Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Community Psychologist Practitioner Spotlight: Pamela Imm

“I frequently tell people that I have the best job in the world.  It is fun and provides interesting work that is rewarding on a lot of levels.  I enjoy telling people what I do for work although I find that I never answer that question in the same way.”

Name: Pamela Imm, Ph.D.
Title: Community Psychologist
Employer: Self Employed; has office at LRADAC
Affiliations:  American Evaluation Association, Society for Community Research and Action

Using Community Psychology to Help Communities Find Effective Solutions
Dr. Pamela Imm is a community psychologist practitioner who uses her skills in evaluation to help communities find solutions to large scale community issues.
She is affiliated with the Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (LRADAC), a non-profit agency that provides prevention, intervention and treatment programs to South Carolina citizens. Through this agency, she works as an evaluator with four different community coalitions to help prevent risky behaviors among youth. Her role as an evaluator involves providing strategic direction and assessing the effectiveness of community-based programs. Dr. Imm is also self-employed and works with other coalitions around the country that address violence prevention, underage drinking and youth development and leadership programs. She is a big advocate of doing what works. She serves as a consultant and presents specific evidence-based strategies and programs for community groups and coalitions to consider.

Dr. Imm also conducts research and publishes with her colleagues. These publications include Using the Getting to Outcomes Approach to Help Communities Prevent Underage Drinking (2007) and The Premises is the Premise: Understanding Off-and-On Premises Alcohol Sales Outlets to Improve Environmental Alcohol Prevention Strategies (2011). She and her colleagues received the 2008 American Evaluation Association Award for Outstanding Publication for Getting to Outcomes: Methods and Tools for Self-Assessment and Accountability. A number of health agencies around the nation have adopted this model.

She has a strong interest in integrating research into practice. Her work is disseminated into the community and is available for organizations to use. She is also involved in providing training and technical assistance and continues to study best practices and strategies in providing technical assistance in community settings.

Dr. Imm possesses the necessary skills to work in a variety of settings as an evaluator, a consultant, a researcher and a grant writer. An understanding of how to apply key concepts in psychology (especially community psychology), is an important skill that Dr. Imm has gained through her graduate training and years of experience. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology at the University of South Carolina. During graduate school, she gained community psychology practice experience by working on neighborhood projects with her mentors and research lab. The interdisciplinary nature of her graduate training provided mentors across disciplines such as public health. She also gained skills in developing and implementing applied practices that were contextually appropriate and empirically grounded.

As a community psychologist practitioner, Dr. Imm serves in various professional capacities that help to ensure strong, healthy communities. Her commitment to making a positive impact on both a local and national level is demonstrated by the practice of informing the community about what strategies work and how to implement them.

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 scraprofiles@gmail.com

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