Welcome to the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP)

To view previous Letters from the President, click here.

To read President-Elect Susan Nolan's initiatives for 2021 and to apply for one of the task forces, click here.

November 7, 2020

It’s November, and like everyone in the US, I’m reflecting on the presidency – MY presidency of STP, of course (that’s what y’all are reflecting on, too, right?!?). My presidential year is winding down, and what a year it’s been. I’m trying to focus on the positives, like our successful virtually delivered conference; the amazing collaborations about remote emergency instruction and online teaching; and the open, honest, and reflective discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion within STP. I’m so glad you got to hear from Susan Nolan last month in the Presidential blog! Susan is going to be a great leader for STP in 2021, and I will be so excited to see her presidential initiatives come to fruition! And congratulations to Linda Woolf, our incoming president-elect! I’m looking forward to more strong leadership from both of these excellent colleagues and friends in the years to come.

I want to give a huge shout out to Jordan Triosi, our ACT Director, for leading the work to convert our in-person gathering into a virtual one. He and his committee along with Lindsay Masland (incoming ACT Director) made a huge jug of sweet lemonade out of the COVID lemons we were dealt and gave us all a fabulous experience. The speakers were spot on. The tech worked well. The good times were had. And you can enjoy all the talks on our YouTube channel for the near future (or until the internet changes, which could be next week)!

Good has come from this extraordinary year, but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and sadness this year has brought as well. Teaching has never been as hard as it has been this year. I’ve always believed teachers to be superstars, but this year’s efforts have convinced me that teachers are superheroes. Typically, teachers have it hard trying to convince people that what they have to teach is both interesting and important. Being successful at that is harder than it looks! But this year has shown us that interesting and important are often the least of our concerns. People are sick. People are exhausted. People are overwhelmed. People are afraid. People are traumatized. But every day, many of those people – you teachers – are waking up, breathing deeply, digging in, and teaching. You’re learning new modalities of delivery and presentation. You are figuring out how to ease concerns and soothe anxiety. And the job is getting done. It may not be the job you were hoping to accomplish. It may not be the best work you’ve ever done. But it’s the best work you’ve ever done in a pandemic year full of racial trauma and re-reckoning, societal uncertainty, and toilet paper shortages. So, please, slap your favorite superhero brand on your chest and call yourself proud of what you’ve been able to do.

In the last few weeks of this tumultuous year, I’ll be reflecting on what I’ve been through, what I’ve overcome, what I’ve wished I’d done better, what I hope for the future. I’ve seen people lose loved ones. I’ve worried for myself and those I care about. I’ve been outraged by injustice, incompetence, and cruelty. I’ve tried to adapt to challenge and change. I wish I had more time to learn and plan. I hope we will find a way to cure or at least live successfully with this virus. I hope we can see and smile with our students again someday very, very soon.

Take care, all. You’re not alone.

Amy Fineburg

STP President 2020

Ok, so, the pandemic is not getting better and the plans for this academic year probably won’t work. I’m predicting that, at some point, we will have stretches of time where every day will be like a snow day – will we meet today or not? So, let’s take a detour from the angst and worry over Academic Year 2020-2021 and celebrate some truly wonderful psychology educators.

One of my privileges as STP President is to bestow Presidential Citations to two colleagues “who have made extraordinary life-time contributions to the Society and/or to the teaching of psychology.” The two people that I have honored this year are among the best teachers and people I know.

Loretta Neal McGregor, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at Arkansas State University and is President of the Faculty Senate. Loretta earned her bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University, her master’s degree from Emporia State University, and her doctorate from Wichita State University in Human Factors Psychology. She has taught in higher education for almost 30 years. She served for 8 years as department chair at Arkansas State in the Psychology and Counseling Department. Prior to her tenure at ASU, she was an assistant professor at Southern Arkansas University and her alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University.

Loretta has served the teaching of psychology for many years as an advocate for quality undergraduate education for all students. She has taught courses across the undergraduate psychology curriculum, including research methods, statistics, and introduction to psychology. She has been a member of APA’s Board of Educational Affairs and served as Division 2’s (STP’s) Associate Director for Society Programming for the APA Convention. She was a long-time Advanced Placement (AP) Reader and Table Leader, helping to ensure quality scoring of AP Exams for students around the world. Loretta is one of the most preeminent scholars of the life of fellow Arkansan Mamie Phipps Clark, the pioneering social psychologist who, along with her husband Kenneth Clark, conducted the “Black Doll/White Doll” studies that ultimately influenced the 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decision from the United States Supreme Court. Loretta is a sought-after speaker on teaching, learning, and Dr. Clark’s contributions to the field. She is an alumnae of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology (LIWP). She is the first African American awarded a Presidential Citation from Division 2.

Kristin Habashi Whitlock is the AP Psychology teacher at Davis High School in Bountiful, Utah. She also teaches courses at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Kristin has been teaching AP Psychology at Davis since the course’s inception in 1992, and she has been involved with the AP Reading since 2001. She has been a Question Leader, Rubric Master, Table Leader, and Reader at the Reading and has served as an Advisor to the College Board and on the AP Psychology Development Committee, which is charged with developing questions for the AP Psychology Exam.

Kristin has been active in promoting quality high school psychology instruction for most of her career. She helped found and directs the Utah Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (U-TOPSS) Fall Conference and is a member of the APA’s Introductory Psychology Initiative group. She served with me on the Steering Committee for the APA National Summit for High School Psychology, co-chairing the “Psychology is a Science” strand. She has served as chair of TOPSS and has presented at just about every major psychology and psychology-affiliated conference that exists, including NITOP, ACT, NCSS, and Psychology One. Kristin is generous in sharing good psychology instruction with others, including being a co-author of such resources as the Barron’s AP Q & A Psychology book and presenting at AP Summer Institutes each year. Kristin is the first high school psychology teacher awarded a Presidential Citation from Division 2.

I am sad that I won’t be able to see them in person this year at our Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) since we had to move that event to an online experience. So, I made some lemonade out of those lemons and recorded a Zoom-cast with Loretta and Kristin to explore some of their perspectives on teaching and to show you all what amazing, caring, excellent teachers and people they are. Please enjoy our friendly chat.

Speaking of ACT and going virtual, please take a moment to listen to me, Tom Pusateri (our Executive Director) and Jordan Triosi (Director of ACT Programming) discuss our decision making process for going virtual and what we are looking forward to for this year. Thanks to Eric Landrum and the PsychSessions podcast team for taking the time to interview us and share how much we will miss seeing everyone in person this fall. (And take some time to browse around the PsychSessions site to find interviews with amazing psychologists and psychology teachers!).

Amy Fineburg

2020 STP President

Results of 2020 Elections

Please join us in congratulating our newly elected officers for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. These officers will begin or continue their terms of service on January 1st, 2021. 

Linda Woolf

Stephanie Afful

Vice President for Programming
Angela Legg

Vice President for Resources
Bill Altman

Division Two’s Representative to APA Council (Only APA members of STP may vote for Council Representatives)
Maureen McCarthy

We express our gratitude to those candidates who were ran for these positions.

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