Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Statement Concerning the Hate Crime in London, Ontario

Racism, white supremacy, and violent extremism have sadly become more visible and prevalent in society over the past decade. The recent anti-Islamic murder in London, Ontario is another devastating reminder of the danger these ideologies present to marginalized groups, to the Canadian public, and to all societies.

Psychologists can, and must, play a significant role in turning the tide against racism and terrorism. We must also take on the structures and systems that are built on racial disparities and inequities – structures and systems that play a part in creating a culture that leads to more overt racism and hate crimes.

The CPA stands with the Muslim community, and with all other groups that are regularly targeted by online hate and public violence. We are committed to doing everything we can to create a just society that enables all its members to contribute, thrive, and most importantly feel safe, in the communities, workplaces and societies in which they live, work and play, free from racism, prejudice and systemic discrimination.

CPA Statement on the Discovery of the Mass Grave of Indigenous Children in Kamloops

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is horrified to learn about the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a Residential School in Kamloops BC. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Indigenous communities who are grieving this incalculable loss. We stand alongside Indigenous communities in grief, anger and sorrow. The CPA is committed to being a partner and an ally in healing, mental health and wellness for Indigenous communities across the country. Read more in Psychology’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Report: https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Task_Forces/TRC%20Task%20Force%20Report_FINAL.pdf


Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans Funding Opportunities – Deadline Extended to May 31, 2021!

As the national leader in Veterans’ chronic pain research, the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans is pleased to offer the below funding opportunities for 2021-2022.
Please click on the opportunities to learn more and apply.
Should you have any questions, please e-mail research@vcp-vdc.ca.

Research Funding Application Deadline
Expression of Interest: Construct(s) to Measure ‘Lifeskills and Preparedness’ May 31, 2021
Expression of Interest: Construct(s) to Measure ‘Housing and Physical Environment’ May 31, 2021
Expression of Interest: Needs of Veteran Populations to Inform Civilian Healthcare Providers May 31, 2021
Expression of Interest: Effectiveness of Veteran Peer Coaching May 31, 2021
Graduate Scholarships
François Dupéré Graduate Scholarship – Master’s May 31, 2021
Centre of Excellence Graduate Scholarship – Master’s May 31, 2021
Centre of Excellence Graduate Scholarship – PhD May 31, 2021

Message Regarding the CPA/CPAP BMS Liability Insurance Program

BMS, CPA logo
Dear Members,

We hope that you are continuing to stay healthy during this challenging time.

In early May, you will receive the 2021-2022 CPA/CPAP[1] Liability Insurance Program renewal from the program’s broker, BMS. You will see that Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) premium has increased this year. This increase is a direct reflection of increased claims, where millions of dollars of claims costs have been paid under the psychology program to defend and protect insured members.

The premium charged this year is substantiated by actuarial analysis and has been negotiated to keep the increase to the lowest amount acceptable to the Insurer to renew the policy.

2021-2022 Professional Liability Insurance coverage

Your CPA/CPAP policy is in place to provide coverage for legal defence costs and monetary judgements should a professional liability complaint or lawsuit be made against you. Each insured member can access up to $10M per claim and per year to defend against insured claims.

Another important element is the Regulatory Legal Expense coverage, where members can access up to $300,000 per claim and per year to pay the costs of legal defence associated with a complaint made to your regulatory body (professional College). This is an essential piece of coverage as more than 80% of claims under the CPA/CPAP program in any given year are College complaints, where legal defence costs can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We are aware that in an effort to reduce insurance claims, other programs or policies for psychologists have removed coverage for defence against College complaints and disciplinary hearings. While this may result in lower premiums, it also leaves psychologists without the kind of insurance coverage they are most likely to need. BMS is committed to ensuring that members are provided with comprehensive coverage that represents the needs and greatest practice exposures for psychologists.

Psychologists who are members of both CPA and a participating provincial/territorial association will continue to receive a discount on their premiums. Please feel free to connect with BMS at 1-855-318-6038 or psy.insurance@bmsgroup.com if you have any questions about the policy. To share any queries with the management of the program, contact executiveoffice@cpa.ca.

We thank you for your participation in this program and the confidence you have placed in Canada’s associations of psychology. Be safe, stay well.

[1] The CPA/CPAP program is available to members of CPA as well as members of the provincial/territorial associations of psychology who make up the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP).

Invitation: 29 April, 14:00 UTC | 16:00 CEST The two psychologies of the pandemic: from ‘fragile rationality’ to ‘collective resilience’

As part of the International Science Council’s ongoing engagement with scholars and contemporary thinkers, this webinar, in partnership with the International Union of Psychological Science will consider how the pandemic is impacting on the psychological sciences.

The webinar will address the following two questions:
1. How have different branches of psychology provided useful insights into thinking about the pandemic and in formulating responses to the pandemic?
2. How has the pandemic impacted on developments within psychology and on the changing relationship of psychology to other disciplines?

The webinar, featuring Stephen Reicher as the Keynote Speaker will be moderated by Craig Calhoun with Rifka Weehuizen, Shahnaaz Suffla and Jay Van Bavel as discussants.

Saths Cooper, Deputy Chair of the ISC Committee on Freedom & Responsibility in Science (CFRS), and Past President of the International Union of Psychological Science will introduce the webinar.

“This timely webinar lays bare some of the stark contradictions that COVID-19 has exposed. Pandemic profiteering, vaccine nationalism and other narrow approaches to our global condition only deepen the chasm, increase insecurity and damage the opportunity to create a better future. Our fractured world needs healing and deeper understanding of the issues that the webinar will cover” Saths Cooper

To see more information and to register, please visit: https://council.science/events/psychology-of-pandemic/

Three Upcoming Career-focused Webinars for CPA Student Affiliates!

Building on the huge success of the CPA’s inaugural virtual Career Fair in November 2020, the CPA, in collaboration with the CPA’s Industrial/Organizational Section, will be hosting three career-focused webinars in the month of May for Student Affiliates of the CPA.

The sessions will focus on some of the most important elements in starting and advancing one’s career:

  1. Searching for a job and writing a customized CV/cover letter (May 6th, 1:00 – 2:00pm ET)
    https://secure.cpa.ca/apps/Pages/ams-event-details/160558?isPreview=False
  2. Preparing for an interview (May 13th, 1:00 – 2:00pm ET)
    https://secure.cpa.ca/apps/Pages/ams-event-details/160679?isPreview=False
  3. Negotiating an employment agreement/contract/salary (May 20th, 1:00 – 2:30pm ET).
    https://secure.cpa.ca/apps/Pages/ams-event-details/160684?isPreview=False

Please note that space is limited for each webinar and that registration for the webinars is restricted to CPA Student Affiliates.

Register now for any or all of the webinars. Cost for each webinar is $10.00.

Notice of the 2021 Annual General Meeting

The eighty-second Annual General Meeting of the members of the Canadian Psychological Association will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm (EST), for the purposes of:

  1. receiving and considering the annual report of the President and Committees of the Association, and approving the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting;
  2. receiving and considering the financial statements, the report of the Auditor and any change in Membership and Affiliation Fees; 
  3. appointing of an Auditor;
  4. election of the Board of Directors

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, on the sixth day of April 2021. 
Karen R. Cohen, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer


Call for Nominations for the 2021 CPA Board of Directors

Nominations are required for the positions of: 

  • Director-at-Large

Note: All Board terms are for three years (beginning in June).

As specified in By-Law 5.04, Directors shall be elected by the members by ordinary resolution at an annual meeting of members at which an election of Directors is required.

Instructions for Nominations

As per By-Law 5.06, any CPA Member can submit a nomination for election to the Board of Directors for the open positions, not less than 30 nor more than 65 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting of Members (AGM). A call for an electronic advance vote will be issued before the AGM. Advance voting will occur by electronic vote.

Members and Fellows of the Canadian Psychological Association are invited to make nominations for the position listed above.  Each nomination must include a curriculum vitae for the candidate, including educational background, present and former positions, and research and/or professional activities. It must be accompanied by a letter from the nominator and four letters of support that state the position for which the candidate is being nominated, express support for the candidate, and contains a statement to the effect that the nominator has ascertained the candidate’s willingness to stand for nomination. The nomination letter and letters of support must come from CPA Members or Fellows. In addition, each nomination must include a statement from the nominee, not to exceed 250 words, that indicates the nominee’s highest degree and current positions(s) as well as any credentials, major awards, and licenses held. Most importantly, the letter should detail the qualities, interests and goals the candidate brings to their nomination, as well as a picture to be used on the electronic ballot. 

The names and supporting materials of nominees must be received at CPA Head Office by May 10th, 2021 and should be sent by email to:
governance@cpa.ca

For the Present Board Representation please click here

Please take this opportunity to speak with colleagues and friends about running for a seat on the CPA Board of Directors.  Your association needs you – membership engagement makes for a strong and successful organization!

**Please note that CPA affiliates and associates are not eligible to run for a seat on the CPA Board of Directors.

CPA 2020-2021 Honorary President Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon

CPA 2020-2021 Honorary President Dr. Benoit-Antoine BaconThe CPA is excited to announce the selection of the 2020-2021 Honorary President. Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon, President & Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University, has graciously accepted the invitation from CPA President Dr. Kim Corace. Says Dr. Corace,

“Dr. Bacon has demonstrated tremendous leadership in promoting mental health and substance use awareness through the University, in the community and nationally. His tireless commitment to addressing and de-stigmatizing mental health and substance use has helped drive mental health transformation at Carleton University and beyond.”

