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Candidate Statements

Candidate Statements

Division 50 President-Elect

James H. Bray, PhD:

The Society of Addiction Psychology is at an important juncture and needs continued strong leadership to sustain its vitality and growth.  As an active research, clinician, and educator for psychology and former APA President I bring a unique perspective and can represent the multiple needs of our SOAP.  I have had the honor to represent the Division as APA Council Representative for the past 6 years.  To continue the growth of the SOAP, I believe that we need new input and ideas.

As President I will focus on: (1) providing leadership to expand opportunities for all psychologists who work in addiction psychology, (2) providing leadership around new practice areas, such as primary care, integrated health care and SBIRT, (3) continuing and expanding the outstanding publications from the SOAP, (4) developing advocacy both within and outside of SOAP and APA for addressing substance abuse and addiction issues, and (5) expanding membership services for the changing needs of psychologists.  I have extensive experience within APA and can work effectively to represent the Society as President.  I welcome this opportunity to serve you and the Society of Addiction Psychology at this important point in our history.  I appreciate your vote for President. 

James H. Bray is a Chair and Professor of Psychology at University of Texas San Antonio.  Active in APA governance and service: 2009 APA President, Member of the APA Council representing Division 50 (2014-2020), APA Board of Educational Affairs (1996-1998), Chair of the APA Committee on Rural Health, CAPP Primary Care Task Force, 1995 President of Division 43, Member at Large of Division 50. I am an active substance abuse research with funding from NIH and SAMHSA. 

Mark B. Sobell, PhD, ABPP:

I have been a member of the Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP) since its inception and consider SoAP to be my professional home, having worked in addictions for 5 decades. For the past 2 years I have worked with 3 former Presidents and the current President of SoAP to write the application for a Subspecialty of Addiction Psychology, currently being considered by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). I am a fellow in 7 divisions of APA, have been President of Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology, SCP, 2013) and have been a member of the APA Council of Representatives (SCP) for the past five years. I also am a member of APA’s Publications and Communications Board.

SoAP, with more than 1,150 members, has grown tremendously over the past decade, with many achievements including the very successful annual Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction conference and spearheading a drive (with five other divisions) toward gaining formal recognition of Addiction Psychology as an ABPP subspecialty. We have a serious need, however, to attract more early career members and to continue to address the research—practice gap. These are challenges I would welcome as your President, as well as advocating for addiction psychology representation in integrated health and telehealth services, two areas of mushrooming growth in professional psychology. I am a licensed psychologist, Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology (ABPP), and have published over 300 articles/book chapters, and 8 books. I am presently President’s Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University, Florida.

APA Council Representative

Rick Barnett, PsyD, LADC:

I am running for Division 50 APA Council Representative to take an active role in positioning Addiction, as it relates to all health, mental health, and social issues, in the spotlight at all Council of Representatives communications, meetings, and decisions. As a psychologist and licensed alcohol and drug counselor for over two decades, I understand addiction education, treatment, research, and recovery deeply. As a person in long-term recovery from addiction, my lived experience adds a personal touch to my candidacy (as well as my work with others). I have a strong and balanced voice for our Division and the amazing work we do individually and as a group for our peers, for the public, and other health and non-health professionals. As an active APA member and Division 28, 38, 50, and 55 member, I am plugged into what's happening within and outside APA with regards to addiction. I look forward to growing relationships within and outside APA so that Division 50 and Addiction is firmly on the consciousness of all who care about this area of expertise.  I know how to be an effective team-player having served on many government, non-profit, and other Boards in roles such as President, Treasurer, Secretary, and more.  I have served on the Board of the VT Psychological Association for 10 years, as President, Federal Advocacy Coordinator, Legislative Chair, Public Education Coordinator, Continuing Education Chair, and paid lobbyist. I am eager to serve in this capacity and I'm appreciative of your vote! Thank you.

Bruce S. Liese, PhD, ABPP:

I am writing to ask for your vote. I would like to represent you on the APA Council of Representatives. I have always had a profound commitment to our Division. I was among the founding members back in 1993, and my commitment to our Division has never waned. I am presently Member-at-Large for Practice. I have served as Division 50 President (2017-2018), and prior to that I was Membership Chair for three years. Back in 1994, I became Editor of our newsletter, then known as The Addictions Newsletter (TAN), where I served for 10 years. I received the Division 50 President's Citation for my work in that role, and then several years ago our Division presented me with an award for Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training. I have also received the APA President’s Citizen Psychologist Award for volunteer work in my local community.

While involved in our Division, my day job has been Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Kansas for more than 35 years. As you might guess, my teaching, research, and clinical practice have all revolved around addictions. I am also the Clinical Director of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at the University of Kansas.

For more than a quarter century Division 50 has given so much to me. I can't imagine a better way of giving back than continuing on our board as APA Council Representative. Thank you in advance for your support!

Member-At-Large (Public Interest)

Angela M. Heads, PhD:

It would be a great honor to serve as Member-at-Large (Public Interest) for the Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP). My research focuses on risk and protective factors related to substance use, HIV prevention, addiction treatment, health disparities, and cultural determinants of mental and physical health in underserved populations. I have experience which qualifies me to perform the duties of the position (serving as a liaison between the SoAP and the APA Public Interest Directorate). In 2012, as a Minority Fellowship Program Psychology Summer Institute (PSI) fellow, I was involved in lobbying activities related to mental health equity which required me to meet with state representatives in Washington, D.C. Currently, in addition to my research and clinical work, I am part of the leadership team for the Texas Mental Health Equity Mentorship Network which requires communication and collaboration among several academic medical organizations to provide training, research and mentoring opportunities to students and early career faculty. Addressing health disparities and cultural determinants of health requires knowledge of and a desire to influence policy. Because of these experiences and interests, I believe that I am an ideal candidate. The position of Member-at-Large is an opportunity for me to contribute to SoAP and the APA on a larger scale. Thank you for your support.

Lesia M. Ruglass, PhD:

I would be honored to serve as Member-at-Large (Public Interest) for SOAP. I am a licensed clinical psychologist and an associate professor in the Applied Department at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, where I also serve as assistant director of the Center of Alcohol Studies. For the past 20 years, my clinical and research interests have centered on: 1) testing the efficacy and effectiveness of combined and integrated psychological interventions for co-occurring trauma/PTSD, and substance use disorders (SUDs); 2) understanding the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying SUDs (particularly cannabis and tobacco use disorders); and 3) understanding and reducing racial/ethnic disparities in trauma/PTSD, SUD, and treatment outcomes.

I have been an APA member since 1996. From 2012-2017, I served in various elected roles in Division 56, as the early career representative (ECP), co-chair of the diversity committee, and member-at-large. In those capacities, I was involved in the education of the public through publications and resources demonstrating the links between stress, socioeconomic status, and racial/ethnic disparities in interpersonal violence exposure and physical and mental health. 

As part of the APA Minority Fellowship Psychology Summer Institute, I participated in training on federal advocacy and had the opportunity to advocate on Capitol Hill for additional support for the program. These experiences provided me with significant insights into the strategies needed for successful advocacy. I look forward to the opportunity to liaise with the APA public interest directorate and the SOAP advocacy and Policy Committee in service of developing educational and training resources as well as public policies that ensure equitable access to treatment and societal resources for all. Thanks for your consideration.


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