Candidate Statements for
Division 48. Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology Division
Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.
Candidate: Brad J. Bushman, PhD
I am honored to be considered a candidate for President of APA Division 48. For over 30 years I have studied aggression and violence. In the wake of the Newtown shooting, I co-chaired an advisory committee to the National Science Foundation on youth violence. Our committee report was distributed to each member of Congress and to each state Governor. I testified before Congress on the contents of the report. An article that extends the report was published in American Psychologist. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, I co-chaired a committee that wrote a report on youth violence for the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA). That report was sent to President Trump, Vice President Pence, Education Secretary DeVos, each member of Congress, and each Governor. I was also a member of President Obama’s gun violence committee. I have published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, which have been cited over 35,000 times.
I have some organizational experience. I am on the ISRA Board (2016-present). I have been an Associate Editor of several journals, including Perspectives on Psychological Science (2015-present), Psychological Science (2005-2007), Aggressive Behavior (1994-2004; 2012-2013), Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2000-2002), and Entertainment Computing (2008-2014).
If elected, I will do all I can to fulfill the mission of our division “to promote peace in the world at large and within nations, communities and families.” That has been my life’s work. I think the best way to accomplish that mission is by conducting scientific research on this topic.
Candidate: John M. McConnell, PhD
The field of peace psychology is multifaceted with considerable potential to play a larger role in our divisive world. Yet, peace has not widely caught on in psychology’s varied disciplines beyond implicit structural and cultural violence reduction through social justice. For our division to be a more effective change agent, more professionals need to develop an explicit peace psychology identity. Peace became central to my identity when I came to a greater understanding that my various interests cohesively fit inside our division’s framework. We can and should help others come to similar conclusions in their career. As president of Division 48, I would leverage our members’ collective wisdom and my experience with leading two multicultural peacemaking organizations to improve our influence. We will undertake two interconnected goals to effectively lay groundwork for this vision. First, we will foster an ethos of diversity, inclusion, and multicultural peace within our division. Second, we will create a public campaign to awaken peoples’ peace psychology identity by connecting their current passions to peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and peacemaking. I hope we will join together in this effort because I am passionate about advancing multicultural peace in research, institutions, and our world. I believe I am in a unique position to advance this mission as an early-career psychologist, assistant professor of psychology, and director of The Multicultural Peace and Justice Collaborative. The MultiPJC is currently using community-based participatory action research to liberate multiple oppressed populations, promote multicultural peace, and instill a peace identity into my doctoral students.
Candidate: Robert McKelvain, PhD
A stronger Division means a stronger voice for peace.
Robert McKelvain, PhD
The following would be my priorities in the roles of President-elect, President, and Past-president —
Challenge our division and its leadership to engage 1% of the APA’s more than 100,000 members in some concrete action for peace — research, teaching, community projects, or advocacy. Achieving this goal will require energetic liaisons and collaborations with other divisions and state/regional associations, creative projects which generate broad interest, effective communication, and inviting opportunities for engagement for psychologists from diverse backgrounds.
Continue to build a strong organizational structure with a collaborative executive committee, productive working groups and committees, recognition of the accomplishments of our members, and a challenging strategic plan.
Identify and engage student and early career talent to recruit a new generation of leaders in peace psychology.
Develop an in-depth understanding of the interests and priorities of our members and potential members, perhaps through a Delphi process of interviews and well-designed surveys.
My work in peace psychology includes (1) designing and teaching university courses in peacemaking, negotiation, and mediation for over 20 years; (2) training rural community leaders in Honduras and Guatemala in conflict transformation including co-authoring Transformación de los Conflictos, the manual for the training; (3) two recent peer-reviewed presentations at the APA Convention on policing.
For past 3 years, I have served as Division 48 Internet Editor and was Conference Chair for Psychology and Peace 2018.
