Candidate Statements for Division 18. Psychologists in Public Service

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Marcia Hunt, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

In addition to sharing my vision for advancing APA Division 18, I would like to share with you the reason I believe the heart of psychology is public service psychology. My story begins several years after college graduation. My first degree and work was in architecture; however, I realized architecture was not meaningful for me after some years in the field. In my search for a new passion, I took a job teaching math and science in a large juvenile detention facility. As part of this work, I talked to these young people about their lives. These conversations made me realize I wanted to become a psychologist. Specifically, I wanted to be a psychologist who worked with underserved and marginalized individuals and the systems that serve them: community and state mental health systems, Veterans Hospitals, Indian Health Service, criminal justice and public safety areas. As the current Chair of the SMI/SED Section within Division 18, I have worked to increase membership in our Section, enhance excitement and participation around advocacy work while continuing to develop our processes and procedures. Should I be elected as Division Chair Elect, I would continue efforts to support and promote awareness of issues and topics impacting public service psychologists and those we serve—as well as work to develop targeted approaches to advocacy that fosters engagement of our membership. I would be honored to work with and for the members of our Division to promote and advance public service psychology.




Candidate: Jen Snyder, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

People in public institutions – state and Veteran’s Administration hospitals, community mental health centers, jails, and prisons, as well as those living on tribal lands, often have the greatest need for psychological services. This need frequently goes unmet, however, due to lack of resources and the impression that psychologists are not effective in these settings. While evidence-based practices do exist that can help people in these settings, these techniques are often underutilized due to lack of awareness and lack of communication. Since receiving my doctorate, I have worked in state hospitals with persons with serious mental illnesses, and have seen, first hand, how psychological interventions can make a positive difference and promote healing and recovery. As a member, and later Chair, of the APA Task Force on Serious Mental Illness/Severe Emotional Disturbance, I came to appreciate the importance of education and training, in undergraduate and graduate programs as well as after graduation, to prepare psychologists to provide services to people in public mental health settings. More recently, as the section chair for the Community and State Hospital section of Division 18, I have focused on the need for dissemination and communication of information and resources among psychologists doing this work. I am running for President-elect of Division 18 because I believe strongly in the value of the clinical work, advocacy, research, and training that is done by psychologists in public mental health settings, and I want to draw on the resources within APA to further promote and facilitate that work.




Candidate: Jack Tsai, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

I am grateful for the opportunity to be considered for President of Division 18. I am a clinical psychologist in public service and have been a long-time member of APA and Division 18. If elected, I would like to focus on boosting student involvement, recruiting new members, and generating new educational products for members. I have past experience in APA governance that would help me contribute in this position, including serving as Communications Chair for Division 18 and completing a 3-year term on the APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest. In addition to APA, I’m involved in the American Public Health Association (APHA) which including mental health professionals in public service. In APHA, I hold several active leadership roles including chairing the Caucus on Homelessness and previously serving as the Chair on the Committee on Health Equity. In my day job, I’m actively involved in clinical work, research, and administrative duties. I provide direct services as the staff psychologist for the Critical Time Intervention program at VA Connecticut. I am also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Mental Health Services Research at Yale University. I’ve published over 150 peer-reviewed studies and have received federally funded grants to study how best to provide services in the public sector. Together, these experiences and resources help me contribute to Division 18 and I hope you can lend your support in allowing me the opportunity to continue to do so. Thank you.




Candidate: Layne Goble, Ph.D.

Office: Secretary/Treasurer

Candidate Statement:

I am grateful to be nominated for the Secretary-Treasurer position. I’ve been a member of Division 18 throughout my professional career, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet so many outstanding colleagues who work in diverse public service settings. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the growth of Division 18 over the past 5 years while serving as the Membership Chair. As a member of the Executive Committee, I’ve participated in several discussions over the past year focused on the continued growth and security of the division’s finances. It’s my goal to continue to work within the Executive Committee to assist in the development of new and innovative opportunities for members of Division 18 to connect and collaborate. I hope to have the opportunity to continue my service to Division 18 in the coming year.




Candidate: Anne S. Klee, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

It would be an honor to continue serving as the Council Representative for Division 18; a role I believe takes time to learn to be effective in.

Since joining VA Connecticut Healthcare System in 2003, I have held different roles in community mental health currently serving as the Director of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Fellowship Program and Peer Services. I am also an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

I have been active in Division 18 since 2007 serving as the Early Career Representative from 2007-2010, the VA Section Chair from 2010-2013, Chair of the Division 18 Conference in 2011 and 2012, the President from 2013-2014 and currently in my first term as Council Representative. In these roles, I have consistently been a champion for public sector psychology through both education and advocacy efforts. Whether it is creating Continuing Education opportunities through webinars and our conference -- or working to get more division 18 members on APA boards and committees -- I strongly believe public service psychology deserves a larger presence in APA. I am eager to advocate for this on behalf of our membership.

On a personal note, I have always been drawn to community and public service work both as a volunteer and as a professional. I view the mission of Division 18 to "improving the psychological condition of persons served by public sector agencies" as consistent with my own values and would be honored to serve a second term as your Council Representative.




