Section on the Advancement of Women – Fall 2015

The end of summer is a great time to revisit the past academic year and anticipate and plan for the fall. Our section continues its tradition of advancing scholarship, mentorship, and service in support of diverse women. We are pleased to showcase some of our highlights from the past few months and to look ahead at the coming year.

APA082014(40)We had a wonderful series of SAW-sponsored events in Toronto this year and we were delighted with the enthusiasm of those who participated in our roundtable, champagne breakfast, business meeting, and SAW Woman of the Year address.

At the Division 17 Social Hour on Thursday evening, we were excited to see the research findings of three student scholars, all of whom focused on women’s issues in their work:

  • Brittany D. Goter and Debra Mollen, Texas Women’s University. Body Image in Women: The Influence of Age, Perceived Attractiveness, and Romantic Partners


  • Lauren M. Petrillo and Brian P. Cole, Seton Hall University. Attitudes on Mate Selection in Female Psychology and Counseling Graduate Students


  • Rae Anne M. Frey, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Re-Writing the Veteran Narrative: Women Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma, Unbroken


We continued our tradition of offering mentorship to students and early career psychologists interested in pursuing academic positions. Dr. Laurel Watson, Chair-Elect of SAW, and I were deeply grateful to our very thoughtful and enthusiastic faculty mentors—Drs. Sharon Bowman, Amber Hewitt Tania Israel, Julia Phillips, Sue Whiston—who shared with our diverse and engaged group of students a tremendous amount of wisdom from their ample experience, including developing programs of research, applying for positions, navigating a successful job search, and managing traditional and nontraditional career paths as feminist faculty members.


Our champagne breakfast and business meeting were very well-attended and set the foundation for Dr. Bianca Bernstein’s Woman of the Year address that followed. Dr. Bernstein truly embodies and advances SAW’s mission and delivered a thoughtful presentation to us. Special thanks to Dr. Jennifer Taylor who went above and beyond to help us track down our missing breakfast order (and to everyone present who exercised considerable patience and graciousness while delaying caffeine consumption)!


Speaking of Jennifer Taylor, she—along with Jennifer Mootz, Lisa De La Rue, and Morgan Grotewiel—comprising the SAW Herstory Taskforce, has made great strides in the group’s project documenting the unique contributions and path of our section and will begin data collection this fall. They will present their findings to us at the 2016 convention in Denver.


We were also delighted to learn that Dr. Roberta Nutt, the 2014 SAW Foremother of the Year Award winner, was selected as a distinguished recipient of the Leadership Award from the APA Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP). SAW was pleased to nominate Roberta for this award and excited to see her sustained contributions to women acknowledged and celebrated.


In other news, along with my co-chairs, Drs. Sharon Lamb and Lillian Comas-Diaz, we received the initial report from APA following our submission of the first full draft of the revised Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women. We are currently working on revisions with an aim toward resubmitting our work in the coming months. Many SAW members have helped contribute to the considerable task of revising the original guidelines and I feel grateful to each one of you for your dedication and commitment to helping us bring our efforts to fruition.

We are also in the midst of our first fundraising event and thank each of you who has made a donation in any amount. If you’d like to contribute, please let us know. Funds will be used to support student involvement with SAW, including our annual Student Research Award, SAW Student of the Year Award, and potentially a Travel Award to be used to support student attendance at the 2016 convention.

You can see photos from convention and keep up-to-date by visiting our website ( Remember to stop by and like us on Facebook, too (

Best wishes for a peaceful fall season—

Debra Mollen, Ph.D.

SAW Chair

Texas Woman’s University


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