Candidate: Violet Cheung, PhD
My name is Violet Cheung, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of San Francisco. I am running for an at-large seat because I envision a Division 48 that is more vibrant, productive and effective at being the voice for peace, freedom and human dignity. I also think that we can renew the Division’s spirit of service to energize our organization, to attract new members, to support existing members, and to celebrate their efforts as peace psychologists.
Peace psychologists come from a broad spectrum of disciplines and backgrounds. Moreover, peace psychology is now global in scope. In such a diverse division, a member-at-large must be receptive to all voices in order to truly represent their interests and concerns. My training as a basic researcher, my applied research venue, respect for activism, service as a Student and Early Career chair for our division, service on various award committees and on the ad hoc PENS task force for the division, decade-long active involvement with the division, and good listening skills, are assets that I would bring to an at-large role.
I am indebted to Division 48 for becoming a peace psychologist. I’d like to have the opportunity to demonstrate my gratitude with service. If elected, I will bring a deep commitment and energy to the work of the division as it moves forward to become a stronger voice of peace in a divisive world.
Candidate: Dana N. Dunwoody, MEd
My name is Dana N. Dunwoody, I am running for member-at-large for Division 48! I am currently a third Year Doctoral Student in Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development at Boston University. My passion is equity, inclusion, and diversity, striving for social and political justice in my scholarship, teaching, and service by bridging theory to practice in the liberation of underrepresented youth, sport coaches and community-based leaders through discursive pedagogy. Taking peaceful approaches to education, community organizing, and social justice are foundational elements to my work and life philosophies. Having been welcomed into the Peace Psychology division of APA with warmth and acceptance, as member-at-large my mission will be to not only continue that legacy but also bring innovation and progression to the current structures and practices of the division. As member-at-large I would like to bring more services, resources, and opportunities to those within division to enhance, further, and progress their scholarship, teaching, and service in interdisciplinary, intersectional, and decolonized ways. I would like to initiate projects that connect our division to community organizations in efforts to challenge the status quo and create equitable and just social and political atmospheres for those who have been continuously oppressed by the systems within the United States as well as abroad. As member-at-large, I would be honored to fulfill the role and responsibility of hearing and elevating the voices of our membership to our division’s board and APA.
Candidate: Mary Pelton Cooper, BSN, PsyD
Members of Division 48,
I have been dedicated to healing and social justice work for 30 years, first as a Registered Nurse in obstetrics and public health, and then as a clinical psychologist and professor. I am an elder, assertive, passionate woman who is willing to confront injustice and speak truth to toxic power. I have retired from teaching and am now the President Elect of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. I am running for Member at Large for Division 48 to support the work of Peace Psychology and to enhance connections between these two historically and currently linked organizations.
During my faculty years I was one of the original collaborators in the establishment of an ALLIES organization for LBGT faculty and staff. I chaired the Committee on Women for our chapter of AAUP, a role that required stamina and determination in facing a union leadership that was fiercely resistant to acknowledgement of gender inequality. I have been a member of the Association for Women in Psychology for 20 years. For most of those years I was also a member of APA Division 35.
Organizations that promote peace and confront injustice are essential to human systems because humans tend to engage in abuses of power. And thus the work of peace and social justice organizations is essential as a counterbalance especially during politically turbulent eras such as the one we now face. I would be honored to serve The Peace Psychology Division during these perilous years.
Candidate: Gabriel Mateo Velez, MA (PhD Candidate)
Division 48 is at an important moment in its development. A successful first Psychology & Peace 2018 conference led to productive conversations about its future, including discussion inclusion and social action as we grow and respond to our diverse membership.
I am running for Member-at-large because I would like to contribute to these exciting developments. Since joining Division 48, I have felt welcomed and valued. I want to build on this and extend this spirit to a wide range of current and possible members to engage them in our Division as we strive to further define ourselves and grow in inclusion and responsiveness.
As a Member-at-large, I would bring my scholarship and varied service background. I am a developmental psychologist who works to support youth in conflict and post-conflict settings in developing identities as citizens and potential peacebuilders. I value collaborating with participants, schools, and policy makers.
