Lynn H. Collins, associate professor of psychology at La Salle University, was recently elected President of the Society for the Psychology of Women (SPW), one of the largest divisions of American Psychological Association. She said the application of technology to psychology will be a focus of her presidency.
Collins said she plans to build upon existing public information resources about women and girls, such as Wikipedia. “I think Wikipedia is under-utilized as a tool for disseminating information,” said Collins. “When I’ve talked with people, including academics, they admit that they use it all the time for quick answers, though they don’t appreciate students plagiarizing it,” said Collins. Academics like that they can easily check the sources of the information presented by clicking on the links that follow the statements within Wikipedia articles. Although there are still some weak pages, there are many pages that are closely monitored by the leading experts in their fields.”
“I plan to further develop SPW’s social media presence and to enhance its capability to offer multimedia public information campaigns and continuing education via its stand-alone web site,” Collins said.
She said her current scholarship explores the application of technology to clinical psychology, including listserv use, online therapy, and the use of virtual reality devices in treatment.
Collins was instrumental in the development of SPW’s original Web site and was an early moderator of SPW’s listserv. Currently, SPW has several pages within the APA Website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, three listservs, and a new, stand-alone continuing education Web site, which Collins plans to develop. SPW also produces a professional journal, The Psychology of Women Quarterly, and a newsletter for its members.
“I wanted to become President of SPW to make a contribution to an organization whose members have contributed so much to my professional development,” Collins said. “I have always been impressed with the values, thinking, creativity, activity level, and leadership of the division. I first became involved in professional societies in order to develop a professional network. I enjoyed them because they presented opportunities to stay informed about cutting edge developments within the field, intellectual stimulation, and collegial camaraderie.”
The SPW presidency is for one year, but the President-elect and Past-President have specific responsibilities, Collins said. Because of the complexity of SPW, starting at the beginning of the President-elect year, the presidents participate in monthly “Presidential Trio” calls that provide mentorship into the presidency as well as collaboration on challenges facing the organization. “In reality, it is at least a three-year commitment,” Collins said.
Collins’ primary theoretical approach is feminist cognitive behavior therapy. Prior to joining the faculty at La Salle in 1998, she worked with individuals suffering with anxiety disorders at Johns Hopkins and Yale University medical centers, and with patients struggling with alcohol and substance dependency at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
In 2004, Collins achieved Fellow status in the American Psychological Association. Also that year, she was also awarded the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) Women’s Issues Committee Individual Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the enhancement of women’s issues in professional psychology training.
She was the recipient of the Christine Ladd-Franklin Award from the Association for Women in Psychology in 2005 for her significant and extensive contributions to the Association and to feminist psychology.
Her research interests include gender influences on psychopathology, international psychology, psychology of women, and women in academe. Collins is lead editor of Career Strategies for Women in Psychology: Arming Athena, and of Charting a New Course for Feminist Psychology. She has served on the editorial boards of Psychological Assessment, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Sex Roles, Journal of Genetic Psychology, and Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.