2023 Spring Conference Awards Ceremony

Several awards were presented on April 29, 2023 during lunch at the Spring Conference. Read on to learn more about the well-deserved recipients. 

Phil Laughlin Meritorious Achievement Award

You know that a candidate is deserving of an award when two fellow psychologists both decide to nominate her at the same time. That was the case this year when both Dr. Bethe Lonning and Dr. Warren Phillips submitted nominations for Dr. Sally Oakes Edman. Their nomination letter: 

Drs Lonning and Phillips reading nomination letterWe would like to nominate Dr. Sally Oakes Edman for IPA’s Phil Laughlin Meritorious Achievement Award. This award is given to an IPA member for outstanding service to the association. While all lPA members are eligible for this award, the member must not be currently serving on the IPA EC.  As you will soon learn, this means there have only been windows of opportunity prior to now for her to be nominated.
Dr. Oakes Edman is an Iowa native having graduated Magna Cum Laude in Psychology from Luther College in Decorah. She then went on to the University of Notre Dame receiving her Master’s degree in Psychology and her PhD in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Marriage and Family Counseling. After completing her clinical internship in Connecticut, she returned to Indiana where she worked as a staff psychologist for a couple of years before returning to Iowa.
Once back in Iowa, she engaged in private practice work and became the Director of Counseling for Waldorf College in Forest City, IA. In 1995, after 6 years in Forest City, Dr, Oakes Edman relocated to Decorah Iowa where she became a clinical psychologist for the Mayo Clinic, Decorah Clinic. In 2003, she became a clinical psychologist for the Student Counseling Service at Northwestern College in Orange City Iowa and in 2004 she became the Director of that clinic. She was also the Wellness Center Director at Northwestern College from 2007-2010.
While doing her clinical work, she was also an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern College and an Assistant Professor at both Luther College and Waldorf college. Dr. Oakes Edman taught a variety of courses in these roles including supervising student research and independent studies. 
 Dr. Oakes Edman has numerous presentations, workshops and educational programs to her name as well as several publications to her credit. 
So, you’re reading this now and thinking, what’s the big deal? Here’s the big deal and why Dr. Oakes Edman is deserving of this award. She returned to Iowa in the summer of 1989 and by 1994, she was already serving IPA in the role of Secretary of Division 1 (the Clinical Practice Division) of IPA. Also, while serving in this role, she was the Council Representative to IPA Executive Council from 1994-99 which was her first role on the EC for IPA. Right after that, from 2000-2002, she served in the Presidential cycle as President Elect, President and Past President.  She served on the IPA Ethics Committee from 2008-2022 serving as the Chair from 2009-2011 and most recently has been IPA’s Representative to APA’s Council of Representatives from 2017-2022. During her time as our CoR representative, she was Elections Chair and New Member Mentor for the Caucus of State, Provincial and Territorial Association Representatives as well as Elections Coordinator and Secretary for the Rural Health Caucus.
She served the American Psychological Association in the role of Business of Practice Network Representative to APA from IPA in 2003, was a member of the Continuing Education Committee of the APA from 2006-2008, 2009 serving as its Vice Chair in 2007 and its Chair in 2008. She then served as Chair of the Appeals Committee for the Continuing Education Committee of the APA.
Here are a couple of other things not on her resume that support her being the recipient of this award. Dr. Oakes-Edman has served as a crucial mentor both formally and in ways she may not even realize during her time at IPA. In 1996, during the first year of Dr. Phillips’ membership in IPA, Dr. Oakes Edman was the first IPA Psychologist he met while attending an IPA Spring Conference. He was a Psychology Resident at the time and was fairly confident that he had no idea what he was doing on a day-to-day basis. Over lunch, Dr. Oakes Edman acknowledged and validated his worries, sharing stories of her own anxiety when first starting out as a Psychologist and let him know that he could always reach out to her with questions, triumphs, or worries and she would gladly be “present” with him, writing her phone number down for him on a paper napkin that day. Dr. Phillips kept that napkin for nearly 20 years. Then in 2002 when Dr. Phillips first joined the Executive Council and Dr. Oakes-Edman was serving as Past-President of IPA she, again, acted as a mentor when he was now “positive” that he did not have the skill or experience to be on the council by sharing with him that as long as he was “honest, respectful, and followed the science” he was doing his job on the council. She shared another important lesson that day, telling him that as long as she was in IPA she would tell him when she thought he was doing things well and when she thought he should re-think his position but that either way he always had her respect and support. Over the years Dr. Oakes-Edman has demonstrated this “way of being” in Executive Council meetings, when giving reports on sometimes controversial topics as the APA Representative, and during informal conversations about advances and struggles in the field. She has mentored, supported, and taught so many professionals in Iowa and in the Iowa Psychological Association and is a symbol of the science, mentoring, and interpersonal support that IPA strives for, in so many ways.
Similarly, in 2008, when IPA was experiencing the first financial concern we can recall during our tenure with IPA, Dr. Oakes Edman was there offering support, encouragement, and ideas to the leadership of IPA for how to weather this storm. She wasn’t on Council during that time, however, was in leadership for IPA as well as APA and simply cared about the well being of the association. Then 8 years later in 2016-2017 when IPA was again experiencing financial and other distress, there was Dr. Oakes Edman again, providing support with her calm, graceful demeaner and ideas for solutions from her wise experience. She has been with IPA through the good times and the not so good times without waiver. She has been a mentor formally and more importantly informally with her commitment, dedication, and steady presence in this organization.
We have both been fortunate to come behind Dr. Oakes Edman on her IPA path and have had the unmitigated pleasure and honor to learn from her, to consult with her, to confide in her and to serve beside her. She has demonstrated outstanding service to the Iowa Psychological Association and deserves this award.

