What’s Happening at SPSSI: Projects, Transitions, and the Spirit of Participation
By Susan Opotow, SPSSI President 2008 - 09
On November 19th I represented SPSSI at Psychology Day at the United Nations. This one-day event, Psychology and Social Justice Related to the UN Global Agenda, featured three panels with short talks by psychologist researchers and practitioners. It was co-chaired by two SPSSI members, Florence Denmark, APA’s Main UN representative and Peter Walker, SPSSI’s UN representative. Two former SPSSI presidents were present – Morton Deutsch (1960- 1961), who had presented the Psychology Day keynote in 2007, and Herb Kelman (1964-1965) who presented this year’s keynote address. Council Member Stacey Sinclair and I spoke in the panel, Psychological perspectives on the abuse of power.
SPSSI Council Update
At this meeting, Council discussed three important transitions. Council considered SPSSI’s upcoming contract for publication of our three journals, JSI, ASAP, and SIPR, currently being negotiated by Lou Penner. Second, Council appointed Kevin Lanning as incoming editor of Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) to succeed Geoff Maruyama, whose term will conclude at the end of 2009. Third, Council appointed Margaret Bull Kovera to succeed Secretary/ Treasurer Sally Shumaker, whose term will conclude on August 31st. I speak for myself and many others in thanking Sally Shumaker, Geoff Maruyama, and Lou Penner. All three are former presidents who have continued giving outstanding service to SPSSI. We welcome Kevin Lanning and Margaret Bull Kovera to these key SPSSI positions.
Council voted to approve SPSSI’s Strategic Plan, a project begun by the Audit and Finance Committee under Secretary/Treasurer Sally Shumaker in 2007 along with Dan Perlman, then president, to assure that SPSSI’s actions are consistent with our priorities. The plan was refined by Council in January 2008 and SPSSI members via emailed comments and a town meeting in June 2008 in Chicago. Council also approved Irene Frieze’s updates to SPSSI’s Administrative Handbook, a document describing the Society’s procedures that is exceedingly helpful to our many office holders and committee chairs. Thank you Sally Shumaker, Dan Perlman, and Irene Frieze for seeing these two, long-term projects through. Council voted to approve the development of two policy-related initiatives. One, a workshop on the application of psychological research to public policy for early career scholars and advanced graduate students, will be held before SPSSI’s June 2010 conference in New Orleans. Second, SPSSI will soon be issuing a call for timely proposals with policy implications.
August 2009: SPSSI in Toronto – Partnering on Social Issues for Social Change
SPSSI’s program theme, Partnering on Social Issues for Social Change, will include symposia, papers, and other sessions from August 6 to 9. SPSSI Day, on Thursday August 6th, will include Beatrice Wright’s Kurt Lewin Memorial Address, SPSSI’s business and award meeting (open to all), my presidential address, and a social hour.
During the APA meeting, SPSSI will have a hospitality suite at a hotel near the Toronto Convention Center. At the suite, members can meet, relax at the end of a long day over wine and cheese, and participate in innovative sessions on research and social issues.
Please plan to join SPSSI in Toronto! We will be staying in the Hyatt Regency Toronto (currently, Holiday Inn on King). Please plan to join SPSSI at APA in Toronto!
Looking ahead to 2010 and 2011
In August 2011, SPSSI will celebrate its 75th Anniversary. SPSSI Historian Alexandra Rutherford began planning for this occasion several years ago with an interactive timeline, oral history interviews, and an upcoming anniversary issue of JSI. The 75th Anniversary Task Force, chaired by Council member Michelle Fine, is envisioning a scholarly and musical gala to celebrate SPSSI’s past and present.
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