2004 Christine Osterloh, Ph.D.
There can be no doubt that we are members of a community – a community that believes that what we do has meaning; that giving is more than a token effort; that caring comes in many forms; and that we aren’t meant to do this life alone. We all work to strengthen our profession and to develop ourselves not only as individuals, but as part of something larger.
2004 was a year dedicated to increasing a sense of community, not only among our members, but also as a dynamic and involved association integral to the general community at both the state and local levels. This Board focused on three areas to develop and serve our membership.
The first priority for this Board was to improve the overall operation of SDPA. From a business perspective, this meant a reevaluation of our office staffing and our record keeping system. An external audit was performed by the accountancy firm of Mark Gordon. Our new bookkeeping system supports SDPA financial records with accurate and more easily obtainable information. It was also determined that with our membership numbers above 800, that it was essential to increase our office staffing and create a part-time position to assist and support the Office Administrator. Aside from assisting in the daily tasks of the office, the addition of a second staff member ensures that at all times there will be someone trained to cover all office functions. Central to the development of SDPA’s role as employer, a considerable amount of time was devoted to the development of an Employee Handbook. This handbook outlines employee responsibilities and rights, and clarifies SDPA’s legal requirements as employers.
Our second priority was to evaluate SDPA Committee’s and Task Forces for their viability. In reviewing what member needs were not being addressed, it was determined that more attention needed to be given to our research community. In response to this, The Research and Assessment Task Force was created. In addition, the Public Education and Media Committee was created by combining the Speaker’s Bureau and the Media Committee. This committee, a free public service of SDPA, is to educate the San Diego community about psychology by providing up-to-date, expert information on psychologically-relevant topics and issues. To promote community education, the committee provides speakers, interviews, and SDPA information tables at selected local events.
To engender a greater sense of community among our members, The Arts Task Force entertained our members through the musical group, The Loose Association. Comprised of SDPA members, this band performed at the SDPA Spring and Fall Conferences, as well as at the social networking socials sponsored by the Practice Management Committee. Additionally, they were featured performers at this year’s California Psychological Association’s annual convention.
The San Diego Psychologist, our Association’s newsletter, developed into a publication that provided both academic and social information. Because of our increased membership and due to the wide variety of Association activities, an additional issue will now be published in December. An offshoot of the newsletter was the development of the Outdoor Adventures Committee. The OAC organizes hikes and other outdoor-focused activities as settings for social gatherings among the membership. Additionally, an email publication Travel News was sent by request to SDPA members. This included information on destinations and travel ideas shared by members.
Our third goal was to continue to foster our relationship with the California Psychological Association. We were fortunate to co-sponsor this year’s CPA convention. Additionally, we continued our participation in the State Leadership Conference with several of our Board members attending a day of lobbying in Sacramento. Our efforts are on-going to encourage dual membership.