Meet your IPA Representatives!

Today’s blog post features introductions from IPA’s two representatives. Per IPA’s policies and procedures, we have three representatives elected to serve as voting members of the Executive Council (EC). The responsibilities of these members are to represent the general membership of IPA and act as liaison to members by inviting their input, conveying their requests to council, responding to their requests, and encouraging their continued support of IPA. They also help to identify and recruit prospective members. Representatives are elected to 3-year terms where they will serve as First Year Rep, Second Year Rep, and Third Year Rep; each year has different responsibilities.

If you are interested in serving as an IPA Representative, contact a current representative or any other member of the EC.

From Second-Year IPA Rep, Scott Young:

I wanted to introduce myself and say a bit about my role in the IPA.  I have been a member of IPA since I joined as a student, under the encouragement of my major professor, Dr. Norm Scott. During that time, I have been so grateful for the community IPA has provided.

Professionally, I am a staff psychologist and the Director of Psychological Services at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, where I’ve been since my postdoc there in 2011-2012. I practice with school-aged children through older adults, providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families. I also do some testing and assessment, supervise our postdoc, teach in our Pastoral Care Specialist Program, supervise our psychometrist and testing lab, sit on the Center’s Leadership Team, and drink copious amounts of coffee! Shortly after Iowa passed the RxP legislation, I enrolled in the Fairleigh Dickinson University psychopharmacology program, and I completed that degree in February 2019. I’m now doing clinical hours in a primary care clinic preceptorship, hoping to advance the requirements toward a conditional prescribing license.

Personally, I live in Adel with my wife, Christine, who is a clinical social worker certified in perinatal mental health at Broadlawns, and our two daughters, Emma and Katherine. I grew up in Madrid, attended Wartburg College for undergrad, and then Iowa State for my Ph.D. I’m a fairly stereotypical nerd, who has a major obsession with Star Wars AND Star Trek. Oh, and I also have an unhealthy attachment to coffee in case that wasn’t clear.

Let me say that I am still myself trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be doing as IPA Rep, especially in light of the all changes brought about by the pandemic! As the title suggests, the primary function of my role is to provide representation from the IPA membership to the EC.  Thus, I want to invite any members who might have issues, hopes, concerns, questions, comments, etc. for the EC to reach out to myself or to our other IPA Reps. The second-year Rep is also involved in various other functions, including participating in the Website Committee, helping to identify members for potential service in IPA leadership positions, assist with Student Poster Contest, and other duties.

Thank you all for your membership in our IPA community, and please let myself or the other Reps know how we might best represent you! I can be reached at [email protected].

From our Third Year IPA Rep, Karen Nelson:

Like Scott, my goal is to best represent members' concerns, wishes and goals. I am a 3rd year rep filling a vacancy created when Dr. Joy Goins-Fernandez assumed another leadership role for IPA.

Professionally, I have been in solo private practice in Coralville since November 2020. IPA members have been tremendously generous with practical advice ("yes, you need to ask clients to pay") and their time for teaching me about running a small business in private practice. Previously, I was on the clinical faculty in the University of Iowa's College of Medicine, department of psychiatry and also the faculty of the family medicine residency in Cedar Rapids. I have never been interested in prescribing privileges, so I observe the RxP psychologists with admiration and curiosity. IPA is an organization where professional respect prevails even when opinions or preferences differ. I appreciate friendships I have developed during my 25 years of IPA membership. 

I am also the current President of the Iowa Psychological Foundation (IPF). Please remember that in addition to fundraising, the Foundation seeks to give money to individuals, groups who promote psychology in Iowa.

Personally, I live in Iowa City with my partner Tom. One daughter is in 11th grade and another is wrapping up her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Pre-pandemic, I loved to cook and go to grueling group fitness classes. After a year of cooking, baking, and definitely eating more than usual, I look forward to less culinary and more fitness in the coming months. I collect and disseminate dad jokes and midwestern-isms. If you read this sentence, I will buy you a drink. In grad school, I initiated the myth that two students must bury the previous sentence in their comprehensive exams. We aimed to prove that our faculty did not actually carefully read comps. So, I'll buy you a beer if you're still reading...Ragbrai is on my bucket list.

IPA has been a go-to for my continuing education, advocacy and friendships.  

I hope you know I'd welcome your input. To those with whom I am not yet acquainted, I am honored to be a representative. I'll do a better job if you let me know what's on your mind.  You can reach me at [email protected].


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Valerie Keffala - Monday, April 19, 2021

Thank you for your wonderful introductions!! I loved learning more about each of you! Looking forward to sharing a beer with you, Karen!! Valerie

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