Amber Stark

Member Spotlight: Alexandra Zelin, PhD

Position/Employer: Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Interest area(s): Sexual harassment/violence prevention, Diversity, Gender. Moving toward using an intersectional lens in all areas.

What sparked your interest in I-O psychology?
Wanting to “help people at work!” I actually never imagined I would be in academia (although apparently my undergraduate professors did). In all honesty, the applied facet of social psychology is what appealed to me the most. How can we take what we know and improve a large portion of someone’s life?

What role do you see I-O psychology playing in the future of work?
I recently did an interview with the Prosocial subcommittee of the SIOP Visibility Committee about prosocial I-O work and I really think this is the way of the future. It is not just about ROI and business outcomes, but rather, what can we do to help the people? That will create a much larger ROI and will contribute to a better culture and climate within organizations. That said, I think working through organizational change will also be imperative in the future as we create workplaces that are welcoming to every employee.

Which of the Top 10 Work Trends for 2021 do you most strongly relate to and how can I-O psychology practitioners, educators, and students impact this trend?
Both “Implementing Strategies and Measuring Progress on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belongingness” and “Social Justice.” However, I would also go two steps further and advocate for Justice and Liberation (thank you to Academics for Black Survival and Wellness; Dr. Della Mosley & Pearis Bellamy) within organizations. We all need to recognize that just “recruit and hire!” more diversity does not mean that everything is “fixed” within an organization. We need to change culture and climate toward liberation and justice, and that starts with understanding our history to know how to effectively change it. Second (and forever) step: Keep learning!

How long have you been a SIOP member?
I became a Student Affiliate in fall 2011, so 9.5 years!

What roles have you had within SIOP?
SIOP Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) Chair (2019-2021); WIN Programming Lead; SIOP Anti-Racism Grant reviewer; CEMA mentor to graduate students; SIOP Education and Training Advocacy Area group member; assisted Professional Practice Committee with SIOP job ladder competency project

What is one of your favorite SIOP Annual Conference memories/highlights?
Everything! Is that too cliché? I love learning, seeing friends, and making new connections.

What advice would you give to students or early practitioners?
Reach out to others in SIOP who share similar research/content/work passions! I have found some great mentors simply by reaching out.

Please share one non-I-O-related bit of information about yourself.
I swam NCAA in college (DIII) and represented the USA in the Maccabiah Games in 2005.

Is there anything you would like to add?
Keep an eye out for the SIOP Climate Survey results coming soon!

If you would like to be considered for a Member Spotlight, or if you would like to recommend a SIOP member for a Spotlight, please email astark@siop.org.

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