Leading in Arizona and worldwide: ASU psychology faculty elected to prominent leadership roles

August 2, 2018

Faculty in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology have recently been elected to leadership positions in several prominent professional associations including three divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, the Association for Behavior Analysis International and others.

Stephen Goldinger

President-elect of APA Division 3, Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science ASU Pedestrian Bridge Faculty in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology have recently been elected to leadership positions in several prominent professional associations including three divisions of the American Psychological Association, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, the Association for Behavior Analysis International and others. Download Full Image

Goldinger, a professor of psychology, will serve a one-year term each as president-elect, president and past-president of APA Division 3. In this leadership role, his job is to ensure that cognitive science is represented in the overall priorities of the APA.

“Because APA overall is strongly focused on clinical psychology, my goal as president is to make Division 3 more relevant to cognitive science academics, especially students and postdocs,” Goldinger said. “Some ideas I have include increasing networking opportunities with a forum to match students with potential postdoctoral mentors and resources to help find nonacademic jobs, and by hosting symposia with topics that are of great impact to cognitive scientists.”

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Stephen Goldinger

As president, Goldinger will also oversee the newsletter of Division 3, the nomination and selection process for committees, and member recruitment.

Gene Brewer, associate professor of psychology, was elected as a member-at-large to the board of APA Division 3 and will work alongside Goldinger.

David MacKinnon

President-elect of APA Division 5, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

MacKinnon, Foundation Professor of Psychology, will also serve a year each as president-elect, president and past president of APA Division 5.

MacKinnon has been a member of Division 5 since he earned his doctorate in 1986 and was the Division 5 representative to the APA Council of Representatives for the past four years.

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David Mackinnon

In his role as president, MacKinnon plans to work on consolidating the three sections of Division 5 — assessment, evaluation measurement and statistics, and qualitative inquiry — into one dynamic division that develops and applies the best methodological tools for psychological research. He also plans to promote and communicate new methods to APA members.

“We will host the Division 5 business meeting at ASU next spring and will have a miniconference the day before that focuses on new statistical methods, service to Division 5, and the teaching of methodology,” MacKinnon said.

The upcoming Division 5 meeting is also in honor of the career of Leona Aiken, President’s Professor of psychology emeritus, who made important contributions to Division 5 and the research and teaching of quantitative psychology methods.

Suniya Luthar

President of APA Division 7, Developmental Psychology

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Suniya Luthar

Luthar, Foundation Professor of Psychology, is currently serving as president-elect of APA Division 7. Luthar will start her term as president in January.

Before her election as president, Luthar served a three-year term as the Division 7 representative to the APA Council of Representatives.

“As president, my emphasis will be on applications in the real world, or ‘giving science away,’” Luthar said. “We want to bring what we have learned as researchers to benefit the lives of children and families.”

Division 7 has hosted application-focused conferences and prepared statements for policymakers in collaboration with APA Division 37, the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, and Division 53, the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

“APA is intensively involved in policy and advocacy, and I have been called upon to meet with senators to help explain the value of (National Institutes of Health) funding for developmental psychology, among other issues” Luthar said. “I think it is important through my leadership roles that I give back to the organization and profession as best I can.”

Douglas Kenrick

President-elect of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society

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Douglas Kenrick

Kenrick, professor of psychology, was elected president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES). The international society includes researchers from ecology, biology, anthropology, psychology and other disciplines who focus on understanding human behavior in evolutionary terms.

The society hosts an annual conference and publishes the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

“Across psychology as a whole and especially within the ASU Department of Psychology, there is a growing interest among students to think about human behaviors in terms of evolution,” Kenrick said. “HBES has had an outsized impact on the way people think about human behavior. Thinking in terms of evolution has revolutionized our understanding of how the mind works.”

Kenrick will serve two years each as president-elect, president, and past-president.

More ASU psychology leaders

ASU psychology faculty have leadership roles in addition to the APA and HBES.

• Peter Killeen, professor emeritus of psychology, was elected president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. The association, which began in 1974, focuses on the philosophy, science, application and teaching of behavioral analysis.

• Federico Sanabria, associate professor of psychology, is president of the International Society for Comparative Psychology.

¨• Danielle McNamara, professor of psychology and the Institute for the Science of Teaching and Learning, is currently president of the Society for Text and Discourse and president-elect of the Society for Computers in Psychology.

• Adam Hahs, clinical assistant professor of psychology, is currently serving as president of the Arizona Association for Behavior Analysis.

“The elections of our colleagues to these leadership positions is a testament to the respect they’re accorded by their professional peers — not just for their exceptional scientific contributions but also for their good judgment and commitment to their disciplines,” said Steven Neuberg, Foundation Professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. “Their elections are also a testament to the breadth of our department’s contributions — together, these societies and divisions represent a significant portion of psychological science — and it’s wonderful to see that psychological scientists the world over recognize the high quality of research and professionalism represented throughout our department.”

Written by Kim D'Ardenne

ASU alum found home at university she once ignored

August 3, 2018

Born in Tucson, Arizona, but raised in the East Valley, Holly Celaya grew up a dedicated University of Arizona fan.

“I spent most of my life ignoring ASU as an option for college,” Celaya said. But when the time came, she decided to apply anyway and sought a few scholarships that were specific to Arizona State University.   Holly Celaya sits in a hammock Holly Celaya. Download Full Image

“After being accepted into the Leadership Scholarship Program and Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, I explored the campus and fell in love. I instantly felt at home. I saw such diversity — in interests, clubs, volunteering opportunities, research, majors and lifestyles. There was no better fit for me,” she said.  

Celaya, who graduated in December 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in microbiology and global health, said she took a microbiology course early in her college experience and was instantly hooked.

In addition to peer mentorship and leadership programs, Celaya participated in a research lab studying Arctic sea ice algae and studied abroad in Tanzania with HEAL International, among other activities.

The opportunity to study abroad came from a class she recommends to all students, regardless of their major: MIC 314: Science, Society, and Behavior of HIV/AIDS.

Through the program, Celaya received training to facilitate conversations about sexual health and wellness in Arizona and Tanzania.

She said her biggest takeaway from the trip was realizing that human experiences are universal.

“All over the world, people are generous and kind, and they grieve and hurt just the same. Through it all, they are resilient and full of love and light.”

Postgraduation, Celaya lived in Tanzania for five months. Since then, she has started a position as a medical scribe at the San Carlos Apache Health Center and plans to apply to medical schools in the next few years, focusing on public health, rural health and underserved populations.

Celaya said the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences helped prepare her for her future in many ways, including the emphasis of group work in her classes.

“Postgraduation, group work has helped me understand differences in communication and how to work as a team in the professional environment. My education has prepared me to take on almost any situation. I feel confident in my ability to do research on a topic, practice a skill, ask questions, and perform to expectations.”

To new and future Sun Devils, Celaya offers the following advice: “Listen first and then try something new. There are endless opportunities at ASU, and the hardest part is deciding what to explore. If there is something that interests you, go for it. If it doesn’t work out, there are so many more opportunities waiting for you. I also highly recommend any courses taught by Dr. Shelley Haydel. She’s the best.”

Kirsten Kraklio

Content Strategist and Writer, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences