Student Notebook

Student Events at the APS 19th Annual Convention

The APS 19th Annual Convention featured a full slate of student-oriented events organized by the APS Student Caucus (APSSC) Board in collaboration with APS staff and student-affiliate members. The events highlighted student research, disseminated valuable information about graduate school and publishing, and provided the opportunity to network with top researchers and fellow students.

APS Student Caucus Convention Kickoff and Student Social
The 2007 Convention Kickoff and Student Social was a huge success. Almost 250 student affiliates attended the event in a private room at the Hilton Washington. Attendees had the opportunity to meet fellow students while enjoying complimentary food and drinks. The gathering also allowed APSSC Board members to introduce themselves and provide information about upcoming student events at the convention.

The Naked Truth: Getting Into Graduate School: Strategies for Survival and Success
In this event geared specifically for undergraduates, we were privileged to have five amazing panelists from a wide variety of psychology backgrounds, including experimental, developmental, cognitive/developmental, and forensic psychology. Panel members answered audience questions about the transition from undergraduate to graduate training, living costs, letters of recommendation, etc. The APSSC would like to thank all of the panelists for their valuable time and great advice and also panel organizer Fran Chumney for putting this event together.

The Naked Truth: Deciphering Graduate School, Research, Coursework, Teaching, and Life
This event was the first APSSC event in convention history to focus specifically on issues students face in graduate school. This student panel, which included Michelle Ackerman, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Daniel Antonius, New School for Social Research; Adam Brown, New School for Social Research; Kizzy Parks, Florida Institute of Technology; Peter Vernig, Suffolk University; and Shu-wen Wang, University of California, Los Angeles, provided a forum for students to give and receive advice on getting the most out of their graduate education. Discussion topics included navigating the mentor relationship, getting work completed in a world without deadlines, balancing the various roles of a gra duate student, and starting an innovative project to build up a curriculum vita.

The Naked Truth: Life After the PhD: Finding and Getting the Job of Your Dreams
The final panel in the Naked Truth series featured psychologists discussing the transition from school to career. Seema Clifasefi, University of Washington (and past APSSC President) spoke about pursuing a research-based academic position; Michelle Verges, Indiana University, South Bend, focused on teaching-centered academic institutions; Jane Steinberg, Division of Extramural Activities at the National Institute of Mental Health, discussed careers in government agencies; and Amy Pollick, Director of Government Relations, Association for Psychological Science, talked about public policy and publication jobs.

How to Get Published: Guidance from Journal Editors
Distinguished journal editors — APS’s Rob Kail (editor of Psychological Science) and Ed Diener (editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science) and Nora Newcombe and Susan Nolen-Hoeksema — offered suggestions on how to get your research published. Among the topics discussed were picking the right journal, the editorial and review process, how and why to become a reviewer, and issues in determining authorship. The editors emphasized that students should consider the impact factor (index rating), audience, and idiosyncrasies of each journal. One new trend that spurred audience interest was the recommendation that theses and dissertations be shortened to 50 pages to make them more manageable for publication. In addition, editors warned students that new statistical methods are not always better and that cues should be taken from movements in the individual’s field. Overall, the session highlighted the need for authors to become proactive in their journal choices and submissions.

Student Research Award Addresses
Each year, APS Student Affiliates have the opportunity to submit their research for consideration in the APSSC Student Research Award competition. The winners, selected through a peer-review system, were honored during the opening ceremonies of the Washington Convention and received a monetary award to assist with the cost of convention attendance. The awardees also presented their research in a symposium. Eric Zimac, Ohio University, spoke about risky behavior and personality traits in the developmental progression of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Kyle Scherr, Iowa State University, focused on the search for the self-fulfilling prophecy and achieving power through accumulation. Victor Luevano, Brandeis University, described research showing that baby-faced adults elicit fMRI activation in others similar to infants’ faces. Coreen Farris, Indiana University, discussed how alcohol intoxication influences perceptual processing of women’s sexual interest cues.

RiSE-UP (Research on Socially and Economically Underrepresented Populations) Award
The 2007 RiSE-UP Research Award Symposium was a tremendous success. The 2007 winners, Alaina Brenick, University of Maryland; Kevin Hahn, Elizabethtown College; Nicole Walden, University of Albany, SUNY; and Joshua Watt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, were selected by peer review and given the opportunity to present their research during this symposium. Research topics included Arab and Israeli children’s stereotypes and peer-intergroup relations, the use of face-to-face groups in same-sex sexuality exploration, family obligation and social adjustment in economically disadvantaged youth, and methods of influencing implicit racial bias in shooting decisions. Each winner received a monetary award and was recognized during the convention’s opening ceremony. This year was characterized by a record number of submissions, symposium attendees, and volunteer peer reviewers.

Champions of Psychology
The Champions of Psychology event continues to be one of the most popular APSSC convention events. This year’s program featured a stellar group of Champions, including APS Fellows Carol Dweck (who was also the convention Keynote Speaker), Jacquelynne Eccles, and Roy Baumeister, and Fellows and Charter Members Dan Gilbert (also the convention’s Bring the Family Speaker), APS Past President Elizabeth Loftus, Elliot Aronson (recipient of the 2007 James McKeen Cattell award), Sandra Scarr (honored by a festschrift at the convention), and James S. Jackson (also a recipient of the 2007 Cattell award). Student affiliates had the unique opportunity to sit down in an informal setting with these major psychological figures and discuss scientific and professional issues.


The APS Student Caucus (APSSC) would like to thank the student affiliates and APS staff members who made these events possible. In addition, the APSSC is grateful to the distinguished APS Members for their generous participation in these events and for sharing their knowledge and experience with students.

Observer Vol.20, No.7 August, 2007

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