The selection of Dr. Bacon as Honorary President is the most recent in a venerable list that includes Dr. Suzanne Stewart, Dr. Donna Markham, The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Ms. Mary Walsh, and more. We look forward to hearing Dr. Bacon’s address at the CPA’s 2021 Virtual Annual Convention, taking place June 7 – 25.

Passing of Dr. David R. Evans

The CPA Board and staff are saddened to announce the passing of Dr. David Evans, a past-President of the CPA (1996) and an Honorary Life Fellow. Dr. Evans was a professor emeritus at Western University, having been a professor in the clinical psychology program at Western for 30 years. Dr. Evans consulted to many health and police agencies over the course of his career and served on the leadership of several organizations of psychology provincially, nationally and internationally. Among his many publications, he is well known for his most recent books The Law, Standards, and Ethics in the Practice of Psychology (3rd ed., Carswell); Essential Interviewing (8th ed., Brooks/Cole); Cultural Clinical Psychology (Oxford University Press) and the Handbook of Clinical Health Psychology (Academic Press). The CPA extends its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. The discipline and profession is built on the contributions of its leaders.

Black History Month: Dr. Olivia Hooker

Dr. Olivia Hooker with President Obama
As a psychologist, Dr. Olivia Hooker worked to change the unfair treatment inflicted upon inmates at a New York State women’s correctional facility. In 1963 she went to work at Fordham University as an APA Honours Psychology professor, and was an early director at the Kennedy Child Study Center in New York City.

About Olivia Hooker

Olivia Hooker was six years old when she lived through the 1921 Tulsa race massacre in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She went on to become the first Black woman in the US Coast Guard, joining during World War II in February of 1945. She later went back to the Coast Guard, joining the Auxiliary in Yonkers, NY at the age of 95 in 2010.

Her GI benefits allowed her to get a Masters from Columbia University, followed by a PhD in psychology at the University of Rochester.

As a psychologist, Hooker worked to change the unfair treatment inflicted upon inmates at a New York State women's correctional facility. In 1963 she went to work at Fordham University as an APA Honours Psychology professor, and was an early director at the Kennedy Child Study Center in New York City.

Honoured by the American Psychological Association, the Coast Guard, President Obama, and a Google Doodle, Olivia Hooker died in 2018 at the age of 103.
#BlackHistoryMonth

Black History Month: Inez Beverly Prosser


Inez Beverly Prosser was a Texas native who taught in segregated schools in the early 1900s. She travelled to the University of Cincinnati to obtain her doctorate in 1933, making her the first Black woman with a PhD in psychology.

About Inez Beverly Prosser

Very little is known about Inez Beverly Prosser, a Texas native who taught in segregated schools in the early 1900s. Her state's universities were segregated, so she travelled to the University of Cincinnati to obtain her doctorate in 1933, making her the first Black woman with a PhD in psychology.

Sadly, Dr. Prosser was killed in a car accident a year after earning her PhD, but her dissertation was widely discussed for years afterward. She found that Black students in segregated schools had better mental health and social skills than those in integrated schools - in large part because of the prejudicial attitudes of the white teachers in those integrated schools. https://feministvoices.com/profiles/inez-beverly-prosser

Black History Month: Kenneth & Mamie Phipps Clark

February is Black History Month and to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions that Black Psychologists have made to the discipline and the world, the CPA will be highlighting historically significant Black Psychologists throughout the month (#BlackHistoryMonth).

Kenneth & Mamie Phipps Clark were psychologists famous for their ‘doll experiment’. Their findings, that even black children showed preference for white dolls from as early as three years old, played a role in outlawing segregation.

About Kenneth and Mamie Clark
Kenneth & Mamie Phipps Clark were psychologists famous for their 'doll experiment'. Their findings, that even black children showed preference for white dolls from as early as three years old, played a role in outlawing segregation.
The Clarks testified in the Briggs vs. Elliott case that challenged school segregation in South Carolina in 1952. That case later became one of five that were combined into the more famous Brown vs. Board of Education two years later.
Mamie was the director of the Northside Center for Child Development for three decades, and Kenneth was the first Black president of the American Psychological Association

Call for Applications! CPA Student Section Executive/ Appliquez pour une position au sein du conseil exécutif!

French version follows / La version française suit. 


Dear Fellow Students,

I hope you are all having a wonderful start of the Winter semester.

Although our academic year is only halfway over, we are already looking towards next year. The Student Section Executive is now accepting applications for our 2021-2022 Executive positions. A number of positions have become available for the 2021-2022 academic year:

(a) Chair-Elect
(b) Graduate Student Affairs Executive
(c) Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Executive (new position!)
(d) Francophone Affairs Executive

Detailed position descriptions in English and French can be found here or on our website: https://cpa.ca/students/about/executiveduties/

To apply for one of these five positions, please send the following to Alanna Chu, our Communications Executive at: com.cpastudentsection@gmail.com

  1. A statement of intent that indicates the position for which you are applying, why you would like to hold the position, and what qualities you would bring to the position (250-300 words)
  2. A short biography that includes information on academic activities, academic goals, and personal interests (250-300 words)
  3. Your curriculum vitae

You may submit application materials in either English or French. Statements of intent and biographies will be translated and posted on the CPA website for the election phase (30 days).

DEADLINE: February 28th, 2021 at 11:59 PM 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: chair.cpastudentsection@gmail.com

Looking forward to your applications!

Joanna Collaton
Chair, Section for Students in Psychology
Canadian Psychological Association

https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Students/Elections Information 2021.pdf


Chers étudiants,

J’espère que le début de votre session d’hiver se déroule à merveille.

Malgré le fait que l’année académique n’est encore qu’à mi-chemin, nous sommes déjà en train de penser à l’année prochaine. Le conseil exécutif pour la Section des étudiants de la SCP accepte maintenant des candidatures pour l’année 2021-2022. Un nombre positions sont devenues disponibles pour l’année académique 2021-2022 incluant:

(a) Président-désigné
(b) Directeur/Directrice des affaires de troisième cycle
(c) Directeur/Directrice de la justice, l’équité, la diversité et l’inclusion (nouvelle position !)
(d) Directeur/Directrice des affaires francophones

Des descriptions détaillées des positions et du processus d’élection peuvent être retrouvées ici ou sur notre site web : https://cpa.ca/fr/etudiants/etudiantsenpsychologie/sommaire-des-taches-executives/

Pour appliquer pour ces positions, s’il vous plait envoyez les documents suivants à Alanna Chu Palermo, notre directrice des communications, à l’adresse suivante: com.cpastudentsection@gmail.com

  1. Une déclaration d’intérêt qui indique la position pour laquelle vous désirez appliquer pour, pourquoi vous aimeriez occuper cette position et quelles qualités vous amèneriez à la position (250-300 mots maximum);
  2. Une courte biographie qui inclut de l’information sur vos activités académiques, vos objectifs académiques et vos intérêts personnels (250-300 mots maximum)
  3. Votre curriculum vitae

DATE LIMITE: 28 Février 2021 à 23h59

S’il vous plait soumettez vos documents d’application en anglais ou en français. Les déclarations d’intérêt et les biographies seront affichées sur le site web de la SCP pour l’élection après que tous les documents des postulants soient reçus le 28 Février 2021. Une période de vote de 30 jours suivra. Davantage d’information à propos des procédures de vote sera fournie à une date ultérieure.

Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à me contacter à l’adresse suivante : chair.cpastudentsection@gmail.com

Au plaisir de lire vos candidatures!

Joanna Collaton
Présidente, Section des étudiants en psychologie
Société canadienne de psychologie

https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Students/Elections Information 2021.pdf


Call for nominations for International Science Council Awards to be presented at the ISC General Assembly in 2021

The nominations are to recognize individuals, groups, and initiatives launched by the ISC and its members that serve to advance science as a global public good, by, for example promoting international, interdisciplinary scientific research cooperation, striving to bring scientific knowledge into the public domain, innovating in science education and outreach, or promoting the free and responsible practice of science. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for Canadian nominations in any of the five categories: Science for Sustainability, Science for Policy, Policy for Science, Scientific Freedom and Responsibility and Early Career Scientist.

Please submit nominations to Geoffroy Lambrecht, Geoffroy.lambrecht@nrc-crnc.gc.ca by February 5.

https://council.science/what-we-do/isc-awards-programme/

Welcome Ada L. Sinacore, PhD, CPA President-Elect

Welcome Ada L. Sinacore, PhD, CPA President-Elect

Ada L. Sinacore
The CPA is happy to announce that Professor Ada L. Sinacore has been elected by the CPA board as President for 2021-2022. Professor Sinacore will serve as President-Elect between now and the Annual General Meeting, at which point she will replace current president Dr. Kim Corace. While all members of the Board are elected by the membership, the President is elected by the Board.  Professor Sinacore’s appointment followed from a process inviting all members of the Board to submit a candidacy statement to the Board for consideration. After a review, the Board voted to elect Professor Sinacore from among the candidates.

Ada L. Sinacore, Ph.D. is a professor in, and the Graduate Program Director for, the Counselling Psychology Program at McGill UniversityAs well, she is an associate member of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and the Director of the Social Justice and Diversity Research Lab.  Professor Sinacore has over 25 years of experience working in the U.S., Canada, and abroad, and is internationally recognized for her expertise and extensive presentations, publications and activism addressing social justice and human rights concerns at the individual, institutional, societal and policy levels.

She is actively involved in research that addresses topics related to societal inequities and disparities in education and mental health such as workplace harassment, bullying, gender based violence and sexual violence. Additionally, Professor Sinacore has chaired the accreditation panel and has been active in a range of activities with CPA.  As well, she is a member of the advisory council of the Global Network of Psychologists for Human Rights. Professor Sinacore has received numerous honors and awards and is actively sought out for her expertise in consultation and program evaluation.

