APA Citizen Psychologist™ Initiative
The APA Citizen Psychologist program is an initiative of APA President Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, ABPP, for 2018 and beyond.
Psychology is every day, in every way
Be recognized for using your psychological expertise to benefit people’s lives.
What you can do right now
Nominate a colleague or yourself for a Presidential Citation as an exemplary Citizen Psychologist. This is the highest honor from the APA President. Nominees must be full APA members and hold a doctorate in psychology.
APA Citizen Psychologist™ FAQs
Citizen psychologists are psychologists who have been engaged in activities to improve the lives of people in their communities. These activities can include public service, volunteerism, board membership and other strategic roles which are not directly associated with one’s day-to-day job as a practitioner, scientist or educator. Presidential Citations will be awarded to the most exceptional Citizen Psychologists we can identify among APA members.
President Daniel has long been committed to having psychologists recognized for their contributions to, and leadership within the communities in which they work and live. She also believes that psychologists must be “in the room, at the table and at the head of the table” where decisions are made, whether in healthcare, federal and state policy, community enrichment programs or elsewhere. President Daniel’s longstanding interest in diversity underlies her strong belief that inclusion at all levels adds to the richness and diversity of all communities.
Overall, the initiative seeks to establish the ongoing importance of the Citizen Psychologist movement as part of the education of each new generation of psychologists, and bring the science of psychology into decision making on community programming, legislation and other processes that have the potential to improve the lives of all members of society.
There are three short-term strategies in the Citizen Psychologist initiative:
- Recognize Citizen Psychologist leaders through APA Presidential Citations.
- Develop and disseminate learning objectives for attaining the competencies required for becoming a Citizen Psychologist at all levels of learning: high school, undergraduate, graduate, internship, postdoctoral and lifelong learning.
- Obtain baseline survey data for the frequency and roles that psychologists are currently engaged in nationally as Citizen Psychologists.
Being a Citizen Psychologist means demonstrating engagement in your community. Engagement can be at any level — from just beginning to explore opportunities in one’s neighborhood that might benefit from a psychological lens, to sustaining meaningful connections with civic and public sector partners on a project of several months or years, to delivering impactful change through exceptional leadership. Roles are as varied as being a long-term volunteer for community programs such as Meals-on-Wheels or Habitat for Humanity; being a state delegate for a political party; participating in your church ministries; volunteering as a content expert speaker for a non-profit organization, such as the local Alzheimer’s Association; fundraising for a charity of your choice; and so on.
Showing leadership as a Citizen Psychologist, one might begin and sustain a mentoring program for a vulnerable population in the community; be elected to a community position such as the School Board or the City Council; be appointed to the Executive Committee of a local or national non-profit or professional organization; and so on. Exceptional leadership activities of Citizen Psychologists will be recognized specifically by Daniel in 2018 with APA Presidential Citations.
There are six criteria for our selection process for an APA Presidential citation. Nominees must be a member of APA; hold a doctorate in any psychology subfield; have sustained activities in improving their communities; bring psychological science or expertise to these activities beyond their day-to-day work as psychologists; and at least one of their community roles must be as a leader, demonstrating exceptionality in said leadership role.
Although President Daniel will award citations throughout 2018, planning began in the fall of 2017 for opportunities to deliver these citations, and nominations are being reviewed every week. One’s best chance of getting recognized in the 2018 calendar year is to prepare a nomination as soon as possible. Whereas the application portal will remain open through early July 2018, do not delay — prepare a nomination now. We offer helpful information to make the process quick and straightforward, and encourage questions via email to Presidential Citation Working Group Chairs Sharon Bowman, PhD and Cynthia de las Fuentes, PhD.
For more information
If you have further questions about this initiative, please contact Eddy Ameen or Jessica Andrade, staff liaisons.
Citizen Psychologist Working Group members
Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel (President-elect), Dr. Kate Brown (co-chair), Dr. Ron Rozensky (co-chair), Dr. Sharon Bowman (citations), Ms. Lara Bruner (high school curriculum), Dr. Kermit Crawford (internship curriculum), Dr. Cynthia de las Fuentes (citations), Dr. Cynthia Gomez (survey), Dr. Amber Hewitt (postdoctoral curriculum), Dr. Elizabeth McQuaid (internship curriculum), Dr. Jeff Mio (undergraduate curriculum), Mr. Carlos Montalvan (high school curriculum), Dr. Roger Reeb (graduate curriculum), Dr. Ana Ruiz (undergraduate curriculum), Dr. Peter Sheras (graduate curriculum), Dr. Wayne Siegel (postdoctoral curriculum), Dr. Jennifer Taylor (lifelong learning curriculum) and Dr. Wendi Williams (lifelong learning curriculum). Staff Liaisons: Dr. Eddy Ameen, Jessica Andrade.