Dr. Oakes Edman shared the following remarks in her acceptance: 

Dr. Oakes Edman with her awardThe summer after my junior year in college, I decided I should use my psychology major to become a clinical psychologist. I was 20 years old, and had never met a clinical psychologist.
Despite having a thoroughly inadequate view of what I was signing up for, I was admitted to the University of Notre Dame’s doctoral program, and the six of us newbies started a crash course in all things psychological. 
I was in a hurry to finish, so I graduated as quickly as I could, and found myself in an office with a big chair and a doctorate at the age of 26. I had to stay a far distance from the “secretary’s” desk, or I would certainly be asked to help someone pay their bill or schedule their appointment. Big hair, high heels and shoulder pads can only do so much…
When I started my training, Kubler Ross’s stage theory of grief work was a big hit, and it was clearly unethical for psychologists to solicit clients through anything as crass as advertising. Managing Care was what one expected their provider to do for them; session limits & external reviews were non-existent. We were in charge of our own records and our own practices. For clinicians, private or a small group practice was the norm. 
When I began to practice, Florida was known for being a bit out there – because it was the only state in the Union to allow Social Workers to practice independently, rather than under the supervision of a psychologist. Projective testing techniques were popular, although the MMPI was also, of course, going strong. The Psy.D. degree was 16 years old, but few people had one, and it would be decades before anyone thought that “Counseling” should be its own distinct profession. Psychologists mostly used psychodynamic, behavioral, or eclectic theoretical orientations.
At the time I started to practice, psychology looked (from my vantage point) like a profession filled with middle aged men. Clinical psychology at that time was 77% male and 89% white. As a young female, I felt like I really stuck out. No one talked about ECPs. I had the impression that being an Early Career Psychologist was an affliction I should try to get over as quickly as possible. I worked with all male colleagues for my first years, then, because I REALLY love my husband, I began working in rural parts of Iowa, where I was sometimes the only psychologist in the county.
Two years after I got my doctorate, I moved back to Iowa with my husband and two little boys, and joined IPA. In those days there were two divisions in IPA – the clinical division and the academic one. After a few years, I volunteered to serve as the secretary for the Clinical Division, which was really great, because I’m bad at learning names, and that was a job where twice a year I had an enforced review of everyone’s names, as I tried to document our discussions. 
Here's how long I’ve been a part of IPA: I am within the first 500 licensed psychologists in the state, and within the first 200 HSPs. You all have walked beside me through using the: DSM 5 TR, DSM 5, DSM IV- TR, DSM IV, DSM III R, all the way back to the DSM III.  And while I wasn’t around for it, in 1995 I moved into a faculty office with a few books, including this treasure: 
Dr Lonning holds a pile of Dr Oakes Edman's DSM booksThe DSM II.  It was apparently the first formally published version of the DSM, copyright 1968, sold for $3.50.  This isn’t the desk reference – the whole thing is on 120 small pages.
A year or two after I joined IPA, I attended a conference, since  I really needed the continuing education, and as this was around the time we got our first EVER computers in our offices and were being trained on how to use a new thing called “email”, there was no remote CE option. Attending was tricky, though, because I was nursing my baby daughter, and couldn’t be away from her overnight. So I recruited my husband to come along and wrangle three little kids in a hotel room in Des Moines, and deliver my baby to me at the right times so I could nurse her. My plan was to do this while looking not like a young nursing mama, but like a mature, knowledgeable professional in this room full of older men. This was in the days of a very popular TV commercial – everyone watched the same four channels in those days - involving a sexy woman wearing a business suit and high heels singing to striptease-type music “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let him forget that he’s a man.” What a message - I can earn the money, do the housework, and still be the sexy little woman upholding my man’s masculine ego. Women were working like crazy to show that we could do it all. Ourselves. Without help.
So, that’s what I was trying to do – look like I could handle everything without missing a beat. Socialize with these other psychologists I was getting to know while enthusiastic preschoolers circled my ankles and my hungry baby screamed. It was a little slice of chaotic for just 2 minutes, and as I got free of my boys and the conversation I was in and turned around to find a place to feed the baby, I was aware of how badly I was failing to bring home that bacon and fry it up in a pan while looking cool and competent. I would have done much better to embrace the fact that I was a young, inexperienced psychologist, and also busy being a Mama. I wish now that I had let those older-than-me men see that I could use some assistance and reassurance. I have every reason to think they would have been helpful and affirming, but that just wasn’t the cultural moment I was living in.
Nonetheless, I have always enjoyed this group. I immediately felt like I had found a professional home here, with other people who were trained like me and did the same type of work as I. So, clearly, I stuck around. I have been an IPA member since 1988. Through those years, I have had the great privilege of getting to know a large proportion of Iowa’s psychologists, so you can trust me when I tell you, those sitting around you are lovely people, who have so been worth getting to know! I knew and was in this organization alongside Phil Laughlin for years, so it is especially meaningful for me to receive an award named in honor of his many, many years of service to IPA. 
I am retiring in two weeks from Northwestern College, where I have worked for the past 20 years. I will find ways to continue to work, but in a more flexible fashion. I have been tied to the academic year schedule since the fall I turned 5, and I am ready to do something radical, like take a trip - in October! 
The work we do is important. Doing it as well as we possibly can is important, and I have been able to do it well, in part, because of what you have taught me, the ways this group has challenged me, and the support and friendship you have given me. I have been privileged to serve IPA, and am confident that my service to IPA pales in comparison to what IPA has given me.
Thank you very much – this award means a lot to me!
Sally Oakes Edman, Ph.D.

