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Vote now! Asian American Psychological Association – AAPA Executive Committee Election 2018

By June 8, 2018News

You are invited to vote in the Asian American Psychological Association 2018 AAPA Executive Committee Election. The voting deadline is June 20 2018 11:45 pm Pacific Time (US & Canada). Check your email inbox for details. If you have election questions, feedback or want to be removed from future ballot lists, please email Amy Kobus at


Candidate Statements


President-Elect and Vice President-Elect Team

Slate 1: Richelle Concepcion and Nellie Tran

Richelle Conception: I am honored to announce my candidacy for AAPA president, alongside Dr. Nellie Tran.  As a Pinay psychologist with the U.S. Army, Officer in the Hawaii Air National Guard, and current Vice President of AAPA, my work is driven by a desire to build bridges for future leaders and give voice to those who feel unheard.  In the military setting, I have observed the inherent lack of diversity in a large organization that has been traditionally comprised of White straight men. I have advocated on behalf of patients who were victims of various types of discrimination, seeking to alleviate factors which contribute to their clinical concerns.

Within AAPA, I have served in increasingly complex and integral leadership positions over the past 12 years:  as a leader in two AAPA divisions (DoW, co-founder of DoFA),  chair of the convention planning team (2009-11), a Board Director (2011-13), and Vice President (2016-present).  These experiences have provided me with extensive knowledge about how AAPA operates and where improvements are necessary. Additionally, my responsibilities outside of AAPA also focus on empowering Filipino/a youth on Oahu with my recent involvement in the Filipino American National Historic Society – Hawaii Chapter.  I am a Life Foundation board member, an HIV/AIDS service agency in Honolulu and volunteer as a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Worker.

Dr. Tran and I currently co-chair the AAPA Leadership Fellows Program and established AAPA’s Student Leadership Institute.  Our vision for AAPA is to continue fostering leaders through these pipelines and build capacity to assist members seeking to become leaders outside of AAPA in their other organizations, schools, and communities.  I want to continue to build an inclusive AAPA where folks feel like their voices are heard and affirmed. Therefore, I plan to initiate a new cultural climate assessment to better understand the membership voice. I also plan to continue to push our definition of diversity deeper to reflect both ethnic/cultural diversity as well as professions and disciplines where Asian American mental health is relevant, including public health, ethnic studies, sociology, and education by seeking collaborations with other organizations.

Nellie Tran: It is with excitement that I announce my candidacy for AAPA Vice President, running in partnership with Dr. Richelle Concepcion’s candidacy for President. Over the last decade, I have served AAPA as the Finance Officer (2016-present); a Board Director (2013-15); on the convention planning committee (2008-10), and as co-chair of the Leadership Fellows Program (2014-present). Most recently, I envisioned, developed, and implemented the AAPA Graduate Student Leadership Institute. I am an Assistant Professor in the Counseling and School Psychology Department and the Research Director at the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement at San Diego State University. My experiences as a Vietnamese American, Community Psychologist, researcher on microaggression interventions in education and counseling, and a director at a community mental health clinic have fostered my empathy and expertise of organizational effectiveness and transformative change. I believe that AAPA is an organization that can and should continue to welcome and serve all members, foster deeper connections, and create pipelines for diverse leaders and professionals. If elected, I would work with President Concepcion to further promote member involvement and voice, especially for those who continue to feel on the margins. I will strive to continue to build on AAPA’s fiscal health in ways that match our social justice values. My project ideas include supporting members via additional personal and professional development through webinars, project grants, and promoting collaborative partnerships among members. I also aim to expand our developing therapist referral system to be inclusive of consultants, speakers, and community organizers.

Slate 2: Ulash Thakore-Dunlap and Devika Srivastava

Ulash Thakore-Dunlap: I am honored to submit my nomination for AAPA President. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in the MA Counseling Psychology Program at Wright Institute, and am engaged in clinical practice. I joined AAPA in 2007, and it has become a community that is close to my heart. I know the organization well given my various leadership roles as: first Treasurer for the Division on South Asian Americans (DoSAA) in 2008, DoSAA Chair in 2011, Communications Officer for the Executive Committee in 2011-2014, and now member of the Board of Directors (2015-present). I also assisted in the formation of Division on Practice, and am the incoming Chair. Outside of AAPA, I am Co-Chair of the Mental Health Board of San Francisco, advising the Behavioral Health Director and Board of Supervisors about mental health funding, policy, and services. I also serve as Training Advisory Committee Member for APA Minority Fellowship Program. I seek presidency to continue AAPA’s amazing work and achievements, and to further grow and unite us. Honoring members, we must ensure all have a place at the leadership table. For example, in the 46-year history of AAPA we have NEVER had a South Asian President, and have only had 5 South Asian EC members.  My running mate, Devika Srivastava, brings a new perspective and shares with me a common vision of “AAPA For All.”

