Spring 2022: Presidential Column

19 Jul 2022 12:07 PM | Jessica Hamilton (Administrator)

Presidential Column

Marsiol Perez, PhD

Arizona State University

Welcome to our 2022 Newsletter, I am honored and humbled to have been elected President of SSCP and want to share my vision for the coming year so that we may partner together to promote excellence in research, training and dissemination of clinical psychological science.

My leadership philosophy aims to further add to the mountain so that those that come after me are able to look out farther when they reach the top. In 2021, SSCP focused on moving towards greater inclusion and diversity, strengthening our partnerships with other organizations, and promoting clinical science. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some goals for the upcoming year that build upon the accomplishments of last year and focus on the success of the organization and our members creating an environment that fosters opportunity and fulfilling potential.

First, at the organizational level, we continue to strive towards greater diversity and inclusivity. We had very successful membership drives the past two years including more individuals who are actively engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities within psychology. Our Diversity Committee is regularly producing blog posts exploring issues and solutions related to diversity and inclusion in clinical science. We have expanded our awards to better showcase clinical scientists particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds who are making meaningful contributions to research, teaching, clinical practice and community engagement related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Through our Spotlight series, we showcase SSCP members and leaders in the field whose diverse and inclusive actions are making a difference in psychology. In addition, the diversity-related syllabi are regularly updated and provide a wealth of knowledge for those seeking more information or needing materials for their own courses. The aim of all of these endeavors is to keep diversity, equity, and inclusivity at the forefront of our thinking and decision-making.

To maintain this momentum and increase reach, my first goal is to strive in the upcoming year to better disseminate information. For example, the Diversity Committee will be developing podcasts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical science. If you are interested in contributing to a podcast, please contact me. The successful increase in the diversity of our student members has driven the need for more connection, engagement, and mentorship with faculty representing diverse demographics. Thus, we seek to increase the diversity of our early- and mid-career faculty members.  

The second goal will be to increase the benefits of SSCP membership. SSCP membership is inexpensive relative to other organizations in our field (i.e., full membership is only $50/year). We provide a menu of resources that make SSCP membership a good value relative to cost, including:

  • Resources for students and post-docs such as mental health resources, internship directory of training opportunities for Clinical Psychology Interns, post-doc job opportunities, internship and post-doc resource guides, and a directory of mentorship programs for a career in psychological science.
  • Resources for clinical psychologists such as:
    • Virtual Clinical Lunches which are talks posted online that can be used in graduate courses, seminars, or brown bag series by SSCP members. These can also assist clinical scientists in disseminating their research.
    • Translating Science to Practice series which is designed to help clinicians’ access and use findings in basic science to guide their clinical work.
    • Continuing Education Initiative, developed to facilitate the science-base of APA Continuing Education (CE) programs whereby members can report CE programs that fail to fully meet APA’s criteria of continuing education for psychologists.
    • SSCP listserv - an area where we can share ideas, thoughts on current trends in clinical psychology, and directions for the future.
    • Awards for all stages - through the many awards we give at all stages of training and careers, we acknowledge our members for their contributions to clinical science.

SSCP strives to be a resource for clinical scientists across their entire career. Thus, the Board is considering adding additional opportunities for development such as a summer grant writing workgroup, review mechanisms so that individuals can submit their promotion materials or job talk and receive constructive feedback, and we hope to expand our awards even further. Please contact me if you have other ideas or suggestions. As we roll out these new resources we will announce it on the listserv.

I joined SSCP many years ago to be part of a community that shared similar values of science being the bedrock of teaching, research, and clinical practice. Thus, my third goal is to continue to promote clinical science. One main mechanism through which we promote clinical science is through our partnerships. We have and will continue to work closely with the Coalition for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Science (CAAPS), Association for Psychological Science, Division 12 Society of Clinical Psychology of American Psychological Association, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Clinical Psychological Science SIG, and others. Collaboratively working with other organizations, we can make a significant impact in the support and promotion of clinical science. A great example of this is when SSCP supported CAAPS position statement for the elimination of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria due to the lack of rigorous empirical support for its existence. Working together we will elevate the voices of clinical scientists in the national conversation. Not only does SSCP work with other organizations to create space and dialogue related to clinical science, we also routinely promote our members into leadership positions at other organizations. Over the course of the year we will continue to strengthen our relationships with other organizations and promote clinical science.

Last, I want to highlight that leadership development of clinical scientists is another way to ensure science is front and center when decisions are being made for our field, local communities, and society. SSCP provides an excellent environment for individuals to practice and develop their leadership skills. This organization is a wonderful way for individuals to network and get their name known without committing to a huge service burden. Please contact me Marisol.Perez00@gmail.com if you would like to serve in our organization.

And finally, building this mountain is made possible by our Board members whose volunteer service is vital to the health of SSCP. We have several out-going Board members who led SSCP through unprecedented times: Drs. Joanne Davila (Past-President), Matthew Lerner (Treasurer), Michael Wheaton (Member-at-Large), Alexandra Klein (Student Representative), and Amy Stewart (Post-doc Representative). I want to acknowledge our continuing Board members whose creativity, leadership, and organization keep SSCP running: Drs. Rosanna Breaux (Membership and Convention Coordinator), Shari Steinman (Division 12 Representative), Sarah Hope Lincoln (Member-at-Large), Lauren Khazem (Diversity Committee Representative), and Rachel Walsh (Student Representative). A big welcome to our newest Board members: Drs. Susan White (President-Elect), Sara Bufferd (Treasurer), Nancy Liu (Member-at-Large), Jessica Hamilton (Media Editor), Nora Barnes-Horowitz (Student Representative), and Kaitlin Sheerin (Post-doc Representative). I can’t thank these individuals enough for all they do for SSCP!

I want to give a big acknowledgement and thank you to our Past-President, Dr. Cindy McGeary. Cindy’s steadfast leadership in 2021 assisted SSCP in healing and finding its equilibrium after enduring a difficult period due to the pandemic and the socio-political unrest due to racism. I have valued Cindy’s mentorship in the transition of the presidency and appreciate her continued guidance throughout the upcoming year.

It is a privilege and an honor to serve our SSCP community this year. I am confident 2022 holds promise for all of us!

About Marisol Perez

Dr. Marisol Perez is an Associate Dean of Graduate Initiatives at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. She was the former co-Director of Clinical Training for the Department of Psychology.  Her program of research encompasses both theoretical and applied studies in the area of body image and eating behaviors, often using a focus on Hispanic populations. Her research is funded by National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and private foundations. Dr. Perez is committed to the training of future ethnic minority clinical scientists.  She currently serves as Editor for Clinician's Research Digest, and on the Board of Scientific Affairs Task force on Inequities in Academic Tenure and Promotion for the American Psychological Association.