The Arkansas Psychological Association in proud to announce its new Early Career Committee Psychologist Committee Chair, Dr. Laura Horton. Dr. Horton has been committed to and involved in state, regional and national psychological associations since her years as an undergraduate student at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). A central focus of the UCA psychology program was to highlight the importance of student involvement in various organizations. From her senior year of undergraduate work to her pre-doctoral internship year, Dr. Horton was encouraged and mentored by faculty members who hold leadership positions in the Arkansas Psychological Association. Dr. Horton began her membership with the Arkansas Psychological Association (ArPA) and the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) in 2009 and became a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2011. As a student, Dr. Horton was active in her membership to ArPA and SWPA.
Dr. Horton also took on leadership roles at the university and regional levels. She served as treasurer, secretary, student representative, vice president, and president of UCA’s Psychology Club, Psi Chi Chapter, and Graduate Association of Counseling and Psychology students. In 2009, Dr. Horton was appointed as an undergraduate representative for the Southwestern Regional Psi Chi Steering Committee. She was elected as the graduate representative in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Dr. Horton collaborated with professionals across the region. As an acknowledgment of her hard work, Dr. Horton was the recipient of the Arkansas Psychological Association Graduate Scholarship in 2012, an annual award given to a doctoral student committed to research, leadership, and education in the field of psychology.
Dr. Horton’s involvement in leadership continued throughout her internship at Tulsa Center for Child Psychology, part of the APA-accredited Northeastern Oklahoma Psychology Internship Program. Dr. Horton was elected committee chairperson for the development of a statewide ethics conference, where she and her colleagues executed each step in the conference development.
Currently, Dr. Horton is developing a thriving child-focused practice at Arkansas Families First, a multidisciplinary child behavioral health clinic in North Little Rock. In her practice, Dr. Horton specializes in evaluation and treatment of a variety of childhood problems. She collaborates with other disciplines to create comprehensive developmental evaluations and treatment planning.
In January of 2015, Dr. Horton will begin her term as the ECP Committee Chair. In this role, she hopes to increase ECP membership, to promote collaboration, research, and education in the field, and to ensure that ECP needs are addressed in organization initiatives. She has developed several ideas and strategies to achieve her goals, which include the following:
- Development of a mentorship program between ECPs and senior psychologists – Quarterly meetings, held in person or online, will provide opportunities for networking, support, and learning.
- Increase the contribution of social media content targeting ECPs across the state – By increasing ECP specific content on social media sites ArPA can better serve this population of psychologists, helping them see the value of ArPA in building a network and foundation for their budding careers.
- Recognition of the research and practice of Arkansas ECPs – New ArPA members and ECPs will be “featured” via social media outlets, such as ArPA’s blog, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, to promote networking and recognition of their current clinical, empirical, and leadership work in the field.
- Address ECP-related topics, such as managing work-life balance, through the development of quarterly seminars and discussions, both live and through technology, such as Google+ Hangouts.
- Sponsor social events for ECPs – Dr. Horton and the ECP Committee hope to promote social gatherings, such as dinners and game nights, for ECPs across the state.
- Promote collaboration between ECPs and graduate students – ECP leaders and volunteers will collaborate with local graduate school faculty to develop seminars, trainings, and social events that include both students and early career professionals.
As the future of our field, ECPs bring valuable knowledge, resources, and skills to state and national organizations. ArPAs ECP committee is of primary focus to ArPA and Dr. Horton’s goals align with the current issues and needs in the field of psychology. She will undoubtedly empower ECPs in the state and ArPA in particular. With the help of Dr. Laura Horton, we hope to continue to promote the importance of Early Career involvement in the Association and the profession.
Adam Benton, PhD