Student Representatives Statements
Danna Bismar, MS
I am excited, energized, and humbled to run for the Division 45 Student Representative position. I believe that Division 45 is uniquely positioned to model and promote diversity, inclusion, and equity. My background as the eldest daughter of Syrian immigrants has played an important role in shaping my approach and commitment to inclusion and social justice in who I am as a person and all aspects of my professional activities, e.g., research, teaching, leadership, and practice in psychology. On my campus, I serve on the executive committee for Psychology Advocates for Social Change (PASC), and I am currently serving my final term as the student representative for the counseling psychology program at UNT. Through these positions, I have been actively involved in several departmental and program initiatives, including working with the UNT Office of Diversity and Inclusion to plan and implement a successful diversity training series for graduate students and faculty in our Department. I also serve as a student committee member for Arab, Middle Eastern and North African Psychologists (AMENA-Psy) and campus representative for Student Affiliates of Seventeen. If elected as the student representative, I will draw from my previous leadership and programming experiences to significantly increase the Division student members’ attention to the importance of equity and inclusion. I will work toward fostering resilience through narratives of hope by listening to and centering the voices of marginalized and disenfranchised individuals and groups in our communities.
Kaleen Carimbocas, MA
It is an honor to be submitting a statement for consideration to serve as Division 45’s Student Representative.
I am a second year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student in the Diversity and Community Mental Health emphasis and in the Ethnic Minority research lab at Palo Alto University (PAU). I obtained my master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Francisco. Throughout my academic career, I have held several leadership positions, including events coordinator and vice president of Diaspora: The Black Mental Health Student organization of PAU, and APAGS and CPAGS student representative for the University of San Francisco.
Race, ethnicity, diversity and intersectionality are central foci within my research, teaching, clinical practice and professional identity. Specifically, within these spheres, my work focuses on: 1) factors related to representation of marginalized groups, 2) methods of addressing issues relevant to marginalized groups, 3) advocacy and social justice efforts aimed at meeting the needs of these groups, 4) culturally sensitive research and dissemination, and 5) culturally sensitive clinical practice.
As Division 45’s Student Representative, I would continue to support and strengthen the Division’s initiatives of supporting students from diverse, underserved backgrounds, with a specific focus on addressing intersectionality. I would also like to develop national efforts across universities to create space for students of color and other intersectional identities to build community and feel supported around issues at the university level and within society.
Terrill O. Taylor, BS
I am grateful for the opportunity to present as a candidate for Student Representative of Division 45. I am a Black man who holds multiple marginalized identities and a current Counseling Psychology doctoral student at the University of North Dakota. My desire to serve is anchored in dedication as I hope to promote and enhance the vision and mission of Division 45 far and wide.
I currently serve as Co-Chair for the Division 45 Campus Representative Program. Serving in this position is a privilege as I work actively with several student leaders and continuously engage in processes to support greater representation and resources for students; knowing the importance of our efforts. I hope to embark on a new direction of service while maintaining my dedication to having our student voices heard, respected, and valued.
I have a strong interest in facilitating student growth and involvement and hope to widen the network of students and professionals to whom we interact with through ongoing mentorship and programming initiatives. If selected to serve as student representative, I will aim to voice student concerns proactively, while promoting objectives pertinent to our growth and development as racial and ethnic minorities; and for our many friends, advocates, and allies that support us. Collectively, I hope to engage in mutually collaborative and growth-fostering relationships with division leaders, and to create greater connections with other divisional student-led organizations and APAGS. With gratitude, it is my intent amplify our student voices within the division specifically, and APA more broadly.
Keoshia J. Harris, MA, PLPC
The battle our ancestors endured to provide equal opportunities for future generations has resulted in some change; however, there is still more to be done to eradicate racism. My research interests could be broadly categorized as Black Psychology with a specific focus on the racial achievement gap, racial microaggressions, and the lasting impact of racism (e.g. psychological, emotional, physiological impacts of racism). From my leadership roles in the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) student organization to the Psychologists for Black Lives, they have each uniquely contributed to my social justice orientation. The need for more individuals who are culturally aware became more evident when facilitating a roundtable discussion about the long-lasting impacts of racial microaggressions (racial battle fatigue). The dialogue about the level of pain individuals have endured as a result of malicious behavior, whether intentional or unintentional, was heart wrenching. When leaving the discussion at the National Multicultural Summit, I was further fueled to create a sense of unity, so we don’t suffer in silence. In general, these experiences represent the need for a strong community to successfully dismantle systemic injustice and maintain a healthy sense of well-being. As the student representative, I aim to create a stronger sense of community to prevent instances of the “only” and continuing to create programs geared towards thriving, not just surviving, in difficult environments. I, Keoshia Harris, thank you for your consideration and hope to continue the journey I began in the Psychologists for Black Lives as the student representative.