2016 EdAT Initiatives

"It's PACademic"

Did you know that Richard Nixon was the first presidential candidate to campaign in all 50 states? Or, that it costs about $1.7 million to campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives?

These were just a few of the questions from the first-ever “It’s PACademic,” a competition and reception held in January 2016 in Atlanta, aimed at raising money for the APAPO-PAC-Education Fund. Game master, Karen Studwell, JD, associate executive director for the Education Advocacy Trust, led teams of psychologists through four rounds of psychology and political trivia, challenging participants and raising awareness about the importance of supporting the PAC’s education fund.

Gilbert Newman, PhD, left, dean of the Wright Institute, is awarded the 2016 Political Advocacy Champion Award for his leadership and commitment to advancing education advocacy by Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD “Our aim is not only to raise awareness and funds for our political action committee’s education fund, but to have ‘PAC fun’ while we’re doing it,” said Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, vice chair for the APAPO-PAC.

Contributions to the educational fund help build and nurture personal relationships with members of Congress who support expanding access to integrated mental health services for underserved populations through the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program.

Since the fund’s inception in 2002, Congress has provided nearly $60 million for psychology education and training through the GPE program.

Diaz-Granados said that success would not have been possible without the commitment of psychologists who attend PAC events and understand that every dollar contributed supports the re-election campaigns of members of Congress who support psychology.

Diaz-Granados concluded his remarks by announcing Gilbert Newman, PhD, dean of the Wright Institute, as winner of the 2016 Political Advocacy Champion Award for his leadership and commitment to advancing education advocacy.

Newman was honored for his tireless grassroots and political advocacy efforts at both the state and federal level on behalf of psychology education and training, as well as professional practice. Those efforts included organizing the first rally of psychology graduate students at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., meeting personally with his congressional delegation to emphasize the importance of psychologists in integrated care, and hosting fundraisers for congressional candidates who are supportive of psychology’s legislative agenda.

His additional roles as a leader of the Federal Education Advocacy Grassroots Network, a mentor for students and early career psychologists, and a longstanding member of the APAPO-PAC, along with his efforts to be actively engaged in advocacy, have been invaluable to the field and future of the psychology workforce, Diaz-Granados said.