American Psychological Association elects UC Berkeley professor as 2022 president

Frank Worrell

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The American Psychological Association, or APA, elected UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education professor Frank Worrell as its 2022 president Nov. 12.

Worrell, who is an immigrant and will be the second Black man to become an APA president, said he hopes to focus on an ethics code with an emphasis on social justice issues during his term. He also aims to explore how psychology can help solve issues such as climate change, racism and discrimination, as well as COVID-19 and the learning loss experienced by children who are not getting an adequate online education.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be elected,” Worrell said. “I’m tremendously humbled by the faith people have put in me, and I hope to live up to that.”

Worrell, who said he has worked with APA since 2004, served as the 2007 president of APA Division 16: School Psychology, according to a press release from APA.

According to Worrell’s campaign site, he was endorsed for the 2022 presidential position by seven APA divisions, the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, the Massachusetts Psychological Association and the Ethnic Minority Issues Caucus, among other organizations and individuals. He ran against four other candidates in the race, according to the APA website.

Campus psychology professor and APA Division 8: Society for Personality and Social Psychology President Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, who worked with Worrell to publish papers on racial identity, said they believe Worrell will implement APA’s strategic plan.

Mendoza-Denton said in an email that they hope Worrell will “widen the pipeline” for minority groups in psychology, as well as remain an advocate for the profession.

In addition to his work with racial identity, Worrell is also focused on psychology as it relates to COVID-19.

“The current president and COVID-19 have promoted a level of selfishness, which I think is really problematic,” Worrell said. “When I refuse to wear a mask, I’m not just endangering myself but I’m endangering others. A lot of us seem to have forgotten how to serve the broader societal good.”

Contact Anishi Patel at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anishipatel.