Candidate Statements for Arizona Psychological Association

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

Candidate: Paul Beljan, PsyD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

I am interested in becoming a Council Representative to the APA from Arizona. I have a deep commitment to protect the integrity of psychology and to assist in its progression. Psychology has always played a worldwide role in positive change and I want to be a part of that tradition. To this end I have served on the Arizona Board of Psychology Examiners and continued my education into my 50s. I earned my postdoctoral master’s degree in Psychopharmacology in 2015 and served on the Arizona Psychopharmacology Taskforce for three years. I have taught, supervised, and mentored psychology students, and medical students and residents from the beginning of my career. I held every board office and was the third president of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology. My private practice is thriving and I have ongoing research projects. Now I feel it is time for me to assist the APA at a national level as the next logical progression in my career and development as a psychologist. I enjoy working in groups and hope you accept my volunteer enthusiasm and knowledge to become a Council Representative with the APA.




Candidate: Neil Stafford, PsyD, ABPP

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

My passion is being a psychologist and serving my community. My favorite conversation is our profession, and I look forward to any occasion to collaborate with my colleagues. I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a certified school psychologist, and American Board of Professional Psychology certified in School Psychology. I work in the public school system as the Lead Psychologist for Avondale Elementary School District (AESD) in the west valley where I live with my wife and 2 sons. It’s also where I grew up and I feel strongly that this community is where I am needed most. We have all seen the power of psychology to change lives, and improve our communities.

I have led the creation of an APA accredited internship program at AESD. I have served on the AZPA Governing Council, and as the Internship Training Director for the Arizona Psychology Training Consortium. I have also had the privilege of participating on the Postdoctoral Membership Committee of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Training Centers.

My focus will be to represent as many of our interests as possible. I want to give voice to the diversity of our Arizona members. I want to continue the trend towards new ideas in APA. I want to be a part of increasing the inclusivity of APA. I would be honored to serve as AZPA’s representative to APA’s Governing Council.




Candidate: Stephanie A. Vitanza, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

Stephanie Vitanza, Ph.D. works in private practice and for a non-profit in Phoenix. Previously, she was a Professor and Program Chair for the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Argosy University for 10+ years. She received a PhD and MS in psychology from the University of North Texas. She was Director of Mental Health Services for an international nonprofit agency, specializing in the investigation of child abuse and held appointments in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU’s Medical College of Virginia where she did clinical work and graduate training, supervision and teaching. Dr. Vitanza has been an active member of APA for 30 years and is a member of Division 56 (Trauma Psychology).

It is an honor to run for the position as Council Representative for Arizona. I believe my career roles contribute strong experiences to support advocating for the needs of psychologists in the areas of teaching, clinical work and research. I have been fortunate to be mentored by prior AZPA DRN Chair and prior APA Council Representative, Dr. Ellen Williams guiding me through my involvement as the Arizona Psychological Association Disaster Resource Network (DRN) Chairperson for 11 years and as the APA DRN Western Regional Advisory board member for 5 years. I believe my leadership and career roles have prepared me to represent Arizona and it would be a privilege to further my contribution to AZPA and APA by serving on the APA Council.