Candidates for Election

Candidates for President Elect


Dr. Nora Dunbar

Northern Arizona University

STATEMENT: I fell hard and fast for RMPA at my first conference in 2013. Over the next five years, I became increasingly involved in RMPA by serving as an institutional representative, participating in the planning of the teaching pre-conference, and by facilitating an increasing number of conference presentations by and attendance of undergraduate and graduate students from NAU. During this time, I came to recognize what a remarkable organization it is for faculty and students alike.

RMPA is unique. It promotes an inclusive and welcoming culture that offers faculty a scientifically fertile and supportive community, and provides students with a non-threatening venue for professional engagement. For faculty, RMPA furnishes the chance to collaborate and connect with colleagues, to nurture student development, and to contribute to the convention and association through meaningful service. And, although RMPA is a terrific organization for faculty, it is an exceptional organization for students, as one of its most noteworthy features is its focus on teaching and student involvement. I can think of no better conference for an undergraduate student’s first poster presentation or a new graduate student’s initial talk, because their work will be met with respect, curiosity, helpful suggestions, and constructive criticism. Importantly, it is also a welcoming conference for first generation students and first-time attendees, many of whom who are seeking information about the field of psychology, potential careers and the graduate school application process. I feel fortunate indeed, to belong to an organization that has a committed focus to the professional development of its student members.

I am honored to be nominated to serve as president elect. The opportunity to serve RMPA and to continue the exceptional work of the past Presidents and members of the Executive Committee is both humbling and exciting. If elected I would strive to continue to cultivate RMPA’s culture of openness and inclusion, dedication to teaching, and strong student-orientation, while elevating its programming and scientific rigor. As noted at previous conferences, membership in the organization is less than expected given the size of our region. Therefore, I would also like to explore ways to grow participation of faculty who are not members of RMPA, and to evaluate the degree to which the organization is meeting the needs of first-generation students and its diverse membership. As a senior non-tenure track faculty member at a university with an increasing first-generation student body that aspires to be the nation’s leading Native American serving institution, I hope I can provide a valuable perspective to the Executive Committee. My goal would be to work with the organization’s leadership to promote the growth and enrichment of an already notable organization.

BIO: Nora Dunbar is a Senior Lecturer in and Associate Chair of the Psychological Sciences Department at Northern Arizona University (NAU). She earned her bachelors in Psychology from Sonoma State University in California, and her Masters in Developmental Psychology from the University of Santa Cruz, also in California. Afterwards, she completed her PhD in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota.

Dunbar’s research focuses on creativity, and work and family issues. Recently she has been developing a scale to measure cross-cultural perceptions of the four Ps of creativity: product, process, person, and press. Other current studies include the investigation of gender bias against students and faculty in STEM disciplines, career aspirations of STEM doctoral students, family issues in work-linked and dual-military couples, and the work experiences of contingent faculty. She enjoys teaching courses in research methods and statistics, and has won College of Social and Behavioral Science (SBS) awards for teaching innovation (2015) for a collaborative redesign of a research methods course, and for overall teaching excellence (2016). For the past four years she has served on NAU’s Faculty Senate, during which time she chaired the non-tenure track subcommittee and Council, in order to advocate for the interests of contingent faculty. She has also served on the Institutional Review Board for six years, serving as Chair of the IRB subcommittee within her college that provides IRB application assistance to students and faculty. As the Associate Chair of the department of Psychological Sciences, she has been responsible for departmental assessment, academic program review, and curriculum design. Her teaching and administrative work has led to several presentations on teaching research methods, statistics education, integration and evaluation of APA’s Learning Goals, and professor-student rapport. In addition, for the past seven years she has organized and coordinated the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Fall Research Symposium, at which over 500 students present almost 200 posters. Due to her contributions to the college of SBS, she recently received their award for outstanding service (2018).


Dr. Emily Chan

Colorado College

STATEMENT: I am honored to have the opportunity to run for President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association and to serve the community of psychologists and psychology students. RMPA’s support for student research through its annual conference is one of its central strengths and therefore, continuing to foster robust conference participation among students and faculty will allow us to increase our support of students, not just through the opportunity to present their research, but also through learning from and networking with a top-notch and diverse community of researchers, faculty, and practitioners at our conferences. Serving as president, I will continue to build on the collaborative initiatives and successes of the leadership and membership. I look forward to listening to and learning from members and their institutions on what our community’s priorities and needs are to identify new strategic opportunities both for RMPA independently, and for RMPA in partnership with other regional and national organizations. At a moment when the national discourses on equity and inclusion, on the role of higher education, and on citizenship and well-being are increasingly important and yet increasingly polarized, RMPA has the opportunity to serve all our members at different educational and professional stages to address these important topics. In addition, the states covered in RMPA’s region are seeing major growth in their urban and educational centers—What opportunities and challenges will the growth bring for RMPA? How will we solidify our role as an advocate for psychology as a central part of education, community, and citizenship? By listening to our members, we can continue to support and develop best practices for high impact education practices such as student research, internships, community engaged learning, inclusive community building, and practicing science as a part of engaged citizenship. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to serve and support our community, to be the facilitator and catalyst for the important work we can accomplish together in our shared intellectual home in the Rocky Mountain region.

BIO: Emily Chan is Associate Professor of Psychology, Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Strategic Initiatives, and Co-director of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO. She received her doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her B.A. from Princeton University.

