Candidate Statements for Division 45. Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race

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

Candidate: Casey Lee McDougall, PhD, LP, MSCP

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Advancement through Division 45 Governance has been a great interest of mine. Not for personal gain; but motivated by duty, obligation, and the promotion of cross-cultural psychology. I believe I have observed the inner machinations of the Executive Committee, needs of our diverse membership, and (to a degree) the pulse of the APA. As President Elect, my initial goals would be to buttress the Presidential Trio and adhere to the sole PURPOSE of the division. For background, I am the Training Director of the NMSU Postdoctoral M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology program and a Full Professor within the Counseling & Education Department. I recently became a prescribing psychologist in New Mexico and am a licensed psychologist in Minnesota. I am very proud that I was able to complete my Post-Doctoral training with the (Pueblo of) Acoma Behavioral Health Services. I previously worked for Indian Health Service as the Behavioral Health Director at the Red Lake Hospital (Red Lake Nation; Red Lake, MN). Finally, I am a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and Direct Descendant of the White Earth (Nation) Band of Chippewa; identifying strongly with both cultures. Through LEADERSHIP, I can execute the blended interests in Public Service, a Society of Culture and Diversity, and the integration of psychobiosocial psychopharmacology; all of which will undoubtedly promote access to and continuity of care for underserved populations and people with (ethnic) health disparities. AND still maintain the vision and mission of Division 45 to promote culture, ethnicity and race.




Candidate: Lisa Rey Thomas, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

With gratitude, curiosity, respect, humility, and excitement I submit to colleagues, friends, and leaders of Division 45 my candidacy for your consideration.

Those of us committed to serving our diverse communities often find ourselves on journeys that we never imagined. My journey has allowed me to engage in the scholarship and practice of psychology in academic positions as a research scientist, in advocacy and leadership as a member of numerous national and local committees, in my work as the Director of Community and Tribal Partnership in a regional health collaborative, and as a member of a wonderful and diverse community.

Division 45 is privileged to have a legacy of leaders who have left us well positioned to blend the knowledge, courage, and innovation of our past leaders with the energy, vision, and grit of our future leaders. As President, I would work with Division leadership and members to continue to strengthen and nurture the connections between the scholarship and practice of psychology to the communities we serve. We are ready to cross the bridges that our Elders have built for us to roll our sleeves even higher and do the right work.

I am a life-long learner and bring my experience as technical advisor to the NIH Tribal Advisory Committee; founding member of the CNPAAEMI Leadership Development Institute; former Division 45 AIAN Member-at-Large; 2011 NMCS Planning Committee; former Chair, Division 18 Psychologists in Indian Country section; former Co-chair, Native Research Network; and former Chair, APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs.




Candidate: Joyce Chu, PhD

Office: Treasurer

Candidate Statement:

Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for APA Division 45 Treasurer-Elect. I am a clinical psychologist, currently an Associate Professor and Faculty Chair at Palo Alto University. For 20 years, I have dedicated my career to the psychological and mental health needs of ethnic minority communities, with a particular focus on suicide, community mental health, and Asian Americans. I have previous experience serving as the Treasurer for APA’s Section VII (Clinical Emergencies and Crises) of Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology).

In terms of previous Division 45 involvement, I enjoyed serving as conference co-chair (with Teresa LaFromboise) of the 2016 4th Biennial Division 45 Research Conference at Stanford University. This conference successfully raised funds to support the longevity and security of future Division 45 conferences, and also served as a gathering place for 500+ ethnic minority psychology stakeholders. I saw new mentorship relationships formed, advocacy inspired, and connections bridged between our many ethnic group members. I became motivated to do more for the Division.

As Treasurer, I would approach my financial management duties seriously, with a deep understanding of responsibility in the position. As a member of the EC, I would lend voice to expanding Division 45’s reach to ethnic minority psychology professionals, and to enhancing its leadership role in raising awareness, advocating for, and uniting communities around the needs of ethnic minorities in our country. I look forward to bringing my dedication and previous scientific, leadership, treasurer, and organizational experiences to the Division.




Candidate: Alison Cerezo, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

Over the course of my professional career, I hope to produce a body of scholarship and training initiatives centered on the lived experiences and consequent needs of sexual and gender minority persons of color. To date, I have carried out numerous empirical investigations of the links between discrimination and health disparities among Latinx and African American sexual and gender minority women. As an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University, I train Masters level counselors who are professionally invested and trained in eliminating social and health disparities facing culturally diverse communities. As such, my professional efforts—particularly in the realm of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity—span my research, teaching and training work. Furthermore, I have carried out this work as a member of the Leadership Colectivo of Orgullo, a division of the National Latina/o Psychological Association (NLPA). As part of the Colectivo, I have supported the organization with responding to the Pulse Massacre, increasing the visibility of sexual and gender minority issues at the organization’s conference, and most recently, securing a special issue on sexual and gender minority issues in the Journal of Latina/o Psychology. I am now ready and excited to expand my service to Division 45. My goal is to support the division in addressing the wide breadth of issues impacting sexual and gender minority persons of color - paying close attention to the ways intersectional lived experiences of discrimination impact social and health disparities and members’ ability to appropriately address those needs.




