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NMSU faculty members named to leadership roles in American Psychological Association

  • By Emily C. Kelley
  • 575-646-1957
  • ekelley@nmsu.edu
  • Jul 03, 2012
Man sitting at table with red tie
New Mexico State University faculty members Jonathan Schwartz and Luis Vazquez have been elected to prominent leadership roles of their respective divisions of the American Psychological Association.

Schwartz, head of the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department in the College of Education, was one of three candidates nominated for the president-elect position of Division 51 of the American Psychological Association - the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. It was recently announced that he won a national election and will begin his president-elect term in August. In August 2013, he will lead the organization as its president.

"This is a high-visibility position and will bring attention to the university Counseling and Educational Psychology Department," Schwartz said. "This is a great way to get national exposure for the work we do at NMSU."

Part of Division 51's mission is to promote the critical study of how gender shapes and constricts men's lives. The organization also works to erode constraining definitions of masculinity which historically have inhibited men's development, their capacity to form meaningful relationships and have contributed to the oppression of other people. Division 51 advances the knowledge in the psychology of men through research, education, training, public policy and improved clinical practice.

Though Schwartz conducts research in other areas, much of his focus is in this area of the psychology of men and masculinity.

He has been a member of Division 51 for about 10 years and has been recognized as its fourth most productive scholar for works published in "The Psychology of Men and Masculinity," the division's journal, and has received the organization's Excellence in Research award.

"The division has really done a great job mentoring students and those who are new to this profession," Schwartz said. "I hope to continue that tradition and build on it."

Vazquez serves as NMSU's associate vice president for research integrity, and was elected president-elect of Division 45 of the American Psychological Association - the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues - last August. His term as president starts at the APA convention in Orlando next month.

Division 45 is a major representative body of psychologists who conduct research on ethnic minority concerns or who apply psychological knowledge and techniques to ethnic minority issues.

Vazquez has three major goals on which to focus during his time as president of Division 45: to develop a consolidated repository of literature and information about the psychological study of ethnic minority issues, that can be accessed by professionals across the country; to focus on the issue of within and between ethnic/racial group issues-related success and barriers; and to get more ethnically/racially diverse students into the pipeline to become psychologists.

"Less than two percent of students in this field are ethnically diverse," Vazquez said. "We hope to increase that number through mentoring and outreach. This is an underlying goal for every president who takes over Division 45."

Serving as the president of a national organization like the APA is an honor, but also requires a strong commitment. After serving as president, both will serve their divisions as past presidents and advise future leaders.

"This gives me a chance to give back," Vazquez said. "I strongly believe in 'paying it forward.' I'm very committed to, dedicated to, the belief that multicultural diversity is not something you do, but a complete, dedicated lifestyle."

Vazquez said that it's very unusual for people from the same university to be elected to highly competitive positions like this across the country in psychology.

"I strongly believe that here at NMSU, we don't maintain, but transform lives, through engagement, to excellence," Vazquez said. "And, the world needs to know about us. Through service on highly visible national boards like this, people will get to know who we are and the quality we offer our students."