Devika Srivastava: I am running for Vice President because I truly support Ulash’s vision for collaborations and equality within the organization, unifying our voices. I am a Counseling Psychologist and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, where I provide clinical services and supervision at Ben Taub Hospital – serving low SES people of color. Current leadership roles include Co-Chair of the AAPA Committee on Policy and Legal Cases and incoming Co-Chair for DoSAA. I was a clinical outcomes analyst with the Harris Center – conducting research serving underrepresented populations. I also have significant experience advocating for mental health legislation impacting Asian Americans.

To support our vision, we have three platforms:

Increase Collaboration: We will create collaboration. We envisage an AAPA where our elders and mid-level professionals will share their wisdom, feel included, and invested in our newer generations. Related, our students and young professionals feel mentored. To encourage interconnection, we will survey current members to understand what they most value in AAPA, using the results we will implement a member-driven plan. We also plan to conduct online member meetups and twitter chats. And we will foster deeper collaboration between AAPA divisions.

Increase Inclusion: We will create a taskforce to explore low rates of EC leadership participation among many groups (masters level practitioners, LGBTQ people, South Asian and Southeast Asian Americans, etc.). We will create leadership pipelines to increase representation and examine models for inclusion (i.e. provide portfolio development and expand fellowship program). Through our online presence, we will launch a campaign to highlight AAPA’s divergent voices and celebrate and recognize the achievements of our members.

Helping to Foster Growth: We believe that mentorship to all is of the utmost importance to strengthen AAPA. For our graduate students, we will continue to explore scholarship and mentorship opportunities, and new ways to support the Division on Students. We will expose AAPI youth to different career paths in psychology through increased social media presence, and providing mentorship.

Finally, if elected, Ulash will be the first South Asian and Master’s level professional to serve as President. We firmly believe it is time for AAPA to wholeheartedly embrace greater inclusion – sending a message that AAPA stands for dismantling hierarchies, and becoming the inclusive home we all know it can be.

-Ulash Thakore-Dunlap


Division Council Representative (CoR)

Candidate: Gagan “Mia” Khera

I am running for Chair/CoR Divisions for the AAPA. I am currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Curry College in Massachusetts. I am currently Chair of DoSAA the second oldest Division, and have been on the EC of DoSAA for the past 4 years. I am also a former AAPA Leadership fellow, and 15+ years back served as a site person for the AAPA conference in DC among other roles. I am passionate about serving AAPA in this position because I and others worked hard to help create the Council of Representatives for the Divisions. During its inception (based off of bylaws), I served as the interim chair, and helped organized and facilitate planning calls with Division leaders. During those calls we shared ideas and best practices and then because DoSAA was in a position of historical knowledge, I helped find a nomination for someone to serve as the CoR Chair. The bylaws state that the person cannot be serving a leadership position in a Division at the time, thus, not wanting to leave DoSAA during my term, I decided to wait until now for this amazing opportunity. I believe I can work hard to help the Divisions feel heard within AAPA and also relay information from the EC back to the Divisions.

Thank you,

Gagan “Mia” Khera, PhD



Candidate: Gloria Wong-Padoongpatt

It is my pleasure to accept the nomination for the position of AAPA Secretary/Historian. I am an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and my research program involves different aspects of Asian American mental health, specifically the stressful impact of microaggressions and gambling addiction. I have been an active member of AAPA for ten years and consider this organization my professional home. I started my AAPA journey as a student volunteer, and then over the years, I took on more leadership roles. I joined the Division on Students (DoS) my first year and later was appointed a board position. Upon receiving my Ph.D., I quickly transition to Convention Co-Chair. For the past two years, my overall service agenda (life focus) was planning the AAPA annual convention. It was tough, but I am deeply grateful for the experience. I expanded my professional networks exponentially and developed some life-long relationships. Most importantly, I learned the intricacies of the organization which equips me for this position. As Secretary/Historian, I plan on working closely with the other EC board members and supporting the missions of the AAPA President, President-elect, and Vice President.

