Dr. Marianna Footo-Linz, chair of the Department of Psychology in Marshall’s College of Liberal Arts, has received the Cynthia D. Belar Education Advocacy Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychological Association Board of Educational Affairs.
The award was presented in recognition of her leadership in advocating for increased federal investments in the Graduate Psychology Education program of the Health Resources and Services Administration, and her commitment to mentoring and instilling in her students and colleagues the shared responsibility of advocating for the psychology profession.
The American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs consults and advises the APA leadership with respect to ongoing planning and operations of its education directorate. It recommends educational policy for the association and changes to its programs that would allow APA to take a national leadership in education. It also aims to ensure a commitment to diversity in education and training in all of its initiatives.
For several years, Linz has traveled to Washington and taken graduate students to advocate for funding for student training to become psychologists who focus on rural and underserved populations. They visit Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, and students learn about the advocacy process, Linz said.
She has also spoken at the APA annual conference about Marshall’s projects under the Graduate Psychology Education program and presented Marshall’s work for Congressional briefings and the need to enhance the behavioral health workforce.
"Including students in these experiences is one of the most rewarding things within the whole process," Linz said. "They are very effective young professionals, and giving them the opportunity to see how their passion can influence policy is a wonderful thing."