Professor Sinacore says,

“It is imperative during these uncertain times that we have leadership that is informed by Human Rights and Social Justice. Goal five of CPA’s Strategic Plan explicitly states: “To be an association that promotes and models equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all we do.” As we have seen in this past year the organization has a great deal of work to do with regard to EDI. As an academic who has devoted her career to producing scholarship and informing teaching using the lens of social justice and diversity, I believe any initiatives related to EDI need to be informed by the principles of human rights and social justice.”

Congratulations Professor Sinacore, we look forward to your leadership and collaboration in the coming year.


CPA’s “Psychology Works” Fact Sheets responding to COVID-19

The CPA has produced a series of Fact Sheets in response to the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Why Does Culture Matter to COVID-19? – PDF | HTML 06/04/2020
  • Grief, Bereavement and COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 05/12/2020
  • Research Funding Information as relates to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 05/08/2020
  • Guidance for Psychology Students as Relates to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 05/08/2020
  • Guidance for Psychology Faculty and Researchers as Relates to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 05/08/2020
  • Emotional and Psychological Challenges Faced by Frontline Health Care Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic – PDF | HTML 04/07/2020
  • Psychological Practice and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – PDF | HTML 03/18/2020
  • Student Wellness and COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 04/02/2020
  • Helping Teens Cope with the Impacts of and Restrictions Related to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 03/31/2020
  • Psychological Impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – PDF | HTML 03/20/2020
  • Working from Home During COVID-19, With and Without Children – PDF | HTML 03/17/2020
  • Coping With and Preventing COVID-19 – PDF | HTML 04/04/2020

You can find all of our “Psychology Works” Fact Sheets here


Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science Call for Nominations – Editor: 2021 – 2025

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has opened nominations for the Editorship of Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science for the years 2021-2025. Candidates must be members of the CPA and should be available to start receiving manuscripts July 1, 2021 to prepare for issues to be published in 2022.

To self-nominate or nominate candidates, prepare a brief statement of approximately one page in support of the nomination. Nominations, accompanied by the nominee’s vitae, should be submitted before January 22, 2021 to:

Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker
ATTENTION: Chair, CPA Publications Committee
Canadian Psychological Association
Email: executiveoffice@cpa.ca

Interested individuals may obtain more information directly from the Editor, Allison J. Ouimet via email at Allison.Ouimet@uottawa.ca.

Click here to download the announcement (PDF)


The CPA is now receiving abstracts for its 2021 convention.


Spanning three weeks from June 7th – 25th, the CPA’s 2021 Virtual Event will provide many opportunities for personal and professional growth, and highlight the many ways in which the science, practice, and education of psychology can benefit society, improve lives, and advance the discipline.

Click here to submit an abstract.

  1. Deadline for submissions for 3- and 6-hour workshops extended to January 22nd, 2021.
  2. Deadline for submissions for all other presentation types is January 22nd, 2021.

CPA members, affiliates and non-members and non-affiliates are encouraged to submit!

If you have any questions, please consult the FAQ page.


CPA’s 2020 Student Research Grants: Rules and Eligibility Criteria – DEADLINE NOV. 27th, 4pm!

CANADIAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION STUDENT RESEARCH GRANTS : RULES AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) wishes to support student research in all areas of psychology.

Funding up to $1,500.00 is available per project.  For 2020, a maximum of 10 awards will be dispersed.  Deadline for applications is Friday November 27, 2020 at 4pm EST.

At the time of application and if successful, over the term of the grant, the applicant/grantee must be a graduate student affiliate in good standing of the CPA; enrolled full-time in a psychology graduate program at a provincially or territorially chartered Canadian University. The applicant’s/grantee’s direct supervisor must also be a member in good standing of the CPA.

Students can only be funded once from this funding opportunity.

The adjudication committee will consider the following in evaluating proposals:

  1. Applicant’s Qualifications
    • Scholarships & Awards
    • Publications
    • Conference Presentations & Other Relevant Experience
  2. Merits of Proposal
    • Rationale & Background
    • Feasibility, Design & Methods
    • Potential Impact & Originality

NEW THIS YEAR!

CPA logoCSBBCS logo

One additional award valued at $1,500.00 will be given out to a proposal specific to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences; this award is financially co-sponsored by Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS).  To apply for this award, a student applicant/grantee and their supervisor must be an affiliate/member in good standing, at the time of application and over the term of the grant (if successful), of either the CPA or the CSBBCS.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Applications must be submitted electronically via this link: https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=15577

Applications can be submitted in English or in French.

Application requirements include:

  1. An abstract of 250 words or less summarizing the research.
  2. A description (maximum 5 double-spaced pages including references, figures) outlining:
    1. the rationale and background, feasibility, design and methods, potential impact, and originality
  3. Status/proof of REB review process (i.e. acknowledgement/confirmation from REB that application has been received, process is underway, or approval has been granted)
  4. Specific amount requested, including an itemized budget.
  5. CV of applying student.
  6. A statement from the student’s department chair that the department supports the student’s application and will comply with the CPA’s rules for funds administration if the student’s application is successful. The letter must note that expenditures will only be authorized once REB approval or registration is obtained.  The appropriate University administrator’s name, email address, postal address, title and business phone number should be indicated.

Applications not meeting all of the proposal requirements will not be considered for funding.

RELEASE OF FUNDS

For funded projects, the CPA will release funds upon receiving a valid certificate of compliance from the Research Ethics Board (REB) of the applicant’s institution along with confirmation of affiliate status from the CPA’s Membership Department (or the CSBBCS’s Membership Department in the case of the CPA-CSBBCS Joint Award).

RESPONSIBILITIES OF GRANT RECIPIENTS

Successful applicants will be expected to provide a final (or progress) report to the CPA’s Scientific Affairs Committee (science@cpa.ca) of the outcome of their research (approximately 500 words) within 18-months of receiving funding. Successful applicants will also be expected to submit a 150-word write up of their research for Psynopsis, the CPA’s quarterly magazine. The CPA should be acknowledged in any publications or presentations resulting from the research.  Unused funds after the defense of the thesis must be returned to the CPA.

GENERAL RULES

  • Note that only one of the following grants can be held at any given time: CPA Student Research Grant, CPA Student Section Research Grant, BMS-sponsored Research or Leadership Grant. Eligible students can apply for one or more of these grants but can only hold one grant.
  • At the time of application and if successful, over the term of the grant, the applicant/grantee must be a graduate student affiliate in good standing of the CPA (or the CSBBCS in the case of the CPA-CSBBCS Joint Award); enrolled full time in a psychology graduate program at provincially or territorially chartered Canadian University.
  • At the time of application and over the term of the grant (if successful), the applicant’s/grantee’s direct supervisor must also be a member in good standing of the CPA (or the CSBBCS in the case of the CPA-CSBBCS Joint Award)
  • Proposals with co-applicants will not be accepted/considered.
  • Grants are awarded to eligible student researchers and are administered through the institution’s administration systems. The student grantee authorizes expenditures in accordance with the CPA’s policies and requirements, as outlined here, and with institution policies. No one may initiate or authorize expenditures from the CPA grant account without the student grantee’s delegated authority.
  • Grant funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research for which the funds were awarded, and the benefits should be directly attributable to the grant. The institution pays for the indirect or overhead costs associated with managing the research funded by CPA.
  • Expenditures will only be authorized once Research Ethics Board (REB) approval is obtained.
  • Each institution establishes appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that the CPA’s requirements are followed. The institution has the right and responsibility to withhold and withdraw approval of expenditures proposed by a student grantee that contravene the CPA’s requirements or the institution’s policies and, when appropriate, to seek advice or ruling from the CPA as to eligibility of expenses.
  • The CPA follows the Canadian tax regulation for reporting and as such, will be required to issue a T4A. Please contact the CPA’s Executive Assistant, Kimberley Black via telephone: Local: 613-237-2144, ext. 323; Toll-free : 1-888-472-0657 ext. 323, to provide your Social Insurance Number.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

  • Research personnel (e.g., research assistant)
  • Consulting fees (e.g., programmer, statistician)
  • Fees paid for the purpose of participant recruitment, such as modest incentives to consider participation (i.e., to establish a potential participant pool), where approved by a Research Ethics Board
  • Fees paid to research participants, such as modest incentives for participation, where approved by a Research Ethics Board
  • Materials

NON-ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

  • Costs of alcohol
  • Costs of entertainment, hospitality and gifts
  • Travel/registration/accommodation costs related to attending a conference
  • Costs related to staff awards and recognition
  • Education-related costs such as thesis preparation, tuition and course fees, leading up to a degree
  • Costs involved in the preparation of teaching materials
  • Costs of basic services such as heat, light, water, compressed air, distilled water, vacuums and janitorial services supplied to all laboratories in a research facility
  • Insurance costs for buildings or equipment
  • Costs associated with regulatory compliance, including ethical review, biohazard, or provincial or municipal regulations and by-laws
  • Monthly parking fees for vehicles, unless specifically required for field work
  • Sales taxes to which an exemption or rebate applies
  • Costs of regular clothing
  • Patenting expenses
  • Costs of moving a lab

APPLICATION FORM

You cans submit your application here: https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=15577

BMS Scholarship: Student Research and Leadership Development – DEADLINE NOV. 27th, 4pm!

BMS SCHOLARSHIP:

STUDENT RESEARCH AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Sponsored by BMS, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychology (CPAP) wish to support student research and leadership development in all areas of psychology.