Thank you for your time.

Gloria Wong-Padoongpatt



Candidate 1: Anindita Gangyly

I am nominating myself for the Board of Director position for the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) because I feel passionate about working the AAPA team in the areas of education, advocacy, research  and clinical application of Asian American psychology.  I bring ten years of direct clinical experience in community mental health and 8 years of teaching graduate students. I will also bring my current interagency collaboration experience as Associate Director of Training (ADOT) in American School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University in Southern California. As ADOT, I have experience of serving as liaison with different training sites and agencies, and I can apply this experience to connecting as interagency liaison for the AAPA to other organizations. I also have strong interpersonal skills and I am a collaborative person. I am looking forward to working with the AAPA team in furthering the growth and success of this organization.

Thank you,

Anindita Gangyly


Candidate 2: Kim Langrehr

Kim Langrehr is a tenured, associate professor and training director of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. For the past 12 years, Kim has been involved in professional service and community leadership through AAPA, the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP), and the international Korean adoptee community. In particular, Kim was one of six individuals selected to participate in SCP’s inaugural Leadership Academy, a task force designed to foster leadership skills in promising counseling psychologists. Based on this training, Kim chaired the early career psychologists committee for the 2014 SCP National Conference in Atlanta and became the co-chair of the SCP Adoption Research-Practice Special Interest group, a position that she continues to hold. Kim also currently serves on the advisory board of Korean Adoptees of Chicago (KAtCH), a 501c3 organization that she co-founded in 2008.

Kim joined AAPA in 2006 as a graduate student and subsequently volunteered to serve on AAPA’s convention planning committee in 2009. Since this time, Kim has continued to volunteer for various AAPA convention and planning tasks (i.e., proposal submissions, poster judging). As a tenure-track faculty member, Kim maintains an active research agenda that supports the lifespan experiences of Asian transnational adoptees and mentors doctoral students who are studying Asian American mental health. Given that AAPA has played an integral role in her professional development, Kim would like to support her community and use her skills to help support AAPA’s mission in effort to enhance the future of Asian American mental health.


Student Director

Candidate 1: Michelle Chan

It is my pleasure to nominate Michele Chan for AAPA’s Student Board of Directors position.  I have worked with Michele as her primary research advisor since she began our MA program in Fall 2016.  Michele’s research to date is innovative, thoughtful, and has the potential to make strong contributions to the field, particularly with respect to constructs of culture, race, and ethnicity and mental health among Asian American and Multiracial Asian American populations.

Michele has an impeccable work ethic and strong academic skills.  Her leadership and interpersonal abilities are also incredible.  She is responsible, committed, and able to get along well with others.  She has been a positive role model for the undergraduates in my lab, and has also demonstrated great mentoring skills as a Teaching Assistant.  Indeed, even a quick glance at Michele’s CV shows how deeply committed she is in service and in working with others.

Michele’s constant commitment to the field also shines through the internship and clinical work experiences that she has pursued.  I will be truly sorry to see her graduate this summer and move on to a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at UNC-Greensboro.  I know she will continue to grow and an opportunity to be involved with AAPA as a student representative would be fantastic, and hopefully a win-win for all involved!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or if I can provide any additional information.

Best regards,

Lisa Kiang, Ph.D.


Candidate 2: Balvinder “Nisha” Chaturvedi


I would like to nominate myself for student director position.

My legal name is Balvinder k Chaturvedi but I like to called by Nisha Chaturvedi.

I live in Conroe, Texas and currently work as an addiction counselor at a private practice. I work very closely with specialty courts (Drug and DWI). I am a single parent and Masters level clinical mental health counseling student at Lamar University. I have to repeat my masters as my education from India (Masters in Counseling) was not accepted as a norm. I plan to do Ph.D. once I graduate from Lamar ( Mar 2020). I also hold a diploma degree in M.B.A (human resources) from a reputed Indian University.  I was advised by my teacher to join AAPP because of my interest in helping Asian-American community around me. As a current student I would like represent students interest and continue what my predecessor has started and that is the presence of AAPP on social media. I am also available to assist in annual conference planning as needed. I would love to see students’ community receive some mentoring and internship opportunities and if possible have this information available to all student members at the time of joining AAPP.  I sincerely hope that I am considered for the position.

