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Celebrating Excellence in Psychology Learning and Teaching: Kelley Haynes-Mendez and Birgit Spinath

01 Jul 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Celebrating Excellence in Psychology Learning and Teaching: Kelley Haynes-Mendez and Birgit Spinath

In my years as a psychology educator, I have been inspired by so many talented and imaginative colleagues. Organizations like STP, as well as our sister organizations like the European Society for Psychology Learning and Teaching (ESPLAT), attract members who exhibit dedication to their students and their craft, a willingness to follow the evidence, a penchant for creativity and innovation, and a deep generosity in sharing their work with their colleagues and the discipline. It is my privilege, as STP President, to honor two such inspirational colleagues with Presidential Citations. These prestigious awards are intended to recognize “individuals who have made extraordinary life-time contributions to the Society and/or to the teaching of psychology.” I am pleased to announce that Drs. Kelley Haynes-Mendez and Birgit Spinath will join an illustrious list of Presidential Citation honorees dating back to the award’s 2004 inception.  

Kelley Haynes-Mendez

Kelley D. Haynes-Mendez, Psy.D., is the Director of the Ethnicity, Race, and Cultural Affairs Portfolio at the American Psychological Association. Kelley earned her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (USA). She is a licensed psychologist in Texas and was previously an associate professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Kelley also earned a Diploma in Social Innovation with the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica. Kelley’s scholarship focuses on multiculturalism, as well as the teaching of global citizenship in higher education.

Within STP, Kelley has been an innovative and forward-thinking leader, serving most recently as the Vice President for Diversity and International Relations. Prior to holding that position, Kelley served as Chair of the International Relations Committee. She also previously served on STP’s Diversity Committee. Kelley’s leadership within STP has been consequential for the organization, and her work has led to lasting and ongoing change, particularly with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and internationalization. Among her many contributions, Kelley was central to the development of STP’s Statement on Addressing Systemic Racism and Inequity; she initiated an organizational DEI assessment process; she championed partnerships with UPEACE, ESPLAT, and other international organizations; and she has published and presented related to DEI and internationalization within psychology learning and teaching organizations, including STP. Her contributions to STP will reverberate beyond her leadership within the organization, and I have no doubt she will continue to contribute to psychology learning and teaching in her new role at APA.

Birgit Spinath

Prof. Dr. Birgit Spinath is a professor of Educational Psychology at Heidelberg University (Germany). She earned her Dr. phil. at the University of Bielefeld, and studies learning and teaching at multiple levels, including in higher education; motivation as a prerequisite for and an outcome of education; and teacher education and self-regulation. Birgit has published widely in top international journals and has served as an Associate Editor at several international journals as well. She is a past president of the German Psychological Society and the current Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Psychology Learning and Teaching (PLAT).

Birgit is a true international leader in psychology learning and teaching, forging connections among people and organizations across borders. For example, as editor of PLAT, Birgit has recruited an international roster of associate editors and editorial board members representing eight countries and three continents. As a member of the Executive Committee of the European Society for Psychology Learning and Teaching (ESPLAT), Birgit has been influential in fostering connections with other psychology learning and teaching organizations, including STP. Beyond developing connections, Birgit has published in our journal (Teaching of Psychology) and presented at our conference (the Annual Conference on Teaching) in 2014 as STP’s first international keynote speaker. Birgit readily extends and accepts invitations for collaborations with psychology educators around the world. STP in particular, and psychology learning and teaching more generally, have benefited from her expansive and generous leadership. The impact of her work will endure through the alliances that she has created and the networks that she will continue to develop. 

Annual Conference on Teaching

Typically, Presidential Citations are bestowed on the honorees at the Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) or another psychology teaching conference. I am honored to present Kelley with her citation in person during the upcoming ACT in Louisville, KY, from October 14-16, and I look forward to presenting Birgit with her citation in person when international travel has returned to some semblance of normality. Congratulations to these inspiring leaders in our field!

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