Welcome to the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP)

To view previous Letters from the President, click here.

To read President-Elect Susan Nolan's initiatives for 2021 and to apply for one of the task forces, click here.

December 3, 2020

When I taught high school, I noticed students often seemed to be wishing their lives away. They wished time would pass quickly because only in the future would they be able to do what they wanted to do. They would wish for homecoming festivities to get here. They would wish it were winter holidays or spring break. They would wish it were graduation or even just Friday. As an adult in their lives, it seemed to be my job to quash these wishes and remind them that they only have the time they have now. I would admonish them not to wish their lives away and live in the moment, seizing the day and counting the rosebuds while they may. I wasn’t trying to be a party pooper. Seizing the day can be a lot of fun, and rosebuds do smell nice.

But, honestly, these days, I’m finding myself wishing this year away. I am wishing for a day when any or all of the various vaccines are widely available and effective. I’m wishing for the day I can travel again – anywhere, please. I wish for a time when my children can be back in school full-time with their amazing teachers and friends. I wish the future to be here now because I am tired of all this. I know you are as well. 2020 has been a year for the history books, and it will get the asterisk designation every single time it is mentioned going forward. We will qualify what we did this year with prepositional phrases like “for a pandemic,” “amidst racial violence and trauma,” and “during a stressful election year.” Whatever we did or did not accomplish, it was the best that could happen for a pandemic amidst racial violence and trauma during a stressful election year. Whew.

Even as I wish for this time to pass, I am grateful for my time as president of STP in 2020.

• The Executive Committee is one of the best groups of people I’ve worked with. I’ve been a member of the EC as a VP and as President for five years now, and no matter who has been elected to serve, they were dedicated, professional, interesting, and sharp people. I am honored to be among the people you members of STP have chosen for leadership. I am the first president of STP to have taught high school psychology as my primary teaching experience, and our community is the only one I am aware of that welcomes high school teachers as peers. I will always be grateful to the members and leaders of STP who have set that standard for our community.

• I am honored to be a part of diversity, equity, and inclusion work for STP this year. I chose to make diversification of our membership my top presidential priority this year, and the work became even more urgent as the year progressed. I am honored that leaders in STP shared their expertise and experience to craft our diversity statement, to participate in my APA Presidential Hour panel, to edit and contribute to diversity initiatives with our journal, and to develop recommendations for diversifying our membership. This work has inspired and challenged me, and I hope that STP can be an example for how an organization can make real systemic change for the better.

• I am so sad we could not gather in person for our annual conference, but I am grateful that we were able to offer a virtual conference – and we’re continuing to offer it! All members can still access presentations from virtual ACT, so I encourage you to login or to join and login as soon as you can. If you need a little uplift as this year winds down, experiencing the quality presentations and conversations from virtual ACT 2020 may be just what you need.

• These blog posts have been surprisingly fulfilling to write. As I shared from the beginning, I haven’t really found success being a blogger on my own. I overthink and overedit myself, making it hard to be timely and, well, concise. I am grateful to Tom Pusateri, Kelley Haynes-Mendez, and Susan Nolan for giving their input off and on this year to make these posts readable. And thank you for reading them.

I am leaving this presidency grateful for my time even though it wasn’t at all what I was hoping for.

I am grateful that STP is financially sound and was poised to weather this challenging year.

I am grateful that you all have shared your experiences throughout this year with each other in the effort to make even a moment of this uncomfortable time a little less uncomfortable.

I am grateful that I get to be a little part of the history of this organization, standing on the shoulders of the giants who have come before me and hopefully being a solid perch for future leaders to stand on.

May you find something to be grateful for in this pandemic amidst racial violence and trauma during a stressful election year. If you can find gratitude, may it carry you through the rest of this year and into that future we wish was already here.

Thanks for letting me lead you this year.

Take good care, all.

Amy Fineburg

STP President 2020

Ok, so, the pandemic is not getting better and the plans for this academic year probably won’t work. I’m predicting that, at some point, we will have stretches of time where every day will be like a snow day – will we meet today or not? So, let’s take a detour from the angst and worry over Academic Year 2020-2021 and celebrate some truly wonderful psychology educators.

