2002 Victor Frazao, Ph.D.
A word that kept coming up during this year was “transitions”. The first major transition was the hiring of a new office manager, Sharon Wilson, who was chosen just before I took office. Sharon and I learned the ropes together as we met weekly to navigate the waters of SDPA.
Another transition was the end of a dedicated long term commitment as Membership Chair by Patricia Heras, chairing a committee of one for quite some time. I thought it might be a good idea to bring this position onto the board, and Chris Osterloh generously offered to pilot this experiment. As we were trying to get into the new internet age, we were fortunate to have Denruth Lougeay, one of our past presidents, lead the charge in developing our web page. And a wonderful scholarship program that had been envisioned, and initially funded by Martha Hillyard, was reborn in a new entity, the Community Services Group. The program provided college scholarships to children who had been in the foster care system.
One of my final duties was to find a new editor for the Newsletter. Such a major task was made quite easy when I was having breakfast with my longtime friend, David DiCicco. I was telling him about the challenge and he just said to me, “I’d like to do it”, and the rest was history. David did a wonderful job expanding the concept, and lending enrichment and creativity that continued growing for many years
Over the year, with help from the creativity of many, we sought to grow our Membership by having “Ambassadors” who would call new members to answer questions, be a contact person, and invite them to the last Friday of the month luncheon which included one CE, a program that was continued from the previous year. The Outdoor Adventures program, which involved monthly Sunday walks, led by David and Vicki DiCicco, continued into this year. It supported the spirit of the Association, sometimes helping new members get connected, and providing opportunities for some of us veterans meet new people as well.
Before the year was out, we had added a Supervision Task Force (later a Committee) which brought together supervisors who mentor our students, to support each other in discussing issues relevant to this important work. Jon Nachison led the initial group which brought together representatives from various agencies and hospitals. One of the group’s initial tasks was reviewing a document from the Board of Psychology of proposed changes to duties for supervisors. This led to my contacting the Board and expressing SDPA’s interest in participating in the discussion. An invitation was issued and Jon went to the meeting in Sacramento. When he presented the concerns of the group, the changes were amended to recognize the undue burdens that would have used much of the psychologists’ time of doing actual supervision for administration.
As I tried to meet as many members as possible (my own enrichment for serving in this position), I was stuck by the generosity of time and effort of so many in serving our San Diego community. Ain Roost continued to lead the program he had launched in 2000, aptly named Psychology 2000, to provide therapy to folks who had no insurance, insufficient funds, but needed services. In exchange for therapy, they agreed to do an hour of service in the community for each therapy hour received. The program continued growing for years, with the support of many of our members. Another example of SDPA sharing its wealth was the continuation of the APA Warning Signs program. A committee, which numbered into the teens, was led by Linda Shrenk. Members would go out into schools and train children, teens and parents to notice Warning Signs of kids who were talking about planning or doing violence. By the time the program stopped, the committee had reached out to more than 1300 children and 375 adults. Also serving our youth, Stacy Johnston, re-energized the Science Fair committee.
From an administrative perspective, the Board Finance committee sought to support our work by developing an investment policy and discussing investment strategies. The CE committee put on a variety of programs, including the Spring Conference which was moved to a Friday to accommodate members’ request, while Fall Conference remained on Saturday. Many committees participated in the last Friday CE luncheon mentioned earlier.
Although the final goal was never achieved, a committee that was launched at a Fellows dinner remains one of my fondest memories of the commitment and generosity of our membership. Discussion at the dinner led to a decision that the Fellows wanted to do something for the community at large, and the idea of putting on a one day convention for non-psychologists emerged. A short time later, in a conversation with Clark Clipson it became clear the he had the interest to lead the way. He agreed to do so, and he and Chris Osterloh hosted the group of interested fellows in monthly evening meetings for many months. A date was picked, a venue was chosen, and many psychologists agreed to put on workshops on issues of interest for the public. We had a program! We even printed brochures and other necessary forms. However, we were unable, despite applying for grants and seeking other sponsorships, to come up with the significant amount of money that we would need to front the program, not knowing what we would make back from enrollment in the event. It was clear that we could not risk the finances of SDPA and we had to make the difficult decision to end the effort. The convention which never happened had been named Opening Minds. The journey which highlighted the commitment of many hours of work and fellowship and generosity left me with the collegial experience of Opening Hearts.
So the highlights for me were transitions, commitment and creativity, community, and generosity. I never could have imagined....