The coming year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of APS. The year of APS’s founding, 1988, was also the year that 14 motivated individuals decided to come together to form a group devoted to serving the needs of psychology students by providing them with the skills and opportunities necessary to excel in the field. The APS Student Caucus was born. Today, the APSSC has grown to represent more than 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students all over the world. We are much bigger, but our original focus has remained the same.
This past September, the APSSC Executive Board held its annual Fall Meeting to discuss the current and future directions of our ever-growing global student organization. The purpose of our meeting was to ensure that we continue to build on the effectiveness of our programs and to recognize the interests of our fellow student affiliates around the world.
An International Representation
The APSSC is continually growing worldwide. As of October 2012, we had a total of 8,518 student members (about a 13 percent increase from the previous year) in over 62 countries. We would like to acknowledge our student campus representatives for their outstanding efforts in student membership recruitment. Currently, 96 campus representatives and 6 regional representatives in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania help to promote psychological science at their institutions. We hope to expand beyond these regions as student membership continues to rise. Andrew Sage, APSSC Membership and Volunteers Officer, works closely with these representatives to bring awareness to the many student member opportunities available within the organization. For students interested in gaining leadership experience, becoming an APSSC representative is an invaluable way to get involved in APS.
The APS Convention was held in Chicago, IL, this past May, giving students the opportunity to enhance their research and professional development. Only at an APS convention can students meet with well-known and highly respected researchers at the Champions of Psychological Science event, network with other students at the Student Social, learn more about effective teaching and learning at the APSSC symposium, and get tips about publishing from editors of top scientific journals. In addition, the Naked Truth Series gives students practical guidance for applying to graduate school, overcoming obstacles that students often face, and finding positions in the job market after graduation. I would like to congratulate Nicholas Eaton, Sean Hughes, Nathan Medeiros-Ward, Michelle Patriquin, Andrew Sage, Peter Vernig, and Jessica Wong for an excellent job in putting together the wonderful student events at the 24th APS Annual Convention. As we celebrate the upcoming 25th APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC, the APSSC board members have considered the feedback from the annual student member survey and are working to strengthen the student programming to meet the needs of our peers. This coming year, we will incorporate a more international focus into our panels and programming to better reflect the global and integrative perspective of the APSSC and our field in general.
Communication and Publication
Staying connected with the student affiliates is a top priority for the APSSC Executive Board. To maintain communication, we send monthly e-newsletters to our members and disseminate valuable information on the APSSC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/apssc) to inform students of research grant opportunities, student competitions, and other relevant program announcements. Michelle Patriquin, APSSC Communications and Marketing Officer, organizes and oversees both the e-newsletters and the Facebook page to ensure that students are kept up-to-date with important news of the psychological science community.
To promote networking among our student affiliates, the APSSC Mentorship Program enables undergraduates to interact with graduate students about anything from concerns regarding graduate school life to general career advice. This program is supervised by James Hodge, the APSSC Undergraduate Advocate. We would like to encourage more undergraduate and graduate students to be a part of this growing program that we feel meets the needs and challenges facing us as students.
The APSSC also offers publication opportunities. Kathryn Klement, APSSC Student Notebook Editor, manages the student columns in the Observer and is accepting student-written articles related to research issues, professional development, teaching experiences, and other applied skills relevant to the science of psychology. In addition, James Hodge is a Student Editor for the annual online publication known as the Undergraduate Update and is accepting submissions for articles that focus on helping undergraduates succeed as psychology majors.
Students can find grants and awards for their research through three APSSC competitions: the Student Grant Competition (SGC), the Student Research Awards (SRAs), and the RISE Research Awards (RRAs). Recipients of the SGC receive funding for their proposed study, whereas recipients of the SRAs and RRAs receive a monetary award and the opportunity to present their work in front of an audience at the APS convention. The applications for all three awards are evaluated by student peer reviewers, who also gain excellent experience in providing constructive feedback to the applicants. Ian Hussey (APSSC Graduate Advocate) and Mariya Yukhymenko (APSSC RISE Coordinator) have recently made changes to the submission process for the SRAs and RRAs, clarifying the instruction details to further ensure that applicants have the appropriate information to be competitive.
The APSSC also provides information about other funding opportunities through the monthly e-newsletters. Listings of upcoming scholarships, grants, and fellowship opportunities from outside organizations again meet the relevant needs of our student members. And, to encourage further involvement in APS and the field of psychological science, students who are attending the 25th APS Annual Convention and needing financial support can apply for Travel Assistance grants to defray the cost of attending the meeting.
Looking Toward the Future
As the APSSC’s representation continues to expand globally, I encourage our student affiliates from around the world to get involved by considering a leadership position on the 2013–2014 Executive Board. Elections will be held in February, and descriptions of the various positions can be found at www.psychologicalscience.org/apssc/bylaws. With the growing diversity in our field, the APSSC’s goal is to break down the boundaries between continents and subdisciplines and help students from around the globe pursue their interest in the integrative science of psychology. Throughout this year, the officers and I will be working together to face this challenge and ensure that we provide the necessary resources that represent our international organization.
I would like to thank the 2012–2013 Executive Board (James Hodge, Ian Hussey, Kathryn Klement, Michelle Patriquin, Andrew Sage, Jessica Wong, and Mariya Yukhymenko) for their hard work, service, and dedication. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to all of our APS student affiliates for their support and enthusiasm for psychological science. I’ll see you in Washington, DC, for the 25th Annual Convention!