(1947 - 2020)

SPA Member 1987 - 2020

Our dear friend and colleague Dr. Bruce L. Smith passed away September 16, 2020.

Born in San Francisco, CA in 1947, Bruce graduated cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley in Psychology in 1968 and went on to pursue both his masters and Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University.

Professionally, Bruce served in private practice and as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His practice, both clinical and forensic, revolved heavily around assessment. His teaching has extended far beyond the United States, as he trained psychologists in the former Yugoslavia and at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Bruce, one of the few individuals that was invited to join SPA with a Fellow distinction, has been a member since 1987. He served SPA in a variety of capacities up until his death, beginning with his service as the Representative-at-large and Chair of the External Affairs Committee to the SPA Board of Trustees in 1992. Since then, he has served as the SPA President from 1997-1999, SPA Public Affairs Director, member of the Professional Practice Guidelines, and as the inaugural SPA Foundation President from its inception in 2004 to when he rolled of his term in August 2020.

Within the broader field of psychology and personality assessment, Bruce gave much of his time through service, including as President and Board Member to the International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods, the Collaborative Assessment Association of the Bay Area, and as a reviewer for the Journal of Personality Assessment, Psychoanalytic Psychology, and Assessment.

Bruce was the recipient of the 2020 SPA Distinguished Service and Contribution to Personality Assessment Award. In his nomination letter of Bruce, Jim Kleiger said this

“Each year he acts as a fierce advocate for assessment in the policy arena.  Always constant, reliable, and personable, Bruce is a friend and a role model for assessment psychologists, whether they are the scores of students he has mentored or the large number of colleagues who look to him for his wisdom and leadership.  After long years of service to SPA, Bruce continues to distinguish himself by advocating for assessment on the national stage.”

Bruce’s advocacy is still felt today, as he worked with the American Psychological Association APA on topics important to assessment psychologists, like issues related to insurance, reimbursement, and coding policies to state licensing regulation changes.

2 thoughts on “In Memoriam- Bruce Smith, PhD

  1. Dr. Smith, you will be sorely missed, I remember you as a very bright and an amazing articulate psychologist. May you rest in peace.

  2. Bruce was one of the people who made me feel welcome when I was new to SPA. I will never forget when I was attending a convention back around 2009, entering a restaurant by myself to grab some lunch in-between sessions. Bruce was sitting with a few colleagues in a booth and saw me enter. He didn’t yet know me but must have seen my SPA convention badge, saw that I was alone, and immediately began waving me over to join him and his friends, “Hey, man, come on over! Join us!” Bruce embodied the warm collegiality and unassuming expertise that is such a vital characteristic of SPA. I will always be grateful for his friendship. I miss him.

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