Thank you.


Nisha Chaturvedi

Mental Health Counseling Program

Lamar University


Candidate 3: Gabriel Corpus

I am a second year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at Palo Alto University and I am nominating myself for the student Board of Directors position on the AAPA Executive Committee. I am motivated to work alongside this committee because of my drive for working with AAPI communities. To effectively do this, I believe it is important to have a diverse training experience outside of class by being involved in leadership at the national level. As a student member of the Board of Director, I hope to experience how to manage a large organization like AAPA, inspire others to be interested in AAPI communities, and to further hone my current leadership abilities.

I believe I stand as a strong candidate because of my current experience as Co-Chair for the AAPA Education Committee (founded in 2017) and as a student representative for the Division of Filipino Americans (DOFA). As a Co-Chair of the Education Committee, I have managed our project to archive and disseminate AAPI mental health related information resources. As a DOFA representative, I connect students with similar Filipino interests and engage them in the field of Filipino American Psychology.

As a student member of the Board of Directors, my goal is to strengthen AAPA by fostering positive relationships with related psychology divisions and Asian related organizations outside APA. I believe a multidisciplinary approach to serving our community is important and creating bonds with other like-minded organizations will help AAPA grow. I hope you consider my nomination for this position.


Gabriel H. Corpus

Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology

Palo Alto University


Candidate 4: Swapandeep “Swap” Mushiana


Past AAPA offices held (if any): None

Past contributions to AAPA and/or Asian American psychology: I was fortunately selected to AAPA’s inaugural Leadership Institute in 2017, and contributed to a student-led seminar on mentorship and leadership for the upcoming AAPA convention.

Goal statement: The central challenge for AAPA is maintaining core values while adapting to meet emergent membership needs. As a member of the Executive Committee, my focus will be to honor the collective wisdom of our membership and promote student perspectives to drive organizational development.

I approach the role of student representative with a learning orientation grounded in communication, engagement, and advocacy. I will use a stakeholder-driven approach to elicit feedback in order to accurately represent the perspectives of our students. In regards to communication, an iterative dialogue throughout my tenure on the EC will produce a clear understanding of the challenges students face when progressing through the field of mental health and social services. It will be a priority to collaborate across divisions and engage with all disciplines within AAPA to identify common challenges students face. My hope is to create a shared vision to guide my advocacy and service for students within AAPA.

As student representative, it is vital to continue to build the initiatives of my predecessors such as maintaining a strong social media presence to connect students across the organization. I will use formal assessments and informal processes to be responsive to issues salient for our membership. By keeping my pulse on the desires for students, the initiatives will reflect feedback from members that may center around general/professional development, mentorship, and community.

My overall objective is to bring a strong student voice to the EC to help create an organizational home that students continually return to as they become professionals. I would be an immense honor to represent the lifeline of our evolving organization. Thank you for your consideration.

Swapandeep Singh Mushiana

Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology

School of Nursing and Health Professions

University of San Francisco


Candidate 5: Van Phan

My name is Van Phan and I am a third-year graduate student in the University of South Carolina’s (USC) Clinical-Community psychology doctoral program. Before attending USC, I earned my Bachelor’s in Psychology at Georgia State University where I worked as a research assistant under Dr. Wing Yi Chan. Outside of research, I actively engaged with community partners, working towards the betterment and empowerment of ethnic minority communities and first-generation youth. Through these community connections, I secured a position at Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s Atlanta branch as a research fellow and Vietnamese outreach specialist. These foundational experiences shaped the research that I currently engage in which focuses on risk/resilience and protective factors behind the disparities of disadvantaged and underserved populations.


I was a participant in AAPA’s inaugural Graduate Student Leadership Institute, a two-day intensive leadership building and networking experience. As Student Director, I would promote the values touched upon at the institute, focusing on equity and inclusion. As a Vietnamese American based in the U.S. Southeast, I would like for others at the fringe of AAPA to feel like they have equal opportunity to engage effectively with the organization. To that effort, I would like to assist in improving outreach and sense of community within AAPA, especially for student members. I would also like to continue maintaining our social media presence. Overall, I would like to accurately represent and highlight student interests while advancing the mission and values of AAPA. Thank you for considering me for this role!

Van Phan

Doctoral Student in Clinical-Community Psychology

University of South Carolina