadership and members to continue to strengthen and nurture the connections between the scholarship and practice of psychology to the communities we serve. We are ready to cross the bridges that our Elders have built for us to roll our sleeves even higher and do the right work.

I am a life-long learner and bring my experience as technical advisor to the NIH Tribal Advisory Committee; founding member of the CNPAAEMI Leadership Development Institute; former Division 45 AIAN Member-at-Large; 2011 NMCS Planning Committee; former Chair, Division 18 Psychologists in Indian Country section; former Co-chair, Native Research Network; an former Chair, APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs.

Steven Verney, PhD
Affliation: University of New Mexico

Steven P. Verney, Ph.D., is an Alaska Native (Tsimshian) Associate Professor in the department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He is currently a Senior Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at UNM an is a past fellow in the American Indian Alaska Native Program at the University of Colorado. He is currently a Co-Investigator on the newly NIMHD-funded Health Disparities Center of Excellence to UNM, the Transdisciplinary Research, Equity and Engagement Center for Advancing Behavioral Health. Dr. Verney’s overarching philosophy is that culture is infused in all of our beings influencing how we think, feel, and behave. His research has evolved into a mental health disparities focus, and he works collaboratively with American Indian and Alaska Native populations on various research projects.  He is interested in the role of culture in cognition and assessment including education (i.e., quality of education), language (bilingualism), and acculturation/cultural adaptation processes. He currently teaches courses in Cross-Cultural Psychology, Health Disparities, and Research with Diverse Populations. He strives to increase diversity awareness and training and has developed the department’s Diversity Organization (DO!), a student organization to increase diversity awareness and training within the department. Dr. Verney co-developed the Cultural Counseling Center for the UNM Clinical Psychology Doctoral students, which provides clinical supervision, consulting services, and continued cultural training to clinical students working with diverse populations.

Treasurer-Elect Statement

Joyce Chu, PhD
Affiliation: Palo Alto University

Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for APA Division 45 Treasurer-Elect. I am a clinical psychologist, currently an Associate Professor and Faculty Chair at Palo mental health needs of ethnic minority communities, with a particular focus on suicide, community mental health, and Asian Americans. I have previous experience serving as the Treasurer for APA’s Section VII (Clinical Emergencies and Crises) of Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology).

In terms of previous Division 45 involvement, I enjoyed serving as conference co-chair (with Teresa LaFromboise) of the 2016 4th Biennial Division 45 Research Conference at Stanford University. Not only did this conference successfully raise funds to support the longevity and security of future Division 45 conferences, but it served as a gathering place for 500+ ethnic minority psychology stakeholders. I became motivated to do more for the Division.

As Treasurer, I would approach my financial management duties seriously, with deep understanding of responsibility in the position. As a memeber of the EC, I would lend voice to expanding Division 45’s reach to ethnic minority psychology professionals, and to enhancing its leadership role in raising awareness, advocating for, and uniting communities around the needs of ethnic minorities in our country. I look forward to bringing my dedication and previous scientific, leadership, treasurer, and organizational experiences to the Division.

Member At Large Statements

James J. García, Ph.D.
Affiliation: University of La Verne; Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

It still takes me by surprise to hear the title “Dr. Garcia” from the students I work with or patients I see at the hospital. I knew I would finish my Ph.D. program, but did not realize just how fast I would become an Early Career Psychologist (ECP). It is with great honor that I am running for Division 45’s Diversity Slate as an Early Career Psychologist. I have served in several capacities within the American Psychological Association Graduate Students, namely as the chair for the Committee for that Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity (APAGS-CARED) and as a member of the Division 45 Student Committee. As a Gay Latinx ECP, I believe that our voices within APA are loud, strong, and will continue to be heard; however, we must “step up to the plate” and represent. To this end, I am committed to 1) continuing the leadership and mentoring opportunities available through Division 45’s strong network for ECP’s, 2) build bridges with mentoring and leadership opportunities outside of Division 45 to expand ECP representation in relevant health-related organizations, and 3) creating opportunities for ECP’s to become involved in the Citizen Psychologist movement, with a focus on supporting ECP advocacy at the local/state level. Our times are tough, but with the mentoring of Division 45 and other health organizations, we can resist the hate and walk a path of advocacy for our communities.

Martinique “Marti” Jones, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Teachers College, Columbia University

I, Martinique “Marti” Jones, am a minority research postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. My research centers on sociocultural factors (e.g., racial identity and discrimination) influencing mental wellness and counseling with young Black women. Related to my scholarly interest in psychological phenomena impacting racial and ethnic minority individuals, I have a longstanding history of student leadership both within the American Psychological Association and Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). Because of my academic interest and strong leadership background, I believe that I could be a great asset to Division 45 through serving as the Member-at-large, Diversity slate. As a leader, one of my goals is to foster multi-ethnic collaborations between Division 45 and other ethnic organizations (e.g., ABPsi). Through my upcoming participation in 2018 Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests (CNPAAEMI) Leadership Development Institute, I aspire to brainstorm ways to bring this vision to fruition; I know my pursuit and development of multi-ethnic initiatives would not only be aligned with the mission of Division 45, but also attractive to its membership. My experience as past student representative for Division 45 has equipped me with leadership skills that will be beneficial in executing innovative programs, as well as pre-existing Division 45 programming, including the Links and Shoulders program, Division 45/35 Dance, and Convention Hospitality Suite. Taken together, I have scholarly interests, innovative ideas, and strong leadership skills to bring to the Member-at-large, Diversity slate position.