For 2020:

  • Up to two (2) awards will be dispersed per project for research-based submissions, at amounts up to $2,500.00 per application.
  • Up to five (5) awards will be dispersed to individuals wishing to pursue training, either practice or leadership focused, at amounts up to $500.00 per application.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

At the time of application and if successful, over the term of the grant,

  • the applicant must be a current graduate student affiliate of the CPA and/or a current graduate student member of a provincial psychological association; enrolled full time in a psychology graduate program at a provincially or territorially chartered Canadian University; and
  • the applicant’s direct supervisor must also be a current member of the CPA and/or a provincial psychological association.

Of note, students can only be funded once during the lifetime of this funding program.

Applications by co-applicants will not be accepted/considered.

USE OF FUNDS

Awarded funds can be used to cover expenses as follows:

Research-Based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
Direct research costs such as participant honorarium equipment, research assistant (see Eligible and Not Eligible Expenses for full list) but cannot be used to fund travel to attend conferences. Enrollment in a course/workshop, registration for a leadership or practice event, or other activity with appropriate justification.

ADJUDICATION OF APPLICATIONS

In evaluating applications, the adjudication committee will consider the following:

Research-Based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
Applicant’s Qualifications (scholarships & awards, publications, conference presentations & other relevant experience)

Merits of Proposal (rationale & background; feasibility, design & methods; potential impact & originality)

Relevance to career development

Area of psychological study and practice

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Applications can be submitted in English or in French. Applications not meeting all proposal requirements will not be considered for funding.

Research-based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
·         An abstract of 250 words or less summarizing the research project.

·         A description (maximum 5 double-spaced pages including references, figures) outlining the rationale and background, feasibility, design and methods, potential impacts, and originality.

·         Status/proof of REB review process. (i.e. acknowledgement/confirmation from REB that application has been received, process is underway, or approval has been granted)

·         Specific amount requested, including an itemized budget.  If the BMS funding will only cover part of the costs, indicate institutional, personal, or other sources of support sought or obtained.

·         CV of applying student.

·         A statement from the student’s department chair that the department supports the student’s application and will comply with the CPA’s rules for funds administration if the student’s application is successful.  The appropriate University administrator’s name, email address, postal address, title, and business phone number should be indicated. For research applications, the letter must note that expenditures will only be authorized once REB approval is obtained.

·         A description (maximum 5 double-spaced pages) outlining the focus of the practice or leadership activity, an overview of when/were the activity will take place, duration of the activity, intended objectives of the activity, and relevance to the applicant’s career development.

·         Status/proof of event/activity registration.

·         Specific amount requested.  If the BMS funding will only cover part of the costs, indicate institutional, personal, or other sources of support sought or obtained.

·         CV of applying student.

·         A statement from the student’s department chair that the department supports the student’s application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION PROCESS

Applications for the 2020 awards must be received by 4pm EST on November 27, 2020.  The winners will be announced by late December.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the appropriate link

Research-Based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=30292 https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=30405

RELEASE OF FUNDS

For funded research projects, the CPA will release funds to the student’s university upon receiving a valid certificate of compliance from the Research Ethics Board (REB) of the applicant’s institution.

For funded practice and leadership-focused activities, the CPA will release funds directly to the funded applicant upon receiving confirmation of registration in the specified activity.

GENERAL RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF GRANT RECIPIENTS
Note that only one of the following grants can be held at any given time: CPA Student Research Grant, CPA Student Section Research Grant, BMS-sponsored Research or Leadership Grant. Eligible students can apply for one or more of these grants but can only hold one grant.

Successful applicants will be expected to provide a final (or progress) report to the CPA (approximately 500 words) within 18 months of receiving funding; successful applicants will also be expected to submit a 150-word write up for Psynopsis and their provincial association’s newsletter or website.

BMS should be acknowledged in any publications or presentations resulting from the research or presenting on the leadership or practice activity.

Research funds are awarded to eligible students and are administered through the institution’s administration systems. The student grantee authorizes expenditures in accordance with the CPA’s policies and requirements, as outlined here, and with institution policies. No one may initiate or authorize expenditures from the CPA grant account without the student grantee’s delegated authority. Each institution establishes appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that the CPA’s requirements are followed. The institution has the right and responsibility to withhold and withdraw approval of expenditures proposed by a student grantee that contravene the CPA’s requirements or the institution’s policies and, when appropriate, to seek advice or ruling from the CPA as to eligibility of expenses.

Funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research or practice/leadership training for which the funds were awarded, and the benefits should be directly attributable to the grant. For research awards, the institution pays for the indirect or overhead costs associated with managing the research funded by the CPA.

The CPA follows the Canadian tax regulation for reporting and as such, will be required to issue a T4A.  The CPA will provide funded applicants with a secure link by which to obtain their social insurance number.

ELIGIBLE RESEARCH GRANT EXPENSES

  • Research personnel (e.g., research assistant)
  • Consulting fees (e.g., programmer, statistician)
  • Fees paid for the purpose of participant recruitment, such as modest incentives to consider participation (i.e., to establish a potential participant pool), where approved by a Research Ethics Board
  • Fees paid to research participants, such as modest incentives for participation, where approved by a Research Ethics Board
  • Materials

ELIGIBLE PRACTICE/LEADERSHIP EXPENSES

  • Registration fees to participate in practice or leadership event
  • Fees for print or digital materials to support learning objectives of event
  • Travel and hotel costs to attend in-person even
  • Meal costs (based on CPA schedule) not otherwise provided by in-person event

NON-ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

  • Costs of alcohol
  • Costs of entertainment, hospitality and gifts
  • Travel/registration/accommodation costs related to attending a conference
  • Costs related to staff awards and recognition
  • Education-related costs such as thesis preparation, tuition and course fees, leading up to a degree
  • Costs involved in the preparation of teaching materials
  • Costs of basic services such as heat, light, water, compressed air, distilled water, vacuums and janitorial services supplied to all laboratories in a research facility
  • Insurance costs for buildings or equipment
  • Costs associated with regulatory compliance, including ethical review, biohazard, or provincial or municipal regulations and by-laws
  • Monthly parking fees for vehicles, unless specifically required for field work
  • Sales taxes to which an exemption or rebate applies
  • Costs of regular clothing
  • Patenting expenses
  • Costs of moving a lab

Spotlight: CPA Campus Representative Kaytlin Constantin

Kaytlin Constantin photo
photo credit Bianca Sabatini Photography

Emily and Lucy

One of these days, and hopefully sooner rather than later, Kaytlin Constantin is going to kick someone in the ribs. She was scheduled to compete at a kickboxing tournament in May, but it got postponed. And postponed again. And postponed once more. She’s looking forward to the day it actually takes place, but is hoping she will not be competing in the 55-and-older division by the time it does. Rib-kicking is much worse for you when you are 55 and older. In the meantime, kickboxing helps with confidence, and with determination. Kaytlin says,

“A trainer I once had told me ‘What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you.’ So when I’m going through a tough time I tell myself this, that maybe it’s an opportunity for growth. To me it means, some goals can be hard, but that it also means you’re growing toward something or achieving something.”

Despite the ups and downs of 2020, Kaytlin is still growing toward something. She is, like the rest of us, kicking it at home. She is a CPA Campus Rep at the University of Guelph, which means she’s involved in all aspects of the campus rep program. She describes it as being the middle person for all the other reps. That means organizing and helping the other student reps to fulfil their duties, being a liaison between students and the university, and also between students and the CPA.

The Campus Rep job is primarily about making connections and helping navigate processes. Students who want to become CPA Student Reps, who want to present at the CPA Convention, or who are looking to submit articles to Mindpad, the newsletter publication written, edited, and published by the CPA Section for students.

Kaytlin did her undergrad degree at Lakehead, where she was a CPA Undergrad Rep. That means she’s been repping the CPA for about five years now, and seems to have no intention of stopping here.

“When I was an undergrad rep, I led a workshop for other students to help them create posters for the CPA convention. It was the first experience I had in more of a leadership role. Learning what the CPA convention is all about, and becoming familiar with the guidelines and expectations, was a big step in my journey to take on more leadership roles and duties.”

Perhaps Kaytlin’s lengthy involvement with CPA helped paved the way for her success. As a fourth year PhD Candidate in clinical child psychology, Kaytlin holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards available for Canadian graduate students. With this funding, she has been working on her dissertation, supervised by Dr. Meghan McMurtry in the Pediatric Pain, Health and Communication (PPHC) lab, which focuses on better understanding the way parents respond when their child is in acute pain, like during a needle procedure. Related to this, she and a team of clinicians and researchers have been working on a virtual intervention for parents and children, to help kids manage their fear of needles. Which, it turns out, is an even more timely research project than anyone could have imagined nine months ago.

TAKE FIVE WITH KAYTLIN CONSTANTIN

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
The idea of self-compassion, recently, has been huge for me. The notion of responding to your own pain and suffering with the same warmth and kindness that you would to a friend. What’s amazing is how strong an effect that can have on someone’s overall well-being. I used to think being critical of myself made me a better student, researcher, clinician. But I’ve come to realize through my work in this program, and through my research, that self-compassion is an empowering and beneficial psychological skill to practice.

Favourite book
I have a favourite type of book. I like memoirs and autobiographies. I like learning about peoples’ life experiences, and I think that when someone has had a very different life experience from your own, to learn about that person’s life and to develop more perspective. Recently I’ve read Educated by Tara Westover, and Born A Crime by Trevor Noah.

