Demara Bennett, associate clinical professor of psychology and director of the Family Learning Program at Florida Tech, has been elected to the American Psychology Association’s Council of Representatives, where she will represent the group’s Trauma Psychology Division.
The Council is the APA’s legislative body and has “full power and authority over the affairs and funds of the association within the limitations set by the certificate of incorporation and the Bylaws, including the power to review, upon its own initiative, the actions of any board, committee, division or affiliated organization,” according to APA. The Council is composed of representatives of divisions, such as Bennett, as well as representatives of state, provincial and territorial psychological associations and the APA Board of Directors.
Bennett, a nationally recognized trauma expert, will be one of two Council representatives from the Trauma Psychology Division. Her three-year term runs from Jan. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2025, with an option to renew for an additional term.
“I am honored to have been elected as APA’s Division 56 Council Representative” Bennett said. “Especially considering the numerous, ongoing, traumatic events occurring nationally and globally, there is important work to be done. I look forward to collaboratively applying my trauma experience to promote empirically supported guidance and policies.”
In March, Bennett and other candidates submitted statements, including relevant organizational, leadership and policy experience and candidate visions for the field, to the Trauma Psychology Division. Division officials then determined eligible candidates, and division members voted on candidates. The election concluded in early May, and she was notified of her election later that month.
The election is a recognition of Bennett’s leadership and the national reputation she has developed in the area of trauma, as well as the grant work she’s maintained and her directorship of the Family Learning Program, colleague Scott Gustafson said. “This is a big honor and responsibility that many experts in the field never achieve,” he added.