This spring, look for the email ballot to vote for the following Division 54 2021 slate of candidates: President-Elect, Member at Large--Student/Trainee Development, Member at Large--Diversity, Secretary, and the APA Council Rep. Ballots are generally sent around mid-April. Note that only non-student SPP members will receive a ballot from APA.
Cynthia A. Gerhardt, PhD
Cynthia Gerhardt is a professor at The Ohio State University (OSU), Director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), and holds an endowed chair in pediatric behavioral health. She received her undergraduate degree from OSU and her PhD from the University of Vermont. She completed her internship and fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. As an APA fellow and active member of SPP for over 20 years, Dr. Gerhardt has been involved in research, clinical care, training, and leadership. In 2016, she received the Dennis Drotar Distinguished Research Award for her contributions related to family adjustment to life-threatening illnesses and bereavement. She has over 160 publications and has had continuous NIH and foundation funding. She has mentored numerous students, trainees, fellows, and faculty members. As former Treasurer of SPP, Dr. Gerhardt served on the SPP Board for the past four years, and she is also a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the JPP Mentorship Program, the SPP Mentorship Program, and the SPP Hematology/Oncology SIG. Dr. Gerhardt has been an ardent advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion as Director of the Integrating Special Populations program for the OSU CTSA and as Co-Director of the SPP Anti-racism in Research Working Group.
I am truly honored to be nominated for SPP President and welcome the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to our division. SPP has always been my professional home, and I have loved being part of our efforts to improve the lives of children and families everywhere. I am committed to service and believe it is important that we promote the value of pediatric psychologists worldwide. Serving on the SPP Board for the past four years has been an incredible experience. We have grown and are now one of the most successful and financially stable divisions in APA. This has allowed us to focus on strategic initiatives that support our students and trainees; increase diversity, equity, and inclusion; generate and share our knowledge; advocate for evidence-based practice; and expand globally. It is an exciting time for us! If elected, I would look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board of Directors to fulfill our division’s mission. As a participant in the APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, the AAMC Women Faculty Professional Development Program, in addition to other leadership experience, I am confident in my ability to succeed in this role. Thus, I am pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to SPP and the future of our field. It has been particularly rewarding to mentor and work with so many new and accomplished members of SPP during my career. I hope I can continue to make a valuable and positive impact through my service to the organization. Thank you for your consideration and support. It would be a great privilege to serve you as SPP President.
Melissa Santos, PhD
Melissa Santos is the Division Chief of Pediatric Psychology and Clinical Director of the Pediatric Obesity Center at Connecticut Children’s and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Her clinical work and research focuses on improving treatment outcomes for youth participating in weight management programs by examining subpopulations that historically have not benefited from current obesity treatment models.
I am honored to be nominated to serve as SPP’s President. SPP has been my professional home for years, and I am privileged at the opportunity to be able to serve an organization that has served me. I am fortunate to currently be serving as SPP’s Member at Large for Diversity. Upon entering that role, my goals were to increase SPP representation, provide networking and mentoring opportunities, and provide a sense of safety and community within our organization. These are the continued guiding principles I would bring if elected President. We have had a year none of us will ever forget. Between the COVID-19, racism, and surging mental health pandemics, pediatric psychologists are leading efforts on multiple fronts. But to do that successfully, we have continued hard work to do to ensure SPP adequately reflects, advocates for, and has the voice of, the diverse patients and families we serve. Our organization has done tremendous work over the past year with our Anti-Racism Workgroup and the development of the Patient/Family Taskforce. Let’s keep it going. Thank you for considering me for this role.
Member at Large, Student/Trainee Development
Megan Cohen, PhD, ABPP
Megan Cohen is a pediatric psychologist at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and assistant professor of pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Florida and completed both her internship and fellowship at Nemours/AIDHC. She is the Director of Fellowship Training at Nemours/AIDHC. Her clinical roles include working with children and families in integrated primary care, as well as weight management and adolescent bariatric surgery. She enjoys supervising both interns and fellows in these settings.
I am delighted to be considered for the Society of Pediatric Psychology’s Member-At-Large for Student/Trainee Development. Training and mentoring students is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career as a pediatric psychologist. My passion for training was strongly influenced by the student programming from which I benefitted as a student member of SPP, and it would be an honor to serve in this role. I believe I am well-suited for MAL of Student/Trainee Development because I participate in training across multiple levels and can identify training issues from different perspectives. I transitioned to the role of Director of Fellowship Training at Nemours/AIDHC during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have first-hand experience creatively modifying a fellowship program that still guarantees trainees build core competencies and obtain high quality professional development experiences allowing them to launch into their careers. If elected as MAL for Student/Trainee Development my mission would be to continue SPP’s excellence in student programming while ensuring it is inclusive and accessible to students from all backgrounds. While this year has been challenging, it has also forced us to transform many of our training practices to be more equitable for students (e.g. virtual conferences and recruitment). Although not new, the expanded adoption of videoconferencing removes many geographical barriers for training and research presentation. I would work closely with our Student Advisory Board and Diversity Committee to identify key areas where we can capitalize on these shifts in how we train a diverse next generation of pediatric psychologists.
Kristen Hoskinson, PhD
Kristen Hoskinson is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a Principal Investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She is also a licensed psychologist who specializes in pediatric neuropsychology. Her research program and clinical care are highly integrated, and focus on the long term social, emotional, and neurocognitive consequences of childhood brain injury, cancer and brain tumor, and critical congenital heart disease. As a graduate student, she served on the SPP Executive Committee as Student Representative, and is currently on the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
I am honored to have been nominated for SPP Member-at-Large for Student and Trainee Development. SPP has been my professional “home” since my days as a research assistant, and I continually try to find ways to give back to an organization that so pivotally shaped my career. As Student Representative to SPP, I really valued how student and trainee needs could be reflected in the larger mission of national and international associations, and worked to increase student-oriented conference programming and graduate school admission materials. If given the opportunity to serve as Member-at-Large, I would be dedicated to building on these and other student-oriented initiatives. Specifically, I would collaborate closely with the Student Advisory Board to ensure their needs and interests were reflected in programming; continue to develop and promote opportunities for student and trainee research funding, travel support, and society involvement; and develop ways for students and trainees to engage in advocacy efforts. I work closely with students and trainees both through my research lab and as a clinician, and hope to leverage my experience in building a career that bridges these roles, so that SPP initiatives can reflect the wide range of career trajectories of its student and trainee members.
Member at Large, Diversity
Elvin Thomaseo Burton, PhD, MPH, ABPP
E. Thomaseo Burton is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Burton’s research seeks to develop and implement high quality and culturally-relevant behavioral interventions for children, adolescents, and their families with overweight, obesity, and related cardiometabolic comorbidities; he has a particular interest in mindfulness-based interventions. He is a member of the Pediatric Obesity program at UTHSC and serves as pediatric psychologist for the Healthy Lifestyle Clinic at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Burton earned a PhD in clinical psychology (2011) from Purdue University as well as an MPH with a focus on community health. He completed postdoctoral training in pediatric obesity at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Burton is board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.
It is such an honor to be nominated for Member-at-Large for Diversity. SPP has taken so many positive strides towards addressing issues of diversity both within the organization and for the patients and families we serve, and this is an exciting time to continue and grow this work!
As the current Awards Chair for the SPP Diversity SIG, I have the great privilege to see firsthand the strong commitment to diversity and health equity within our membership. I am particularly encouraged by the commitment demonstrated by undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in pediatric psychology. As a Black man, I am acutely aware of the importance of representation in our clinical, research, and advocacy efforts. As such, my primary goals, if elected, are to work collaboratively with SPP Leadership and Membership to make sure that attention to issues of diversity are integrated at all levels of our organization, with a particular focus on making SPP more accessible and welcoming to all.
Christina Low Kapalu, PhD
I am truly honored to be nominated for the SPP member at large (MAL) for diversity position. As a multiracial woman in academia, member of the SPP Diversity SIG, and past co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Medicine at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, I am committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within the field of pediatric psychology. If elected, I have three goals for my time as SPP MAL for Diversity: 1) Lobby to convert the 2020 SPP Diversity Grant to an annual funding mechanism, 2) Add a diversity mentor matching option to the existing SPP Mentorship Matching Program to engage and support diverse trainees, and 3) Promote cultural humility through ongoing education and advocacy. I would like to partner with other SPP board members to amplify the voices of BIPOC psychologists/trainees within SPP in order to improve visibility, recruitment, and retention within the field. Finally, I would like to motivate leadership and SPP members of majority culture to participate in the antiracism work, as these changes cannot be done solely by people of color. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve SPP members in this role, and thank you for your support.
Kira S. Branch, PsyD
Kira Branch is a licensed pediatric psychologist at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children and assistant professor of pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from La Salle University. She completed her doctoral internship at the May Institute and her postdoctoral fellowship at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. Dr. Branch specializes in behavioral health services within gastroenterology, working with children and adolescents diagnosed with chronic medical conditions and disorders of the brain-gut interaction. She coordinates supervision seminar for trainees and supervises externs, residents, and fellows. Dr. Branch is an active member of the Nemours Diversity, anti-Racism, Inclusion, Value, and health Equity (D.R.I.V.E.) taskforce and the Division of Behavioral Health Diversity Committee.
I am honored to be nominated for Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP). When I joined SPP as a graduate student, I remember feeling a sense of not belonging. My graduate program was not well-known in the field, and I recall noticing that there were not many people who looked like me at SPPAC. Even so, I knew that being a part of SPP was integral to achieving my professional goals. Each year, I have seen firsthand how SPP’s efforts have helped diversify the pipeline into pediatric psychology. Today, I am a proud member of SPP, not only because it promotes exemplary work in the field of pediatric psychology, but because of SPP’s dedication to antiracism and providing culturally humble care to all children and families. I feel it is crucial for our board to reflect the diversity and inclusion we are actively striving for. In my current position at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, I am responsible for behavioral health program development within gastroenterology and lead the development of an antiracism program for children and families. I also serve on our enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion task force. These roles have allowed me to grow in several areas such as leadership, organizational skills, integrity, and fortitude. If elected, I promise to be an active member of our board, advocating for the advancement of pediatric psychology and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for us as providers and the families we serve.
Katrina “Kati” Cordts, PhD
Katrina (Poppert) Cordts received her PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2018. She completed internship training and a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University. Cordts is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of Wellness Education and Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). At UNMC, Cordts serves as a clinical supervisor to clinical psychology graduate students, interns, and fellows, as well as medical students, psychiatry residents, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows.
Additionally, she researches pediatric sleep, pain, and physical activity. Clinically, Cordts provides care to children and adolescents with and without special health care needs. As Director of Wellness and Research, Cordts is responsible for implementing and researching the effectiveness of wellness programming for faculty, students, and staff across UNMC. Cordts has been a member of the Society of Pediatric Psychology since 2010. She currently serves as Secretary for the SPP Sleep Special Interest Group. It is a tremendous honor to be nominated for Secretary of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Since attending my first conference as an undergraduate, I have considered SPP my professional home. The organization has been essential to my development as a pediatric psychologist, affording mentorship, training, and networking opportunities. My current position researching the effects of campus wellness efforts speaks to my interdisciplinary collaboration strengths, large-scale project coordination, and commitment to professional wellbeing. Furthermore, as Secretary for the Sleep SIG of SPP, I have had the opportunity to collaborate on national programming, organize a monthly webinar series, and promote clinician-scientists conducting outstanding work within SPP. Should I be elected, my diligence, attention to detail, and organizational abilities would be an excellent match for the role of Secretary. It would be a privilege to serve in this position and collaborate with fellow board members and constituents to advance the mission of SPP and promote the profession of pediatric psychology.
Sunnye Mayes, PhD, ABPP
Sunnye Mayes completed her PhD in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas in 2006 and clinical internship at the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology at the Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center (OUHSC). She was a faculty member at OUHSC from 2007-2019. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine Affiliated with Norton Children’s Hospital. She is the Director of Psychosocial Services for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Director of Research for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology. Clinically, Mayes provides services for families of children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer and disorders of blood and bone marrow. She is also a supervisor within the APA-accredited internship program and provides training within the Pediatrics residency, child psychiatry fellowship, and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training programs.
