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12th Biennial Conference of the APA’s Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA), June 2009

From June 18-21, 2009, alumni, faculty and students from GSAPP joined other professionals in the field for the 12th Biennial Conference of the APA’s Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA). Rutgers University collaborated with Montclair State University, the host of this year’s conference, to create an engaging weekend of roundtable discussions, workshops, symposia, poster sessions and awards.

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Two GSAPP alumni served as the SCRA Conference Co-Chairs and Logistics Coordinators: Dr. Milton Fuentes, (1998 Clinical) and Dr. Sandra Lewis (1984 Clinical). These two alumni also contribute as Co-Chairs on the National Planning Committee of the organization. In addition, Dr. Cary Cherniss actively participates on the Local Planning Committee, while Dr. Maurice Elias, joint appointment faculty member, acted as Program Co-Chair. Current GSAPP students Zach Friedman, Vanessa Ramirez and Jeff Selman also gave their time and effort as Program Assistants.

The SCRA conference highlighted the high level of collaboration often demonstrated amongst those with ties to GSAPP. Dr. Sherry Barr (2000 School) ran a workshop with Laura Rothschild, a current student in the School Psychology program, on “Strategies and Tools for Engaging Community Stakeholders.” They also collaborated with Dr. Brenna Bry, Chair and Director of the Clinical Psychology Program, on a poster presentation entitled, “The Impact of a Peer-led Intervention on Students’ Aggressive Behaviors”  and a symposium on “Prevention Practitioner-Researcher Collaboration: Advantages for Practitioners.” Dr. Bry further collaborated with colleagues from Rutgers University on “Prevention Practioner-Researcher Collaboration: New Research Stimulated by Practitioner Questions.”

Dr. Sofia Triliva (1990 School) presented on “Community Psychology Education in Different Areas of the World.”   Dr. Triliva also served as a discussant of the symposium, “Making Change Happen: Local Programs that Facilitate Inclusion and Dialogue in Diverse Communities.”  Dr. Fuentes continued his involvement in the conference as a discussant as well, at the Intervention Interest Group’s discussion on “Community Psychology in and with Schools.” Dr. Sudha Wadhwani (2000 Clinical) served as the Chair and a discussant during a presentation on “Developing Global Citizens at Montclair State University through Collaboration and Community Action.” She further presented on “Providing Multicultural Outreach Programming to a Diverse University Community.”

The SCRA vision statement reads: “The Society for Community Research and Action will have a strong, global impact on enhancing well-being and promoting social justice for all people by fostering collaboration where there is division and empowerment where there is oppression.” It is thus fitting that GSAPP would maintain such high involvement at the conference, as the program continually and actively seeks to advance the needs of the community and the underserved.