September 2022 - A Message from GSAPP Dean and Distinguished Professor, Dr. Arpana Inman
Dear GSAPP Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Donors, Partners, and Friends,
I am delighted to be joining the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), whose core values of achieving academic excellence are based in a focus on diversity and inclusion, generating and disseminating knowledge, and promoting social justice in the service of underserved populations, all aspects that are foundational to the mission of a land grant institution and issues that I care about deeply. I am further energized by the collaborative spirit and supportive environment I have experienced here. It is through shared commitments and mutual interests that we can think big and accomplish more.
I am three months into my deanship, and I see GSAPP to be a vibrant community committed to transforming the world – local and global. I feel fortunate to be with world-class faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and the large network of integral community partners who raise the reputation of GSAPP on a daily basis. Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized and committed to publicly engaged scholarship and translating evidence into direct action. Our staff within our clinics and centers are dedicated to providing high quality, high impact experiential experiences to our students and clients. Our students are committed to creating access and addressing barriers to achieve equity. Our alumni are leaders in local, state, national, and international psychological associations. Collectively and individually, you are what excellence looks like.
GSAPP has a rich, long-standing history of being the “gold standard” of education, training, and research in the field of applied and professional psychology. Simultaneously, we embrace an innovative, forward-thinking mindset. In congruence with Rutgers University’s Strategic Plan, the GSAPP leadership team has been engaged in vital, fluid conversations regarding our own strategic plan and tactical execution in the context of GSAPP’s role as a thought change leader. I encourage all of us to think critically and intersectionally as to how as mental health practitioners, psychologists, and students of psychology, we are called to action to become - and remain informed, engaged, and involved to make real world impact for the common good.
It is a critical time in the nation and in our profession. Natural and person-made disasters are creating significant trauma and stress. Our communities and schools are experiencing significant mental health challenges. There seems to be a greater awareness of mental health issues than ever before. It is my hope that this has resulted in a de-stigmatization of mental illness and will result in more equitable and accessible services for all of those in need. GSAAP is a leader in the psychological research and delivery of mental health services for the public good. My focus is to build on this reputation and harness the interdisciplinary strengths to create a cutting-edge academic experience for our students. Through our three departments (Applied, Clinical, and School psychology) and six centers (Center for Psychological Services, Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Center for Applied Psychology, Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies, Center for Youth Social Emotional Wellness), I believe that our students are poised to make contributions that are meaningful and of consequence to underserved populations that are neurodiverse and neurotypical. Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude to all past leaders, including Interim Dean, Dr. Ryan Kettler, for their sound and steady leadership of GSAPP. I am humbled and proud to be the dean of this remarkable school whose mission, vision, and values are consistent with my own. And, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg says, I will “fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join [us].”I extend a warm welcome to all returning members. To the new members joining us for the first time this fall – Congratulations and welcome to the GSAPP family! I wish each and everyone of you a rewarding and productive academic year.
In Beloved Community,
Arpana G. Inman, PhD
Dean and Distinguished Professor
Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey