Student Notebook

Student Caucus Brings Energy to New York City

The APS Student Caucus (APSSC) offered programming that drew students from Shanghai to southern California to New York City for the 2015 APS Annual Convention.

The programming began with the “Naked Truth” panels providing perspectives on the before, during, and after of graduate school. Outgoing APSSC Undergraduate Advocate Staci Weiss of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo led the first symposium, “The Naked Truth Part I: Getting Into Graduate School.” Four current graduate students shared their experiences navigating the application process. Michael Lanning (University of Toledo), Catherine Bergeron (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada), Sarah Bannon (Stony Brook University), and Emily Hotez (The City University of New York Graduate Center and Hunter College) highlighted undergraduate and post-
baccalaureate opportunities that contributed to their successful admissions to doctoral programs. Panelists emphasized the importance of establishing a relationship with a faculty advisor and developing a variety of research skills.

Outgoing APSSC Graduate Advocate Allison Cantor of Duke University chaired the second program in the series, “The Naked Truth Part II: Surviving Graduate School.” A panel of students including Genevieve Henricks-Lepp (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Anne Malaktaris (Binghamton University), Levi Riven (Concordia University), and Kayoung Kim (Texas A&M University) discussed how time management, strategic prioritizing of multiple responsibilities, and strong social support were key to making it through the challenging yet rewarding process of obtaining a doctoral degree.

To conclude the series, Jeremy Houska (Centenary College), Jessica Wong (Insight Strategy Group), and Ross O’Hara (Persistence Plus) offered their views on a range of careers in psychology as part of “The Naked Truth Part III: Navigating the Job Market After Graduate School.” Outgoing APSSC President Tatyana Kholodkov of the University of Wyoming guided the panelists through questions pertaining to positioning oneself for jobs in academia and industry. The panelists described their personal trajectories to their current jobs and offered advice about networking, the job application process, and emerging employment fields (e.g., start-ups) that students in psychology might consider entering.

APSSC Membership and Volunteer Officer Jonathan Waldron of Virginia Tech led the Campus Representatives Meeting. Representatives had a lively and productive conversation about ideas for increasing awareness of existing APSSC initiatives, such as the Mentorship Program, and plans for generating new student involvement. The Campus Representatives shared constructive feedback for expanding the influence of the program through enhancements to Rally Week, the organization’s annual membership drive.

A full day of student events ended with a series of talks conducted by the winners of the RISE Research Awards and the Student Research Awards. In line with the mission of the RISE Research Award, which seeks to acknowledge outstanding student research focused on socially and economically underrepresented populations, Kholodkov chaired a series of presentations by awardees on far-ranging topics such as culture, stigma, immigration, and gender identity. One presentation reflected the cross-cutting convention theme of psychological science and immigration: Robert Lane (St. John’s University) examined the interaction of immigration status, familial acculturative stress, and hopelessness as a unique pathway to suicidal ideation for immigrant emerging adults. Other award-winning projects investigated the intersection of cultural values, psychological factors, and health behaviors (Esmeralda Nunez, Loma Linda University), the influence of gender–professional-identity integration and gender-role attitudes on creativity performance (Yi Wen “Yvonne” Tan, Singapore Management University, Singapore), and intervention strategies for reducing stigmatizing attitudes of clinicians (Matthew Lebowitz, Yale University).

The winners of the Student Research Awards, which recognize research conducted by undergraduate and graduate-level APS members, presented their findings in a symposium format. Incoming APSSC President Gal Slonim (University of Bamberg, Germany) chaired the event. Projects focused on how interpersonal exclusion and social anxiety may impact an individual’s empathetic accuracy for others’ emotions (Karen Auyeung, University of British Columbia, Canada), the effects of extended exposure to unattractive infants on negative responses by adults (Stevie Schein, University of Texas at Austin), the influence of objectifying cues on body dissatisfaction (Katherine Scott, Northwestern University), and the association of attachment style and sexual attraction (Jett Stone, Adelphi University).

Incoming Communications and Marketing Officer Carolyn Davies of the University of California, Los Angeles, chaired the panel “How to Get Published: Guidance from Journal Editors.” The panel of esteemed journal editors included APS Fellow Bethany Teachman (University of Virginia), APS Board Member Wendy Berry Mendes (University of California, San Francisco), Perspectives on Psychological Science Editor Robert J. Sternberg (Cornell University), Edith Chen (Northwestern University), and APS Fellow Michael Inzlicht (University of Toronto, Canada). Journals from several disciplines of psychology, including integrative publications such as Perspectives and more field-specific publications such as Health Psychology, were represented. Students were eager to learn insider tips on how to land their manuscripts in top-tier journals.

“You are telling a story,” Inzlicht reminded the students in attendance.

He recommended beginning the manuscript with a practical example of the subject matter that captures the reader’s attention, continuing with a compelling presentation of significant findings, and finishing with a strong take-home message. Panelists conveyed the message that manuscripts that appeal to a broad audience, are understandable to first-year graduate students, and present convincing evidence are strong contenders for publication.

The slate of APSSC events concluded with a meeting of Champions of Psychological Science, where students were able to interact face-to-face with some of the most prominent researchers in psychological science. Crowds of students gathered to meet APS William James Fellow Timothy D. Wilson (University of Virginia), APS President Nancy Eisenberg (Arizona State University), APS Fellow James W. Pennebaker (University of Texas at Austin), APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University), Marsha D. Marcus (University of Pittsburgh), and APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Marsha  M. Linehan (University of Washington).

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