Favourite word
Right now, I think I’d have to say ‘certainly’. I’ve always struggled with my confidence, and appearing confident in my work. And I feel like sometimes adding the word ‘certainly’ can help me feel more confident.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
I’m going to say AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). I think she’s just phenomenal, and her advocacy around racial, economic, social justice, environmental issues is so inspiring. I would love to be able to pick her brain one day, or just shadow her for a day to see what her days are like and what her strategies and approaches are for the work she does.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Probably something related to politics or policy works. I feel really passionate about making psychological services more accessible. Often in my day-to-day work, I feel that a systems-level change is needed, and we can’t separate health, including mental health, from socio-economic and demographic factors. And so, I think that it’s important for those of us in a position where we have a voice to be able to advocate and work toward making services more accessible and inclusive.

Kaytlin always knew she wanted to work with children, and is well on her way to doing so. Growing up in the small Northern Ontario mining town of Marathon, she never thought the path to working with children would have been psychology – her only exposure and knowledge of the discipline was through movies and television. Like the therapist who shows up in some episodes of Law & Order: SVU. But a particularly inspirational high school English teacher began to speak about the human condition, and the human mind, in the context of Shakespeare and other classic works. That teacher told Kaytlin about all the various paths psychology could provide, and she determined she was going to learn about the mind, and why people do what they do. Now here she is, just a few years later, preparing a five-week therapeutic intervention to help kids manage their fears.

Growing up in such a remote community, Kaytlin has been keenly aware of some of the impediments to receiving psychological services. She knows first-hand how geographic location can be one of the biggest barriers to receiving needed care and attention. With the intervention she’s planning, she sees the benefit of tele-psychology, especially for people in more remote locations. She also sees the more rapid embrace of technology, accelerated by the pandemic, that has allowed some of those barriers to be lessened.

Ah yes, the pandemic. It’s sort of impossible to talk to anyone now without discussing it in some way. It’s keeping us cooped up inside, preventing us from meeting at large conventions, and canceling kickboxing tournaments indefinitely. Kaytlin is taking it all in stride, and says she has been lucky enough to be able to work from home, continue with her dissertation and clinical activities, and carry on with her duties as a CPA Campus Rep, like organizing workshops – it’s just that now, they’re over Zoom. She’s especially interested in getting other students involved, whether they be collaborating with another psychology student association or signing up to be a CPA Undergrad Rep.

“It’s a great opportunity for networking, as well as a chance to develop some more leadership skills. Getting connected with other psychology student associations, becoming informed about what kind of psychology initiatives they’re involved in, and helping support and promote a community in psychology has been a wonderful experience.”

And the kickboxing? It seems like one of those sports that would be difficult to do while maintaining physical distancing. To keep up with training, does Kaytlin have anyone in her bubble who could be a willing (or unwilling) sparring partner?

“I have had to get creative…I think maybe some friends from my gym would be willing to mask up and hold pads to train, we’ll have to see! Life does go on!”

Life does, indeed, go on. Kaytlin will get her PhD. More people will connect to psychologists through remote internet platforms. Children will overcome their fear of needles. And some day, hopefully sooner rather than later, Kaytlin will earn points in competition for kicking someone right in the ribs.

The CPA has created an electronic submission system for Providers and Sponsors submitting applications to grant CPA-approved Continuing Education credit through CPA’s Continuing Education (CE) Approval Programme.

The CPA has created an electronic submission system for Providers and Sponsors submitting applications to grant CPA-approved Continuing Education credit through CPA’s Continuing Education (CE) Approval Programme.

This change also applies to existing Sponsors submitting Annual Reports for 2020-2021. This change in submission procedures includes the development of an online system for processing credit card payments. Details are available at https://cpa.ca/professionaldevelopment/applicationforms/ (English) or https://cpa.ca/fr/professionaldevelopment/applicationforms/ (French).

Spotlight: CPA Student Mentor Emily Cruikshank and Mentee Lucy Muir

Emily Cruikshank photo

Emily and Lucy

In 1958 a woman named Sue immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong. She faced a language barrier, culture shock, and a brand-new community into which she was entering. It must have been quite difficult, but also quite fascinating, to experience everything that was new and different about our country. Emily Cruikshank thinks about Sue, her grandmother, a lot. What frightened her? What amused her? What did she find overwhelming, and what did she take to right away? And how did she manage to make connections with other people despite all the obstacles?

Emily thinks about Sue because her experience has been very different. Emily makes connections quite easily, sometimes in ways that come as a surprise.
Lucy Muir photo
When students sign up for the CPA’s Student Mentorship program, they fill out a questionnaire that, much like a dating site, pairs them with a mentor or mentee that shares common traits. Are they looking to follow a similar career path? Is their reason for choosing psychology aligned with that of the other person? What are they looking to get out of their school, their courses, and their affiliation with the CPA?

Every now and then, the partnership that is formed goes well beyond the commonalities identified by that questionnaire. Such is the case with Lucy Muir, an undergrad psychology student at Ryerson, and her mentor Emily Cruikshank, a PhD student at the University of Alberta.

Emily is really into popular music – the way pop songs affect people, the way they influence culture, and the music of history that shapes the music of today. Before going to Ryerson for psychology, Lucy spent six years working across Canada in the radio industry.

TAKE FIVE WITH EMILY CRUIKSHANK AND LUCY MUIR

What is the psychological concept (bystander apathy, confirmation bias, that sort of thing) that blew you away when you first heard it?
Emily: So many! Psychology is such a rich and interesting field. But one that really shook me has to do with situational attribution or the idea that the role you are given can impact your behaviour so much. When I first learned about the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Shock Experiment I could not believe that people could do such awful things based on suggestions. But once I understood the motivation behind these actions I realized that none of us are that far off from “shocking” an innocent person!
Lucy: The rubber hand illusion! That’s and experiment where the participant has one hand out on the table, and their other hand is hidden behind an object. Then the researcher puts a rubber hand where that hidden hand would ordinarily be, beside the real hand. Then the researcher strokes your hidden hand and the rubber hand at the same time. Eventually, the participant feels the sensation IN the rubber hand. They feel as if that rubber hand is part of their body!

Do you have a sport? What is it and do you watch, play, follow it?
Emily: I am slowly getting better at long-distance running, and I love following some of the big long-distance runners in Canada and all over the world. But my all-time favourite sport is Rhythmic Gymnastics. I was on a provincial-level team when I was a young girl and I fell in love with the strength and beauty of the sport. I think it is such an amazing combination of athleticism, dance and art. My mom and I always watch the world championships and the Olympics together.
Lucy: Both of us are long distance runners. When I’d go for a long run, weird stuff was happening in my brain, and that’s one of the things that got me into psychology – I thought, ‘I want to know more about what is going on!’

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why
Lucy: As I’m answering all these questions, I’m thinking maybe I want to be a Broadway star! I’m always thinking about Broadway. So I’d love to spend a day in the mind and shoes of any of the cast members of Hamilton!
Emily: Oh my gosh, right!? I totally agree. Anyone from Hamilton. But I still think I would choose my grandma when she first came to Canada. I have always been so amazed at her strength in coming to Canada from Hong Kong and wondered what it must have been like for her.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Emily: I would love to be an expert in popular music. It’s an area I love, I took one class in my undergraduate degree on the topic, and I think it is so cool that you could become an academic on something that impacts and changes our culture so heavily and at such a quick pace!
Lucy: There’s so much! But I would probably say physics, like quantum physics or something. I was really into math in high school and I didn’t go anywhere with it, but I’ve always found it fascinating.

Favourite word
Emily: Empower
Lucy: Burrito

Lucy is a passionate long-distance runner, and gets out to run every day as she finds it helps her mental health, especially during this pandemic where she is stuck inside so much of the time. Emily is also a distance runner, and has done 10k races and half marathons.

And, of course, they share a passion for psychology. When Lucy describes being blown away by the rubber hand illusion, Emily chimes in right away – that WAS amazing, wasn’t it? She expands on the concept, describing how that particular phenomenon has led to some interesting therapies for people with amputated limbs.

Theirs is a symbiotic mentor-mentee relationship. They meet about once a month, and Lucy tells Emily all about what she’s doing, and where she might need help. Recently, she needed some clarification on the very broad concept of ‘consciousness’.

“I just talked to Emily about it. I wasn’t quite getting what consciousness actually was, and we basically talked it out. Emily wasn’t giving me a quick nice definition for what it is – because that might not even exist – but we just talked it out. And now I get it a lot better. We also talk about just general school things, like doing classes over Zoom, and that’s pretty great.”

It’s pretty great for Emily as well. When the opportunity came up to become a mentor, she realized she wished she had had one herself as a young undergrad. So she signed up, was paired with Lucy, and they entered the program together. But that was only the beginning for Emily, who became quite inspired with the process – enough to extend her mentorship far beyond just the CPA program.

“I got really excited about [being a mentor] because I’m a big advocate of mentoring, especially for people who are looking to move forward in their studies in psychology. When I got into grad school, I wanted to participate in bridging the gap between people in undergraduate work who were interested but maybe didn’t know what options were out there. I’m really happy that the CPA is doing this kind of program because I think it’s so helpful. My program at the University of Alberta has their own internal mentoring program, so I’m also mentoring a student in the first year of their Masters program. I even do some work at my undergrad alma mater [MacEwan University] where I go into one of the 400-level classes each semester and do a Q&A about graduate school with them.”

Imagine how Sue’s life would have been different had she had a mentor when she arrived in Canada. Someone to show her who the Chinese-speaking community was, where to find the groceries she wanted, how to navigate finding employment, housing, and education for her family. Even without a mentor Sue managed to overcome all the hurdles she faced, with a strength that impresses Emily to this day.

