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Jenny Baker
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President’s Column: Working for You

Georgia T. Chao

I hope this column finds you safe and healthy. In my first column, I wrote about how we need to keep moving forward. The pandemic, economic recession, and racial tensions have been challenging for the nation and for SIOP, but we need to apply our science and practice to alleviate these crises. Moving forward, I hope SIOP can help us improve how people can work together.

Although 2020’s in-person conferences were cancelled, SIOP has been very active. In July, the virtual conference presented almost 500 sessions to over 2,000 registrants. Big thanks go to Scott Tonidandel (Conference Chair) and Elizabeth McCune (Program Chair), as well as many, many others for making the virtual conference successful. In addition, an anti-harassment policy was developed and approved by the Executive Board. A special task force, directed by Lilia Cortina, defines harassment broadly and seeks to hold all persons involved in any SIOP activities to the highest standards of professional behavior. Our Financial Officer, Evan Sinar, and the Administrative Office have been hard at work minimizing SIOP’s losses from the last fiscal year and planning different financial scenarios for the current fiscal year. Given the uncertainties with the pandemic and economy, the Executive Board and all committee chairs have been mindful of budgets as we move forward.

SIOP also continues to promote nonpartisan advocacy efforts. Under the leadership of Alex Alonso (Government Relations & Advocacy Team Committee Chair) and Steve Kozlowski (Research & Science Portfolio Officer), we continue to work with Lewis-Burke Associates to advance issues related to veterans transitioning to the workforce, diversity and inclusion, training, police reform, health issues, and federal funding for I-O research. We also explore advocacy efforts with APA. Our APA Council Representatives (Tammy Allen, Sara Weiner, Gavin O’Shea, and Jeff McHenry) have been strong advocates for our practicing psychologists and applied psychology.

A special shout-out to the SIOP Foundation! Milt Hakel was instrumental with the Foundation raising $50,000 for the Anti-Racism Grant initiative. Jeff Cucina, Sarah Walker, and committee received 35 proposals and made five awards to better understand and combat racial bias. Congratulations and best wishes to all the winners!

SIOP is also launching a virtual workshop series, which kicked off in September (Inclusive Coaching: Bringing Out the Best in a Diverse Workforce). Details are posted at https://www.siop.org/Events-Education/Virtual-Workshops.

Despite our cancelled in-person meetings in 2020, SIOP is alive and well, busy working for you. SIOP is structured into nine portfolios with elected Portfolio Officers: (1) Communications–Liberty Munson, (2) Conferences & Programs–Scott Tonidandel, (3) Diversity & Inclusion–Derek Avery, (4) External Relations–Tara Behrend, (5) Instruction & Education–Marcus Dickson, (6) Membership Services–Allan Church, (7) Professional Practice–Tracy Kantrowitz, (8) Publications–Mo Wang, and (9) Research & Science–Steve Kozlowski. Under these nine portfolios are 42 committees and many subcommittees involving over 1,000 SIOP volunteers! That’s over 10% of our membership involved in governance—a wonderful level of commitment for a volunteer organization! Committees and task forces have been busy in a wide variety of activities: partnering with international organizations, sharing our work with general psychology instructors, and brainstorming new ideas to better serve our members and profession. Thus, we are moving forward, in multiple ways, to protect and promote our science for a smarter workplace.

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