President’s December 2023 Update and Farewell

The year’s end is rapidly approaching, and what a year it’s been for IPA! You can read my updates from spring and summer here and here.

headshot for Dr. HolmbergI think one of the most exciting things this year is that IPA created a Marketing Consultant Workgroup, headed by early career psychologist Dr. Jenna Paternostro. This workgroup’s task is to complete a rebranding and website redesign project! IPA wants to position itself as Iowa’s leader in mental and behavioral health. The Executive Council (EC) believes this project will attract new members and frame IPA and its members as the experts in psychological science to better serve the public. This is a stepwise project, and the first step of logo redesign is already underway. The workgroup is collaborating with SuperWink Studio, an Iowa-based design firm, to enhance IPA’s recognition among members and the public. We are on track and projected to launch the new logo in early spring. The second step in the process will be the website redesign, and we hope to have a contract for this work signed by the end of the year. The website redesign is intended to improve user experience, enhance IPA’s visibility and inclusivity, and increase accessibility of our public education resources. As a nerd for all things design, I could not be more excited about this project and how it will benefit IPA!

IPA has continued offering continuing education opportunities for its members. The second half of the year featured two training opportunities led by IPA members! Our Fall Conference was in October at which Dr. Krista Brittain presented on Therapeutic Assessment. Later that month, Dr. Allison Momany presented on gender identity and expression in neurodiverse youth. We are excited to continue these CE offerings in 2024. The first event planned is a 2-CE training event on Cultural Humility with IPA’s own Dr. Joyce Goins-Fernandez on January 26th from 1-3pm. You can register for the event here

Registration is also open for our 2024 Spring Conference. It will be March 22-23 and will feature two presenters from Rogers Behavioral Health discussing OCD. Day 1 will have Dr. David Jacobi presenting “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Current Understand and Treatment Considerations,” and Day 2 will have Dr. Chad Wetterneck presenting “A Tour Across the OCD Spectrum.” You may register for either or both days here. The Program Planning Committee is pleased to bring you continuing education on this topic, as it has been highly requested by members. 

The Policies and Procedures (P&P) Manual Workgroup, a subgroup of the Strategic Plan Committee, is approaching the end of a project that has been underway since 2021. This group includes Drs. Alissa Doobay, Nicole Keedy, Valerie Keffala, and myself. Dr. Ashley Freeman has provided editorial support, and Dr. Benge Tallman played a huge role in getting us up and running. This group was tasked with updating IPA’s P&P Manual including all committee descriptions, all EC position descriptions, all policies, and all operating procedures. I don’t think any of us had any idea exactly how big of a task this was. We initially thought this would be a one-year project; however, nearly three years later, the finish line is finally in sight! The changes made have been approved by the EC. We are so proud of the work that we’ve done because the finished document will be the go-to place to find answers to all the “how do we…?” and “what is the…?” questions about IPA operations. In 2024, the P&P workgroup will be proposing some bylaws changes to the EC that, pending approval, will be brought to membership for a vote. 

This was a challenging and productive year for IPA in terms of leadership recruitment. As you know, Dr. Mark Poeppe resigned from his role as 2023 President-Elect in August. I’m grateful for Dr. Dave Beeman who stepped into that role following approval from the EC. Our annual EC election was delayed until we found a candidate to run for President-Elect. I’m thrilled that early career psychologist, Dr. Isaac Hooley, agreed to run. I look forward to serving on the Triad with them in 2024 as Past-President. 

Other changes in leadership include Dr. Jennifer Kauder’s election as Diversity Liaison. She and Dr. Lisa Streyffeler will be co-chairing the Diversity and Social Justice (DSJ) Committee, which has been without an official co-/chair this year. Another exciting change is that Dr. Ron Hougen will be chairing and resurrecting the Ethics Committee, which has not been operational since 2022. If you are interested in joining the DSJ or Ethics Committee (or any other committee), please let me know. In 2024, the EC will be welcoming Ashley Banta as our Student Division Representative (SDR) and Tianxin Wang as our Student Division Representative Elect. I want to thank Eric Field for his service as this year’s SDR and his initiative to formally institute, with EC approval, the role of the SDR Elect. It was an idea that will meaningfully add to succession planning and continuity of leadership. 

Next year we will be recruiting for two key roles on the EC: Treasurer and IPA Member Representative. Drs. Sarah Fetter and Katie Kopp will be concluding their terms in these positions, respectively. As we do every year, we will also be recruiting for President-Elect. We continue to recruit for a State Advocacy Coordinator, as this position has been officially vacant since 2022. This is a crucial role for IPA and our ability to advocate for psychological science and safeguarding the profession is significantly limited without someone in it. If you would like to learn more about any of these leadership positions, do not hesitate to contact me or anyone one else current in leadership.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge our outgoing Past-President, Dr. Nicole Keedy. She joined the Triad in 2021, back when the pandemic was making weekly headlines, psychologists were facing professional demands like never before, and IPA was growing. She has been a steadfast support and leadership partner this year, and this year would have been so much more difficult had she not been by my side. I am grateful for her leadership, kindness, compassion, and friendship. IPA is better for having had her at the helm. Thank you for your service to us all, Nicole. 

It has been a privilege to serve you as IPA President this year. My goal was to be a good steward of the association, and I worked hard while navigating leadership challenges and balancing the many other aspects of life. I am proud of what the EC and IPA committees and workgroups have accomplished this year because I believe it is for the betterment of our association, our members, and our ability to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of Iowans. I am excited to see where IPA goes in 2024. For now, though, I will sign off by wishing you a peaceful year’s end in which you spend your time doing what feels meaningful and restorative to you. 

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Sarah Fetter - Thursday, December 28, 2023

Thank you for a great year Nic!

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