Mary Minges is the current campus representative for the Advocacy Coordinating Team (ACT) of the APA Graduate Student organization (APAGS) and a member of the Derner Advocacy Committee.
Did you know that Derner has an active Advocacy Committee, which grew out of an informational meeting about the APA Graduate Student organization (APAGS) and the Advocacy Coordinating Team (ACT)?
APAGS is the “voice of student concerns within the APA,” founded in 1988 and currently represents about one third of APA membership. Go to apa.org to find out more about what resources are available to graduate students through this organization.
A branch of APAGS is ACT. The mission of ACT is to “empower students to bring their voices to bear on the important issues affecting our discipline and the public health through education, training and advocacy.” As students, you will be receiving emails throughout the year informing you of meetings about APAGS and ACT, and various informational and action alerts pertinent to psychologists and psychologists in training. Examples of areas of advocacy for which ACT has active committees are: Aging, Community Health Centers, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Issues.
The Derner Advocacy Committee developed when several students met to discuss issues of concern to them. Graduate funding came up as a topic, but so did the Hoffman Report. The Hoffman Report was a private investigation into the role that the APA played in Department of Defense (DoD) interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. The committee found this an important issue to explore and educate graduate students about—as to this day, implications from that report are still unfolding and the governing body of APA is still struggling to determine what ethical guidelines APA will uphold in relation to working with the DoD. The Advocacy Committee organized a full day event on the Hoffman Report.
The Derner Advocacy Committee will continue this year, and two events are on the horizon. One is to raise awareness of how to advocate for minorities caught in the poverty-to-incarceration pipeline. The second is an idea to partner with the Society for Psychotherapy Research, North American Chapter for an education day for graduate students and local clinicians on psychotherapy research.
If you are interested in these or other advocacy projects, please come to the APAGS/ACT informational meeting and/or the Fall Derner Advocacy Committee meeting. We would love to have you join our efforts in advocacy.
Current and past members include: Anna Gurgenidze, Laura Shiffrin, Dennis Higgins, Erica Tanne, Mary Minges and Moshe Moeller.