Sue passed down some of that strength to Emily, who now shares some of it with Lucy. Lucy brings a strength of her own to Ryerson, to her studies, and to this partnership with Emily. Together, they are better off than they would be alone – and the fact that they enjoy speaking with one another is a nice bonus.

Perhaps one day they can meet in person, maybe at a race weekend half-marathon event somewhere in Canada. In the meantime, Emily will complete her PhD and go into the clinical work toward which she’s been working. Lucy will make her way through psychology studies, her future and a variety of career paths wide open to her. She says her initial attraction to the discipline came from sport psychology. Emily jumps in.

“My husband was telling me how these e-sport teams even have their own sport psychologists now, who work with them on their training for video game competitions. They do it in Korea and China, and I just thought wow – that’s a whole other level of sports psychology!”

So how about that for a career path, Lucy? Sports psychologist for a Korean team of Super Smash Brothers experts?

“Yep, done. Decision made. This is now what I’m working toward, officially.”

Call for applications for TUTOR-PHC

This call for applications for TUTOR-PHC is open to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, mid-career clinicians, and decision makers from across primary health care. Please find more information below or distribute to people in your organization or department that may be interested in this opportunity. Thank you.

What is the TUTOR-PHC program?

Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research – Primary Health Care (TUTOR-PHC), is a one-year, pan-Canadian interdisciplinary research capacity building program that has been training primary and integrated health care researchers, clinicians and decision-makers from family medicine, nursing, psychology, epidemiology, social work, occupational therapy, education, policy and many other disciplines since 2003.

CLick her for the Flyer PDF (version français ici)
Why apply?

  • Primary health care interdisciplinary research training
  • Earn University Credit & MAINPRO+ credits
  • Valuable feedback on your own primary health care research
  • Gain increased knowledge and skills in Patient-Oriented Research
  • Mentorship from experienced interdisciplinary primary health care researchers and decision-makers
  • NETWORKING experiences with research mentors & 200+ pan-Canadian / international alumni
  • Interdisciplinary team experience

TUTOR-PHC trainees gain enhanced evidence-informed decision making & leadership skills to help them become the primary health care leaders of tomorrow.

  • Each trainee will be responsible for a $3000 CND program fee

The deadline to apply is   November 30, 2020

For more information, please go to the website at: www.uwo.ca/fammed/csfm/tutor-phc

 Please contact Project Coordinator, Rob Van Hoorn (tutor@uwo.ca) if you are interested in applying.

Spotlight: Alejandra Botia, Chair-Elect of the Student Section of the CPA, and the Student Representative on the CPA Board of Directors

Alejandra Botia

“To know how to persevere
when the way grows long
and does not end
To find in the roots the answer to
this undeciphered story”

– Fonseca, ‘Vida sagrada’

Alright, these are not the actual lyrics to the Fonseca song ‘Vida sagrada’, they’re a weak English translation to the Spanish lyrics. Fonseca is a Colombian singer, and ‘Vida sagrada’ is a song about war, conflict, income inequality, and environmentalism. And, despite such heavy subject matter, it will make you want to get up and dance, just as Alejandra Botia said it would. If there’s one thing Alejandra knows (besides psychology) it’s salsa dancing.

Alejandra has only recently begun to reconnect with her Colombian roots (like salsa dancing, and Fonseca). She and her family moved to Canada when she was 12 years old, and she began quickly to detach from her country’s culture. She stopped listening to Spanish music, she started focusing entirely on the English language, and becoming integrated into Canadian culture. She became a competitive swimmer, and started the journey of lifelong learning that led her to psychology.

Alejandra is currently pursuing her PhD in Counselling Psychology at UBC. She is the Chair-Elect of the Student Section of the CPA, and she is the Student Representative on the CPA Board of Directors and will be for the duration of her term as Chair-Elect, Chair, and then Past Chair of the section. As is the custom. The way of a student in psychology is long, and does not necessarily have an end to it – but Alejandra says the experiences along the way are invaluable.

“The main reason that I wanted to become chair-elect, and be on the board, is that throughout my experiences as a student I’ve become really passionate about student engagement and professional development. It’s all about the opportunities that come up along the way that make our educational experience that much more rewarding than if you’re just going through courses and doing what you have to do.”

TAKE FIVE WITH ALEJANDRA BOTIA

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
The concept of bystander apathy blew my mind in a way. It was a simple way to understand something that always seemed complex in my mind. It always seemed odd that people could see others in need of help, and yet their actions were not helpful. I was trying to understand what happened in those situations, where people just kind of froze. A better understanding of this allows me to act differently in a situation where someone needs help.
I was at a restaurant at my sister’s birthday dinner, and there was a car that crashed straight into the store across the street. Thankfully it was late at night and it was closed, so no one was inside. I remember the sound was so loud, everybody came out of the restaurant and they were standing, assessing what had happened and I think assessing whether someone needed help. But I noticed that it wasn’t everyone who got closer to see if that person needed help, and not everybody was picking up their phones to call 911. It was only a few people who were doing that, while everyone else was kind of standing still. That was a situation where I thought about bystander apathy, and how it affects our ability to help someone who might be in need.

Favourite book?
One of my favourites I’ve read recently is Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. It just speaks to so many issues that I feel passionate about. It touches on body image and eating disorders, and also on the idea of gender – becoming a woman. How much of that process in the world we think is natural, but really a lot of it is learned.

Favourite quote?
“Breathe, let go, and remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure” – Oprah Winfrey
I think COVID has some influence over why that’s my favourite quote right now, and also going through this PhD process where there are so many moving parts that demand my attention. I need to remember that if I don’t find ways to stay present and mindful, that time just goes by. And it goes by quite quickly.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
I’ve been following Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for a while now. I would love to be in her brain for a day. I find her so confident, and eloquent, and strong. I think what I admire the most about her is how she doesn’t allow what others think of her to stop her from taking a stand on what she believes.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
I’d have to say the ocean. When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist. I think that’s because when I was five, I thought that meant you would just get to play with dolphins all the time. But I’m still fascinated by it now, and I think if I could be an expert in ocean matters, that would be amazing.

Alejandra chose psychology because she wanted to learn how to help people by facilitating their work toward accomplishing their goals and experience higher levels of wellbeing. Over many years of study, she has become passionate about the intersection of psychology and areas of social justice. She’s extremely interested in how psychology can influence change at the societal level. Being a CPA board member has helped in this pursuit, not only as an inspiration but as an affirmation of those passions.

“One of the ways being part of these initiatives, and being on the board, has really helped me is that I can take that passion and learn how to transform it in a practical way. I’m learning how to take action, how to communicate with the rest of my team, brainstorming ideas so we can best benefit the Student Section. But also it’s teaching me to speak up, and learning that it’s okay to speak up. Bringing forward new initiatives and new ideas where there are people who will hear you, and who will support you. That’s what has made this a really wonderful experience already.”

Alejandra is not simply content with making the most of the opportunities afforded her as the Chair-Elect of the Student Section or the Student Representative on the CPA Board. She is also keenly invested in breaking new ground. For example, she and her cohort recently created the Counseling Psychology Student Association. She is proud of what her team, including Katie McCloskey , Syler Hayes, Sarah Woolgar, and Christopher Cook has accomplished in a short time. As Chair-Elect, she coordinates the mentorship program and contributes to newsletters, the adjudication of student grants, and to the annual conference by helping with the organization of the student section events.

Along with some teammates, she will soon be leading a workshop on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Alejandra’s main job, of course, is to work in collaboration with the Executive Team, continuously reflecting on how they can better serve our student community. All this while pursuing her other passions in the field of psychology – women’s leadership, vocational growth, and factors related to resilience in eating disorders. So what inspired her to take on even more on top of all this, to become as involved as she has in the future of Canadian psychology?

“I think one thing that drew me to it is that I’m becoming more and more involved in understanding matters relating to the intersection of psychology and social justice. So learning how to come prepared, how to be ready to speak about it, and stand by it without fear of what might happen, was a major part of what I hoped to gain by getting involved. And I have!”

Some time ago, Alejandra gave up competitive swimming and started to focus on salsa dancing. Despite the pandemic, she’s able to keep up with her lessons – she met her partner salsa dancing, and so the two of them can get some dancing in at home, in those fleeting downtimes where there is no school, and there are no executive duties, to which she must attend.

Re-connecting with her Colombian roots has been transformational for Alejandra. As Fonseca sings, she is finding in her roots the answer to an undeciphered story. It’s a story she’s currently writing, in a project she has tentatively called ‘Letters to Stella’. Stella was Alejandra’s grandmother, with whom she was very close. Stella would sometimes visit from Colombia, and Alejandra would sometimes go there to visit Stella. Sometimes, when she’s feeling down or overwhelmed, she thinks about Stella and what she would say to her in those moments. So she had this book idea where she’d be writing letters to Stella.

“She was always cheering me on and just so curious about my life.”

Were Stella alive today, there is no doubt she would be fascinated, and proud, of Alejandra’s life. She is pursuing her dream, she is re-connecting with Colombia, she’s dancing away in her apartment, confined by COVID with her partner. But of course, this is just the beginning of Alejandra’s life, and her journey. As Fonseca says;

“The way grows long, and does not end.”

Except that Fonseca, like Alejandra, says it in Spanish.

Alejandra Botia salsa dance team.

