June 26, 2007
For immediate release
Dr. Manuel Casas of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School named President-Elect of the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues
Dr. Manuel Casas, Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, has been elected President-Elect of Division 45, the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, of the American Psychological Association (APA).
“Being elected to this position by my ‘true’ peers is a great honor that comes with many responsibilities; responsibilities that I willingly accept,” Dr. Casas says. “It is a position that I humbly accept as an immigrant from a very small town in Mexico who never dreamed of attaining it. As president, I hope to work towards making APA more responsive to the needs of racial/ethnic minority psychologists and more important to our respective communities.”
The Society for the Psychology Study of Ethnic Minority Issues is the major representative body for psychologists who conduct research on ethnic minority concerns or who apply psychological knowledge and techniques to ethnic minority issues. The Division’s purpose is to advance psychology as a science and to promote public welfare through research, to apply research findings towards addressing ethnic minority issues, and to encourage professional relationships among psychologists with these interests. It also represents ethnic minority concerns within the governance of the APA.
From its inception, the Division has sponsored programs at the annual convention of the APA. Programs have included scientific papers, symposia, and poster sessions through which the membership of the Division and those interested in the application of psychological principles in ethnic minority issues could exchange ideas and disseminate research findings. Reflective of the diversity of interests within the division, topics have covered a range of ideas related to ethnic minorities which include psycho-social stress, HIV/AIDS, development of self-identity, psychological assessment, substance abuse, sexuality and sex roles, and other topics.
After earning his secondary teaching credential, Casas found teaching to be quite rewarding, especially when working from a “counseling” perspective with children from diverse backgrounds, low income families, and at high risk for failure within the traditional educational system. Wanting to better understand such children and in turn improve his ability to help them, he obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University with a specialization in the areas of Counseling and Cross-Cultural Psychology. In his present position, a professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara, he continues to direct his professional efforts towards improving the plight of such children and their families. More specifically, Dr. Casas’s most recent research and publication endeavors have focused on Hispanic families and children who are at risk for experiencing educational, health, and psycho-social problems, including tobacco, and other drug abuse. His research in this area gives special attention to resiliency factors that can help Hispanic families avoid and/or overcome such problems. Along with Joseph Ponterotto he is the co-author of the Handbook of Racial/Ethnic Minority Counseling Research and one of the editors of the Handbook of Multicultural Counseling.
[Manny Casas is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
– end –