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Welcoming new APA congressional and executive branch policy fellows

Meet APA’s new fellows and consider applying for next year’s positions.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2022, October 4). Welcoming new APA congressional and executive branch policy fellows.

Malcolm Woodland, PhD; Erika Fountain, PhD; and Katherine M. Serafine, PhD

APA’s yearlong congressional and executive branch fellowships in Washington, D.C., provide a unique opportunity for psychologists to gain experience in public policy and broaden awareness of the value of psychology research within the federal government. We are pleased to welcome our two congressional and one executive branch fellows for 2022–23:

  • Malcolm Woodland, PhD, is the 2022–23 Jacquelin Goldman Congressional Fellow, a position funded by the American Psychological Foundation in the office of Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL). Woodland will be working on Wilson's U.S. Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. He will also assist the office with education, health, and juvenile justice policy. Prior to the fellowship, Woodland worked in juvenile justice for several years. He has served as the deputy director of juvenile probation in the District of Columbia and was also the chief psychologist of the Child Guidance Clinic at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In addition to his work in the government, Woodland is the founder and director of the Young Doctors Project, a nonprofit organization for boys and young men of color interested in careers in health and medicine. The nonprofit has operated for a decade and has created a pathway for Black and Hispanic boys from high school to medical school. He also has a private practice specializing in psychological assessment and expert testimony for U.S. veterans and prisoners facing execution. His research on psychological measurement and out-of-school time programs can be found in several peer-reviewed and popular periodicals. ABC recently recognized Woodland as a Culture Catalyst, and his work with the Young Doctors Project was featured in APA’s Monitor on Psychology. Woodland completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, attained his doctorate in clinical psychology from Howard University, and completed his undergraduate studies at Tougaloo College in Mississippi.
  • Erika Fountain, PhD, is working with the technology team in Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) office on issues related to justice, law enforcement surveillance, and privacy. Fountain joins the office from her position as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where her work lies at the intersection of research, policy, and practice in juvenile and criminal justice. She received her PhD in psychology with an emphasis on human development and public policy from Georgetown University. Her research includes projects examining court processes, systemic and structural barriers to probation compliance, family engagement, and racial inequities in the legal system. Her work also explores how science can inform evidence-based justice policy and she teaches on the relevance of science for social policy. She has provided scientific testimony to Maryland legislators and has coauthored op-eds advocating for science backed reforms to youth justice.
  • Katherine M. Serafine, PhD, is working at the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Office of Science Policy, Planning and Communications, in the Science Policy and Evaluation Branch. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, and her master’s degree in psychology as well as her doctoral degree in behavior, cognition, and neuroscience from American University in Washington, D.C. Her dissertation research focused on the neurochemical mediation of the aversive effects of cocaine, using animal models. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Serafine was appointed as a tenure track assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2015 and was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure in 2021. Her research lab at UTEP uses animal models to explore vulnerability factors for diseases including obesity, binge eating disorder, and substance use disorder. Serafine is interested in how science informs policy and how effective scientific communication and knowledge contributes to legislative processes and agency programming. During the fellowship, Serafine will engage in several tasks within the NIMH including policy clearance, development of presentations for the NIMH director, and legislative reporting.

Want to become an APA fellow? Applications are now open for APA’s Executive Branch Science Fellowship Program and Congressional Fellowship Program for 2023–24. The deadline is January 4, 2023.

For more information, contact Ben Vonachen, senior director congressional and federal relations.