It is an honor to be nominated for Secretary of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. SPP was the very first professional organization I joined as an undergraduate student and it has always been my professional home. My career has offered many opportunities to highlight and encourage the work of SPP from multiple perspectives, including that of a clinician, researcher, supervisor, and multidisciplinary collaborator. As an active member of SPP, I have served on the Editorial Board of JPP and am a frequent reviewer for SPP grants and awards. Previous leadership experiences that highlight my organizational management, communication, and task-implementation skills include chairing a task force that developed specific recommendations and educational materials for students with sickle cell disease, chairing a task force that designed and implemented a family advisory board, oversight of a state-funded project for implementation of the psychosocial standards of care for pediatric oncology, and serving on the APA Council of Representatives for the Oklahoma Psychological Association. I hope to call on my current and previous experiences and perspectives in working with the SPP board to advance the health, well-being, and cultural responsiveness of our advocacy, research, and practice. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Tammi Young-Saleme, PhD
Tammi Young-Saleme is a clinical professor at The Ohio State University (OSU), a pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), and the director of the hematology/oncology/bmt psychosocial program at NCH. Young-Saleme received her undergraduate degree her PhD from Texas A&M University. She completed her internship and fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Young-Saleme has held leadership roles within Pediatric Psychology at NCH and has been a mentor to over 85 practicum students, psychology pre-doctoral interns and post-doctoral fellows
in pediatric psychology. She has been a member of SPP since 1992. Her clinical work, research and programmatic development have focused on the psychosocial care of children with cancer and blood disorders and their families. She oversees a large interdisciplinary group of professionals including psychologists, social workers, school liaisons, child life in her current role at NCH.
Young-Saleme is actively involved in leadership and training at NCH as Director of the Hematology/Oncology/BMT psychosocial services, and track director for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship program, and a member of the Palliative Care Fellowship program. Young-Saleme is a member of the SPP Hematology/Oncology SIG, the SPP Palliative Care SIG, and the Children’s Oncology Group Behavioral Sciences Committee. She also co-chaired the conference planning committee for the 2005 Regional Conference on Child Health.
I am extremely honored to be nominated for SPP secretary and welcome the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to our division. SPP has been my professional home since I started graduate training. It was in 1993 that Dr. William Rae introduced me to the field of pediatric psychology at my first professional conference in Gainesville, Florida. I remember walking around in awe that I was in the same room as the leaders in our field. The benefits of those early days of exposure, collaborative partnerships both formal and informal through the society helped influence my career path as a pediatric psychologist.
SPP has shaped my professional identity, connected me with supportive mentors, and provided opportunities to give back to the organization that has been so pivotal in my career. My involvement in SPP over the years has included activities such as co-chairing the 2005 Midwest SPP conference, reviewing for various SPP awards and conference submissions, presenting and hosting workshops, and mentoring students and early career pediatric psychologists.
I bring my strengths in organization, writing, attention to detail, time management, a high level of commitment and the ability to work collaboratively with others to the position of SPP secretary. I am ready to put these skills to use to contribute to the mission of SPP. I am passionate, enthusiastic, and dedicated to the mission of SPP.
I would be honored to serve you as SPP secretary. Thank you for this opportunity and for your consideration.
APA Council Rep
David M Janicke, PhD, ABPP
David M. Janicke is a professor and director of graduate training in clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida. He is a board certified Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist and an APA Fellow with 18 years of experience as an academic pediatric psychologist. He has served on the SPP Executive Committee as both the editor of Progress Notes and Member-at-Large for Training. He was Co-Chair of the Task Force on Competencies and Best Training Practices in Pediatric Psychology. He is currently an associate editor for JPP and has served in numerous leadership positions within his department and university.