Diversity Leadership Award

Dr. Joy Goins-Fernandez was presented with the Diversity Leadership Award. Dr. Nicole Holmberg shared the nomination letter submitted by Drs. Holmberg, Keedy, Poeppe, Fetter, and Keffala:

It is our great pleasure to submit this letter nominating Dr. Joy Goins-Fernandez for IPA’s Diversity Leadership Award. Dr. Goins-Fernandez has been a member of IPA since 2016, and she has been steadfast in her dedication to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in our organization and beyond. We know her well, having worked closely with her in IPA leadership for many years. 
photo of Drs. Holmberg and Goins-Fernandez after presentation of the Diversity Leadership AwardUpon joining IPA, Dr. Goins-Fernandez quickly got involved in leadership. She was instrumental in the development of our Diversity and Social Justice Committee (DJSC) in 2016. She chaired or co-chaired the committee until April of 2022. Under her leadership, the DJSC’s membership increased by more than 100%, and she welcomed many student IPA members to the committee. Dr. Goins-Fernandez's leadership style is collaborative and empowering. In her role as DSJC chair, she regularly invited and encouraged contributions from committee members. By sharing her vision and setting clear expectations, she empowered others to do their part to promote EDI efforts within IPA. She successfully argued for a clause in all speaker contracts requiring presenters to discuss EDI aspects of their topics; this initiative was approved by our Executive Council. Dr. Goins-Fernandez was a key voice in creating and updating our Social Justice Policy that delineates procedures for how IPA addresses social justice issues and in adding a statement to our website that communicates the association’s commitment to EDI. Other than our Membership Committee, no other committee engages our members more frequently. The DSJC provides members with educational content, including formal continuing education training events and informal postings to our E-list. Dr. Goins-Fernandez has organized multiple presentations by experts in the field including Dr. Melba Vasquez (cultural competence and ethics), Dr. Sherry Wang (combating anti-Asian hate), Dr. Erin Alexander (racial reconciliation), and Dr. Erin Andrews (disability awareness and ethics). She and the DSJC created a Graduate Student Diversity and Social Justice Award to recognize IPA student members for community-based social justice projects. She also started the DSJ Book and Film Club, in which IPA members read books or watch films on EDI topics. Some of the books discussed have included “How to be an Anti-Racist” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” by Cathy Park Hong, and “Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story” by Jacob Tobia; film titles include “13th” and “Katrina Babies.”  
Dr. Goins-Fernandez also advocated for IPA to add a Diversity Liaison to our Executive Council (EC) and was the first person elected to that position. She presented the idea to our membership in a townhall and answered questions about the utility of creating this position. After this townhall, IPA members voted to approve the adoption of this new EC role. As Diversity Liaison, she advises our EC and Program Planning Committee on ensuring that our association’s policies and programming promote EDI. She has served as a Diversity Delegate to APA’s Practice Leadership Conference (PLC) from 2019-2022. Her PLC experiences have enhanced her work as Diversity Liaison. For instance, she has arranged for colleagues she met at PLC to present on EDI topics for IPA members, including Dr. Talee Vang’s talk on implicit bias and Dr. Lauren Chapple-Love’s talk on competencies for working with LGBTQ-identified clients. 
Dr. Goins-Fernandez is an active participant in our EC meetings. As one of two people of color on our EC, she has demonstrated grace and generosity in helping her white colleagues recognize our racial bias. She is well aware of the need for increased diverse representation in our organization and in our leadership, and her efforts with the DSJC have assisted in broadening and diversifying recruitment and retention efforts for IPA. She has stated on multiple occasions that, despite the challenges she has faced, she will persist in her EDI efforts for our organization. She carries a heavy and crucial burden, and her constant dedication to EDI work is both admirable and central to the leadership and growth of our association.
