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UofGH’s Dr. David Danto Appointed to Canadian Psychological Association Board of Directors

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It is an honour and privilege to be on the Board of Directors, and I hope that I’ll be able to make an impact.

Dr. David Danto, Program Head of Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber, has been named to the Canadian Psychological Association’s (CPA) Board of Directors.

The three-year appointment marks the next step in Dr. Danto’s long-standing relationship with the CPA, where he has been involved since he was an undergraduate student. “I’ve been involved with CPA for many years, and it’s always played an important role in my professional life,” says Dr. Danto.

The CPA Board meets regularly to discuss issues both within the CPA and with larger implications for the field of psychology. The Board also develops guiding policies for the organization, writes position papers and fact sheets, votes on important decisions, and participates in the CPA’s governance. “The organization has many roles and functions that have to do with unifying the voice of psychology in Canada, but also representing the great diversity of psychologists and clients that are served by psychology in Canada,” says Dr. Danto.

Making an impact

Dr. Danto says being on the Board of Directors will be a great opportunity to participate in shaping the vision of the CPA and the psychology profession, as well as to meet other professionals in the field. “I wanted to have a voice and to be a participant in the vision of the Canadian Psychological Association, and psychology in Canada in general,” he says. “It’s also an exciting opportunity to get to know people I wouldn’t otherwise meet. It is an honour and privilege to be on the Board of Directors, and I hope that I’ll be able to make an impact.”

Dr. Danto has taken an active role in the association over the years, most notably as the Chair of the Indigenous psychology section. While not Indigenous himself, Dr. Danto sees himself as an ally to Indigenous peoples. In collaboration with the Psychology Foundation of Canada, he was part of a task force that created a report responding to the federal government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, from the perspective of the field of Psychology.

His desire to continue this work at the Board level was one of the reasons he joined the Board. “It is certainly a calling that is deeply meaningful to me, and the work that I’ve been involved in with this section has become a central focus,” he says. “It has brought into sharp focus for me some of the discrepancies in services and outcomes between the general population and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I see it as a significant part of my role on the Board of Directors to not only be an ally to Indigenous Peoples, but also try as best I can to develop in myself, those values which I think will assist in moving forward toward reconciliation.”

Getting UofGH students involved

Throughout his time at UofGH, Dr. Danto has encouraged UofGH students to join the association as student members. He hopes his participation on the Board of Directors will continue to encourage student involvement. “Since I joined UofGH in 2010, I felt strongly that I wanted our students to have the opportunity to be involved in the CPA – so I promoted membership in the CPA to our students,” he explains. “Since then, we’ve had a student representative to the CPA from our program who brings information to our students about the annual convention, benefits of membership, and other CPA-related information.”

“I always encourage our students to be involved in service and give back to the community that supports their discipline, so I feel very fortunate,” he continues. “It’s wonderful to spend time with our students at CPA.”

Over the years, UofGH students have also presented research at the CPA annual convention. At this year’s conference, Dr. Danto and Dr. Adam Sandford, Assistant Program Head of Psychology at UofGH, presented eight peer-reviewed research projects along with UofGH Psychology students and alumni. “It fills me with pride when I see our students talking about the research they’re doing at the University of Guelph-Humber,” he says. “We always have undergraduate students who go to CPA and present, which is wonderful to see.”