LGBT Slate Statements

Alison Cerezo
Affiliation: San Francisco State University

Over the course of my professional career, I hope to produce a body of scholarship and training initiatives centered on the lived experiences and consequent needs of sexual and gender minority persons of color. To date, I have carried out numerous empirical investigations of the links between discrimination and health disparities among Latinx and African American sexual and gender minority women. As an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University, I train Masters level counselors who are professionally invested and trained in eliminating social health disparities facing culturally diverse communities. As such, my professional efforts – particularly in the realm of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity – span my research, teaching and training work. Furthermore, I have carried out this work as a member of the Leadership Colectivo of Orgullo, a division of the National Latina/o Psychological Association (NLPA). As part of the Colectivo, I have supported the organization with responding to the Pulse Massacre, increasing the visibility of sexual and gender minority issues at the organization’s conference, and most recently, securing a special issue on sexual and gender minority issues in the Journal of Latina/o Psychology. I am now ready and excited to expand my service to Division 45. My goal is to support the division in addressing the wide breadth of issues impacting sexual and gender minority person of color – paying close attention to the ways intersectional lived experiences of discrimination impact social and health disparities and members’ ability to appropriately address those needs.

Leo Wilton
Affiliation: State University of New York at Binghamton

I am interested in serving in the role of Member-at-Large-LGBT Slate for APA’s Division 45. Currently, I am a Professor in the Department of Human Development at the State University of New York at Binghamton. I believe that I could contribute my scientific expertise and leadership to this role in developing initiatives to provide an intersectional framework in addressing issues related to culture, ethnicity, and race, which remains critical in articulating a cision and praxis for the future. My scholarly research on the AIDS epidemic focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, an sexuality, as situated in macro- and -micro-level inequalities in Black communities, both nationally and internationally. My research engages the complexities of how socio-structural contexts influence people’s development and well-being within African and African Diasporic communities. I serve in the role of a PI on a NIH/NIDA – funded R01 longitudinal study to develop and test a brief intervention to increase uptake of consistent HIV self-testing among young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen using a culturally-relevant peer approach. I was appointed to the NIH Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR). I am a lifetime member of the Association of Black Psychologists. I am a founding member and former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Black Gay Research Group (BGRG), an international organization of Black gay men engaged in interdisciplinary and intersectional research in the fields of public health, psychology, African Diaspora studies, gender studies, and sexuality studies.

Latina/o/x Slate Statements

Nayeli Chavez-Dueñas, Ph.D.
Affiliation: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

It is with greath enthusiasm, honor, and humility that I accept the nomination to serve as Member-at-Large (Latina/Latino/Latinx slate) for the Division that has been my academic home since my early graduate training. Over the past year, I have served as Division-45 Scientific Program Co-chair and Dr. Helen A. Neville’s Presidential Taskforce. My commitment to the Latinx community can be observed through my professional and personal endeavors. For the past eight years, I served as the lead for a concentration in Latinx Mental Health designed to provide graduate level training in assessment and treatment for U.S. Latinx clients and their families.

Since 2015, I also served as the associate editor of Latino/a Psychology Today (LPT), peer-reviewed publication of the National Latino/a Psychological Association. Most recently, I co-authored my first textbook, Cultural Foundations and Interventions in Latino/a Mental Health: History, Theory and within Group Differences. I welcome the opportunity to continue working to represent my beloved Latinx community within our Division. In serving, I offer my skills in research, clinical, and community advocacy to continue empowering, supporting, and celebrating our association at this critical junction in history. I will also build on the work of current and past leaders focusing on the development of tangible benefits meeting the needs of all Communities of Color. Collectively we can imagine and planfully find innovative ways to help children, women, sexual and gender minority, and families of Color live in ways that are not silencing but rooted in resistance, visibility, equity, and liberation.

Merranda Marín, Ph.D.
Affiliation: New Mexico State University, Family and Consumer Sciences

Dr. Merranda Romero Marín is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Science at New Mexico State University. She is a licensed psychologist and a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly within the context of family system. Dr. Marín earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State University in 2007. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Previous experiences include the oversight of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Team at the El Paso VA wherein she provided evidence-based treatments including Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy to veterans diagnosed with PTSD as well as psycho-education and family treatments. Her other experiences include working in Community Mental Health, specifically with children, adolescents, and families confronting serious mental health issues. In addition, as a former school counselor, Dr. Marín is dedicated to ensuring the academic success of all students and is passionate about building collaborations among and within communities. Her research interests include effects of war on family and community systems, evidence based treatments for PTSD, multicultural counseling and individual and family resilience. Her work and service focuses on Latino/a issues. She served as program chair for the 2017 APA convention on behalf of Division 45. As historian, she has been helpful in updating the Division’s past accomplishments.

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