Melba Vasquez - Doctorate: Counseling Psychology, 1978
I received an excellent education as a counseling psychologist scientist practitioner from 1974 to 1978. I was recently elected the 2011 President of the American Psychological Association (APA), the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.
I am an independent practitioner in Austin, Texas, and have been active in various professional organizations in psychology. I am appreciative that the UT program emphasized the importance of professional involvement and contributions.
In my professional activities, I have focused on raising the visibility and participation of women and ethnic minorities in psychology, developing feminist and culturally competent services for women and minorities and advancing scholarship and ethics within the field. As APA’s first Latina president, I plan to make inroads with minority groups that are traditionally underserved by psychology. Strategies to promote coping and resilience for members of those groups are important to communicate to the public.
I am incredibly honored to have been chosen to serve in the role of APA president. APA plays a central role in presenting psychology as the science of behavior. I will promote the benefits of psychological science to daily living and to helping with some of society’s challenges.