Sunday, January 16, 2011

Community Practicioner Spotlight: Katherine Tyndall

Community psychology is the realistic lens through which we can view our community, analyze it, and then actually make changes that truly make a difference…. It is a part of who I am. Community psychology fits me like a glove…”

Name: Katherine (Kate) Tyndall, M.A.
Titles: (1) Adjunct faculty member (2) Mental Health Clinician (3) Small Business and Nonprofit Consultant (4) Addictions Specialist (5) Justice of the Peace
Employer: (1) University of Massachusetts at Lowell (2) Twin Consulting (self employed)
Affiliations: International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), Massachusetts Licensed Additions Counselor, APA Behavioral Social Scientist Volunteer Program , Lowell Women’s Week, World AIDS Day

Wearing Many Hats to Promote Healthy Communities”

Kate Tyndall is a community psychologist practitioner who is skillfully making a difference in the lives of people in her community. Kate wears many hats in her community. Interestingly, her work tends to ‘ebb and flow’ as demands present themselves.

Tyndall is the co-founder of the Greater Lowell Equality Alliance (GLEA), an organization grew out of the same-sex marriage equality movement in Massachusetts. This organization provides information, support and visibility for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in greater Lowell. Beginning with no resources and no office, this organization was sparked with a desire to help and improve the health of the LGBT community. Kate is also an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology department at the University of Massachusetts- Lowell. Kate’s approach to teaching stems from her experiences as a community psychologist practitioner, which is in part characterized by her appreciation for her students’ insight and wisdom.

Kate volunteers as a mental health clinician at the Greater Lowell Critical Incident Stress Management. She helps provide services to public safety workers (e.g., police officers, firefighters). As a member of the clinician team, she provides pre-incident education which addresses stress management and tools for dealing with post traumatic stress and assures the workers that the team will be there for them when need arises. Kate’s community psychology practice continues as she also serves as an addictions specialist, a small business and nonprofit consultant and a justice of the peace.

Kate’s practice work is certainly diverse and calls for skills she gained in graduate school. Kate earned her Master’s degree in Community Social Psychology at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Kate’s graduate training has enhanced her ability to examine social change through a systems perspective and to address issues on multiple levels in research. Her training has prepared her for community organizing, evaluating programs, grant writing, applying multiculturalism and designing prevention/intervention programs. One of the most important aspects of Kate’s graduate training was the opportunity to interact with and learn from her professors who were applying the guiding principles and values of community psychology in their community work. Kate remembers the impact of professors like Bill Berkowitz, Anne Mulvey and Meg Bond. Throughout graduate school, she was encouraged, guided and expected to pursue her primary interest, which was HIV/AIDS among women.

Kate’s strong desire to make a positive difference in her community, coupled with her training and experiences in community psychology, has impacted the lives of many people. She has demonstrated that the ability to wear many hats is certainly an advantage when working in communities.  Read Katherine's full interview here.

This profile was written by Kyrah Brown, from Wichita State University.  It is part of a series of community psychology practitioner profiles.  If you have a suggestion for future profiles, please email

Katherine graduated from the Community Psychology Masters program at University of Massachusetts Lowell.  Find out more about their graduate program here.

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