While generously giving her time and energy to IPA, Dr. Goins-Fernandez has concurrently demonstrated unbelievable ambition in promoting EDI in the largest medical center in Iowa, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). There she currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor and Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics. Her Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Book Drive raised over $7000 to purchase books for the UIHC libraries that combat racism through family education. She also created the Black Faculty Council within the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, to promote access to equitable healthcare. This Council advocates for policy changes and provides community outreach to reduce disparities in healthcare for Iowans. Further, Dr. Goins-Fernandez dedicated her time to speaking in an educational video for UIHC for the purpose of reducing vaccine hesitancy among Black Americans. Dr. Goins-Fernandez’s efforts to promote EDI extend beyond IPA and Iowa. She was invited by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards to serve on the EPPP item review board to promote equitable testing for future psychologists. Her service in this role has served as a point of education to our membership regarding the importance of anti-racism in standardized testing. 
Dr. Goins-Fernandez has made a significant impact on IPA, and our organization is better and stronger for it. There is no doubt that she has helped Iowa psychologists provide more effective and safer care to Iowans who have experiences and identities that differ from their own by spearheading programming to expand their multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. It is for these reasons and more that I believe she is deserving of IPA’s Diversity Leadership award.
Dr. Goins-Fernandez shared her remarks extemporaneously at the conference. 

DSJ Diversity Graduate Student Award

Angelica Castro Bueno was the recipient of the DSJ Diversity Graduate Student Award. She was nominated by Dr. Joy Goins-Fernandez with the following: 

It is my honor to award Angelica Castro Bueno with the first ever Diversity and Social Justice Committee Diversity Graduate Student Award.
Angelica is a fourth-year counseling psychology graduate student at Iowa State University. In her four years at Iowa State, she has contributed outstanding diversity efforts.
Angelica’s academic research centers on undocumented Latinx communities in the United States. Her thesis investigated the lived stigma experiences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. Her dissertation involves interviewing mental health practitioners who have worked with DACA recipients to gain insights into how to provide effective culturally tailored therapy.
Angelica has also engaged in advocacy through organizational involvement. She is an executive board member and current co-president of the Graduate Students in Counseling Psychology (GSCP) group. She is also involved with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and Student Counseling Services (SCS). At SAS, she helps students access accommodations, develop self-advocacy skills, and better understand their rights and responsibilities as students with disabilities. She also provides one-on-one Executive Function Coaching for neurodivergent students.
Angelica is also a student member on the Diversity and Social Justice Committee of IPA. She has been a member of this committee since December 2020 and recently became the liaison between the DSJ and IPA’s Membership Committee. She has helped create a more inclusive environment for Iowa psychologists by planning DEI trainings, increasing awareness for cultural and religious traditions, and fostering a culture of support within the organization. Recently, she contributed to a “Disability as Diversity 101” training the DSJ committee provided to educate members about considerations for disabled clients in our therapeutic work.
In her nomination letter, Angelica mentioned that as a person of color, these past four years have been incredibly challenging and rewarding. Before she could advocate for others, she had to learn how to advocate for herself. As a DACA recipient, staying silent was always the safest option, but through this work, she learned that she could make a difference, She indicated, and I quote, “my voice has value, and that I am responsible for creating the change I want to see.”

Angelica was unable to receive her award in person, but shared these remarks with us: 


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