Spotlight: Ece Aydin, CPA Undergrad Representative for the UBC-Okanagan campus

Ece Aydin.
Ece Aydin has lived in the same place now for three whole years. This is unusual for her, as she has previously moved around all over the world for her entire life. Ece came straight out of high school into psychology at UBC Okanagan – but high school was in Dubai. Born in Turkey, Ece moved to Europe when she was five. There was a time where her family moved back to Turkey, and since then she has gone to an international high school in countries all over the world. Her three years at UBCO are maybe the first time in a long time she has spent three years in just once place.

Ece decided she wanted to study psychology when she was fifteen. She was fascinated by human behaviour – how our thoughts influence our behaviour, and vice versa. She was comfortable with hearing problems and anxieties from her friends, and she was good at helping them out. Now, a few years later, Ece is a third-year psychology student at UBC Okanagan, and this year became an Undergrad Representative for the CPA. A straight line academically, if not geographically.

“The things I’m learning blow my mind every single day.”

After Ece finishes her undergrad, she hopes to go to grad school – and stay in the same area. She hopes to be able to do her grad school in Vancouver, and after that a PhD in counselling psychology. Her passion is child and developmental psychology, with an eye toward adolescent psychology and addiction one day.

“I really believe in early interventions. As a child we can be molded into any type of person. Especially with disorders as children, like ADHD or autism, I feel like diagnosis in early years is really important for children to be able to navigate their lives in the future.”

When it comes to addiction, Ece really feels that early intervention is key, but also that the stigma society places on those who suffer can be overcome. That people who have substance use difficulties can be accepted, and integrated into society, in a more accepting way than they currently are. The destigmatization of addiction is something that comes up often in our conversation.

TAKE FIVE WITH ECE AYDIN

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
I think it was something I learned in one of my psych classes in grade 11. It was the first time I heard about the fundamental attribution error. Which basically means that when we make a mistake, we tend to blame external factors, like our environment. But when someone else makes the same mistake as we did, we tend to blame it on their personal flaws. I never knew that I was actually doing this, until it was defined and had a name associated with it.

You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
It’s probably Amy Winehouse, as depressing as that may sound. But it’s very peaceful for me, and it has a lot of sentimental meaning for me as her album was one of the first birthday presents I remember receiving.

Top three websites or apps you could not live without and why
My messaging app, because I have to keep in contact with people, especially right now. There are people I haven’t seen in many months with whom I like to be in constant contact. Also the CNN international news, because I kind of get anxious when I don’t know what’s going on around the world. And for the third one…I guess Pinterest. I like the whole ‘organizing’ aspect of it.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
That’s a very hard question. I remember when I was a kid seeing Doctors Without Borders on TV, and I think I would really like to see what that’s like. To see how it is that they’re so selfless that they go into situations that we couldn’t even imagine.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Definitely art. It’s something I do in my personal time, and I would want to be an amazing artist, or an art critic. I want to be able to see a piece of art and define right away what it is, what the story behind it is, and what emotion they’re trying to convey.

“Whoever you are, and whatever addiction you might be going through, that doesn’t define you as a person. That’s just something you went through. And I hope to get out there and help others understand exactly what addiction is.”

As she began her second year at UBCO, Ece was looking for ways to become more involved. Student life had to be more than just attending and passing classes, right? She found the CPA website, and saw that they had Student Members and Student Affiliates. She found the Student Representative on the campus, and discovered that they were looking for an Undergraduate Rep. It was, as Ece describes, the lucky break she had not even been aware she was seeking.

“It’s really nice to be part of a psychology network where there are so many researchers and students like me. I find that I learn so many interesting things all at once when I get newsletters from the CPA.”

Of course, with COVID, the life of a CPA Undergrad Rep is not exactly like it has been for previous students in the same position.

“I haven’t been able to do anything yet this semester…I wanted to host workshops, and events, and things like that to introduce myself to other psych students – explain to them what the CPA is and the benefits of membership. But as you know, the pandemic has changed a lot of plans. We’re going to send out social media posts so anyone who is on our campus can join, and get to know us. But of course everything is going to be virtual.”

This also means that not only has Ece been living in the same place for three years, she has now been confined to the same place for eight months. Maybe this is a welcome rest, although being an undergrad psychology student, coupled with being a CPA Student Rep, does not make for the most restful of lives. What it does mean, however, is that Ece has been able to focus on her environment, and her studies, for as much time as it takes to know what she wants, and where she wants to go.

“I am going to help people in my life. This is what it’s all for, in the end.”

BMS SCHOLARSHIP: STUDENT RESEARCH AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

BMS, the company that brokers the professional liability insurance program for members of the CPA and members of provincial/territorial associations of psychology, has launched a grant program to support student research and leadership development in all areas of psychology.  For 2020, up to two (2) awards will be dispersed per project for research-based submissions, at amounts up to $2,500.00 per application and up to five (5) awards will be dispersed to individuals wishing to pursue training, either practice or leadership focused, at amounts up to $500.00 per application.  Eligibility criteria and application details will be announced shortly and posted here. Please direct any questions about this competition to science@cpa.ca.


CPA’s 2021 National Annual Convention


The CPA has continued to monitor the ongoing issues related to the COVID-19 situation in Canada and abroad, inclusive of federal and provincial government decisions taken in the service of community safety.  Experts and all levels of government continue to warn or advise about the greater transmission risks posed by large gatherings of people.

While we do not know for how long COVID-19 will remain a public health emergency in Canada, we do know that at this time, restrictions continue to exist regarding in-person gatherings of more than 50 attendees, where proper physical distancing measures would be difficult to implement and maintain.  Accordingly, the CPA has taken the decision to cancel our in-person 82nd CPA Annual National Convention in Ottawa, ON, scheduled for June 4-6, 2021, inclusive of all pre-convention workshops that would occur on June 3rd and pivot, once again, to a virtual event over the month of June.

We have made this decision based on the guidance and directives of experts and governments, and out of concern for the safety and well-being of our members and affiliates, attendees, staff, public and the various teams that support the annual convention. With the benefit of time to plan, we are excited and confident in our ability to plan a fabulous virtual event.

In accordance with our by-laws, the CPA will convene its Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually in June; more details will follow in the months ahead.

We will open the abstract submission system for the CPA2021 Convention by the end of October.  We hope that you will consider submitting to and participating in our virtual event; it will feature familiar presentation types as well as some new formats that align with a virtual offering.

We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we remain responsive to the ongoing situation that COVID-19 presents, while continuing to serve our members and affiliates, and the broader community of psychological scientists, practitioners and/or educators.

We recognize and appreciate that you are likely experiencing upheaval and disruption in your daily life, both personally and professionally. We continue to wish you strength and patience, both personally and professionally, as you cope with the ongoing pandemic and look forward to “seeing” you at our virtual event.

If you have any questions or want further information, please contact the CPA at convention@cpa.ca.

Take good care and be well.
CPA Convention Department

CPA/CSBBCS Virtual Career Fair

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), in collaboration with the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS), is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a Career Fair on November 12th, 2020.  This Fair will mark the first in a series of Career Fairs the CPA will host in 2020 and 2021.

When: Thursday November 12th, 2020 from 12pm – 4pm EST
Where: Virtual
Limited spaces available.
Cost: $10.00

Click here for more information


The CPA’s response to the federal government’s speech from the throne

The CPA applauds the government for recognizing the need to invest in the mental health of the people of Canada in today’s Speech from The Throne. The pandemic, and in particular the necessary way in which we must manage the pandemic, is taking a big toll on our mental health and resilience. The wealth of any country depends in large measure on the mental health and well-being of the people and citizens it serves. While commitment to publicly-funded health care is a core value of this country, Canada has not funded mental health care in parity with physical health care. That must change. Canada needs a health care system that delivers the care people need, where, when and from whom they need it – and includes the evidence-based services of licensed health providers like psychologists, who are trained and licensed to deliver that care. The CPA looks forward to working with the federal government to protect and advance our collective mental health.


Spotlight: CPA Undergraduate Student Rep Angelisa Hatfield

Angelisa Hatfield Vancouver gardenAngelisa Hatfield has been sitting still for an entire hour. She’s on a Zoom call, and stuck outside on her boyfriend’s porch – the result of having a hole in her own room repaired while she temporarily resides five minutes away. I get the sense that sitting in one place for something like a Zoom call is atypical for Angelisa, who is always on the move.

We’re talking about psychology, and the CPA student rep program. Angelisa is just starting her second year as the undergrad student rep at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. Guelph-Humber does only undergrad programs, so that makes Angelisa one of only two student reps on the campus (the other, Chris Schiafone, is the campus rep).

“It’s a small school, so you get to connect with students a lot more. I’m so involved on campus that everything is kind of intertwined for me now. I did research with the assistant program head in facial recognition, and then working at the front desk at school under the main office’s supervision, working in student services – everything connects so quickly that it kind of blurs the lines between my roles.

For example, I’m now doing CPA events with Career Services, because my career coordinator is so good at planning events, and she has so many ideas, that we thought ‘why not just collaborate – no reason to be doing this separately when we could be doing it together’. So now we’ll do something like a big psychology dinner, bringing the CPA’s connections in with the school’s connections. We’re talking about bringing Addiction Rehab Toronto (more on them later) in for coffee time chats.

Guelph-Humber is one of those communities where there’s a lot of community connection and involvement, and I’ve found myself being the networking tool, especially remotely!”

Before she started her university career in psychology, she considered other fields – she thought about nursing, social work, radiology, cardiology…the list goes on. Basically, she knew she wanted to be in what she calls the ‘helping fields’ – somewhere where she could impact the lives of other people. Psychology seemed like a field where you could learn a LOT of different things, and the inclusion of a co-op program at Guelph-Humber meant she could get hands-on experience helping people. That sealed the deal.

