skip to main content

APA President Frank C. Worrell, PhD, appoints six new members of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee

The Advocacy Coordinating Committee (ACC) is charged with recommending a slate of advocacy priorities for APA’s companion advocacy organization, APA Services. Germán Cardenas, Danna Fowble, Shalena Heard, Alfonso Mercado, Fred Oswald, and Bharat Bharat, have been appointed to serve on the ACC.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2022, October 26). APA President Frank C. Worrell, PhD, appoints six new members of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee.

Six members appointed to the Advocacy Coordinating Committee on October 14, 2022

In October, the APA Services Board of Directors approved the appointment of six new members to the ACC. ACC's primary charge is to recommend advocacy priorities to guide the work of APA Services throughout the year. It is comprised of no fewer than 12 members who broadly represent all aspects of the association’s diverse membership, including disciplinary focus, demographic diversity, student membership, career stage, and employment setting. 

APA Services thanks departing ACC members Ayli Carrero Pinedo, PhD; Amanda Dettmer, PhD; Stephanie Fitzpatrick, PhD; Chuck Hollister, PhD; and William Stoops, PhD, for their service and contributions on the committee.

Germán Cardenas, PhD Germán A. Cardenas, PhD, (he/his/el) 

Cardenas is an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Lehigh University. He is a formerly undocumented immigrant from Latin America. As a scholar-activist, he has been involved in the movement for immigrant rights for over a decade. He completed a PhD in counseling psychology at Arizona State University, and a doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.

His academic work is community-based and focuses on the psychology of immigration and on critical consciousness as a tool for social justice. In particular, he examines the impact of immigration policy on the psychological well-being, education, career/work, and health of Latinx immigrants. His work also includes the development and validation of strategies for mental health service providers and educators working with immigrants. His work has been externally funded and published in outlets such as Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Latinx Psychology, and Educational Researcher.

Cardenas has informed policy and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. This includes advocacy for higher education access of undocumented students, grassroots advocacy for humane federal immigration policies, and briefing Congress on research conducted with the National Latinx Psychological Association regarding covid-19 among Latinxs.

He serves as vice president for diversity and public interest in APA’s Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology). He also co-led the Interdivisional Immigration Project that developed collaborative advocacy strategies for community activists and psychologists.

Danna Fowble, IOM Danna Fowble, IOM

Fowble’s career path in organizational management and her bachelor’s degree in business from Northeastern State University and as a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a U.S. chamber program, makes her a leader in the association management and not-for-profit arena, having worked her entire adult career in this profession. She is the owner of Solutions 501 Association Management, and serves as the executive director/principal registered lobbyist of the Oklahoma Psychological Association (since 2015) and the Oklahoma Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (since 2021), while working with various other groups on event management and legislative advocacy.

From her 13-year career serving as vice president of grassroots development and event management at the State Chamber of Oklahoma, she served as the chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council. In addition to managing organizational affairs for both, as a registered lobbyist, she worked to develop and promote a comprehensive grassroots advocacy program creating awareness of business issues impacting the state. Additionally, Fowble helped manage state question campaigns and independent expenditures creating advocacy awareness while recruiting and retaining memberships and organizational development for three organization. She was also responsible for the state chamber’s accreditation with the U.S. chamber as well as planned the state chamber’s more than five annual events with over a $250,000 budget. She has been a nationally certified fitness professional through the American Council on Exercise for 35 years.

Shalena Heard, PhD Shalena Heard, PhD

Heard is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maryland and certified as a national health service psychologist and approved clinical supervisor. She attained her bachelor of arts in psychology from Spelman College and completed graduate training at Howard University, where she attained her master’s in counseling psychology degree; and later received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Lehigh University.

Heard has extensive experience providing therapy and psychological assessment services to children, adolescents, and adults within inpatient, residential, outpatient, and school settings. She currently serves as the co-director of the Pathways to Young Adulthood Clinic under the Department of Neuropsychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is an active member of APA and Maryland Psychological Association. She also serves as a mentor for the Black Mental Wellness mentoring program.

Heard also operates her private practice, Purposeful Assessment, Consultation, and Training Services, where she provides psychological assessment services, individual and organizational consultation and training, as well as clinical supervision to graduate trainees and mental health professionals. In addition to her clinical practice, she has served as an affiliate faculty member at Loyola University in Maryland and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

Alfonso Mercado, PhD Alfonso Mercado, PhD

Mercado is an associate professor in the department of psychological science and department of psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and a licensed psychologist. His research focus is on Latino mental health, including immigration, trauma, and multicultural interventions. He is the current president of the Texas Psychological Association and served on APA’s Committee on Rural Health. 

In 2021, Mercado received the American Psychological Association Early Career Psychologist Achievement Award for his research, clinical, and advocacy work with recently immigrated families along the U.S.-Mexico border. He has shared his research and clinical experience with national and international media outlets and in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, Mercado spoke to the U.S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus on the mental health needs of Latino children and families.

Fred Oswald, PhD Fred Oswald, PhD

Oswald is a professor and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences at Rice University. As an industrial-organizational psychologist, his research, grants, and 150+ publications (peer-reviewed publications, edited books, chapters, and technical reports) focus on developing, implementing and evaluating the wide range of tests that everyone encounters in their life within employment and educational settings (e.g., personality, knowledge, performance tests). Recent work addresses the scientific, ethical, and legal implications of AI-based employment tests. His recent leadership positions include being the current chair of the Board on Human-Systems Integration at the National Academies; current member of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee; current chair of the Board of Scientific Affairs within APA; and past president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 5, 8, 14), the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Learn more about his graduate students and research on the Organization & Workforce Laboratory webpage.

Bharat Bharat, MA Bharat Bharat, MA

Bharat is a first-year graduate student in the health track of the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Miami, under the mentorship of Steven Safren, PhD. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a master’s degree in psychological sciences and a graduate certificate in data analysis. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University with a concentration in technology innovation. Bharat’s experiences in both quantitative and qualitative research methods have allowed him to appreciate the significance of being a mixed methods scholar. His research interests revolve around LGBTQ+ mental health, resilience, intersectionality, implementation science, and developing new interventions aimed at preventing HIV and bolstering resilience in marginalized communities, especially for queer people of color. 

Bharat is a member of the Florida Psychological Association Diversity and Cultural Competence Committee and the Social Justice Committee, where he brainstorms ways to increase diversity-oriented continuing education workshops for licensed Florida psychologists as well as help write time-sensitive briefs and position statements regarding current social events. He is also a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and aims to help pass legislation banning sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (commonly known as conversion therapy) for LGBTQ+ youth in Florida and nationally.

For more information, please contact Andrew J. Ferreira, director of Governance and Operations; staff liaison to the ACC.