Candidate: Nayeli Y. Chavez, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

Dear Division-45, it is with great enthusiasm, honor, and humility that I respectfully accept the nomination to serve as Member-at-Large (Latinx slate) for the Division which has been my academic home since my early graduate training. Over the past year, I have had the honor of serving as Division-45 Scientific Program Co-chair and as a member of Dr. Helen A. Neville’s Presidential Taskforce. My commitment to the Latinx community can be observed throughout both my professional and personal endeavors. For the past eight years, I have served as the lead for a concentration in Latinx Mental Health which is designed to provide graduate level training in the areas of assessment and treatment of Latinx clients. Since 2015, I have also served as the associate editor of Latino/a Psychology Today (LPT), a peer-reviewed publication of NLPA. Most recently, I co-authored my first textbook titled, Cultural Foundations and Interventions in Latino/a Mental Health. I welcome the opportunity to continue working to represent my beloved Latinx community within our Division. In serving, I will offer my skills in research, clinical, and community advocacy to continue empowering, supporting, and celebrating our association. I will also build on the work of current and past leaders and focus on the development of tangible benefits that meet the needs of Latinxs and Communities of Color. Collectively we can imagine and planfully find innovative ways to help children, women, and families of Color live in ways that are not silencing but rooted in resistance, visibility, equity, and liberation.




Candidate: James Jonathan García, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

It still takes me by surprise to hear “Dr. García” from the students I work with or patients I see at the hospital; I was prepared to finish my Ph.D. program, but did not realize just how fast I would be introduced to the world of an Early Career Psychologist (ECP). It is with great honor that I am running for Division 45’s Member at Large Diversity Slate as an ECP. I have served in several capacities within the American Psychological Association as a graduate student, namely as the past chair for the Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity (APAGS-CARED) and as a past member of the Division 45 Student Committee. As a Gay Latinx ECP, I believe graduate student and ECP voices within APA are loud, strong, and will continue to be heard; however, we must “step up to the plate” and represent. To this end, I am committed to: 1) continuing the valuable leadership and mentoring opportunities available through Division 45’s strong opportunities, 2) building bridges with mentoring and leadership opportunities outside of Division 45 to expand ECP representation in relevant health-related organizations, and 3) creating opportunities for ECP’s to become involved in the division, with a focus on creating//supporting ECP advocacy at the local/state level. Our times are tough, but with the leadership/mentoring of ECP's in the Psychology pipeline, we as ECP's can continue the legacy of resisting hate and advocating for the communities of color we represent and work with.




Candidate: Martinque Karee Jones, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I, Martinque “Marti” Jones, am a minority research postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. My research centers on sociocultural factors (e.g., racial identity and discrimination) influencing mental wellness and counseling with young Black women. Related to my scholarly interest in psychological phenomena impacting racial and ethnic minority individuals, I have a long-standing history of student leadership both within the American Psychological Association and Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). Because of my academic interest and strong leadership background, I believe that I could be a great asset to Division 45 through serving as the Member-at-large, Diversity slate. As a leader, one of my goals is to foster multi-ethnic collaborations between Division 45 and other ethnic organizations (e.g., ABPsi). Through my upcoming participation in 2018 Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests (CNPAAEMI) Leadership Development Institute, I aspire to brainstorm ways to bring this vision to fruition; I know my pursuit and development of multi-ethnic initiatives would not only be aligned with the mission of Division 45, but also attractive to its membership. My experience as past student representative for Division 45 has equipped me with leadership skills that will be beneficial in executing innovative programs, as well as existing Division 45 programming, including the Links and Shoulders program, Division 45/35 Dance, and Convention Hospitality Suite. Taken together, I have scholarly interests, innovative ideas, and strong leadership skills to bring to the Member-at-large, Diversity slate position.




Candidate: Leo Wilton, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am interested in serving in the role of Member-at-Large-LGBT Slate for APA’s Division 45. Currently, I am a Professor in the Department of Human Development at the State University of New York at Binghamton. I believe that I could contribute my scientific expertise and leadership to this role in developing initiatives to provide an intersectional framework in addressing issues related to culture, ethnicity, and race, which remains critical in articulating a vision and praxis for the future. My scholarly research on the AIDS epidemic focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality, as situated in macro- and –micro-level inequalities in Black communities, both nationally and internationally. My research engages the complexities of how socio-structural contexts influence people’s development and well-being within African and African Diasporic communities. I serve in the role of a PI on a NIH/NIDA-funded R01 longitudinal study to develop and test a brief intervention to increase uptake of consistent HIV self-testing among young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen using a culturally-relevant peer approach. I was appointed to the NIH Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR). I am a lifetime member of the Association of Black Psychologists. I am a founding member and former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Black Gay Research Group (BGRG), an international organization of Black gay men engaged in interdisciplinary and intersectional research in the fields of public health, psychology, African Diaspora studies, gender studies, and sexuality studies.