Even now, in the summer months away from school and in the middle of a pandemic, Angelisa is helping people every day. She is a volunteer at Addiction Rehab Toronto (A.R.T.) a private rehab centre in Toronto, and she shows up randomly even when she doesn’t have a volunteer shift. ART is a lot like Angelisa herself, in that it has a wide variety of interests and specialties. It offers a nutrition program, group therapy, CBT and DBT, mindfulness activities, psychotherapists and addiction counselors…the list goes on.

TAKE FIVE with Angelisa Hatfield

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
For me, it’s the self-fulfilling prophecy. It was a huge realization that our thoughts have more power than we thought they did. And also how when we impose our thoughts on other people sometimes it can influence them too. I’ve thought a lot about how self-fulfilling prophecy interacts with racism. For example if a teacher has an idea about a certain student of a certain race, and thinks they’re going to behave a certain way, then they treat them that way, and that student begins behaving that way. It becomes this cycle that fulfills itself. But you can also use it on the positive side and if you think positively you can bring about positive things in your life and that of others.

Top three websites or apps you could not live without and why
Definitely news apps. I need news. Not knowing what’s going on makes me scared. Also Twitter, that’s the social media I’m on all the time. It’s a place where people can dump their ideas and feelings and people can relate to each other. And it’s funny sometimes to watch people argue while you sit with popcorn. And the last one is Google – I use it all the time, any time I don’t know something we’re Googling it. And it’s something where if you spent two minutes on Google you can spare a lot of time arguing with someone, or saying something ignorant.

Favourite book
It sounds really cliché, but it’s Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It’s a good book and I could really relate to it at the time. It kind of introduced me to mental health in my pre-teen years. And another is It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Both of these were books that were about mental health that were adapted into movies that I didn’t hate. And they were books that needed to become coming-of-age movies.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be an eagle, or a hummingbird. Just having the ability to fly, and go wherever you want whenever you want and make a home wherever it is you land. I also feel like birds have a sense of community – you hear one bird chirp, and then three others come, and they’re never alone. For me it was always birds. My next tattoo is a bird. The hummingbird reminds me of myself, always zooming around from one thing to another, always with others and arguing and moving. And the eagle reminds me of my heritage. I’m from the Azores, an island off Portugal, and there’s an eagle in our flag.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Everything, ideally. But if I had to pick just one thing, it would probably be architecture. Or home design. Or environmentalism, animals, biology, and how the ecosystem works.

“Addiction is a [field] where you don’t have to choose a specialty. You can learn a little bit of everything. There are people who have all sorts of mental health problems, and all sorts of backgrounds. I was struggling with ‘what do I focus on – just schizophrenia, just PTSD, just eating disorders’ but at an addiction centre you deal with everything because everyone has something. It’s a very diverse place, so it’s a great way to get a lot of perspectives and world views from a wide variety of people.”

Angelisa collects diverse perspectives and world views, and has about as open a mind as anyone I’ve ever met. She recognizes in herself the desire to learn everything she can about every subject she can, and she will move on quickly after learning something to whatever is next. She can’t listen to the same artist twice in a row on her phone’s playlist, and will skip and move on. She identifies with hummingbirds, who aren’t content with sampling just one flower, but who flit from one to the other so they can take in the absolute most that the field has to offer. The only thing consistent in this constant movement is that the learning she does is geared toward just one thing – helping others.

She says that one thing learning psychology has meant for her is that she can no longer get annoyed with other people. Even if they’re behaving in a way that’s injurious to her, or doing something she knows to be wrong, she understands at a base level why they’re behaving that way, and for that reason interpersonal anger is not an option.

In fact, she has a tattoo of a bee – because, she says, ‘even though life stings, bees are necessary’. With that logic, you can’t even be mad at a bee that stings you!

Even COVID is not making Angelisa angry, it’s something that gives her an opportunity to maintain her connections and forge new ones remotely as she plans for the upcoming school year. Where she will continue to volunteer with ART, work in student services, be involved in every aspect of campus life, and get on with being a CPA undergrad student rep. Much like everything else she does, Angelisa thinks of her nomination to be a student rep as a sort of happenstance.

“I got really close with my program head and with Chris (Schiafone, the Campus Rep), and they said I’d be a good fit. [Being an undergrad CPA rep] was something that I just fell into randomly, but I’m glad that I did. It opened up a lot of doors and it let me use my background and skills the way I wanted to. Chris has given me a lot of freedom with it, and let me take it where I want it to go. So it’s been nice.”

For this, her last year at Guelph-Humber, Angelisa will serve as CPA undergraduate rep and complete her bachelor’s degree. After that it’s on to more learning and more schooling. And then? Maybe she’ll continue working in the addiction field, where the variety of the job is appealing. Maybe as a researcher, or a clinician, or something else entirely. Maybe all of it at once.

Along the way she will find time, every now and then, to sit in one place and do one thing for an hour. Even if it’s to get a hummingbird tattoo that matches the bee.

Spotlight: CPA Graduate Student Affairs Officer Melissa Mueller

“You’ll never be more than a 70s student.”
Some Grade 12 math teacher in Calgary, one time

Melissa Mueller boxingMelissa Mueller is a fighter. Figuratively speaking, that is, in that she’s determined and focused. In Grade 10, a friend mentioned in passing that she was able to talk to Melissa about her problems without fear of everyone else finding out. She decided at that moment, in Grade TEN, she would become a psychologist. Two years later, her Grade 12 math teacher told her she’d never get better marks than 70s. She determined then and there that her goal would be to obtain a PhD. She’s currently a few steps away from obtaining a PhD in psychology.

Melissa is also a fighter – literally. She is a boxer, and trains at a local gym in Calgary (Rumble) when she’s not at school. “It’s a way to blow off some steam”, she says – and as busy as Melissa is, it’s important to make time for self-care and relieve the pressures of school, practicums, COVID, and everything else.

As it has for almost all of us, COVID has created some stress for Melissa. As she returns to the University of Calgary in the fall, all her classes are now online. But as a TA, she does have to go to the campus to teach a lab. As a school and applied child psychology student, any practicum that she does will likely be in a school setting as schools re-open with a lot of uncertainty. And as the CPA Graduate Student Affairs Officer, the process of recruitment, retention, and communication with Graduate Student Representatives across Canada has changed a good deal as well.

TAKE FIVE with Melissa Mueller

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
Something I found out while learning about CBT – which is the way we can separate thought from emotion… that you can change the way you think about things which can change the way you feel about them which can in turn change your behaviour.

You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
Noah Schnacky, a country singer I discovered on TikTok. He’s quite young, so he’ll be building a catalogue for many years and I can hear all the new stuff that way!

Favourite book
Anything by Nicholas Sparks. I think my current favourite is Safe Haven.

Favourite word
“Gregarious”. I had to learn it while studying for the GRE, and I think it sounds amazing.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Interior design. Right now I go to Pinterest for all my ideas, but it would be pretty cool to be able to create spaces with the knowledge and intention to facilitate a certain atmosphere or “feel.”

She always struggled with math in high school. Trying to keep numbers in her head while doing a calculation was not her strong suit, and she would get confused and mess up even relatively easy equations. What turned things around for her was a pretty simple accommodation. At some point in math class, as you start to do more advanced things like algebra, calculus, and trigonometry – they let you have a calculator. Now Melissa no longer had to keep all those numbers in her head, and she could focus on the important stuff – the actual math problems.

It was struggles (and solutions) like these in school that led Melissa down her current path. She is in the School and Child Psychology program, because she knows that all children learn things a little differently. She can empathize with them and wants nothing more than to help them overcome similar struggles to those she herself had when she was younger.

Melissa’s last practicum was at a school for kids with severe disabilities. There were many specialists who worked there, in a holistic environment that took into account the idea than few disabilities exist in a vacuum, and there is often correlation between difficulties. For this reason, the school employed psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists among others.

This is one of two dream scenarios for Melissa post-graduation. She wants to work in a school with an interdisciplinary team – and also run a private practice where she has more direct personal control over direction, treatment, and outcomes. It seems very likely she will end up doing both, and few people are likely to dissuade her. Or maybe somebody will tell her she can’t do both – which will all but guarantee that she will.

APA PsychSolutions Competition

The American Psychological Association, has invited CPA members to participate in the PsychSolutions Competition on behalf of CPA, an organizational partner of the APA. PsychSolutions is a new international initiative of APA’s Office of International Affairs that promotes the critical role of psychological science in addressing global health challenges. This competition, open to all APA members/affiliates and members of APA partner associations, will seek proposals that demonstrate impact in prevention of mental health challenges/well-being and/or the reduction of the burden of suffering. The selected winner will be awarded a $10,000 USD grant to advance their initiative and will work with the APA communications team to promote their efforts.

PsychSolutions Summary.pdf

PsychSolutions Terms and Conditions.pdf


Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2021 Budget by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2021 Budget by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Read the submission (PDF). (version francais ici).

See also the submissions from The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) and The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR)


Making the Transition to Online Teaching and Learning: A Guide for Instructors

In response to requests from psychology educators, The CPA’s Education Directorate has developed a brief guide to taking university instruction in psychology online. The guide has a brief overview of the processes involved in student learning, as well as helpful tips to increase student engagement, and provides a framework for course planning and development along with templates for course and lesson planning. It contains extensive links to other sources of practical help in making the transition from in-person to online environments. The guide is intended to be a living document, and will be updated as new links and information become available.

Making the Transition to Online Teaching and Learning: A Guide for Instructors