Elections for the 2014-2015 executive board are coming up soon! Please take a look at the call for nominations in the forum and consider nominating yourself or a colleague. In this post, we introduce you to an outgoing board member, Kristen Kirkland. Read Kristen’s interview below!


How did you first become involved with GOHWP?
I learned of GOHWP through Walter Reichmann in the spring of 2012. I’d begun working as an I/O psychologist in a non-profit organization, and I was searching for colleagues doing the same. I ran across a TIP article that Walter had co-authored about his work with the UN. Walter is a former faculty member at Baruch College, CUNY, where I obtained my PhD, so we knew one another. I put it on my to-do list to email him soon. But I didn’t end up having to email him, because 2 days later, serendipitously, I ran into Walter at a wedding. He told me all about HWP, that there was a task force, that the group was planning to become a formal organization, and that I should get involved immediately in this exciting movement. And I immediately got involved. I contacted Alex Gloss and Jeff Godbout to see what I could do. They gave me all of the information about becoming a formal member of the group. I was elected to the interim executive board a few months later, and I owe it all to Walter.
What are some things you have worked on for the past year as an Exec Board member?
Most of my time in the last year has been focused on the development of a curriculum for HWP. I’ve been collaborating with my fellow GOHWP executive board member, Ashley Hoffman, and our working group of 14 GOHWP members to create a suggested syllabus and to begin to collect resources and content to support that syllabus. Our group has developed a three-phased approach to the continued development of this curriculum, and we hope to build a great database of resources for our members who are interested in teaching HWP courses in the future. I presented the progress and details of this work at ICAP in Paris earlier this summer, and we will continue to work on growing this database of resources. The syllabus and several samples of other professors’ teaching approaches is posted on the “Resources” section of the GOHWP website. Please take a look and let me know if you have any additional resources to share or if you have any questions about this work.
What do you enjoy about the position?
It is wonderful to develop relationships with the other members of the board. I’ve been “seeing” them once a month on our calls for the past 2 years, and despite our different locations around the globe, it feels like a tight-nit group. It’s fun to virtually get together, to share some of what is going on in our personal lives and then dive into the business of GOHWP. Each of the board members is inspiring and passionate about HWP, everyone has a different perspective and expertise to lend to the growth and development of this organization, and it has truly been an honor for me to have the opportunity to work with them.
What kinds of skills and experiences are most helpful for a board position?
I think the most important characteristic one needs to join this board is a passion for the humanitarian work psychology movement. Bring your passion to the table. Bring your own creative ideas about how we can further grow this field and how we can educate more and more individuals and organizations about the value that we bring. Our organization needs individuals who can help identify where the work is already being done and how to create more of it.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a post on the board?
Just do it! The commitment is very manageable, you will work with an incredible team of individuals, you will have the opportunity to be a part of this exciting movement in a time during which there is so much momentum and enthusiasm. It is a wonderful time in this field, and you can help to shape the future of GOHWP with your leadership. Don’t miss the chance!