Greetings and Happy New Year,
With great honor and humility, I assume the responsibilities of STP president for 2024. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Loretta Neal McGregor. I hold a Ph.D. in Human Factors and a Master of Science degree in General Experimental Psychology. I have been active within The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) for 30+ years. As an STP member, I have served in numerous areas and positions; for example, I served as Associate Director of Society Programming for the APA Convention and as a member of the G. Stanley Hall Lecture selection committee. I have volunteered to work on numerous task forces like The Advisory Task Force for the Center for Teaching Resources in Psychology and the Task Force on Minority Issues.
As an active member of APA, I have worked on various task forces and committees. For example, I was a member of The Board of Directors for Educational Affairs (BEA). I was a member of the BEA's Advisory Task Force on Undergraduate Major Competencies and a participant in the National Conference on Undergraduate Education. This experience resulted in my contributing to the book, Undergraduate education in psychology: A blueprint for the future of the discipline. I currently serve as a member of the advisory panel for APA's Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology.
However, my most meaningful contribution to the discipline and society has been my research and scholarship on the life and contributions of Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark. Dr. Clark, a black woman and psychologist from Arkansas, played a crucial role in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court decision. I, too, am a black woman and psychologist from Arkansas. I view Dr. Clark as a giant in the discipline, role model, and my "homegirl." I have given presentations throughout the US and abroad about Dr. Clark's life and contributions to the discipline; it has been an honor and pleasure to share her story with the world.
I am a professor of psychology at Arkansas State University. One of my favorite things about being a professor is mentoring students and newly degreed psychology faculty members. I thoroughly enjoy meeting and mentoring new faculty members. These individuals often bring fresh ideas and an infectious enthusiasm to the discipline and the classroom. That is why I have chosen the theme of Cultivating the next generation of psychology educators as my platform for this year. If you have worthwhile ideas about how STP can encourage current and former students to become teachers within the discipline, please feel free to share your thoughts with me. Thank you to those who have already sent their ideas. I will be in touch.
I believe teachers and professors of psychology make a meaningful difference in each student's life and the lives of their student's current and future families. Yet, we do not do this by brainwashing students! We make a difference by teaching them about human thoughts, emotions, behavior, and development. The mission of the American Psychological Association is "...to promote the advancement, communication, and application of psychological science and knowledge to benefit society and improve lives." As educators of psychology and STP members, this is what we do best! The need to understand human behavior and display empathy toward others is something we currently need in our world. This is why we need more passionate teachers and professors to join our ranks.