Sue Frantz, PhD
Highline College in Washington
How did you find a mentor?
I wasn’t actively looking for a mentor when I met
someone who turned out to be a mentor for me. I
was working at Highline College when I was serving
as the director of Project Syllabus for APA’s Div. 2
(Society for the Teaching of Psychology). I had heard
of Ruth Ault because she was the director of the Office
of Teaching Resources in Psychology. I met her for
the first time in Florida in 2005 because we were both
readers for the AP psychology test. Throughout the
week, we had time to socialize and she encouraged
me to go to APA’s Annual Convention. I thought the
convention seemed overwhelming, but she suggested
that I focus on division activities.
How did your mentor help you succeed?
When I attended my first convention, Ruth invited me
to sit next to her at the division’s annual meeting and
introduced me to people. She helped me understand
what Div. 2 was about, how APA works and who the
people were in the organization. This background
helped me move into leadership positions, such as
a member and later a chair for the Committee for
Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges. I also
served on APA’s Membership Board. Currently I’m
vice president for resources for the division and a
college representative for APA’s Teachers of Psychology
in Secondary Schools. When I was thinking about
creating ToPIX (Teaching of Psychology Idea
Exchange), a wiki of teaching resources, she provided
valuable advice on how to move that idea forward.
How are you paying it forward by
I used to go to conferences with the goal of learning
something new for myself. That’s still a goal, but
not the primary one. Now I want to meet people
who are new to the profession to find out what they
want to do. I have conversations about the starter
opportunities in APA, like being a reviewer for
different resources. In January, APA’s Early Career
Psychology Committee had a social, and I had
wonderful conversations with several people. Five
years ago, I also started a blog ( SueFrantz.com) about
technology you can use that is specifically geared for
instructors. I started it because I think there are a lot
of instructors doing things the hard way, and I wanted
to share ideas with them. n
10 ways to find a mentor
• Reach out to a professor.
• Attend APA’s Annual Convention and approach someone with
• Assist a researcher involved in a study that interests you.
• Serve on an APA committee, board or project and network with
people in the group.
• Reach out to a practicing psychologist who has expertise in your
• Explore APA resources that offer mentoring at www.apa.org/
• Think about what you need in a mentor and start looking for these
qualities in people you meet.
• Get involved in smaller state or local psychological associations.
• Approach someone during a field placement while in graduate
• Attend social gatherings offered by psychology departments or
APA divisions that give you an opportunity to network.