SCRA Biennial Conference 2013 ‘ Miami

UMass Lowell Highlights

The Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA, Division 27 of the APA) hosted their biennial conference in Miami this past summer and UMass Lowell faculty and students presented their research and engaged in dialogues on a number of topics. Here is just a sampling of what faculty and students had to offer:

Student Presenters

Four recently graduated CSP students attended the conference and contributed their research to other professionals in the field of Community Psychology. Hannah Johnson and Kristy Shockley presented a poster on ‘Community Participations’ Role in Issue Campaigning’ which included an archival analysis of a local Lowell non-profit to examine the process of community organizing and how community participation can benefit issue campaigns. Marlene Abreu, along with Professor Ashleigh Hillier, presented a poster on how disability services are utilized in a university setting and found that the most used service is extended time on tests. Recent graduate Susie Paterson participated in a symposium on empowerment tools and presented her thesis research findings on women’s subversive use of humor. Susie Paterson mentioned that she was pleased and surprised that the Community Psychology values she learned in the CSP program were actually very evident in the way people at the conference interacted with one another. She also relayed that it was a fun, enlightening experience and hopes that other CSP students will attend the next biennial.

Faculty Research

Professors Meg Bond, Robin Toof, and Michelle Haynes hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘Transforming settings for social change’ in which they discussed the conceptual frameworks of community settings, approaches for assessing, and strategies for intervention on multiple levels. Meanwhile, Professor Urmitapa Dutta took part in a roundtable discussion on ethical dilemmas that may arise when engaging youth in participatory action research. Professor Andrew Hostelter organized, chaired, and participated in a symposium on ‘Engaging Seniors in Healthier Communities’ in which he discussed his research on senior centers and the data he acquired from interviews, focus groups, and computerized tracking of participant activities at senior centers around the Northeast. He also participated in a roundtable discussion on teaching methods and presented a poster describing the successes and failures of the course structure for his Advanced Community Dynamics class from the spring 2013 semester.

SCRA 2015 Biennial in Lowell

The next SCRA Biennial will be held from June 25-28, 2015 right here in Lowell! Current students and CSP alumni are encouraged to attend and submit proposals to highlight their research. The SCRA Biennial is a wonderful place to find out what is happening in Community Psychology both at other Universities and non-profit organizations. Students considering application for PhD programs may find it especially helpful to meet faculty and students from other universities to get a sense of where they want to apply. I attended the 2011 SCRA Biennial while taking undergraduate courses and the students I met there from the CSP program are the very reason why I am here today!