2015 EdAT Initiatives

PAC Honors Education Advocacy Champion Joanne Callan, PhD

The psychology education and training community came together for a special reception in January 2015 to not only raise funds for the APAPO-PAC’s Education Fund, but also to honor Joanne Callan, PhD, who received the PAC’s Political Advocacy Champion Award. Attendees learned more about the PAC’s political advocacy for education and also celebrated the lifetime advocacy contributions of Callan, the first executive director for education at APA, first female president of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), and longtime advocacy champion.

Callan, who is now the distinguished professor at the California School of Professional Psychology-San Diego, Alliant International University, received the Political Advocacy Champion Award for her significant contributions to advancing psychology education advocacy, as well as her leadership and ongoing support of political advocacy efforts.

Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, executive director for APA's Education Directorate and vice chair of the APAPO-PAC, presented the award to Callan. Diaz-Granados explained that as the first executive director for education, Callan was responsible not only for the establishment of APA's Education Directorate, but the Education Government Relations Office (formerly the Public Policy Office), thus making education advocacy a major priority for the association. Diaz-Granados went on to note, “her vision 25 years ago has left an enduring legacy for all of us within APA and her creation of our advocacy office has led to more than $40 million in federal support for psychology graduate students, increased access to psychological services for underserved populations, support for our colleagues and students in counseling centers and has given us all a stronger voice on Capitol Hill."

APA Executive Director for Education, Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, with former Executive Director for Education, Joanne Callan, PhD APA Executive Director for Practice, Katherine Nordal, PhD, with Joanne Callan, PhD

Left: APA Executive Director for Education Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, with former Executive Director for Education Joanne Callan, PhD.
 APA Executive Director for Practice Katherine Nordal, PhD, with Joanne Callan, PhD.

Speaking to a room filled with friends and colleagues who were attending the mid-winter NCSPP meeting in San Diego, Callan thanked her colleagues and expressed gratitude for the special honor. In accepting the award she noted, “not only is it critical to support APA’s advocacy efforts for funding education and training in psychology, it is important to acknowledge its successes — such as funding gained for psychologists through the Graduate Psychology Education Program and the National Health Services Corps Loan Repayment Program. Callan went on to acknowledge “the many people who have contributed to these and other successes since APA’s advocacy for education was initiated in the early 1990’s.” She recognized the support of APA’s former Chief Financial Officer Jack McKay, who helped establish the Education Directorate, the contributions of her successors Jill Reich, PhD, and Cynthia Belar, PhD, as well as the initial advocacy coordinating team led by Nina Levitt, EdD, and Sheila Forsyth.

Callan emphasized that, “it is imperative that psychologists continue to advocate for education and training through contributions and time so that psychology can be as visible as possible on the hill. Indeed, at every opportunity, we must make psychology known and advocate for funding to educate and train future psychologists.”

Speaking as a fellow leader in the education advocacy community, Gilbert Newman, PhD, shared several stories of their past advocacy efforts and observed, “Joanne Callan has been an inspiration to many of us who advocate for psychology education and training. In receiving this recognition, her remarks underscore the importance of continuing our work, and that we still have a long way to go in positioning psychology in healthcare. Joanne continues to demonstrate the pioneering leadership she has shown at NCSPP, APA and at her home institution. We have all benefited from her contributions.”

Following Newman’s comments, Diaz-Granados thanked everyone for attending the special reception in support of the APAPO-PAC Education Fund, noting that members of the NCSPP community have been longstanding supporters of education advocacy activities, including political giving. He reiterated that political giving is one of three components of an effective advocacy agenda. Funds contributed to the PAC’s Education Fund are used to support the campaigns of members of Congress who understand the value of psychology and psychologists in the workforce. Political giving complements our broader efforts to both educate Congress about the contributions of psychology to public health and lobby Congress directly to increase federal funding for critically-needed psychology education and training programs. Diaz-Granados explained that contributions made to the PAC’s Education Fund are used to directly support those candidates who support psychology’s education advocacy agenda. Indeed, psychologists attending the San Diego PAC Education Fundraiser contributed over $2,700, bringing us closer to meeting our 2015 fundraising goal of raising $10,000 for the PAC’s Education Fund.