The APS Student Caucus (APSSC) hosted a number of exciting events at the APS Annual Convention in San Francisco. Students enjoyed complimentary food and drinks at the APSSC Convention Kickoff and Student Social held at Jillian’s, a sports bar and lounge in lively downtown San Francisco. The social provided an opportunity for students to mingle and chat with their peers before the convention began in full force. More than 300 students made an appearance and kept the party going until midnight.
APSSC programming began the next morning with the Campus Representatives Meeting. Led by outgoing APSSC Membership and Volunteers Officer Allison Cantor of Duke University, Campus Representatives — official APSSC representatives on university campuses — discussed ways to expand student involvement in APSSC, including moving up the date of Rally Week, the biggest student membership drive, and further publicizing APSSC opportunities. There are now approximately 150 Campus Representatives around the globe, and their goal is to expand to 200 by next year.
Next up were the Naked Truth panels, a series of symposia on different aspects of graduate school. The first symposium, “The Naked Truth Part I: Getting Into Graduate School,” chaired by outgoing APSSC Undergraduate Advocate Jessica Schubert of Binghamton University, provided students with information about navigating the graduate school application process. The panel consisted of four current, successful graduate students, including Kayoung Kim (Texas A&M University), Jessica Schleider (Harvard University), John Fleming (Northwestern University), and Caitlin Hudac (University of Nebraska–Lincoln). The panelists discussed the benefits of gaining postbaccalaureate research experience, selecting graduate schools and advisors based on research interests, and approaching potential advisors early in the application process.
The second program in the series, “The Naked Truth Part II: Surviving Graduate School,” chaired by outgoing APSSC Graduate Advocate Tatyana Kholodkov of the University of Wyoming, offered students advice about how to get the most out of their graduate school careers. The panel consisted of an international group of advanced graduate students, including Keri Wong (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Brandilynn Villarreal (University of California, Irvine), and Monica Bolton (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), as well as postdoctoral fellow Matthew Pearson (University of New Mexico). Each panelist provided his or her top tips for succeeding in graduate school and then took questions from the audience. Common topics included advice about being proactive and taking initiative in graduate school, coping with stress, and building relationships.
Last in the series was “The Naked Truth Part III: Navigating the Job Market After Graduate School,” chaired by APSSC Past President Kris Gunawan of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Panelists Laura Wilson (University of Mary Washington), Maureen Ritchey (University of California, Davis), and Kevin Petway (Educational Testing Service) briefly described their own career trajectories, then took questions from the audience. Questions included how best to prepare for an academic versus industry job, what to expect at interviews, and the timeline of the job application process.
The last student symposium on Friday was “How to Get Published: Guidance From Journal Editors,” chaired by outgoing APSSC Student Notebook Editor Allison Skinner of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Drawing one of the largest crowds of the APSSC symposia series, this symposium consisted of an expert international panel of four researchers and journal editors. The panel included APS William James Fellow Nora S. Newcombe (Temple University), associate editor of Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Processing; Jelte Wicherts (Tilburg University, the Netherlands), academic editor at PLoS ONE and consulting editor at Psychological Methods; Richard Lucas (Michigan State University), editor-in-chief at Journal of Research in Personality; and Jessica Tracy (University of British Columbia, Canada), associate editor at Emotion. The panelists provided valuable advice about how to choose the right journal, tackle revisions, and avoid common mistakes when writing a manuscript.
APSSC programming the following day began with the RISE Research Award Addresses, chaired by outgoing APSSC RISE Coordinator Gal Slonim of Bar-Ilan University, Israel. The RISE Award recognizes outstanding psychological research related to socially and economically underrepresented populations, and winners are invited to present their research at the APS Convention. This year’s addresses included studies on the effects of religiosity on motivation to determine a stranger’s sexuality (Kevin Callender, Yale University), the effects of maternal depression, anxiety, and stress on neonatal outcomes (Sophia
Green, Emory University), crime reports and racial bias (Naomi Fa-Kaji, Rice University), and cultural beliefs affecting nutrition adherence in type 2 diabetes (Sonika Ung, Loma Linda University).
The next series of talks was the Student Research Award Addresses, chaired by Kholodkov. The Student Research Award recognizes outstanding research from student members of APS and provides students an opportunity to present their findings at the APS Convention. The award-winning projects this year included investigations on the effects of friends’ perfectionism on extrinsic aspirations (Nora Hope, McGill University), state belonging and motivation for social reconnection (Julie Martin, Duke University), reducing careless responding on Internet-based surveys (M.K. Ward, North Carolina State University), and depression and dissociation as predictors of posttraumatic symptoms in maltreated youth (Emma Ross, University of Nevada, Las Vegas).
The final APSSC event at this year’s APS convention was the much-anticipated Champions of Psychological Science, chaired by Gunawan. This event provided students with a unique opportunity to meet world-renowned psychological scientists in an informal setting. This year’s champions were APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Carol S. Dweck (Stanford University), Nora S. Newcombe (Temple University), APS William James Fellow Paul Ekman (Paul Ekman Group, LLC), Past APS Board Member Claude M. Steele (University of California, Berkeley), R. Eric Landrum (Boise State University), APS William James Fellow Keith Rayner (University of California, San Diego), and APS President Elizabeth A. Phelps (New York University). Groups of 8 to 10 students joined each champion at a table to ask questions and discuss professional and scientific topics in a relaxed atmosphere.