It feels a bit trivial to write this statement advocating for myself for a Member at Large position within the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) given these troubling times. I am sure that many of you are facing challenges on so many fronts. However, as we are all trying to move forward with our respective responsibilities, so is SPSP.  “The show must go on,” as they say.  On the other hand, this global pandemic will likely have ripple effects for us as an organization, and it is in times of crisis that strong leadership becomes critically important. Sound leadership ensures continuity and creative thinking when novel challenges arise.  Therefore, while SPSP leadership may not be at the forefront of your mind, we must ensure we have strong leaders who can help move us forward as a society, now more than ever. I believe I can be one of your strong leaders as Member at Large for Community and Diversity.

It is with great enthusiasm and passion that I write about the unique qualities I would bring to the SPSP board as the Member at Large for Community and Diversity. My experiences within SPSP, as well as my research, teaching, and work responsibilities have prepared me to serve you in this role.  Within SPSP, I have served on the Nominations Committee, and the Diversity and Climate Committee (DCC).  Most notably, with my co-chair Diana Sanchez, we led a diversity and climate survey of our membership for which we received a Service to SPSP Award.  It is through this effort that I became quite knowledgeable of the what SPSP is doing well, and opportunities for improvement, in serving our membership.  As the chair and co-chair of the DCC, I attended multiple board meetings and advocated for desired changes indicated in that survey.  In my role as Interim Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at my university, I had to perpetually consider the needs of multiple constituents when thinking about broad policies and decisions.  My research and teaching have centered on questions of belonging, intergroup relationships, social identity, and social justice, and this also informs my leadership lens.

If you choose me, I promise to bring my full self to our SPSP board meetings, and to advocate on your behalf with multiple perspectives in mind. For example, from my R1 training, and experiences working at a teaching-focused institution, I am knowledgable of the unique challenges and opportunities that each context presents.  As a mother, I am well-versed in the difficulties of balancing work and family, including how to negotiate attending and presenting at our conference.  As a queer, first-gen, Latina, I know that many of us face difficulties in our society, such as feeling valued, having our research be taken seriously, and/or fostering meaningful social networks. My constellation of identities informs my experiences within SPSP, as do your various identities. It is in bringing these multiple perspectives, both shared and non-shared, that I can best serve your diverse interests as Member at Large for Community and Diversity.  

In closing, I want to thank you for considering me for this Member at Large position.  I can think of nothing more professionally rewarding than continuing to support SPSP’s core value of diversity and inclusiveness.  In this leadership role, I would continue to advocate for creating and maintaining a society where everyone is not only valued, but provided with an academic platform where you can thrive professionally.  

I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe.