Cynthia D. Belar, PhD, isn’t stepping away from APA because she’s lost her passion for psychology or no longer enjoys overseeing a staff of 43 and working 80-
plus hour weeks. She’s simply ready to embrace the next phase
of her life.
“In the past year, I turned 68, I went to my 50th high
school reunion, I celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary and
I realized that it’s time for me to be passionate about other
things,” she says.
She also wants to leave now to model appropriate work-life
balance. “I used to be an interesting person!” she laughs. “I have
become so focused on the job and that is a terrible example to
set for future psychologists.”
After Belar’s last day on July 31, her top priority is traveling
with her husband, Jean-Louis Monfraix, to his native France.
After that, she’ll let her intuition and interests drive her.
“My father was forced to retire when he was 65 and that’s
when he picked up a paintbrush for the first time and became
an accomplished watercolorist,” she says. “I hold onto the hope
that, like him, I will find something new to get passionate
Her colleagues don’t doubt it. Belar, who came to APA in
2000, is well known as an enthusiastic, innovative leader whose
intense energy has enabled her to spearhead major changes in
psychology education at all levels. Her overriding goal for all her
efforts has been improving the quality of psychology education.
“From K through 12, through undergraduate and graduate
education, and well beyond to the policies and procedures that
will scaffold the field’s continuing quest for excellence, Cynthia
leaves legacies that will guide ongoing educational initiatives for
the generations to come,” says Greg Neimeyer, PhD, APA’s
director of continuing education.
retires from APA
After 14 years of pioneering contributions to
psychology education, APA education chief
Cynthia D. Belar is retiring.
BY SARA MARTIN • Monitor staff