Additionally, I strive to be active and serve communities to which I belong. I have served as my program’s student association president, liaison to the University of Chicago Social Science Dean’s advisory committee, and Finance Chair for the Graduate Student Council. In Division 48, I served on the Psychology & Peace Conference Committee and worked for inclusion of student voices in planning and programming.
If elected, I would bring attentiveness and responsiveness to our diverse membership. I believe we are at a pivotal moment for our Division, and I would work to engage and build belonging.
Candidate: Christine Hansvick, PhD
Office: Membership Chair
I will bring my ability to organize and pay attention to detail to the role of Membership Chair for Div. 48. My last several years as professor at Pacific Lutheran University I served as Chair of Psychology and also chair of our university’s IRB.
I began teaching Psychology of Peace to undergraduates in 2002. You will find several of my course syllabi and teaching materials, as well as resource materials from workshops and symposia I organized for APA conventions in 2011 and 2014, on our APA Div. 48 website (peacepsychology.org). Use the “Teach Peace” drop-down links to get to know more about my approach to teaching an undergraduate course in the psychology of peace.
I just retired from Pacific Lutheran University after teaching for 40 years. I now live in Delaware, so I will be available to work closely with the APA office in Washington DC while we as a Division strive to build our membership and communicate our message more broadly. I know that building personal relationships and understanding how organizations work (having taught Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the graduate level) are key to being effective. My experience serving on the board of the Peace and Justice Studies Association as the Academic Liaison for 6 years also adds to my strengths. I was involved in producing the 7th edition of the Global Directory of Peace and Conflict Studies Programs, and in charge of awarding honors for both undergraduate and graduate theses as well as recruiting presenters for conference sessions.
Candidate: Nahal C. Kaivan, PhD
Office: Membership Chair
Nahal C. Kaivan, Ph.D., is a psychologist currently working as a clinician at Duke University with a particular interest in students of color and students from marginalized backgrounds. Beyond her interest in therapy and advocacy with clients at Duke, she is an academician and researcher. Nahal’s research pursuits are rooted in Liberatory and Peace Psychologies and aim to both engage and empower oppressed populations through community participation, knowledge revision, rigorous analysis and strategic planning aimed at creating new possibilities for populations that are not served by institutions as they currently exist. Her research, teaching and clinical pursuits expand from the United States to France, Spain and Morocco where she has spearheaded a number of wellness, advocacy and change-making initiatives. Nahal was drawn to Peace Psychology and the work of Division 48 after noticing a marked gap between research and practice. Namely, the work of Peace Psychology has provided a helpful framework for both working through and understanding many of the conflicts and challenges encountered by marginalized populations in the United States and abroad as “othered” individuals. Nahal is passionate about racial equity, sustainable diversity and conflict resolution as well as collective uplift and mentorship. Nahal is hopeful that, if elected to this position, she will be able to promote the division’s visibility and values through multiple formats so that future peacemakers, and existing colleagues are inspired to seek peace as a viable and critical answer to so many of the concerns that undergird the work of all psychologists across disciplines.
Candidate: Robin Lynn Treptow, PhD
Office: Membership Chair
I am pleased to be on our ballot for Division 48 Membership Chair. I hold a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and teach as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Divine Mercy University in Arlington, VA. I am interested to know how early relationship dynamics, e.g., parent-infant bonding, can be used for peacemaking. Joining as a student in 1990, I became active in our Div48 membership in 2013. Over the past half-decade I have shared my ideas about peace in our APA suite and convention programs, and at regional and international conferences. We must see in our mind's eye a peaceable world—see it as possible—if we want to reach that goal. Relationship is key. As Div48 members get to know each other and work together, we can make a difference. If elected, I hope to grow Div48 by 25%, enrolling members from peace groups and from APA divisions; support members’ voices, sway, and involvement, e.g., through professional formation; increase partnerships with peace-making groups; and serve both our general membership and our Div48 leaders. I hope you will trust me with your vote for the 2019 Div48 Membership Chair.