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Global Perspectives on Social Change

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Division 52 is pleased to announce the launch of a new blog series, Global Perspectives on Social Change that will be part of the blogs posted at Psychology Benefits Society  



Posts in Global Perspectives on Social Change will apply an international lens to current social events, highlight or synthesize recent international research, or provide perspectives relevant to a United Nations designated international day (e.g., International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; International Day of Happiness; World Peace Day, World Mental Health Day). The blogs will be read by the public and mental health professionals alike. All blogs address some aspect of a social justice issue.

You can participate!!

We are looking for contributors who are willing to write 700 to 1,000 words on an international perspective on a social justice issue. Members of Division 52 are in a unique position to both frame and shape breaking international and national new stories.  

For those of you who are interested in becoming more involved with Division 52 this may be the right opportunity for you. A blog post provides a platform for sharing your concerns and knowledge about a social justice issue where you believe that psychological science can inform public health, address societal concerns, or describe new research findings.

We highly encourage you to consider writing a Division 52 blog for the Psychology Benefits Society!

To get started:

  1. Read the About section for Psychology Benefits Society (https://psychologybenefits.org/about/)
  2. Review the blogs that are currently posted on the Psychology Benefits Society site to get a sense of style, content, and format. https://psychologybenefits.org/category/public-policy-2/
  3. Note that you can also subscribe to the Psychology Benefits Society to receive new blog posts as they are published.
  4. Send your ideas for something you would like to write for the Global Perspectives on Social Change series on the Psychology Benefits Society site. Send one paragraph (i.e., 5 to 7 sentences) describing your idea to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In the subject line of your email, please write Division 52 Blog Idea.

We hope to hear from you! The Division 52 mission statement includes a call to “serve the public interest and promote global perspectives within and outside of APA”, to “apply psychological principles to the development of public policy” and to concern itself with the “individual and group consequences of global events”. Writing a blog for the Division 52 Blog Series, Global Perspectives on Social Change, gives students, early career professionals, and established experts a voice within the division, American Psychological Association, nationally, and internationally.

Instructions on how to write a blog   download printable PDF version

  1. Read the About section posted at https://psychologybenefits.org/about/
  2. Review the blogs that are currently posted on the Psychology Benefits Society site to get a sense of style, content, and format. Note that you can also subscribe to receive new blog posts as they are published.
  3. If you have an idea for something you would like to write for the Psychology Benefits Society site, send one paragraph (i.e., 5 to 7 sentences) describing your idea to Lisa Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Co-chair of the Division 52 Advocacy Committee
  4. Once your idea has been approved, follow the Tone and Style guidelines posted on the Psychology Benefits Society site for writing a blog:
    • Conversational and somewhat informal – breaking down complex concepts into plain English for a broad audience.
    • Posts may mix in anecdotes/testimonials with more academic/scientific content.
    • Include references that can be linked to or listed in the post.
    • Posts may contain an explicit call to action or contain questions for the audience in order to generate comments.

Remember that blogs, unlike most traditional scientific or academic writing, tend to be more conversational and relatable. When you're writing a blog, it might help to pretend that you're talking to a colleague, friend, or relative. The people who read your blog maybe lay people, members of the media, or professional colleagues. Your writing should sound friendly but expert. People who read your blog will want to feel as though they're learning something new from you. This is an opportunity for you to offer your expert opinion and provide tips on how to take action. This type of information will make your blog interesting to most readers.

Additional tips for making your blog publishable and memorable include:

  • Develop a descriptive title
  • Write a compelling introduction to entice readers
  • Include a description of a real-life experience to make your blog relatable
  • Use short easy-to-read paragraphs, bullets, subheaders and bolded words
  • Keep your blog between 700 to 1,000 words
  • Place select citations and online links to resources that any reader can access at the end of your blog

A tip for writing op-ed pieces in a timely response to breaking news is also helpful when writing blogs (see: https://rethinkmedia.org/blog/tips-writing-op-eds-respond-breaking-news). The author suggests that you prepare written content before breaking news takes place. You might wonder how you can anticipate what might occur in future news stories. Using my own research as an example, I study disasters and vulnerable populations. It is possible for me to write about 300 to 400 words of content, called evergreen material by the press, that I can draw upon and refine when working under a deadline after an event occurs. This approach might work for you as well. A blog is an excellent platform for students, early career professionals, and established experts to have a voice and professional presence within Division 52, the American Psychological Association, both nationally and internationally.



D52 Emmons I received my PhD in clinical psychology from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. As Vice President and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University I created and have directed the Office of Professional Advising and Development since 2007. My career as clinician and training director in public mental health, in non-profit and academic program development, leadership, advocacy, mentorship and teaching inform my commitment to international psychology. My views on international psychology are shaped by a lifetime of world travel; participation in the 2013 5th International Congress on Licensing, Certification & Credentialing of Psychologists, Stockholm; and Programa Científico HOMINIS 2016 in Cuba with APA. I have dedicated my career to finding constructive solutions to challenges in professional psychology, such as the internship crisis. I’ve played a role in creating the California Psychology Internship Council, Bay Area Practicum Information Collaborative, and increasing APA accredited public mental health internships in California.


D52 poelkerMy name is Katelyn Poelker and I am Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hope College in Holland, MI. I graduated with my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Psychology from Saint Louis University in 2017. During graduate school, I had the opportunity to conduct research and assist with teaching psychology courses internationally, mostly in Guatemala. Those experiences were critical for my personal and professional growth, allowing me to merge my love of travel with my passion for psychological science and the application of research to address real-world challenges. As a faculty member, I have been involving my students in international research projects, while emphasizing the importance of viewing the field of psychology through an international lens. I also enjoy spending time with my Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Ruby, as we explore our new home state of Michigan and traveling to visit friends and collaborators in Guatemala.