One of my privileges as STP President is to bestow Presidential Citations to two colleagues “who have made extraordinary life-time contributions to the Society and/or to the teaching of psychology.” The two people that I have honored this year are among the best teachers and people I know.

Loretta Neal McGregor, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at Arkansas State University and is President of the Faculty Senate. Loretta earned her bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University, her master’s degree from Emporia State University, and her doctorate from Wichita State University in Human Factors Psychology. She has taught in higher education for almost 30 years. She served for 8 years as department chair at Arkansas State in the Psychology and Counseling Department. Prior to her tenure at ASU, she was an assistant professor at Southern Arkansas University and her alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University.

Loretta has served the teaching of psychology for many years as an advocate for quality undergraduate education for all students. She has taught courses across the undergraduate psychology curriculum, including research methods, statistics, and introduction to psychology. She has been a member of APA’s Board of Educational Affairs and served as Division 2’s (STP’s) Associate Director for Society Programming for the APA Convention. She was a long-time Advanced Placement (AP) Reader and Table Leader, helping to ensure quality scoring of AP Exams for students around the world. Loretta is one of the most preeminent scholars of the life of fellow Arkansan Mamie Phipps Clark, the pioneering social psychologist who, along with her husband Kenneth Clark, conducted the “Black Doll/White Doll” studies that ultimately influenced the 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decision from the United States Supreme Court. Loretta is a sought-after speaker on teaching, learning, and Dr. Clark’s contributions to the field. She is an alumnae of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology (LIWP). She is the first African American awarded a Presidential Citation from Division 2.

Kristin Habashi Whitlock is the AP Psychology teacher at Davis High School in Bountiful, Utah. She also teaches courses at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Kristin has been teaching AP Psychology at Davis since the course’s inception in 1992, and she has been involved with the AP Reading since 2001. She has been a Question Leader, Rubric Master, Table Leader, and Reader at the Reading and has served as an Advisor to the College Board and on the AP Psychology Development Committee, which is charged with developing questions for the AP Psychology Exam.

Kristin has been active in promoting quality high school psychology instruction for most of her career. She helped found and directs the Utah Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (U-TOPSS) Fall Conference and is a member of the APA’s Introductory Psychology Initiative group. She served with me on the Steering Committee for the APA National Summit for High School Psychology, co-chairing the “Psychology is a Science” strand. She has served as chair of TOPSS and has presented at just about every major psychology and psychology-affiliated conference that exists, including NITOP, ACT, NCSS, and Psychology One. Kristin is generous in sharing good psychology instruction with others, including being a co-author of such resources as the Barron’s AP Q & A Psychology book and presenting at AP Summer Institutes each year. Kristin is the first high school psychology teacher awarded a Presidential Citation from Division 2.

I am sad that I won’t be able to see them in person this year at our Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) since we had to move that event to an online experience. So, I made some lemonade out of those lemons and recorded a Zoom-cast with Loretta and Kristin to explore some of their perspectives on teaching and to show you all what amazing, caring, excellent teachers and people they are. Please enjoy our friendly chat.

Speaking of ACT and going virtual, please take a moment to listen to me, Tom Pusateri (our Executive Director) and Jordan Triosi (Director of ACT Programming) discuss our decision making process for going virtual and what we are looking forward to for this year. Thanks to Eric Landrum and the PsychSessions podcast team for taking the time to interview us and share how much we will miss seeing everyone in person this fall. (And take some time to browse around the PsychSessions site to find interviews with amazing psychologists and psychology teachers!).

Amy Fineburg

2020 STP President

Results of 2020 Elections

Please join us in congratulating our newly elected officers for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. These officers will begin or continue their terms of service on January 1st, 2021. 

Linda Woolf

Stephanie Afful

Vice President for Programming
Angela Legg

Vice President for Resources
Bill Altman

Division Two’s Representative to APA Council (Only APA members of STP may vote for Council Representatives)
Maureen McCarthy

We express our gratitude to those candidates who were ran for these positions.

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