She has worked at Colorado College since 2004, teaching courses in social psychology, research design and statistics, prejudice and stereotyping, and applied social psychology. She deeply values research collaboration with undergraduate students and has involved students in her research on culture and cognition, judgment and decision making, diversity and student success, and person and organization perception and branding. She has been involved with RMPA by bringing research students to the annual conference. She has also reviewed student research for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology diversity student awards. She launched a newsletter for Colorado College psychology students, faculty, and alumni, and started a community engagement club for social psychology students. Through her work directing the Bridge Scholars Program at Colorado College, and serving as a steering committee member of the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, Emily demonstrated her belief in investing in strong mentoring relationships between faculty and students, and peer-to-peer mentoring among students and among faculty. She has received the Colorado College Advisor of the Year Award in 2009 and the Bridge Scholars Program was recognized in 2016 with the Models of Excellence Award from University Business.

As associate dean, Emily oversaw strategy, operations, and implementation of initiatives in international study, field study, summer session, community engagement, and academic diversity and inclusion initiatives for students and faculty. As a co-chair in Colorado College’s strategic planning process, she facilitated the collaborative shaping and implementation of numerous strategic plan initiatives, including a pre-college summer program, a college-wide student research grant program, a mentored research program, study abroad enrollment and financial aid management, and the evolution of a new faculty multi-dimensional mentoring program and a mid-career faculty leadership program.

Candidates for Diversity Chair

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Dr. Nikki Jones

Colorado Mesa University

STATEMENT: I am honored to be nominated for the position of Diversity Council Chair. I am currently completing a three year term in this position, where I began my tenure by creating the diversity resource page on RMPA’s website. Further, I have worked hard to bring engaging key note speakers such as Dr. Melanie Brewster and Dr. Tania Israel to the past two conferences. In conjunction with Psi Chi, I worked to help bring the I Am Psyched national touring museum to the 2018 conference. Additionally, I worked with another executive committee member to create the International Perspectives Poster Award Session. Although I am proud of these key accomplishments and more, I feel there is additional work to be done, including: bringing in more high profile diversity key note speakers, creating special thematic diversity programming for each conference, and focusing on important current day diversity related issues. I would also like to collaborate with RMPA members more if elected, with hopes of developing a strong council to promote diversity on a broader scale at future conferences. In fact, if elected, I will plan a meeting for this year’s conference to hear from you about future programming ideas, and to discuss ways you can assist me in implementing them. Being in this role has given me the opportunity to develop professional relationships I would not have developed otherwise. Each convention I meet more and more people who inspire me, and challenge me to be better in this role. I hope I can count on your vote to help me continue this ever important work, and to continue to grow in my role as Diversity Council Chair.

BIO:Dr. Nikki Jones is an Associate Professor at Colorado Mesa University. She received a Ph.D. from Ball State University in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in multiculturalism, and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology at Radford University. Her research focuses on diversity related issues, including such topics as LGBT allies, college student sexuality, international student experiences, women’s issues and teaching multiculturalism through service. In fact, she developed the first measure of heterosexual LGBT ally identity. In two follow-up studies, she explored predictors of activism and motivators/barriers to engagement in activism among LGBT allies. In a new line of research, Nikki is working with a research team on the representation of women and people of color within the historical roots of psychology. She is currently a reviewer for the Journal of Homosexuality, and has had an active research agenda at RMPA over the years. In fact, she has mentored 15 student researchers presenting at RMPA.


Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu

Idaho State University

STATEMENT: I’m honored to be nominated for the Diversity Chair position for RMPA. Should I be elected, I am excited to work on continuing the fantastic lineup of Diversity Speakers and events that have been offered at RMPA in the past. I would like to gather information from RMPA members and convention attendees to better understand needs and wants for future diversity programming. For example, I had a great experience with Safe Zone training (a program on LGBTQIA+ issues and how to be an ally) at my institution, might this type of workshop be well-received at a future RMPA convention? I would also like to collect data on RMPA members and convention attendees to get a better sense of the diversity that we currently embody, with a broad understanding of the term diversity (e.g., this could include diversity of thought and ideology). Gathering this type of information would help us better understand whose perspectives we might be missing and what topics might be especially important for Diversity Speakers to address. This would help to ensure that future diversity programming at RMPA is expansive and inclusive, hopefully bringing everyone to the table for lively, thought-provoking, and useful conversations.

BIO: Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu is an Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology at Idaho State University (ISU). She was born in Fuling, China and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 5, growing up in New York City. Dr. Xu received a B.A. in Psychology from New York University (with minors in Gender & Sexuality Studies and English & American Literature), an M.A. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Social Health Psychology from Stony Brook University, and completed an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and The Miriam Hospital. She joined ISU in 2013 and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Human Sexuality, Social Psychology, Close Relationships, Social Neuroscience, Professional Writing and Development, and the Teaching of Psychology. Dr. Xu’s research focuses on romantic relationships, behavioral health, neuroimaging, culture, and pedagogy. She has been recognized for her work with honors including a Rising Star Designation from the Association for Psychological Science and teaching/faculty awards from her University and its students. Dr. Xu has served as Psi Chi Faculty advisor for ISU and is currently serving on the Psi Chi Steering Committee for the Rocky Mountain Region.

RMPA is seeking nominations for EC members.

Are you interested in self nominating or do you have a peer you would like to nominate? Please email us with specific contact information for that person using the button below.

Program Committee

RMPA is looking for dedicated persons to serve on a newly forming program committee. More details on these positions will be found here when available. If you are interested in self nominating or if you have a peer you would like to nominate please email us with specific contact information for that person using the button below.