Candidate: Peter Smith, PsyD, MSCP

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

It is my honor to be nominated for the position of Council Representative for Division 18. In my current positions, I provide assessments for detained youth who are facing out of home placements and crisis evaluations in an Emergency Room for patients who may require a higher level of care. As such, I am a “boots on the ground” clinician who has worked in public service settings for most of my professional career. I understand that many of our patients require additional services due to a combination of factors, including but not limited to failures of other systems to meet their needs. If elected, I would work within the Council to ensure that decisions made at APA have input from a voice that advocates for public service being a strong component of APA. Through my involvement on the Executive Committee of my State (MD) Psychological Association and Division 55, I have seen wonderful ideas brought by new members of leadership at each step of my journey. I believe APA needs to continue to hear new ideas to be able to evolve to meet the changing needs. In particular, I believe APA needs to take steps specific steps to reduce membership flight and ensure that the organization remains vibrant and relevant to students and early career colleagues (such as through advocating for initiatives to manage student loans). It would be my privilege to serve Division 18 in that role if I am elected to the APA Council as your next Representative.




Candidate: Maureen (Molly) Below, PhD

Office: Communication Cluster

Candidate Statement:

I entered the field of psychology out of a desire to engage with my community. I now work as a staff psychologist in an outpatient substance use clinic at the VA Boston Healthcare System and previously worked in several residential programs within VA. I find great satisfaction in serving and advocating for the Veterans with whom I work. I am a dedicated clinical and research supervisor to psychology students at various levels of training. I am engaged in evaluation and improvement of teaching, supervision, and treatment within my clinic. I take great pride in representing and advocating for psychology and its contributions to public service within the VA and my community. As a VA psychologist, I serve as a liaison between our organization, referral sources within and outside of VA, and Veterans and their families and advocates. Responsiveness and clarity in communication about our services are critical. I also serve as board chair of a children’s arts nonprofit, a role that has elevated my organizational leadership skills and in which I advocate for the social and emotional needs of some of our younger community members. In this role I liaison between our board, staff, and community, maintain frequent communication with these entities, promote services we provide, and promote community engagement in our program’s activities. I am an excellent fit for the role of Division 18 Communications Cluster Chair, and am excited about the prospect of serving my colleagues in the Division, APA, and profession.




Candidate: Shannon Griswold, PsyD

Office: Communication Cluster

Candidate Statement:

It is an honor to run for the Communications Cluster position for Division 18. Since becoming a member in 2009, I have aspired to join the dedicated leaders found throughout this division. I have been involved in many various committees as well as served as Secretary/Treasurer for the Criminal Justice Section. While serving as a member I have acted in several capacities to represent Division 18. Some of my achievements include the creation of a newsletter, active recruitment as well as formulation and execution of ideas.

Currently, I am a licensed Psychologist in the Bureau of Prisons. My background includes clinical work with inmates in state, federal, and county settings classified under several security levels. My research interests have included violence risk assessment, sexual offenders, violent offenders, suicide, self-injurious behavior, anxiety, and diversity. I am fortunate to supervise an intern rotation.

My experience includes a broad range of communication styles to serve diverse needs. It is my belief that timely, personable, and respectful communications lead to growth. Clear and concise messages are essential to serve those living in a fast-paced environment. Being aware of creative and bold communications on a budget is also within my experience.

The Division 18 is a very powerful and rewarding section. It is my hope to uphold this tradition. I hold this section close to my heart because of the humble specialization and members that accompany Division 18. I believe my perseverance and dedication would be greatly beneficial to the Division 18 Communication Cluster.




Candidate: Shaynna N. Herrera, PhD

Office: Membership Cluster

Candidate Statement:

Division 18 has been my home in APA since I first joined as a student. I have always felt inclined to promote Division 18 to my friends and colleagues, as the members in Division 18 are welcoming, encouraging, and opened up many doors for me. I previously served as the student co-representative in the SMI/SED section of Division 18, and one of my primary goals in this position was to increase our section’s student membership. I launched an initiative to identify and connect with the directors of all APA accredited doctoral-level psychology programs across the U.S. and promote our section to graduate students. Through this initiative, the section gained many new student members, including students who now serve in Division 18 leadership roles today. As Division 18 Membership Chair, I would love to plan more initiatives such as this one in order to help the division grow and identify people who can help lead Division 18 into the future.

Bringing in new members and maintaining current members is critical to our division’s future. However, we need to do more for our current and potential new members. It is critical that new members are aware of the opportunities and roles within the division, and receive something valuable for their experience within the division as well. As Division 18 Membership Chair, I would assist new and current members in engaging in the many opportunities that Division 18 has to offer, and support them in receiving benefits from their membership as well.




Candidate: Stephanie A. Lynam, PsyD

Office: Communication Cluster

Candidate Statement:

Stephanie Lynam, PsyD is a clinical/community psychologist who currently works at VA Connecticut working to provide stable housing and mental health care to Veterans who experience homelessness. Dr. Lynam’s clinical and professional interests include recovery oriented care, integrated dual diagnosis treatment, clinical case management, advocacy, supervision and training. Her career has been devoted to working with individuals experiencing severe mental illness and substance use to help them improve their quality of life. For the past two years she has been involved in the SMI/SED section of Division 18 as the treasurer for the section and she is excited at the opportunity to serve for Division 18.