Section on Positive Psychology – February 2017

The Section on Positive Psychology: Updates & Announcements


Greetings from the Section on Positive Psychology!


Section Updates

There have been many exciting things happening within our section!


Bylaw Changes & New Leadership Positions. We recently updated our Section Bylaws to reflect changes in our leadership positions and their roles. Our elected positions (new positions bolded) now include: Chair, Chair-Elect, Past Chair, Treasurer, Publication Editor, Resource Representative, and Student Representative. Our appointed positions include: Associate Publication Editor, Webmaster, and Student Campus Representatives.


Peer-Reviewed Newsletter. Many changes to our bylaws stemmed from recent changes to our newsletter. For the past few years we have strove to move our newsletter to a more formalized publication outlet for our members. We are proud that our current newsletter—Positive Psychology: Theory and Application—is now peer-reviewed. We will have a Spring issue coming out in the next couple months, and we are already planning for our Fall issue.


We are especially interested in submissions (900-1,000 words) that apply positive psychology to practice within counseling psychology and beyond and that approach positive psychology from a multicultural, diversity, or social justice lens. We accept submissions year-round, but in order to be considered for the Fall issue, submissions must be received by September 30, 2017. Submit complete articles in .docx format to Rhea Owens at For more information, please visit our website where you can view our latest issue.


Featured Members. We continue to feature our amazing members monthly. These member highlights include an interview with the featured member and are sent out through our listserv. They are also shared on our website. Nominations (including self-nominations!) for featured members are welcome. If you are interested, please email Dr. Joel Wong at


Section Awards

Each year the Section gives out two awards—the Student Award for Distinguished Contributions in Positive Psychology and the Shane J. Lopez Award for Professional Contribution in Positive Psychology. These awards were established to honor the contributions of students and psychologists in the science, practice, and teaching of positive psychology. We highly encourage you to either self-nominate (don’t be shy!) or to nominate another student affiliate or member of APA by sending an email to Rhea Owens:


The deadline for submitting nominations is coming up soon—March 15th. The application itself is due April 30th.


Our 2016 winners were:

  • Student Award for Distinguished Contributions in Positive Psychology: Hanna Suh (University of Florida)
  • Shane J. Lopez Award for Professional Contribution in Positive Psychology: Joel Wong, Ph.D.


For more information about the awards and application process, please visit our website.



Picture: Joel Wong receiving the Shane J. Lopez Award for Professional Contribution in Positive Psychology


Student Leadership Positions

Year-round, the Section accepts applications for the Student Campus Representative positions. This is a one-year position that involves the following responsibilities:


  • Assisting with recruitment of new student members for our section at the students’ respective university (and potentially other local universities).
  • Giving a short (already established) presentation about the Section on Positive Psychology to the students’ respective department or university’s Counseling Psychology (or Psychology) Student Organization(s).
  • Communicating quarterly with the Section’s Student Representative.
  • OPTIONAL: Creating a short PowerPoint presentation (10-15 minutes) on a positive psychology oriented topic that includes presenting notes (so other Campus Representatives can use the presentation at their respective university) OR help the Section gather resources to share with our members.


If you are interested in getting involved submit your application here.


Current Leadership

Meet our leadership team!


Executive Board:

Chair & Publication Editor: Rhea Owens, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)

Chair-Elect & Webmaster: Brian Cole, Ph.D. (University of Kansas)

Past Chair: Danny Singley, Ph.D. (The Center for Men’s Excellence)

Treasurer: Ingrid Weigold, Ph.D. (University of Akron)

Associate Publication Editor: Blake Allan, Ph.D.

Resource Representatives: Deborah Pardue (Indiana University, Bloomington) &

Patricia Cabrera (The University at Albany, State University of New York)

Student Representatives: Julia Cawthra (Indiana University, Bloomington) &

Sarah Milam (West Virginia University)







Picture: 2016 Executive Board Members; From left to right: Adam Fishel (Student Representative), Blake Allan (Research Representative), Rebecca Kinsey (Practice Representative), Rhea Owens (Chair), & Brian Cole (Chair-Elect & Webmaster)


Student Campus Representatives:

  • Adam Fishel (University of Memphis)
  • Alireza Memarian Azad (University of Isfahan; all universities in Iran)
  • Angela Lewis (Western Michigan University)
  • Beatriz Bello (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Bobby Byrom (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Carly Hunt Rietschel (University of Maryland)
  • Claudine Anderson (Georgia State University)
  • Colton Brown (Oklahoma State University)
  • Deidre Bassolino (Fordham University)
  • Dylan Corp (University at Albany)
  • Elizabeth Louis (University of Georgia)
  • Haley Sterling (Purdue University)
  • Ian Evans (Radford University)
  • Ian Lesueur (Seton Hall University)
  • Jordie Poncy (University of Houston)
  • Katherine Moore (University of British Columbia)
  • Lauren Bouchard (Purdue University)
  • Lauren Yurish (Chatham University)
  • Mandila Das (Texas Tech University)
  • Shao Li (Indiana University, Bloomington)
  • Shlee Martinez (Our Lady of the Lake University)
  • Srishyama Vempaty (Spalding University)
  • Susanna Turner (University of Northern Colorado)
  • Taylor Damiani (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Todd Ryser-Oatman (University of Kentucky)
  • Troy Fox (University of Kansas)



Not a member yet? Come on board! We’re a fun group and it’s free to join! You can sign up online.



Have a great rest of the semester!



Rhea L. Owens, Ph.D., L.P.

Assistant Professor of Counselling Psychology

University of British Columbia


Chair, Section on Positive Psychology


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