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Stephanie Pollock

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Lead, Journals Division, American Psychological Association


Please tell us a bit about yourself (e.g. hometown, current locale, course of study).

I grew up in southern New Hampshire and moved to northern Virginia (just outside of DC) after finishing my undergrad degree, where I’ve since been for most of my career. My husband and I lived in Seattle for a few years in between – I’ll always have a soft spot for the Pacific Northwest!

I received my undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in Spanish and sociology at the University of Delaware and completed my master’s in professional studies with The George Washington University’s Publishing program. I live in northern VA with my husband, our 18-month-old daughter, and three cats.

Describe some of your current responsibilities and what type of organization you belong to.

I’m the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Lead for the Journals Program at the American Psychological Association. In this role, I direct and implement our Journals Program’s EDI initiatives across our 89 journals in accordance with the association’s wider priorities; I work closely with our journal editors, APA staff, and the association’s governing bodies to facilitate this work. Some of my recent work includes implementing our editorial fellowship program, where early-career scholars who are from or who work primarily with underrepresented groups are mentored in journal leadership roles, publishing our EDI Toolkit for Journal Editors, and supporting the creation and implementation of the new APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards for Race, Ethnicity, and Culture.

APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the U.S., with more than 157,000 members. APA Publishing’s enterprise includes our Journals program, Books and Videos program, APA Style (including the APA Publication Manual), APA Databases, our children’s book imprint, Magination Press, and our digital learning tools, PsycLearn® and Academic Writer®.

What does a typical day in your current role look like?

Much of my job involves project management, working across teams within my department to advance our EDI priorities or to create pathways for our journal editors to embed EDI in their journals. Some days, my work might include delivering updates or proposals for EDI work to our governing body or working with colleagues across APA to expand the reach and impact of our EDI programs. I also represent APA at various industry events or on committees, including SSP’s DEIA Committee.

What was your first scholarly publishing role? How did you get that job? What path led to your current position?

I started my career in scholarly publishing just after finishing college – I applied for a Peer Review Coordinator position with APA. I was drawn to the job because it perfectly captured my two areas of interest: editorial work and psychology. In my early years, I pursued a counseling degree, but the emotional labor and toll of that work proved to be more than I wanted to manage (kudos to the therapists and counselors of the world; you are heroes!). The longer I worked on the Journals team, the more I realized I was drawn to a career in scholarly pubs. I changed course soon after to pursue a master’s in publishing.

After moving into different leadership roles with APA (and some time with the JAMA Network while I was based in Seattle), I began to take on more projects to advance equity and representation in our field, such as leading a staff working group to advance EDI priorities and developing an EDI framework for our publishing team. After several years of doing this work ad hoc, our Editorial Director and Books & Journals Publisher advocated for a full-time position dedicated to advancing EDI priorities, and so I applied for the role I have now.

If there was a pivotal moment or key person in your career development, please describe briefly.

As I mentioned before, APA’s Editorial Director (Annie Hill) and Books & Journals Publisher (Rose Sokol) have been long-time advocates for EDI across our industry. They have both encouraged me to take on new leadership roles throughout my time with APA and they’ve advocated for the resources we need to do our EDI work sustainably. It was Annie who first encouraged me to apply for a leadership role on the Journals team, when imposter phenomenon would have otherwise kept me from pursuing new opportunities. I very much credit her for helping to move my career forward.

What tools, websites, and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?

I most often use The Scholarly Kitchen to keep up on conversations in the industry. Several years ago, Damita Snow (ASCE) introduced me to the Better Allies’ “5 Ally Actions” newsletter – this is a terrific resource for understanding privilege and beginning to address how we can advance equity and inclusion in our workplaces and communities. I also follow content creators and activists on social media who are leading conversations around social justice, anti-racism, accessibility justice, and equity, most notably Imani Barbarin, Portia Burch, and Brittany Packnett Cunningham.

What do you wish you knew more about?

Having spent all my career in the scholarly journals space, I know comparatively little about book publishing! I have much to learn from my colleagues working in Books, both within and beyond APA and SSP.

What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?

As anyone working in this space can tell you, DEIA work requires humility, a willingness to learn, and a systems-oriented approach to problem-solving. These are also useful qualities for any career in this rapidly evolving industry.

If you’re introverted (like me), networking probably feels daunting and emotionally exhausting. When you can, find ways to build meaningful connections with folks in the industry, either by joining on to support a project with an industry group like SSP or by introducing yourself on LinkedIn or over email. Most people working in this space are kind and are excited to share their experiences with folks who are just beginning their careers.