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APA Issues Two Presidential Citations Recognizing USU Psychology Faculty and Alumni

Hillary Fruge


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Several USU Psychology faculty and alumni have been recognized by the American Psychological Association for their past and present work with The Society of Indian Psychologists and the Ethics Committee/Ethnic Psychological Associations’ Joint Ethics Initiative. Both of these group have received an APA Presidential Citation from 2021 APA president Jennifer Kelley.

The APA citation for the Society of Indian Psychologists (SIP) recognizes department alumni Kee Straits, department faculty Melissa Tehee, and emeritus faculty Carolyn Barcus, praising SIP for visionary leadership and collaborative inclusiveness.

“As a direct result of SIP’s leadership, there is significantly greater awareness of the specific cultural needs of communities of color, the importance for all psychologists to ensure culturally competent practice, and the critical need to incorporate concepts of culture and diversity and include collectivist viewpoints within any future Ethics Code as critical guidance for all psychologists,” reads the citation.

The citation for the Ethics Committee/Ethnic Psychological Associations’ Joint Ethnics Initiative also recognizes Straits, Tehee, and Barcus, as well as department faculty Melanie Domenech Rodríguez for their past participation in the association. The citation recognizes these individuals for more than ten years of distinguished effort and for their outstanding contributions to psychology at the intersection of ethics and culture.

The efforts of these USU community members led to two important ethics resources: the SIP Ethics Commentary and the NLPA Ethical Guidelines.

“USU’s mark on multiculturalism in the field of psychology should not be underestimated. USU has been the home for the SIP conference since its inception,” said Domenech Rodríguez. “Both of these citations uplift important work by leaders in SIP and across the Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations.”

The two APA citations recognize the work of Straits, Tehee, Barcus, and Domenech Rodríguez, along with that of individuals from the Asian American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association, the National Latinx Psychological Association, and the Society of Indian Psychologists.