I am honored to be nominated for the role as a Division 54 representative to the APA Council of Representatives. Throughout my career, I have been involved in research, practice, and training. I will bring almost 20 years of experience to council with a focus on advocating for resources addressing children’s health, continuing to build psychologists roles in integrated care, advancing our role in leadership, and promoting training practices that advance competencies and the well-being of trainees. Furthermore, I am eager to advocate for greater diversity in our field and policies that promote social justice. During these challenging times, our voices and passion need to be heard more than ever. I will continue advocating for SPP’s interests, our critical role in health care, and addressing the needs of those most vulnerable. Finally, I will look forward to hearing your ideas to bring forward to the APA Council.
Jerlym S. Porter, PhD, MPH
Jerlym Porter is an Associate Member and director of the pediatric psychology fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed internship training at Rush University Medical Center. She completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Health Services & Outcomes Research and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Porter is a clinician-scientist specializing in treatment of children and adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) and conducting research to improve the quality of life of youth with SCD with an emphasis on issues relevant to the transition to adult care and treatment adherence. She was an inaugural member of the Adolescent and
Young Adult (AYA) Special Interest Group (SIG) leadership in 2012 and served as the SIG co-chair 2015-2017. Currently, she is involved in the Division 54 Anti-Racism Institutional subgroup and the Diversity Training and Pipeline Committee of the Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Training Council (CCaPPTC).
I am honored to be nominated for the role as a Division 54 representative to the APA Council of Representatives. If elected I will serve as a liaison to the Board and membership and will ensure that Division 54 members remain informed regarding APA activities. Given the recent events in our nation involving the passing of voting restrictions to make it more difficult for people to vote, I am reminded of how vital our voices are, both individually and collectively. Division 54 retained its two seats on the APA Council of Representatives because of your vote for APA apportionment allocations. It is crucial that we lend our collective voice for children, families, and their health to the APA council and vote for changes that are consistent with SPP’s mission to actively promote the health and psychological wellbeing of youth and families. Representation matters, and I would be privileged to serve in this position to increase SPP’s representation to the larger APA community.
Terry Stancin, PhD, ABPP
I would be honored to have your vote to serve a second term as Division 54 Council Representative. I am a Professor at Case Western Reserve University and Chief Psychologist for the MetroHealth System (an urban safety net medical system serving the Cleveland, Ohio area). With 35+ years of experience as an academic pediatric psychologist, I bring to Council a strong voice and focus on children and families, positioning psychologists as health care leaders, and ensuring that we have an adequately prepared workforce that is highly valued and compensated fairly for its efforts. During my first term on Council, I was an active member of the Child and Family and the Health Psychology Caucuses which successfully promoted many important APA decisions of interest to Division 54 including seating Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations on Council, advocating for graduate student voting privileges, supporting sexual/gender diverse children & adolescents in schools, communicating appropriately about associations of aggression and video games, providing psychological care for people with low income, and advocating for important resolutions on child & adolescent mental health and positive parenting strategies. I intend to continue to be a voice for pediatric psychology as Chair-elect of the Health Psychology Caucus.
Idia Thurston, PhD
I am honored to be nominated for SPP’s APA Council of Representatives position. I joined SPP as a graduate student and attended my first SPPAC in 2007 with much trepidation because I did not come from a well-established pediatric psychology program. Attending that conference changed my career trajectory. Networking during a poster session at SPPAC, led to my participation in a T32 predoctoral fellowship at Brown University, which made me competitive for a pediatric psychology internship (and postdoc) at Boston Children’s Hospital. These experiences launched my career and led to my current position as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Public Health at Texas A&M University. As a Black, immigrant, woman in academia, I am accustomed to rarely seeing folx who look like me in spaces and this fuels my passion for diversifying our field and dismantling systems that prevent our researchers, providers, and educators from mirroring the diversity of the communities we serve. If elected, I will work collaboratively to advance SPP’s mission at APA and beyond. I will bring my passion for prioritizing the health and well-being of all children, youth and families, by systematically advocating for the needs and voices of families who SPP and APA have not historically centered. I will bring my knowledge and experience from serving on SPP’s board and APA’s Health Equity Task Force to promote system-oriented strategies that drive SPP’s vision. Finally, I will bring my skills in education, research, practice, and lived experience to engage with APA on reaching SPP’s strategic drivers and centering our future pediatric psychologists.