APF Announces New Program Honoring Rena F. Subotnik

by APF Staff on May 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Foundation in conjunction with Mary M. Brabeck, PhD, and Michael C. Brabeck, MD, announce the establishment of the Rena F. Subotnik Psychology in Schools and Education Fund.

Rena F. Subotnik, PhD, served as the director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE) at APA from 2002-2023, and dedicated her leadership, advocacy, and research career to promoting the application of psychological science to education.  Dr. Subotnik, in collaboration with Cynthia Belar, PhD and Steve Rollin, PhD founded the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education.  

The Coalition, composed of representatives from numerous APA Divisions and governance groups, brings together interested psychologists to:

  • Promote and make publicly accessible applications of psychological science designed to improve the quality of preK-12 education.
  • Support APA’s involvement in policymaking and legislation associated with state and federal educational agendas.
  • Encourage cooperation and collaboration among APA entities and related national organizations whose focus is on children and youth, teaching and learning processes, and teacher and student well-being. 

“For over two decades, Dr. Subotnik has led the Coalition and brought psychological science to inform critical education issues. This fund honors her leadership and the dedication of over 150 APA psychologists who have contributed to the Coalition’s successes for more than two decades,” said Dr. Mary Brabeck. “The Fund will provide additional resources to enhance APA’s commitment to use psychology to improve the learning and wellbeing of PK-12 children, youth, and educators.”

The Rena F. Subotnik Psychology in Schools and Education Fund will support a non-competitive program to fund activities recommended by members of the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. These new initiatives may include but are not limited to:

  • Development of online resources for PK-12 educators.
  • White papers that apply psychology to PK-12 schools and education issues and challenges.
  • Development of courses, training, or workshops that provide resources to PK-12 teachers and psychologists.
  • Dissemination of materials developed by the Coalition or the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education.

Dr. Subotnik said of the establishment of the fund, “It’s been a great privilege to support the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. The audience for the Coalition’s invaluable products in the education community is limitless. APF funds, initiated by Mary and Michael Brabeck, will further enhance the Coalition’s creative power of idea generation and promote strategies for effective dissemination.”

Based on recommendations from the Coalition, CPSE will be invited to submit an annual proposal to APF beginning in 2025.

“This generous gift from Drs. Mary and Michael Brabeck will continue and expand the impact Dr. Subotnik has had at APA and beyond,” said APF President Terence M. Keane, PhD. “The application of psychological science in schools is a vital contribution to a better society and APF is grateful for the opportunity to support this effort.”

Additional information on the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education is available here.

For any inquiries, please contact APF.

To view the pdf version of this release please click here.